The Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists convened in its 161st annual session with Blackwater Lick Church, Blackwater, Virginia.
Blackwater Lick (Big Door) Primitive Baptist Church is one of Lee County's and our association's oldest churches. It was organized on September 27, 1847, near the present Blackwater Post Office. The old salt works located nearby gave it the name "Lick." An old still house was first used, and then a short distance away, a log building was erected.
During the latter part of the Civil War, a band of Union soldiers came through Blackwater and stayed in the church. It is thought that they used the fireplace at one end of the building to cook their meal, and the next morning there was a pile of ashes where the church had stood. Whether the fire was accidental or intentional remains unknown.
A short time after the war, a large log church was constructed on the present site. Isaac Robinette, who also served as pastor, deeded the land to the Primitive Baptists. The building was used for church, school, and community gatherings. The church became known as Big Door due to the unusually large front door.
In 1906, a two-story building was erected. The upper floor was used for Odd Fellow and Masonic meetings. That building served the people until 1960 when a new building replaced it. The church kitchen was added in 1971 to accommodate the 110th annual session of our association.
The church has been blessed to have been led by a host of Godly men, including: Elders E. S. McPherson who served for 32 years, E. A. Robinette, Dan Bowen, G. B. Wallin, Joe Wallen, Harrison Burke, Jessee Peters, Nicholas Alder, Pleas Jenkins, W. S. Osborne, John Henry Sybert, H. V. Hall, Freeman Johnson, Coy Lawson, Alex Willis, Bryan Moore, Garland Litton, and B. A. Johnson. Elder Carl Lawson served faithfully as pastor for 34 years. He was followed by Elder David Smith. Elder Amos Osborne served the church as clerk for 59 years. Sister Sarah Parsons held that position for 19 years. We are blessed to have Elder Daniel Hurd as our current pastor.
In preparation for the 150th annual session of our association, the school property was acquired. It was used as a garment factory from the early 1970's until its closing in 1995. The factory employed more than 60 people, having an enormous economic impact on the community. The building was constructed in the 1920's with two later additions and was used as a combined school until 1968, when the high school closed. It remained an elementary school for several years after that. Former students tell of times when they were allowed to leave school to attend revivals at Big Door, and of the many students who were redeemed at those revivals. We praise God for His enduring spirit, His mercy, His never-ending blessings, and for our Godly heritage.
For the 161st 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. Our troubles and trials will be o'er in that land where we'll never grow old. Won't it be wonderful having no burdens to bear, just walking and talking with Christ the supernal One. While pointing souls to Calvary, the Lord leads us on; for it is through Him we must win. Our cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice in that bright city. Heaven holds all to us in that country to which we are going, brighter its glory will be, for joy without measure will be our treasure. Don't long for this world and its sorrows, but set your sights on a country where millions are singing the wonderful story. To be able to say it is well with our soul are the greatest words that can be spoken. Our sin not in part, but the whole, is nailed to his cross and we bear it no more.
Welcoming everyone to today's service, Elder Terry Sizemore asked us to praise God with all that is within us, and then he led us in singing Amazing Grace. It was grace that taught our heart to fear and grace will lead us home. After ten thousand years, we'll have no less days to sing God's praise for we will have just begun to live. He asked that everyone turn in their church letters, financial contributions, and any obituaries not yet sent to the clerk. He also asked all ministers to please sign the minister's book, including any visiting ministers that were with us in the service.
Elder Sizemore mentioned the passing of Elders Carl Smith, Henry Wheeler, Harold Gilley and Paul Persinger since we last met. We thank God for these dedicated men of God and we ask that you continue to pray for their families.
Sister Zula led the congregation in singing the old song that is the association's standard song, "Brethren We Have Met Again." Our hearts must be settled on things of God, for the Lord is here to bless our souls and our faith and hope increase.
The Letter Committee consists of Steve Minton (chairman), Ralph Baker, Billy Walton and Joe Robinette (alternate).
The moderator appointed the Committee on Religious Exercises which includes Bradley Bowen (chairman), Jim Bowlin and Clifton Horne.
Elder Daniel Hurd, pastor of the host church, welcomed everyone to today's service. He asked everyone to obey the Holy Spirit and do as God bids you. Without God in our midst, our work would be in vain. Elder Hurd thanked everyone who had helped us over this past year, especially thanking God for his watch care in guiding His children.
Elder Joe Pitzer blessed us with his song. In sin's dark valley there is no hope, but when Jesus comes, He breaks the chains of fear and sorrow.
Prayer requests were made for the lost, our churches, those serving in the military, our country, families of the wreck, David Clark, Null Lawson's daughter-in-law, Jim Burke, George Livingston, Johnny Logan, John Turner, Zula McCullough's sister and her husband, Kathy Robinson, H. C. Johnson, Roy Jones' youngest brother, Gordon Justice, Don Woodward, Greg Trent, Terry Sizemore, Mike and Tim Horne, family of Junior Osborne. A show of uplifted hands signified countless unspoken prayer requests. Brother Lloyd Morelock humbly led us to the throne of grace.
Having been chosen to preach the introductory sermon, Elder Daniel Hurd took the first part of the service. After a wonderful testimony thanking God for all things, Elder Hurd read Luke 2:8-16 using as a text the 14th verse, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." He was born that we might have eternal life. Jesus Christ was and still is the Savior of the world. We have all things in Him and through Him. We need to walk as our forefathers walked, that He would receive the glory and honor for it all. If you know this man called Jesus, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. May we find this grace we have heard about all morning. He made the bridge that allows us to enter into eternal rest. He saved us from a place called hell. His word is a consuming fire and that's the only fire we will ever feel. He is still calling to all those who are heavy laden and He will give them rest. He shed His precious blood to make us free from sin. Where His seed remains there is no sin. Let us go through this life depending on God. Greater is He that liveth within us, than he that lives in the world.
Elder Porter Carroll followed with another wonderful message, thanking God for the privilege of being here. We all are leaving this old earth. We need to focus on lifting up the name of Jesus while coming out from among the world. Never compromise the word of God, for it will hurt the lost. In John 1:29 and 1:36 when John saw Jesus coming unto him, he said "Behold the Lamb of God." He knows all things, you have nothing hid from Him. The biggest wimp can be an alcoholic, or adulterer, because it takes no power, but God wants men and women that will behold the Lamb of God to lift up His name that He receives all glory and honor. We serve the only true and living God and He will see us through until the end. He is the way, the truth and the life. It all belongs to Him and we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We long for home, He is longsuffering, though we know not the time, we will reach our heavenly home some glad day.
We were dismissed for lunch with a song by Sister Naomi Adkins. This old time religion was good for our fathers and it is good enough for us. Due to a power failure in the kitchen, lunch was delayed for a few minutes, giving everyone more time to praise God.
After dealing with power outages all morning, the church at Blackwater Lick served us a wonderful lunch as God's children enjoyed the beautiful sunshine. When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation, what joy shall fill our heart as we bow in humble adoration and proclaim my God how great thou art! Oh how precious is the promise that fills our soul with gladness, for we will be at home with Jesus while eternal ages roll. That day is drawing near till Jesus shall appear, so be ready to meet Him and be known as we are known.
Further blessings were bestowed upon us with special singing and testimony from The Peterson's Chapel Church singers, Terry Sizemore, Naomi Adkins and Bella Robinette, John Bowlin, and the Clear Springs Church singers. Bright is the way as onward we go to praise our King; our troubles are gone as we finish our work here. Jesus is our captain and we are safe on board, sailing on the sea toward our home. He came here to show us the way, and then He got on a cloud and went home. We must let our light shine every day. He is precious; we love Him, worship and adore Him. There are not enough words or notes in the music to tell of all our Savior has done, for He is our all and all. It does not matter what the trouble may be, He is the one on which we call. Though we may be a wayfaring stranger, we are just going over Jordan, just going over home, there to see our Savior. These singers' wonderful testimonies touched our hearts. Our real home is up there on high where it'll be spring time forever. Tis so sweet to tell the story; will you be ready when He comes? Earth holds no treasure, but perishes with using, heaven holds all to God's children.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to the afternoon service, thanking God for everyone that helped the host church in any way. Without the Lord and the help of our brothers and sisters, we could not have done this.
Prayer requests were made for the unsaved, all those made during the morning service, Virgie Williams' family and John Bowlin. Elder Scott Tipton took us to the throne of grace in a soul stirring prayer.
Brother Steve Minton, chairman of the Committee on Church Letters, came forward to give the report of our state and standing. Letters were received from 39 churches. A total of 38 churches were recommended by the committee to be accepted. The committee had a minor question on the letter from Low View Church and will take care of that later in the afternoon. 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 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 Burnice Sybert was nominated. It was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. Elder Sybert came forward to serve during the election.
The moderator asked for nominations to serve as clerk and treasurer of the association. A nomination was made and it was 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 it was 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 Sybert for standing as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. The moderator thanked the delegation for their confidence in him. The clerk thanked the delegation for their confidence in him, as well.
The Religious Exercise Committee report was read by the moderator and includes:
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), Scott Mellons, Eric McPherson and Danny Lawson.
Committee on Newly Constituted Churches: Ministers - Lewis Baker (chairman), Oscar Irvin and Mike Fullington; Deacons - Dennis Stewart and Roy Jones; Laymen - Doyle O'dell and Mark Bradshaw.
Committee on Finance: Daniel Smith (chairman), Charles Bernard and Tommy Meade.
Committee on Obituaries: Harmon Willis (chairman), Frank Gilliam and Roger Manring.
Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries: Burnice Sybert (chairman), Greg Hill, Jim Lykins, Scott Tipton, Jason Robinette, Porter Carroll and Jerry Johnson.
The moderator reminded the delegation that Excused Absence forms are available at the clerk's desk.
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 $1500 in appreciation for his services.
The clerk reported all financial transactions of the year to the delegation.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator $800 in appreciation for his services.
Brother Delmer McPherson, chairman of the Electrical and PA System Committee, came forward to give their report. The trouble experienced last year with the microphones could not be duplicated. They are using these microphones, as well as the old recorder, along with new computer software to record all of the services this year. If the software proves to work well, then a computer may need to be purchased to run it on. The committee will continue to use their better judgment to determine the best course of action.
Brother Roy Jones reported to the delegation on the Ayers Chapel property. While the timeline has extended longer than anticipated, several things have been accomplished, including an appraisal, property survey, and the lawyer has completed his records search on the property. The attorney has asked that we contact the proposed buyer who will pay the agreed upon purchase amount to him directly and he will petition the court to draw up the deed in the buyer's name. Once this process has been completed, it will take approximately two weeks, depending on court docket. The interested buyer has been contacted and has promised to get back in touch with us this week.
The clerk read the letters written in accordance with last year's minutes concerning the ordination credentials of those ministers and deacons who have moved membership or their church has not lettered into the Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists. These include:
There were no questions or comments from the delegation at this time.
The business being concluded, the delegation was dismissed until Friday morning, October 4, 2013.
The Lord blessed us with another beautiful day as the congregation gathered for the second service of the association. Our wish is that everyone will heed the gospel call today and get in the glory land way. We have joy unspeakable and full of glory. As a mother stills her child, Jesus can hush the ocean wild as the boisterous waves obey His will; we can hear Him say "fear not I will pilot thee." When our strongest trials are past, our triumph is begun and the angel band will come and around us stand. By faith we can see that land that is fairer than day and in the sweet by and by we shall meet on that beautiful shore. What a friend we have in Jesus, in whom it is such a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Our trails and temptations should never discourage us, because where else can we find a friend so faithful? As we get nearer the cross, we will find rest beyond the river.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to today's service, thanking God for another privilege to meet with God's children. We were thankful to get the report that John Bowlin is doing okay. Thank God for the services last night. If there be one here that doesn't know the Lord, now is the time to call upon Him. Our Lord is alive and alive for evermore. Thank Him for the wonderful power He bestows on His children. His children have God given talents. Thank God for our young people coming up in this true and tried way.
The congregation was blessed with special singing and wonderful testimony of God's saving grace from Billy Marcum. Come ye sinners, poor and needy, true belief and true repentance will allow you to arise and go to Jesus, for in the arms of our dear Savior there are ten thousand charms.
Prayer requests were made for the unsaved, all the requests from yesterday, those serving our country in the military, our association, our country, many wonderful testimonies were given thanking God for His blessings, Zach Johnson, Nancy Brewer, Betty Dotson, Terry Ketron, Kathy Robinson, Jerry Scalf, H. C. and Pearl Johnson, John Bowlin, lady's grandsons, those under conviction, Roger Manring's brother-in-law, our school systems, Clifton Horne's brothers, Cori Wilder, and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Brother Jim Bowlin took our petitions to the throne of grace.
The delegation was called to order to transact the business.
Before reading the proceedings from Thursday, the clerk thanked Mike Longacre of Textco Media for hosting our internet website over the past several years. Textco provides excellent support and help with any problems that may arise, while offering new ideas to promote the website. We appreciate their willingness to support the association in posting God's work on the World Wide Web. Their company website is www.textcomedia.com.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read.
Elder Oscar Irvin, having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, came forward to take the first part of the service. He read Hebrews 2 and used a portion of verse 9 as a text, "but we see Jesus." Jesus is not a man like us, for His ways are far above ours. We cannot hide anything from God, He sees us at all times for He is God and besides Him, there is no other. He created man after His own image. We need to serve, adore and worship Him. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they realized their nakedness and thus sin began. No matter who we are, we face sin in our life. He took upon Him the seed of Abraham, to know flesh, and He left His home in glory to seek that which was lost. Except you believe that He is God, you will die in your sins and be lost forever. Jesus asked, "if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me," knowing what He must do to give all believers eternal peace and glory. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing. Through His spirit we can have great power. God's kingdom is not of this world, but is in the hearts of His children. Jesus told the thief, "this day thou shalt be with me in paradise." Look at Calvary's cross to see the death of a sinner. He nailed our sins to the old rugged cross. He gave His life that we might have life and have it more abundantly. There's a place called Heaven that God's children have a right to, but there's a place called Hell reserved for non-believers.
Elder Burnice Sybert followed with a message from on high. We trust your eye of faith has been opened with the realization of all the things Jesus went through that we might have eternal life. A redeemer had been supplied even before Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. Man desires to see God in some form, but He hid Moses in the clift of the rock and allowed him to see His hinder parts. There is more to Jesus than just His birth in a manger. To truly serve Him, we must see all of Jesus in His glory. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of man. He came to seek and save that which was lost. He is alive and the only one who can save the lost from hell. The angel told Mary to go back and tell them that Christ has risen. He said on the cross that "it is finished" and we must see Jesus, for it is only through Him that salvation comes. Why stand ye here gazing into the heavens, for this same man that you saw going up will come again in like manner. That which has gone down in weakness will rise in power. There is a change coming where we will receive our glorified body to unite the soul and spirit and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Throughout all the preaching of this morning's service, God so wonderfully blessed His children as shouts of praise and honor for our Lord rang out throughout the building. We must believe the word of God and in due time we will see Jesus in all His splendor.
The congregation sang songs of praise as we were adjourned for lunch. We have another building, not made with hands.
The congregation assembled after a wonderful lunch served by the host church as everyone continued to praise the Lord. Wonderful songs that were sung during lunch blessed our hearts as God continued to bless His children. Tis so sweet to tell His story, do not bother thus delaying, but be ready when He comes. Anywhere is home, sweet home if Christ the Lord is there. He keeps us all the way no matter where we may roam. Let us labor in His vineyard until we are called away. Trust the unseen hand that leads through ways we cannot see. Shouts of praise rang out through the building as God's children praised our Lord and Savior. We long to see His shining face, to praise Him for His guiding hand. Satan may buffet, and trials may come, but His blessed assurance will lead us safely home if it is well with our soul. Singing, shouting, and preaching were heard all over the house; we were truly blessed of the Lord. With three and sometimes four preaching at one time, no one can doubt we have been to meetin'.
We were further blessed with special singing and testimony from Jason Robinette, Shannon Payne, Dustin Lawson, Myra Andrews, Joseph Robinette, Alisa Tomlinson and Dan Cross and Linda. As the weary traveler overcame the mountain, his deliverance came so he could wear palms of victory and crowns of glory. The day will soon come when we all can sing deliverance has come. We are weak, but He is strong, and He will allow us a closer walk with Him. Let our daily walk with Jesus be closer each and every day. Standing on God's promises we cannot fail, because He cannot fail. Our trials on earth will end some day and we will have unending peace with Christ forever. We see the stars; we hear the rolling thunder and see His power throughout the universe displayed. In heaven, a mansion is waiting for us, where the Lord will welcome us home at the end of life's troublesome way.
Joe Robinette asked for the prayers of everyone as Roller's Chapel Church begins their new church building project.
Elder Sizemore thanked the church for a bountiful and delicious lunch and asked that everyone obey the Lord.
Prayer requests were made with many uplifted hands signifying the needs of God's children. Always remember the unsaved, all those serving our country in the military and their families. Elder Mike Fullington took our petitions to the Lord in an earnest and heartfelt prayer.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.
Brother Steve Minton gave the final report of the Letter Committee. Questions on the letter from Low View were answered and the committee recommended accepting the church and seating their delegates as part of the voting body of the association. It was motioned, seconded and voted to accept the recommendations of the committee and seat their delegates.
The moderator appointed the Church Letter Committee for 2014, which includes: Ralph Baker (chairman), Billy Walton, Joe Robinette, and David Horton (alternate).
Bradley Bowen, chairman of the committee, read the report from the Committee on Religious Exercises.
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.
The Committee on Newly Constituted Churches reported that none had been received.
The Committee on Finance reported $5,156.80 in receipts for the year. The chairman thanked each church and individual for their contributions.
The Committee on Obituaries reported that 33 have been received at this time.
The Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries reported that no queries had been received.
The men chosen to write the circular letter for 2013 were Elders Greg Hill, Oscar Irvin and Roger VanHoose. All of these men came forward as Elder Greg Hill read the letter. To the saved of God, always turn to God for guidance to help during our troubling times. Our elders need to preach Christ so His sheep can be fed. Deacons should tend to their duties to take care of the widows and others of the church that are in need and the saints should take their place in church to pray and witness to the lost. The world does not make the church a better place, but much more so the church makes the world a better place to be, for we are a separate people. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minutes as read.
The moderator appointed the Committee on Circular Letters for 2014 which includes: Elders Scott Tipton, Jerry Johnson and Harmon Willis.
The moderator acknowledged the attendance of Grace Russell (96) and Lois Collier (94) and gave them a special welcome at today's service. He also informed us that Brother Basil Holbrook, who built and donated the stand to the association, had passed away this year. One more of our saints has gone on to his reward.
The association trustees reviewed the deeds of churches not lettering in. Ohio churches were not involved in this process. The Tennessee and Kentucky churches are in good order. In Virginia, there is one church with questionable ties to the association and one church yet to be reviewed. The moderator suggested that we seek legal counsel before proceeding further. It was motioned, seconded and voted for the Virginia trustees, the moderator, and clerk to look further into this matter.
The moderator asked the delegation if it would be prudent for the association to obtain a wheelchair, or maybe two, for use during our annual services. The delegation agreed this was an excellent idea and it was motioned, seconded, and voted that if one could not be donated, the association should purchase one. At the end of the service, one was donated to the association. We would like to have one more if anyone has one they would like to donate. Note: two wheelchairs have been donated.
The association chairs were purchased in 1973 and have held up well, but some are rusting and need to be redressed. Since these have a powder coating finish, paint was not considered to be a reasonable solution. The moderator appointed a committee to check on the options we might consider, including purchasing new ones. This committee consists of Oscar Irvin (chairman), Clifton Horne, and Steve Minton.
During the 2012 association meeting, it was motioned, seconded and voted to grant a year of grace to those churches which have not joined another association, but for whatever reason failed to letter in to the Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists. Letters similar to those sent earlier will be sent to those ministers who held membership with these churches.
The moderator reminded those serving on the committees that they were released when their final report is given.
The greatest news heard all day was about the young man who gave his life to Jesus Christ last night at Roller's Chapel. Please remember him in your prayers.
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: Blackwater Lick, Clear Springs and Copper Creek. Before the plea process began, Blackwater Lick withdrew. During the plea process, Clear Springs withdrew, sending the association to Copper Creek (Addington Frame) Church where the Lord willing we will convene on Thursday morning, (October 2, 2014) before the first Saturday in October, 2014. Introductory - Elder Daniel Smith; Alternate - Elder Oscar Irvin.
We were adjourned until Saturday morning, October 5, 2013.
The cool morning air and beautiful sunshine once again greeted everyone as they gathered for the memorial service. Sister Zula McCullough led the congregation in several songs of joy and praise for our Savior. When the redeemed of the Lord gather in, they will be washed like snow and free from all sin. The angels must listen for they cannot join that song. There will also be showers of blessings sent from the Savior above, which we need so much as we journey through this weary land. For the saints of the Lord, He is our God, our heaven, our all. Through Christ we will reach heaven our home, then He will wipe our weeping eyes as we bid this world farewell. There is coming a day when there'll be no more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye, and when we look upon Jesus' face, what a glorious day that will be. Just imagine a place with no sickness, no pain, no tears and no parting over there. Such amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Be ready faithful pilgrim, come morning we will meet just inside the eastern gate, over there. Keep your lamps all trimmed and burning; for the joy of that glad meeting just inside the gate will be the beginning.
Elder Terry Sizemore welcomed everyone to our memorial service. It is another day which God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. We have true consolation just knowing that God is with us always.
Wonderful blessings were received from special singing and wonderful testimonies from the Copper Creek singers, 4Christ singers, Null Lawson, and the Blackwater Lick singers. If we love the Lord, feed His sheep. We must never deny Him or His work, but stand firm in the Lord and He will give us strength for the journey. Do you love Him today? If we do these things, we will grow stronger in the faith of Jesus Christ. While standing on the banks of the river, looking out over life's rugged way and behold the Lamb of God as we see the old ship of Zion. Though it is bent and battered, it sails safely along with Jesus at the helm. Jesus gave us living water that we may never thirst again. Once we were lost with no hope, but Jesus had compassion on us and now we are a child of the King and His royal blood now flows in our veins. Come to Him relenting, repenting of your sins, then He will reach down and make us one of His own. There is a place for the saved of God, but there is also a place of torment for the unbelievers, which lets us know the only fire we'll ever feel is burning in our heart. Every time we hear from Jesus, we know He lives in us. Shout it to the world that you are in the glory land way, as heaven grows nearer and the way groweth clearer. We are on our way to Canaan's land where the soul of man never dies. There we will spend eternity, with no sad farewells, nor tear-dimmed eyes. Precious memories flood our soul during the stillness of the midnight as God blesses our soul to recall the sacred scenes unfolding, as special times in our life.
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, Tommy and Betty Jo Lawson, Virgie Grace Hill's children and grandchildren, Don Stokes, Cody Sammons - newly saved young man, Kathy Robinson, H. C. and Pearl Johnson, and many uplifted hands signifying unspoken requests. Elder John Banks humbly took our petitions to the Lord. We are not at the end. For God's children, it is just the beginning.
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.
Elder Daniel Hurd, pastor of the host church, came forward to thank all those who helped, especially the local companies that had donated goods or services to the host church. He also thanked the young people of the church for all their hard work before and during the setting of this association. Most of all He thanked God for such a sweet spirit that has been here throughout the association.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to print Sister Eileen Brown's contact information in the minutes as she continues sending out revival and special service notices. Please let her know by the 20th of the month for the notice to be included in 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:
Brother Roy Jones has been taking care of the Ayers Chapel Church property and has been dealing with the lawyers trying to get the deed created, in addition to maintaining the grounds. He graciously asked the association to keep any gift the association might have presented to him. However, it was motioned, seconded and voted to give him $400 in appreciation for all he has done.
For many years, the Saturday service has been dedicated as a memorial service for those saints who have passed from among us. The moderator blessed us with His song of praise then he read the names of those that have passed from our midst this year. These precious memories we sung about earlier mean a lot to us. Please remember their families in your prayers and thank God for having known them. Jesus came from heaven one day; showed us what to do, and then He got on a cloud and went home. He didn't come here to stay; nor are we here to stay, so we will soon get on a cloud and go home.
Elder Daniel Smith blessed us with his song of honor and praise. Jesus is no longer in the grave, for He is alive and we can feel Him deep inside. So many times His nail-scarred hands reached out to rescue us from death to life. Shouts of praise from the building rang out as testimony that He is alive forevermore.
Having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, Elder Terry Sizemore took the lead of the service, reading verse 5 from the 2nd chapter of I Peter. God is alive and Christ said if His people hold their peace, the rocks would cry out in His honor. Our sins were paid in full on the cross of Calvary. Our spiritual building is of God and we need to do whatsoever He bids us to do. Our God-given talents are uniquely fit together and must be used for Him. This flesh is not going anywhere and we need to bring it under subjection. It cannot be done in itself, but it takes God in our life. If we are to see our people saved, we must turn loose and let God have His way in our lives and in our churches. Lift up His name that our people might be saved. Ask God, "What can I do to present Christ to a lost and dying world?" We all need to do more for Him; in other words put Him first in our lives and keep Him there each and every day. It is not us that lives, but Christ that dwelleth within us. We are the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ our Savior.
God bless the man from Arkansas (Mark) who drove for many hours just to see and worship with God's people.
Virgie Williams, our sister from Long Hollow Church, blessed us with her wonderful testimony and song of faith. Heaven holds all to the children of God. One day the graves will burst open and those remaining will be changed in a moment and twinkling of an eye and get on a cloud and go home. Joy without measure will certainly be our treasure, for brighter heaven's glory will be for the millions who are singing the wondrous story.
Elder Greg Hill came forward to take the second part of the service with a song and wonderful words of God. The clouds opened up and there stood Jesus. We appreciate this old time way of worshiping the Lord. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, chosen of God. He draws us to Him and we must come boldly to the throne of grace. One day the kingdoms of earth will be destroyed, but the kingdom of God will stand forever. God is our rock, our help not only in a time of need but when things are well, too. Upon this rock He built His church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it. There is only one way to get into the kingdom of God. Jesus said, "I am the way, I am the door" and only through His precious blood can we enter. By the grace of God we are what we are. Oh the blessings that God so wonderfully bestowed upon these dear saints that have gone on to their reward!
These men preached the Gospel to us and we thank Him for their dedication and faithfulness to the work of the Lord.
Sister Aubra Hill led us in singing songs of praise as we were adjourned until Sunday morning, October 6, 2013. He lived and died to buy our pardon; and because He lives we can face tomorrow with all our cares gone. Shouts of joy and praise rang out throughout the building as God so wonderfully blessed His children.
The early morning fog gave way to brilliant sunshine as God's people gathered for the final service of this association. Though tired in body, everyone was still filled with His wonderful spirit. God blessed His children today just as He did throughout the previous services. The church is so thankful for everyone that came to Big Door to worship with us. Just a few more weary days till we fly away to a land where joys will never end. Although we are tempted and tried all the day long, farther along we'll understand all about it. We wonder why others prosper when they live so wicked year after year, but we'll understand it all by and by. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus for when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be; when we all see Jesus, we will sing and shout the victory.
Elder Daniel Hurd welcomed everyone to the house of the Lord as he thanked God for meeting with us each time we gather. His blessings have been so wonderful this week. We pray that the fire which has been kindled will continue for the weeks, months and years to come.
Prayer requests were made for the lost, our young people, Kathy Robinson, Joe Horton's children and grandchildren, Daniel Hurd's children and grandchildren, Dustin Lawson and his family, our association, Jim Bowlin, John Bowlin, Debbie with lung cancer, and Fred Kendrick. While there were several prayer requests, there were even more who testified of the goodness of God in their lives. May His love shine on our face as we think of His wonderful blessings of life. Brother Junior Glass led us to the throne of grace.
Many wonderful testimonies praising God that our prayers have been answered were given at today's service.
Thank God for the association, which is a grand body of God's people. We were blessed with special singing from the singers from Copper Creek Church, Sue Osborne and Carl Osborne, Terry and Peggy Sizemore and Brenda Horton and Jim Bowlin. When our way groweth drear, the Lord will draw near and take our hand to lead us through the stormy night into the light. We have heard of a land on that far away strand, tis a beautiful place where we will never grow old. When our work here is done and our life crown is won, our troubles and trials will be o'er. How sweet the sound of God's amazing grace as it taught our heart to fear the hour we first believed. When we've been there ten thousand years, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun. Praise God for His amazing grace and wonderful love. Help us Lord to see thy face when this world is pressing us. If we stay our mind on God, He will give our soul the victory. The tender hand that leads us will keep us steady and we can make the journey after all. By our self we cannot make it, but there are only a few more steps to go. With danger all around us, His precious words calm the waves as He steps between us and the storm. In the darkest of times, be not afraid; for it is the Lord coming to rescue us from the storms of life. God leads His dear children, some through the waters, some through the floods, some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Elder Terry Sizemore, our moderator, took the first part of the service. It is such a privilege to know God and serve Him. He read Psalm 40 for his wonderful message from God. The nature of man has always been somewhat rebellious, but God waits patiently. David was a man after God's own heart, but he was not perfect in the flesh. God loves beyond this nature of our being. We need something more than a covering, so God gave us a cloak. He loves us as He loved Adam. Call upon Him that we may be robed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Though we think we are covered, we can't do the job except God be with us. He brought us up out of the miry clay, for God has to do the work; man is not able. He established our goings. He put a new song in our mouth that comes from God when we are saved, and lets the world know we are one of His. We can't establish a real covering, for it can only come from God. We must be born again to see God's kingdom. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Adam feared God as he hid in the bushes, but we cannot hide anything from God at any time. We must know for sure that we have not just completed some process, but know there has been a change in our lives brought about by God's marvelous grace bringing salvation.
Elder Chris Salley followed with more wonderful words of encouragement. It is so good to be a child of God. The risen Savior, the only true and living God will deliver us from the clay and set us upon a solid rock. God's word is so big, but He helps us to discern that which is needed in every individual's life. The 16th verse tells us to magnify the Lord in everything we do. We can enjoy the peace, rest, and blessings He has given to each of us if we will but magnify the blessed name of the Lord.
Elder Daniel Hurd closed the service with more wonderful words of encouragement. We are never between a rock and a hard place, for Jesus is always there between us and the troubles of this world. The tomb is empty, for He rose on that third and appointed morning. God is able, regardless of what our situation may be, He will deliver through all circumstances.
The service was closed in song led by Sister Peggy Sizemore. Thanks be to the Lord of Lords whom we magnify in all we do. Bless the Lord, bless His Holy name!
Everything gets packed up and moved away, bringing a little sadness into our lives, but this is overcome by the wondrous blessings of this gathering. Following in the old paths, the Lord has been so good to us. We thank Him, and behold the Lamb who has poured out holy manna from heaven during the past few days. It has been a while since we have seen the spirit come down so wonderfully on His people. We pray the fire that has been kindled will go back to each church and work miracles in each of our churches. Our hope is that the surrounding community may realize how great a God we serve and that many lost souls will come to know the Lord as their personal Savior.
We thank God for this church and all those that were able to visit and make this their home for a few short days. We especially pray for Cody Sammons, who accepted the Lord as his Savior and that God will bless him and strengthen him as a young Christian that he may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As a member of the host church, I thank God foremost for all He has done. So many prayers have been answered and I know there will continue to be many prayers for all God's children answered in due time. If you attended any of the services, you know what you felt and saw as God richly blessed us. If you could not attend, I pray you will be able to attend next year. We talk about following the old paths; that's exactly what we did this year. Bless the holy name of God! Thanks again to everyone for all you did during the association. This has been a truly inspiring event. Thank God for His holy spirit that showered down manna from heaven. We trust God will continue to bless His people during the ensuing year so we can see many souls come to know the Lord.