Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Congratulations, Christian Challenge for 30 years!!!

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Christian Challenge, the church in which I grew up Christian Challenge celebrates 30 years of ministry in Central Louisianaand where I am honored to serve as a pastor. The first service CCI ever held was on Tuesday, March 9, 1976 (coincidentially my sister's 2nd birthday). CCI was initially started by my father, Lawrence "Buddy" Martin, as a "School for Christian Workers" He was still pastoring another church at the time and felt there was a need for a place for Christians to get more in depth training in preparation for ministry without having to move off to go to Bible School. The "church" grew up around the School and now they work hand in hand.

Christian Challenge started in Boyce, Louisiana and was there for a couple of years before making the trek down Hwy 1 to Pineville. For eight years we met in the "old Rent It Company building" at the intersection of Hwy 28E and Pineville's Cottingham Expressway. Then four more years in the Pine Plaza Shopping Center as our current facilities were being built. (The current building took about four years to build because the members of the church built it themselves and they paid cash as they went so when they moved in, it was completely paid for.)

I moved home from Mexico in November of 1990, the same year we occupied the building. (It still wasn't finished ... they were meeting in the Fellowship Hall and then moved into the unfinished sanctuary with concrete floors and a plywood platform!) I joined the staff as Associate Pastor and have been honored to serve alongside my father.

I'm grateful for this weekend. 30 years is a long time and it's a testimony to both the blessing of the Lord and the faithfulness of Bro. Buddy and Sis. Betty (or, "Mom and Dad) over all these years. I want to honor them for their tenacity and determination in sticking it out in the tough times. We are moving into wonderful times ahead but we can never forget the foundations that were laid and the price that was paid. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being such wonderful examples of those who faithfully discharge a stewardship from God. May we all be found so faithful.

Blessings,
Nathan
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