Sunday was a once in a lifetime service for River Oaks, as we celebrated 25 years, with our focus directed toward God. The service began with an extended time of worship, as Scott Allen led us down memory-lane via various worship songs from the past and present, along with video clips from dramas in our history, all for the glory of God!
Following this incredible time of worship, Pastor Tim reminisced about that first service on the 1st Sunday of June in 1989. He was reminded that he spoke, as a “pulpit support” pastor to around 70 people in the cafeteria of Mary Beck Elementary School. His message that Sunday was to explain the background of the story in Nehemiah, when 140 years earlier the Babylonian army had leveled the walls around Jerusalem, and ultimately, Nehemiah got permission from the king to go back and rebuild the walls…and in 52 days the wall rebuilt.
Nehemiah is a book for builders”. The focus for River Oaks in 1989 was on building a church. And, like Nehemiah, it was a story about leadership, about courage, about dealing with setbacks, disappointments, and discouragement, and about persevering until the job is done.
Pastor Tim said: “25 years later, on the 1st Sunday in June 2014, we have a lot more than 70 people attending, we are in our own facility, we have no hymnbooks, and we can look back on how we’ve been building a church for God’s glory…of building people who are committed to Jesus and go to the lost, are growing in their faith and are showing compassion to the poor.”
The topic of the first message from the book of Nehemiah was ultimately about prayer. Nehemiah prayed that God would open the heart of his boss, the king of Persia, to allow him to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. God graciously granted Nehemiah’s request, in every way. Pastor Tim ended his message by re-issuing his very first challenge to this church, when he spoke that Sunday in 1989, and it read: “Over this summer I challenge you to pray for this church. Pray for wisdom for leadership as they make some critical decisions, pray for protection of this young and vulnerable church, and let’s all pray for the unchurched of our community and those we know personally.” This same challenge is still applicable for River Oaks today!
During your prayer time this week, please pray for our leadership, for the staff, for the families associated with River Oaks, and for the opportunities that lie in front of us!
Even after the service, the celebration was not over! Under blue skies, with a warm breeze, River Oaks showed up in full force, with approximately 1,000 in attendance for a “mega-picnic,” an intense corn-hole tournament, and lots of fun and games for the kids. What a blessing to see this church family enjoying the day!
To God be the glory for the great things He has done! Looking forward to learn the plans God has for River Oaks in the days ahead.