This picture sums up not only a highlight of my presidency, but one of the highlights of my life. The event was Family Gathering: Special Edition and the day’s worship service primarily centered around tributes to my 35 years as president. I had no advance notice of the contents of the service; those planning the day almost had to take a blood oath that none of them would tell me what was going on.
A highlight of the service was the viewing of a special video created when children/youth traveled to Thomasville to record words of “thanks” to me for my 35 years — I cried like a baby. And when Adam Saunders from Broyhill Home looked straight at me and sang, “Thank you for giving to the Lord,” he and I both lost it. The “first-ever” staff choir with members from every ministry and from around the state lifted us heavenward with inspiring songs — and my spirit soared. The rousing percussion performance by Cameron Boys Camp led by world-renown musician William Johnson made our hearts race and the One Heart painting presentation to my wife Catherine and me was breathtaking. So, straight from my heart, let me tell you that this service of worship meant the world to me.
Elsewhere in this issue, much of which features FG:SE, you will see color pictures that give an idea of the breadth and depth of the day. Not only was there a two hour worship experience, the morning was filled with games, refreshments, a delicious lunch from BBQ Joe’s, and special recognition of Linda Morgan’s 45 years of exemplary employment.
I was thrilled to once again lead this year’s Family Gathering march from God’s Canopy to Mills Home Baptist Church, some 600-700 staff and residents in lock-step behind me. The picture you see on this page is one I’ve always wanted and that is of me standing (with both pride and humility) at the front of hundreds of Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) employees and children/youth filling the church. What a truly awesome sight — all staff and all residents from every location.
We have some incredibly talented employees at BCH. The event’s planning team led by co-chairs Jim Edminson and Linda Morgan prayed, planned, built, rehearsed, and then delivered in the most magnificent way possible. I shall always be grateful for June 19, 2018 when “our” family gathered together for fun, fellowship and worship.
Family Gathering is only held every five years. This special edition came just three years after the last regular Gathering. The next one will be back on track in 2020.
People occasionally ask me if I have thought about retiring. The answer is “No!” However, check back in this space in five years and I may be able to give you a more definitive answer!
Read more Baptist Children's Homes' stories at www.bchblog.org