I Preached At An Old Church

I Preached At An Old Church

A few weeks ago, I preached at an old church.

How old? 202!

Founded in 1813, The Sartinville United Methodist Church in Jayess, Mississippi, was having its 202nd Homecoming and they invited me to preach.

To get there, you have to know where you are going. It is well off the beaten path, miles from the nearest interstate, and not quite on the way to anywhere.

Across the road from the church is a very old cemetery with tombstones that have my last name on them. Some of the people whose genes are coursing through my body are buried there. I’ve been away so long that I had to be re-acquainted with people that I’m almost kin to. In the words of a few older folk, you don’t want to look too close at the family tree.

We sang from hymnals. There were no screens on the wall, PowerPoint wasn’t used, and not a single image was projected. The songs for the day were “Amazing Grace,” “Victory in Jesus,” “The Doxology,” and “Trust and Obey.”

The ushers were called out of the congregation to help collect the offering of the day. The southern gospel quartet sang songs so old to me that they were new. The quartet was the one reminder of the postmodern age. Their sound system parted what little hair I have left.

And the potluck dinner was amazing. I talked so long with new old friends that I was the last person in line to eat. When I went through, there was still enough fried chicken and good desserts to serve the whole line again.

I drove away appreciating the value of Homecomings in churches that raised us. In a way, we are allowing dead people to still matter.

Comments

  1. Joe McNulty says:

    Brother Dan,
    I had the same heart warming experience recently when I spoke at the 212 Anniversary of Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Erma, New Jersey. What made my experience so deeply special was that this was the church that I was saved in 45 years ago.
    It was so wonderful to see people who have had such an impact on my life, to share stories of people who have loved me, prayed for me and supported me on my spiritual journey.
    Tabernacle too has a cemetery, my dad is buried there along with many others who have helped me become the man that I am.
    Great trip down memory lane, Dan. Thanks for sharing yours and allowing me to share mine.

  2. kay quick says:

    Dan…what a great blog entry!!!

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