2008 State of the Church Address

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  • I usually give a “State of the Church Address” each year at Mt. Sinai, during the first midweek service resumes. We call it our “Vision Night” service. But I chose to delay that message this year, not really knowing if I would ever actually get to it. Our congregation is in the midst of a relocation process. The Lord has been answering our prayers and doing great things on our behalf. But these first weeks of the new year have also been rather challenging. We delayed our final planning that would have been completed in October or November, trusting that there would be more clarity in the new year. Well, the new year came. And things have remained very fluid. So I questioned whether or not I should do the state of the church message this year. But I decided to do this message yesterday, in our Sunday morning service, to help give our congregation a sense of direction amidst all that changes that are taking place.

    I was quite nervous about doing this “special message” yesterday. I believe that Sunday mornings are times for preaching. So I really didn’t know how comfortable the congregation would be with me doing so different. But the Lord helped me in a great way. I was able to share my heart, cast vision, and point the congregation to several passages of scripture that have meant much to me in this process. And our congregation received the message warmly. I was very encouraged to hear members share with me how it provided the clarification, direction and confirmation that they needed to go forward. God be praised!

    The title of my message yesterday was “Great Expectations.” And it accurately reflects my attitude toward the days to come. I am blessed to pastor a great church! It is my joy to minister to them and serve Christ with them. Mt. Sinai has a great history and legacy. But our dreams are even greater than our memories. We confidently expect great things from God. And we are committed to attempt great things for God. Please pray for us that the Lord will fulfill every holy desire we have and fulfill every deed prompted by faith to his glory.

    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.

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