The Lord’s Table, a vibrant church located in Goldsboro, N.C., has partnered with Rehoboth Ministries for several years. Last Sunday, we had the privilege of ministering there, as we do every year. The people of the Lord’s Table have not been immune to their own trials and afflictions. Their beloved founding pastor, Bill Wilson, fought long and hard against a liver disease for many years, while his flock rallied around him and prayed. Finally, he went to meet his Maker in March 2011.
Pastor Bill was the kind of person that lit up the room when he walked in. He was extremely charismatic and marked by a genuine love for all people, especially his own flock. We have never forgotten the explicit counsel Bill gave us before we shared our hearts for the first time with his congregation. “All I ask you to do is feed my sheep. I love my sheep,” he said. Bill was a true shepherd to his flock and his passing was a great blow to the church. Pastor Bill was not only a loving shepherd, however, but a wise one. Seeing that his days were numbered, he began to personally groom Brother Ken Jefferson, his son in the Lord, to replace him.
Pastor Ken is a laid-back, soft-spoken man who is marked by grace. His quiet nature, but steady strength, served to navigate the church through more difficult waters, for Pastor Bill’s son passed away as well seven months later, having suffered with cerebral palsy. These and other personal losses in the church would require a resilient leader who could guide and comfort the flock to calmer waters. Ken is doing a wonderful job and despite their recent losses, we found the church alive and well.
One of the greatest traits that we have witnessed in this church is a profound sense of community. Prit and I have watched the members come together during some really tough times and as a mother hen gathers her wings around her brood, they have also poured out their love and resources upon Pastor Bill’s widow, Estine, and their remaining family. What a pattern for other churches to observe and follow! We are so proud to be linked together with this dynamic church.
Prit and I felt very strongly that the Lord would just have us minister to the people’s needs on Sunday. We shared very little about the needs of the ministry in Haiti, but instead shared testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness through the years in giving us all kinds of deliverance, miracles, and healing. There was a tremendous response when we invited those that needed prayer to come forward and we trust that many needs were met during that solemn time together. Perhaps Pastor Bill was on the sidelines asking the Lord, “Lord, just tell them to minister to my sheep!”
Check out The Lord’s Table website at thelordstable.org. They have many excellent resources available. If you’re in the Goldsboro area, drop by for a visit. You won’t be sorry!