One of the advantages of growing older is that you look back across the years and reminisce about the good old days! In light of this, I often reflect upon the wonderful small country church of approximately 30 members in which I was reared in Emelle, Alabama.
We sang lustily each Sunday those great old hymns of the church like "Living for Jesus,” “Love Lifted Me,” “Th e Church in the Wildwood,” “Dwelling In Beulah Land,” “The Unclouded Day,” and “When We All Get to Heaven.” Uncle Fred led the singing; Miss Bessie played the piano. My dear mother taught the Adult Sunday School Class.
Even though none of the ministers of my childhood had seminary educations, each of them had the two basic requirements for an effective minister---a deep love for Jesus Christ and a deep love for others. When my brother, Dan, lost his life in a tragic accident, there were no trained pastoral counselors available to us within that small community to help us through that awful experience, but we had something even greater. We had each other. Members of that little church loved us and stood with us throughout that terrible ordeal. On Sunday mornings, we would often sing, “We share each other’s woes. Our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows, the sympathizing tear.” When someone within our community was in need, it was a common ritual to “pass the hat” among our members and receive a generous love off ering to help those who were hurting get back on their feet again.
We are living today in a world of rapid change. Churches are changing, institutions are changing, priorities are changing, but the exciting good news for all of us is that Jesus Christ is not changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Th ere has never been a greater need for effective ministers within our churches who can communicate clearly the timeless truth that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. The prophet Isaiah reminded us, “The grass withers; the flower fades; but the Word of our God will stand forever!”
Our Seminary Scholarship Foundation has a desire to support our seminary students wherever they might find themselves. During these changing times, will you continue to support these young men and women who are preparing for a lifetime of service to Jesus Christ and the church?
-Karl K. Stegall