Voices from the Past 50 Years

This past Sunday, we celebrated 50 years of faith and love at Fern Creek Christian Church. It was a lot of fun! If you missed it, check our website, where we should have videos from that day. You can also check out these videos from two young men who grew up in our church, and are now studying and serving in ministry.

I also didn’t get a chance to share words of encouragement from some former ministers who served at Fern Creek during the past 50 years. So, let me step aside and let them speak in this week’s blog…

Rick Burdette (Senior Minister, 1999-2013)
Friendships aren’t made because people get together for ball games or meals, although I like both. Friendships are knit together in the fabric of life. The dark weavings of pain and struggles mingled with the bright cloth of celebrations and joy. It was the great privilege of the Burdettes to share in both through 14+ years of ministry. And the most beautiful part of God’s knitting of our friendship is the scarlet thread of Jesus Christ which holds it together for eternity. Congratulations on this 50th year of impacting the world for God’s glory.

Dale DeNeal (Associate Minister, 1982-1990)
Church Family, Happy 50th anniversary! You are a great church! Donna and I could not have asked to be part of a more loving and encouraging congregation for our first full-time ministry. Some of our most cherished experiences and memories happened when we were with you. We love you very much. May God continue to richly bless FCCC.

PJ Hardin (Worship Minister, 2007-2011)
Congratulations on celebrating 50 years of service in Christ. I’m so thankful to see God continuing to bless and grow this ministry. Fern Creek Christian is a church that truly continues to live out the Great Commission. For 50 years this church has has been a light in the darkness, and a city on hill for the people of Fern Creek, the Louisville area and all nations. For 50 years you have helped lost people find salvation and saved people to become disciples; from the very young, to the not so young.
Thank you for showing the love of Christ to me and my family. Thank you for helping my children start off in the right direction. Thank you for being a family to our family and sharing life with us. Fern Creek Christian Church will always feel like home to us no matter where the Lord leads.
Congratulations for reaching this milestone and may God continue to bless this church and its ministry.

Bill Stone (Senior Minister, 1983-1989)
Time seems to have flown by since I was your Senior Minister. Those days were full of victories, and challenges, as we strove to build the role of the congregation in the Fern Creek community. Mission growth and leadership development were highlights of that era of ministry.  The congregation took a leadership role in the growth of the Fern Creek – Highview United Ministries. We were also active in the work at White Mills Camp.
As you celebrate this important milestone in the history of the congregation, we pray for your continued faithful witness for Christ in all of your ministry efforts.

Steve Poston (Youth Minister, 1990-2007)
Greetings to our Fern Creek Family! It is with great joy that we remember and speak of our years of sharing life with you. We came to Fern Creek, barely adults, full of hope, enthusiasm, and a little uncertainty about what God would do. Together, we grew in number and spirit. You loved and nurtured our family through various seasons of life over our 17 years with you. We are privileged and blessed beyond words to have had the privilege to call you our family, as we still do today. Much has changed for us and for you since we followed God’s leading to “the mission field of Ohio”, but one thing has not – our love for you and and joy in remembering life shared with you. May you continue to be bold in loving greatly, living gracefully, and sharing the great hope of Jesus with the community there and as God leads you around the world. We look forward with great anticipation to the next time we can be with you and even more so to the day that we worship with you before the throne of our beloved Father in Heaven.

Mark Jones (Senior Minister, 1989-1995)
I am praising God today for the impact you have had in Fern Creek for five decades. God’s light has shined brightly and many people have come to know Jesus in a life-changing way. I pray that you will keep loving the Lord, loving your neighbors, loving the lost. In Acts 20:24, the Apostle Paul said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” May each of our lives be a testimony to God’s amazing grace. Thanks for letting Gail and me be a part of your great legacy! We love you and pray for you regularly.

7 Things to Know in preparation for our 50th

On Sunday at 10am, we will celebrate our church’s 50th anniversary. I hope you’re planning to join us. If you are, here are 7 things you need to know in advance of our big day:

  1. Come ready to celebrate! We will spend some time giving thanks to God for His faithfulness, and honoring those who have helped us live and love like Jesus for 50 years. There will be memories, laughter, and people to thank. And then the celebration will continue outside, as we eat, share, play, talk, and continue the celebration.
  2. Come ready to anticipate! Part of the benefit of looking back is that it reminds us who we are — and points us forward to God’s continued call to us as a church. We are confident that God has much more in store for us, and Sunday we will spend some time talking about that.
  3. Plan your driving. With one service, parking will be a challenge. Here are two key ways you can help with this: 1) Get everybody in your house into one car. 2) If possible, park at the lot at Fern Creek Elementary School (the one right next to the Fern Creek football field). Click this link and zoom in to see exactly where to park. We will have a shuttle bus running between church and FC Elementary, 8:45-9:45am, and then again from 2-3pm.
  4. Dress comfortably. It’s a picnic, so come ready to enjoy time as a church family.
  5. Bring the “three S’s” with you — two sides (or a side & a dessert), serving spoons for your sides, and sling chairs for all your family. There will be limited seating inside for those who aren’t able to eat outside.
  6. Oh, and bring one more thing: Flexibility. Between parking, and seating in our sanctuary, and the number of people who will be going through the food line, there will be a lot happening on Sunday. Be patient, flexible, and joyful as we celebrate together.
  7. Think about how our church has impacted your life. There will be a huge timeline you can write on, and we will also ask you to write notes to put inside a time capsule. Both will be an opportunity for you to describe how Fern Creek Christian has been a part of your faith and your life.

I’m looking forward to our time together this weekend. Let’s come together to celebrate, anticipate, and continue being the church family God has called us to be. See you Sunday!

Happy Birthday!

Perhaps you heard that the draft of Bob Dylan’s song “Like a Rolling Stone” sold this week for $2,045,000. Four sheets of paper, one song, two million bucks. In other words, somebody paid more than $500,000 for a single piece of paper, and then, for good measure, bought three more at the same price.

But did you know that Like a Rolling Stone has something in common with the Gateway Arch in my hometown of St. Louis? And they both share something with Tom & Jerry (the cartoon cat and mouse) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (simply the best 25 minutes of holiday TV).

Sizing up the Arch -- which was "born" in 1965
Sizing up the Arch — which was “born” in 1965

What could these four odd collections of pop culture have in common? Simply this: all of them first appeared in 1965. Like a Rolling Stone began spinning on American turntables on August 30. Tom started chasing Jerry on September 25. The Gateway Arch was completed on October 28. And Charlie Brown and his sweetly pathetic tree first appeared on TV on December 9. All in 1965.

And to these, add one more: Fern Creek Christian Church.

On June 27, 1965, Fern Creek Christian Church gathered for its initial worship service (under its first name, Second Christian Church). The church first met downtown, but soon relocated to the Fern Creek area, where we have been ever since.

Forty-nine years of being, and becoming, God’s people. Forty-nine years of living and loving like Jesus. Nearly five decades of seeking to live out God’s mission in us and through us.

I am grateful for what God has done through our church in the past 49 years. I am privileged to be a part of what God is doing at Fern Creek right now. And I look forward to what God has in store as we move toward 50 years — and beyond.

My favorite part of Charlie Brown’s Christmas special is when CB yells out, “Isn’t there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?”

“Sure Charlie Brown,” Linus says. “I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” Linus then takes center stage and proceeds to tell his friends about the true meaning of Christmas — straight out of Luke 2. And it includes these words from the angels: “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (NRSV).

For 49 years, Linus’s message has been proclaimed on TV airwaves every Christmas. And for 49 years, in season and out of season, that same story of Jesus has been shared in and through Fern Creek Christian Church.

Here’s to 49 more years of living and loving like Jesus. Puny Christmas tree optional.