When God led our family to Lancaster twenty-eight years ago, we had no idea of what He was planning to do. All we knew then was that He was leading us and that He gave us a tremendous burden to see souls saved and a strong, gospel-preaching, Baptist church established in the Antelope Valley of Southern California.
Today, our church family celebrates twenty-eight years of God’s faithfulness. He has been faithful to provide for our needs. He has been faithful to bless the preaching of His Word. He has been faithful to convict hearts and use soulwinning to lead people to salvation.
But most of all today, we celebrate God’s faithfulness to renew.
The story of Lancaster Baptist Church is a story of renewal. It’s a story of how God both renews His people from the inside out and how He uses renewed people to do His work.
From that first Sunday in 1986 with a handful of people in a rundown building that was in foreclosure, God has done a truly miraculous work of renewal. Looking back over twenty-eight years of victories and blessings, I’m amazed at all God has done. And I’m thankful I’ve gotten to experience it with the greatest church family in the world.
Over the past twenty-eight years, we have watched God bless our church with miracle after miracle. He has stirred our hearts to reach people and then provided us the resources to do it time and time again.
I’m thankful for the spirit of revival which has lingered in our church over the years. And I pray that we would be a church continually experiencing renewal—continually hungry for the presence and power of God and continually looking to the Lord in faith.
And yet, I’m reminded that revival and renewal is not perpetually guaranteed. Throughout the history of Israel and throughout the church age, there is a tendency for God’s people to drift from their first love. As we begin our twenty-ninth year as a church family today, we renew ourselves in our walk with the Lord and our work and witness for the Lord.
And today—on this twenty-eighth anniversary—we have a tangible opportunity to thank God for the past and rededicate ourselves to the future as we break ground on the largest building yet on our campus. God has been so gracious to us in providing thus far for this building, and He has truly used it to renew the faith of our church family. As we break ground today, we pray God will use this building to multiply our efforts to reach our community and train the next generation of Christian servants.
God has done exceeding abundantly above what we could ever dream. But I believe that we have only seen the beginning of what God can do. There are still more souls to reach, more families who need Christ, more miracles God can do. I truly believe that the greatest blessings for our church are yet ahead, and I pray that we would remain renewed in Him!
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.—Isaiah 40:31
At this morning’s groundbreaking ceremony we announced the official name for this new Student Commons Building—”The Walther Center” to honor the memory of our dear friend, Leo Walther. Leo was reached through Lancaster Baptist Church and saved at the age of fifty-seven. For the next twenty years, he invested himself in our church family and in the students of West Coast Baptist College. It is a joy for our church family to honor his memory in this way.