As you know, if you read my Marriage Monday post about my weekend away with my husband, I spent Friday and Saturday soaking in the beauty and refreshment of the north Georgia mountains and spent Sunday in my hometown of Greenville, SC, where I enjoyed spending time with my beautiful daughter, Ashlyn, and visiting my parents. My precious Mom has not been doing well, and it was good to see her up and feeling a bit stronger!
Sunday night, we were blessed beyond measure to go to our "home church" in Greenville to hear our beloved former pastor, Ken Joner, deliver his final sermon. His declining health brought about his retirement at the age of 82, after 61 years of preaching the gospel and 42 years of ministry at "the Fellowship," which is the church he started in obedience to the Lord back in 1970!!
Pastor Joner has devoted his life to diligently studying and faithfully preaching the Word of God. He has been absolutely committed to rightly dividing the Word of Truth and to preaching the Word in season and out of season. He is one of the best expository preachers I've ever heard, and Sunday night was no exception, as he carefully taught us the precise meaning and tenses of the Greek words used in the final verses of 1 John. How fitting that he ended his ministry at GCF preaching from the same book that he started with 42 years earlier!
When I think of Pastor Joner, I think of a faithful loving Shepherd who was always loving and ministering to his flock, no matter what time of day or night! We were the blessed recipients of his loving care many times, as he met us in the Emergency Room, prayed with us before surgeries, helped us dig a french drain around our house, prayed with us while our precious 6-week old baby screamed her way through a spinal tap, ministered to us after our 15-passenger van rollover accident, and so much more. He was also used of God to lead some members of our family to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, to baptize even the tallest among us, and to help shape our understanding of the Bible. He has emphasized through the years the importance of considering the whole counsel of God's Word, the crucial need for repentance and the 2-sided "coin" of turning away from our sins and turning toward the Lord Jesus, and taught us over and over again that if Jesus Christ is not Lord of All, he is not Lord at all!!!
Thank you Pastor Joner for so many years of faithful service to our Lord Jesus Christ and for your life-changing ministry! We are lives that were changed!!!