Forest Hills Baptist Church will be celebrating 100 years of ministry this weekend. What follows is a letter I wrote to mark the occasion that will be published in the program for the weekend. If you are in the Wilson, NC area, we'd love to have you come join us! A complete schedule is below!
Welcome to the centennial celebration of Forest Hills Baptist Church! Today we celebrate God’s faithfulness and our rich heritage as a church family. As we gather this weekend in worship, we must recognize that we stand on the shoulders of spiritual giants—men and women who sacrificed, gave, and served because they loved the Lord and loved his church. The faithful generations who came before us believed with great conviction that Jesus is the son of God and the savior of the world. As we proudly gather this weekend, we can declare with great confidence that though much has changed over the last 100 years, the gospel we proclaim has not. For we too stand on the firm conviction that Jesus is the redeemer king, who washes us with his blood and unites us to God.
We must continue to guard the precious deposit entrusted to us and pass the baton of the Gospel to the next generation. This relay race of faith has gone on now for two millennia and for a century now at Forest Hills. We stand in this grand tradition that today we honor, commemorate, and celebrate.
To our members, former staff, and guests, we thank you for attending this centennial celebration. I know that God has used the ministry of Forest Hills in your life. Some of you came to know Jesus through the ministries of this church. God has been so gracious to use and preserve this church for a century now. Though Forest Hills belongs to no member and no generation, but belongs to Christ Jesus himself, who purchased us by his blood. He has formed us into his people and called us on mission for him.
As we stand at the end of one century and the beginning of another, we know that the work of our founders has yet to be completed. For there are thousands in our city and millions across the world who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Until Christ comes again, we must continually proclaim the good news of Christ’s kingdom to the lost and dying world. Though the world looks very different today and our church would be unrecognizable to those founding members in 1916, we cling to the same Gospel truths and partake of the same Great Commission work. As the previous century of our church sets, a new century dawns. Our church today has articulated our vision to treasure Christ, equip believers, and send disciples for the glory of God. May God expand our efforts and grow our ministry, bringing glory to his own name. God has glorified himself greatly through us in the last century, may he do so even mightier in the century to come.
In Christ alone,
Rev. Justin Deeter
Senior Pastor of Forest Hills Baptist Church