We greet you in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has sustained us over these one hundred and thirty seven years.
As we pen these words, we are once again reminded of the words of Apostle Paul to the Romans. Paul said"What shall we say then to these things? IF God be for us, then who can be against us" (Romans 8:31). With this thought in mind let us ask ourselves the same question. "If God be for us. who can be against us?" For if we anchor our faith in these words, we will stand until Jesus returns. We may not be here nor in this building in which we worship; but we all can rest assured that somebody will be walking the grounds, singing in the choir, preaching from the pulpit, and praying when the name of First Providence is called. David said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".
Now, let us not kid ourselves, for I am sure when the Lord touched the hearts of our fore fathers to establish this great church called First Providence, there were those who said it could not be done. I am so glad I heard through the words of Jesus Christ, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20). When Jesus is in the midst, a crowd is not necessary. Some may have lost the vision and walked away, but the few who remain are the reason we are celebrating one hundred and thirty seven years of progress. As it was then, so it is today, it takes faith to step out on nothing, but by the grace of God, look where we are today.
I believe that someone on this great day can say that the Lord brought First Providence from a mighty long way, in just one hundred and thirty seven years. The Lord is good and He is good all the time. As I move toward the close of my greeting, I think on the words that Jesus shared with Peter when He said"upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Jesus never said to Peter, nor has He left on record for us to believe or ever think that the church is ours. The church is the Lord's as we are His. We must not never think for one moment that the church is ours, or that it will be free of trials and tribulations. He did not say hell would not come up against the church. The gates of hell has always rose up against the church and always will, but one thing we must remember as we move forward,"If God be for us, who, can be against us."