Over the 45 years of this congregation’s existence, it has seemed as though our new year begins, now. Celebration Sunday has come and gone with brother Bart Warren doing an excellent job of preaching, teaching, and challenging us to better service because we serve the awesome God.
Along the historical journey of the congregation, many events have occurred, none more memorable or momentous than the tragic events of September 11, 2001. That year we celebrated our anniversary just as this year, two days later during our Gospel Meeting, another day that will live in infamy—9/11. Brother Kerry Duke was preaching that week and what a day that Tuesday was. The assembled looked and acted stunned. Some had wondered whether the service would go on, and reality revealed that no better place could Christians have been than assembling before the living God in worship. Brother Kerry did his usual excellent job, and the time of worship served to refresh and renew weary travelers. It was a reminder of that which is most important.
This year we took time to remember leadership who helped guide us to this day. Five men: Oliver Anderson, Troyce Cavender, Roy Deaver, Malcolm Hill and Clay Loftis faithfully led so that Northeast could have an adequate building, beautiful campus, and be debt free. Much sacrifice was given by these men so that the work of the Lord’s church might continue. All of these men put their name on the line, and several put all they had on the line for this congregation. In one sense what is accomplished today is on the shoulders of these who went before.
Another group that has always been honored at Northeast are the Gospel preachers. Five have served the congregation over the 45 years: Mac Deaver, David Hill, Malcolm Hill, Lindsey Warren, and Paul Wilmoth. Pulpit stability and appreciated longevity has been a remarkable trait of the congregation. Over the 45 years no other local congregation has had as stable a record. Brother Malcolm Hill and brother Paul Wilmoth worked as a team for 30 of those years. Both loved the Lord, the Truth and this congregation which produced peace. Time will tell how long the 30-year record will stand. All but yours truly have gone on to await the judgment. We miss them, are thankful for them, and long to see them someday.
Where do we go from here? “Strait” ahead as Jesus instructed (Matt. 7:13-14). Will there be challenges? You know there will be, but just as those before, we can continue to lay foundations for generations yet to come. As the hymn declares: “There is much to do, there is work on every hand.” Are you ready? Lets make this the best year of our history!
Northeast Church of Christ bulletin September 17, 2023