The last Sunday of June marked my 25th anniversary of ministry at Grace Baptist Church. Although I was in the back half of my 30’s at the start, this was my first and continues to be my only pastorate. I have intended to give my life to this work.
Carol and I moved here in 1992 with four young children. Soon the Lord added another boy and girl. The church totaled a little over 20 people at the time. All but our family have long since passed away or left. The church had met in Sherman Park and then leased a quarter of a small metal building on Kiwanis Avenue. We shared the restroom with a beauty shop. I led my first convert to Christ in the boiler room. Clearly remembered is the first time we numbered 40 in attendance. (A large out-of-town family visited.) As years went went by I sometimes wondered if we would always stay in that building.
Then one day while doing lawn work at home on Marion Road, I got the strongest impression that God was leading us to the church building (a smallish converted farm house) across the street. I went inside and told Carol. Later that day the owner of that building, whom I don’t recall having met before, came over and asked if we would like to lease it. We did and stayed there for numerous years and grew some.
Our next move was to the second floor of a metal events hall outside of Tea. The building was nothing pretty. We had to clean up after parties some times. But we could afford the rent, and the place was fairly roomy and had a kitchen.
Steadily, miraculously, over a 20-year journey, God provided enough resources for us finally to put up without debt the building where we worship today.
In more profound ways than with the building, steadily, miraculously, God continues to provide. We have faced many challenges. Anyone trying to do a work for God always does. We are all on a learning curve. I know I have made many mistakes, and so remain . . .
Grateful to Him and for you all,