Church closings

Here’s a sad item from the latest issue of Magnolia Messenger, based in Miss., which I enjoy. See my comments at the end.

Warrington Church Closes Its Doors

Not good news!
May good come there from!

On Monday morning (1/9/11), brother Ray Herrington of Vicksburg, Mississippi, called. When I asked how his new year was coming along, he answered, “Pretty good; although some… not so good.” He then related  a decision which “had to be made” and which became effective Sunday, January 9, 2010. After more than 40 years of spiritual services to the community of Warrenton, Mississippi, (a few miles south of Vicksburg), the dwindling congregation reluctantly; yet, permanently closed their building. Brother Ray stated that it was truly a “hard decision” and a “sad occasion.” But, as he said, “We had to face reality… we were down to about 10 to 12 and were just spinning our wheels.”

Brother Ray stated that most of the Warrenton members have made plans to become a part of the nearby I-20 church of  Christ in the city of Vicksburg. He also said that the facilities of the Warrenton church were now “up for sale” and that interested persons could contact either of the two men who served as elders until the church closed.  For more information, please contact:  Ray Herrington at 601- 636-4197 or Mark Rhodes at 601-636-4443.

We join with brother Herrington in requesting prayers on behalf of our brothers and sisters who, reluctantly, felt the need to make such a sad decision. Lets all pray the work of the Lord will move forward in the community as brethren unite in faith with other brethren as all seek to glorify the precious name of Jesus Christ. Pray also for the proper disposal of the property and the dispersal of proceeds to help further the Cause of Christ.

I don’t write to criticize these good folk, whom I don’t know and whose situation I’m not familiar with. If I were in their shoes, I might agree with their decision. Whether I were to agree with it or not, is beside the point, since the Lord is the judge of us all.

Now, here’s my point: I would love to have that many people when starting a church. We had half that many when starting in Taubaté. Guará still doesn’t have that many people. How many times have I or another brother, when I wasn’t present, conducted the meeting alone? And this without a preacher or a church building.

Those may be the decisive factors. So few can’t support the overhead. But a few can meet in a home, teach neighbors, drive the stake of God’s kingdom into new ground. Or old, as it may be.

In one Brazilian city two women held out for several years, meeting together, praying for workers, claiming their city for the Lord. Now there are at least two churches there.

Do we give up too easily? Have we so identified one way of serving the Lord — with a church building and paid preacher — that we can’t see other means of fulfilling the Great Commission? Do we refrain from opening new territories because we don’t have all the paraphernalia and trappings we’re accustomed to?

What’s your take on this?


One thought on “Down to 10-12, church closes

  1. I’m afraid too many believe that being a church means having the building, paying the bills and the preacher, and that absent that, having a church is not possible. Or, the attendance drops so much, the elders don’t see how to change the situation.

    Little churches should learn the lesson of Acts 6:7. If the word of God is increased, the number of disciples will be increased. Little churches have to do MORE gospel preaching, not less. But what happens? They go to one three-day meeting a year, no radio or TV work, no neighborhood studies. That’s what is hurting the church (2 Corinthians 9:7).

What do you think?