Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists
2006 Proceedings

Thursday Morning, October 5, 2006

The Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists convened in its 154th annual session with Flower Gap Church, Blackwater, VA. This association meeting is the first for Flower Gap Church, and the body is honored to be the host church. The history of Flower Gap Church was originally researched and written by Sister Jennifer N. Horton.

The property on which the church now stands was originally where one of Lee County's many community schools was located until the mid 1940's. At that time, the school was consolidated into another school at a different location within the county. The Lee County School Board had plans to demolish the building and sell the land since it was no longer being used as a school.

Brother Tee and Sister Rosie Johnson, neighbors to the old school property, began to discuss the possibility of obtaining the school property to use as a local church for the community. Brothers Lilburn Fisher, Tee Johnson and Emmett Johnson approached the County School Board to attempt to purchase the old Flower Gap School. They discovered that the property would have to be sold by auction sale on the site. One week later, they were able to purchase the property for $300.00 cash.

Church assemblies and meetings were held in the old school building until a corporate church body could be organized. In September of this year, the church celebrated its 60th year. The proposed new Primitive Baptist Church obtained an arm from Willis Chapel Church and was organized on Monday, September 16, 1946 with three charter members by letter: Brothers Tee H. Johnson, Lilburn Fisher and Sister Rosie Johnson. Since the school was named Flower Gap School, the church adopted the name Flower Gap Primitive Baptist Church.

On that momentous Monday night, Elder Hobart Hall preached the opening sermon from the 8th Chapter of the book of Romans. In order to form a body sufficient to transact business, the church "borrowed" members from two organized churches: Blackwater Lick Church and Willis Chapel Church. Brothers Luther Johnson, James Eldridge, Dewey Sanders and Guy Eldridge came from Blackwater Lick and Brothers Jack Wallen and Piert M. Willis came from Willis Chapel. Brother Piert Willis agreed to serve as the first clerk of the newly organized church until it could stand alone as a body of believers.

Other clerks who have served over the years are: Lilburn Fisher, Rosie Johnson, Virgie Grace Johnson-Hill, Elder Donald Sybert, Eugene Sullivan, Onza Fisher, and the present clerk, Jennifer N. Horton.

Former pastors of the church include: Elders Hobart Hall, Willie Willis, Nelson Jones, Logan Willis, Ben Hill, Walter Willis, Clarence Miller, Billy Johnson, Bobby Williams, Larry Miller, Carl Ray Cope, Donald Sybert, Delmas Harris, Gordon Justice and our present pastor, Greg Hill. Flower Gap Church is honored to have had these men serve over the years. Each one was loved and respected in his divine calling as an elder.

Flower Gap is one of the most gorgeous sites God ever made. Its commanding view of the surrounding valleys is magnificent. It is in this little mountain setting that many, many people have come to know the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is still on His throne, saving those around Flower Gap that will believe on His Son and accept Him as Lord and Master.

Let us pray this church will continue to grow throughout the coming years, just as it has thrived in the past and continue to be the light "of that city on the hill" that cannot be hidden. May it continue to serve as a beacon to guide lost souls to Christ and a ministering comfort and inspiration to feed the children of God.

As the early morning fog lifted, smiling faces were abundant over the grounds as God's children gathered for this grand celebration. Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation in singing several songs in praise to our Lord. Won't it be wonderful when we reach heaven and all is peace and joy and love and the soul of man never dies? We'll have no burdens to bear over there and we can praise our blessed Redeemer forevermore. His grace, which is sufficient for our every need, renders joy unspeakable and full of glory. It won't be very long till Jesus shall descend, so be ready to meet the ransomed throng when Jesus shall appear to gather His children in that happy dwelling home. In this walk of life, we're trusting to the unseen hand, for some sweet day we'll reach that strand where we'll praise Him for His guiding hand. As we gaze over all His beauty and wonder, one song we can sing is that Jesus loves even me. In this world we've tried most everything, but to be an old time Christian is better than anything we know. We watch, wait and long for that beautiful white city with walls of jasper where we have a mansion and a crown waiting for us. By faith we see Beulah land, and in the sweet bye and bye we'll meet on that beautiful shore where our spirit shall sorrow no more as we offer our tribute of praise.

As he welcomed everyone, Elder Terry Sizemore praised God for all He has done for His children. One day we'll all gather on heaven's bright shore, but we can gather in heavenly places here, too. Let us always and forever acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord.

Elder Sizemore mentioned the names of the ministers that had passed from us during the past year which include: Elders Carl Lawson, John F. Robinett, Kermit Hurley and Gerald Hopkins. These men stood for years with this association, and while we mourn their loss, we praise God for them and for their stand over the years. It was also mentioned that Elder John Henry Sybert was unable to attend this year's association, which would have been his 73rd consecutive year. Sister Zula led the congregation in singing the association's song, "Brethren We Have Met Again." All our efforts are vain unless the Holy Spirit comes down.

Prayer requests were made for those that don't know the Lord as their personal Savior, Elders Von Burton, Howard Sybert, John Henry and Stella Sybert, Clarence New's daughter, Rufus Presley, Carl Peterson, Marvin Ketron, Paul Wallen, Jess and Lillie Akens, Elder John and Maude Turner, Gleason Storie, Mary Lambert, Jim Burke, Doris Burke, Glennis Little's brothers, Joe, Tony and Tim; and her sisters, Janice, Brenda, Dolly and Beverly; Elder Odus Caudill, Travis Fields, and many unspoken requests signified with uplifted hands. Elder Richard Seiber blessed us with his wonderful testimony just before taking our petitions to the Lord in a most humble prayer.

We were blessed with testimony and song of Joe Sizemore. Our first glimpse inside those gates of pearl will be worth it all. The time is drawing nigh when we will celebrate our first week for the first ten thousand years.

Before preaching the introductory sermon, Elder Greg Hill, pastor of the host church, welcomed everyone to today's service. May the Spirit of God set each one free. He read from Psalm 89:1-15, and used as his text the 15th verse, Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. Oh, the joy of knowing God. He is the same today as he was when we were saved. His desire is what makes us what we are. He makes known His faithfulness to all generations. Searching the heavens, only one was found worthy to open the seal, the blessed Lamb of God. Many have spoken down through the years of the One who would come, and just as He came before, He will come again to receive His children that we may be with Him forever. From the beginning until the end, God has shown His power in so many ways, bless His holy name! He is the same today and forevermore. It's because of Jesus of Nazareth that we are redeemed. Elder Rod Raleigh, the alternate, came forward to take the second part of the service. Our help comes from God and only Him, for blessed is the people that know the joyful sound. His voice is as the sound of many waters, no other name under heaven is worthy of such glory. Let us be glad when we can go into the house of the Lord. What used to make us sad now makes us glad. He holds the very breath of our bodies in the palm of His hand. If His children will mind the things of God, we shall have joy unspeakable and full of glory. When we step out in faith, victory will come. Just a few more days and we'll take our flight to a land called heaven. He told us He was going away, but He also told us He would send a comforter. We must get in one mind and one accord before the Lord can truly bless us. If we try the Lord, He opens the portals of heaven. Let us labor for that which is everlasting so we will be filled with power from on high. Shouts of praise rang out all over the tent as these men preached so wonderfully, bless His holy name.

Adjourned for lunch with shouts of praise and tears of joy as we praised Him in song.

Thursday Afternoon, October 5, 2006

After a wonderful lunch served by the host church, the congregation assembled in the tent for the afternoon service as Sister Zula McCullough led us in singing several songs of Zion. What a wonderful God we serve. He bled and died to take away our sins. With shouts of acclamation we proclaim, my God how great Thou art! Whatever our lot may be, we can still say it is well with our soul. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, for all other ground is sinking sand. Let us stand on Jesus Christ, our solid rock.

Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone back to the afternoon service as he thanked God for His righteousness and the many blessings of the Lord.

The moderator appointed the Committee on Religious Exercises, which includes: Bradley Bowen (Chairman), Jim Bowlin and Pleas Lawson.

We were blessed with singing from The Bowlin family, Elder Terry Sizemore and Don Gordon. One day soon we will ride the clouds with the Lord, and with our voices we will shout and join the singing. We're bound for a city, God's holy white city, where we will walk on streets of gold and praise our Lord forevermore. Heaven holds all to His children, for brighter its glory will be in that home where we'll never turn back to this old earth again. We're so glad He found us, for now we belong to Him and Him to us. The joy of knowing we are His is joy unspeakable and full of glory. He came to show us the way, then He got on a cloud and went home. We may be here when He comes to gather us home, then we'll shed this old clay and get on a cloud and go home forever to stay. We are due no honor, for it belongs to God and Him only. We long for the land of joy and peace and skies ever bright, and having been saved by grace divine, we're going that way and Jesus is with us each step.

Prayer requests include: all those who don't know Jesus as their precious Savior, all the requests made in the morning service, Brad Bowlin, the lost in Elder Fred Gilreath's family, Elder John Bowlin, all the revivals starting soon, Joe Sizemore's mother, Gene Greer, Elder Donald and Lola Sybert and her brother and family, Edgar Neeley, Sue Ella Giles, the church at Bellbrook, OH, Elder Hasco Jenkins, our children gathered here, Kevin James' mother, our elder ministers, as well as the younger ones, Nancy Bledsoe and her family, our churches, especially those with no pastor, Elder Von Burton, and many others that the clerk was unable to understand, and those unspoken requests signified with uplifted hands. Elder Scott Tipton humbly led us to the throne of grace.

The moderator made several announcements concerning revivals and benefit for Nancy Bledsoe.

Darrell Sizemore, Chairman of the Committee on Church Letters, came forward to give the report of our state and standing. The letter from Union Hill church was not received and the letter from Little Redeemed was not signed. These letters will be reviewed upon receipt and completion. The committee recommended accepting these 63 churches. It was motioned, seconded and voted to accept the recommendations of the committee and seat those delegates duly elected or appointed by their respective churches as the voting body of the association.

The delegation was seated in order to transact the business of the association.

The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. Elder Burnice Sybert was nominated. It was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. It was motioned, seconded and voted for him to serve during the election.

It was motioned and seconded for Brother Danny Lawson to serve as clerk and treasurer. No other nominations were forthcoming so it was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. It was voted that he serve for the ensuing year.

It was motioned and seconded for Elder Terry Sizemore to serve as moderator of the association. It was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. It was voted for Elder Sizemore to serve as moderator for the ensuing year.

Elder Sizemore, on behalf of himself and the clerk, thanked the delegation for their confidence, support and all their prayers. It is truly a humbling experience to serve this grand body. With God's blessings, we will overcome any obstacle that may come before us. We pray the Lord will continue to bless this association and that we will always do His will rather than the will of man.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator to appoint any and all committees. The moderator appointed the following committees: