The story of First Baptist Church in Augusta is a story that is seen in thousands of faces and heard in thousands of voices. Over the course of two hundred years, people have served, given, sacrificed, prayed, laughed, cried, worshiped, ministered, hoped, forgiven, blessed, comforted, and formed Christian community together as the people of God known as First Baptist Church. What a story! What a legacy that is left to us from those who have come before us!
One way to hear this story is through the voice of the pastors who have served this church. From the pioneering voice of William Theophilus Brantly, who served as the first pastor of the church, to the yet-unnamed voice of a new pastor, First Baptist Church has been blessed by the ministry of outstanding pastors. Their voices make up a part of the story of the church.
Four of these former pastors are still living, and this Sunday you have a chance to hear from each one in both worship services. Jack Robinson (Pastor from 1953-1974) and Chuck Bugg (Pastor from 1982-1989) will speak to us through video. Tim Owings (Pastor from 1990-2003) and Greg DeLoach (2005-2015) will be present in worship to speak to us. Through the voices of these four men the church can hear again the story of ministry through the life of First Baptist Church. It promises to be a most exciting day of worship. I hope that you will be present this Sunday at 8:30 or at 11:00.
I count each one of these men as friends. I have known Chuck Bugg the longest, going back to my days in elementary school when he was a seminary student coaching YMCA ball at my school. Tim Owings and I became friends during our days together in seminary. Over the past decade, Greg and I have grown in friendship through various connections in the network of Baptist pastoral ministry. And Jack Robinson is my newest friend, whom I met on my first day of preaching in August. I have been grateful for his faithful attendance in worship each week and his continued support of my ministry among you. My life has been enriched because I have known these four pastors as friends.
They have a story to tell. I hope that you will be in worship this Sunday to hear them as our Bicentennial celebration continues.