Here We Still Stand: 500 Years
Dr. Jerry Watts
Senior Pastor Elect
“SINCE THEN YOUR SERENE MAJESTY AND YOUR LORDSHIPS SEEK A SIMPLE ANSWER, I WILL GIVE IT IN THIS MANNER, NEITHER HORNED NOR TOOTHED. UNLESS I AM CONVINCED BY THE TESTIMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES OR BY CLEAR REASON (FOR I DO NOT TRUST EITHER IN THE POPE OR IN COUNCILS ALONE, SINCE IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT THEY HAVE OFTEN ERRED AND CONTRADICTED THEMSELVES), I AM BOUND BY THE SCRIPTURES I HAVE QUOTED AND MY CONSCIENCE IS CAPTIVE TO THE WORD OF GOD. I CANNOT AND I WILL NOT RECANT ANYTHING, SINCE IT IS NEITHER SAFE NOR RIGHT TO GO AGAINST CONSCIENCE. MAY GOD HELP”
– Martin Luther April 18, 1521
Since his first interview with the call committee and for nearly a quarter century since then, Pastor Bruce Wilder has lead us faithfully to be anchored by the testimony of Scripture and the call Jesus gives us as summarized in our mission statement:
“OUR MISSION IS TO LEAD PEOPLE TO CHRIST, INCORPORATING THEM INTO THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH AND EQUIPPING ONE ANOTHER FOR EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN LIVING.”
The same conviction that lead Dr. Martin Luther to say precisely 500 years ago this past April, “Here I Stand” is the same faithful response that Pastor Bruce has continued to lead us under. The clarion call of Scripture is to share the good news of the Gospel and make disciples. As we move forward in this season of transition out of a pandemic and in this season of transition as a congregation, we recognize changes all around us. However, what will never change is God’s Word. The witness of faithful pastors like Dr. Luther and Dr. Wilder will continue to inspire us. In the months ahead we will consider the elements of that culture of evangelism including FELLOWSHIP, DISCIPLESHIP, CATECHESIS (Christian teaching), APOLOGETICS (defending the faith), and the THEOLOGY OF VOCATION. By God’s grace will stand firm on God’s Word, answer the call to lead people to Christ, and together we will be able to say, HERE WE STILL STAND!
Go in Peace and Serve the LORD!