60 Years Of Service

Its hard to believe that here in the year 2010, Fair Haven Baptist Church the church that I have the privilege and honor of leading is turning 60! Beginning in 1950, Fair Haven was originally a group of people who left a church called "Ruby Avenue Baptist Church" when they began to realize that the direction the church was going was away from the Word of God, rather than growing closer to it. So after realizing the fallacies of the church, they left Ruby Avenue and began to meet in the living room of one of the charter members of the church. It was then in 1950 that the sanctuary and first floor portion of the church building were complete and the church family began to meet in the building.

Since that time there have been only a small number of pastors that have pastored the church, and God has given me the opportunity to follow in the line of pastors.

When Fair Haven Baptist Church began the church's motto which still stands today was "We Preach Christ - Buried-Risen-And Coming Again" the focus was on the life, death, burial, resurrection and coming again of our Savior, and rightly so. We are told from God's Word that we are to be ready at any time to give an account for our beliefs (I Peter 3:15), and not only that, but we are to preach the WHOLE counsel of God's Word (Acts 20:27). There are many churches in the world today that cater to people's feelings rather than the truth of God's Word. The Bible in fact has warned us that people will begin to have itching or tickling ears (2 Tim. 4:13). They want to hear funny stories, and feel good messages about how God wants us rich, or healthy and successful. Does God want us happy? Yes, but not because we are millionaires, but rather because we have learned to be content in all things.

This year marking our 60th anniversary though, I'm contemplating on adding something to our motto. Maybe it will last beyond my time as pastor here at Fair Haven and maybe not, but I think the additive would be helpful and correct as well. I have considered changing the motto to "Fair Haven Baptist Church...Preaching Christ and Answering the Call." What do I mean by "answering the call?" I mean a variety of things. Realizing that we are commanded to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19-20), realizing the our lives have been commanded to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2) realizing that we are a chosen priesthood a chosen generation (I Peter 2:9), realizing that we are called to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourselves." (Mark 12:30-31) and so on. I believe that we are to preach Christ, and I believe that with all my heart, but there is more to this Christian life than just preaching Christ. We are also called to live like Christ. Ephesians 5:1 encourages us to be "imitators of Christ as dear children". We imitate by mimicking.

My 15 month old daughter is starting to mimic my wife and I. Often when my wife or I drop something on the ground we will say, "Uh-Oh." Well our daughter has caught on to that,and has also learned the short phrase of "Uh-Oh". In fact, just yesterday she was using it, maybe not in the way it was meant to be used...but she was correct in what she said. :) Sitting in her high chair with her pacifier she would take it out of her mouth, look at it, throw it on the floor, and then stair over the edge of her chair at the pacifier on the floor. She would then look at my wife and I and say, "Uh-Oh." She was mimicking my wife and I! Just as dear children mimic their parents and others they see, we as Christians ought to mimic and imitate Jesus Christ.

To answer the call means to live out the life that God has called us to live out. The Christian life is not just about "Preaching Christ" which is very important, but we are also instructed to be disciples, and be constantly learning and growing and living out the commands of our Savior. May it be true of Fair Haven Baptist Church in 2010 that we are "Preaching Christ and answering the call".