- PASTORS' BLOG
When I awoke the next morning, I was overflowing with joy and gratitude for the experience and leadership of those who have ministered to the women of this church through the years and for the new excitement and passion of those who are finding their place in service. And I was struck by just how contagious a thing joy is.
A group of enthusiastic preteens gathered at 5:30 am last Thursday morning to begin an intense four days of ministry and play in Pensacola, Mobile, and Gulfport. They worked in a clothes closet and food pantry, washed dishes, sang and cleaned bathrooms. The Lord worked through these tasks to provide several “God-moments” along the way.
Janet's Aunt Monnie would have celebrated her 94th birthday this week. She was in her early twenties when her younger brother, Alton, left home to join the U.S. Army.
Alton was twenty‑two when he was killed by a mortar blast while on a scout mission on the Japanese island of Okinawa. His body was never found. Notice of his death came on Memorial Day. The family only received some pictures and his dog tags. Even the presents they sent him for Christmas were lost.
He wrote a letter to his sister, Monnie, the Friday before he was killed on May 11, 1945. In the letter he mentioned the Christmas presents and then said of the war simply, "Words can't describe it. It's hell over here."
Alton Rose was one of 43,000 casualties during the three‑month battle to take Okinawa. A cross in Arlington cemetery stands as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice he made in defending his country.
We had been engaged a short time when Janet’s grandparents invited us over for a meal. I had not been in their home before. It was warm and comfortable with throw rugs and afghans, and lots of family pictures.
We settled in the living room, sitting comfortably on stuffed chairs and sofas with decorative pillows and a large fireplace. On a little wooden lamp stand near the door was the picture of a young man in uniform.
"Who is this?" I asked Grandma Rose (her name was Cordie Francis).
"That's Alton. He was killed in the war."
We are heirs to the benefits earned for us by Alton and thousands of others like him. The grief of those losses remains with thousands of Americans who have the memorabilia of military service tucked away in a sacred drawer, who keep the plaques and the pictures on the wall.
Baptists began as a persecuted minority hundreds of years ago. Those early Baptists cherished freedom in the church and in the government. Love of freedom continues to be a distinctive of Baptist thought. Our freedom has been preserved at great cost. Let us offer a prayer of gratitude for the brave men and women who fought for our liberty and never returned.
- VISITOR INFO
Main Office Hours
8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Mon - Fri
ELC - Early Learning Center
Sundays 9:30 am - Small Groups
Sundays 10:45 am - Worship Service
Wednesdays 5:00 pm - The Care Effect, Meal
Wednesdays 5:30 pm - Band Rehearsal, Children's Choir
Wednesdays 6:00 pm - Rewind: Bible Study, ESL
Wednesdays 6:30 pm - Youth Worship (OUT), RAs, GAs, Mission Friends
Wednesdays 7:00 pm - Celebration Choir Rehearsal