You know, this Deacon nomination/election process is a bit strange here at Highland in that we don’t have the speeches until after the election! I’ve already been nominated and elected and only now do you find out about who you voted for. You may want to change your vote!
I am a sinner saved only by the Grace of a loving God. Although I do not fully understand it, I believe the sacred mystery that Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified to atone for my sin. I accepted God’s Grace and professed Jesus as my Savior and Lord as a 17 year old at Lee’s Lane Baptist Church in Shively. I had been attending that church on Sunday nights for about a year and was participating in their youth activities. You see my girlfriend (now wife of 48 years), belonged to that church and it was a great way to be with her and do things with their youth group. However, my reason for walking the aisle was much deeper than that.
I was baptized as an infant at Grace Lutheran Church in Louisville’s Portland neighborhood. My mother and her family were devout German Lutherans. So I grew up in the Lutheran Church, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, catechism class, confirmation…the whole Lutheran deal.
However, it was in the Baptist church that I met Jesus as my personal savior, one who died on the cross for me. Although we seldom sing the old “blood hymns” (“Jesus Paid it All”, “There is a Fountain, “Nothing but the Blood”, etc.), I haven’t forgotten them. They still remind me of the price Jesus paid for my sins.
At Lee’s Lane Baptist Church, Jesus figuratively jumped from Luther’s Small Catechism and the Nicene Creed (that I had memorized in catechetical class) to my heart. I knew that I had to be baptized as a believer to commemorate this change in my faith and life.
My mother was heart-broken about my baptism. She called our Lutheran Pastor. I needed counseling. What is it about Ephesians 4:5-6 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” that you don’t understand they said? Well, Mom eventually got over it. I was baptized as a believer, became a Baptist and as they say….” the rest is history”.
Later, as an adult I realized that my first baptism was primarily for my parents. My second baptism was for me.
God has been present in my life since that life-changing, re-directing moment. I have felt his presence during family and health crises and in the joys of life such as marriage and the birth of children and grandchildren. As an avid outdoorsman, I sense His presence in the beauty of nature and its wildlife. Some of my closest times of communion with Him have been on a lake or river or in the quiet of the woods at daybreak.
Gloria and I have been members of Highland for 20 years. Our daughter Alison was married to Todd Schureck in this church and our grandchildren have been a part of the children’s program from birth. This is truly a sacred place to our family.
I have had the honor of serving several terms as a Deacon. To be one of only 27 women and men elected to be servant/leaders is both an honor and humbling experience. With the help of God, l will minister to and serve the congregation for the next three years. ~ Jim McBee