Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists
2011 Proceedings

Thursday Morning, September 29, 2011

The Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists convened in its 159th annual session with House Chapel Church, Rogersville, Tennessee.

On May 25, 1912, Brother George House opened the doors to a store house he owned in Bear Hollow, TN to a small group of worshippers gathered to organize and begin House Chapel Church. Service began with the song "Amazing Grace" and the scripture lesson was taken from St. Matthew 28. Elder J. S. Johnson stood before his congregation and took his text from St. Luke 12:32. "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." These words of encouragement and blessings from the Lord Jesus Christ began to lay the foundation of which our church was built. In October, 1912, they were received as a newly constituted church in the Eastern District Association and have remained a part of this body since that time. The original members organized a building committee and were given land by Brother H. W. House to build the church. They held services in the new building on the first Sunday in April, 1913.

The church has had a number of pastors through the years, some of whom have been among the most widely known and respected in the association. Those who have served as pastor are Elders: J. S. Johnson, F. M. Long, L. C. Bailey, Pleas Jenkins, C. F. Dale, H. G. Busic, R. E. Cifers, Fred Whittemore, R. E. Russell, T. R. Russell, Clarence C. Johnson, Roy Presley, Clifford Williams, Fred Peters, J. L. Hill, John Purkey, Kenneth Jarnigan, Bob Johnson, Henry Wheeler for 18 years and Neal Drinnon from 1984 to the present.

The church made amazing progress with Elder Wheeler, by increasing membership from 47 to 157 until his resignation in 1984. The church has continued to grow from then, with Elder Neal Drinnon as pastor, by adding an addition on the side of the church. In 2002 the Lord blessed the church with an opportunity to buy additional land for parking. The church now has 235 members on the roll.

Brothers Roger Davenport, Billy Skelton, Jeff Hurley, Wayne Thomason and Mack Manis are serving the church as deacons. Church trustees include Brothers Lee Davenport, Darrell Manis and Roger Davenport.

For the 159th time, God's children met to worship and praise His holy name. Sister Zula McCullough led us in singing songs of praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There's a land that is fairer than day and by faith we can see it afar. So we must keep our lamps trimmed and burning, for we'll meet Him in the morning just inside the Eastern Gate. When we see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory as the clouds overspread the sky, oh what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we see our loving Savior on that happy day, from sin our soul is set free and we'll live with Christ forever. Get ready for that day, it won't be very long till Jesus shall appear and we'll meet on that beautiful shore.

Welcoming everyone to today's service, Elder Terry Sizemore thanked God for all the blessings of this life. What a joy it is to be among this group one more time. Our prayer is that a precious soul would be saved. We have the light living within us and we pray that everyone will obey God's will.

Elder Sizemore mentioned the passing of Elders Earnest Bledsoe, Billy Fields, Harold Head, L. E. Hill, Robert Jenkins and Donald Sybert since we last met.

The moderator appointed the Committee on Religious Exercises which includes Roy Jones (chairman), Ralph Baker and Walter Bailey.

The moderator asked the churches to turn in their church letters, obituaries, and financial contributions as soon as possible so the letter committee will have time to complete their review.

Elder Sizemore asked that each minister and visiting minister in attendance at the association be sure to sign the minister's book located in front of the clerk's table.

Sister Zula led the congregation in singing the old song that is the association's standard song, "Brethren We Have Met Again." Since we met 12 months ago, some have gone to join that happy heavenly band. Do you love the Lord and seek His Holy Word?

Elder Neal Drinnon, pastor of the host church, welcomed everyone, thanking God for everyone being with us. No welcome can match that of God because until He welcomes us, we are not free. House Chapel has worked hard to make things ready. Thank God for all those helping in this labor of love. We hope each individual will be able to go home and say this is the best one ever. He thanked everyone for all the help during the preparation of the association.

Singing from Daniel Smith blessed our hearts and let us know He makes us free from sin and that sweet assurance of knowing He saved us will carry us safely home.

Prayer requests were made for the lost, our churches, those serving in the military, our country, Ada McPherson, Mary Ruth Osborne, Daniel Hurd, Tony Sizemore, Glenn Bradley, Roy Jones' brother, Gerald and his wife; Maxie Marcum, Doris and Jim Burke, John and Maude Turner, the sick at Rose Chapel, newborn baby Landon, Hagan Roberts' family, the Thacker and Fields families, Edward Duncan, Billy Jack Johnson's grandchildren, Cindy Johnson, daughter and nephew, John Bowlin, Dan Cross's daughter-in-law, son and grandchildren, Brad Dutton's sister-in-law, and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder John Arnott humbly led us to the throne of grace.

Sister Patsy Hensley blessed us with a song of praise. We must keep the faith and walk the straight and narrow path to our home just around the bend. We're just looking for the time when all of heaven will be ours.

Having been chosen to preach the introductory sermon, Elder Fred Gilreath took the first part of the service. After a wonderful testimony, he read Genesis 6:13-22 using as a thought "according to all that God commanded him." Noah realized there was no trial or tests because he believed what God said and with fear he built the ark. We have commandments just as Noah and others of that time did. To have God's power in our life, we must die daily. Maybe our fear isn't where it should be! Our preachers must preach the truth and we must respond in haste to God's instructions, for we will see Him face to face. Our lives are in His hands, because He died for the whole world. Our lives are not based on man's ways, thoughts and ideas, only on God's truth. He will remind us of the good things and take care of His children as He removes the troubles of this life. To get to heaven, ye must be born again and there must be a change in the life of a Christian. He gave us a song to sing, praise His holy name! We must go past Calvary to be where God would place us. Noah built the ark exactly like God instructed and we need to do His work exactly like He instructs us.

Elder Neal Drinnon followed with another wonderful message from heaven on high. Noah found grace in the sight of God just like we do as the redeemed of God. God built His church on this rock and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The saved in Christ have a leader that lets us know when we are right and He will also let us know when we are wrong. Man can't save himself, but salvation comes only from God. When Saul rose up, he was blind and had to be led. God's ways are so far above ours and our ways do not always please Him; therefore, we must be assured we follow our heavenly leader. He has not changed; He is the same today, yesterday and forevermore. We have power with God if we are saved. Let us show the love of God to one another and through our daily lives. We must live right, talk right, and dress right. We do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Prayer can work wonders when we pray in faith believing, God is able. We need one another but we need God more.

We were dismissed for lunch with a song.

Thursday Afternoon, September 29, 2011

After a wonderful lunch served by the host church, the congregation swung out on the promises of God. Whatever my lot in this life may be, we can say it is well with our soul, for all our sin is nailed to His cross. We were truly blessed with wonderful testimonies and shouts of praise throughout the tent. Such wondrous love was shown when He suffered all alone for us. Forever we will be with the love He has shown for us. He bled and died to take away sin. One day soon He'll come with a shout of acclamation to take us home and proclaim how great thou art.

Further blessings were bestowed upon us with special singing and testimony from Bobby and Juanita Williams and Jason Robinette. He'll hold to our hands as we go over death's river and safe we shall be in beautiful heaven. Jesus will still the rough waters and give us joy without measure, which is our treasure as heaven holds all. We see afar to the hills of that wonderful country, happy contented and free. When our race on earth is run, deliverance will come and we shall wear palms of victory and crowns of glory. When we can't go on any more, lean on Jesus, for we can't do anything without the Lord. Let us refuse to live one day without Jesus in our lives.

Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to the afternoon service, thanking the church for the wonderful lunch and God for His splendor and magnificence. Without His spirit we are none of His.

Prayer requests were made for the unsaved, those made during the morning service, the Tucker family, Jerry Scalf, Stella Sybert, Sue Sizemore, lady's daughter-in-law, Nadine and Don Marsh and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder Scott Tipton took us to the throne of grace in a soul-stirring prayer.

Brother David Horton, chairman of the Committee on Church Letters, came forward to give the report of our state and standing. A total of 56 churches were recommended by the committee to be accepted. The letter from Edwin Holbrook Memorial was sent but not received by the clerk. It will be reviewed by the committee when received. 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. There were 3 churches that closed their doors due to lack of attendance, including Ayers Chapel, Fairview (VA) and Miller's Chapel. No correspondence was received from Guthrie's Gap, Oak Grove, Pink Hill, Slate Hill and Sulphur Springs.

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

The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. Elder John Arnott was nominated. No other nominations were made. It was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. Elder Arnott came forward to serve during the election.

After a wonderful testimony, the moderator asked for nominations to serve as clerk and treasurer of the association. A nomination was made and seconded for Brother Danny Lawson to serve as clerk and treasurer. It was motioned and seconded for nominations to cease. Through the vote by acclamation, he will serve for the ensuing year.

The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator of the association. Elder Terry Sizemore was nominated and seconded for him to serve as moderator of the association. It was motioned and seconded for nominations to cease. Through the vote by acclamation, Elder Sizemore will serve as moderator for the ensuing year.

Elder Sizemore thanked Elder Arnott for standing as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials.

Speaking for himself and the clerk, he thanked the delegation for the confidence placed in us to hold these positions and represent you. This obligation you've placed upon us is indeed special and we both are humbled and privileged to serve this association. With sincere appreciation we accept this opportunity to serve in this capacity for another year. We desire the prayers of the association, not just through the next few days, but throughout the entire year. Please remember us as we strive to do God's will in every aspect of our service to God and the association.

The moderator asked for a motion and second to allow him to appoint all committees necessary to carry on the business of the association. It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator to appoint any and all such committees.

The moderator appointed the following committees:

Committee on Electrical and PA System: Delmer McPherson (chairman), Elder Virgil Lipe, Scott Mellons, Bobby Caudill, Eric McPherson and Danny Lawson.

Committee on Newly Constituted Churches: Ministers Lewis Baker (chairman), Frank Gilliam and Eddie Malone; Deacons Ronnie Brooks and Earl Dotson; Laymen Clifton Horne and Harold Self.

Committee on Finance: Charley Johnson (chairman), Jerry Johnson and Carson Johnson.

Committee on Obituaries: A. D. Howington (chairman), Mike Fullington and Donny Clifford.

Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries: John Arnott (chairman), David Smith, Scott Tipton, David Jerrell, John Banks, Woodrow Fields and David Moody.

Roy Jones, chairman of the Committee on Religious Exercises came forward to give the report.

Since time was available, it was decided to move a few business items from Friday's afternoon service to today.

The moderator informed the delegation that excused absence forms are available from the clerk.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to have all things which are standard printed in the minutes.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk to replenish the necessary forms to properly perform his duties.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk $1,500.00 in appreciation for his services.

The clerk reported all financial transactions during the year to the delegation. He also informed them that a new tax exempt document was received from the state and is available at the clerk's desk.

The moderator informed the delegation that the report from the Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries will be given during the business session on Friday.

It was motioned, seconded and voted that the host church will be responsible for the maintenance of the kitchen, with any needed repair costs to be reimbursed by the clerk from association funds.

Delmer McPherson, chairman of the Electrical and PA Committee, came forward to speak to the delegation. He thanked God for saving him and thanked everyone on the committee for the work they do. He also thanked the host churches, both present and past for all the help they had shown the committee to help get the electrical and PA system set up.

The business being concluded, the delegation was dismissed until Friday morning, September 30, 2011.

Friday Morning, September 30, 2011

The Lord blessed us to gather one more time this side of eternity. Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation as they worshiped God in songs of praise. Having no burdens to bear, oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, to behold the Savior, forever to rejoice. It will be wonderful when we enter the glory land to walk and talk with Christ the Supernal One. In that land, our sorrows will end and our voices will blend with the loved ones who've gone on before. Though we get homesick for sweet Beulah Land, we know it is better farther on in that country we have to look forward to.

Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to today's service. How great it is to serve an all-knowing God. Just looking out over these hills lets us know we serve the true and living God.

The congregation was blessed with special singing and testimony from the House Chapel Church singers and the Swatsell family. What a day that will be when sweet Jesus we see, the One who saved us by His grace. He wrote our name in the blessed book of life and saved our soul from sin and shame. Someday soon we will be with the One who died for us. Tears of joy were shed and shouts of praises rang out all over the tent. God so richly blessed His children, glory to His holy name! We've got a home in glory land that outshines the sun. Regardless of when the Lord touched us, we know it was the hand of the Lord that did so while we were praying. God will deliver us from the evil forces in this old world. He helped David face the giant and He will help us face the giants as well, for He is bigger than all. This world is not our permanent dwelling; for we have a home beyond the sky in that land where we'll never die. Let the world have the new rivers and we'll take the old stream that flows from the mountain, for the blood is the only way. We appreciate the good spirit of God here with us. If we want to eat from God's table, we can.

Prayer requests were made for the unsaved, all the requests from yesterday, those serving our country in the military, our association, our country, Earl and Draxie Johnson, Jack and Joy Osborne, Jr. and Wanda Osborne, Brother Ward's son, Deacon at Walnut Chapel, ladies great granddaughter, lost in Hershel and Betty Baker's family, and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder Donny Clifford took our petitions to the throne of grace.

The delegation was called to order to transact the business.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read.

Elder Scott Tipton, having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, came forward to take the first part of the service. After a wonderful testimony thanking God for His blessings, he read from St. Matthew 12:40-41 and used as a thought "He is here with us now." We must listen to God, for He will instruct us as He desires. He told Jonah to go to Nineveh, as we must go where we are sent, as well. What God tells us to do, we need to do it. God's plan will come to pass, but if we go our own direction, God has something waiting for us. He knows exactly what we need. The spirit will show us when we're wrong. It is not what we say, do, or think, but it must come from God. With salvation we are sealed, but religion will take you to hell. We must stick with the ship to please God.

Elder Oscar Irvin followed with another wonderful message. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, but none is given except that of the prophet Jonas. While the ministers have a responsibility to preach the truth, we have a responsibility to do God's will in all things. All men died in Adam, but they can be made whole in Jesus Christ, for He is the way, the truth and the life and none can come to God except they come through Jesus. The carnal mind is not subject to the laws of Christ and neither indeed can be. When He set us down on the solid rock, He established within us a new way, making us a new creature. Our Redeemer sits on high and He knows our needs. Though our sins be as dark as crimson, he makes us whiter than snow. He is that friend that sticks with us all the way to the end and when that time comes, the Boatman will be there to see us safely home, for He holds the future in His hands. We have been delivered from the bondage into the glorious state of salvation.

The congregation sang songs of praise as we were adjourned for lunch.

Friday Afternoon, September 30, 2011

The congregation came together with songs of praise to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Joy springing up within our soul is so unspeakable and full of glory; the half has never been told. The unseen hand leads through ways we cannot see. Therefore we trust the unseen hand to lead us through this weary land and through the shadows drear until we reach our home where no sin or sorrow can come. The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell, higher than the highest star and lower than the lowest hell. If we could with ink the ocean fill, and the skies were of parchment made, and every stalk a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God would drain the ocean dry, and the scroll could not contain the whole of the love of God. How measureless and strong is the One who rose from the dead and got on a cloud and went home. He didn't come here to stay, just to show us the way; but one day soon we'll shed this old clay, then we'll get on a cloud and go home.

We were further blessed with special singing and testimony from Terry Sizemore and Patsy Hensley. Christ will in like manner come after His own just like He said. In the twinkling of an eye, He will return to receive His own. This could be the day, this could be the hour!

Elder Sizemore thanked the church for a bountiful and delicious lunch. Thanking God for the blessings of this morning's service, he urged everyone to obey the Holy Spirit.

Prayer requests were made for all those in the previous services, the unsaved, all those serving our country in the military and their families, Tee and Maybelle Osborne, Carolyn Oaks, Mary Adams, Tee Lawson, Roy Jeter, John Bowlin, Brother Miller's daughter and family, Josh, and son, brother Drinnon who lost his hearing, Virgie Grace Hill's children, A. D. Howington's family, Carl Smith and his wife, Tommy and Earletta Meade, and his sister; Henry Wheeler, Wayne Hickman, many others the clerk couldn't understand, and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder Burnice Sybert took our petitions to the Lord in an earnest and heartfelt prayer.

The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.

Brother David Horton came forward to give the final report of the Letter Committee. The letter from Edwin Holbrook Memorial was received. It was reviewed by the committee and recommended that their delegates be accepted. It was motioned, seconded and voted to accept the recommendation of the committee and seat their delegates as part of the voting body of the association.

Brother Roy Jones read the report from the Committee on Religious Exercises.

The moderator appointed the trustees for Tennessee which include: Billy Jack Johnson, Gary Henard and Steve Hunt.

Elder Sizemore appointed the Committee on Church Letters for 2012 which includes: Bradley Bowen (chairman), Gene Ward, Steve Minton and Ralph Baker (alternate).

The Committee on Newly Constituted Churches reported that none had been received.

The Committee on Finance reported $7,188.60 in receipts for the year. The chairman thanked each church and individual for their contributions.

The Committee on Obituaries reported that 48 have been received at this time. The chairman reminded everyone that certain things such as poems, verses of songs and scripture, names of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, daughter-in-laws, son-in-laws, etc. cannot be included in the obituaries.

The Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries reported that no queries had been received.

Elders Neal Drinnon and Rod Raleigh wrote the Circular Letter for this year. Elder Rod Raleigh read the letter to the delegation. Its message was in thanks to Almighty God, the One whom we serve and place our trust. In Him we move, live, breathe and have our being. We must present our bodies holy and acceptable to God. We are just pilgrims and strangers in search of a better country. Let us set our affections on the things above, not on those of this world. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minute as read.

The moderator appointed the Committee on Circular Letters for 2012 which includes: Elders John Arnott, A. D. Howington and Allen Hensley.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to give Elder Sizemore $800.00 in appreciation for all he does for the association.

The moderator reminded those serving on the committees that they were released when their final report is given.

Before the committee appointed in 2010 to develop a scripturally correct set of guidelines for ordination of ministers and deacons came forward to give their report, the moderator instructed the delegation that at all times during the process they should: address the moderator, identify themselves with name and church affiliation, an individual cannot speak more than 3 times on the subject, and only one person is to speak at a time.

The first order of business brought before the delegation was: Does the delegation want to hear the report? It was motioned, seconded and voted for the delegation to hear the report. The committee came forth to give the report. Elder Roger Trent, chairman, spoke to the delegation concerning who we are, what we believe, and how we are to go about it. He urged us to stay in the old paths, do not follow man, but the ways of Christ. We cannot take God's word in any way except in that which is written of God. The committee presented their findings to the delegation.

The second order of business was: What is the mind of the delegation? It was requested to hear the balance of the information presented by the committee. If the first part was accepted by the delegation, several questions should be asked of the candidate. These were presented to the delegation. It was also noted that steps 1-5, page 21 of the 2010 minutes, that are taken after the church is satisfied with the candidate for ordination, should remain in their current form.

After the balance of the information was presented by the committee, the moderator asked: What is the mind of the delegation concerning this matter? A motion was made to adopt the report of the committee as read.

In further discussion, it was noted the committee had indeed delivered a recommendation for a scripturally based ordination. It was also noted from Section II Advice, Motions, Resolutions and Rulings, Abstract of Faith; Our Faith and Practice upon Certain Points Which Have Caused Divisions and Destroyed the Fellowship of Christians as stated in 1881, in particular items 5 and 6.

Our church constitution is a reaffirmation of the beliefs on which the association is founded and to violate the constitution is disorder. Consider the doctrine that is preached and in the 1886 advice to churches only to be careful that they may observe gospel order.

After some discussion, the motion was seconded. It was noted at this time if the moderator brings the motion to vote, it would be in violation of our association constitution. It was asked from the floor that the motion and second be removed. The motion and second were not withdrawn. It was asked of the committee, would they leave off the last portion of their recommendation? This was not agreed to. It was asked from the floor if it could be placed in writing to let the churches decide, since there was misunderstanding in the delegation. No action was taken. The committee stated that they did not mean that a man having more than one wife could not preach the gospel, only that he could not serve as a pastor. The association does not have authority to tell churches what they can/cannot do. This is only a recommendation to help the churches.

After much discussion, it was noted the recommendations were guidelines for the churches to follow for ordination. With a move and second on the floor, the vote is on these guidelines to help the churches. The last two paragraphs of the committee's recommendations were re-read to the delegation. It was stated that it is not a rule, but only a guideline to help the churches. The moderator assured that the motion and second was still in agreement with the thoughts of those making the initial motion and second; both agreed it was still in line with initial motion. The vote could not be determined through normal voting. The moderator proceeded to do the vote row-by-row.

It was motioned that the vote was done out of order. The moderator stated the business had not been concluded and he felt the order of business should be completed, and after that the delegation may decide on the motion. The vote was completed row-by-row. Those who were not in favor of receiving this report received a majority of 87 & 69, therefore the report is not accepted and will not be printed in the minutes. A motion was made to the committee to receive the initial section of the report concerning the qualifications of candidates for ordination. The portion being voted on was re-read to the delegation. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print the recommendations in the minutes as part of the ordination process. Please refer to the Procedures for Ordination of Ministers or Deacon p. 16 for these recommendations. The motion that the moderator was in disorder during the voting process was withdrawn.

The delegation took a break with singing before voting on where we will meet next year.

The moderator reminded the delegation that only those chosen or appointed by their respective churches as delegates were allowed to vote. There were 3 churches that asked for the association to meet with them next year. These are: Clear Springs, Fairview (OH), and Richardson Chapel. During the plea process, Clear Springs and Richardson Chapel withdrew. Fairview (OH) joyously accepted the privilege to host next year's association where the Lord willing we will convene on Thursday morning, (October 4, 2012) before the first Saturday in October, 2012. Introductory Elder Burnice Sybert, Alternate Elder Scott Tipton.

Adjourned until Saturday morning, October 1, 2011.

Saturday Morning, October 1, 2011

The cool morning air gave way to beautiful sunshine as everyone gathered for the memorial service. Such a wonderful spirit has been with us through the gathering, and most of all we thank God for His Holy Spirit. He has truly blessed us each day and all through the year. Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation in several songs of joy and praise for our Savior. No matter where we may stray, Jesus still loves us and we should take the name of Jesus with us. The precious name of Jesus thrills our heart with joy. Oh how sweet is our King of Kings. Put on the armor and take the path our captain trod, for we have another building not made with hands. When misgivings darken the day, ask God to brighten the day and He will whisper sweet peace to us. The world would overwhelm our soul, but His voice dispels all fear. Someday, only God knows where and when, we will go to dwell on Zion's Hill. Only God has the words of eternal life. He is the potter and we are the clay, let Him see God in our lives.

Wonderful blessings were received from special singing and wonderful testimony from Leona Kester, Null Lawson, Terry and Peggy Sizemore, Patsy Hensley, and Rita Marcum. No matter how weary we may get, God will slip His arm around us and let us know we are going home. Each step draws us nearer and He is with us each step of the way. We are God's soldiers and we must keep fighting until the battle is over and the Lord calls us home. No matter how dark the valley, someday we'll stand on top of Mt. Zion. As we look into Canaan's fair land, we'll sing and we'll shout and praise God. He came to Bethesda's pool and He still asks, "wilt thou be made whole and be washed as white as snow?" While standing on the banks looking out over life's troubled sea, we can see the old ship of Zion sailing toward us. At the stern was the captain, who we could hear as He called out our name. Wonderful testimonies came from all over the tent thanking God for being in their life. This old house may decay, but our real home is up there on high.

Elder Terry Sizemore welcomed everyone to our memorial service on this beautiful Saturday as he thanked God for the beautiful morning. We are so glad we are headed for a land of peace and joy, a city with foundations whose builder and maker is God. It is good to know Jesus and the peace He gives us. We may suffer some here, but we have the promise of a home where all cares will be gone. Let those gathered here today enjoy the blessings from on high.

Remember in prayer the lost, the requests made in previous services, our young people, all those serving our country in the military and their families, Dana Pearson, Sarah Parsons, Sandy's son, Thacker family, Henry Wheeler, all of our ministers, Chester Berry, Billy Jack Johnson's wife and grandchildren, all young people that they will be saved, Kim Robinette, Willis Chapel Church, a pastor for Copper Creek Church and several prayer requests for the lost in their family and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Elder Mike Fullington led us to the throne of grace in a most humble prayer.

Elder Neal Drinnon, pastor of the host church, came forward to thank God first and everyone for allowing them to host this grand body of God's people. God provides a way for us to preach the word and praise His name. Thanks to all the people who helped, especially the church, for this labor of love. Special thanks to Woodrow and Barbara Fields, Kathy Robinson, H. C. and Pearl Johnson and to the church neighbors who let the church use their land. We must go into the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in. He also thanked God for our moderator. Let us dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.

It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read. The moderator reminded the delegation that Sister Eileen Brown still sends out notices of revivals and special services. Please let her know by the 20th of the month for the announcement to be included in the next month's announcements. Individuals and churches should send a donation to help Sister Eileen with postage and handling. Her contact information is as follows:

It was motioned, seconded and voted to print the ordination recommendations only once in the Procedures for Ordination of a Minister and Deacon, rather than repeating the information in Friday's proceedings.

It was motioned and seconded that the association clerk does the following:

1.) Draft and send a letter to the ministers of the 3 churches who have joined another association and did not letter in to the association, asking for each minister to surrender their ordination papers.

2.) Also draft a letter to the church clerks asking for their deacons to surrender their ordination papers as well.

3.) An additional letter to be drafted and sent to the churches not lettering in this year but stated they were attending to business and would be back next year. This letter would inform them that the ministers will not be listed in the minutes this year. If they do not letter in the following year, they would be asked to surrender their ordination papers.

4.) A similar letter to the church clerks would be sent to inform them of the same and ask them to notify the church deacons.

It was voted for the association clerk to prepare and send the letters.

The clerk read the Resolution of Thanks that he had prepared. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minutes as read.

For over 55 years, the Saturday service has been dedicated as a memorial service for those saints who have passed from among us. As a special hush fell over the grounds, the moderator read the list of names of those that have left our ranks since we last met. These dear saints have gone on to their reward, but they left us with many memories. These memories are precious in our hearts, but we know they are at peace with our Lord.

Having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, Elder Terry Sizemore took the first part of the service. He read Hebrews 6:10-20 and used as a thought "The Promises God Has Made." Looking back to Melchisedec, we can see the order of Christ. God swore by Himself, for there was none greater. We embrace the promise going beyond the flesh that God in heaven is there. Patience is a virtue that we must endure until God comes after His children. He is able to help us in our walk, to have a peace that passes all understanding. Good soldiers have the patience only God can give. His promise will never fail us, leave us, nor forsake us. We are nothing; therefore, we must look beyond ourselves to God that our light will shine to a lost and dying world. God provided a sacrifice for Abraham and He will provide in ways that are unknown to these natural eyes.

Elder Burnice Sybert came forward to take the next part of the service. As we memorialize those that have passed, we need to be careful in visiting the family to let them know how special and just what their loved one meant to us. This is extremely important to the family mourning the loss of a loved one. God is righteous to remember your works, as in Philippians the writer stated, "I thank my God on every remembrance of you" or in Malachi as it is stated, "with every remembrance of these we thank God for them." As in Noah's day, those who did not believe perished, so shall it be in our days for the unbelievers. All the families of this earth have been blessed by Christ's presence. When our race is over, our story will be remembered by those left behind. Christ told us to "Do this in remembrance of me." In Christ there is no fear, for in death the soul and spirit will take its flight.

These men preached so wonderfully and we thank God for them and for each minister that will stand for the truth and preach His word. Thank God for the precious remembrances we have through His wonderful love and mercy. How beautiful heaven must be! Keep them near to us, for precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Tears of joy filled the eyes of God's people. We have much to rejoice about. Just to know Jesus is worth it all. With songs of praise, we were adjourned.

Sunday Morning, October 2, 2011

The blessings of the Lord were once again showered over God's children as they gathered for the last day of the association. We have such a wonderful God and we owe Him everything. He will never leave us nor forsake us. To Him be the glory for everything.

Elder Neal Drinnon opened the service by reading John 14. Many prayer requests were made asking for God's divine guidance as Elder Drinnon took our petitions to the Lord. Special singing from Darrel Manis and the children of the church blessed our hearts.

Elder Porter Carroll took the first part of the service using as his text, "God knows a lot more than we do." He was followed by the young ministers of the church: Casey Skelton, Matthew Winstead and Michael Chandler.

Many thanks go to Shona Barrett for providing notes of the Sunday service.

A reflection of all the blessings God bestows on His children is manifested at this point in our lives. We must take time to do this even more often as we recall such great love and blessings of the Lord and realize just how great He is.

Many hours of work are done each year to prepare for this blessed event and before we know it, our time has come and gone. Regardless of the swift passing, we thank almighty God for meeting with us. Without His Holy Spirit, all would be in vain. The children of God know our work is not in vain and we continue on with the daily task of helping some lost soul come to know the Lord in the free pardon of sin. There is nothing greater than to witness this blessed event take place in someone's life. To know the Lord is the most important thing that can ever take place in our life. Bless His holy name! House Chapel has been richly blessed, for it was evident all over the grounds during the entire meeting. Thank God for each of you and your willingness to help in God's work.

As the meeting draws to an end, it is sad, but let us recall all the blessings that have taken place during these four short days. The Lord so richly blessed His people and I pray He will continue to do so over the ensuing year. May our hearts not be sad, but rejoice in knowing that we serve the true and living God, the King of Kings. Remember the lost all over this country and remember the churches that make up our association. I pray the Lord will give each of us a clear understanding and interpretation of His word that it will help our unbelief in order that we can see many souls saved. We pray God will continue to bless and keep each one of you until we meet again.