Delta Presbyterian Church’s 125th Anniversary

Today my hometown church, Delta Presbyterian in Delta, CO, will celebrate its 125th anniversary.  This is the church where I was baptized, and where I attended with my parents most Sunday mornings of my childhood.  It’s the church that my entire dad’s side of the family attended, and where my grandmother was one of the more influential longtime members.  It’s a small church, which makes it feel like a family.  So, this week I reflected on some of those family memories. These are some of the best:

  • Church potlucks in Westminster Hall and coffee fellowship in the Annex.
  • I remember being given my first Bible by Delta Presbyterian in third grade: I still have it.
  • I remember “preaching” during a Sunday morning led by the youth when I was in elementary school. I think I spoke on something from the Ten Commandments.
  • Painting the CU logo on the wall in the basement of the Annex with the youth group.
  • Decorating the sanctuary for Christmas with David, the church organist.
  • Making Chrismons for the sanctuary’s Christmas tree with the Bruce and Janet Sexton, the pastor who served the church during my childhood and his wife.
  • Music recitals with Janet Sexton as my piano teacher.
  • Playing the threefold Amen on the piano at the end of worship one Sunday – the first time I contributed music to a worship service!
  • Going to Denver for a Rockies game with the youth group.
  • The hiking trip Bill Forbes took the youth group on in the San Juans when I was in 7th grade.
  • Brian Renfrow leading the youth group through the book In the Grip of Grace.  Also while in 7th grade.
  • Bell choir – Especially the song Daniel Renfrow, the Sunderlands, and I knew best: “Simple Gifts”.
  • The support I know Delta Presbyterian gave to Young Life , which had a life changing impact on me in high school, and in turn shaped much of my ministry today.
  • Bill Forbes’ (the current pastor) sermon contrasting the conversions of Peter and Paul – still one of the most memorable sermons I’ve heard.
  • Mowing the church lawn during high school.
  • My attempts to lead “contemporary” music.  As the teenager who wanted to make room for guitar in church, I led 15 minutes of “praise music” before worship some Sundays.  Those who wanted to take part came early, while the traditionalists waited until it was over and the organ began playing.   
  • Speaking about my trip to Thailand in 2003. (Thanks again to all who supported me that summer!)
  • Speaking about my experience at General Assembly in 2004.
  • Bill Forbes loaning me the book Crisis in the Church by John Leith, which influenced my choice of a seminary.
  • The Christmas Eve service in David’s barn/garage two Christmases ago.
  • My ordination last November (see here and here).

Though I’m in Pittsburgh now, Delta Presbyterian will always have a special place in my heart.  Compiling this list of favorite memories from there made me even more grateful for Delta’s support than ever before. As Paul wrote, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all” (Philippians 1:3-4).

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