185th Success!

185 years of ministry has successfully been celebrated!

     We gathered this past Sunday to open our doors to friends, family, and visitors from our church's past as well as greet friends and neighbors of today. The Mayor issued a proclamation, we celebrated our church's heritage of outreach in the community by presenting a donation to Cathy Boone, representing our local YMCA chapter and we worshiped joyfully a God of everlasting love whose presence knows no end at First Christian Church, Paris. It truly was a beautiful day, in spite of threatening weather–which gave us the good fortune of staying at bay while we enjoyed a full day of festivities.

     I was blessed throughout the day with smiles, laughter and sounds of joy echoing throughout our building and carried on the wind across the parking lot and church lawn. I was more blessed by the many contributors who joined together in the praying and planning process that started many, many weeks ago and culminated in a week-long process of flurried activities throughout the church. Here are just a few of the ways in which we pulled together to make this event a blessing for the entire community:

  • Day after day church members came in to help cover the phones, greet visitors and help publish church newsletters and bulletins–thank you Ruth Miller, Kay Denniston, Patty Fuller, Sharon Fields, Jim Lovell, and George Kissick
  • Many members dropped in and gave of their time to clean and organize the church for all our anticipated guests or to paint/repair items for the event–thank you Bettie Ritchie, Marie Smart, Burl Lovell, Linda McFarland, Susie Miller, Jim Lovell, George Kissick, Tabitha Parker, Sue McCracken, Andrew Sexe, Joan Ewalt, Ruth Miller and Jeff Bell
  • Dedicated people met week after week to plan and process all the activities that needed coordinating–thank you Jeff Bell, George Kissick, Clotine Kissick, Paula Marcum, Warren Hickman, Bonnie Sousley, Linda McFarland, Bob Parker, Jeff Miller, Christian Education Team, Tech Team and Worship Team, and Dianne Stubblefield
  • Many gave of their time to find volunteers to make sure we covered all contingencies for the event–thank you Ashley Norris, Melody Smart, Ruth Miller, Linda Herzog, Barbara Hawkins, Laura Clark, George Kissick, Jeff Bell, Bob Parker, Travis Cook and Jeff Bell
  • Many people stories and artifacts from our church's rich history in the community–thank you Bettie Ritchie, Frances Feeback, Margaret Honaker, Bob and Edna Thompson, Henry and Joann Hanna, and all the ladies of the June Stanley and Tinder-Harris Circles
  • Several offered up donations of money, soft drinks, hot dogs, hot dog buns, apples, baked goods and lots and lots of time to the event–thank you Disciples Men's group, Disciples Women's group, Green Team, World & Community Outreach Team, Travis Cook (Save-A-Lot), Ken's Market, Kay Denniston, Bob Parker, George and Clotine Kissick and Jeff Bell
  • Lots of talented musicians came together to share their gifts for a full afternoon of great quality entertainment–thank you Eric Horine (and Crystal ?–Eric's singing partner, I'm sorry, but I don't know her last name), Myra Miller, Betsy Whitt, Travis Cook and Bob Parker
  • And so very many of you gave of your time at the event to serve up food, memorialize the event in photos, hand out prizes and greet children at our games, circulate and make friends with our visitors and just give freely of yourselves for a great day of fun and fellowship–thank you Joseph Sievers (Clown Extraordinaire!), Mac McCracken, Greg Smart, Barbara Hawkins, Joe Jones, Jeff Miller, John and Melissa Buchanan, Walter and Amy Hertzenberg, Jordan Sexe, Laura Clark, Andrew Sexe, Patty Caswell, Minnie Fryman, Judy Morris, Linda Herzog, Melody Smart, Kristy Horine, Haley Smart, Tabitha Parker, Sarah Jones, Ruth Miller, and likely many more than I can name or recall.

In all honesty, a huge thank you should be issued for dozens of individuals for hundreds of hours of dedicated time but there are a few names that are repeated over and over on this list and for those individuals I am eternally grateful and cherish the time we worked together in the weeks leading up to such a day of great joy. It is times like these that assure us God is truly active in the life of this congregation and its people.