So...back before I was a reformed, slightly charismatic Southern Baptist, I was a Primitive Baptist. I was in a Primitive Baptist church until my sophomore year in high school. Yes, we do have bathrooms, running water, electricity, etc.
Yesterday, my Dad's good friend, Elder Lasserre Bradley preached at Cypress Primitive Baptist Church outside of Sacramento, KY (off WK Pkwy). So, I went over there.
This is what I thought:
Elder Bradley is a very meek man. The pastor's wife shared one thing about him: he never says something he doesn't mean - he's a man of few words. I want to be known as this - especially as Dustin preached last week on words and what that says of our wisdom (or lack of). So, Elder Bradley must be a very wise man. He will be celebrating 50 years at his church in Cincinnati this October (my parents and I will be there for that).
Every church needs to take welcoming/hospitality skills from this church. Shake hands (extend fellowship) at the end of every service. Even during leading the singing, if someone walked in, Pastor Whitaker would walk back, say hello, and shake their hands. I felt like I had known the Pastor's family (wife and daughter and 2 kids) forever - getting to chat with them during the meal and before the next service started.
Dinner on the grounds: good, southern cooking - so many vegetables you don't know what to do with and dessert to take up a football field!
They weren't worried about anything else. They were concerned with the preaching of the Word. They did a song service before the hour (accapella hymn singing, call out a number style, all stanzas).
Elder Bradley preached a very practical sermon (1st one) on Ps 119.24: Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. He gave several practical life situations where this should be true: depression, decision-making, etc. Then the second sermon (after lunch) was an encouragement one. This was most applicable because most PB churches are dwindling in numbers and increasing in age. I think this is for several reasons. But...it was a very timely sermon for these people.
I do plan on heading back to Sacramento at some time: enjoy Christian fellowship, country, outside of Louisville metro. I really like KY if you get me out of the city!