“Remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears…. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel…. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’….” (Acts 20:31-35)
I wonder how it would be to stand before a group of elders and tell them of the 13+ years I served the Lord at the First Baptist Church of Kenner, or the 3+ years before that at the Church in Charlotte. Or the 12+ years prior to that at the Church in Columbus, Mississippi.
Could I get it right? Would I be prone to brag or exaggerate? Or to omit and gloss over?
This Spring, I returned to Greenville, Mississippi, where we pastored Emmanuel Baptist Church as our first congregation after seminary. We had never spent any time in Mississippi prior to this and knew absolutely nothing about life in the Delta, particularly in the late 1960s when racial unrest was at its height. Greenville lies only a few miles west of the birthplace of the (white) Citizens Council.
We served in Greenville from November 1967 through December of 1970. Three years and two months. Not long by most standards. But looking back and reminiscing, I am amazed at all the things that took place in that brief time. Consider….