What Makes A Church Great

GLEASON FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1950s GrayscaleSome stories are really worth telling. This is one of those stories.

In the mid-1950s, the church I pastor had its only disruption since the time of World War II.

Little is known about the history of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana,  prior to World War II. We simply know that it was a small, struggling church in a Catholic oriented community.

It always amazes people when I tell them that Covington was almost 100 years old before it had a Baptist Church. From 1813 to 1904 there was no Baptist work in the near vicinity of Covington.

Since World War II, First Baptist Covington has had six pastors, a remarkable picture of unity, harmony, and stability. This story is about what brings about that kind of unity and stability.

The disruption occurred in the mid 50s and had to do with a pastoral situation. A small group of people left the church and moved a few blocks away and built their own building. The building is still in existence and is now used as a day care center. Ironically, it’s on one of the main thoroughfares that leads to the current location of First Baptist Church Covington. I drive by it every day.

I don’t know all the details of this group other than that they borrowed money to build or buy their building. After a few years the church failed.

I also don’t know what brought the group to their decision, but they decided to petition First Baptist Church to take them back as members.

That’s when the remarkable happened. Not only did the church take them back, but they also voted to pay off the debt of the group. They explained this amazing decision in this way. They took the debt as their own because they didn’t want to harm the name Christian or the name baptist.

Decisions based on what is good for someone else are the best decisions. First Baptist Church has a DNA to be proud of and a legacy to uphold.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. The church where I serve has been blessed by faithful people in the past who loved God more than themselves.

Good decisions lead to other good decisions and provide a path that can lead to greater blessings.

May we carry on that same legacy.

I write about Christian Living and Pastoral Leadership every day except Sunday. You can receive my daily look at life and Scripture by subscribing at waylonbailey.com