60th Anniversary

60th Anniversary

If you are visiting with us today, please raise your hand.

Thank-you, so much for coming!

If you are age 60 or older would you please raise your hand?  Thank-you for coming too!

In 1955, two years before I was born, this auditorium and the north education wing was built, and Church services began to be held here for the first time.  Gordon Mosley was one of the members at that time, who is still with us today, and after lunch, please plan to come back up here as he will be giving us a walk down memory lane as part of our 60th anniversary celebration.

In 1969, 14 years after moving into this building, the annex and south wing was built.  When I came in 1998 we used to shoe horn 75 people into what we then called the fellowship hall, which is literally a hall between the south annex wall and the new fellowship hall that we have today.  That new portion of our building was finished in 2008 almost doubling the square footage of our building and giving us space for classrooms, bathrooms, and many other uses.  Just recently, we purchases two properties just north of us and have acquired an architect to study and give us a master plan for future expansion.   God is in the church growth business.  We can plant and we can water, but only God can make the church grow.

It’s humbling to realize that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  He calls us to be faithful and obedient and to share the gospel with as many as we can.

But let’s back up again.

Before this building was built, back in March of 1948, several Christians from congregations off of Signal Mountain gathered to pray about and plan to plant the church of Christ here on Signal Mountain.  Brother Joe Weir, Sr. was our first preacher who served here from 1948 to 1952 and his son Thomas Weir is with us today.  Would you raise your hand for us?  Thank-you for coming!  We have copies of the original meetings of those who met to pray and discuss plans for planting this church.

Before that, way back in about 33 A.D. there was another prayer meeting of followers of Jesus Christ.  Jesus had been crucified, buried and raised.  These were witnesses of his resurrection and Jesus had just ascended to heaven in their very sight not many days before this.

There was a big celebration day in their city, bringing people from all over the known world together to worship God and celebrate a feast of harvest called the Pentecost.  It was a Sunday morning, at about 9:00 A.M.  (just an hour and a half ago) and it happened!  The Church of Christ was given birth by the Holy Spirit’s baptism on those 12 apostles of Jesus Christ as they publically declared to crowds of people the gospel of Jesus Christ!  About 3000 who heard the word, believed and were baptized that very day!  Now that’s a call for celebration!

Peter was the first preacher of the church and his first sermon is recorded for us in the second chapter of the book of Acts.  And listen to me, you and I who are here today, we are part of that very church that God Himself planned and planted here on planet earth.  We gather every first day of the week to commemorate Jesus and proclaim His death for us in the Lord’s Supper.  We are still here as part of that great work of God, to declare the same message of God’s grace and gospel news of Jesus Christ to a lost world around us.

The work is not over.  The reason we are here today is the same reason they were there on that day.  Though hundreds of years have passed, nothing has changed about God’s grace and the gospel news of Jesus Christ.

We hear politicians talk about being on the wrong side of history today.  Well, let me tell you something, all who are faithful in Christ Jesus are on the right side of history.  We are all headed toward  an eternal celebration in the very presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  We are on the right side of history where God’s grace has been poured out through the gift of Jesus Christ on the cross.  We are on the right side of history where we have heard the good news and believed in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and repented of our sins and been buried with Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of our sins.  We are on the right side of history where we walk by faith and not by sight and though we may outwardly waste away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day.  We are on the right side of history where we can look death in the face and join with Paul in saying: For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!  Now that’s the right side of history, brothers and sisters.  And if you are here and are not on the right side of history, I have good news for you:

 John 3:16-17

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Romans 5:8-10

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that will we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  How much more then, having been justified by His blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life.

Peter 3:3-9

knowing this first: that in the last days scoffers will come, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Acts 3:19-20

Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…

Luke 24:46-48

Jesus told His disciples just before He ascended back to heaven:  46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.

The person who has heard the gospel of Christ, His death for their sins according to the scriptures, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead according to the scriptures, just as Peter preached in Acts 2 on that first day of the Church,

The person who believes this gospel of Jesus Christ and will turn from their sins in repentance and turn to God in faith… this person may now confess their faith and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, just as Peter proclaimed in Acts 2:38 on the first day of the church.  That day, those who received His word were baptized and about 3000 were added to their number.

Those people entered the right side of history.  The saved side of history.

If you are not a Christian today, you are on the wrong side of history, the lost side.  You are on the sinners side, and God is calling you to come.  God wants all of us to be on the right side of history, the side that Jesus gave His life for.  History is actually, HIS story.  Today, we celebrate 60 years of History here at this place.  But the real celebration is ahead of us in glory, where we who are His and on the right side of HIS story, will join together in joy and rejoicing that will never end.