Sunday, June 03, 2012
The E-Free Water Boys
Those years represent the 75 year history of the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church. While most churches that have been in existence for 75 years are in decline, the Gaylord E-Free Church is still being blessed by and used of God in a powerful way here in Gaylord, Michigan.
This past Sunday we had a "75th Anniversary Moment" at E-Free as we invited back Pastor Chuck Warren and his wonderful wife, Gerri. They joined Pastor Jim Mathis and his wife, Joan, along with myself and my wife, Laura. Pastor Warren (pictured far right above) was the Sr Pastor of our church from 1975-1987. Following his ministry came Pastor Jim Mathis (pictured far left above) who led our ministry from 1987-2011. I (pictured in the middle above which I guess makes me the proverbial "rose between two thorns") have now been the Lead Pastor of the Gaylord E-Free Church for just the past 14 months. Between the 3 of us we represent the past 37 years of pastoral leadership here at Gaylord E-Free.
What a thrill and a privilege it was for me to share the stage with these two wonderful men on Sunday and to spend lunch together as couples afterwards (couples pictured below). I am excited about what God is doing in and through Gaylord E-Free today, 75 years after its beginning. And I am even more excited about what the future looks like for our church. I believe the best is yet to come for our ministry. I really do. But I never want us to forget our history and our legacy. Nor do I ever want us to forget the wonderful men of God and their wives who poured into this ministry in a pastoral role.
As I thought about being with Pastor Warren and Pastor Jim this past Sunday, I was reminded that the only title that really characterizes the three of us perfectly is the title, "WATER BOYS!" When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he stated that some men plant the seed and other men water the seed but that only God causes the growth. So for the past 37 years what did the three lead pastors at E-Free do? They did nothing more that serve as "water boys." Over the past 37 years the three of us continued to plant new seed while watering the seed that men before us had already planted. And any and all growth that has taken place isn't because of any of us or any of the men who came before us - only God causes the growth! Only God gets the credit! Only He deserves the glory.
Thank you Pastor Warren and Gerri!
Thank you Pastor Jim and Joan!
But most of all...Thank you, God!