Truth, Love Preached and Practiced at Pastors’ Fellowship 2017
By Carl Stagner
Another Pastors’ Fellowship has come and gone, yet its impact on those who attended, the movement, and the culture remains. As it always does, this year’s gathering of pastors and laypeople at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky, featured dynamic doctrinal preaching and wholehearted singing of heritage hymns. The fellowship was as sweet as the iced tea, and the moments of prayer were powerful and potent. What really left a lasting impression, however, was the way these men and women of God responded to the Spirit. When word got out about the devastating floods wreaking havoc across Missouri, directly affecting Church of God brothers and sisters, God’s love turned into action.
On the heels of the annual business meeting of Pastors’ Fellowship on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, the truth these pastors preach with conviction Sunday after Sunday was put into practice. Ushers were recruited and an unplanned offering was taken up in light of the flooding disaster overwhelming the state of Missouri. Exemplifying the generosity they encourage once a week from their pulpits back home, they gave $1,522 for Church of God Disaster Relief.
Bob Neace, who spoke during the second morning session on Tuesday, perhaps captured the sentiment best: “If Christ loved the church, I ought to lover her, too!” Part of loving God’s church, part of living out the unity we preach and teach, is taking care of our sister churches in times of trouble. Photographs were displayed of First Church of God in Doniphan, Missouri, underwater as prayers and gifts were offered without hesitation. It was a poignant moment for many, and a collective response that required no discussion, deliberation, or debate.
In a changing world marked by such crises and uncertainties, as well as shifting values and relative truth, Pastors’ Fellowship 2017 championed truth that is eternal. “Isn’t it great to know that, in a constantly changing world, we serve a God who never changes?” speaker Charlie Heater exclaimed. Other speakers also emphasized eternal truth on subjects of historical significance to the movement. Nathan Leasure, Bill Konstantopoulos, Gerald Rudd, Danny Goins, Church of God Ministries’ Handel Smith, and Jessica Hall shed light on a variety of topics, but consistently pointed to the answer found only in Jesus Christ.
“There is no one like Jesus,” Danny Goins insisted in a sermon about and sanctification and holy living. As Bob Neace explained eternal truth about the church, he reminded all within the sound of his voice that “it is still Jesus who is head of the church!” Speaking about the kingdom of God, Handel Smith confessed “Thy will be done, not mine—Jesus, you are the king!” Navigating the subject of end times, Jessica Hall proclaimed, “I want to always be pointing people to Jesus Christ!”
May our words and our actions always point people to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the subject.
Learn more about Pastors’ Fellowship at www.pastorsfellowshipchog.org. Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org. To donate to Church of God Disaster Relief, visit www.JesusIsTheSubject.org/disaster-relief/.