Y’all are blessed. These were the last words from a recent meeting I had with the provost of Erskine Seminary, Leslie Holmes. He and I go way back to my seminary years, where he taught me most of my Practical Ministry courses. He is a Christian man who exhibits wonderful gifts from God, who holds fast to a humility given to him by God, and who utilizes his gifts and humility to see God glorified. As I had lunch with him, he asked, “Jeremiah, can I see Centennial?” He hadn’t had the opportunity yet, so I obliged.
We parked in the parking lot, and as he got out of his car, he exclaimed, “Y’all have a parking lot!” I told him yes, that it was nice to have it. He was ecstatic that we had a place visitors and members alike could park. “Not all downtown churches have a parking lot.” I nodded as I led him to the church house. He stopped with a confused look over at the church building, “We’re not going in?” I told him about how the manse had been changed over to offices for the Staff and minister. As I was telling him about the three downstairs offices and the conference and storage room on the second floor, he interjected, “Did you say, staff?”
I proceeded to tell him about the wonderful staff we have surrounding me, the ministry areas that each of them are focused on, and the excitement I had to see what God has for us moving forward. He was speechless and smiling. We finished lunch in the church house, and I asked if he would like a tour of the church building. He accepted, so off we went across the parking lot, past our shed, church bus, next to our gated nursery building and new playground, and into the library that leads to the fellowship hall. Each of these things he stopped and marveled at.
As we went into the downstairs library, past the utility rooms and downstairs bathrooms and into the fellowship hall proper, he grabbed my arm with excitement. “This is just wonderful!” I showed him the kitchen, which reminded me of the Women of the Church who had just prepared a meal for the family of a deceased member. I began to tell him about the serious and God-glorifying presence of our women in the church and of their study of God’s Word, fellowship, and service.
This led to me speaking on other parts of our church ministry as the tour went on, with me mentioning all the different ministries and opportunities, fellowship, leadership, and resources that we have at Centennial. Children’s ministries, youth, music of all shapes and sizes, Wednesday night opportunities, our camp presence at Bonclarken, a wonderful Session and Diaconate, and more! By this time we had reached our large and beautiful sanctuary. He stopped in his tracks, he grabbed me, and he said with much joy, “Let’s pray to God.” His prayer was one of praise and excitement and wonder at how God blesses his people. As he was leaving, Dr. Holmes looked me in the eye and said these words, “Y’all are blessed!” They’ve stuck with me. I’ve only been here a few months, and I was already assuming on the many blessings with which God has blessed our church.
My dear Centennial family, let’s praise God for what we have and let’s ask God for more. If we ask for His will to be done and all for His glory, do not be surprised when He answers! What’s in store for Centennial in the coming years? Only God knows, but I am excited to see what it will be. We are blessed. My prayer is that we won’t forget that. My prayer is that we will share our testimony with those around us. May it be so! Blessings to you all,