We embarked upon an exciting new adventure with the blessings and encouragement of our dear pastor, Jack Gwinn. Pastor Gwinn has been such an incredible inspiration to us these past 4 years. He has a long legacy of faithful service as pastor. He has served in West Virginia and Peoria, Illinois through the years, but God knew we needed his example and leadership in Knoxville at Still Waters Baptist Church. His testimony and life example helped us step out of our comfort zone to plant a church close to our home.
About 18 years ago, Gil walked a little church aisle one Sunday morning when our first pastor, Mark Williams, preached a message: "Vessels of Honor." Gil told the Lord that morning that he would preach whenever the Lord opened the doors of opportunity. Gil has never asked to speak anywhere, but over the years on occasion, God has allowed him to preach at various churches. In recent years, several families approached asking if God had been directing Gil to pastor a church. It’s certainly easier to "attend" church, so we hid from the idea of such a huge responsibility and undertaking. Nonetheless, Gil began speaking to Pastor Gwinn about the tugging at his heart. God has a way of prompting and prodding us to do something that we are in no ways capable of doing on our own! Pastor Gwinn, with his typical exhorting mannerisms, said, "Boy, hurry up and get to work! And make sure you start the services on time! Don’t be late!"
Three weeks ago, with the generous help of our loving Still Waters Baptist Church family we met at the brand new Bible Baptist Church for our very first service! We are temporarily meeting in the conference room of Holiday Inn Express in Clinton, Tn., but we know God has a wonderful future in store for us… through the mountain top experiences and through the valleys!
We’ve already seen His hand of provision in so many ways! Our Still Waters Church family and Pastor Gwinn donated our keyboard! Pastor Mike Samples of New Testament Baptist donated 100 hymnals! With mixed emotions of leaving our precious friends at Still Waters, we rejoice through our tears to see God faithfully walk us hand in hand, as little children, on this very new step of faith.