It is always such a great privilege to go and spread some good cheer and blessings to our friends at Parkwood Homes in Snellville, Georgia. The weekend of November 20, 2010, two weeks ago, I was able to visit with my parents in Oxford, Georgia. My mother, Sis. Jean Strawn volunteered on her own, to go with me and play for us on Saturday since I had given Bro. Howard the day off. She is almost 82 years old and in great health but due to circumstances beyond our control has not been able to be together in a worship setting very often in my parents later years. She told me that there may not be many more opportunities for us to sing and play together. It was a somber moment as I knew what she meant.
Bro. Howard Hammond and my mother have very similar piano styles. Our families have known each other for many years as we once fellowshipped in the same organization and church section. There has been a long history of friendship between my mother’s father who pastored in Thomaston, Bro. J.T. Payne (my childhood pastor shown left), and Bro. Hubert Hammonds, who is our pastor’s uncle. So, knowing all this history, I was quite excited to be able to represent the Hammond’s and New Life in Watkinsville and be with a pioneer from the old days, my mother at this service.
It is always good for me to have great team members and as usual the Garner’s and Chris Greenwood were faithful to the service. We sang our usual numbers from the old choruses and hymns and did not miss a beat. God’s presence was strong and we were touched greatly by an African-American church, which were there before us….The Garner’s, Chris Greenwood, and I spoke with short testimonies and praise. My mother did not miss a beat. My mother asked if she could speak which is very unusual. However, God’s anointing was upon her as she told the crowd that everything would be alright, that God had not forsaken them. Needless to say, we were all very touched by this great testimony.
I drove my mother home after the service, beaming with Godly pride as I pondered the past truths and foundations that had been placed in me by my parents and a Godly heritage from Bro. J.T. Payne. I would have been lost without it. I wondered away from a close relationship with Christ as a teenager and young man, but those foundational truths never went away and they eventually brought me back. As the scripture says:
Proverbs 22:6 (King James Version)
6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
No matter where I go or travel in this life, I will always be from the little church on 9 Hemlock Street in Porterdale, Georgia. That was the place where I truly found the Lord in the year 1969. Thank you Lord for my foundation. Thank you Lord for my wonderful parents, who still love you. Thank you for the Godly heritage they gave to me. I am not ashamed of where I came from and the gospel for as Paul said:
Romans 1:16 (King James Version)16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
We had 26 patients and 5 outreach team members for a total attendance of 31 at the service….Pray for Brother Wallace who has been bothered by a terrible sore on his leg. Thanks to the Lord who was gracious in allowing this wonderful day to transpire. See some photos from the service below.