This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday.
We celebrate the birthday of the church
on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit
created this community of believers
who became organized to do the
work of God’s kingdom on earth.
Just what is this work?
Let me tell you what the church
has done for me.
When I was in the nursery, Mrs. Lucy
gave me a lap to sit on while she
praised me for little kid stuff, at
Beargrass Christian Church in
Louisville. I discovered the church
to be a welcoming and warm place.
When I was scheduled to go to the
Mayo Clinic for tests, Dr. Walter
Lawrenson, my pastor, brought a
plastic car and gave it to me. I still
have that car. I discovered the
church would come when I needed
the church to be there for me – at
When we moved to Corbin, the first
Sunday we were there, my parents
joined the church and I stood with
them. I learned how friendly and
inclusive the church could be. We
were taken in and made a part
from the first day we were there.
First Christian in Corbin took me to
Camp WaKonDaHo where I had
more fun than you can imagine.
I learned it is o.k. to laugh till
you can’t breathe and be able to
call it holy.
Once, I quit going to youth group.
Don’t know why. But a weekend
Youth minister named Steve Miller,
woke me up one Saturday morning
by stopping by the house, just to tell
me I was missed. I learned the church
would rescue me when I drifted away.
The rest is history.
Steve was unapologetic and radical
in his faith. He took Jesus at his
word about love, reconciliation,
joy and so much more.
I learned we could talk about
absolutely anything at church.
His opinions and theological views
were fresh and most made a lot of
sense to me. I needed to know there
was somewhere to go where I could
talk about anything.
There were names of pastors who
touched my life or indirectly the life
of my family named Russell, McCuddy,
Huie, Dudley, Wolfe, Ryle, Fisher,
Wise, VanNostrand and Lawrenson.
They were people of faith, kind and of
good humor. They took their work
seriously, but themselves not so much.
The church was there when Susan and I
were married at First Baptist, Somerset,
by Taylor and Gates. The community
showed up as well.
The church stood by us with a fund for
Chad when he needed surgery, served
food and offered comfort when mom
and dad died. Dad’s pastor was there
waiting when I arrived after
mom had died. Dozens of people from
First Christian, Paris, came all the way
to Somerset for the visitation and funeral.
In the eighties, people drove 10 hours to
Birmingham just to be with us on the day
of his serious surgeries. I will never forget that.
The church paid for most all of my
Seminary expenses through scholarships.
I have been fortunate to serve churches
where many people live their faith,
pray for guidance as leaders, approach
controversy attempting to respect both
sides and make decisions carefully and
My grandfather Smith was a resident of
and received great care at a Christian
Care Communities facility, supported
by the church.
My dad was an elder, my mom a
The church introduced me to a book
I now cherish for the richness and
relevance of its message.
I was allowed to become a part of the
ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ
through the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ) in the United States
and Canada and through the support
of First Christian, Somerset, and the
Christian Church in Kentucky.
My best and most trusted friends have
come through association with the church.
I attended Transylvania,
a church related college.
The church has given me the tools to lead
a good and fulfilling life.
I will serve Jesus Christ, through the church,
with my time, talent and money until I
take my last breath.
Come celebrate Pentecost with us this Sunday!
Moving to the deeper places,