I usually do not write about specific churches in my blog. A stop by a historical small church in the countryside to take a picture gave me something to write about.
My wife Gracie and I decided to take a Sunday drive a couple of weeks ago across the county when we ran across a small church on the outskirts of Aubrey, a small Texas town. Driving past on a small county road we spotted an old church bell hanging in front of the church. We pulled over as Gracie wanted to take a picture of the bell. Later that day we made the decision to take the drive and make a return visit for services the following Sunday.
We arrived at about 9:30 and took part in an adult Sunday School class complete with coffee and donuts. The class reminded me of old friends sitting around the fireplace enjoying a chat about Jesus. Friends and neighbors were mentioned by name in their prayers, reminding me of the line in the old “Cheers” theme song, “where everybody knows your name”. Before the main service commenced, almost everyone in attendance had stopped by to welcome us. Intimate and connected, everyone made us feel at home. The members were proud of their church informing us that they were founded 114 years ago in 1900.
During the worship service we sang from hymnals which I pleasantly enjoyed. I can’t remember the last time that I actually picked up a song book and turned to a page to sing a hymn. I was told by one of the parishioners that the Sunday sermon would be delivered by a visiting professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The sermon was wonderfully delivered by Dr. Deron Biles. I was thoroughly immersed in the sermon and must admit that it was probably the best sermon that I have heard this year. Deron, an obvious student of the Word took me on a ride with grace that moved me to the core. He touched my inner spirit with his words and walked me down Calvary’s lane with his delivery.
With our decision to visit a small church out in the country I really did not know what to expect. What I received was a tremendous blessing, and I was reminded during the sermon that the Bible tells us that it was in Antioch that we were first called Christians. This small church outside Aubrey, Texas brings honor to the name Antioch. I grew up in small churches that my father pastored, but when I moved into full-time ministry I was involved in mega-churches as an associate pastor. I have spent my adult life attending large churches, and it had been many years since I had not been in a church service where the crowd outnumbered a Friday night high school football game. Stepping away from the big-church scene and stopping by to visit a small church turned out to be a greater blessing than I ever expected. My memories had forgotten the close bond and camaraderie that one feels in a smaller group of people.
The Sunday visit to Antioch Baptist Church taught me that this small church is a big place indeed. In an era today where many churches today have an intricate mechanical step-by-step plan on how to worship, this loving group of people painted a fresh coat of paint on my picture of believers that we call the church, boldly bringing out the colors of community and congregation. I am thankful that we took that Sunday afternoon drive and stopped by Antioch Baptist Church to take a picture of the bell.
Categories: Body of Christ, Christ, Christianity, Comfort, Family, Friends, God, Grace, Jesus, Joy, Love, Preacher, Relationship, Worship
I was raised in these small churches. They are indeed a special group of saints! Thanks for sharing this, i loved it! 😄
Me too Andy. Thanks for stopping by to share. They are indeed special people. In Christ, Darrell
Praise the lord My name is enosh. I am from india we need church brother Could you help brother please pray for our ministry You give me reply i will share our ministry details Thank you
Thank you Raju for stopping by to share. I will remember you in my prayers – In Christ, Darrell
I love your posts! We rested in many grand cathedrals while on a recent trip to Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands. It seeps into your heart, the centuries of adoration to our God! Blogged with pictures at http://thecelestialproposal.com/2014/12/22/gold-gilded-cathedrals/
Thank you Jane for stopping by to share. Appreciate the comment and the link. Blessings to you in Christ, Darrell
Thnk you for the kind and encouraging article, Darrell. You and Gracie were and blessing from the Lord for all of us. We are delighted that the Lord led you to Antioch.
Thank you Deron, we look forward to seeing you again soon. Blessings Darrell 🙂
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and hope to visit again soon! Not since I left my small church in Boca Raton, Florida, have I gotten a taste of a church like this. It was like being home for me, all over again. Thank you, Pastor Deron. You and your church were a MIGHTY blessing to us both. Blessings to you, all . . .
The small churches remind me of the home bible study I used to attend in a city where the trend is the bigger churches. Glad you found this jewel!
It was a nice visit that I will treasure. Thanks for stopping by to share. Good to see you Ed. Blessings Darrell
I’m pleased you were blessed Darrel visiting a small Church I went to Sunday School at a small Baptist Church and it was at their night service were I first meet Jesus, He became my best Friend as a lonely little girl who was hurting greatly, He made a big difference (see link below) the Minister was also used by God to share the Gospel with my Dad before he died and so he repented and accepted Salvation.
But I have also been hurt by Churches and very blessed by other Churches, we were like a family but I have also been hurt by Churches too it’s not the denomination or the size of a Church, it’s the heart focus of those who make up the Church that is important. We are he Body of Christ His hands, arms, feet and voice to Minister to each other and than reach out to a hurting World.
Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne
Thanks for sharing Anne your story of meeting Christ as a child, and thanks for sharing the link – Blessings in Christ, Darrell
Reminds me of home 🙂
Yes it does son, Sunday in Eliasville 🙂
Darrell, you sure have a way with words!!!! i found myself sitting in that small church. i love that old time religion and all the lovely old songs. Blessings to you and Gracie.
Thanks 🙂 Blessings to you Belinda, Gracie says Hi – In Christ, Darrell
Thanks Darrell, I have to say in this age of mega-churches (nothing wrong with them BTW) that this was refreshing. There IS a certain appeal to a small church that cannot be found in a large church. Glad you and Gracie were blessed, sounds like it was a wonderful experience. 🙂
It was a fun time indeed Greg, thanks for stopping by to share – May this New Year bring blessing in your life -Darrell
Came across your post. My father pastored Antioch back in the 80s, differant buildimg then. Old frame building. Thanks for the post, you brought back a flood of fond old memories.