Local church celebrates 127 years of service

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Ruston celebrated its 127th anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 4. “Standing on the Rock: He is the Rock, His Works Are Perfect, and all His Ways Are Just” was the theme for the program.William Fields, pastor of the Unionville Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, and his congregation were the special guest. Fields’ topic was “The Purpose-Driven Church.” Fields said it has three characteristics: working, witnessing and waiting.

“God is looking for a working church, a church advancing, making a change in society and the community. Work is man’s greatest function. Idleness gives room for doubt and fear. No matter what ails you, work!” said Fields.

Fields said that a witnessing church is needed. He said, “To witness means ‘to give evidence of the truth you know, to share information, or to testify.”

Then he spoke of a waiting church. He said, “Waiting is a fundamental that requires patience. Everybody has to wait, and the problem today is that we just don’t know how to wait.”

Fields quoted Isaiah 40: 30 when he said, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Kenneth Sapp is the pastor of Ruston’s Pleasant Grove. He said the anniversary was a very spiritual celebration, and he was glad to have Fields and his wife, Penya, to share with them.

“The beginning of his message was a very prophetic word about getting ready for change and for the church to be reminded of its purposes. It was very timely,” said Sapp.

His wife, Carol said, “Everything was great. The message was profound and prophetic.” She said recently her husband had told her how the church would be changing, so they better get ready, which was also Fields’ message.

Bertha Johnson, who is 92 years old and affectionately called Aunt Bert, said of the celebration, “It was wonderful.”

Sharon Reed and her son Michael also attended the services. She said, “The sermon was right on time for the anniversary because we need to remember the purpose of the church.”

Twelve-year-old Michael said, “I liked the choir and the way the pastor preached the powerful word of God.”

(Fields) say it, too,” she said.