Oak Ridge Reflections 4

Oak Ridge Church of Christ
Oak Ridge Church of Christ

Being way out in the country, in an area that is not very populated, one might be tempted to think that there wasn’t much hope for a small family-oriented church to grow. But not Glenn.

Glenn Jarrett was my room mate for a while in college. He and I were great friends and I was happy when he was selected to be the preacher at Oak Ridge. Of all of the preacher students to preach at the Ridge, Glenn had the greater vision for what could happen there. One thing that he did was to actually move out there to live. Then he married into the Oak Ridge family. And he worked and loved and visited and cared for the area residents out there.

As a result of that, this week I’m seeing many Christians who are strong members of Oak Ridge Church of Christ. A few of us were talking tonight about all those who have passed on since I was the preacher. It’s a pretty impressive list. A new generation is becoming the new leadership at the Ridge. Many of those are people that Glenn reached and helped grow farther into maturity in Christ. .

It was during Glenn’s time at the Ridge that a baptistry was added to the building. At the same time a kitchen and bathrooms were added to the building, as well as a fellowship hall. Glenn took the old voting precinct building and made an office out of it.

Attendance was at an all time high during Glenn’s time there – mostly due to his active service and love for the people. His preaching was excellent. Glenn ended up spending about ten years at Oak Ridge. He is now ministering near his home town in Georgia.

I’m sure everyone who spent time preaching at the Ridge has reflections they can recall. Hopefully each one has shared something of God’s Word that has had a lasting effect.

bradandlaurasmall
Brad and Laura Adcock

The current preacher and wife is Brad and Laura Adcock. They are a very sweet and genuine young couple that I have enjoyed getting to know this week. It won’t be long until a new baby boy will be a part of their lives. They are loved at Oak Ridge, which makes them part of a long tradition of a small church that is big on love.

The gospel meeting at Oak Ridge ended tonight. I preached five sermons from the book of James. Everyone was very kind in their comments. Tonight there were visitors from the Huntsville (MS) Church of Christ, including current preacher Nathan Wright. His wife’s grandparents were there … Mr. and Mrs. Dan Burdain. A few posts ago I mentioned Dan coming to the Ridge to preach on Sunday morning for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Garvis Seymore were present as well. Garvis is President of Magnolia Bible College. There was a good crowd – over 50 in attendance. We had a great snack supper – including a home made strawberry coconut cake from Helen Hopkins’ freezer. She contributed even though she could not be there. Beyond the visiting preachers, and friends from other churches, there was that faithful core of believers that continue to meet in this little church building. Across the street is the cemetery where many of those who used to lead the way at Oak Ridge are now at rest.

You can call it nostalgic or sentimental, and perhaps it is. But I choose to think that there was something formative going on in my two years at Oak Ridge. It was good to revisit these roots and to experience again the good country welcome offered by these delightful disciples.

Thanks for reading my Oak Ridge Reflections this week. We’re looking forward to returning home tomorrow to our beloved Forsythe Family.

John

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