July 1998 — The crepe myrtle is blooming in Limestone County, Alabama, and so are the plantings of God’s spiritual garden. This was the land of my birth and youth, the home of my Fudge ancestors since about 1805. Nestled midway between Birmingham and Nashville, the fertile Appalachian plain is nourished by the Tennessee and Elk Rivers, by Big Creek and a multitude of sparkling streams. But God’s Holy Spirit watered our souls this weekend, as the River of Life flowed out from the heavenly throne, growing deeper as it went, bringing life to all that it touched (Ezek. 48:1-12).
What a feast of fellowship we enjoyed in Athens on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday at the Seven Mile Post Road Church (a church of Christ) — in ministry from God’s Word, roof-ringing congregational worship and praise, and testimonies to God’s kindness and love! We ended the feast Sunday noon with a table laden with food for our bodies. We are holistic beings; God provides for the entire person.
Shepherded by my life-long buddy Joe Curtis, and our brother Dwight Ridinger, the 7MPR Church fulfils Isaiah’s messianic vision of a time when “the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before the nations” (Isa. 61:11). God has wondrously saved some from drug addiction, delivered others from alcohol, healed others who were sick, mended troubled families, and transported many from the bondage of legalism and the ceaseless task of joyless religion to the freedom of a personal relationship with the living Lord.
This 250-member church is growing every month as it presents Jesus Christ in his power, beauty and saving sufficiency, and its future appears bright as a channel of God’s blessings to its town and county. It was a treat to welcome visiting believers from Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, as well as from many Churches of Christ, including one gracEmail-reading Baptist couple who drove down from Middle Tennessee to join us Friday night.