|"This was definitely answered prayer," said Nancy's husband, Richard. "We have several young couples with kids. Some of these couples were raised in the church and had been turned off to church in the past. Now they are actively involved in church. We are glad we can provide a new place for Sabbath services."|
Conformity not forced
Before moving in, the brethren organized several work parties. Each family donated a folding table. Several members donated folding chairs and kitchen supplies.
"There is no forced doctrinal conformity," Mr. Davis told The Journal. "We are a family here. Each Sabbath is like a family meeting with a family atmosphere."
The group's format is not rigid. It might change on any given Sabbath, but a typical worship church service features a family potluck meal at noon, congregational singing, prayer requests, intercessory prayer, a discussion of current events and an interactive Bible study.
Group members say they believe everyone who has an Ephesians 4 talent should be encouraged to use it.
"We don't look at sharing these things as something we have to endure," Mr. Davis said. "Instead, every Sabbath we look forward to hearing these things from each other.
"Again, we are a family. Now, we're not saying we are perfect in our fellowship. These things we talk about are the ideal, the goal we have set as we continue to grow and overcome."
Mrs. Rector pointed out that the group's primary goal is to provide an atmosphere for open fellowship that encourages individual participation and growth. The church's leadership is not like the shepherds of Zechariah 11, who were concerned only about money.
"Further," she said, "we don't try to force our beliefs on anyone who attends with us."
Mr. Davis agreed. He noted that in his role as moderator within the group (it has no pastor and doesn't intend to have one) he encourages each person to avoid offense when he hears something that could cause division and strife.
"Yes," he said, "we are doctrinally based. We believe in Messiah Jesus, the Sabbath, the annual high days and keeping God's laws. But people have different beliefs on subjects that relate to the calendar, new moons and sacred names."
Mrs. Rector said Cornerstone Fellowship welcomes visitors, especially those with children.
Attendee Kathy McCommon of Longview, Texas, commented: "We don't believe in making the children sit on pallets for two or three hours and stare at our feet. As long as the kids are quiet and respectful, they are welcome to play and go outside with supervision."
Added Mrs. Davis: "We're praying we can stay here a long time and make improvements such as a chain-link fence."
As a rule, the group meets every Sabbath. However, visitors are advised to call ahead to make sure the time or location of services has not changed for a special weekend.
Mrs. Rector, administrator, receives phone calls at (870) 287-4573. Contact Mr. Davis at (903) 293-2224.