Here are some of the blessings I’ve “counted” that the Lord gave our church in 2010.
1. Our unity. Here we are circling the courtyard Easter morning, praising our Father for our resurrected Lord, and praying for others.
2. Our adults, college students and youth participated in two summer World Changer projects, and our adults also participated in a spring break project in Charleston, SC.
3. We bought a new Yamaha grand piano that sounds, well, grand!
4. Our day care center got a new director, Lynn Bessinger, who has worked in the day care almost from the beginning. Here the kids are singing for our senior adult group.
5. We got a new Minister of Music, Chris Stegall who is doing a great job leading our choir and our congregation!
6. Community Day. Our Women’s Missionary Union collected winter clothing, blankets, served breakfast, and had community service agencies come to love on our community! We served over 200 people!
7. Thanksgiving Lunch. Working with other churches in the community, we served over 700 meals on Thanksgiving day. Nothing shows our gratitude to our Father better than loving people in His name!
8. Fall Festival gave the community a safer alternative to traditional Halloween trick or treating. Amid all the games, the food, the laughter and the fun, the biggest treat of all was sharing our Savior’s love with Denmark!
9. Our Royal Ambassadors held their annual pinewood derby race, raising over $2,800 for Meals-on-Wheels. They’ve been doing this for a decade now, and have raised over $30,000 in that time to feed the hungry in our area.
10. Only our Father could take one idea, a lot of scrap metal, and turn junk into life! Throughout the year, two of our older Sunday School classes (Jim Tant and Dessie Steadman) coordinated (with the help of our Royal Ambassadors) the collection and recycling of scrap metal to raise money to dig fresh water wells in area of need overseas. They initially thought they could get several hundred dollars collecting cans, etc. After a year, they have raised enough money for FOUR wells (at approx. $3,000 apiece)....plus they had enough money to donate several 1,000 to our piano fund, and to get new carpet in the day care!). It’s amazing what God can do with the junk in our life if we just trust Him! Oh, and they are continuing this ministry in 2011!
11. When Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake last January, we quickly joined the “Buckets of Hope” program through the North American Mission Board. We had a van full of buckets of food, and, well, HOPE! (Note: We also participated in Samaritan’s Purse’s annual Operation Christmas Child program, making up gift packages for needy kids around the world.)
12. Vacation Bible School saw a brave group of kids (and adults) trekking to Egypt to find out just how much God loves us!
13. This picture from our Valentine’s Day Party reminds me again of how blessed my congregation is with love for Christ and for each other!
14. We had three graduates this year from high school. Katie, Jodi, and Walker all are doing well in college, and we’re so very, very proud of them all!
So there you have SOME of the ways our Father has blessed First Baptist Church in 2010. I continue to thank Him for the privilege of being the pastor of such a great church family. We may be small as compared to some, but God is wonderful at multiplying His love through those who are willing! I pray all of us will be even more willing in 2011 to be blessed by our Savior that we might be a blessing to others for His glory!