The Lord has sustained our ministry for 137 years. Like a seesaw, there have been times when we were facing days of highs and lows, ups and downs, turbulence and smooth sailing, comfortableness and uncomfortableness. Whatever the days presented, because we are still actively engaged in our ministry that was founded in 1886, we survived all of them because of God’s sustaining grace.
Those who established this ministry had the spiritual foresight to ask God’s blessings on the longevity of its success. I do not believe that they saw the City of Birmingham’s plan to bring an interstate system through its community that would require being relocated in 1968. That move could have easily made a major difference in its existence. People could have abandoned the ministry and move on to another one.
Rather than serve as a negative deterrent, our members used it as a positive good. For fifty-five years, Tabernacle has thrived in the historic Smithfield community. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement when a section of this community was known as “Dynamite Hill,” Tabernacle could have made the decision to relocate some place else, to some place perceived to be safe.
Tabernacle chose to anchor our spiritual roots in this community. Our steps have been ordered by the Lord, and they continue to find fresh fertilizer in this soil that is producing good outcomes for the Lord.
When you trust the Lord for every detail of the ministry God has given you, God blesses every step you make. Often, we may not have been able to see far in advance of where we were going. For that reason, we heed the wisdom of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5.7, “We live by faith, not by sight.”
Sustained by grace, living by faith, our ministry has been in the good hands of members who trusted the Lord. There is no greater recipe for being blessed. Every congregation that has done that has been assured of success. If we continue to do this, Tabernacle will continue to do well. Grace and peace continue to be ours through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Amen.