Ten Years of Ministry at TCBC

By God’s grace, Tri-County Bible Church celebrated 10 years of ministry yesterday. I’m amazed that an entire decade has passed since we first gathered for corporate worship in the local high school auditorium —the same auditorium where we still meet (though not for long, Lord willing. Framing should start this week!). The time has gone so quickly! I remember like it was yesterday the first Bible study we held in the living room of one of the founding members’ homes, and the first words that greeted me when I entered: “He’s not old enough to be a pastor!” (Granny, the church’s matriarch and my assailant, proved to be one of my dearest friends before going to her reward earlier this year.) I am even more amazed to consider the great things the Lord has done during that time. He has faithfully built His church, drawing sinners to Himself in salvation, drawing saints to greater Christlikeness, raising up godly leaders and a culture of every-member-ministry, allowing us to send out a pastor to a sister church, and uniting almost 200 people who a decade ago were almost all strangers. Hallelujah!

Our anniversary service included a sermon from Ephesians 1-2 which rejoiced in the fact that TCBC’s “story,” though unique in many ways, is essentially identical to the story of every gospel-preaching church for the last 2000 years: God is uniting us to Himself and to one another through Jesus Christ for His glory. It also included the reading of this letter, a copy of which we sent to the leaders and members of Grace Church of Mentor in Mentor, Ohio. The letter was read in their worship service, as well. Grace was our “sending church,” and their burden and generosity in seeing TCBC started is exemplary. Their many contributions to what the Lord has done at TCBC are enumerated in the letter. I praise the Lord for them, and I rejoice that He is expanding their influence, both locally and nationally.

Our time of celebration concluded with an afternoon service in which we sang our Lord’s praises, gave testimonies of what the Lord has done, and looked Christ-ward as we observed the Lord’s Table together. It was a rich, God-honoring time, as I hoped and expected it would be. What I did not expect was a very gracious letter from the congregation (prepared by Joe Tyrpak) and the many personal notes which accompanied it, all thanking me and praising the Lord for 10 years of ministry at TCBC. I have rarely been as moved as I was by these expressions of love and appreciation. It was a precious, humbling time.

What a joy it is to pastor this particular body! I count it as among the most generous and undeserved gifts the Lord has lavished upon me. It’s my hope that we’ll enjoy many such celebrations together in the years and decades ahead, should our Lord tarry!

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1)

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3 Responses

  1. Congratulations, dear Pastor! May God continue to bless you and Tri-County.

  2. Congratulations, Chris and folks at TCBC.

    We celebrate our 10th Anniversary this Sunday – one week after you had yours.

    In Christ,

    Pastor Frank Sansone

  3. Praise the Lord, Frank. We rejoice with you!

    Funny: A dear lady at TCBC prepared a scrapbook of the first year of the church’s history. One shot is from 11-plus years ago (during the Bible study days), and the shirt I’m wearing is the same that is my favorite today. Quick, call the fashion police. That can’t be good. :)

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