Front page: Two Texas churches unite for special service

The writer is assistant editor of The International News, published by the Church of God International, P.O. Box 2525, Tyler, Texas 75710, U.S.A., in which the original version of this article ran under the headline "Special Service Brings Spirit of Unity to Tyler Churches." It is adapted here by permission from Vol. 24, No. 1.

By Darren M. Cary

TYLER, Texas--In a spirit of joy, humility and reconciliation, the local Church of God International congregation met with the Tyler Church of God for Sabbath services Feb. 15. By the time the song service concluded, the official count for attendance was at 121, including guests from other area Churches of God.

The independent Tyler Church of God (a supporter of Ronald Dart's Christian Educational Ministries) is pastored by John Reedy. It formed in 1995.

The meeting was held at a convenient location in town to accommodate the expected crowd. While some Tyler residents had only a 10-minute drive to church, others came from Big Sandy, Longview, Dallas, Shreveport, Texarkana and Houston.

Among the ministers in attendance were Wayne Cole, Richard Crow, Ronald Dart, Charles Groce, John Reedy, Vance Stinson and Larry Watkins.

Russell DeBerry and Jack Wroten offered the opening and closing prayers before the assembly.

Too loud

Brent Kern, an accomplished student of music, led the worship service with gusto. The purity of his voice encouraged everyone to sing his best joyously and loudly.

Too loudly, in fact. Mr. Kern had to interrupt the congregation and offer instruction after the first verse of "Open My Eyes That I May See" because church members were singing the refrain ("Silently now I wait for Thee . . .") at the top of their voices.

After a few prayer requests by Mr. Reedy during the announcement time, church members were treated to special music by Mr. Kern, who sang a moving solo, "God Shall Wipe Away All Tears From Their Eyes."

The meeting's guest speaker was Richard Crow, a minister from an independent Church of God in Houston. He admonished the assembly to avoid deadly hindrances to prayer such as doubt, laziness, stubborn sin and bad relationships with people.

After the service, church members gathered in the fellowship hall to meet new people and get reacquainted with old faces: faces in many instances seven or eight years older than when last seen.

Personal reunions

The personal reunions were meaningful and long overdue.

Put any group of converted but separated Church of God brethren in a room full of tables laden with food and you're sure to witness minimiracles of personal reconciliation.

"The gathering of brethren in such a spirit of community was an awakening," said Charles Groce, an elder and chief executive officer of the CGI.

"Our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ must have been pleased."

This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

Church Links  -  Addresses  -  Church Logos  -  Finances  -  Photos  -   Memorial

The Study Library  -  In Transition  -  Messages Online  -  Live Services

Back Issues  -  Subscribe  -  Email List  -  Ad Rates  -  Site Map

© The Journal: News of the Churches of God