Oak Grove Baptist Church

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been the pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Nebo, NC for a month now. I was elected on February 5, 2017, and preached my fourth sermon as pastor there yesterday. I preached for them a couple of times before I was elected.

Oak Grove marks a return for me to the denomination in which I was raised and served in for the first 15 years of my life as a pastor: the Southern Baptist Convention. For 8+ years I enjoyed being the pastor of Disciples Road Church, a non-denominational church I started at the Lord’s bidding. But slipping back into the S.B.C. has been an easy transition for me, like slipping back into a comfortable pair of shoes. Like I said, the S.B.C. and I go way back.

The church is located on the “5-mile loop” that runs around Lake James. It was organized in the 1850s and has long been a spiritual lighthouse in that community. It has a parsonage, but my family is going to continue to live in our house in Spruce Pine for the next couple of years as Royce finishes up high school at Mitchell High School. He’s a sophomore there, has friends, makes good grades, plays on the baseball team, and is happy with his life. A happy sixteen-year-old is priceless, right? Who wants to rock that boat?

So, rather than yank Royce out of all that and drop him into a new school, we’re going to commute back and forth to church for a while. It’s about a 40-45 minute drive. If you know much about Mitchell county, you know that a lot of people drive such a distance every day to work.

For now, Tonya is continuing her teaching career at Bowman Middle School in Bakersville. There’s no need to change that either. As for Ryan, he’s in his sophomore year at Johnson University in Knoxville and hardly ever comes home on the weekends anyway because of his baseball schedule. He hasn’t been home for a weekend since he returned to campus following Christmas break. He says, though, that he is coming in this weekend. We’ll see.

In terms of the blog, the prophecy series got a good deal longer – both in number of posts and length of posts –  than I planned, but that’s what it took to do the subject matter justice. The good news is that the completed series is now on the site for any and all to read at their own leisure and pace. Also, I picked up some new followers through the series. For that I’m very thankful.

Well, that’s about it for today. I just wanted to let folks know what’s going on with me and my family these days. Any prayers that anyone feels led to pray for us are appreciated. Needless to say, if you live in the Nebo area and are looking for a church, please give us a visit at Oak Grove Baptist. And for those of you who regularly read this blog, stick with me as I enter into this latest season of my life and ministry, and we’ll all find out together what the Lord has in mind for me to write from one week to the next. Thanks.

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4 Responses to Oak Grove Baptist Church

  1. Gene Self says:

    Glad to hear it! Oak Grove got a good one. Best wishes my friend!

  2. Gene Edwards says:

    Pleased to meet you through your “blog”. I love Oak Grove and always will. I served as Deacon there from 4-23-1989 until recently (2016) and joined Zion Baptist Church on Pea ridge road. I served with joy and compassion under Rev Gyles Widener and his wife Ruth for 28.5 years. Certain issues came up that I’m sure you have heard about. Instead of being a “stumbling block”, as some seem to think, I chose to leave. I did not resign as a deacon but simply moved out of the way. I pray for Oak Grove and you daily and will continue. God’s blessings and increase to you and the church.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you, Gene. I understand where you’re coming from and appreciate your comment. I enjoyed visiting with Roy and Vergie and George and Nancy. Best wishes to you and your family.

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