This past Sunday at EBC marked a major moment of renewal and vision for our church family. God allowed us to dedicate a new sign for His glory! It was a moment of celebration, worship, and rededication of our campus. We are asking God to renew His work of preaching the gospel, loving Jesus, loving the lost, and loving one another in this healthy church body.
Thirteen months ago, when our family pulled onto the hill at 296 New Britain Ave. in our well-packed vehicles, we began by faith what we believe will be a long and fruitful ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church. We didn’t come with a “plan B” in mind. We came to stay. I came to Emmanuel to die here—hopefully later than sooner. 🙂
Even before arriving, God very clearly spoke through His Word to my heart. He told me to lead this church family to restore this property for His work. It was falling apart. In many ways, it still is, but progress is happening every week to reverse that process. Through the story of Hezekiah’s revival, God said, “Re-light the lamps, repair the doors, build a team of leaders, lead the people to give willingly, invite others into the vision, and restore the work of my house.”
Initially there was no church staff team. There was no designated funds for the restoration work. God’s direction was clear, and so we prayed, we labored, and we waited on God. He placed three areas of our property very clearly on my heart—the platform (where His Word goes forth), the lobby (where guests are welcomed for the first time), and the sign (where the community drives by all day.) The platform is the focal point of teaching and preaching the Word. The lobby is the focal point of community and fellowship. The sign is the “face” of the church to the community.
Thirteen months later, we rejoice in God’s early provision. While the needs are still great, the progress is also wonderful! The point of this post is to simply share that the hand of God still moves, still provides, and still blesses people of faith. In the past ten months, the church family has given above and beyond! They have excelled in faith and vision. They have shared the dream and engaged obediently in forward faith! I’m honored to serve with them! They truly are amazing, wonderful people who have responded to God’s leading with great anticipation and expectation. It is a wonderful delight to see them honor God and obey Him. With each special offering, we have taken immediate and intentional steps to invest into restoration work.
This past week, we gathered on the hillside, cut the ribbon, unveiled the new sign, and dedicated it to God’s glory. Our EBC teens (who individually gave over half the funds for the sign remodel) all gathered around to unveil the sign for the church family. Gathered on the hillside were dozens and dozens of long-time members and new believers—together, sharing in a moment of wonderful victory and blessing. The doors are repaired. The lights are bright. The staff team is growing. The work is being set in order. The gospel is being preached. Lost souls are coming to Christ. And God is being glorified.
It’s an amazing thing to see God do this—IN SPITE of us! He delights in doing a work that is beyond our ability, beyond our strength, beyond our means—and that is exactly what He’s doing at EBC. This truly is “the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!” Pray for us!
Thank you EBC family for obeying God, investing into the vision, and honoring Him through your faith!
PS—The pastor’s name on the sign is not removable… it’s engraved! Yes… that means you are stuck with me! 🙂