Remember the former things of old: For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the thing that are not yet done, Saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 46:9-10
As I reflect back on the past ten years I am blown away at how fast it has arrived. I am first of all I am eternally grateful to God Almighty for blessing me with this awesome honor; this awesome privilege and this awesome responsibility of Pastoring New Paradise Baptist Church. I am also grateful to the late Rev. Anthony C. Frazier for hearing the voice of God and recommending me to the membership of New Paradise. I am also grateful to the membership for unanimously voting to call me as their pastor on December 31, 2004. I am still rejoicing!
I remember walking into the sanctuary January 2, 2005, and being overcome with fear and saying to myself, “What do I do now?” I had no clue of how to be the pastor of a church. I remember seeing Chairman Adrian Chestang, Sis. Lorraine Chestang, Deacon James Robinson and Sis. Edna Robinson getting ready for Church School Devotion. I went upstairs to the office and Seeing Sis. Bernadine Bush, and 14 year old Kristyna Bush at the computer getting the bulletin ready for the service. I left my tithes with Chairman Adrian Chestang and then went to to New Faith Baptist Church for my last Sunday their and to say my good byes to the membership their. You see God had placed me their for ten years in order to get some of the best hands on training I could have ever received. The Lord has taken me step by step, guiding me by the Power of the Holy Spirit showing me what to do.
Sunday, January 9, 2005, The day had finally arrived, the day I took over as the Pastor of New Paradise. I remember Gloria and I sitting in the Adult Class, and Deacon James Robinson was teaching from 1 Corinthians 6. I remember meeting with the deacons just before Morning Worship, at the time we only had two deacons, Chairman Adrian Chestang and Deacon James Robinson. I remember coming down the stairs, I was extremely nervous, walking through the passage way by the ladies restroom and entering the sanctuary. I was churning inside, as I walked in I could see a full house. There were friends from other churches who came to support my first Sunday as the Pastor of New Paradise. I gave the Call to Worship, the bulletin was read by Anglia Smith, the Voices of New Paradise sang, the offering was taken up, then it was time for the sermon. As I stood, I was trembling with excitement and fear. My sermon title “It Has Already Been Worked Out” from Isaiah 46:9-10. After the Benediction, great relief. This day has been etched in my mind, and I thank my Lord for having the privilege of experiencing it.
In my ten years as Pastor of this wonderful church, I have had to rely on the Lord first and foremost. I have recalled some of the long talks that I have have had with my father in the ministry, Dr. S. M. Lockridge. When it came to the membership, he would always say, “Go with those who go with you at that time,” that has been valuable words of wisdom. I have made numerous phone calls to my Pastor Dr. Walter G. Wells, of whom I am eternally grateful for, when I did not know how to handle situations, and he would take time to walk me through on how to handle the situation. I am forever grateful for the conversations I had with Pastor Anthony C. Frazier and his tremendous support. And I am tremendously grateful to the membership of New Paradise for your great encouragement.
Through these ten years, God’s hand has rested upon this church. We have witnessed tremendous growth, both spiritually and numerically. We have accomplished many things by the direction of the Holy Spirit. We have made it our aim to impact the world for Christ. And we have endeavored to glorify God almighty. I am blessed beyond measure with this awesome honor of being God’s under-shepherd to this wonderful church. I thank God for the ten years he has allowed me to be here, and I look forward to serving Him and you for however many more He allows me to. Thank You Lord for blessing me with this awesome honor. Thank you New Paradise Baptist Church for your extraordinary support.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor James Moore, Jr.