by David Shannon
This year will be remembered throughout America’s history as the year America defended freedom and liberty once more. As a congregation we remember how heavily we leaned upon our Lord, and that it was good for us to do so! In the past year this congregation enjoyed an increase in deacons, members, ministries, restorations, births, and hopefully in spiritual growth. We welcomed Philippians Take a minute now to read, to reflect, to meditate, and then say a prayer of thanksgiving. God has truly blessed us richly!
Highlights of 2001!
Lego Sermon – Every person was given their own lego and encouraged to find their place to serve in the Lord’s body in order to contribute to the greater whole. Brad Willits, our missionary from West Africa spoke on Missions Emphasis Day informing us that 3,713 languages do not have any portion of the Bible. Other great mission works such as local, stateside, Central America, Russia, and Chile were also discussed. The pre-teen group grew so much they multiplied. The 7th-9th grades began having their devotionals on 2nd Sundays and 4th-6th grades began meeting on 4th Sundays. What a blessing!
SAVE (Surrounding All Visitors with Encouragement) was reorganized. The Work Day was a success with restrooms being painted, floors waxed, and furniture cleaned! The Teddy Bear ministry birthed over 300 bears in one work day! The youth went snow skiing. Dale Earnhardt raced his final lap which ended in a fatal accident. The auditorium class collected $1,500 to send to an African missionary.
An ongoing effort to evangelize our community continued with 20 folks knocking doors inviting neighbors to our “Caring for Aging Relatives Seminar.” This seminar was a great success with three speaker and over 125 in attendance. A monthly support group was formed from this endeavor. A scout team lead the way to El Salvador to prepare the way for our team to deliver aid and support after a terrible earthquake. Three of our own who attend Freed-Hardeman raised enough money from college students to replace a house in Central America ($650)! Land for a church building was purchased and construction began, along with the purchase of supplies for 12 more homes. Also there were 13 baptisms and 2 restorations! Much good was done! Our hearts were saddened upon the resignation of John Thomas as Youth Minister. He and Angel blessed this congregation richly as they served our youth for three years in this position! He stated, “We are not giving up on this work. We are just changing our role in it!” We are thrilled they are still part of the family! The egg hunt drew a huge crowd as always!
Friends Day filled the auditorium with 866 in attendance! Over 500 enjoyed our Souper Luncheon! The congregation was asked to suggest men to serve as deacons in various ministries! Lydia Nixon battled her insurance company for a stem cell transplant. We petitioned our God fervently and He answered “yes”! Our lady teachers benefited from Sue Crabtree leading a teachers’ workshop. Our young men who had trained in “Young Soldiers Serving Christ” conducted the services Sunday night. Several of our members ran and completed the Country Music Marathon; Faye Loyd, David Burka, and DeWayne Griffin.
Outreach reorganized with over 100 adults participating in the program! The “Young Ladies Serving Christ” led the Ladies Wednesday night class! Andrew Phillips came to work as our summer intern, marvelously filling a great need over the summer! Tuesday/Thursday School celebrated graduation.
The stateside mission team of 50 covered every home in Sikeston, Missouri! Five were baptized and many friendships were formed! John Kennedy preached and Tammie England and Yvonne Smith served as secretaries while the team was in Missouri. The Summer Faith Series covered the 10 Commandments. Unknown destination youth devotionals were enjoyed throughout the summer. Vacation Bible School, “Jesus to the Rescue,” was a great success with an average 257 present. Amy Bass and Melissa Williamson sacrificed, labored and excelled in directing it! Mr. Endurance, Cal Ripkin Jr. announced after 21 years in professional baseball he would retire.
Summer Camp, 2001 Survivor, at Camp Meribah was attended by over 50 campers and up to 20 helpers! And they all survived and grew! DeWayne Griffin spoke to young men at Pennington Bend’s Preachers Camp about Elder and Preacher relationships.
The widows rejuvenated an old outing of enjoying a “Dutch treat” meal each first Sunday of the month! Mitch Poskevich organizes and chauffeurs. A farewell fellowship was given for Andrew as he fulfilled his responsibilities to return to college. What a blessing to have 18 additional deacons added to the structure of ministries at Mt. Juliet. Each made a two year commitment to their ministry! It was a beautiful sight to see these men join the existing deacons in the front of the auditorium at the close of service as a prayer was led by one of our elders. The high school and college young men did an excellent job leading a Sunday evening service. The next Sunday evening we offered prayers on behalf of our children as they were beginning another year of school. The service ended with Albert England leading a prayer as the elders and children gathered on the front steps. John Parker spoke at Family Day which concluded with Homemade Ice Cream! Another door knocking weekend took place with 550 doors approached. Phil Waggoner was warmly welcomed as Mt. Juliet’s Youth Minister! He is doing an awesome job!
The first day of the month about 200 folks enjoyed a church picnic at the McCulloch’s farm! Earl Wayne and Sherrie had everything perfectly prepared! “Reaching the Top” continued to travel almost every month this year! Jack Stanfill does a great job leading this group! Another work day accomplished more painting, light bulbs replaced, rooms cleaned, and technical setup for Homecoming! The Children’s Activity Committee met to plan 2002! We watched in disbelief as America was attacked on 9-11 by terrorist. We petitioned our God in a prayer meeting on Tuesday night. We offered prayers on the hour for 15 hours on Wednesday. Congress stood together on Capitol Hill to sing “God Bless America.” Sadly, the skyline of New York City got a new configuration. The building that leads our defense was attacked also. But they did not injure our bravery, courage, and love for freedom! We honored our grandparents on Grandparents Day! We celebrated 110 Years as a congregation and what a celebration it was! Nearly 1,000 folks came to worship together, eat together, and reminisce together! It was truly a remarkable day. Jeff Brown dazzled us all with his presentation of historical events in Mt. Juliet during the afternoon historical program. Steve and Pat Bradshaw organized a lunch that served a delicious meal to 700 or 800 folks in a matter of minutes! Thanks to Kevin Cantrell, the worship was simulcast into the old auditorium. Pictures, letters, and information were gathered for the burial of a time capsule which is to be opened on the 150th anniversary in 2041.
A collection of almost $12,500 was given to the victims of 9-11 through Churches of Christ Disaster Relief. The young ladies worked with Patty Willoughby to stuff 110 bears. The ladies hosted a Ladies Inspirational Day with Magie Colley and our own Gwen Fetzer speaking. The men enjoyed a Men’s Breakfast with Bud Lambert speaking and Ronnie Travis cooking! “Reaching the Top” enjoyed traveling to Red Boiling Springs, but since that time we regret that the Thomas House burned. Our more than 90 teachers were honored on Bible Class Emphasis Day.
The Young at Heart enjoyed a “Picnic at the Beach” banquet in their honor. James Whiteaker spoke to this group. The following day DeWayne Griffin and John Kennedy spoke to the crowd who filled the old auditorium to honor our Veterans. Lindsey Smith and Tansy Waldrop sung the Star Spangled Banner. Each veteran was asked to introduce himself and a hearty applause was offered for each! Later that same afternoon John Thomas was involved in a serious injury which resulted in emergency surgery at Vanderbilt. The waiting room was filled with over 100 folks. Many prayers were answered and the surgery was successful and his rehabilitation continues! Bill Flatt led a Grief Seminar that was of great benefit for those who attended. The time capsule was buried and we experienced strange emotions to think what the world, Mt. Juliet and our children will be when it is uncovered in 2041! The deacons led a beautiful service of praise and thanksgiving the Wednesday before the national day of Thanksgiving.
The little ones enjoyed Skating with Santa and the adults in the auditorium class enjoyed dinning together at the Plantation House.
A Glance Back at 2001
Attendance, Contribution and Responses
Average Sunday School 477
A.M. Worship 609
P.M. Worship 342
Placed Membership – 38
Moved Away – 10
Births in 2001
Abigail Smith, Stephan Ackerman, Lily Miller, Riley Weller, Jack Brown, Ethan Buckner, Nathan Arnold, Ava Wood, Tyler Thomas, Kaler Fortner
Deaths in 2001
Esther Norwood, Buford Spurlock, Beverly Taylor