Notes from My Final Weekend @ MSMBC

Thank you for praying for me, my family, and Mt Sinai this weekend. The Lord blessed us. It was a long, busy, special weekend. There was a lot of laughter. A lot of tears. A lot of hugs. A lot of pictures. And a lot of farewells. Not good byes. Just farewell for now.

This week, my family and I will be moving to Jacksonville, Florida, to begin a in earnest my new pastorate at the Shiloh Church. But I do not believe I would be able to making this transition and follow the Lord’s leading to this new assignment without the prayerful, grace-filled, and encouraging way Mt. Sinai sent us away with their love. I owe Mt. Sinai a great debt that cannot be measured, much less repaid. The wonderful saints of this great congregation are my family. And I love them. I will miss them. And I won’t stop praying for them.

Thank you, Mt. Sinai, for being you. I am very proud of you. The Lord has done great things in us and through us. And you still have every reason to embrace dreams that are infinitely greater than our wonderful memories!

Saturday afternoon, there was a luncheon to give us an opportunity to fellowship outside of a corporate worship service. It was well attended by both MSMBC members and well-wishers. And it was great to have the opportunity to chat with members and take a lot of pictures. (Hey, send us some of those pictures! You know who you are.) Admittedly, I did not think it was a good idea to have the luncheon. I protested, but the staff insisted. And I am so glad they ignored my objections and went on with their plans. The luncheon was a very encouraging time for me and my family and the church.

Pastor Iverson spoke from the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. I appreciate the sacrifice he made to be with us for the luncheon.

Many of our family members came to worship with us. I was glad to have them there for our final services at Mt. Sinai.

For better than ten years, I have dismissed our congregation from worship services by announcing  God’s blessings on the congregation with the words of the Aaronic Benediction recorded in Numbers 6. I chose this text, verses 22-27, for my final message. I entitled the message, “A Great Blessing for a New Beginning.”

I was prepared to preach. But I was bracing myself for the possibility that I would not be able to great through the material I had prepared. I think I got out the heart of what was needed to say.

I preached hard both services.

I think everyone was spent after the second morning service. I really did not expect many to return for the afternoon service. And, frankly, I was not going to hold it against them if they did not come. It had already been a very taxing weekend But the congregation came out in a great way for the closing service. And it was a good time of worship and fellowship, even as the tears flowed.

My pastor, Dr. Melvin Wade, preached the afternoon service. Oddly, he started preaching and did not call a text or give a title. He just plunged into the story of the providential workings that separated Jacob and Laban. For most of the sermon, which was only about 20 minutes, I sat there wondering where Pas was going with this. I was also riveted as I watched Pas work through this handwritten manuscript, as he preached this text and sermon for the first time. Finally, he got the the end of the story, where Jacob and Laban part ways for the last time. He then asked, “What should we say at a time like this, as the Lord sends H.B. away from us?” He answered with the words of Genesis 31:49: “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from another.” (NKJV).

Again, we took a lot of pictures. I will post some of them over the course of this week.

I grabbed my things and was finally ready to go home for the day. But when I crossed the street to leave, there was a small group standing outside the church. Crystal had started them reminiscing. And by the time I made it across the street, they were ready for impersonations. Boastfully, I claimed how “blessed” I was to pastor there for almost 18 years without one credible impersonation. I guess I spoke 20 minutes too soon. Funny.

The Dallas Cowboys stomped on the Green Bay Packers 27-16. My team is now 3-0.

The Jacksonville Jaguars snatched victory out of the claws of defeat with a last minute field goal to beat the Indiapolis Colts 23-21. What’s going on with the Colts?

Sunday marked another bittersweet farewell. My favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, played their final game at Yankee Stadium, where they have played since 1923. The team will move across the street next season to play in a brand new, billion dollar stadium. The House That Ruth Built will be demolished. A park with be erected in its place.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • The Soul Theologian

    It’s always a blessing to have a new start. I pray they get a godly replacement. And I pray that Florida turns out a great move for you.

    L.A’s loss is Florida’s gain!

  • Rev. Barney

    God be glorified for all that He has done!!!! “Are we there yet?” One things come to mind about your move my brother, It reminds me that we are not to stick our stake in to deep in anyone place because we never know when God is going to call us to move.

    But while you are on assigment there, be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. feed the flock that the Holy Spirit has made you overseer of.

    Stay connected with family, friends and foe if there be any. I will continue to pray for you and your family now and in times to come.

  • Anonymous

    We will miss you Pastor. Hey your choice of sports teams suck! No disrespect pastor Love you much! We will continue to pray for MSMBC and your family.

  • D.A. Thomas

    I know what’s wrong with the Colts! The expectation are too high! Doc, you’re going to be GREATLY missed in this city. Love ya man! I’m already listening on the Internet at Shiloh!

  • Anonymous

    Pastor Charles,

    The body is a reflection of the Head. If the Head is Godly, the body will be Godly and exemplify the attributes of Jesus Christ.
    It would be safe to say a congregation is the relection of it’s Shepherd. God is glorified.

  • Pastor Lance A. Mann

    HB Charles, I am grateful to the Lord Jesus for the manner in which the sweet people of the Mt. Sinai Church gave you and your family the send off fitting of a great Pastor. I am praying for your safe travels and am looking forward to the tremendous growth that God has in store for your ministry at the Shiloh Church.

    Lance

  • Anonymous

    It’s good to hear that your last day was a blessed one. Only HB can move from one Sunshine state to another. Congrats:-) I wish you a Peacefull and Fruitfull Journey in Florida. The good news is your moving closer to the midwest now it want cost us so much to come and see you.

  • Pastor Kevin L. Pullam

    God be praised for His great faithfulness and tender mercy. I have labored in prayer about this transition you and your family are making. I simply could not bring myself to fully imagine the blessing and burden associated with leaving a history that stretches so far and deep. It’s good to know that God has answered the prayers of the righteous and given strength through multiple means. Thank God for the spirit of MSMBC to ascertain that they displayed their unending love, respect and appreciation for you and your family.

    We continue to bid you God’s favor, protection, and guidance.

    Kevin L. Pullam

  • Nicole

    Pastor H.B.,
    I was truly blessed at Sunday morning worship! I bought the cd because I needed to hear it again. I too am praying about a new beginning. Since the church has retired my dad I have had mixed feelings. I am asking God what to do now. Nick and I can’t move to Florida. Please pray for me that I will stay in God’s will and not stray.
    You have to tell us how we can order cd’s from Shiloh. Stay prayed up and on fire for the Lord. Thank you again for all you’ve done for me and Nick. My dad says farewell and God bless. Until me meet again…

  • Anonymous

    Wow! That is Love. The prayers are still going up. To God be the Glory for great things he has done and will continue to do.

    P.S. GO COWBOYS!

  • Clinton Smith

    It was good fellowship and worship Sunday. It was good for me and the family to spend the day at home, something we have not done in a long time. Again, thank you for all you’ve done me and my family with your prayers and support. We love, we will miss, but we never forget you. I pray for smooth travels this week to Jacksonville. See you soon!

  • Pastor Andre’ A. McGhee

    I’m glad you had a great day! Thanks for the praise report. Praying for a smooth transition from California to Florida. Blessings!!!!!!