On Celebration Sunday, Eden Westside Baptist Partied Like It Wasn’t Raining Buckets: The people of Eden Westside Baptist Church work a lot. We work hard to keep our grounds looking nice, and we work at making our guests feel warm and welcome. We work hard to support our missions, including local missions like helping St. Clair’s needy veterans, and global missions like our mission trips to Haiti. We work to give our children great programs like Vacation Bible School and AWANA, and we work to feed the hungry right here in St. Clair County through our food pantry ministry.
But every once in awhile, even the most diligent of God’s workers need to take some time off to celebrate! It’s important to take stock of what God is doing through our efforts and to praise and thank Him for what He has blessed our church to accomplish over the past year.
That’s exactly what Celebration Sunday was all about. Members of Eden Westside spent the entire day focusing on God’s spectacular achievements here for the church year 2016-17. This celebration helps us to be sure we’re giving God ALL the glory for His amazing works, and also helps rejuvenate our members and prepare them for the work that lies ahead in 2017-18.
In spite of the rain, EWBC members enjoyed a relaxed and jovial church service, complete with a video highlighting some of the mind-boggling accomplishments God achieved here over the past year. Some of the most notable reasons to celebrate include:
- We have almost paid off our debt through the Embrace the Vision campaign! A whopping $1.5 million of the original $1.9 million debt is paid off — leaving just $450,000 to go. After this debt is paid off, we can begin collecting the money necessary to complete the Kids of the Kingdom building. We’re almost there!
- A newly renovated children’s center was unveiled on Celebration Sunday.
- We’ve made renovations to the sanctuary and foyer of our Eden Campus, including new paint, flooring and carpeting, lighting and more.
- The Lord is moving powerfully through our youth department, as our young people dedicate their time and efforts to the Lord through opportunities like Missions Week, FUGE Camp, and student-led worship. Our youth department ministers to kids in more than 20 area schools!
- Our Upward Sports program reaches hundreds of children and their families each year, most of which do not have church homes, and many of whom have never heard the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- In less than three years, our Leeds River Campus (under the loving guidance of Rick and Cindy Ernest) has become self-supportive. Planning for a new renovation for the children’s department is underway, and the campus is already reaching our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters through a special service that provides earphones and English to Spanish translators, so Hispanic speakers can hear and receive the Gospel right alongside our English speaking members.
Brother Jacky also spoke about what God has done here at Eden Westside this year, and what the Lord has in store for the year to come. He talked about:
- 133 new church members, plus 16 new members at the River Campus, and 85 who joined through belief in the Lord Jesus and baptism! That’s 149 new members of EWBC, ya’ll!
- Since 2013, we’ve sent more than 60 people to Haiti, including teams to help build the new medical clinic in Savon Carrie. The clinic had its very first successful surgery this year! This is in addition to the many souls saved and lives changed through our mission to the precious Haitian people.
- In part thanks to a brand new website and social media accounts, Eden Westside is now reaching people from Washington State to the nation of Germany! The Revelation Walk commercial on our YouTube channel has been viewed more than 51,000 times, and our team is busy producing other productions.
- We just commissioned over 100 teachers to serve in our Life Discovery classes for the coming year. The tremendous growth in our church and small groups is largely due to our powerful prayer meetings, which we started in January. EWBC’s devoted staff and loving members meet each Thursday morning at 8 a.m. to pray for our church and that we are able to reach the lost and those in our communities who need a church home. God is hearing AND ANSWERING our prayers!
After the service, everyone headed to the top of Revelation Mountain for a picnic. Unfortunately, our annual Old Timers versus Young Guns softball game was rained out. Pastor is fairly confident that the Lord allowed the rain so the younger men wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by their inaptitude at bat and around the bases.
But whatever the reason, the rain didn’t damper our spirits. Members and guests enjoyed free barbecue sandwiches and hotdogs, tables loaded with some of the South’s finest desserts, and tons of good fun. Folks socialized, joked and laughed, and many people got to know new faces and friends that they ordinarily don’t get to see.
Doesn’t this sound exciting? Join us at Eden Westside this Sunday, and become a part of what God’s building here. Then you can celebrate with us on Celebration Sunday next year!
Eden Westside Baptist Church is one church – two locations: Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus. For more information, please contact us at 205.338.7711.