If any of you remember, a few years back, I was in the process of becoming a part of a church by the name of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Temple Hills. The pastor, Eric Redmond, was (and still is) Reformed. He was moving the church toward the use of Elders for rule rather than Deacons. He was making sure the Elders had a good hold on Scripture and that they are maturing (even if not yet matured). I had decided this was the place to settle down in for the long run.
But before the change-over to Elders could be completed, the church was severely damaged as a result of a coup on the part of the part of several very treacherous, very carnal Deacons. They convinced the church to fire Eric. A large number of the congregation decided they needed to worship somewhere else. The church is still looking for a new pastor.
Fast forward a couple of years. Now I’m sitting at Reformation Alive Baptist Church, a REFORMED church that is also a Baptist church. The pastor? Eric Redmond. The government? Elders. We have three of them. So again I settle down, determined to let this be the place where I can contribute to the edification of the saints. Yeah, we rent space from the Lutherans. And yes, we meet in the great hall. But we were pursuing what I would rate as Biblical Christianity, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And we teach and preach the Doctrines of Grace, without apology.
Then Washington Bible College (our pastor’s full time employer) ran into a good many financial difficulties that called for some quick and decisive actions on the part of management. Unfortunately, management rarely moves quickly or decisively, even at a Bible college. As the financial troubles increased, his pay was impacted, significantly. As his pay was impacted, his ability to support his family was impacted. In fact, it finally got to the point he has to step down as pastor/elder and take a job with another church (on staff, not as a pastor). As a result, Eric is will be gone on June 24th. Interestingly though, when we met last Saturday to ask what questions we wanted of him and the new pastor (more on that later), most of the questions were about where he was going, what the doctrine is, the environment and concern that he would compromise.
And did I mention that one of the other Elders (he doesn’t want me to mention his name – I think my site kind of embarrasses him) is likely to move on as well? That leaves one elder.
However, unlike the last place, this “break-up” isn’t the result of renegade band of deacons or spiritually numbed parishioners. It’s simply the result of life happening.
Despite the fact that everything just got a little more difficult, I have no intention of leaving. Instead, I am determined to support the new pastor (who was already serving as one of the elders and who preaches occasionally), Billy Wommack (with 2 m’s), and to do whatever else I can to contribute to the well-being and edification of the saints there at Reformation Alive Baptist Church.
And did I mention that the place is 22 miles from my house?
No one ever said life is intended to be easy (Thank you very much Adam). And certainly no one who has a clue would claim that following Christ is a cakewalk. So let’s see how things work out for RABC, the elder(s) and the congregation. This is going to be an outstanding opportunity to grow in Christ. Let’s see what we do with it.
Any of you readers want to step up to the challenge? We’re in Temple Hill. Just do a search for Reformation Alive Baptist Church and you’ll get all the information about us.