This past Sunday, the congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Easley dedicated their new church home in Easley, a gift, through generous members, from a provident God. After two years of faithful worship at Partee Time, a children's play area, the congregation purchased this Tabernacle, moving in just in time to celebrate our second anniversary with Divine Worship and a pot luck dinner on Christmas Eve. The building, previously serving others as a place of worship, was move-in ready. Our property search committee first discovered the availability of the building in early October. Ed and Irene Schlosser had previously provided funds set aside to purchase land for a future home. Recognizing the advantage of the immediately available and move-in ready Tabernacle, they increased their gifts, allowing us to purchase and close on the building within six weeks of the initial visit.
In spite of the weather, we were joined in our celebration by pastors and members of other South Carolina LCMC congregations, including St. Paul, Gaffney (Pastor Bucky Brown), Abiding Presence, York (Pastor Charles Aurand), and St. Mark's, Blythewood (represented by Mike Gibson). Patrick Young, currently taking Seminary Studies through ILT, and awaiting call, also participated. The Dedication service was based on the 1917 Common Service Book of the grandmother of our Musician, Donna Schultz. Donna also read a stirring tribute to the people who served to light our path, and those who joined together on this faith journey. She again told of our path, from bewilderment and disappointment in August, 2009, through our search for a new path, to the guidance from Pastor Bill Sullivan, Pastor Gary Coble, and Pastor Bill Ketchie, on a rainy evening in Salisbury, NC, in October, 2009. She highlighted the roles of Pastor Bucky Brown, and the congregation of St. Paul, Gaffney, SC; where we were strengthened in our faith by their display of theirs. It was through them that Pastor Charles Aurand found us, and guided us to our first celebrant, Pastor Corky Spitler, and to our Pastor, Greg Longtin. She acknowledged, on behalf of all, the gifts of Brian and Michaela Mullins in providing our worship space for the first two years, and in providing leadership in financial and real estate matters. She thanked God for the gifts we received in the Call of Pastor Greg, and the beautiful gift to enhance our worship, the voice of Judy Longtin. She also thanked God for the gift of Generosity He gave to Ed and Irene.
We have received gifts from others along our path. The congregations of Hopeful, Florence KY, the home church of Pastor Greg and Judy, provided us with the funds to purchase our sound system, and then, sent their Youth Clown Troop, sharing this wonderful ministry in an inspired and inspiring Divine Service. St. Matthews, Salisbury, NC, has designated us as a Mission Congregation, and continues to provide benevolence, which we have used to provide for worship, fellowship, and evangelism needs. Spirit of Joy, in Indianpolis, provided us with a most generous gift, which we used for youth, worship, and evangelism needs. We know that we have an obligation to pay it forward.
God has been with us, indeed, as our name proudly states. In our service, Pastor Brown read from 1 Kings the words of Solomon, as he dedicated the Temple that he built. His words are our prayer, that His eyes may be open, day and night, toward this church house. Our choir sang, "Surely, the Presence of the Lord is in this Place," and all felt and celebrated that presence. And Pastor Longtin, emphasising that we, the congregation, were the "Official Party"for the dedication, lead us all in reading, and declaring, the formal dedication. One of our altar banners, made by our member, Mabel Lunsford, declares, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," and so we all rose up as sang Martin's Hymn together. And, of course, we had plenty of food for our congregation, and our guests.
Click Here For Content Archives