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Meaningful MileSTONES

A Guide for Writing Your Church's History and Planning Milestone Events

The ohoto to the right takes me back to Madison Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego, CA. I remember playing on a pile of lumber while my parents worked—physically and spiritually—to build the church. The congregation ordained my dad as a deacon shortly after the sanctuary was completed. Grainy home movies show us leaving the church that day, Dad clutching his new brown leather Bible.

I learned to sing at Madison Avenue. (That’s me, third from left.) However, I insisted on vocalizing my favorite song, “Jesus Loves Me,” regardless of what the congregation sang from the hymnal. Faithful teachers helped me memorize Bible verses before I could read. They introduced me to a bearded man named Moses, a shepherd boy called David, and, most importantly, a Tiny Baby named Jesus. I watched in awe as Bible characters came to life on a flannel graph board, years before Jesus came to live in my heart.

When I was five years old, we moved halfway across the country and found a new church home. We later learned Madison Avenue had disbanded. So on our next trip to San Diego, we took a break from Pacific Coast sightseeing. My dad slowly drove the rental car down Madison Avenue to the former church site. We went around the block for a second look.

The building was still there, but the church had left the building.

***

That’s the beginning of my story, prompted by a single snapshot. But this book is about your story—the story of your church—in the context of God’s work through your congregation. As Church History Conference Leader Jeanne Tucker says, “History is His Story!”

Congregations have special opportunities to remember when they observe historical milestones. Celebrations as well as challenges provide occasions for God’s people to reflect on His work: to recognize His leadership in the past and trust His guidance for the future.

I know you and your congregation are about to be blessed through the meaningful milestones of your church’s history. I’m praying for you and others involved in recognizing and celebrating God’s work.

And I hope you find a special picture or two along the way to help you pull it all together.

—Becky Carr Imhauser

 

Congregations have special opportunities to remember when they observe historical milestones. Celebrations as well as challenges provide occasions for God’s people to reflect on His work: to recognize His leadership in the past and trust His guidance for the future.

This manual will guide you in compiling and sharing your congregation’s history. It also contains suggestions for planning milestone events. You’ll find creative examples from congregations across the United States for these topics and more:

• Writing and sharing printed and digital histories

• Celebrating anniversaries, homecomings, groundbreakings, building dedications, noteburnings, and multi-site congregation events

• Recognizing God’s providence through challenges such as loss of property, loss of life, disasters and tragedies, church mergers, and church closures

Becky Carr Imhauser has helped churches plan anniversary celebrations ranging from 5 to 150 years. She holds a Doctor of Educational Ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A young Becky with her mother, Betty Singer, and her grandmother.
All Along Ohio Street | All Around Downtown Vol. 1 | A Town of Their Own | Down by Pinhook | Just Like A Visit | Life and Times Along Muddy | Legendary Locals of Sedalia | Meaningful MileSTONES | Sedalia | Sedalia
Bible Study Resources

Meaningful MilestonesRecognizing and Celebrating Your Church’s Milestones

Meaningful MilestonesA Guide for Writing Your Church’s History and Planning Milestone Events