God provided a variety of opportunities for ministry to me during the month of July. I want to thank you for your prayers and support in making these ministries possible.
The music was super as Mack Daugherty played the keyboard and the Rainbow Quartet sang. My grandson Will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. It is hard to describe the feeling when that many people sang God Bless America.
On July 5, I preached at the Church in the Pines at Lake Martin. If you have never been there, this is a unique experience. People come by boat, automobile, bicycle, etc.
I have been preaching at the Church in the Pines each summer for the past 35 years. The Russell’s own most of the land around Lake Martin and provide this opportunity for worship. Mrs. Julia Russell, who was a big supporter of Huntingdon College, first invited me. This year they honored Ben and Luann Russell for continuing this ministry. The proceeds from the offering go to support Children’s Harbor, which is a great ministry to underprivileged kids.
I usually go to preach at the Church in the Pines the Sunday nearest the 4th of July. There is a large tabernacle-like structure that seats several hundred people. There are usually more people outside than under the roof.
On Friday, July 17, I went to preach at the Shingleroof Camp Meeting near McDonough, Georgia. This is just south of Atlanta about 25 miles.
This camp meeting is 175 years old. This was my sixth time to participate as one of the preachers. This year my brother George and I shared the preaching schedule. Worship services ran from Friday, July 17, through Thursday, July 23.
I will write more about this unique camp meeting experience. It was also great to be with my brother George.
I had an opportunity to go to Akron, Ohio, and preach at the annual meeting for the Evangelical Friends at Malone University. This is a denomination that has a lot of roots in the Wesleyan movement and the Quaker influence. I had an opportunity to meet with their pastors and staff in the afternoon and to preach at the Annual Conference gathering that night. I have found a close kinship to the Evangelical Friends.
On Thursday, July 23, I went up to Wetumpka with Dr. Gaeton Lorino and several people from Frazer to speak at Life Tech. Jerry Kemp’s Sunday School Class has adopted this as a project each week. Several members of that class bake cookies and lead in a worship experience. I was impressed by the young ladies who are there. I understand that most of them are placed there rather than in prison because they have an awfully good chance of helping them get some education, learn a trade, etc. They are so appreciative of the ministry that a lot of people from Frazer bring. There were about 75 women present. Patrick Craig was home for a week’s vacation and he spent one of his night’s going to Life Tech to lead the music. Life Tech is just one example of how lay people can make a difference in other peoples’ lives.
July 28, I went to Evansville, Indiana, to lead a pastors’ seminar and preach at the General Baptist Summit. This denomination is very strong throughout the Midwest and North Central States. I have been so impressed with the huge number of young ministers they have and their willingness to learn from other denominations.
I met last year with the General Baptist Summit and had a great experience. The pastors are very attentive and ask good questions in the teaching sessions together. The worship experiences at night are very celebrative. I have developed a great appreciation and admiration for our brothers and sisters in the General Baptist denomination!
On Sunday, July 26, I attended the Fresh Anointing House of Worship here in Montgomery. My good friend Rev. Kyle Searcy is the pastor. They bought the old Carmichael Center on Fleming Road and have worship there. This Sunday was especially meaningful as Kyle was anointed as an Apostle in his denomination. It was a moving experience for me as Kyle invited me to participate in this special time in his life.
I am learning a lot. I have some great opportunities for the month of August so please be praying for me and this ministry.
I am sensing a great spirit of renewal in many local churches of various denominations. God is doing some special things. I urge each of us to get tremendously involved in our local congregations in order that God’s Holy Spirit might use us to bring about His Kingdom here on earth.