Young people are making professions of faith
Who is the hero of your story?
As the pastor of Chestnut Grove United Methodist Church in King NC, we as a congregation can say together that God is our hero. On May 24, 2017 a tornado ripped through our community. We are so blessed no one was killed. I was in the church building with children from our after school, our staff and some women from our community that came seeking shelter and our son who was on duty with Stokes County Sheriff’s office. All of our phones were going off with the emergency tones. We took shelter in the basement of the church. The storm hit and in moments it was over. The smell of fresh pine filled the air. We were all safe. The church was not harmed. We were not harmed. In doing a short walk around the church right after the storm, we could see trees down on every side of the church property. It was like God lifted the tornado right over us to protect us. We were saved!
Over the coming days the Chestnut Grove community would prove that we are blessed to be a blessing. Hundreds of hours were given to help neighbors, some who had lost their homes and their possessions. The community pulled together. Agencies and churches cooperated to look for unmet needs to try to make sure people had food and water until they could get back on their feet. Volunteers came from all over our state to help cut trees that were down on homes and blocking roads and driveways. We want to thank the community for walking with us through the days after tornado to help us help our neighbors.
The spiritual fruit of pulling together and putting the Lord first in all we do is taking center stage. On October 22, 2017, we had 14 people make professions of faith on confirmation Sunday. In our 150 year history, our church has not experienced a day like this before. God spared us from the tornado, strengthened us to lead and serve during the disaster in our community, and then God has blessed us with giving our young people a spiritual hunger that has made the hands of God so plain, we wanted to share just a little of our story.
If the church does one great thing, we might be tempted to take credit. The magnitude of the work that God is doing in the life of our church is so great, we can only point up! We are putting God first. Giving credit where credit is due. We want to let our whole community know, we are sure God is our hero. We are grateful and amazed. We continue to help rebuild with our neighbors. Our youth are being transformed to want the Lord like never before. We are looking up! To see the hand of God at work in such powerful ways is undeniable. These are great days. Who is the hero of your story? The Lord gets our praise.
We are praying for those in Texas who have been impacted by the church shooting this past Sunday during their 11am worship service. Our hearts grieve with those who grieve. We pray for the survivors, for the community, for this pastor, for this church, to know the comfort and power of God in their time of need.
The Rev. Dr. Eveyln Lemons is the pastor of Chestnut Grove UMC in King, NC