Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 30, 2018

Lord, Give Us Poquoson!

As Knox was to Scotland, let us be to Poquoson – and Tabb, Virginia

This morning I “walked the aisle” for the fourth time.  If you are an Evangelical Protestant Christian, you know what I mean.

I walked the first time just right before I turned 13 in an Army chapel in Fontenet, France.  I made my profession of belief, had a interview with a Southern Baptist Chaplain – we didn’t have one at our little post, and was baptized.  I remember riding my bicycle the night before baptism around and around our housing area, thrilled at being saved.

The second time was in my current church – Emmaus (pronounced Emmy-us in Poquoson, Virginia!) Baptist.  I moved my membership for the first time in 26 years from Memphis, Tennessee to here.

The third time was when I decided to run for Congress in September 2007 after our Congresswoman died suddenly.  I told the preacher I was running and I wanted my every thought, word and deed to be in His Will – for whatever results happened.  The preacher, who later gave the message for my late wife in Arlington, said that even if I never did anything but teach the senior men’s Sunday School class, please let me be in His Will.

Today was the fourth.  We have not had a full time minister for 17 months.  Our interim preacher, Tag Kilgore, is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard in my life.  The very best.  But, he doesn’t want another full time church.

The candidate selected by our church search committee came to meet the congregation yesterday and preach today – followed by a vote.  I didn’t know who the committee had chosen until I walked into the gathering yesterday.  It’s Scott Wade.  I know Scott from 17 years ago.

Scott Wade was the leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for The Peninsula and Middle Peninsula of Virginia.  My youngest daughter was in the ‘Huddle’ in her high school.  I loved his heart for kids – and his passion for them to the know the Lord Jesus Christ.   Moreover, his organization and their summer camp was a life-changing experience for my youngest daughter, Maggie Kyle.  She gave her life to the Lord at camp.  She meant it and has lived up to it.

After Scott spoke yesterday, I told our congregation that my daughter was raising a new generation of Christian women and a man, because of ‘that man there’.   And I spoke a few words about his loving heart.

Today, Scott’s sermon was the story in Mark 2:1-12 about the paralytic lowered through the roof for Jesus to heal.  Scott talked about the perspective of everyone in the story.  He ended his sermon saying that as Senior Pastor he wanted to be one of the friends who pick up the corner of the mat and carry their friend to Jesus.  He wanted the church to pick up the other corners.  To serve others.  To serve our community.  To carry friends to Christ.

The church was filled with long time members.  One visitor today.  At the hymn of invitation, there were no unchurched, unbaptized people to suddenly have a conversion experience.  I felt a sudden urge to go forward.  Not as a convert, but to assure the new, young preacher of support.  It happened very fast.  I had a milli-second of second thoughts to stay put, but my feet started moving.  I was walking down the aisle.  When I got to him, I shook his hand and hugged him.  I said, “I’ll pick up a corner.”  He said, “I know, Brother.”

I stood aside.  As the hymn played on. seven to nine others (I lost count) came up to assure him.  It was a powerful moment for us who did so.

The music ended.  He left.  The church had a business meeting and voted.  The vote was unanimous!  A lady told me that was the first unanimous vote she had seen in 40 years.  The priesthood of believers can be quite contentious.

In the sermon, Pastor Wade spoke of our church mission statement to bring the Gospel to all of Poquoson (population 12,000 plus) by 2020.  It’s like when the reformer John Knox prayed and pleaded, “Give me Scotland, else I die!”  I hope that our new preacher is a reformer reaching all of Poquoson and neighboring Tabb – where he grew up.

What a happy, good day!  One body of Believers is setting out anew to serve the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.  To love God with all of our mind, heart, strength and soul.  To love others as ourselves.  To worship by living with lovingkindness to others.  To be the body, the ‘church’ in Greek in the Bible, which storms the gates of Hell.

I am thrilled.

Yes.  And Poquoson and Tabb, Virginia please.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful and inspiring. It is so obvious that Scott and his family’s coming is of God–to us but not by us–and that truly makes us “standing on Holy Ground.” It’s as though He is saying, “It’s time.”

  2. Amen! Amen! And Amen! PTL!

    Ward Bursley

    864-349-1943 (cell)


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