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.