Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Revived again

Last night we wrapped up a four-day revival that celebrated our homecoming here at Bible Baptist Church. We brought in Dr. Ray Stagno from Staten Island, NY, to preach the revival. The astute reader and rememberer will recall that I worked as assistant pastor for Dr. Stagno for about three and a half years before moving down here.

The services went extremely well. We had more children on the bus Sunday than any week since I've been here, and there were several professions of faith made over the weekend. The Spanish S.S. class had a record nine in attendance. Dr. Stagno's messages (Five Essentials for a Quality Christian Life) were quite well received.

Although I'm not big on being nervous, the services going well allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. This was the first actual revival I'd scheduled since becoming pastor, and so my choice of speakers and the way the services went were bound to be under a little scrutiny, even if it was unconscious.

It was good to see an old friend and to talk about the people and places we have in common. It was also a bit amusing to see someone born and raised in NYC down here in Burgaw, NC. Although people are basically the same everywhere, in a lot of ways, those are two different worlds. Fortunately, God is the same, no matter what accent you wear on your speech, and His Word hasn't changed, even for those who root for the Yankees instead of the Braves. (As it happens, I pull for neither, but I'm ashamed to admit my team after the close of this year's season! Good thing the Giants are doing well in football -- I was set for all kinds of humiliation if they had kept on the way they started.)

I've got an open invitation to go preach at South Baptist, where it appears Dr. Stagno plans to remain as pastor for a while yet, and we'll have to get back up there sometime to see the rest of our friends and remind our daughter of the place she lived for a time, before she forgets completely.


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