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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: The Little Church
By Beckie Stewart


The Little Church

Deacon Green hoped and dreamed. In the cornfields of the small farming town in Central Illinois, he desired a place to gather the Lord’s people together to worship the Savior. In October of 1846, he chartered not only the Baptist church, but what would be the first church in this tiny community. Stephen Douglas generously donated the money needed for their meager beginnings. Years later they would have the honor and privilege of receiving a visit from President Lincoln. Travelers passed through and many settled into the community to raise their families and crops, because they found it was a healthy place to live as well as worship.

In October of 2001, a new pastor was called to shepherd the flock at Deacon Green’s Baptist church. Unknown to him, a new spirit was present within this church and community. The pastor would only be there a few short weeks before the first signs of trouble began to brew. With integrity and power, he would lead this flock and faithfully preach repentance to the lost and discipleship to the saved. Six years later he would enter the sanctuary for their annual meeting with the realization, that those who enjoyed a “Sunday Only” Christianity, were bound and determined to have him removed.

What took place in that meeting revealed to many the hypocrisy that permeated the place for almost forty years now. Those that had left the fellowship months and weeks earlier, returned for the meeting. They wished to participate in the pastor’s dismissal, so they could get back to the business they knew and loved. He had ruffled their feathers enough. It was way past the time for him to leave. For months they had their secret meetings and carefully schemed what they would do. The tension was high that night, and yet those supporting the pastor remained silent and prayerful.

What happened that evening revealed the truths of Psalm 37. Several members of this hurting flock would be burdened to read and pray through these verses the entire day leading up to the meeting.

“The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow, to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart and their bows will be broken.” (Psalm 37:14-15, NASB)

The Lord loves His people and does not forget the righteous deeds that they do. He will not desert a place if even one faithful child remains there. He will not ignore the cries of His children calling to Him for salvation. After forty years of turmoil, this little church would once again be a place where Jesus Christ would be honored and glorified.

*I dedicate this writing to my husband, the faithful shepherd of this flock.

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This article has been read 638 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/21/08
Nice devotional to your husband. I could have used a little more clarification on the "hypocrisy that permeated... for forty years." Seemed the story jumped from the history of the church's distinguished beginning in 1846 to the 2001 situation, without much info preparing your readers for the hypocrisy statement. :)
Jan Ackerson 02/21/08
You've got a great start here, but I was a bit confused. I wanted more background; what specifically had gone wrong?

The writing is fine, and you've got something of great potential here.
Nancy Quinn02/22/08
This reminds me of a little church I decided to leave when my pastor was kicked out. It amazed me what some "christians" do - Thank you for sharing this. Your husband is blessed to have a wonderful Proverbs 31 wife supporting him as he shepherds the flock the Lord has assigned him to. God bless you both! :)
Laury Hubrich 02/23/08
It is very sad to see a church go through such problems. Thank you for sharing. It would be good if you got someone to proof your work for you. There are some small errors that could be easily fixed.

I'm from Central Illinois. I'm always looking for others. Want to PM me if you are, too?
Helen Harris02/24/08
Sounds like a little church I knew where a devoted Pastor faithfully preached
repentance to the lost and discipleship to the saved, and those that had left
the fellowship months and weeks earlier because they didn't desire growning
in the Lord, returned for the meeting to participate in the pastor’s removal.

These wicked people held their own meeting without the Pastor and even lock
him out of his office.

Still there was some who left because they didn't like the fight against the
Pastor by those who kept starting trouble, loved the things they did and
didn't want to learn in the things of the Lord, returned also to try to help

This is a Well Written Dedication to your husband, the faithful shepherd of
this flock.

Like to read More from you. : )

I too, Learn from all your Comments. Thank you.

Enjoy and Keep in the Writing Lane.
God bless, Helen
Helen Harris02/24/08
These wicked people held their own meeting without the Pastor and even locked
him out of his office.
Jacquelyn Horne02/24/08
This is a good story. However, the ending seemed abrupt. I would have liked to read how this meeting ended. A very good beginning here, just a little added information would make it better.
William Stevenson02/24/08
I guess 750 words limited you in what you wanted to say but I felt the pain of a faithful pastor was well expressed here.
Beth LaBuff 02/25/08
I really liked your descriptions of the 1800's farming community in rural Illinois. It's sad when situations like you describe happen. It's great to know who "vengeance" belongs to. Thanks for writing this piece of history.
Sara Harricharan 02/27/08
This was good. There is a lot of food for thought here and I wanted to know a little more about what happened. Nice work. ^_^