Hey! That’s my church!
"Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful, may the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
and the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful."
I found a box today full of old pictures from church friends and family. This was the church where I grew up as a young boy, left for a season, then returned after college to serve in many capacities. Most importantly, I served as a Christian. I grew as a Christian. I grew as a musician. I grew as a man of God. I was ordained as a deacon and as a minister. For the next 30 years, this was my home, both spiritually and physically. Since 1965, whenever I have the occasion to drive by there, I still feel the same joy and pride and say in my heart, “Hey, that’s my church!”
It has never been a huge church in numbers, but is the largest church imaginable in their heart for a community, for each other and for world missions. There is a special bond that has bonded us together; those who remain and those who are now elsewhere. Age has never mattered, all generations gathered under the roof and on the property to worship and fellowship.
Looking through all these pictures, and posting several on Facebook, has caused a lot of laughter and a continued relationship for so many of us. We’ve traveled on mission trips to New York, Washington, DC and St. Simons Island. We’ve participated in sports, nursing home and prison ministry, choirs, dramas, Vacation Bible Schools and so much more. This church was a true neighborhood church for so many years, and even when a number have moved from the ‘hood, this church still believes in the community surrounding and does what needs to be done to minister there.
I can’t begin to count the number of people who came to be called to the mission field, various ministries and other areas of Christian service. And so are now spread out in churches in the southern crescent of Atlanta in their own churches … spreading the Word. Serving God.
In looking at some of my leadership in these pictures; student work, choirs, mission trips and the building of an activities building, I can only hope that the generation that I helped to raise find me faithful to God’s work. I hope they find me faithful to the church and to God’s people. I feel very strongly that nothing I have said or done has deterred them from God’s way for their lives.
I am so richly blessed by this church and these people. I don’t know many people outside of this fellowship who can still, 40 years later in my case, enjoy each other’s company, laugh together, cry together and be a part of each other’s lives. If you don’t have this, I am sorry and urge you to work toward this. Find the church where you are not only blessed, but can also be a blessing to others. Pray that those you lead will find you faithful and that your legacy is one of God.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of “Being God’s” and “Staying God’s,” both available at Amazon.com.