Pine Forest UMC in Dublin, GA, was a most memorable time of renewal. I was incredibly blessed by the wonderful southern hospitality I received during my time here. The groundwork had been well done by a fantastic committee. They had laid a prayer foundation that was evident throughout the week.
Wayne Burke is a pastor I first met when speaking at a minister’s conference at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is now pastoring Bennett Memorial UMC in Henderson, KY. The church is in a neighborhood that has been in transition for several years. Wayne is doing a great job of helping his congregation find ways to engage the people who surround the church and find ways to minister to their needs. I found a group of people who were working to focus outside of themselves. That is always the way to spiritual health. When we seek to reach out, we are most like Jesus.
About a year ago, I walked up on the porch of the mission house we were staying in in Kumasi, Ghana. There were a couple of guys there I did not recognize, but knew they were from the states. After exchanging a few moments of conversation we got to the question of where we were from. They told me they were from a little town close to W. Lafayette, IN. I asked, “which one”? ”Dayton”, they said. Well, that blew me away. Travel half way around the world and run into people from the church my daughter in law, Holly, was raised in. A church we had already visited in ministry twice. A church we were already scheduled to go back to. Small world.
I understand that my family originally hails from this part of the US. Just a few miles away is the court house in Abbeville, SC, where I have found documents from the 1700′s about my kin folk. Driving around, I couldn’t help but think I was seeing things that my great, great, great, great grandfather had seen. It is a reminder that I stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before.
Main St. is a beautiful church set in the middle of town. It has a long and proud past of standing faithfully for the faith and coming through really hard times with her head held high.
This was a little like going home.
First, I was back in the area Felicia and I lived while I was in Seminary. I had the joy of seeing lots of old friends who came out to the revival services. What a joy it was to see them. One was a gentleman who walked up to me. He was in his 80′s and looked a little familiar. He said, “I’m so glad to see you again. I’ll never forget the day you baptized me.” Sure enough, I remember climbing into a very cold creek in KY and baptizing him. He had come to Christ in one of our revivals at the old Mt. Pisgah church. Then he was in his 40′s. What a joy to know he is still walking with the Lord!
Yes, it’s time to celebrate!
Wesley Putnam Ministries is ready for another year of ministry!
In December we sent out a plea for help. We were in desperate financial straits. In 2012 our love offerings had fallen by 50% and we were seriously questioning whether or not we could continue.
The Good news is