This past Sunday I had the incredible opportunity to preach at the Iberia Church of the Nazarene. Iberia, Missouri is a very small rural, farming town. I’ll make the newspaper by coming to town. It is the place where my mother spent much of her childhood. It’s where my grandfather bought the family farm (literally he bought the farm). It’s where my uncle Ralph and Aunt Ruby and Cousins David and Daniel and their families live.
It is also where my great grandfather was the second pastor in the church’s history. There are few other notable facts about the Iberia Nazarene Church – it was the home church of Haldor Lillenas (who founded Lillenas music company) and it is the only Nazarene church to have a jail on the premises. That’s right… a jail. It was built by the town in the 40’s (I think) to throw the drunks in. They are currently changing the stand alone building into a prayer chapel – ah, redemption at its finest!
But I digress… It was incredibly significant for me to preach to that congregation out of my grandfather’s bible. As much as I’m all for moving forward and re-imaging the way we do church, it was incredibly refreshing to be with this wonderful group of people as we worshiped together and let God’s Word encounter our lives.
Of course in good Nazarene tradition, after the service they had a good old fashioned pot-luck with some of the greatest collection of food I’ve seen and tasted in a long time.
God is faithful! I’m so thankful that after many generations, God has faithfully called families to share their faith with others.