Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (October 10, 2022)

Eph. 3:20-21: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

On May 15, 1847 – 175 years ago – seven people came together to constitute Zion Primitive Baptist Church. This is the church I pastor, and we are blessed that we still have the original minutes all the way back to the date of the church’s constitution. I have gone through these minutes, and have really enjoyed seeing the history of the church over the years.

However, in the early 1900s, Zion church veered off course into the heresy of “absolutism,” which is the false teaching that every single event in life (including sin) is absolutely predestined to occur by God, and invariable in the mind a purpose of God. During the time that this teaching prevailed (from the early 1900s until 2011), the church initially maintained a steady membership, but ultimately declined until, in 2005, there was only one member left.

As an outsider looking in, I was convinced that Zion church would ultimately have no choice but to close its doors. My aunt, who was that one member, couldn’t possibly sustain it and keep it going by herself! At the time, I was a member of another order of Baptists, and even though I was exercising a preaching gift I had no designs of one day uniting with the Primitive Baptists, and ESPECIALLY not at this little dead or dying church!

However, in June 2011, the one member – through the help of my brother Elder Tim McCool of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church – made some necessary changes to the church’s teaching and practice, and began to hold services twice a month on Sunday night. On the first Sunday night in August 2011, she held a meeting wherein she converted the church back to its original Articles of Faith (which were sound Primitive Baptist doctrine), and helped to set the church back on the right path.

To make a long story short, I kept being prompted by the Holy Spirit to join up with this little church, against every natural instinct I had. By the grace and mercy of God, after a sermon preached by Elder Sam Bryant on the first Sunday night in October 2011, I finally joined Zion Church!

Even then, I was not expecting the blessings that were to follow! Within a few months, our membership had grown from three to over thirty, which included my entire family. Today, Zion Church has been blessed with both spiritual and numerical growth beyond anything I would ever have imagined back in 2011!

Which brings me to our verse we used above: God is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!” He has shown this to me over and over in my life, and I have (hopefully!) learned the lesson not to doubt Him, but rather to trust Him in every situation of life! I would never have dreamed that this little “dead” church could be a “city set on a hill” in our community, but today we are experiencing just that.

And while we are thankful for the efforts of those like my dear aunt and brother, and others who have labored and prayed in the Kingdom of God in our area, we do not boast in anything that men have done. Truly, had it been left to our own efforts, there would have been nothing but failure and disappointment! But when we leave the matter to God, and simply follow His commands and His leading through the Spirit, things can happen that are “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!”

And truly we can give Him ALL of the glory! “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Eph. 3:21.

Come visit us at Zion sometime; we meet at 10:30 am and 5 pm every Sunday, and the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Our address is 9487 County Road 49, Gordo AL.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor (cell – 205-399-6989)