The banquet was a culmination of services held the prior weekend as many pastors, elected officials, guest churches and sons in the ministry gathered to express appreciation, affection and adoration for his ministry to church, community and even the country. An honor was bestowed upon me to serve as Toastmaster for this great occasion. I was not sure how it would turn out seeing that I’ve never served in this capacity, but those present expressed appreciation for how smoothly we went along, so I am grateful. The theme for this occasion was “The Shepherd’s Love for the Sheep” taken from John 21:15-17 which says:
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17 (ESV)
Usually, pastors ask one of their ministerial colleagues to serve as keynote speaker for such occasions, however, Pastor Emery chose a different route this time. Mrs. Coraetta Rollins, a member of Friendship Baptist Church, Indianapolis, and one who has served as Leader of the Women's Auxiliary in The General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Indiana, did a marvelous job expounding on the theme and gave great encouragement to many of the pastors present. I have always respected this seasoned woman of God and her work in the church and convention speaks for itself. It was a joy to see her and hear her speak.
Pastor Emery is a prolific preacher, a dynamic leader, a visionary pastor and world renowned evangelist, who has touched the lives of countless people across the length and breadth of this country. I spent my formative years under his capable leadership and I am thankful to God for the many things I learned at his feet. I am the preacher, pastor and person I am today largely because of what God did through his influence upon my life.
We had a wonderful evening and all present came away thrilled that they were able to spend this time honoring such a great Man of God. Please pray for the continued success of Pastor Emery and his labor of love at the Pilgrim Baptist Church.