Sunday at First Baptist

March 5, 2006

Today I filled the pulpit at the First Baptist Church of Tupelo. The church is currently without a pastor, and I was asked to preach today and also next Sunday morning. In the two morning services I spoke on “If I Believe, Why Do I Doubt?” and in the evening service I spoke on “God’s Providence” from the life of Joseph.
First Baptist is the oldest church in Tupelo, having been founded some 150 years ago. The original building was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Marlene and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. At one point, she turned to me and said, “I like these people.” The congregation was warm and friendly and made us feel very welcome. I also enjoyed getting to know several of the staff pastors. It’s obvious that the church is doing well during this interim period.
As for my part, I felt right at home in the pulpit. During the evening service, which was more informal, I used the entire front of the sanctuary to set up a timeline of Joseph’s life. I actually heard someone say “Amen!” when I finished telling the story. Afterwards someone remarked that I was talking a mile a minute during that part of the sermon. Someone else chimed in and said, “You had a lot of ground to cover.” When I said I would slow down a bit next Sunday, a woman spoke up and said, “Just be yourself and bring the message God lays on your heart.” That put a smile on my face. I prayed that God would help me preach the messages I needed to hear, and it seemed as if the Lord answered that prayer and then some, judging by the responses from many people.

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