Robbie and I look forward to greeting all of our church family and guests to our annual Christmas Gathering in our home today from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. This is our way each year for Robbie and me to say to each one of you how much we love you and thank God for the opportunity He has given us to serve in ministry at Grace alongside you.
This year will complete our 48th year in ministry. We began serving the Lord together in 1967 during my freshman year in college at the Woodbury Baptist Church in Woodbury, Tennessee. We were called to that church to serve as Minister of Music and Youth. I believe I was 19 years old and Robbie was 18. Since that time, we have served 5 more churches either in a staff role or as pastor and 2 denominational positions.
Now, we are serving with you here at Grace and I must say that God has once again given us the joy of ministry in one of the most loving and caring church fellowships we have known. Each ministry and each church seems to be sweeter and more fulfilling than the one before it. If someone asked me, which church has been the best, I would have to say the one in which we serve. So, Grace Baptist Church fellowship is our best one yet—To God Be the Glory!
This year of ministry has been amazing. We have witnessed God’s mighty hand at work in so many ways. Let me just share a few of the wonderful things He has done:
- Our church has exceeded 100 in average attendance consistently all year.
- Our church has exceeded a high attendance goal reaching 184 in worship.
- Our church will meet its 2015 Budget Projection of $164,000.
- Our church has baptized 5 new souls into God’s kingdom.
- Our church has approved the Revised Constitution and By Laws.
- Our church has instituted its new Deacon Ministry.
- Our church has organized new Ministry Teams and Committees.
As we gather together to fellowship and enjoy each other’s company this afternoon, we also will be praising God for the privilege of serving Him together. Our God is mighty and He is with us. As we walk together with Him from this year into the next one, we should claim His great promise, “…you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16b).