First of all, thank you to all who read our blog on a daily basis. My hope is to help you keep abreast of events taking place in the lives and ministries of the wonderful people of Tennessee. Perhaps, a wrap up of the week’s events will help catch us up to Saturday night (April 18, 2009).
Seven-days-ago, Debra, Lindsey and I made the trip to Cleveland so our family could celebrate Easter services together. On Sunday morning, Pastor Steve Wilson delivered an excellent message, and as always, the choir helped lead the congregation into worship, directed by Jason Duncan.
On Sunday afternoon, Debra and Lindsey returned to Hendersonville, and I stayed behind, dropping in on visitation services for Bishop W.A. Howard a retired pastor and overseer in the Church of God of Prophecy.
On Monday morning, I assisted in the Funeral Services for Bishop W.A. Howard at the Peerless Road Church, along with Pastor Steve Wilson, Bishop Randall Howard (General Overseer) and the main sermon was delivered by Bishop Howard’s son, Dennis. It was such a blessing to hear about the ministry of Bishop W.A. Howard as a pastor and overseer.
In the afternoon, the Administrative Committee gathered and met for most of the rest of the day. I am so privileged to serve with such wonderful, capable leaders in our movement.
Tuesday morning found me up early on the road to Knoxville, where Pastor Ken Dyer, Harvest Fellowship Church was to undergo surgery. I drove to the Arrowhead Church and picked Pastor Terry Barnwell up to drive to the hospital with me.
It was such a blessing to see the wonderful support of Ken’s friends, members and ministry colleagues. I was able to visit with, and pray with him him prior to the bypass surgery, which was a success. Ken was back home by Friday. Thanks to all of your help praying.
Wednesday and Thursday found us in the office catching up on administrative work, and corresponding with several of our local church who are anticipating a change of pastoral leadership, and working on new minister’s licensing.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, it was back on the road, this time to West Tennessee for visitation services from Stephen Lawson of Bethel Springs. Stephen’s grandfather, Pastor James Lawson serves the congregation there. I was able to visit with the family and friends for about an hour before visitation concluded.
On Friday morning, I conducted the funeral services for Stephen Lawson to a large crowd gathered at Shackleford Funeral Home in Selmer, Tennessee. It was evident that Stephen was loved by one and all, and after the graveside services, I joined the family and friends for a lunch prapared by the ladies of the Beth Springs church.
Later in the day, I made the trip to Camp Hickory Hills, near Dickson for our Men’s Retreat organized by our State Men’s Director, Pastor Mike Jennette. His leadership team at Empowered Ministries did an outstanding job of preparation, as we followed the theme, “Band of Brothers.”
We were privileged to have our North American General Presbyer, Bishop Sam Clements with us, and he minsitered a powerful word from the Lord on Friday night On Saturday morning, Pastor Enoch Lankford, a pastor in Dickson and former Tennessee State Trooper ministered to the men on the subject of humility. Everyone was blessed by his ministry and prayer time.
To conluded the services, I ministered on the subject “Men of Honor.” It was a great time in the Lord and the very large crowd at the retreat responsed well on both Friday night and on Saturday morning. One of the highlights of the retreat was the steak dinner on Friday night, with “huge” ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and deserts cooked over fire! Also breakfast and lunch were extraordinary, and our thanks go out to the ladies of Empowered ministries for outdoing themselves!
As I look back over the week, I realize that it has been a rollercoaster of emotion with triumphs and tragedies, but one thing has remained…Jesus is the Lord of all we do, and he has a plan for all of our lives. On Monday, I will return to Cleveland for Administrative Committee Meetings and for the Leadership Development Intensive sponsored by the International Offices. I would invite you to join us for this week-long intensive, and if you cannot join us, to please be in prayer for us.
We have some of the finest ministers you will find anywhere in the State of Tennessee and I am honored to serve alongside them, and the wonderful people of Tennessee. May God bless and keep every one or you!