Fall programming in churches is usually pretty heavy. I seem to have a lot more opportunities during the fall because of special days, special events, stewardship emphasis, preaching missions, etc. Below is a brief summary of some of the out-of-town opportunities.
October 1-7 – For the third year I preached at the Indian Field Campmeeting in St. George, South Carolina. This is a fascinating religious phenomenon. It is one of the oldest campmeetings in America. They have 100 of these cabins that are built in a huge circle surrounding a tabernacle. Each of these cabins will sleep about 15 to 25 people. The campmeeting is so important in that area that they actually let out school for a couple of days. The campmeeting actually lasts from Monday night through the following Sunday morning. I inquired about high school football games on Friday night and was quickly told that no football games were scheduled in that area during campmeeting week.
October 21 – I preached the three morning worship services at Frazer and at the evening worship.
October 28 – I drove to Brundidge to preach for the 150th Homecoming Anniversary. My dad used to visit Brundidge and preach. It was special for me to carry on a little bit of his tradition. I think they invited me for that 150th celebration because they thought I might have been there when the church was founded!
November 4 – I filled in for Rev. Michael Precht in his churches in Crenshaw County. I preached at the 9:00 service at Brunson Chapel, then at the 11:00 worship service at Brantley United Methodist Church. I was impressed with all of the young couples who were involved in those churches. Michael is an exceptional young man and has a great future. The best part about him is that he is married to Jennifer, who is Linda Poole’s daughter. She is a Frazer trained preacher’s wife! I then drove to Navarre Beach, Florida to preach at the District Conference for the Pensacola District.
November 11-13 – I elected to drive to Shreveport, Louisiana because I would be there for a few days and would have a car available. My general rule of thumb is to drive if it is six to seven hours or less and to fly if it is over that amount of time. The drive to Shreveport was actually eight hours and fifteen minutes.
I preached at the Broadmoor United Methodist Church twice on Sunday morning and on Sunday night. Ken Irby is the Senior Minister. About two weeks before the preaching mission he discovered he had to have prostate cancer surgery. The best time to do it was on Monday, November 12. He was reluctant to do it then because of the planned preaching event. I encouraged him to please go ahead and do that. He did. His surgery was successful.
I preached there on Sunday night, November 11. On November 12, I had an opportunity to meet with the people who are going into some kind of full time Christian work at Centenary College in Shreveport. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights we had a light dinner and I did a Bible study prior to a preaching service each night. On Tuesday, November 13, I had a seminar for the pastors in the Shreveport area. I preached again there on Tuesday night.
I kidded people about the fine accommodations they made for me. They put me in a new motel. The interesting thing is that they gave me a handicapped room and the hotel is situated right across from the hospital. I told them that at my age that was real good planning!
November 19 – Tim Thompson meets with a group of pastors from our Annual Conference. I had an opportunity to share with them for a couple of hours about preaching.
November 25 – I preached again this year at the Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church on their race relations Sunday. I always look forward to this. Dr. G. W. C. (George Washington Carver) Richardson is the pastor. He has had 131 people enter the ministry from that church! I am always inspired by their enthusiastic worship and deep commitment to doing ministry in a meaningful way.
Sunday night I was invited to speak at a banquet for 500 men’s soccer players who were here in Montgomery for the NAIA National Championship. I was very impressed by the attentiveness of all of these college athletes and the comments they made following the banquet.
I normally preach at Hutchinson Missionary Baptist on the first Sunday of December, but I will be in Ecuador preaching and training pastors the first week of December.
There was a lot of traveling during the past two months. I continued to record a daily two-minute radio program on WLWI. I also completed a book entitled “When God Redefines the Possible.” This book is available at our office and in a couple of outlets here in Montgomery, such as the Frazer bookstore. The cost of the book is $10. A lot of people get it to use as a stocking stuffer or as a gift to friends and/or employees.
When you receive this I will be in Ecuador. This is a large annual event. I will be sharing the preaching and teaching time with a great African-American leader Bishop Dale Bronner. Last year’s preachers were Dr. Ed Young from Houston, Texas and Brian Houston from Hillsong Church in Australia. This is a great opportunity and I appreciate your prayers.
Have a great time of preparation for Christmas!
John Ed Mathison