I am in Little Rock, preaching the “Vision Conference 2006” for Pastor Robert Townsend and the St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church. And you can call me “The Rainman.” It has been raining much of the past week or so in Los Angeles. And I came here expecting it to be very cold. But when I arrived yesterday, it was in the seventies. My son called me and told me it was raining. I laughed and told him the sun was shining here. But I might have spoke to soon. When I woke up this morning and opened the shades, their was rain on the ground. So I have concluded that I must be the “Rainman.” I think it’s following me around.
Last night was a good opening night. I flew all day and arrived in Little Rock in the afternoon. I had lunch with Pastor Townsend. And when I got to the room, I didn’t have much time before I needed to begin to get myself ready for church. The service was warm and the congregation was receptive to my preaching. I did this meeting last year, so I think some of the people present remembered me from last year. So they willing to wait for me to get where I was going. I trust they were helped by the message.
Pastor Robert Townsend is a good man. He is two years older than I am. But he seems to have a lot more maturity than his age would suggest. Sometimes, as he is talking I forget that I am talking to a young man. (I wonder if that’s how people feel when they talk to me.). I really do appreciate his humility, kindness, and authenticity. I don’t like a lot of pretense. So I feel right at home around him. And he is doing a great work here in Little Rock. He pastors the church his father served (another thing we have in common). And his father, now retired, is there assisting him. And he is presently leading the church in a capital stewardship campaign, with the goal of becoming totally debt-free in the next three years. The congregation meets in a beautiful facility that is a little over ten-years old. There is plenty of parking. And they also use their old facility, which is on the other side of the parking lot, for their youth ministries. Pastor Townsend is even the president of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Little Rock. Wow! I am still in shock about that one. And he is a strong preacher. I have not heard him in person before. But when I was here last year, he gave me a several tapes from the series he was preaching. They were all very good messages. So I know that his congregation is not starving for preaching. But I do hope that the Lord will use my preaching to further nourish this wonderful congregation this week.