In March I headed out to Camden, a small town in southern Arkansas. This part of Arkansas is not far from the part of Louisiana I lived in while in High School. Same red clay. Same pine trees and hills. Same “salt of the earth” people. It was great being there. Fairview UMC is a congregation with a long history in Camden. It was one of the main churches when this was a “mill town”. The mill has long since left, but the ministry of the church continues.
Rev. Allen Crum is pastor here and he and his wife have such a heart for God and the folks in this congregation. It was a joy to work with him. He’s got some great dreams for growing the church in Camden!
It was a pleasure to work with these wonderful people. They were so faithful to come out and expressed great appreciation for the stories. There is a great sense of community in Camden. I arrived during the annual “Daffodil festival”. Great food – beautiful flowers – good music. Put it on your schedule for next year! Check it out here.
In addition to our evening worship, I had the privilege of speaking and singing at the community lenten luncheon and the local Rotary club. They kept me hopping! Join me in praying for many great days of ministry ahead for Fairview UMC.
From Camden, I pointed the motorhome West and headed for the far side of Texas. Plainview, TX is where our ministry got it’s start. We attended worship here at FUMC and had several of their members as founding board members. When we moved into Plainview in 1981, our children were still young (and we were too) as we launched this new ministry. This church loved us and nurtured us. We were welcomed with open arms as they prayed for us, supported us, and included us in their Sunday School classes and ministry. We will NEVER forget the many ways they helped us get our start in evangelism.
The week before this meeting started, one of our original board members, Dr. Joe Horn, went home to be with Jesus. I have never known anyone with a more tender heart and gentle spirit. He and his wife, Ann, were so special to us. We had a sweet time of prayer with her while we were there.
Rev. Jeff and Karen Taylor have been friends for many years. As a matter of fact, they were there in the early ’80’s and Jeff was our associate pastor. They even baby sat for us! So it was like “old home week” to be back in Plainview.
What great worship we shared together. So many wonderful longtime friends and so many great memories.
We had fun with the kids as we enjoyed BibleQuest together. What a great bunch!
Here are our gold medal winners from BibleQuest.
The youth were there in good numbers each night and LOVED the stories.
It never ceases to amaze me how God continues to use the simple stories to change lives. Years ago, when I was here doing a revival, God touched the heart of a tough rancher who identified himself as the hardest drinking, meanest cussing man in Plainview. His wife got him to come hear one of my stories, and God used it to touch him and change him. Not another drink after that day. His vocabulary changed. He even preached in churches in the NW TX conference for the remaining years of his life! Now that’s transformation!
This church is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen to worship in. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the windows in the sanctuary.
Check these out!