By Ruth DuCharme    

 

 

In the year 1953, Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held, and Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as the thirty-fourth president of the United States. It was the year of such hit tunes as, Stranger in Paradise, Don't Let Stars Get in Your Eyes, and That's Amore. Milestones, such as the announcement of the Salk polio vaccine and the invention of the transistor radio, were celebrated. It was the year of television shows like I Love Lucy, Lassie, and Perry Mason. The first James Bond novel was published, and the first color television set went on sale in the United States. It was a great year!

 

In the year 1953, in a quiet neighborhood known as Shirley Hills, a small group of believers were going about the work of starting a new church. They began with a dream and a prayer, and with much determination and faith, Highland Hills Baptist Church was born. There were no national headlines to announce the creation of this new church. There were just the united hearts and minds of a faithful few who dared to hope, to plan, and to work to make this dream come true. It was a great year!

 

Sixty years later, we stand on the foundation that was laid by those pilgrims who came before us. Over the past sixty years, many others have found their way into this family of faith. We have joined our gifts, our resources, and our talents to do the work that God has called us to do in this place. We have loved and ministered to each other through joys and through sorrows. We have served and ministered beyond these walls, so that others may know of the saving love of Christ. We have sought to be God's people at work in God's world.

 

Through our sixty years there have been blessings and struggles, but through each step of the journey, God has been with us. As we prepare to celebrate our sixtieth anniversary as God's people in this place, we acknowledge that this celebration

isn't just about us. It is about God's faithfulness to us. It is about God's abiding presence with us. It is about God's promise found in Leviticus 26:12, which says, "I will walk among you, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people." May we come to this celebration on Sunday, April 14, with that promise on our lips and in our hearts.