History in the making

11 Nov

The story really is the kind of story told in history books.  It is that important.  To date, Ebenezer Baptist Church has two history books written about it, both telling the story of this great church with a tremendous heritage of missions.  In fact, if you look for one central theme in the 235-year-old life of Ebenezer, mission work might be it!!  Both of these books tell the story of two daughter of Ebenezer, Ruth Pettigrew and Neale Young, who gave their lives for missions overseas.  Their lives were all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And I submit to you that there is another such story today that belongs with these two.

I remember when I first met Drake Johnston.  He was barely in junior high school and was a neighbor to our youth pastor (at the time), Justin McAlpin.  Justin invited him to EBC in the beginning and Drake would faithfully walk down to Justin’s house and catch a ride with him as often as he could.  Through that relationship, Drake realized his own need for Christ.  As time passed, his mother, stepfather, and little brothers came to know Ebenezer as their spiritual home, too!  (Ironically, Sherry (his mom) attended Ebenezer as a child, so this was somewhat of a homecoming for her!!)

As Drake finished high school and all of his friends talked about where they were going to college, he sensed a call to go in a different direction.  God gave him a tremendous musical talent and he felt called to use it for God as best he could.  He prayed about it, talked about it with his mom, with Justin, with me, and with others whose counsel he trusted:  He felt a call to go to the mission field with the OM organization.  He talked to the OM folks and found out that he probably would not be assigned to a ship but to a land-based worship team.

When most of the kids his age were moving to different colleges, pledging fraternities and sororities and engaging in the lives of college freshmen, Drake was being trained to survive on the mission field.  And that is where he has spent his life since.  And he will head back in a few months.  Hearing his testimony in song and his experiences yesterday reminds us that, just as God did with Miss Neale and Miss Ruth, He has taken another child of Ebenezer and placed that young man in a position to directly influence hundreds of thousands with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Personally, I can also see how God has blessed his talent and it continues to grow and develop.

So … the next time you wonder if God is still at work in a place like Ebenezer, think about Drake.  Think about all that God has called him to do and all that he is doing to build the kingdom of God.  Realize that those noisy kids running the halls contain the next Drake … the next Ruth … the next Neale.  And thank God Almighty for the noise!!

One Response to “History in the making”

  1. Betty Moore-Bell November 13, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Beautifully stated truths. What a blessing….

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