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Old 04-09-2012, 02:34 PM
Bro. Robbins Bro. Robbins is offline
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Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

I got a call from the Bishop of our small Organization this morning. A very, very small congregation, in a very poor community not far from where I live is needing pulpit supply.

Their pastor had been there for 35 years. Two weeks ago, the pastor went in for what was thought to just be a GI issue, and it was found cancer was all around the entire abdomen. The pastor died within days, the Monday before Easter. The funeral was last Wednesday, and yesterday that church for the first time in 35 years had no pastor, when they came for church. Easter Sunday was their first service without their faithful pastor.

The congregation is about 35 people if they all came at once, very impoverished, and in a pretty rural area of Willamson County, TN.

The Bishop isn't going to rush to put anyone in there, so they are moving their services to 2pm on Sundays and he is going to preach half the Sundays of the month and help them work through this emotional and difficult time slowly. At the same time, he is also asking a hand full of us to come provide pulpit supply when he can't be there.

I'm asking that you please pray for the church, the Bishop, and those of us trying to help out in ministering to this church. None of us want the church, that's not why we're going. We just want to help. However, I do think most of the guys are open to whatever God wants, but our motives are to just help the Bishop and of course this congregation.

I can't imagine what this church is going through. Please pray for their healing, wisdom for those making decisions, and wisdom for those of us that attempt to minister to them.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:52 PM
AreYouReady? AreYouReady? is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

While I am sorry for their loss of a pastor, perhaps God felt it was time to call him home for his reward? He truly did a work for God by staying in an impoverished area for 35 years, ministering to poor people. It will take a very special pastor to fill this one's shoes.

Bro. Robbins, are you in a church system that elects their pastor or does the eldership place pastors in the church as needed?
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:58 PM
Bro. Robbins Bro. Robbins is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

Quote:
Originally Posted by AreYouReady? View Post
While I am sorry for their loss of a pastor, perhaps God felt it was time to call him home for his reward? He truly did a work for God by staying in an impoverished area for 35 years, ministering to poor people. It will take a very special pastor to fill this one's shoes.

Bro. Robbins, are you in a church system that elects their pastor or does the eldership place pastors in the church as needed?
Though a confidence vote may be taken, and many times is to get a feel for the mood of the church regarding possible candidates, the final say for the pastorship of the church is up to the Presiding Bishop of the organization. We aren't very large, and almost all of our churches are small. I'm new to this organization, but was asked to come in and help.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:11 PM
AreYouReady? AreYouReady? is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

May I ask what the name of this organization is?
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:48 PM
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Steve Epley Steve Epley is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

Is this Emmanuel Church of Christ?
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:39 PM
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

Praying for this situation.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:57 PM
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

I am also praying for both the church family and this pastor's family while they grieve.
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"We did not wear uniforms. The lady workers dressed in the current fashions of the day, ...silks...satins...jewels or whatever they happened to possess. They were very smartly turned out, so that they made an impressive appearance on the streets where a large part of our work was conducted in the early years.

"It was not until long after, when former Holiness preachers had become part of us, that strict plainness of dress began to be taught.

"Although Entire Sanctification was preached at the beginning of the Movement, it was from a Wesleyan viewpoint, and had in it very little of the later Holiness Movement characteristics. Nothing was ever said about apparel, for everyone was so taken up with the Lord that mode of dress seemingly never occurred to any of us."

Quote from Ethel Goss (widow of 1st UPC Gen Supt. Howard Goss) book "The Winds of God"
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:01 AM
Bro. Robbins Bro. Robbins is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

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Originally Posted by Steve Epley View Post
Is this Emmanuel Church of Christ?
Yes. My credentials aren't within this organization, but thinking about moving into it to try to help out. The organization as a whole is struggling. It's sort of funny. I would have never picked the organization on my own, small, not as conservative as I am by any means, and very little youth.... but I feel compelled to roll up my sleeves and do what ever I can to help.

My heart goes out to this little church. I'm not equipped to help them, at least not in myself. And for anyone to step in to a struggling work, after a pastor of 35 years dies suddenly, with so many odds against it, will take prayer, fasting and truly seeking the direction of the Lord.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:52 AM
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Steve Epley Steve Epley is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

They used to have some churches in middle Tennesee-Kentucky- Alabama. I forget the lady's name who founded it? They have a beautiful church on Lebanon Rd.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:58 AM
Bro. Robbins Bro. Robbins is offline
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Re: Church Suddenly Loses Pastor of 35 Years

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Originally Posted by Steve Epley View Post
They used to have some churches in middle Tennesee-Kentucky- Alabama. I forget the lady's name who founded it? They have a beautiful church on Lebanon Rd.

Bishop Ronnie Banks is now the Presiding Bishop, and the organization overall is struggling. The horrible saga in the late 80's when one of their pastors killed a man and then set the church on fire to fake his own death just about ripped the organization to shreds. Now, they are in a time of transition and really needing some new life.

I have been visiting the facility on Lebanon Road. Beautiful facility, but averaging about 20 on Sunday morning. It's very sad, but not beyond salvage.

Like I said, it's a much, much more liberal organization than what I would choose, but I feel compelled to help out and do anything I can.
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