Long Haul Preacher

September 2, 2006

On Thursday night I began speaking for a Homecoming Revival at Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church, located on a hill overlooking a country road, not far from Batesville, Mississippi. The way things worked out, I am driving back and forth from our cabin, 180 miles each night. That means we will be driving approximately 720 miles this weekend. I preached on Thursday night to 55-60 people. Last night we had a few more. But those numbers tell only part of the story. Most of the people who attend the church live on one of the country roads that wind through this area. The pastor, Wes Sherman, has been at the church for six years, and it is obvious that he loves his people. Each night we begin the service with a chorus by the choir. Then Pastor Wes encourages us to greet each other with a hug. He also leads the children’s message later in the service. After the sermon and the invitation, we make a large circle around the sanctuary, join hands, and sing “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Various Sunday School classes prepare dinner each night at 5:45 PM before the service starts at 7 PM. We had fried chicken on Thursday night, ham last night and barbecue tonight. After the service tomorrow morning, we’re having “dinner on the grounds.” Dave Jones, the minister of music from Anchor Baptist Church in Oxford, has done a fine job leading the music each night. The youth ensemble (three girls and three or four guys) sang for us tonight. All in all, we’re having a fine time. The services have an informal, friendly feeling to them, and I have enjoyed preaching each night.

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