Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No Secrets: The Beginnings of a New Church

The Beginnings of a New Church

The first year of pastoring the new church was filled with blessing after blessing.  There was no doubt that we were where God wanted us to be.  I always told my children, "If you know you are in God's will, you can handle anything that comes your way." 

A dear lady from the Wesleyan Church joined our church.  Her husband was a carpenter.  He oversaw the restoration of the old metal building.  He and the men of the church had the store front garage looking like a church in no time at all.  The windows were taken out and replaced with glass.  The two big doors on each side were taken out and closed in.  A window was put on one side and a regular door on the other.  The front sliding door was replaced with double glass doors with a window on each side.  The cement floor was covered with tile.  An altar was built with a cushion for kneeling and a raised choir loft was built.  The ceiling and sides were stripped and dry wall was installed.  A large podium was built and Sunday School supplies were locked inside.  

Pews were donated from an old church that had been closed for years.  We praised the Lord and "raised the roof."  We were blessed with people who wanted to work. Out of these few members, we had a Sunday School Superintendent and teachers for all ages, a treasurer, and a missionary president.  We were blessed.  To have a growing church, you must make every person of every age group feel that they have a place in the church and are loved.

With this kind of atmosphere, you would think that there would be no problems.  On the contrary, when God is working, so is Satan.  A church member would get mad at something I had said in the pulpit.  In the early days, I was only allowed to wear a white long-sleeved shirt and tie. I was often criticized for wearing anything else.  I always tried to mend fences even when I felt I was not in the wrong.  Most people would say, "Why?"  Jesus said, "If you are presenting your gift at the altar and realize that your brother has something against you, go first and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift." 

Reflections from Doris

We ministered to each department in our little church.  The children enjoyed singing.  They would sing their little hearts out.  We organized a children's choir with programs for each season.  Everyone had a part to memorize, read or sing.  We kept the children busy with parties and special events.  Vacation Bible School was a way to reach out to children in the community.  We always crowned a "king" and "queen," at commencement.  The house was packed out on the following Sunday with parents who were anxious to see their children perform and curious about what was going on in the new little church on the corner.  

Youth Picnic

Vacation Bible School or Egg Hunt?


We had parties for the teenagers.  We were young enough then to keep up with them.  We played games indoors and outdoors including softball.  It was not unusual to have to make a trip to the emergency room for stitches or casts due to minor accidents.  The Christmas and Easter dramas touched the hearts of the people.

Our little church was a beehive of activity.  We had real revivals, not just times of assembling together with preaching and singing.  There were always seekers at the altar with people getting saved and sanctified.  Back then, we called it "praying through."

Baby Dedication Day

The first five years of our ministry we lived in another county.  We had no children so we packed a bag on Friday evening and stayed the weekend with church members.  We had five couples who opened their homes to us whenever we needed them.  We did this so we could get in a full day of visiting and have a youth activity on Saturday night.  We enjoyed our ministry and watching God grow the church.
"This is Your Life"

To BE Continued...

Thanks for allowing me to tell their story.
I am writing this and posting to my facebook
to share with my friends our personal history.
Thanks for indulging me.
Maybe something that is said
will touch your heart.


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