By Shirlee Hale
WORSLEY, AB—It was a day of rejoicing for Worsley Baptist Church as we celebrated our 50th anniversary as a constituted church. It was so special to visit with people we haven’t seen for many years. We were thankful for those who came for our morning Sunday school and worship service and we enjoyed visiting together during the potluck barbecue lunch.
At 3 pm our celebration service began with a meaningful time of worship as different ones shared. Our praise band led us in hymns from the past followed by more contemporary worship music. It was precious to have Bessie Hellquist open our service in prayer. Bessie and her husband and family lived in Worsley. They became close friends of Keith and Louise Hale and family and were very supportive in the church.
Pastor Dick Hale was the first speaker, sharing the history of our church and how we can be thankful for the men and women who have walked in integrity before us. Dick encouraged us to let our light shine before men, not for our own gain but for the glory of God. His prayer for our church family was, as the apostle Paul said, that we press on toward the goal, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
We were thankful that Dwight Huffman could be a part of our celebration. He brought greetings from the convention and expressed his gratitude for Worsley Baptist Church being in partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the first day until now. His desire for our church was that we may know, as the apostle Paul prayed, the depth of God’s love.
Dan Rossworm, one of our oldest members, shared his memories of the church before it constituted and how they met in an old schoolhouse and different buildings in the community. During the winter months everyone sat in the front of the building, as that’s where the woodstove was situated.
Jody and Brenda Sharon Hale shared their memories from soon after the church was constituted and of their move to Worsley from Texas to work with Keith and Louise. They are thankful for the faithful servants in the early days and the young ones who continue to serve God and worship here today.
Daniel Giesbrecht shared how our church impacted his life as he became a Christian and became involved in our church and our mission church as well.
Chris and Melissa, a younger couple, shared what a blessing it is to see these faithful servants of God whose armour is shining just as brightly as the day they first put it on. They also shared how our church is now influencing their children as well.
Emma, age 9, our youngest and one who most recently publicly confessed her faith in Christ, is a fourth-generation member. She shared, via video, how she is thankful for our church and looks forward to learning more about Jesus as she grows.
It was an honour to have Don and Shirley Smelley from Weatherford, Texas, attend our celebration. Don also gave greetings from their church. Their pastor, Joe Griffin, was Keith Hale’s pastor at Elmont Baptist Church in Texas. Joe then became pastor of North Side Baptist Church in Weatherford. North Side Baptist Church was one of the churches that encouraged, prayed for and gave financially to help build the first church building in Worsley in 1965–66.
Some of Jody Hale’s family sang with him the song, “Find Us Faithful,” sharing their thankfulness to have five generations who attend our church and worship together.
The kids and youth beautifully sang a song from VBS they learned last year, “How Far Love Goes.”
Lawrence Smithson shared on behalf of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fairview, Alberta, as it was a mission of Worsley Baptist Church until 2001.
Betty, Kurt and Rod Hale shared special music, “The Longer I Serve Him the Sweeter He Grows.” A slideshow was presented which showed some of the highlights and events where God has used us to sow and water His Word and influence people even to the ends of the earth.
DK Hale brought a closing message sharing some personal memories and encouraging us to shine our light where God has placed us.
Pastor Dick also shared some messages from dear friends who wanted to send their greetings.
Following the service, Pastor Dick and Shirlee Hale cut the anniversary cake and everyone enjoyed fruit, cake and ice cream and sweet fellowship as well.
We appreciate all the cards, phone calls, prayers and expressions of rejoicing with us in what God has done for us and through us. We owe the Lord a great debt for His gracious love to us and we will seek to be good stewards of the opportunities He sets before us.
Reprinted from the CNBC Horizon - October 2018