On the Eve of Our Last Service at Madison High School

TCBC 2005

Barring some very unexpected delay, tomorrow will be our final service at Madison High School. Our new building is ready. Only some carpet and a few plumbing fixtures remain to be finished. Walls are painted. Trim is in place. Tile is done. Most inspections are passed. We’re there. Finally. A new chapter in the ministry of Tri-County Bible Church is about to open, even as an old chapter closes.

Since October 4, 1998, Tri-County Bible Church has met every Sunday morning in the MHS Lecture Hall. Over 600 Sunday morning services have been held there, not to mention scores of Sunday School classes and midweek services. Tomorrow that all comes to an end. As you can imagine, we’re excited. Thrilled. Amazingly, we’re moving from being homeless directly into a $2 million facility. No more moving desks aside to make room for a still filthy nursery. No more third-world sound system. No more lugging in boxes of hymnals and toddler toys. No more graffiti on the backs of chairs and the walls of restrooms. No more bathroom stalls without doors. No more children pulling gum from who-knows-where off of auditorium chairs and popping it in their mouths. (Well, maybe a bit of that.) No more near anonymity. What a huge relief. You can’t imagine. And yet…

The Lord has built His church using that high school. It’s been the only “church building” my children have known. It’s been almost the only church building I’ve known as a pastor. More importantly, the Word has been preached there, week after week. People have been saved there. Christians have grown there. Lifelong friendships have been made there. Lives have been changed there. Some 2000-3000 songs of praise have been sung there. Thousands and thousands of prayers have been said there. God has shown His power there and has been glorified there.

So as relieved and grateful as I am about our new building, tomorrow will be a bit of a bittersweet day. God has been good to provide such an adequate facility and accommodating school district for this little flock. I’m thankful. I’m actually in awe of what He has done, not in the building of a structure on Burns Road, but in the building of His church in Madison, Ohio. And as I think about loading up, turning off the lights, and closing the doors one more Sunday afternoon, I actually get weepy. Weird, I guess, but there it is.

God willing, only our facilities will change next week. Hopefully we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing for twelve-plus years at Madison High School for many years to come—exalting the Lord, evangelizing the lost, and edifying the body, all for God’s glory (Psalm 115:1). And hopefully we’ll remember these years of humble beginnings with wonder and praise.

Grace. Great, great grace.

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14 Responses

  1. Hallelujah!

  2. I resent the third world sound system comment.

  3. But I do praise the Lord anyway. :-)

  4. That is great news! Praise the Lord! We are 2 years into renting here in Queens.

  5. Chris,

    Congratulations and Praise the Lord for His blessing. I can definitely understand the bittersweet nature of the transition.

    May God give you many more years of fruitful ministry in your new location.

    In Christ,

    Pastor Frank Sansone

  6. Congratulations to TCBC.

    I think that you will find much more opportunity for evangelism with a place of your own. Although the church is the people, the building is just a great tool for ministry. (But it is only a tool, an instrument to be put to use… we can get to idolizing the building too, unfortunately.)

    Anyway, may the Lord bless in the last details of the move.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  8. I think this is one of my favorite blog posts of yours ever.

  9. God’s blessings to you all! I pray that His name and fame will be increased by this move!

  10. This is an exciting time in the life of a church plant. We praise the Lord with you and those in your congregation. You will always remember with fondness those early days, though.

    You should expect lots of visitors the first few weeks/months in your new building. My one suggestion would be to have a plan in place for how to connect with them and follow up with them.

  11. What a mighty God we serve! May the Lord continue to build his house in Madison and watch over you. Ps. 127:1.

  12. This is great news, and we thank the Lord for what He is doing for His church at TCBC!

  13. Chris,

    This is wonderful news. Congratulations! We look forward to what God has in store for you and your congregation in the new location.

    This past Sunday, we sang, for the first time, your new missions hymn, “For the Sake of His name.” Loved it! It is our theme song for our 2010 Missions Month. Thanks for making your excellent hymns so readily available.

    Warm regards,
    Greg Barkman

  14. Praise the Lord! Praying the Lord continues to use you in a great way in your new facility.

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