, Corbin, KY

September 24, 2012

30 Years Today - looking back and forward

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — When you are set to think back 30 years, it can be a task not easily prepared for but exciting never the less. We motivators and encouragers like to use stories, people and situations to help move us forward and to find continued thanks for the journey traveled.

This weekend I celebrate 30 years of Ministry. It is amazing how something can feel like both yesterday and such a long time ago too. I am having quite a few smiles and laughs as I think back to that September in 1982 when the First Baptist Church in Pineville, Kentucky, provided me with ministerial credentials.

I was nervous about the process which included questions about beliefs, Theology and even application of scripture. Deacon Ike Wilson was the Church Clerk, and I remember his signing my certificate as if it was yesterday. He and his wife were always so very kind to me and such encouragers. 

Dr. Dudley Pomeroy was a man of many hats. A full bird Colonel as a Chaplain in the United States Army and US Reserves, a professor at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and most special a friend of mine.

He was only upset with me once. He was a big supporter and loved Georgetown College and when I shared I was going to Cumberland College in Williamsburg, he wasn’t happy with me at all. At the time I told him I wanted to be an Indian (Cumberland’s Mascot) and not a Tiger. Looking back now that doesn’t matter except for historical reference as Cumberland has changed both its name and mascot.

As I look back at 30 years, I think of all the places of spiritual influence I have learned from and had the privilege to serve. I looked at my list of cities and churches and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve them and you.

At First Baptist-Pineville, I served Dr. Wortman as an assistant with children’s choir and leading congregational singing for over 10 years. Supplied for Central Baptist-Corbin throughout College and beyond on many occasions. Was Associate Pastor at Greenland and was Pastor of Horse Creek Road in Corbin. In Monticello, I was a Co-Pastor at Immanuel and served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist in Dorton Branch-Pineville. I served the following congregations as Interim pastor: North Fork in Whitesburg; Walnut Hill in Ewing, Virginia; And Greenland on the Falls Road in Corbin.

Pulpit supply is still a great opportunity and I’m always humbled to share and excited about how we can apply God’s word to make real differences in the lives of people and our communities. I continue to be a multi-tasking type guy. I have the privilege of mentoring and working directly with a new church plant in Somerset, Ky. Hawk Creek London/Somerset has a clear vision. The goal is to reach the un-churched and the disfranchised by simply loving God and loving people.

My life passion has always been to be genuine and real. A novice concept I know. I have used my ministerial academic students from College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to simply be what Jesus was, a friend to sinners. I am not afraid or scared to be a friend to anyone. I believe that Jesus really does love everyone, just like it says in John 3:16, and I believe that He has a plan for every life too, just like it says in John 10:10.

Applying Scripture to life, seeing Biblical concept and opportunity in all things is to me ministry. I pray in Jesus' name and know He is the answer, Acts 4:12, even if He is controversial or it is not politically correct. I believe Jesus forgives all sin and if this is not true then hope, faith and love do not exist. Romans 8:28 is still my go to verse when I have lots of questions and doubt.

My best personal prayer is that “you will continue to see the sunshine through the rain and the rainbow behind every cloud.”  

Lots of things in 30 years I am grateful for. Today, I look at my future life expectance and I think what will I write in 2039? That March I hope to be defying science in His grace and mercy.

Until then