Grace Community Church tries new revival schedule in ‘Four Sundays of Graceful Blessing’

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A church on Ingram Street is taking the traditional nightly revival it usually offers and changing up the format to appeal to busy families.

Instead of a Sunday-through-Thursday event, Grace Community Church is planning a monthlong revival members are calling “Four Sundays of Graceful Blessing.”

The first of the four revival services starts Sunday at 9 a.m. Grace is located at 225 Ingram St.

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Pastor Phillip Sterling said he’s noticed that families are on the go more and have more obligations to fulfill. Attendance at nightly revivals has lagged a bit.

“Things have changed so much. People have a lot more going on,” he said. “Most people have things to do at night with the kids, or second jobs.”

Sterling asked God for an answer and then listened.

“I prayed about it and the Lord gave me a vision,” he said. “I figured, they worship on Sundays, why not revive them on Sundays, too.”

He pitched the idea to church members and they were all agreeable. The four Sundays will have different speakers as well as praise groups and soloists.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a blessed time,” he said.

Revival services begin at 9 a.m., which is the regular time for services at Grace. It will last until about 10:30 a.m., he said.

Sterling said the theme “Graceful Blessing” is about “the blessings that we often overlook.” He said individuals tend to make resolutions about what they want for their lives.

“They’re wanting this and that, but a lot of the time God has already blessed us. And those blessings came by grace. Not because we actually deserved them,” he said.

Minister Kostminski Nobles of Changing Lives Ministries will start the revival Sunday. He’ll be followed Jan. 14 by Pastor Burnell Robinson of Crump Chapel in Brookhaven. Pastor Michael Smith of Shady Grove Church in Lawrence County will speak Jan. 21 and Minster David Goodwin of Brookhaven will lead the service Jan. 28.

Sterling will be on hand to keep things running smoothly, but having four guest speakers for the month will give him a much-needed break.

“It’s good for me, too, because pastors need reviving,” he said. “It gives me a chance to take it in.”

Church member Albert Brown said he is excited about this new type of revival service.

“It’s something new for the area, and something new as a ministry,” he said. “We’re not just following set traditions, but trusting God with the newness of the new year.”

He said the new revival schedule is already fostering unity among church members. Teams consisting of families from the church are taking a hands-on approach to sponsor speakers and musicians.

He also sees the new Sunday revival schedule as a way to encourage attendance by those outside of the regular membership.

“It’s opening up the revival services to our community,” he said. “They’re usually three or five days in one week, at night. Some people would love to come, but they can’t. Services will take place early and they can be a part of it and still meet an obligation at their home church.”