Our current pastor, Rev. W. Reid Hankins was ordained and installed at our church on January 11, 2008 after his candidating process with the church through much of 2007.
However, his first visit to the church was actually years earlier on January 16, 2000. Yes, that’s 21 years ago to the date of this post! You can note this from the attached snapshot from the church guest register. At the time, he was traveling from Southern California to visit the woman who would eventually become his wife, whom you will note visited the church herself for the first time the Sunday before.
Besides being an interesting bit of history, the bigger fact presented in this snapshot of the church’s historic guest register is that our congregation’s ministry over these fifty years also includes all the guests who pass through. While we are thankful for the many God has brought into our church who eventually go on to become long-time members, we are also thankful for the visitors God brings to us for just a short time, or maybe even just one Sunday. Over fifty years, this represents a great number of visitors that have been a recipient of our church’s ministry. This is a reminder of the ministry of hospitality that God calls Christians to, that in Christ’s name we would welcome in love those who visit the church (Hebrews 13:2). It is also a reminder that we ought to make the most of every opportunity to share Christ and the gospel to whomever would visit us, for we never know if someone who visits our church will return the next week (Ephesians 5:16, 1 Corinthians 9:19).
May we each be renewed in the call to serve as hosts in showing hospitality and in sharing the gospel to those who visit our congregation!