It's like a new day, a fresh beginning, square one. Last week we voted in a new preacher; this week we started our new church life. And it was awesome! We had several visitors in the house today, and folks were still excited after the Fall Festival held the evening before. (Perhaps some visitors came as a result)?
We started with prayer requests followed by the congregation singing "Only A God Like You" which fairly pumped everybody up. Then we sang a classic hymn, "I Stand Amazed In The Presence." (Just thinking about that possibility gives one goosebumps)!
After the offering the Joyful Noise Choir sang "Revive Us Again," a fitting message for a beginning kind of day. Even Pastor Lynn joined in! What a blessing to have a musically inclined minister!
Then he presented his message, Our Church Values, or what we truly believe. He brought to mind that our first love must be purposely directed and that we should be focused on who Jesus is and what He has done. When we do that we will Love Him.
Pastor Lynn shared that love for Christ begins to fade when we substitute:
You can hear the whole sermon HERE
The service moved on as Pastor Lynn grabbed his guitar and we sang several songs of love to Christ. Then we sang a verse of "Just As I Am" for the invitation. The Hardaway family and Mr. Jordan came forward and joined the church. A rousing Amen from the congregation firmly sealed it. We're excited to see BBC grow and what is in store for us as Jesus takes us to a new level.
On Saturday evening BBC hosted an outdoor Fall Festival with Trunk or Treat event. It was a grand success with lots of food and games, cute kids in their sweet costumes and even a few adults dressed up for the occasion! We had a chili cook-off (so good), cake walk with loads of cakes for prizes; pumpkins were carved, hula hoops were tossed, faces were painted and even a haunted house over in the spooky part of the cemetery! Firemen from across the street helped Pastor Lynn judge the costumes, which wasn't an easy task! Trunk or Treat had lots of vehicles for the kids to visit and collect candy from... we highly think that many made more than one trip ;) Everyone had a tremendous time, even the two dogs that came with their owners!
What an extra exciting day at church! The church was filled in anticipation of voting for a new pastor. Before worship and during Greetings of Peace it was alive as folks spoke and hugged each other. It reminded some of 'old times' when the church used to be filled every Sunday.
Together we sang "I Will Follow" and then sang "I Love To Tell The Story." The Shades of Grace sang "God You Reign" reminding all whose total decision it was regarding our next pastor and the decision to be made.
Dr. Hardaway gave a wonderful sermon on Cliff-Climbers, facing challenges that would stop most. But we have God to rely on and through faith face and even seek outside of our comfort zones to share God's word and do His will.
After the message, as "Holy Spirit" played softly several people came up to join the membership of BBC (most having already been baptized). We welcomed Tanya, Meadow, Emily, Brittany, Bobby, Lynn, David, Dave and Angelica. How exciting - the whole church came up to welcome them!
Once resettled we began the business of voting. It didn't take long to wait and soon someone went to bring in Dr. Lynn Hardaway and his family for the good news. The congregation gave them a big Blackwater welcome as only we can do! So it's official now. We are so blessed that God has chosen to bring Pastor Lynn to our little country church and look forward to a long and rewarding time of service and commitment to reaching others for Christ's kingdom.
(Thank you to the Pastor Search Committee for a job well done)!
A perfect Fall day that was just perfect to be in church. That's what today was. Sunday School started at 9am. What a delight to be able to study God's word among friends! Next was a brief scurrying around during the interim between Sunday School and worship, when folks greet each other before the service starts, younger children are deposited into the able care of the Nursery, the Sound department makes last minute system checks, the pianist starts playing softly as the last worshipers wander in to find their seat before the 10am hour begins.
The Praise Team began the service with the Contemporary hymn "Counting On God" which later our guest speaker, Lee Barbary, said fit in perfectly with his message. Next was the real Greetings when everyone in the Sanctuary got up and visited briefly with each other, hugging and chatting. A classic hymn was sung, the offering taken and then the Joyful Noise Choir sang "Rock Of Ages," another timeless classic hymn.
The message shared today was entitled "Core Values" and centered around Faith, Hope, and Love. We went through each, defining and challenging ourselves to practice living these three values in our own lives. Three reasons as to why we are told to practice Core Values:
Despite the horrible weather stemming from Hurricane Joaquin, we had such a good day today. Expecting many to stay warm and cozy at home, we were greatly surprised at the turnout. Both before worship and during the time of greetings the Sanctuary was lively with people hugging and welcoming each other.
We sang several hymns before Pastor Lynn brought us a great message on growth and vision for our church, based on scripture from Acts 13. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the recording but another recording was reproduced explaining the diagram below. You can find it at http://www.blackwaterbaptist.org/other.html
The Meet and Greet and Pastor vote were both cancelled this week because of the storm. We look forward to both events on October 17th and 18th.
BBC is a warm and welcoming family of like-minded believers who come together to worship our amazing God. Since 1774 BBC has served the Blackwater community and while steeped in tradition we also blend in a bit of contemporary to transition to an exciting future. We'd love to have you join us!