We Are About Relationships
It was Pentecost Sunday, June, 7, 1987, when a group of faithful disciples walked down Franklin Road from Brentwood to an open field where a tent was set up for worship. It was the first gathering of a congregation that was to be called Christ United Methodist Church. The congregation gathered for worship every Sunday evening throughout the summer until the frost came. Then they began worshiping at the Baptist Children’s Home and later at Brentwood High School until they were ready to move into a new church building at 508 Franklin Road.
That was twenty-five years ago. It’s hard to believe how much this congregation has grown in faith, in ministry and in numbers since that first Sunday in 1987. We have so much to be grateful for and so much to celebrate! God has done great things through this congregation, and God has many more plans for our future together.
On Sunday, May 20, we will be celebrating our past, present and future as a congregation. We will have a “Twenty-fifth Anniversary Party” at 9:45 on that Sunday. We’ll gather in the Fellowship Hall for food and fun, so plan to bring a brunch dish to share. We might even have a birthday cake to share. All of our former pastors have been invited to come and celebrate with us, and we’ll have a chance to hear some of their stories and memories.
In worship on that day our current District Superintendent, Dr. John Collett, will be preaching and will help us to confirm a group of young people who have been studying, praying and serving together all year in our confirmation class. Rumor has it that we might even welcome our 1000th member on that day! I hope you plan to be there and be part of this great moment in our history as a congregation.
Now, here’s another piece of the story—my own personal piece. It was the summer of 1988, and I had just finished my sophomore year of college. In the winter of that year I had felt God calling me into ministry—or at least as far as seminary. I talked with my parents about it, and my father encouraged me to talk with Rev. Buddy Benedict, whom my dad had known for many years. When I called Buddy, he told me he was part of a “new church start,” and he invited me to meet with him at his office. He gave me the address, and when I arrived I found myself at a construction site. It was an open field, and Buddy’s office was a “portable” on site. The address was 508 Franklin Road.
I had no idea that twenty-five years later I would be part of this congregation, that I would be one of the pastors called to serve in this very church. I had no idea the loving, generous, open and faith-filled congregation you would become. How amazing God is! In what beautiful ways does God weave our stories together! As we prepare to celebrate all that God has done in and through Christ UMC, I have to express my gratitude and wonder at being given the privilege of serving alongside you. Thanks be to God for Christ UMC! Now let’s get ready to party on May 20!