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)!
Our day began on a sad note when we learned that our dear sweet Gloria Whitehurst has graduated to be in the presence of our dear Lord. A member of Blackwater her entire life, God blessed us with her dynamic piano skills for over 40 years. The number of lives she touched can hardly be counted. She truly embodied Proverbs 16:32a - "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty" because she hardly ever had a harsh word or thought towards anyone. She will be sorely missed.
We also learned that Pat W. lost a cousin early Sunday morning and that Ms Chrystal F.'s brother-in-law had passed earlier in the week. So many families are experiencing loss and grief. We ask everyone to pray for God's peace during their time of sorrow.
The Joyful Noise Choir gave their 2nd performance of the new church year, singing "Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus." Beautifully done, the dedicated participants really enjoy singing the 'old' songs. The BBC congregation seems to never tire of hearing the great classic hymns many have grown up with.
After Dr. Hardaway's message the invitation was sung. Four children who were recently Baptized came forward, requesting membership into the BBC family. A resounding "Amen" by the congregants was the expressed vote and welcome. Congratulations to Jack, Wyatt, Grace, and Emily!!
Things are moving along at BBC with regards to the pastor search. Last week's announcement by the Pastor Search Committee that Dr. Lynn Hardaway was being proposed as candidate led to a potential contract to be handed out today. Now everyone knows what BBC is expecting and looking forward to. Absentee ballots were dispensed to those members who will not be able to attend next Sunday's vote, being held after church. But before we get to that there will be a Meet and Greet on Saturday night at 7pm to meet with the Hardaway family and ask any final questions the congregation may have.
Please pray for God's perfect will for our church.
The search for a new pastor is now underway. On April 26 the congregation was invited to participate in a Survey sponsored by the Pastor Search Committee. Respondents were able to input their desires for such things as the age, marital status, education, and experience of the future leader. Lists of optional qualities and priorities were also presented so that the Committee can see what our church would want a new minister to be focused on during his time with us.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as the real search begins. Congregants are asked to continue to pray for both the Search Committee members as well as our new pastor, whoever God has chosen.
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!