Well, our Forty and Forward day came and went with last week’s celebration! What a great and auspicious occasion it was, celebrating the success of so many years of work for the Lord in Buford, Georgia. 715 attended the Sunday morning worship assembly. A greater portion of that group stayed and enjoyed a delicious barbeque meal afterward. It was truly another “red-letter” day at Buford church of Christ.
There is really no way to express the depth of thanksgiving we all felt as we heard the story of Buford from Jimmy Miller. Seeing Bob Elliott stand before the congregation to officiate at the Lord’s table knowing he had done the same thing the first Sunday of our meeting forty years ago in the basement of he and Carol’s house; this was a moment of surreal thanksgiving no one there will ever forget. The beautiful prayer led by brother Jack Burch from the congregation in Moulton, Alabama that helped our work here get off the ground, both hands-on and financially in those early days, was most uplifting. I had the honor of talking about where we are as a congregation with our vast amount of activity, and Todd Newman so capably represented the elders in centering our minds on the future. It was a beautiful worship service with our eight current elders serving the Lord’s Supper, past elders Jim Freeman and Bob Hogan reading Scriptures, Gene Cloer making the announcements, and long-time member Randy Hogan leading singing.
It would be nearly impossible to enlist here the names of everyone who made that day unforgettable. But, there are a few people, other than those mentioned above, who must be acknowledged for their part in its planning and execution. Lyle Owens was the elder whose charge it was to plan the day. He appointed a committee of men including Brad Bradshaw, Ken Lollar, and Brian Strickland whose task it was to pull it all together. These men have worked together for over a year to plan the success we all enjoyed. They came up with a special logo and supplied historical tidbits that appeared in our weekly news magazine. They contacted speakers, organized the appreciation plaque that was presented to Bob and Carol Elliott, prearranged advertisement, the meal, the interviews with the members, video presentation, and so much more. Many thanks go to the Richard Brown family and team for their catering and serving of our delicious meal. It was a perfect feast for a perfect occasion. Special thanks go to John Owens for designing the logo and street sign. Thanks are extended to Ken Lollar, Scott White, Charlie Boyd and others for interviews and production of the video that was distributed to every family in attendance. Our office staff did an outstanding job with communication through media. Again, it would be impossible to enlist all the names of people who worked so hard to make this a special day. All in attendance made it so unique and enjoyable.
We came away from the day with a sense of excitement, and with it a challenge. The “Forward” part of our “Forty & Forward” celebration charges us with the sense that the work is not done. The Kingdom of God is a forward moving army of Christian people set for the defense and implementation of the gospel of Christ! Thus, our work is yet before us, and as a reminder from the Lord, “ . . .The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2 ESV) This charge is one that we who are saved are charged to carry. We are those laborers that the early members of this congregation, the Moulton, Alabama brethren, and others prayed for all those years ago. May we ever increase our sense of appreciation for all that has been done in the past, and continue building upon the foundation that was laid in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11.