I’m still in awe of God’s faithfulness and how He blessed our month of celebration. We began our reflection of ten years by having Pastor Brian Lowe, Lead Pastor of Exodus Church in Belmont, NC and Network Director of Acts 29 SE Network come to Wellspring to preach on February 12th. We then had Pastor Steven Waganer, Lead Pastor of Church at the Triad in Greensboro, NC, and President of Unleashed by Design preach on February 19th. Lastly, on February 26th, Pastor Gib Gibson, Lead Pastor of Living Hope Church in Memphis TN and co-laborer with me on the Acts 29 SE Network Leadership Team preached as well. These faithful men preached and poured God’s grace all over us. What an exquisite reminder of God’s kindness and tremendous blessing to our church!
On Friday, March 3, we had our 10th Anniversary Banquet Celebration at Christ Covenant in Matthews, NC. As we entered the banquet at 6:00pm, we were met with an elaborate assortment of fruits and veggies on a platter while we mingled with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It was a sweet time of fellowship accompanied by some delicious food.
At 7:00pm, we were warmly welcomed into the banquet hall that was displayed a powerful pictorial collage on the left, full of colorful and wonderfully decorated images from every sermon series that I’ve preached at Wellspring. It was jaw-dropping! Many who entered paused with disbelief as they were forced to gaze at this meaningful and brilliantly designed and decorated display. To God Be the Glory. God is decorating our new building to come. Trust me, you’ll be seeing these again hanging on the wall as we one day enter our own facility.
As we took our seats, we were captivated by the classy and elegant table centerpieces and an engaging video display of pictures from the last ten years. We saw familiar faces, kids as babies, relocated and former partners, and beautiful faces, full of joy, laughter and smiles.
After the picture presentation, we were welcomed by our master of ceremonies for the evening, Misi Simms, who did a wonderful job making us feel at home and preparing us for what was to come. For those who know Misi, you know that he is a comedic character, so you can only imagine how much fun it was to be led by him.
Misi led us in the reading of Wellspring’s history, which for me and others was so surreal. Who would ever have thought that an act of obedience would result in the family that we all call Wellspring Church. God is so kind to us!
Following the reading of the history, we had a blast playing “Wellspring Trivia” with those at our individual tables. We were guessing trivia including, the number of partners at Wellspring, weekly attendance numbers, total number of baptisms, and conversions, and even missionaries currently in Africa. It was so much fun. During the game, we learned, celebrated, laughed, and rejoiced at what God has done.
After a toast to God’s faithfulness, we had dinner. Chef Henry with his team provided and served us a delicious meal and even provided the opportunity for seconds for those who wanted more. My table was done after the first plate. It was incredibly satisfying and the dessert that followed left us wanting nothing. While we ate dinner, our very own Worship Team was killing it (that’s a good thing) throughout the evening, playing dinner music, jazz, and some of our favorite worship songs. Sitting there, you would have thought that you were in a fine dining restaurant.
Towards the end of dinner, a video commenced that displayed “A Decade in Review.” It was such a blessing to witness God’s faithfulness. Following the review, Pastor Bob Wingfield, Senior Pastor of Woodstream Church (my former church), preached a wonderful message calling us to further obedience. His message stirred my heart, brought me to tears, and challenged us all to trust the gospel for continual obedience.
After his message, a video displayed highlights from the last twenty-six years of my ministry. They were sound bites for many of my sermons with pictures interwoven from 1990 to 2017. I had never seen anything like this in my entire life. It was a video collage that gripped my heart, brought back fond memories and tears, and further spurred me on to the faithful preaching of God’s Word.
Pastor Bernard Fuller, Senior Pastor of New Song Bible Fellowship Church, (who licensed me in the ministry in 1990), presented me with an award for twenty-six years of faithful ministry to the Lord. I was stunned and overwhelmed by his words, generosity, and with God’s kindness. After ten years pastoring, to be sitting in the same room with the same men who licensed, ordained and commissioned me was a feeling like none other. God has been so… so faithful.
We then had a time of recognition whereby the planning committee presented the elders with beautifully worded plaques and gifts. WOW! My heart leaped again… I’ll never forget the deliberate kindness, appreciation and grace displayed.
Left without knowing what words to share, it was my turn. I began to honor the banquet planning committee, Pastor Bob, and Pastor Fuller, our elders, deacons, ministry leaders, partners, countless volunteers, and friends and family. I invited our Founding Partners (Leslie Bond, Pastor Bobby and Frances Allen, Deaconess Roslind Moore, Patrice and Miles Commodore, and Misi and Natisha Simms) to come forward to be recognized. I then called up our Legacy Partners who have attended Wellspring for over 7 years, which includes the Founding Partners, Pastor Tommy and Susanne Rose, Tiffanie Pickett, Wendy Mays, Tony and Felicia Ratliff, Brianna Martin, Deacon Vlad and Sherryann Sylvestre, Mr. Hank, and the Shabazz’s.
Giving attention to specific, and long-term service, I recognized Cheryl Hay and Susanne Rose for the Outstanding Service Award (Colossians 3:23). I celebrated the recipients of our Priscilla & Aquilla Award (Romans 16:3-5), Deacon Vlad and Sherryann Sylvestre and Misi and Natisha Simms. I then recognized and celebrated Pastor Bobby as the recipient of the Barnabas Award (Acts 4:36, 9:27) and Deaconess Roslind Moore as the recipient of the Phoebe Award (Romans 16:1). Then, I took a moment to thank my kids for all their sacrifices and for sharing their dad. Afterward, I honored my sweet, selfless and sacrificial wife, Leslie for all of her tireless service, and support over these last ten years. She has been the fuel in my stamina. I don’t know where this church would be without her. I gave her roses and the biggest hug that I could muster up.
These servants of God have done outstanding work for our church and the kingdom of God and it was a joy to celebrate them.
We closed in prayer, took pictures, and reminisced until we left to head home. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
THANK YOU - Deaconess Roslind (Committee Lead) and your team(s), both Core (Deacon Vlad, Cheryl, Nicole, Natisha, and Kim) and Support (Marissa, Stephanie, Jonathan K, Kaneka, Amber, Eryn, and Deacon Greg). It was so clear that you all put so much time, energy, and sweat into your thoughtful, deliberate, and creative planning of this banquet celebration. Every intentional detail was greatly appreciated.
Cheryl, your skillful talents and gifts were so appreciated. We are blessed to have you leading our decor efforts in our church. And the word on the street is that you have a “beasty” assistant by the name of Marissa Nichols! Thank you so much for everything you all did to make it such a special evening.
Tisha, thank you for setting up and managing the banquet registration process and instituting the “Wellspring Coat-rack.” This was such a classy touch especially since it was unusually freezing cold that evening. Your labor and energy spent was so appreciated.
Nicole, thank you for working with and organizing hundreds of pictures and ten years of video to create one of the best visual presentations that I’ve ever seen in my twenty-six years of ministry. You have a talent and gift in this area. We are blessed and our hearts are enriched because you graciously shared it with us.
Deacon Vlad and your team, thank you for coordinating with Christ Covenant and setting up and breaking down everything for the banquet to be a success.
Deacon Greg, Andy and Eryn, thank you for providing beautiful music for the evening. It was so sweet and meaningful. Thank you for obliging my desire to have live music. ;)
As you can imagine, not being involved in the detailed planning of this special night, I may have missed mentioning something that you did. However, if done, know that it hasn’t been on purpose. In this message, I’m simply seeking to do my best to recognize the countless efforts of so many. You all know the details. My heart is grateful for you all.
Thank you Deaconess, Core Team, and Support Team for joyfully and graciously serving for our good and God’s glory.
Love you all dearly and can’t wait to celebrate each milestone with you.
That was an awesome recap PB!!! Thank you for your leadership! Looking forward to the next 10!!!
Your post brought tears to my eyes, PB. I’m still processing the weekend and this brought it back to life. What a gift to see it through your eyes! The preaching leading up to our anniversary weekend was extraordinary. And I am still dumbfounded at what the Lord did on Friday evening. This planning team was absolutely amazing and I’d serve with them into eternity. Thank you for entrusting us with something so precious and thank you for your generous words. It is a privilege to serve and an honor to be led by you. God is so incredibly merciful and faithful!
This was absolutely beautiful, PB. Thank you for sharing! So grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with the committee, and for such a special occasion.
Thank you ladies for reading it and for such thoughtful and kind words. It
was a joy to witness and thus recap.
My heart is still overflowing with joy from last weekend’s celebration of
God’s faithfulness. What a privilege to join God in His work over the past
Thank you to the team for your labor of love! I echo my husband’s words!
PB, it is truly a blessing to serve and an honor to a part of such a beautiful event! Reading this is a great reminder of why I still feel so full from it all. It was absolutely fun to work with the core team and well worth the effort, and more, for the experience of that evening..
I am always in awe of God’s provision - 10 years of Wellspring and the opportunity to celebrate His goodness and honor you and the leadership in such a special way. He did that!
Thank you Pastor Bond for taking the time to write up this reflection. It was such a blessing to read and reflect on what God has done at Wellspring and the beautiful people who make up His body. Looking forward to seeing the videos that were shared at the event.
You’re welcome Krista. So blessed that you read it and were encouraged.
Thanks for the detailed recap. As I was reading this, I felt like I was in my seat reliving that amazing evening.
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