Yesterday marked a milestone for me. After being in Macon for almost two years, I joined the First Baptist Church of Christ. Why such a delay in finding a new church home? I have asked myself that question many times.
The delay wasn’t about the new church. I was attracted to that church instantly, and it is a good place for me to grow spiritually. My extreme hesitation was about my previous church, New Millennium Church in Little Rock.
Some of the most life-giving days of my ministry were spent serving with New Millennium as Minister of Worship. But there was much more about New Millennium that captured my heart. For you see, the grace-filled, loving people of New Millennium kept vigil with me during my very serious year of illness. They prayed me to health; they brought food for us every week; they brought communion to my living room when I was still too weak to move.
I grieved for almost two years after leaving my pastor, friend and colleague in ministry, Wendell Griffen. I grieved the loss of the people of New Millennium, and I simply could not open my heart to another congregation. It was most certainly an emotional attachment, a deeply spiritual attachment that I simply could not bear to replace.
The page did turn for me. I opened my heart to a new people on Sunday. They welcomed me with joy and love. But New Millennium will still be in my heart, probably forever.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart . . .
– Philippians 1:3-7 New International Version (NIV)