Do you remember where you were and what you were doing ten years ago? To be more specific, where were you on the last Sunday of March 2004? I remember that day well.
Only twice in the 62-year history of our church have we gathered to dedicate a new, primary place of worship. The first time was on June 7, 1953, when our Chapel was dedicated. The second was ten years ago on Sunday, March 28, 2004, when we dedicated our Worship Center.
Just after the dedication of our Worship Center, I wrote these words:
From the magnificent landscaping that welcomed us onto the campus to the warmth of the beautifully chosen colors and furnishings of the interior, the building itself was a reflection of the glory of our God. The entire structure—from the details of its design to the quality of its construction—evidenced the desire to present to our God an excellent offering. And we know that excellence honors God and inspires people!
But the building itself was only a beginning. In the two services, 2,870 people gathered in a spiritually-charged atmosphere to worship and to celebrate the goodness and faithfulness of God. Greg Goforth, the singers, and the players led us beautifully in powerful praise. Tim Lehmann and the technical teams operated the new sound, light, and video systems as if they had done so forever. And, most importantly, God favored us with a powerful sense of His glorious presence.
Beyond the actual worship times, the fellowship that occurred was rich and sweet throughout the day. The new Gathering Area proved to be a perfect place for us to welcome family and friends, and to deepen and strengthen relationships within the Body.
Now, ten years down the road, I am very thankful for the hundreds of Inglesiders who gave generously of their time and treasure to make our place of worship a reality. And I’m especially grateful for those who led three key teams. Brad Wilson and Vicki Bass led the Design Team. Ralph and Harriet Newton and Carter and Thayer Bates led the Funding Teams. Bobby Gore and Otis Ingram led the Construction Team. Tim Newberry, our Business Administrator, was intimately involved in it all. We owe these leaders, and those who served with them, a deep debt of gratitude.
Of course, as we acknowledged ten years ago and still affirm today: the building is but a tool. Yet, it is a significant tool that God has now used for a decade to help us make more disciples of Jesus Christ than ever before throughout Middle Georgia and beyond.
So, on this tenth anniversary weekend of the dedication of our Worship Center, join me in looking back with gratitude and looking forward with expectant faith. I am grateful for our heritage, and I’m convinced that the best is yet to come!