Yesterday, we celebrated 65 years of God’s faithfulness in and through the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. Our guest speaker was Paul Felix, who is a professor at The Master’s Seminary and the president of the Los Angeles Bible Training School. Prof. Felix delivered a challenging and powerful message from 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15, calling on us to heed the six exhortations in those two verses, that we might be a “healing community.” Stellar preaching! He also led a mass study during our Sunday School hour, calling on us to make a new/deeper commitment to personal Bible Study. I was personally helped, convicted, and devastaded by the messages. I praise God for Prof. Felix and his commitment to the Lord Jesus and the word of God. It was truly a great day!

Following is the little article I wrote for our bulletin this past weekend:

Today, we celebrate the sixty-five years of God’s faithfulness in, to, and through the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. Over six decades, with only three pastors, the Lord has used this local congregation as a sign, a herald, and a foretaste of his present but not-yet kingdom. And many lives have been changed to the glory of God. It’s amazing to me. Just this year alone, as I have ministered across the city and around the country, I keep meeting people whose lives have been dramatically impacted by Christ through the witness and ministry of Mt. Sinai. Of course, many people fondly remember the ministry of my father and predecessor, H.B. Charles, Sr. But I also hear the names of so many other members of this congregation – deacons, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and others – who have been used by God to touch lives. To God be the glory!

In Joshua 4, the Lord commanded Joshua to erect a stone memorial at Gilgal, so that the present and future generations would not forget how the mighty hand of God brought the children of Israel over the Jordan River and into the promised land of Canaan. This reminds us that it is important to remember the times, ways, and people God has used to bring us to where we are. So let us stop today and praise God together for God unwavering and continued faithfulness to MSMBC. We praise God alone because, although he has used different people to plant and water the seed, God alone has given the increase.

But let us not just look back today; look around. God is not through with us yet. Most of those who have played such a pitivol role in the development of this congregation have moved off the scene. But the Lord has raised up new models, ministers, and messengers to carry on the witness of the church. And it is a great joy for me to have the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus in and among the wonderful congregation of saints at Mt. Sinai. Indeed, we have a long way to go in our process to maturity. Be I am convinced we are going in the right direction. We are a church that is committed to winning more Christians and developing better Christians to the glory of God. Prayer and the ministry of the word are our primary tools. And a very real and growing bond of peace and love is evident among us. So let’s look forward with faith and hope. In the days and years to come, as leaders and locations may change, may our mission remain the same: changed lives! Together, let’s claim new territory for the kingdom of God with confidence that the one who has begun a good work in us will complete it on the day of Jesus Christ.