This is my last newsletter. How can I put into words what the last 27 years have meant to me and my family? I was 39 years old, my daughter had just graduated from high school and my son was 6 months old. Patsy and I had served two other churches, both in S.C. and we were coming with great expectations of what we believed God was going to do.
The church had built a beautiful wrap around worship center that would seat over 1500 with stained glass windows, an orchestra pit and choir loft that would seat well over 100. But the church was discouraged, in debt and averaged about 650 in attendance. Within 6 months I began an annual “Chest of Joash” service challenging our people to give one weeks salary along with their tithe.
Even though I was told I was going to embarrass people and run them off on that first Chest of Joash service we had a record attendance in S.S., worship, tithe and offerings and 8 people responded during the invitation, many for salvation. Look at what God did:
In 1995 our goal was $100,000, we received $103,080.
In 1996 our goal was $150,000, we received $153,254.
In 1997 our goal was $200,000, we received $208,546.
In 1998 our goal was $250,000, we received $265,710.
In 1999 our goal was $300,000, we received $312,972.
In 2000 our goal was $325,000, we received $328,016.
Only God! We placed a banner across the front that read “Reaching the City for the Savior” The first full year in 1995 we baptized 121, in 1996 we baptized 133, in 97… 131, in 1998 we baptized 97, and 99… 130, and in 2000… 113! God was on the move! But when God blesses the enemy always shows up and we went through a difficult season of spiritual warfare.
But God’s faithful and His presence has always been unmistakable. God allowed me through His divine direction to teach His Word, reach our community, to pay off our indebtedness, to relocate His church, to build our youth building, to renovate our old children’s wing and build a new one. He led me to give people a choice during the corona virus and He showed up big time, pouring out His blessings. Most importantly He has led me to create a smooth transition and bring in my successor. Pastor Chad, God’s man, for God’s church for His glory! He has allowed me to teach the word to equip the saints and baptize well over a couple of thousand precious souls. I am so grateful for God’s blessings.
There are so many names I could mention that have supported me, encouraged me, prayed for me and have stood in the gap with me and to each one of you I am eternally grateful. I know there have been many times that I’ve failed and disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself. For that, I am deeply sorry, but as God is my witness I have served to the best of my ability, through His power, for His glory and He’s been faithful.
Every member of this great church has been my life for 27 years. You’ve given me far more than I could have ever given you. You will always be on my mind and in my heart because you are my family. Words can’t describe what I’ve experienced or how I feel so allow me to conclude with God’s word. “Finally brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor. 13:11
Your Pastor and Friend,
1 Cor. 15:57 – 58
I pray the month of May is off to a great start for you. It’s going to be an awesome month! I’d like to share with you some of our upcoming events.
May 9: Love on your Mama! Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms at LCC. We will have a photo booth set up for you to stop by and take a picture with your family. Make this day special for your Mom!
May 16: I am so excited to have my mentor Pastor Johnny Hunt preaching in both services. Pastor Johnny is the former pastor of First Baptist Woodstock, GA and is currently servicing as Senior VP of Evangelism and Pastoral Leadership for the North American Mission Board. Invite a friend and get ready for some incredible preaching.
May 23: Pastor Jake will conduct his last Parent-Child dedication at LCC. Since we were not able to have a dedication ceremony last year, I would encourage you to sign up for this special time. You can find more information and sign up on our church website.
I’d like us all to consider this question for the month of May: Are We Fully Convinced?
Romans 4:20-21, He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Lifer, are you growing stronger in your faith? Because if you are not then you have plateaued. Any time a Christian plateaus, a slide begins. Any time a Christian wavers a drift begins. Any time a Christian fails to hold on the God’s promises, they begin to sink. You can’t grow stronger by letting go of God’s promises. Faith is being fully convinced that God’s promises are always true even when we don’t feel like they are. This is when are FAITH must be stronger than our feelings.
Abraham, who Paul is writing about, didn’t just hold on to the promises, he held up the promises. The passage says “He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.”
Do you know what it means to give God glory?
It means you raise His promises back to Him as a statement of belief as you journey through life. Like a flag or a banner you lift them high revealing that you are under the promise. It means you take those promises, those dumbbells, in each hand and hold them up. This is where the strength is really built. When you lift up the promises up and wave them, this is worship. And when you worship, you tear down doubt, you tear down fear, your tear down uncertainty and you tear down worry. When doubt, worry, fear, and faithlessness is torn down, like muscle, you have room for your faith to grow!
I love you church!
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some sunshine and warmer weather. I love the springtime. New life appears to be all around us, with the greatest reminder of life being the celebration of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus! With the start of 2021 being kind of a second verse same as the first beginning, I am ready for some new life! I praise God that even through all of the cold, covid, and uncertainty, Jesus reminds us that the Life He gives is the abundant life and that gets better day by day!
Lifers, we are so excited to welcome Jason and Meagan McLeod and their children, Brooks, Ellie Grace, Karis, and Elijah to LCC! Jason will begin March 28th as Student Pastor. I have known Jason for three years and have walked through the fires with this godly man. I can’t wait to see all that God does in and through our student ministry under Jason’s leadership!
Many have come up to me and said they feel like the messages that Pastor Jake and myself have been preaching remind them of revival messages. I pray that is true as for passion and the call to repent. But I want to caution us to remember what being in true revival looks like. It is not hearing a powerful sermon. It is not hearing a song that moves us to emotions or gives us spiritual goosebumps. It is not meeting our budget every month or for the year. It is not having great fellowship. It is not having your Life group numbers higher than the year before. True revival is much more than all of those man-centered and man-created things. When a church (local body of Christ) like Life Community yields itself and humbles itself to the Spirit of God, and is willing to do WHATEVER He leads them to do, then true revival will take place. And the result will be:
“Any true revival can be proven by the fact it changed the moral climate of an area or nation.” Leonard Ravenhill
Remember, what we “amen” at church, we must “live” outside of church. Let’s be Jesus with skin on to Triad, Guilford County, North Carolina, America and the World!
I love you and can’t wait to worship with you this Sunday!
Amazed at His grace,
God is so awesome. During a time when many churches struggled financially and others closed their doors, LCC by God’s grace continued to gather and worship serving our community in 2020. Our food distribution on Lexington Avenue served 9,381 households representing almost 35,000 people, distributing over 553,000 pounds of food. We ministered to foster care homes providing various necessities and also provided funds for the Baptist Children’s home feeding about 500 kids. We provided 2000 homeless children with personal hygiene kits and provided over 500 senior adults meals for a month and 100 children with meal boxes.
We participated in Love Life and the Life Chain standing and praying for innocent unborn children that cannot stand for themselves; we hosted 2 blood drives and provided a Kidz Camp with 48 children. We provided a Trunk or Treat in October serving approximately 800 children and provided 271 shoeboxes in December for Operation Christmas Child.
Many ministries who depend on the local church were struggling and through your generosity we gave $165,000 to help them and another $86,000 supporting missionaries all over the world. And God blessed as we baptized 71 and received 75 new members. All this during the darkest and most difficult time in the history of our nation!
I’m so proud of God’s church and God’s people but the storm clouds are still gathering and increasing. In the words of Dave Ramsey “Nothing makes sense anymore, no values, no morals, no civility and people are dying of a Chinese virus, but it is racist to refer to it as Chinese even though it began in China. Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and others are not held responsible for what they are doing right now. After legislating gender, if a dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him. We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right… where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right. Wake up America. The great unsinkable ship Titanic America has hit an iceberg, is taking on water and sinking fast. “
I’m not trying to be an extremist or a pessimist but a realist. As I look at the world and look at the Word of God I am deeply concerned over the state of the church and the direction of our nation. I’m convinced we’ve passed the point of no return apart from divine intervention. As a follower of Jesus Christ and a messenger for the King I’m encouraging and challenging God’s people to pray, confess, repent and step out by faith. Let’s return to a living, all-powerful, holy God! We’re commanded to pray for those who have authority over us, therefore we should pray for the current administration daily. We are also commanded to give thanks in all things. I’m so thankful I know the truth and because of Jesus I can walk in that truth.
We will never change the moral climate of our culture until we become serious about bringing a lost world to a loving Savior. May we be intentional in bringing a blind, hurting world into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus was clear; He came to seek and to save those who are lost and He has called us to go into our community, our city and our world. Let’s go…
For the King and His Kingdom,
Leeeetttt’s get ready to rumble! Is this the battle cry you feel like chanting as we prepare for 2021? What a year 2020 was! It started with so much promise, hope, and dreams. And yet it feels like this year is ending in denial, despair and shattered dreams. Can anything good come out of a year of economic shutdowns, millions infected by Covid19, and political chaos? Yes! If God can bring the greatest good out of the worst event in history, He can bring good out of 2020.
I recently read these verses and I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to slow down and read them again.
“They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.” Psalm 112:7-8
Wow! I mean, if there is a verse or verses that all of us should adopt for 2021, here they are! The child of God receives bad news with confidence and even joy because he knows the good news that will one day engulf and wash away every terror that might be.
More bad news may come in 2021. But, as a child of God I can confidently look to the Lord who will care for me! As Christians, we recognize that this life is really just a prelude to the eternal one; a life in which “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4
We’re going to a place where the worst pain or year we go through will seem like brief birth pains swallowed up in the joy of new birth. Hallelujah!
I love you Lifers!