9/11 marks a special occasion for our Church. Not only does it mark a memorial for those that were lost, but also the new-birth date of our founding pastor Larry Hughes. Each of us spoke for a few minutes about what Larry’s ministry meant to us in our personal lives and ministries. This is mine…
Tonight we honor Pastor Larry Hughes – the founder of this Church. Today is the anniversary of when he received the Holy Ghost and completed his new birth of water and Spirit – of being baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Larry was a true Defender of the Doctrines of God. He had a love for God’s Word. He studied the Bible more than anyone I know. And he would defend it against anyone. He didn’t care who you were or what your title was. He wasn’t afraid of any doctor’s degree or position. If God’s Word needed defending he was there to defend it. He stood on the doctrines when no other Churches in this area would. Even if it meant standing alone, against preachers and pastors that should have stood with him… he stood on God’s Word.
He loved doctrine. He loved the Godhead, the plan of salvation, holiness, Creation, Prophecy, and the Scriptures. He talked about it everywhere he went and he wanted everyone to understand it, love it, hide it in their hearts, and defend it.
He stood on the fact there is one God and that Jesus is that one God manifest in flesh. He stood on salvation as knowing God, repenting of your sins (including false doctrine), being baptized in the name of Jesus being fully immersed in water, and being filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. He called this the 4 steps. And he would add a plus 1: live a holy life and be watching and ready for his coming.
Each of us, whether in ministry or our personal walk with God, have been deeply influenced by Larry. We are here to honor the work that Larry did and to tell our personal stories of the influence Larry had on our lives.
As I call on you you can stand where you are or come up to the microphone. Each of us will take a couple of minutes. If I miss anyone just raise your hand. If you don’t want to say anything just indicate that as I call on you and I’ll go on to the next person. If you decide later you want to say something just raise your hand.
I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Larry… and Francis. They took me in when no one wanted me. I grew up in their home. They took care of me when no one else would.
Larry impressed on me a love for God’s Word, and love to worship God with praise, and with music including singing and playing guitar.
He pushed me to do my best. He made sure that if I said something about the Bible it had to be solid and grounded. It had to be the clear teaching of Scripture with no room for doubt. He made sure that I focused on the most important foundational doctrines first. Everything else was secondary.
If it wasn’t for Larry I would probably be a member of one of these Churches around Athens that compromise for fellowship. I wouldn’t have learned doctrine from them. I would have learned to put friends and family before God and his Word.
About Our Church
Thanks to Larry, this Church stands on those foundational doctrines. We will earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. We will go forward, putting God first and making a stand for his Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we have to stand alone against all the Churches in this area, we will stand on God’s Word.
I thank God for giving us Larry as a pastor, preacher, and teacher.