Billy Graham and John Wesley
There is surely no person in our time more well known or respected as a Christian evangelist than Billy Graham. John Wesley probably enjoyed the same status in the late 18th century. In 1980, in a speech at the United Methodist Council on Evangelism, Graham said this "Let it be remembered that the Methodist church began in the white peak of conversion and intense evangelistic energy. Let it be recalled that the Methodist church is an evangelistic movement. Let this be a decade when the great revival that many are praying for and many believe is on the way is going to sweep the Methodist church."
Not surprisingly these two men had much in common. They weren't just called to preach, they were compelled. Graham said: "I don’t go around the world preaching the Gospel because I feel like it. I’m tired of flying airplanes. But to go from one town to another and one airport to another and live in a suitcase and all the rest of it, I wouldn’t do it for any other business or any other motive except one. I’m under orders from the Lord Jesus Christ who died for my sins and shed His blood and is alive." They felt an urge, a need, a compulsion if you will, to spread the word to every living person and to bring them face to face with the gospel. Wesley is thought to have logged over 240,000 miles on horseback in the often foul weather of Merry Olde England to do just that. Graham began early in life and is still active in his late 90s.
Theirs was not a complicated message, far from it. Wesley said in 1784 "You have nothing to do but to save souls, therefore spend and be spent in this work. It is not your business to preach so many times and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance and with all your power to build them up in that holiness, without which they will never see the Lord."
Graham put it this way: "We live in the midst of crisis, danger, fear and death. The harvest is ripe. Never has the soil of the human heart and mind been better prepared than it is tonight. Never has the grain been thicker. Never have we had more efficient instruments in our hands to help us gather the harvest. Yet, at a time when the harvest is the ripest in history, the church is often floundering in confusion, especially concerning evangelism." He adds: "This may be one of God’s great spring times, when He is going to do a new thing."
This illustration from Graham hits home: "One of the great mission fields of the world, let’s confess it, is the church itself. George Whitefield (a contempory of Wesley) would go from church to church and he would preach a whole week on 'you must be born again.' And do you remember, the leaders came to him in one place and said, 'Brother Whitefield, we'd appreciate it if you'd change your text. We're just tired of hearing that same text over and over again, 'you must be born again.' He said, 'I'll change when you get born again.' We need a little bit of that."
From Pastor Sandra
For the second year in a row New Hope UMC is being blessed with Very Special Music for our 5th Sunday – July 30th Singing Scripture Worship Service!
Those who celebrated with us last July for our Singing Scripture Service surely remember Rosemary Hughes, the Director of Music and Arts at Buncombe UMC, who led the service. Mrs. Hughes was kind enough to contact Mr. Eddie Huss, Director of Music for Shandon UMC, Columbia, explaining our special 5th Sunday Services.
Sixteen members of the Shandon UMC, along with Mr. Huss, who will both direct the choir and play the piano, will be at New Hope on July 30th to lead our Singing Scripture Worship Service. New Hope is truly blessed!
After the service we will go to The Oaks – Magnolia Room – for Sunday Dinner. In order to plan for the meal, please contact me by Friday, July 21st if you plan to be with us.
Everyone is cordially invited to the service and to Sunday dinner – we just need to have an accurate count for dinner: res: 803-829-3252; cell: 803-664-3624; firstname.lastname@example.org
We have recently begun a quarterly Sunday afternoon movie and supper in the Fellowship Hall; we have had great fellowship and enjoyed some delicious homemade food on two occasions so far this year. If you would be interested in attending let a member of the congregation know and we will notify you of the next Sunday afternoon movie which will be "The Shack," based on the book by author Wm. P. Young.
May your summer be filled with wonderful memories!