As you guessed, I remained at CCC for the next several years. I would not consent to become their interim until I laid my whole life’s journey transparently on the table before them and through God’s grace they loved me unconditionally. The Lord taught us so much. Even on that first Sunday, little did I know, that our people were hurting badly from a previous pastoral relationship. I was in the dark about that. They later told me that God must have told me what to preach on that first Sunday because it had promoted so much healing. The fact is true that we both were healing from previous church relationships and my heart was very sensitive to the pain that they had experienced. I cannot even begin to tell you how much those precious people at the House Church in Snow Creek affirmed and blessed my life and provided for us. My life was an open book, no secrets, no hidden compartments.
In 2011 Hollywood actors descended upon Snow Creek to get a feel of the community and to chat with various individuals who had lived there to gather their dialect and life’s ways. They were preparing to make a movie titled, Lawless, the true-life moonshine story of the Bondurant Boys of Franklin County Virginia during the Prohibition days. It was released in August 2012. The movie not only characterized the Spiritual Strongholds in the community but many of those generational strongholds which still exist today. Statistics show that 65% of the 52,211 people living in Franklin County are unchurched.
Betty and I would journey through the beautiful scenery of Smith Mountain Lake to that little house church on Sunday mornings to love and receive love from His Word and our growing relationship. It also gave Betty and I quality time to chat and be together. I immersed myself in the journeys of those precious people, praying for them, loving on them, feeling their victories as well as their pain and adversities. My people were just regular people who were trying to make it right in life and I love them so much.
We conduct our prayer meetings every Wednesday night at 6 PM through a conference call. We call in from our various locations to a given number and it is a live group call.
The youth in our church, the Snow Creek Youth developed into a ministry of reaching many young people beyond our church walls. They serve the Snow Creek community by helping others. Their annual Missions-Serve trips not only helped others but impacted those young people to live for Jesus. Many of them now are college students living out their identity in Christ.
Our three guys who serve as my leadership team are some of the best that I have ever had in ministry anywhere.
We baptized our converts in a member’s swimming pool and it was always a celebration.
I once visited a family in Snow Creek who told me that no preacher had ever come to their home to see them. They were in their 60s. That home embraced Jesus as their Savior and were baptized.
During my leadership and a generous team, the church sponsors the full-color quarterly (20 page) newspaper, the Snow Creek Times, that goes to every single home in the Snow Creek area and includes all the Snow Creek Church’s news as well as all other community news. God uses it to bring the Gospel to the entire community and to inform a very close-knit community of what is happening.
I had never eaten black-pot fried chicken and fries until I went to Snow Creek. 😊
Before we realized it 8 years had slipped by, then in January 2017…….
(Part 3 of 3 to come)