Today is Thursday, so that means we have reached the end of the meeting here at Magnolia Baptist Church in Crossett, AR. It has been a good week. The church is very friendly and loves preaching. Since I love to preach, we have gotten along very well. The Pastor, Brother Michael Griffith, is a fearless protector of the truth. He gladly embraces and preached the great doctrines of grace. He is a man of the Word, who loves the Lord and the Lord’s church. It has been a blessing to be with them in these days of meeting.
Lord willing, Joan and I will fly home tomorrow. We will not leave Greenville, MS until around 5:00 PM Central time, so it will be approaching midnight when we finally make it home. Please remember us in your prayers as we travel from place to place.
We had another good night of meeting with the folks at Magnolia Baptist Church last night. The Lord blessed the preaching and I am grateful. I would ask you to pray for the Pastor’s wife, though. Sister Chasity has an abscessed tooth that is causing her a lot of pain and swelling in her face. She has been to the doctor twice already and is scheduled for another appointment today.
We are in the town of Crossett, AR. Actually, we aren’t in town, but in the country outside of town. The people here are some of the friendliest people we have ever met. There are some places you go where the people just aren’t friendly at all. A week may pass with just a few people even speaking to you. Maybe it’s my deodorant, I don’t know. Anyway, it isn’t like that here. These folk are very outgoing and welcoming. Nearly everyone in the church has approached us to introduce themselves and to welcome us to their church. That is a blessing! These ladies can cook too! Each evening a different Sunday School class has taken the responsibility for preparing a meal for us. The food has been exceptional. Just good old country cooking. If I stayed here long, I would be an even fatter Baptist.
Pray for our meeting as it continues through tomorrow. I would love to see the Lord meet with us in a powerful way.
When our meeting ended in North Little Rock, Ar last week, Joan and I flew home to North Carolina. I arrived back to find several of our people in the hospital. I visited with them and went to a local nursing home to visit with a lady who was in the process of dying. I had no been there more than ten minutes when she passed away. We had her funeral on Sunday.
Speaking of Sunday, it was a great day. It was youth Sunday at Calvary and our youth taught the Sunday School classes and our youth choir performed the music for the day. They did a wonderful job, as usual. It seems that the Lord always moves in power when they sing, and He did not fail to do so on Sunday. I praise the Lord for our young people.
Yesterday, Joan and I boarded a plane and flew to Greenville, MS. Actually, we took two planes. The first flew us to Memphis, TN. The second, a very small turbo prop plane flew us to Mississippi. The Pastor of Magnolia Baptist Church in Crossett, AR, Brother Michael Griffith, met is at the airport in Greenville and we drove for a little over and hour to the church. We are spending the week in an unused church parsonage. At any rate, we had an excellent service last night. there was a good crowd and great liberty to preach. I praise the Lord for His presence and for all that He did in the meeting. Please pray for us as the week progresses. I am looking for the Lord to do some great things for us.
We had a really good service at Pilgrim Progress Baptist last night. The Lord showed up and He honored the preaching of His Word. I have been coming to this church for four years, and last night was the best altar call response I have witnessed. The church, in their tradition, is not used to having altar calls, so it is something of a novelty for me to preach and invite them to come forward to pray. Several responded last night and seemed to get some real help from the Lord. If nothing happens, we will finish the meeting tonight and fly back to North Carolina tomorrow. I am ready to be home.
I have received two calls within the last twelve hours to inform me that two church members have relatives that are in the process of dying. I would like to be there for my people, but the best I can do today is take the matter to the Lord in prayer. Help me pray that God will give sufficient grace to His children during these difficult hours.
Our meeting with the fine folks at Pilgrim Progress Baptist Church in North Little Rock, AR began last night. The Lord met with us in a powerful way. I praise Him for what He did in the service. It seems that several people got some real help from the Word of God. I praise Him for that.
Pilgrim Progress is a black congregation, located in the inner city. It is a large congregation, at around 600 members. It is a lively congregation. they love to praise the Lord and truly love good, solid, expositional preaching. It is here that this congregation truly shines. I have preached in churches all across America. I have preached in churches both small and large. I have been in quiet churches and in shouting churches. I have preached in churches that loved preaching, and I have preached in other churches that just wanted you to stop so they could go home. But, I have never been in a church like Pilgrim Progress. There is a constant emphasis on the Word of God.
A typical service is opened by the deacons. They lead the congregation in singing and they share a passage of Scripture with the congregation. After and opening song, one of the young ministers in the church will take about 10 minutes to do a quick exposition of a passage from the Bible. The choir will sing, and another minister will come to the pulpit. He will take about 15 minutes to give a biblical exposition. There will be more singing, some words of exhortation from the Pastor, Dr. Gerald Parker. By the way, his comments are always laced with biblical references. Then, it is time for the preaching. All of this tends to produce a longer service; somewhere in the 2 hour plus range. The point is, however, that the Word of God, as it reveals Jesus Christ, is the centerpiece of every service I have attended in this great church. They love preaching! They will help you and they want you to preach. It is an honor to be asked to come here. It is an honor to have the privilege to preach in their pulpit. It is an honor to preach Jesus in an atmosphere where He is worshiped and where He is wanted.
Please continue to pray for the meeting. God blessed the first night, and I am sure that He will continue to do so as the week develops.
For the meeting in Little Rock, AR to begin. In about an our, our driver will come by the hotel to take us to church. We had a good flight out and a restful afternoon. I am looking forward to the meeting this week. Dr. Gerald Parker, the Pastor, his wife Sister Wanda and the rest of the Pilgrim Progress Baptist family are so gracious, kind and welcoming. This is my fourth year at Pilgrim Progress, preaching their fall meeting. I appreciate the open door, the great things God has done and the new friends I have made in this great church.
I hope you will pray for the meeting as it goes forward this week. Pray that God will move in power and that He will be glorified through the preaching and the worship of His people. Lord willing, I will update as the week moves forward.
since I posted, and I have no excuses. I would plead a busy schedule, but I could probably still find the time to do this if I wanted to. So, what’s been going on? Not much and everything, all at the same time. School started back at West Lenoir last week, so I am teaching every Mionday and Tuesday mornings. This week I have been preaching at Berea Baptist Church in Connelly Springs, NC. We had a good meeting there. The Lord blessed us in a great way. Add to those things the normal duties associated with leading a Baptist church. So, I guess I have been kind of busy the past week or so. I hope to do better in the future about posting, but we will see. In the meantime, pray for me and for the church I pastor. We want very badly to see some souls saved. We are trusting the Lord to do just that for His glory. I will let you know when it happens!