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FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART September 18,2023

For the boy “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road,” family gatherings were a big deal! Since his father was the youngest of seven sons and his mother was one of eleven children, a reunion of either bunch meant a huge crowd of people. It might be a simple barbecue and burgers dinner or a major fish fry, but food took second place to family.

The DGR kid just enjoyed running around and playing with his cousins. In those days, we didn’t sit inside and watch television or stare at a video screen. We were too busy using our imaginations to invent our own fun adventures. As we got older, the thrill of BB guns added to our enjoyment. There was that time when my older cousin accidentally shot me in the leg, but I worked that for all it was worth to get candy from him and my brother. Then, I told on them anyway!

I had a special kind of family reunion this weekend, attending the 175th Anniversary of Whitehaven Baptist Church. This was my first place of service in Memphis, when I came there as Associate Pastor in October of 1984. I served this great church for three years, alongside my dear friend and brother, Pastor Jim Meredith. We made some special friends and I learned a great deal during those years. I am grateful for Pastor Terry Coleman, who is currently serving as their interim pastor. It was a blessing to be able to reconnect with so many dear saints at this gathering, as I attended the fellowship time after preaching at Cordova Baptist Church.

We have another special family reunion in store for next weekend. Sandy and I will be traveling to Murfreesboro to celebrate the tenth birthday of our granddaughter, Charlee Kate. Even more special is the fact that I am going to be able to baptize her on her birthday, while we are there at their home church of New Vision Baptist. Preaching in my absence will be Bro. John Yarbrough. He recently retired as pastor of Balmoral Baptist Church. John’s grandmother, Mrs. Virginia Riley, was a longtime member of CBC. He attended VBS here with her as a youngster. So, this will be a kind of reunion for him, as well. I know that you will be blessed by his message and he will be blessed by sharing this time with all of you.

As I often tell people, we have a family reunion at Cordova Baptist Church every Sunday. It thrills my heart to see the loving response of our people to our visitors, as well. While we view each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, it is nice to see some of our “cousins” in Christ join us for worship. I may not be with you in body next Sunday, but I will be with you in my heart and in my prayers! May our Father get all the glory!

Serving in love, Bro. Jim


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