A visiting preacher recently asked me how long I had been preaching for the Buford church of Christ. Telling him that Jenny and I were in our ninth year here, he quickly responded, “Do you realize you have been here nearly a quarter of the years this church has been in existence?” Of course, I had not considered that, but he was right. Forty years! For forty years the Lord’s “city set on a hill” in Buford, Georgia has not been hidden. During these years she has been a beacon of the hope of the gospel to the people of this community, our state, and to many of the nations of the world.
Considering the forty years of this church’s existence causes many thoughts to stir within those who have been a part of it for all this time. One of the first things that comes to mind is how this church has withstood the tests of time. The Lord’s church has been around since its humble, but powerful beginning in the first century in Jerusalem, as mentioned in Acts 2. Every congregation that has been established, down through the ages, has had the promise of God’s protection when people sought to do His will. However, the devil is just as real today as he was then. Many congregations down through the ages lie in ruins because of the work of the devil. This forty-year-old congregation stands today because God has helped feeble, but faithful, people maintain its presence. The devil has sought to have his way, and still does, but Christ has helped His church in Buford to withstand the fiery darts of the devil all these years. If she stands another forty it will be so because of the same scenario—a faithful Savior working among faithful people.
The second thing that comes to mind is blessings. Buford church of Christ has been blessed with a rich and full history of growth and development of people. The membership here has long believed in the relevance of the Bible in every aspect of life. From infant to senior adult a steady influence of God’s word has been important to every member. A good Bible School program has been a viable part of this development since the very beginning, and will continue to be so for generations to come.
We are blessed with a good leadership here. Since the earliest days that an eldership has been in place, the church has benefitted from several good men dedicated to the cause of Christ. They have lived their lives, and served this congregation in ways that onlookers have continued to be impressed. Similarly, the body of deacons serving this church have the utmost respect of the membership. We are blessed, overwhelmingly, by the high level of participation from among the entire church family here. While most churches have less than 20% of the congregation doing 80% of the work, the numbers are much higher at Buford. People here believe in work! Thus, we are blessed in so many ways.
The third thing that this writer thinks of is our bright and exciting future. With every day that passes, there is a temptation among people to rest on their laurels. It would be impossible to summarize the accomplishments of forty years of work here. But, if we could, we might be tempted to spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back, for there have been many, many accomplishments. However, this is not the kind of work where satisfaction is ever to be found in what we have done. Our love for God, our thanksgiving for Christ, and our knowledge revealed in the Bible by the Holy Spirit, spurs us on to greater and greater things. Like the old song implies, we WANT to be workers for the Lord! As we acknowledge our accomplishments today, may we serve our King of kings and Lord of lords with a renewed vigor for years and years to come!