Jul 29, 2007

A Tale of Two Churches

Hey guys, just a quick one this time. As I have mentioned before, I attend (when I’m in Louisville) and am a member of, 9th and O Baptist Church. Someone has created and posted a fantastic, and fair, video on U-tube. I thought I’d share the link if anyone is interested.

I have been attending Ninth and O from the very first Sunday I was in Louisville (July of 2005). I took my time and visited plenty of others before joining in October of 2005, but even while visiting other churches, I always came back to Ninth and O. There I have found a place of fellowship, refuge, encouragement, and challenge (much more about that aspect is sure to come later). I LOVE my church and my church family dearly and jealously. I have found the teaching to be among the most solid anywhere and the fellowship unrivaled. Further, I have never been in a church where I have felt more genuinely loved and cared for.

I am as involved as I am able to be, constantly trying to hold the balance of being properly vs. too involved (as I always have a tendency to do). I am the most heavily involved in the music ministry there, assisting wherever I can. My mentor and close personal friend is Jim Parsons, the Worship Pastor, and I do mean Pastor in the proper sense. There are many preachers and so-called “music ministers,” but few Pastors (John 10). If you are in Louisville, or just like solid, Bible-based sermons, check us out!

Here is Ninth and O’s webpage:


Here is the video link:


Also, lest I leave it out, I am privileged to attend Old Fort Baptist when I’m home. Due to circumstances I may or may not write about at another point (though of course I would protect identities), my mother and I had to leave the church we attended (which I still call my home-church sometimes) two weeks before I left for seminary. We had visited Old Fort before, but it was not previously the Lord’s will for us to be there. Upon leaving this previous church, I felt sure Old Fort was the one. Though I knew it was pointless for me to join with only two weeks until I left, I attended services there until it was time to go. Later after prayerful consideration, mom joined and has been there ever since.

I have, for the first time since being in Seminary, been able to spend more than just a week or two at Old Fort. In fact, I was blessed to spend the entire summer with this wonderful family. I must admit that the few times I have been home in the past, I basically hid, knowing that I was only there for a day or two (I even “missed” a few times when I was home to avoid the uncomfortable feeling). That is to my shame. To make a feeble explanation, it is very hard for me to open up to new people. Not in the sense of being bold when I need to be, getting a job done, or speaking for my Lord. I am not the slightest bit timid in these settings. But in the sense of social settings, it usually takes me a while to be comfortable and be myself (and I usually drive a few people crazy because of over-analyzing). Then, once I am comfortable, I basically stop with the over-analyzing, relax, and am able to be myself (which definitely scares people ;) I have meditated long and hard, trying to figure myself out with this. I have gone from one idea to another and I still don’t understand it, but on I digress and further off topic I go… the bottom line, is that it takes me a while to “loosen up” with new people. Thus (finally getting back to my main point), I did not think it worth the effort of “putting myself out” for literally one Sunday (or two at most) every six-months. The beauty of the body of Christ, is that no matter who you are, or where you come from, we are all IN Him, if indeed we are His. This is a lesson that I knew, but that I learned once again, at Old Fort. I was immediately taken in and treated as if I had been there all along. I have grown to love this family, and I do say family, and it is to my sinful shame that I denied myself the pleasure of getting to know them; that I denied them the burden of getting to know me; and, most importantly, that I denied Christ the honor He is due in and through my life, by seeing His children relish His presence together! It is a discredit to me, and a testimony to this church (insert Jim, mentioned above, shaking his head at me ;).

One last thing that I must mention about this church: The preaching ministry in this church is perhaps the greatest I have ever had the privilege of sitting under. I am not saying this to down-play, or discredit any of the other wonderful men of God that I’ve heard and sat under (in fact, I’ve been spoiled between NGU and Southern), but this one, at least to me, stands above all (also, lest he be lifted too high, note that I said “sat under”). I realize that a decent part of my love of this teaching has to do with it being a style that I like, but, beyond this, the messages are SOLIDLY founded on the Holy Scriptures and are delivered with the conviction, power, and passion of a true Pastor (despite using this term twice in this post, I do not use it liberally or lightly in life). The teaching ministry is a challenge to me of the type of preaching I desire to do. The messages are presented, with deep thought, yet in a manner that anyone “who has an ear” can hear. Though the wording is prayerfully and carefully chosen, it is also preached from the heart and not simply memorized, allowing for the perfect “fit” and “flex” in each of the three services. Lest I go on and on, I will simply say, I was blessed to sit under Pastor Eric this summer and plan to continue to listen online in all of the spare time we all know I will not have ;)

Here is Old Fort’s webpage:


Well, I guess so much for “just a quick one” and “just sharing a link,” but any that know me, know better than that anyway ;) All-in-all, I once-again (enough hyphens for you?), find myself so blessed, as to have to leave one blessing, in order to receive another. I must say farewell to Old Fort (for now), and hello to Ninth and O (yet again). I love you both!

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