Excerpt from "First Things" Vol. LXV, No. 36, September 6, 2015
"One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts" (Psalm 145:4)
We are at a moment of opportunity in the life of our church family. And, although that statement sounds like something from a political campaign speech, it is nevertheless true. The purchase of 1400 Lady Street (the former SCE&G building) opens up for us a large array of possible ministry opportunities. As Dr. Randy Folks outlined at our open Sunday School discussion a few weeks ago, moving some of our current ministries to the newer building provides opportunities in other areas of our campus.
Three areas of ministry in particular will benefit from these changes. Youth and College ministry will each acquire a dedicated space. Our youth have met in corners of our campus for many years and need a space of their own in which to grow and improve their ministry. And since David Henderson’s arrival a month ago, our College Class has already attracted large numbers, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is no reason why First Presbyterian Church cannot attract hundreds of college students to its campus.
Perhaps the most exciting, and least anticipated, aspect of Dr. Folks’ report was the possibility of dedicating the Palmer Annex building as a Community Ministry House enabling city-wide ministries with whom we share a common understanding of the gospel to partner with us. We are, after all, a downtown city church with responsibilities to the city around us.
As we heard a few weeks ago, all of this requires substantial amounts of money to achieve. To begin with, the building that we recently acquired needs to be paid for and modified.
We, therefore, have an opportunity to experience the joy of giving in a way that will be a test of our discipleship. I am certain that for many of us, this experience of giving will prove a landmark, a moment when we realize in a new way that we are stewards of all we have and all we hope to have. I have already heard of initiatives among children’s Sunday School classes to contribute to this project. The target is $8 million pledged over five years, and there is no reason to suspect that this figure is beyond our ability to achieve.
The apostle Paul embarked on a similar capital campaign. For about three years of his life, he seemed preoccupied with it. Raising funds to help Christians in Jerusalem, he appealed to the Corinthians to give – no, to out-give the churches further north of Corinth; you can read about it in II Corinthians 8. Despite their "extreme poverty" (II Cor. 8:2), they insisted that they be included (8:4), giving proportionally according to their means (8:12) and sacrificially – beyond their means (8:3).
Sincerely in Christ,
Derek W.H. Thomas
This page last updated October 9, 2015.