A brief history of how we’ve gotten to where we are

The first Sunday of June 1997 marks our congregation's release from spiritual Egypt. We were a group shackled by tradition who would rather debate doctrinal issues than help the needy. We preferred to have money in the bank, rather than take care of the building. And we believed that only men with a Masters degree in Theology were qualified to lead the church.

By May 1997, the leadership was deeply discouraged with the downward direction of the church. On a Wednesday evening, they met together, wept, prayed and asked Jesus to take control of His church. He answered that prayer. Only weeks later in June, the chains that bound us were released.

From that time, the Lord was given leadership of this church. He has lead us in directions that we would never have imagined, taught us lessons we would never have learned on our own, and has miraculously provided for us, enabling our survival as a church. Our story also has an amazing similarity to the story of the Israelites being freed from Egypt and being led to the promised land. A place superior to Egypt.

Some of the parallels:

The Israelites were captives and slaves in Egypt

We were prisoners of man-made traditions and rules

We were in chains by people who worshipped false gods (they worshipped the Bible, not the God who wrote it)

Aaron and Moses were made leaders from their own people

Ordinary people from our own congregation were anointed by God to positions of leadership. Gone were the foreign leaders (high priced theologians).

Exodus (Exit or release). The final plague - the Egyptians oldest (firstborn) children and animals were killed, which forced Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt.

A figurative death of the firstborn, the Lord removed many of the top seniority (firstborn) members.

Manna came down from heaven.

God supplied bread and meat for the Israelites to survive in the desert. Celebration's desert time has required total dependence on God... we were few in number and it was impossible, by human standards, for us to survive.

God has supplied everything we've needed to maintain our existence. At the time that we gained our freedom, many members left. But at precisely that same time, the Lord brought to us a daycare and Wayne Metro (a community service agency), which filled the financial void. In 2001, we received $19,000 from a former member who passed away but had made the church a beneficiary. In 2002, we received a mystery deposit of over $2,100 into our checking account. We have always had sufficient money to pay our bills. The Lord truly provides!

Testing and teaching

God gave the Israelites freedom, but He also tested and taught them while in the desert. Some of the lessons we’ve learned in the desert:

Worship is a time to express our love to the Lord. It’s a time of intimacy

Men and women are equals in the worship service

Music is a gift from heaven

Worship is not a funeral service, but a time to celebrate God's goodness

Expressing emotions in worship is okay

Everyone is equal: no races, no financial status, your history doesn't matter

Marriage represents the kind of love relationship, commitment and intimacy the Lord desires with His people. Baptism is the wedding ring...it seals the covenant of love

The Lord hates sin. Obedience is blessed.

Confession of sin is required in order to receive God’s forgiveness

We are brothers and sisters of all Christians

The Lord's house is very important and we need to take good care of it

A successful church in God's eyes is not measured by numbers, but by it's heart and it's obedience

We need to always remember and give thanks for what the Lord has done for us

The Israelites leave Egypt with riches

We sold our church property to the City of Taylor in October, 2002. Just like the Israelites who left Egypt loaded with silver and gold, we too left with substantial assets. We’re just waiting for the Lord to part the sea so that we can cross into the promised land. We eagerly await that day.

The members who are continuing on this journey will gladly testify to the miraculous hand of God in sustaining this church. His church. Lead on, Lord Jesus.

Celebration Church of Christ 2016