This last Sunday(9/13/15) was the one year anniversary of being the pastor of Open Bible Baptist church. It sure does not feel like it has been a whole year. Alot of things have happened in this year, both good and bad. We have had trials and victories both. This year, if there is one thing I learned above all other things, is that I am not capable of being a good pastor by myself, but God is capable of using the most incapable of folks to get His plan done.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I believe, without apology, that the most important element of a Christians life is to preach the gospel to every creature. Since arriving in Brunswick, the Lord has given many opportunities to do that very thing. He opened the door for us to preach regularly at the Salvation Army homeless shelter, Gracemore nursing home,and The Brantley county jail. Also we are able to preach on the streets in both Brunswick, and St Simon’s Island(the adjacent town) without opposition at all. We have been able to knock doors in our community and have even seen folks come out and be a part of our church as a result of this. We have also been able to put brochures containing the gospel and information about our church in the welcome centers in the area. Now don’t misunderstand, I am in no way bragging in my ability or accomplishments, every one of these ministries has been 100% God’s doing.
In the last year, we have had the pleasure to preach, pass out tracts, and hold signs and banners at a few festivals and parades as well. We were able to go to the St Patrick’s parade in Savannh, the Blessing of the Fleet in Darien GA, the Blessing of the Fleet in Brunswick, The Memorial day Parade in Beaufort SC, the Crawfish Festival in Woodbine GA, the Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach FL, and the Labor Day Parade in Kingsland GA. We have stood out front of the rodeo when in came into town and handed out tracts as well as outside the theater downtown to distribute tracts to folks as they exited the facility. Some may think that I am try to boast, but nothing is further from the truth. I am simply looking back on the year and praising God for all of the labor that he has allowed us to do for His Glory.
This year has brought some folks by the church as well. In January, the Alford family came to be a part of our little church, and they have been a blessing to us as well. Bro Alford is faithful in our song-leading duties at the church services as well as a faithful participant in our Salvation Army, Jail, and Street Preaching ministries. In the month of March, the Lord brought us Mr and Mrs Page as well. Great people, that are such a blessing to the church. Mrs Page is faithful to be a part of our song service by playing the keyboard, as well as being the one behind the songs at Grace more Nursing home. Mr Page is a great help with church repairs and maintenance as well. We thank the Lord for bringing us these 2 families and the help that they are to the church and it’s ministries.
Now, this year, has also had some trials. This last year, we had a fellow trying to destroy the work by backbiting and railing and trying to sow discord among the brethren. It broke our hearts to have to institute church discipline but many of the actions were detrimental to the church. The issue really hurt the church and has caused some folks to leave unfortunately. In fact, at this time, we are still dealing with the hurt and problems that came from this sin in the church. This year, we have had some folks get sick, lose jobs, have family issues, and more. Now some would say that this stuff is “normal” to church, but it still is a struggle to get through. Thank the Lord for His goodness to us to guide us in the right way.
So, as we finish our first year here, we don’t intend to look back on the last year for too long, but instead we look forward to another year anxious to see what great things the Lord will do here in Brunswick. We are excited to see how the Lord intends to use a small group of incapable, sinners to accomplish His purpose here in order to allow Him to get the glory.