Today Tucson Baptist Temple celebrated her 55th anniversary. Founding pastor, Louis Johnson, was able to be in the service at 92 years old. The service had many special recognitions:
World of Difference: Over the past three years we have now been able to recognize 14 of our church members who have truly made a significant difference. Last year’s recipients (Dave Argraves, Kristi Wilbur, Glenda Lowrie, Jim Grantham) were all in the service. I am very, very thankful for the group that we recognized this year as over the past 12 months they have made tremendous contributions (as did last year’s recipients for their prior 12 months of ministry involvement).
Today we honored David Parpart (buildings & grounds), Luz Gonzales (buildings & grounds), Robert Lopez (technology), Ionia Sipe (helping hands), Connie Scharpnick (helping hands), and Tina Craig (nursery). All six of these ministry volunteers were dynamic in their ministry involvement over the past 12 months.
Several completed their Discipleship Course. This 20-26 week course takes much work and dedication. It is a joy to see our church desirous to grow in their faith and walk. We honored each person with a certificate of completion.
The Be Like Tych award was announced and the feedback from this afternoon has concurred that the right choice was made. Mr. Joe Jones received the Be Like Tych award based on Colossians 4:7. Joe is involved in numerous ministries! Joe serves as the Chairman of the Board of Deacons, drives one of our Sunday morning bus routes, always participates on church work days, VBS set-up, Missions Conference set-up, and whenever and wherever needed. Joe has been on the China and Iceland mission teams. Joe and Janet have three daughters. It truly is a pastor’s dream to have church members like Joe! I’m thankful that we have several like Joe at TBT.
Lynn Anderson played a beautiful offertory with his flute. He has been given quite a talent. The choir sang two fantastic songs! The song, “Honored, Glorified” has always blessed me and the choir was dynamic today. It is amazing what 58 people can do when they sing together.
Our guest speaker was Pastor Ken McCormick of Tri-City Baptist Temple in Gladstone, Oregon. Dr. McCormick was saved more than 45 years ago at TBT under the ministry of Pastor Johnson. After surrendering to preach, Dr. McCormick went off to Bible college and then began Tri-City Baptist Temple where he has pastored these past forty years. Pastor Johnson and Pastor McCormick enjoyed spending time together on Friday and today.
The Spanish congregation joined us until fellowship time. The Spanish church had 125 in attendance today…. simply awesome and thank you Pastor Arias for all of your hard work and leadership in this area of our ministry. Just before Pastor McCormick preached, John Cutright sang a wonderful and powerful song that was a tremendous blessing to all.
After the morning message, our Board of Trustees and Board of Deacons recognized Shelli and me for our four years of service here at TBT. Bud Savage and JoAnn were so gracious in their comments and loving care as they presented Shelli with flowers and informed us that the church will fly our children home this coming weekend so that they can spend Mother’s Day with Shelli. Shelli has been “weepy” all afternoon and evening. Her excitement is through tears!
Dinner on the grounds consisted of fried chicken, green beans, corn, rolls, and dessert. I’m so thankful that many, many volunteered to help and it really was fantastic to see everyone working together. It took just 15 minutes to have more than 725 people go through the line. Thank you to all for set-up, serving, and clean-up.
Today was a remarkable day and it continues to be the greatest privilege to pastor TBT… even though, outside of Christ, I am not worthy of this honor to serve the membership of TBT.