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
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