Reflecting on today, I want to go back and look at who have served as Guest Speakers at First Baptist Church since April 2009: (Excluding FBC Associate Ministers and Funerals) – if I missed anyone on the list, please let me know in the Comments Section.
Dr. Elizabeth Williams, Nashville, Tennessee
Rev. Clifford Williams, North Augusta, South Carolina
Minister Barton Elliott Harris, Nashville, Tennessee
Rev. Edward B. Johnson, Sr., San Diego, California
Rev. Darron LaMonte Edwards, Sr., Kansas City, Missouri
Minister Angie Smith-Peeples, Louisville, Kentucky
Overseer Jonathan McReynolds, Columbus, Ohio
Dr. Robert A. Strode, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. A.E. Reid, Moderator, Earlington, Kentucky
Minister Barton Elliott Harris, Nashville, Tennessee
Rev. Bryant L. Bacon, Sr., Niles, Michigan
Sis. Roz Akins, Lexington, Kentucky
Dr. Walter L. Parrish, III, Baltimore, Maryland
Dr. D.Z. Cofield, Houston, Texas
Rev. Michael Robinson, Lexington, Kentucky
Dr. Floyd Greene, Versailles, Kentucky
Dr. Emil Thomas, Washington, DC
Dr. Joseph McDowell, Lexington, Kentucky
Dr. Kilen Gray, Shelbyville, Kentucky
Bishop Kenneth B. Spears, Sr., Fort Worth, Texas
Dr. Cheryl D. Walker, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. H. Donald Cockerham, Louisville, Kentucky
Rev. Marlon Mack, Gary, Indiana
Dr. Thurman Coleman, Louisville, Kentucky
Rev. Daniel Corrie Shull, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Bernard J. Sutton, Chicago, Illinois
Rev. Jamal Floyd Pickens, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Lincoln Bingham, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Meadowlark Lemon, Phoenix, Arizona
Rev. Casandra Gray, Shelbyville, Kentucky
Pastor Carole Jacobs, Frankfort, Kentucky
Rev. Elvyn Hamilton, Frankfort, Kentucky
Rev. Leslie Whitlock, Frankfort, Kentucky
Dr. L.A. Newby, Frankfort, Kentucky
Rev. Jermaine Wilson, Frankfort, Kentucky
Rev. Shalmon Radford, Madisonville, Kentucky
Rev. Michael Jackson, Lexington, Kentucky
Minister Rhoda Raglin, Georgetown, Kentucky
Rev. Dianne Brown, Louisville, Kentucky
Bishop D.S. Briggs, St. Louis, Missouri
Rev. Paris L. Smith, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Rev. Emmanuel P. Young, Greensburg, Kentucky
Rev. Reginald Davis, Keene, Kentucky
Rev. Allataye A. Russ, Nashville, Tennessee
There should be an all points bulletin issued in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the arrest and capture of Rev. Allataye Russ, who preached us senseless today at First Baptist Church as we celebrated 179 years of ministry. For the first time, we celebrated in two services – 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
At 8:00 a.m. (led by Sis. Marsha Young, one of our faithful Deaconesses) during the worship we heard history for one of our chief historians, Deacon Jacobs and Deacon Townsend, two loyal servants at FBC. For the first time I remember, Sis. Debra Miles blessed us in song (my how she did). Pastor Russ WORE US OUT – I can’t believe how incredibly strong and hard he preaches. I later joked with the congregation that I lost five pounds listening to him preach. He started in four gear and never let up. God tremendously used him and I’m glad that FBC received him so well.
At 10:00 a.m. we had a 30 minute Sunday School joint class that I taught. Thank God for His favor.
At 11:00 a.m. the celebration concluded in great order. Sis. Hettie Oldham, one of our faithful Trustees, led our worship. Praise and Worship went well. We paused for a unique historical presentation by our Church Treasurer, Bro. Freddie Johnson and Sis. Gloria Morgan.
We celebrated by recognition awards for some of our great saints at FBC presented by me and my wife, Lady Jessica G. Houston: Dr. Gus T. Ridgel, The Golden Girls (WMU) Ministry, Sis. Deborah Bobbitt, Sis. Norma Hogan, our bus drivers – Deacon J.D. Smith, Sis. Eula Thomas and Bro. Richard Hawkins, and then it was a delight to honor our Man of the Year – Bro. Freddie Joe Johnson and very emotionally our Woman of the Year – Sis. Carol Davis (posthumously).
The Choir from Guildfield Baptist Church of Guthrie, TN, which is actually on the State Line of Tennessee and Guthrie, Kentucky, blessed us with three selections of praise. Then Pastor Russ preached, “Too Legit to Quit” (I’ll post it later tonight). It was like a Holy Ghost explosion. In his closing, Pastor Russ told us to tell our Davids in the church not too quit and then ran through a litany of reasons why he’s glad that David didn’t quit: i.e., If David had quit, we would have never heard “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”
After the sermon, with tears in my eyes, I led us into a period of praise and worship, and yes, dancing. It was awesome. After our closing remarks, the Culinary Ministry of FBC served us uniquely – every table had a server and a menu to personalize your food order. Kudos to y’all – and yes, I marked my menu (“A little bit of everything”).
Found this article on the internet that was worth sharing:
Ask the Pastor: Why do churches face east?
By Rev. Jason Peterson, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Burt
Zion Lutheran Church, LuVernePublished: Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:26 AM CDTQ: As I travel, I have observed a tendency for churches to face east. Is there any significance to this, and is there a rule about what direction a church must face?
In Matthew 24:27, Jesus says, “As the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Ezekiel 43:4 also speaks of God’s presence as arriving from the East.
Since Christian worship is sometimes described as a preview of Jesus’ return as well as a moment of heaven coming down to earth, and because Christians are reminded in Scripture to always be watchful regarding the return of Jesus, the Church chose to represent this in traditional church architecture by situating the altar (which is the focal point of Christian liturgy) in the East end of the building, so that as Christians worship, they are facing the direction from which Jesus’ return is represented—as if they were watching for the Lord to arrive.
Other passages from the Bible use Jerusalem to represent the center of the reign of Jesus in the life of the world to come, and it is popular to think of Jerusalem as the location where Jesus will touch down and sit in judgment when He returns “just as [the Apostles] saw him go up into heaven” at His Ascension.
This custom is also represented in traditional cemetery planning. Caskets have historically been placed with the head to the west and the feet to the east to paint the picture of the saints worshipping in the Church and being resurrected to face Jesus when He returns. (a person laying with their head to the west would face east if they were to stand up.) Additionally, when funerals are held in liturgical congregations, it is customary during the service to place the casket with the feet toward the altar to reflect a similar image and to remind us that the deceased believer and all the company of heaven continue to worship along with the Church even in death.
One particularly interesting exception to this custom exists, which is the funeral and burial of pastors. Pastors caskets would be situated with the head facing the altar during the service and buried with their head facing east and the feet west. The reason for this is that in the picture presented by this custom, the pastors would rise to proclaim the return of Jesus to their people, thus rising with their backs toward Jesus and facing the rest of the saints.
This is different from the traditions of other religions, such as the tradition of the Muslims which requires them to face Mecca during prayer, because this is not intended as a command or mandatory regulation, nor is it intended to earn anything from God.