PROCEEDINGS OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT ASSOCIATION
Thursday Morning, September 30, 2004
The Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists convened in its 152nd annual session with Beech Grove Church, Blackwater, Virginia.
Many years ago, people in the Beech Grove Community saw a need for a church. Beech Grove Primitive Baptist Church was organized and had their first meeting the first Saturday in March, 1907.
The church was then located down the hollow from the present church. According to the records that have been kept and the people of the community, the church thrived during the civil war period. The church joined the Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists in October 1907, along with 3 others.
Since its organization, Beech Grove has hosted the association three times, 1918, 1937 and 1963. On the first Saturday night in 1925, plans were made to build a new building. This building remained and served the people of this community until January 1969. A new building was erected and nearly completed within the year. The building is still in use today. Over the years, many changes have been made and the people have changed, but the spirit of God has stayed the same.
The founder saw a need to teach and preach God’s word and there’s an even bigger need today. Some of the ministers that have served as pastor are: James Robinson, Freeman Johnson, H. V. Hall, J. R. Robinette, Bryan Moore, Gerald Hopkins, Walter Willis, Bazzle Manis, Tommy Seals, Jeffery Glass, Porter Silas Carroll, Coy Lawson, Rex Winstead, Clarence Miller, Coy Willis and Phil Crittenden.
As the morning fog lifted, God’s children gathered at Beech Grove Church for the 152nd gathering of this grand body. Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation in singing several songs of Zion. Just over in the Glory Land we’ll stand with the mighty host to look upon the face of our Savior. Let us hold to God’s unchanging hand in our daily walk, so we can sing forever of His saving grace. There is no end to the matchless love of God, and the anguish He bore on Calvary deserves our undying love forever. His wonderful story of love keeps us moving thru this life, but it won’t be very long till all the saints get home to receive our shining crown. The testimonies and tears of God’s children were further evidence of His spirit here among us. We have a blessed hope that we’ll live on through all eternity. All is vain unless the Holy Spirit comes down, thank God for the Holy manna that was showered all around us. Earnestly and tenderly Jesus is calling oh sinner come home.
Elder Terry Sizemore welcomed everyone to today’s service as he asked everyone to obey the Holy Spirit. If we will do this, then God can and will bless His children. The Witt sisters came forth and blessed us with their song and testimony. We’re dwelling on the mountain, looking toward the land of Beulah where the flowers bloom forever. There is hope of a land where we’ll never have to part. Elder Sizemore welcomed Elder John Henry Sybert, former moderator of the association, in attending his 71st association. Due to his health, Elder Sybert was not able to lead the congregation in singing the association standard, “Brethren, We Have Met Again,” so Sister Zula came forward to lead the congregation in singing this old hymn. When our work is done here below, we have a new home in heaven where we will go for eternity.
The moderator requested that any additional church letters, obituaries and financial contributions be placed in the box on the stand and for any donations to the host church to be made directly to them. He then appointed the Committee on Religious Exercises, which includes: Ralph Baker (Chairman), Chris Woods and Billy Jack Johnson.
Prayer requests were made for: the unsaved; Linton and Peggy Harrold at the passing of their son; Danny Johnson; Adam Lawson and Delmer Wallen, Jr. and all the other men and women who are serving our country in the military; Morris Giles; Beulah Fawbush’s family; Faye Howington; Elizabeth Jenkins’ son who is sick and lost; John Turner’s wife, daughter and other children that are lost; Doris Burke’s family; Jim Burke; Billy Jack Johnson’s family and his wife’s sister; Elder Earl Miles and his sister; Joe Sizemore’s grandson; Steve Minton’s mother-in-law and countless unspoken requests, signified by uplifted hands. Elder Harold Head led us to the throne of grace in a most humble prayer.
Brother Joe Sizemore blessed us with his wonderful testimony and song of praise. Being inside the gates of pearl will be worth it all, for we’ll have that grand homecoming week the first ten thousand years.
Elder Phil Crittenden welcomed everyone to Beech Grove as he came forward to take the first part of the service. He read Proverbs 3:5-7 and used as a text, “Be what God wants you to be.” We must be rooted and grounded in God so He can use us for His glory and honor. We may differ on some things here in this life, but if we trust in God we will be about His business. God is love and besides Him there is no other. When we fail, we must ask God for forgiveness and admit the failures to Him. He already knows, so why try to hide them? We trusted Him for salvation, we must trust Him with our life. May we continually strive to bring honor and glory to God. Elder A. D. Howington followed with another inspiring message from on high. May we walk in the old paths so God will lead and guide us in all things. The way that seems right to man leads to destruction, but the way of the Lord is eternal peace, joy and happiness. If we will draw close to God, we can enjoy these things now. He is worthy of all praise, we can’t do too much for Him, because He does it all for us. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and He will see you through. God’s blessings are never ending, His love is inexhaustible and they will endure forever. These men preached so wonderfully to us. May we be what God wants us to be.
Adjourned for lunch with songs of praise.
Thursday Afternoon, September 30, 2004
After the wonderful lunch served by the host church, the congregation came together singing songs of Zion. When our work here is done, we’re going to a land that is fairer than day where we’ll never grow old. Our tribute of praise for our Blessed Redeemer will ring out when we meet on that beautiful shore. The half has never been told of the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. It is a great overflowing well, springing up in our soul which will bear us away to our new home. Heaven holds all to the children of God, for it is joy without measure.
We were so wonderfully blessed by special singing and testimonies from Patsy Hensley, Elder Roger VanHoose, and singers from Clear Springs and Blue Springs (Hiltons) churches. Beulah Land awaits those that know Him in the free pardon of sin. Some day we’ll stand for eternity with the One who brought us to where our home will be eternal. The unseen hand still leads as we go, so let us trust it until that sweet day when we reach that strand. We have a longing to see the One who has guided us thru this weary land, but we don’t have to worry for our real home is up there on high. We’re looking for that time when a home in heaven will be ours as he beckons us home to stay. We are drinking living water and feasting on manna from above as our hearts overflow with God’s love. Aren’t you glad he found you and put His arms around you and lead you to the shelter, which is why we love Him ever and part from Him no never? The real joy of knowing that you are His is beyond words. We’ve started for heaven, we’re well on our way and we mean to go thru.
The moderator asked once again that we obey the Lord in all we do. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Brother David Horton, Chairman of the Committee on Church Letters, came forward to give the report of our state and standing. The committee reported 65 churches which they recommend accepting. The letter from Union Hill was received late, and after examination and reading the church’s report, they recommended accepting this church also. This makes a total of 66 churches. A clerical error was found on the letter from Swan Creek, but it was recommended by the moderator to go ahead and seat the church as part of the voting body. It was motioned, seconded and voted to accept the recommendations of the committee and seat those delegates duly elected or appointed by their respective churches as the voting body of the association.
The report from the Committee on Religious Exercises was read by the moderator.
Stand: Neal Drinnon and Mike Fullington.
Osborne’s Chapel: Burnice Sybert, David Jerrell and Harmon Willis.
Roller’s Chapel: Oscar Irvin, Lewis Baker and Jason Robinette.
Sneedville: Joseph Robinette, Donnie Wilson, Roger VanHoose and Bill VanHoose.
Friday Morning, October 1, 2004:
Stand: Oscar Irvin and John Arnott.
Church: Allen Hensley and Lewis Baker.
Prayer requests were made to include all those from the morning service, the unsaved, our association itself and Elder Neal Drinnon’s wife. We were led to the throne of grace by Elder Neal Drinnon in a most humble and earnest prayer.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business of the association.
The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. Elder Oscar Irvin was nominated. It was motioned, seconded and voted for him to serve during the election.
Brother Danny Lawson was nominated to serve as clerk and treasurer. No other nominations were made, and it was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. Since no other nominations were made, he was elected by acclamation to serve as clerk and treasurer for the ensuing year. Elder Irvin asked the congregation to stand as a show of support that they would pray for him during this time.
Elder Terry Sizemore was nominated to serve as moderator of the association. No other nominations were made and it was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. Since no other nominations were made, he was elected by acclamation to serve as moderator for the ensuing year. Elder Irvin also asked the congregation to stand as a show of support that they would pray for him during the year.
Elder Sizemore, on behalf of himself and the clerk, thanked the delegation for their support and most of all, their prayers. He encouraged each of us to do the duty set before us that God’s will be done and many lost souls might be saved. We truly appreciate each one of you. It is extremely important for the officials to have the prayers of God’s children. Elder A. D. Howington came forward to thank God for our moderator and the stand he takes.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator to appoint any and all committees. The moderator appointed the following committees:
Committee on Newly Constituted Churches: Ministers – Lewis Baker (chairman), Burnice Sybert and Greg Hill; Deacons – Bradley Bowen and Pete Marcum; Laymen – Delmer Wallen, Sr. and Darrell Smith.
Committee on Finance: Bill VanHoose (chairman), Mike Fullington and David Smith.
Committee on Obituaries: Arry Hickman (chairman), Bill Winstead and Shane Russell.
Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries: John Arnott (chairman), John Bowlin, John Turner, Fred Gilreath, Roger Trent, Jason Robinette and Hasco Jenkins.
Committee on Electrical and PA System: Delmer McPherson (chairman), Elders Carl Lawson, Howard Sybert and David Jerrell, Scott Mellons, Bobby Caudill and Danny Lawson.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to have all things which are standard printed in the minutes.
The business being concluded, the delegation was dismissed until Friday morning, October 1, 2004.
Friday Morning, October 1, 2004
The congregation gathered for the second day of the association as the beautiful sunshine covered the hills and valley. Everyone was still rejoicing from the wonderful services of yesterday. Songs of praise for our Lord and Savior filled the air as Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation. To be washed in the blood of the lamb brings joy, peace and love that is beyond compare. We should never be discouraged, but just take it to the Lord in prayer, for it is there we find our solace. We must stand on the solid rock, Jesus Christ, for all other ground is sinking sand. Oh the joy of that glad meeting just inside the eastern gate with all the saints gone before.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone and asked all the delegates to come into the tent. Sister Doris Burke blessed us with her testimony and song of praise to our blessed Savior. He calls for those that don’t know Him and is ready to receive them if they will just lay off the old coat and put on the new. Jesus didn’t come here to stay, but He came to atone for the sins of this world and show us the way, then He got on a cloud and went home.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to today’s service and thanked God for taking charge and helping the host church in the blessed way they are taking care of the association.
Continue to pray for the unsaved, all the requests from yesterday, those serving our country in the military; our country; preaching brethren; Josh and Justin Jones; Pleas Lawson’s brother; Bernice Sanders Wallen; Fred Gilreath’s son; Brenda Russell’s family; Micah Evans, Ty Ellison and their parents; Ada Wright; Harlee Ellison; Beulah Caudill; Daphne Stapleton; Teddy and Debbie Sturgill; Erick and Kevin Sturgill and many others the clerk was not able to get plus many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Brother Joe Robinette took our petitions to the Lord.
The delegation was called to order to transact the business.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read.
The moderator reported that the correct member total of 291 had been received from Swan Creek Church and the church letter has been changed to reflect this new number.
Elder John Arnott, having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, came forward to take the first part of the service. In God there is no variable; He has not changed, may we get back to the old paths. He quoted portions of scripture from the 17th chapter of Acts, using as a text “Let us glory in the Lord.” We can be deceived in this world, for Satan is a great deceiver that challenges us in all we do. We see many things happen in today’s world that claim to be of God, but we know the God we serve does not sanction these types of events. Let us open our prayer rooms and call upon God in a mighty way. Too many religious organizations have made the church into a business. Preaching the gospel is not something man can learn on his own, but he must be called of God, for only He can call a man to preach and those He calls, He qualifies. He created all things and regardless of what man might say, He is still in control where He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. We must be blind to this old world to be truly looking for Christ. Words can’t describe what an almighty God we serve. Paul had great zeal to worship God; may we each strive to develop this zeal in our lives so we can worship Him the way He truly deserves. Elder Oscar Irvin followed with a wonderful message from God. It is not the number that we have in our association, for God said where two or more are gathered in my name there I will be in the midst of them. Little is much when God is in it. There is only one true and living God, but unfortunately most of the world serves some form of God in vain. Each individual must take a stand for God and shout it from the mountain tops that our God is alive and alive forevermore. His arm is not too short that He can’t reach down and save those that call on Him. Let us not bind ourselves up, but allow the Lord to use us in any way He may desire. He may be unknown to the world, but He is well known by His children. We have a blessed hope and our treasure lies just beyond this vale of tears. He wants our praise, our love, our hearts and our lives. Everything we have is a gift from God; let us never use it for the wrong purpose. Pride has crept in and robbed us of the true joy of what it is to serve God. Don’t love one another in word, but love one another in deed. Let us go into the highways and byways and compel sinners to come in. These men preached the truth; may it find its way into our hearts that we might draw closer to God. God so wonderfully blessed this place during the services in the tent and the church. Shouts of praise rang out from all over the grounds as His children praised Him.
Adjourned for lunch.
Friday Afternoon, October 1, 2004
Everyone was completely filled this morning as they ate spiritually and physically. The host church served another bountiful meal as we continued to eat the spiritual food during lunch. With songs of praise, the congregation assembled in the tent for the evening proceedings, still rejoicing from the morning services. The old rugged cross is despised by the world, but let us hasten to the one who hung on it in our place. We must resolve to leave the paths of sin and enter into the righteous paths so Jesus can come into our heart.
Continued blessings were forthcoming with special singing from June Kail, Blue Springs Church singers and Terry Sizemore. We are pilgrims here and as such we must press along to that beautiful city, ever praying and ever singing where our faith will end in sight. Some call it heaven, but it is home for the saints of God. Elder Sizemore thanked God for His omnipresence here on these grounds. When Jesus is there, miracles do take place. Christ went away, but He did not leave us comfortless. Jesus did not come to stay, only to show us the way, then He got on a cloud and went home. Basking in His love, we’re moving higher and higher every day. Nothing can surpass the joy of knowing His love, for He is truly the dearest friend we’ve ever known. Whosoever will, come and go with us, for we are bound for the promised land.
Prayer requests were made for all those in the previous services; the unsaved; Brenda Horton’s nephew; Henry Wheeler; Tee and Rosie Johnson’s family; Ronnie Johnson’s family; A. D. and Faye Howington and the lost members of their family and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder Carson Johnson blessed us with his wonderful song just before leading us to the throne of grace.
Blessings from the Lord just kept on coming with testimony and song from Patsy Hensley and others. We’re going to a homecoming day in the sky to meet Jesus and never more die. Jesus continued to pour out His blessings on His children.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.
The moderator read the report from the Committee on Religious Exercises:
Stand: David Jerrell, James Jarnigan, Harold Shaw and Harold Head.
Liberty Chapel: Oscar Irvin and Neal Drinnon.
Osborne’s Chapel: Ohio connection.
Sneedville: Roger Trent, Bob Brown and David Smith.
Saturday morning, October 2, 2004:
Stand: Terry Sizemore and Greg Hill.
The moderator announced some special services at various locations.
The moderator appointed the Committee on Church Letters for 2005, which includes: Marvin Ketron (chairman), Joe Pitzer, Darrell Sizemore and Steve Minton (alternate).
Special recognition was given to Elder James Jarnigan, Elder Woodrow Fields, H. C. Johnson and Jim Burke for their help each year to the host church. These men continually give of themselves in order to help the host church, no matter where it might be. Many others also contribute of their time and skills to ensure that everyone is taken care of in the best way possible.
The Committee on Finance reported $9,331.00 in receipts for the year.
The Committee on Obituaries reported that 69 had been received at this time.
The Committee on Newly Constituted Churches reported that none had been received.
The moderator reminded those serving on the committees that they were released when their final report is given.
It was motioned, seconded and voted that the host church will be responsible for the maintenance of the kitchen, with any needed repairs to be paid for by the clerk of the association.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk $1,000 in appreciation for his services.
With the passing of Brothers Wendell Parsons and Cassel Caudill, two of our Kentucky trustees, and a request from Elder Burnice Sybert to be removed as a Tennessee trustee because of his ordination into the ministry and serving as pastor of two churches, the moderator reviewed the list of association trustees. The moderator appointed Bobby Caudill and Bill Maggard to serve as trustees in Kentucky and Delmer Wallen, Sr. to serve as a trustee in Tennessee. The association trustees include:
Kentucky: Jack Creech, Bobby Caudill and Bill Maggard
Virginia: Jess Akens, Jr., Carl Peterson and Ralph Baker
Ohio: Morris Giles, Joe Pitzer and Ray Eldridge
Tennessee: Bill Poole, Billy Jack Johnson and Delmer Wallen, Sr.
The Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries reported that one query had been received. The committee acted on the query and decided not to present it to the delegation. A request from the floor was made to the chairman as to why they chose not to present the query to the delegation. The chairman was ready to proceed when it was brought to the attention of the chairman and moderator that a motion and second would be needed to proceed with the request. The moderator then asked for a motion to proceed with this request; however, a motion to dispense with the reading of the query was made, followed by a second and vote of the delegation. The query was not presented to the delegation.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk to replenish the necessary forms to properly perform his duties.
The members of the Circular Letter Committee came forward. Elders John Turner and Jim Emery looked on as Elder Oscar Irvin read the letter. Its message was to the association as a whole that we might know, believe and hold fast to the beliefs that this organization is based on. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minutes as read.
The clerk reported on several issues to inform the delegation. These include:
• An electronic form of the Church Letter has been created and used for the first time this year. With such a document, a hand written signature is not possible, but the information is intact and the source is known to the clerk when it is received. It was requested of the delegation to allow the electronic form to be used in its original format, with a typed name of the church moderator and clerk instead of hand written signatures. It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the use of the electronic version as an optional method of completing the church letter.
• The supply of the direction books is getting very low. Changes need to be made for at least one church and maybe more. The cost to print 1,000 copies of the books would be $1,225.00. It was motioned, seconded and voted to wait until next year to print new direction books.
• A financial report was given to the delegation showing where all monies had been spent during the year.
• The clerk reported that the Hawkins County Genealogical Society was not able to get the minutes microfilmed as was originally planned. The minutes sent to Nashville were not the originals and the society was afraid of copyright infringements, even though they were informed, in writing, of the association’s approval to do so.
• It was motioned, seconded and voted to print the names of the minister’s wives in the minute. This is not a requirement, but an option to be addressed by each minister and his wife.
The moderator appointed the Circular Letter Committee for 2005, which includes: Elders A. D. Howington, Silas Carroll and Virgil Lipe.
There were 5 churches that asked for the association to meet with them next year. These were Beech Grove, Burke’s Union, Fairview (OH), House Chapel and Riverside. During the plea process, Burke’s Union and House Chapel withdrew, leaving the vote between Beech Grove, Fairview (OH) and Riverside. There was not a clear majority during the first vote, so another vote was taken between the two churches receiving the most votes, which were Riverside and Fairview (OH). By a clear margin, the delegation voted to send the association to Riverside, where the Lord willing we will convene on Thursday morning, (September 29, 2005) before the first Saturday in October, 2005. Introductory – Elder Roger Trent; Alternate – Elder James Jarnigan.
Adjourned until Saturday morning, October 2, 2004.
Saturday Morning, October 2, 2004
The rain fell from heaven much like the showers of blessings that have fallen throughout this association. As the people gathered in the tent, Sister Zula McCullough led them in singing songs of praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When the redeemed gather in, how we’ll sing and how we’ll shout. Thank God that when the roll is called up yonder, we’ll be there. His wondrous love and care guides us through this life. As Christian soldiers, we should keep our lamps trimmed and burning so we will be a light for Jesus every day. There’ll come a glad day after while when we can lay down these heavy loads and receive our heavenly crown. Since Jesus came, our feet have found a resting place and we’re on the rock at last. When the saints go marching in, there will be no canes or walkers; oh how great it will be to be in that number!
Special singing from Kathy Robinson blessed our hearts. Thank God for all His blessings. The things of this world don’t matter because we have the Lord in our lives. If it satisfies the Lord, then we are satisfied as well.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to our memorial service, thanking God for the showers of blessings throughout this association and the freedom we have to worship Him. God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read.
Brother H. C. Johnson came forward to let the association know that a new first aid kit was needed in the kitchen, as well as some other supplies. He asked the association to remember him and his grandson, who is in service to our country, in your prayers. It was noted that authority has already been given to the host church to get whatever is needed, and this was considered a reminder to take care of these things.
Elder Phil Crittenden came forward to thank everyone that has helped take care of the association. Many have helped, and he didn’t want to call any names for fear of leaving someone out, but he wanted to thank them all for everything they have done to help the host church.
The moderator reminded the delegation that Sister Eileen Brown still sends out notices of revivals and special services if they will let her know. He also announced the start of several revivals and special services that will begin soon. We were also reminded of the 5th Saturday night service that moves to various churches that ask for it.
Elder Sizemore read the report of the Committee on Religious Exercises:
Stand: No services were held due to a death in the community.
Butcher’s Valley: David Jerrell.
Jenkins Chapel: Burnice Sybert and Bob Brown.
Liberty Chapel: John Arnott and Virgil Lipe.
Osborne’s Chapel: Phil Crittenden, Del Harris and David Smith.
Poplar Grove: Roger VanHoose and Bill VanHoose.
Sunday morning, October 3, 2004:
Stand: To be determined that morning.
Kingswood: Ohio connection.
Roller’s Chapel: Mike Fullington and Joseph Robinette.
The clerk read the Resolution of Thanks that he had prepared. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minutes as read.
Special singing by Elder Sizemore and the Under Grace Trio blessed us. He took us to Calvary and washed us whiter than snow. We may not have much money or this world’s noted fame, but Jesus knows us by name. Saved by His marvelous grace, a child of that heavenly place, we are kept by His power and hid in the rock. When all others forsake us, there is strength in the Lord that is beyond measure in His comforting word.
Prayer requests were made for all those made in previous services; the unsaved; Doyle Gilliam; Fred and Betty Jean Sizemore; Carla Osborne; Donald and Lola Sybert; Frank Mullins; all those dealing with cancer; Maxie Marcum and many unspoken requests signified with uplifted hands. Elder Carl Lawson took our petitions to the Lord.
The moderator read the list of names of those that have passed from us since last year. We mourn their passing, but we thank God for their lives and for allowing us to have them with us for as long as we did. Thank God for the precious memories He gave us.
Having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, Elder Greg Hill came forward to take the first part of the service. He read from Deuteronomy 3:24-29 for his inspiring message. The gateway to heaven is before us if we’ll follow the Lord instead of man. God is able to watch over our children as He did Moses when his mother placed him in the basket. At the Red Sea, Moses told them to stand still and see the glory of the Lord; we need to do the same thing many times in our lives. One day soon we’ll reach the top of our Mt. Pisgah and look over to the other side. We’ve seen His goodness and greatness here on these grounds, but more importantly, we’ve felt it deep down in our soul. He is the way, the truth and the life. Elder Terry Sizemore took the second part of the service, preaching another wonderful message given him by the Lord. We are all examples and this responsibility is not to be taken lightly. Just as these dear departed saints were great examples, we need to strive to be the best for the Lord. The saints can leave this life with a great smile on their face because they see a land not made with hands. We have a better home waiting when we leave behind all the troubles and trials of this old world. We can go forward with great confidence because we know God is with us. Many friends have come to the end of the way, but it is a new beginning for them. They laughed at Noah and they may laugh at us from time to time, but when the Lord returns in the clouds to receive His children, they won’t be laughing anymore. Moses didn’t get into the promised land to walk around, but he was able to look in, just as we get a foretaste of heaven. There’s a day coming when we’ll have a body that is worthy to praise the Lord in the way He deserves. These saints are gone, but we’re still here to fight the battles before us; but look up for we have Jesus with us always. These men preached so wonderfully and offered such a special tribute to these fallen saints. We thank God for them and their lives and the special time we had with them. We can take solace in knowing that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord. Jesus said, “today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Let us remember the precious memories these dear saints left us. They will never be forgotten, but they will live on forever in our hearts.
Songs of praise and shouts of joy rang out from the children of God as we adjourned for the day.
Sunday Morning, October 3, 2004
The last day of this association began much like the others, with God blessing His children with singing as the church family gathered for the last day of services. Smiles were abundant as everyone still rejoiced from the earlier services. It is still refreshing to hear the old, old story of how our Savior came from glory to save a wretch like me. Our darkest night will turn to light where the soul of man never dies. Some day, some happy day we’ll be where all is peace, joy and love and our trials will be over. Oh, I want to see Him and look upon His face. On the streets of glory, let us lift our voice for we’ll be home at last, ever to rejoice.
Elder Phil Crittenden welcomed everyone to today’s service as he thanked God for the wonderful services during this association. We can have these services anytime and anywhere we go if we will crucify this flesh and obey God in all things. Phil preached to us so wonderfully. The spirit of God will change us if we obey. Let us go to our brothers and sisters in love and faith, believing that God will lift us up out of every circumstance. God has no respect of persons, for what we need to do, we need to do it for the glory of God.
Mitzie Crittenden, Doris Burke’s granddaughter, the young people of the church, Sister Christine and Stevie Collins blessed us with their testimonies and songs of praise. The world may not think much of someone being saved, but the children of God have had one birth they can’t remember and one they can’t forget. Aren’t you so glad that Jesus loves even you? It is wonderful to be in the glory land way where it groweth clearer each and every day. When Jesus passes by, miracles take place, thank God He is still passing by. When our way groweth drear, our precious Lord will linger near to take our hand and lead us home.
We thank God for all the visiting ministers that were in attendance at today’s services. Elders Carl Lawson, Donald Sybert, Wayne Morgan, Howard Sybert and David Smith blessed our hearts with words of praise for our Lord and Savior. These men preached the word today. God takes care of His children and will continue to do so as long as time goes on. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that will believe. The instructions given us by God are not just mere words, but they are essential in our daily walk with Christ, so He can use us in any way He sees fit. Jesus came willingly, even though He knew what He must face; may we all come willingly to fulfill the desires that God places within our heart. Let us continually watch and pray that we enter not into temptation. If we’ll go in faith believing, God will bless us, but He won’t stop there. He will take what we do and increase it many fold so it will bring honor and glory to Him. Let us reach out to the lost to help them get into the family of God. We can’t save them, but we can tell them and show them the wonderful God we serve. Thank God for these men that have been on the road for many years. The stand these men have taken over the years will continue even after they are gone. Testimonies from all over the house praised the Lord for all He has done. It is better felt than told, praise God for all the saints. Shouts of praise and tears of joy were evident all over the house. Thank God for the blessings on His people. After wonderful testimonies, we were adjourned with prayer until we meet again.