We were blessed with the presence of several pastors and their congregations who shared with us in worship all day. Pastor H. Gregory Haygood of Pilgrim, South Bend, preached a message during 8am worship entitled,” When Your Faith Is on the Ropes” taken from Matthew 11:2-6. We were encouraged through the message to not allow our crisis to cause us to lose focus on Christ. Pastor Haygood is a premiere preacher who has been a big brother to me ever since my days at American Baptist College of A. B. T. Seminary in Nashville Tenn. He was instrumental in my becoming acquainted with GSJ and I truly thank him for his friendship.
Pastor Charles L. Emery, my father in the ministry and pastor of Pilgrim, Gary, Indiana, brought the message during our 11am worship. We had a hallelujah good time! There was not a dry eye or immobile person in the place. In everyday preacher jargon, he dumped the house. The message he shared came from John 21:15-17, entitled “The Shepherds Love for the Sheep.” I thank God for my pastor and what he has meant to me through the years. After 11am worship, we dined sufficiently in the lower level of our church where the culinary staff did not disappoint. The food was simply delicious. Were it not for one more service, I could have gone to sleep. You know how drowsy we get after a sumptuous meal.
At 5pm, our services continued with Pastor Ray E. Owens & Macedonia Baptist Church along with Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon & Bethlehem Baptist Church as our guests. Something special happened to me during this service. Our youngest child, Jared (9yrs.old) favored me with a surprise tribute that left me with tears of joy. When they asked for the person with the special tribute to come forward, the church went in with excitement as he mounted the podium. His tribute was confirmation I desperately needed because I never want to become too busy as a pastor that I fail at being a family man. Thank God I’m not failing in this area of my life.
The services concluded with Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon preaching like a man possessed. He came through like a rushing mighty wind. He is sho-nuff some preacher. The house had already been dumped before he arrived but one more dumping has never hurt anybody. The message he preached was entitled “The Gospel” taken from Romans 1:16. My brother preached my soul happy and I am yet to recuperate.
This day will go down as one of the most rewarding, refreshing and richest days I have ever experienced. I owe deep gratitude to the GSJ family in general and the Anniversary Committee in particular. You guys have certainly out done yourselves and I am so thankful to be your pastor. Let’s stay together for as long as God will allow. Love Ya!!!