Wednesday, September 14 2022
On Friday, August 5th, I began to relax and exhale. After months of preparation and workers assuring me that we would be ready, excitement replaced exhaustion. After being closed for two years, our grounds and buildings needed major repairs and renovations. We had experienced an uphill climb to be ready for Homecoming 2022 on Zion’s Hill. The final touch would be the installation of air conditioners to ensure our worship experiences would be comfortable. Little did I know in less than 24 hours, things were about to change drastically. So much of the work and preparation would never be seen or experienced by the Saints who were already traveling for our camp meeting. At first sight, what appeared to be heartbreak, we clearly see now that it is just the framework for a healthy transition into the future.
The National Association has withstood the test of time for 106 years. We have seen years of growth and prosperity, protest and progress, resurgence and restructure. The fire that occurred on August 6, 2022, will be another defining moment in the life of this ministry. Through it all, the members of our beloved Association have been faithful and fearless. We do not minimize the sadness of the fire and the temporary loss of Terrell Dining Hall, Frisby Dormitory, and our Children’s Corner; it was devastating. But one thing is certain; it did not thwart the move of the Holy Spirit and the sweet fellowship of the Saints who still gathered for homecoming.
The church around the globe has joined our efforts and is living out Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” From the moment the news broke, many of our sister agencies and friends responded in tangible ways. Because we lost the use of our main dormitory, Church of God Ministries provided aid to assist with housing those displaced to local hotels. Christian Women Connection brought their donation to use wherever there was a need. Several of our Regional Pastors came to worship with us and donated generously. The love and support of the Church of God Colorado Conference, North Carolina General Assembly, Ohio Ministries, and Western Pennsylvania of the Church of God will forever be etched in our hearts. Because we are the Body of Christ, we witnessed the strong presence of our ecumenical friends. The Wesleyan Investment Foundation and the West Middlesex Presbyterian Church blessed us by their in-person representation and significant contributions. Calls and donations continue to come in from our sisters and brothers in Africa and the Caribbean Islands. We will be remiss if we fail to say thank you to the many churches and individuals who have given sacrificially. Some have increased their monthly giving, and many have now signed on for the first time to provide ongoing support. No gift has been too small; all are appreciated and make up the whole.
This journey has just begun as we continue to work through the process. There are still expenses and losses yet pending. We are recovering, but we have not recovered. In 2020 our theme was taken from Isaiah 43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming, do you not see it?” On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Association, thank you for your continued support as we build back better! Can you not see it?