Over the weekend, Christ Community Church celebrated its longtime founding pastor, Keith Cowart. Keith and Pam Cowart began Christ Community Church inside of their home in Columbus twenty years ago, taking it from a five-person gathering, to a church with over one thousand members. Keith and Pam have exemplified what it means to be planters of the harvest, sowing seeds of God’s fruit in the hearts of the Chattahoochee Valley. In recent months, Keith has been elected to serve as the superintendent of the Southeastern Region of the Free Methodist Church, and Pastor Derrick Shields will be transitioning into the Lead Pastor position here at Christ Community at the end of the month.
On Sunday evening, we gathered for Family Fun Night to celebrate what God has done in and through Keith and Pam over the last two decades with food, games, fun and fellowship! Earlier in the day, CCC enjoyed a special Sunday morning worship service in the Cowarts’ honor, with Keith and Pam both sharing their gratitude and love for the congregation with a special joint message.
Check out these photos from Sunday and see if you were spotted at Family Fun Night, and remember to join us on Sunday, October 28th as Derrick Shields is officially installed as the lead pastor of Christ Community Church.
What's a church to do when its spring picnic is threatened by gray skies and chilly temperatures? Move it to the sanctuary. Our "March Gladness" gathering marched right on as planned yesterday, with hundreds of attendees grouped into teams and connecting over a bountiful feast and a variety of games and other friendly competitions. No way was a little bad weather going to stop these ordinary people from experiencing extraordinary life in Christ-centered community.
By Allen Allnoch
More than 300 people gathered – converged – in Columbus over the weekend to hear a powerhouse lineup of speakers and have conversations about unity in diversity.
The occasion was the Converge 2:14 conference, inspired by the words of Ephesians 2:14 – “For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”
Dr. John M. Perkins, civil rights pioneer and founder of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation, spoke at the conference’s closing session Saturday night, and again during morning worship services at Christ Community Church Sunday morning.
At the latter, Dr. Perkins shared the story of seeing his brother die, shot by a law enforcement officer, and of his own unjust jailing and torture at the hands of police in his native Mississippi. He saw two choices before him: Retribution and hate, or forgiveness and love.
“If I had a grenade, I would have pulled the plug and killed us all,” he recalled. “Then I saw that my heart was just as bad. I saw that white people were broken and black people were broken. I said, ‘God, forgive me first. I want to preach a gospel that is about love.’”
Simply put, Perkins said, only the redemptive power of Jesus Christ will overcome the sin of racism. He reminded listeners of how Peter was forced to confront his prejudice against Gentiles, as related in Acts chapter 10. No “equal opportunity or affirmative action” program would do; Peter “needed the Gospel,” Perkins said. “The Gospel calls us to a higher standard.”
Likewise, Christians today must look to Christ and, in His power, invest in each other’s lives.
“We gotta do more than drink coffee together,” Perkins said. “We gotta do more than wash each other's feet. I like to drink coffee and I like foot-washing, but we gotta do more. We need to confess our sins one to another. Instead of looking for somebody to hate, we need to look for somebody to love. Then people will know we are Christians.”
Other takeaways from Converge 2:14 speakers included:
And this from a conference attendee, who tweeted, “I was so fired UP from the @Converge214 conference, I skipped the [closing session] to hit the block in my hood with the Gospel.”
May we all be so motivated to put our faith in action and seek to break down the dividing wall of hostility.
Note: David Holt is a member and active volunteer at CCC. He shared some insightful observations after seeing the new stage design for our 2014 “Abound” theme.
As I was looking at this new addition, the following thoughts came to mind.
The wall was built with a large collection of wooden pieces – all different in size, color and age – just like the Body of Christ.
Some pieces are broken, some well-worn and others relatively new. Regardless of their condition, they now stand proud assembled as a team to the glory of God and His creativity.
Earlier in their existence, the wooden pieces were part of a smaller body (a common shipping pallet) and, in that form, may have traveled the world or may have simply stayed right here in the local area. Who knows? Only God.
But at just the right time, they were taken away from their current “ministry,” in which they were bearing many heavy burdens for the world, and re-purposed for a new ministry.
Some probably transported food. Others clothing. Many were surely used to transport beer and wine, while some may have carried cases of textbooks or Bibles to their final destination.
In their previous role, they were the backbone of commerce in the local area – doing their part to help each of us abound in the riches that our nation is afforded through God’s rich blessings.
Now, they stand as the backbone for our celebration of the abounding love that our Lord Jesus Christ has allowed us to enjoy.
What an abounding love, indeed.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.