Morningside Baptist Church - 11/20/2011

I guess the second time is the charm.  Last Sunday (11/13) we were on our way to Morningside, as a matter of fact were less than a mile away, when Denise began to feel really sick.  It was so bad that we turned around before getting to the church and headed right back home.  This Sunday we had no such episode and actually arrived ten minutes early.  Many times we take a few pictures of the church and specifically the church sign before we go in lest we forget on our way out. 
 After doing this I noticed what looked like someone I know from the Fire Department going in with his son.  As we approached the door we were happily greeted by several folks.  Once inside I inquired about Sunday School and a nice young man took us to our class...the one his dad was teaching.  I generally like to go to separate classes when we visit a church for several reasons but this day we would be in a couples' class together.  Mark Cowan was the teacher and he did a fine job with the lesson coming out of  the book of Hebrews, chapter 3.  Small world; Mark, who works for Sexton Welding Supplies, is the driver that delivered the welding supplies to where my wife used to work, so they knew each other.  There were some prayer concerns mentioned and then Mark prayed for every couple in the class. 

After class we made our way to the sanctuary and on the way I saw Erick (the guy from the fire department) in the hallway and spoke with him for a minute.  As we gathered to worship we saw and spoke with Darin and Christian Lightfoot who had recently been out to Camp Macoba with a group of youth from the church.  If you have never heard Darin and Christian sing it is quite a treat and I presently have their CD in my CD-player right now and have for the last month!  I guessed seating for about 200 here and noticed how really clean the place was.  Many of the churches we go into their size have from 50 - 75% elderly membership but this was not the case here.  It appeared to be around 40%.  There was also a first here for me....the pastor was actually part of the praise/team/band.  He sang and played the guitar.  The worship music was good led by Darin and Christian.  I meant to say something to the guy on the drums who did a great job as well. 
Brother Marty brought a message out of Daniel and really challenged the congregation.  This appeared to be one in a series of messages entitled, Courage Under Fire.  He spoke a lot about priorities and courage.  He held my attention the whole time, though it was a familiar message, by the way he communicated the scripture to the congregation.  This was the first time we had ever set foot into Morningside and I was looking forward to our visit as Brother Ron Lynch had told me good things about Brother Marty and the church.  I look forward to another visit in the future.

Neeley's Chapel Baptist Church - 11/6/2011

Neely's Chapel was our choice on this beautiful Sunday morning.  I met Pastor Lamar McGriff a few weeks ago when he decided to have a church outing at Camp MACOBA.  As a matter of fact, his memory seems to recall that he was the first one to bring a group up to the camp somewhere around 43 years ago.  What makes the number 43 stick out is that is how long he has been married and he believes the trip occured shortly after that time. 

We showed up at the church a little early as it was not as far from our place as I thought.  Pastor Lamar was there and greeted us with open arms.  He tells me that years ago the church used to be located where Patterson Road Baptist is today (off Oscar Patterson) and they moved because of constant flooding since the church sat right by the creek. 

This morning everyone started off in the sanctuary for general assembly time, where Brother Rayford led everyone in a song, we read a passage from 1 Peter 3, and then prayed together.  We were then dismissed and everyone went to their Sunday School Classes.  Denise and I decided to stay in the sanctuary where the adults our age seemed to be.  The song leader, Brother Rayford, taught the class from Acts 13:13-42 and did a very good job.  He asked how many had brought their Bibles and how many had read Scripture during the week.  I remember when all churches used to track things like this in Sunday School.  

Once the class was over we remained where we were and probably spoke to and shook hands with most everyone in the church.  Brother Lamar had told me earlier that we just might be the first from the MBA to visit the church and asked if I would speak a few minutes telling about what I do and about the Camp.  I did and hope everyone is a little more informed now.  Once the choir was through leading us in worship, the song leader asked if there was anyone else who wanted to sing this morning.  A couple relatively new to the church got up and the gentleman sang while his wife played the piano.  They both did a very good job. 

Brother Lamar brought a great message from the Book of John, chapter seven about the power of words; God's Word, specifically.  It really reminded me of some things.  He told Denise as we were leaving, that he'd had spent the week preparing a different sermon, but that on Saturday, the Lord spoke to his heart and gave him a different word, so to speak.  It was definitely a God-breathed message.

I saw this framed on the wall in the corner and found it very interesting. 

Next to it was probably an antique and something my kids' generation have never seen . . . it's even been awhile for me. 

I heard someone make a comment about there never being a problem in the church there.  We had a great morning of fellowship and worship and look forward to returning again in the future.