Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Beulah Landers

Allow me to tell you about one of the churches I serve. Beulah United Methodist Church is a small congregation church located just out of Salemburg, N.C. It has been serving the Lord as a church since 1900 and was greatly influenced by the Azusa Street Revival as the Holy Spirit swepted across America. I've read the history of these early days of Beulah but I'll save that for another time.

From the first Sunday that I preached from the pulpit at Beulah I have felt the mighty present of the Holy Spirit there. I know what everyone is thinking as you read that, that the Holy Spirit is everywhere and in every church as well. I understand that and know that, but what I'm saying is that it's as if its different, as if the Holy Spirit is waiting for me to walk in to sit me on fire each morning that I walk in. You walk in knowing that you are in a special place of refuge, where nothing can bother you, where you are in a different dimension than the world you just stepped out of. You can walk in with the weight of the world on your shoulders and as you step through the door the weight is lifted off and you do not feel that heaviness any longer. It's a God place, a Thin Place, whatever word one may use to describe a place they know that they are in a special place where you feel an especially closeness to God. Doubt if you must, but though I may not use fancy words, I know what I am talking about.

And the people! This small but powerful group of people are used by the Holy Spirit to be an extension of His arms. I have seen it time after time after time people who came through the front door who has never been inside before act as if they have known everyone there all their lives. The people of Beulah, all of them welcome everyone as if they are family. Almost everyone who comes will not leave without a hug from somebody. I learned that on my first Sunday there.

Over the past nine years since I've served as the pastor, we have experienced many ups and downs in the numbers during worship. We've had many who have moved into the area who came and then moved away, many who still stay in contact with members. We have a saying that "once a BeulahLander, always a BeulahLander". We've had many who went home to the Lord. We've had some who have left and we've never heard from them again. We've had as many as 40+ in morning worship and as few as 10+. Up and down, up and down. Sounds familiar? But we've never stopped praising the Lord.

The music and singing is amazing, full of the Spirit. Many times I have seen people start crying during the opening songs because the Spirit is using Sue Fann, our worship leader, and her gift of playing and singing to touch our hearts. When you come to Beulah, you don't what is going to happen.

Everyone, is a family when they come through those doors. We laugh together and we cry together. We rejoice with each other's joy, and we suffer with each other's suffering. We worship even at meetings. If we think one of us need prayer, we don't wait to see one another, we pray on the phone for one another. Beulah is just a fun place to be!

At the presence time, Beulah is experiencing a low in attendance since we have had many who have moved on in their journey. We pray that many more will come, knowing some like many before them will be there for a season in their spiritual journey. We pray for those who are going through trying times in their lives who are searching for a place of refuge where the burden will be lifted. We pray for families who decides that they need to bring their children to church to plant the seed of Christianity so that when it comes time for those children to decide for themselves whether they will continue their journey in faith, they will know they have given their children a special gift. We pray for those husbands and wives who needs to find a place they believe will give them something to have in common to give their relationship a sense of peace it has been missing. We pray for those who are seeking a church home. We pray for those who are looking to re-connect with the God they once knew. We pray for those we have never met, the stranger, who will be a stranger no more. We pray for you, and we pray for our church.

At Beulah we gather for Sunday morning worship at 9:45. Morning worship is over most of the time by 10:45 and then some will stay for Sunday School. Some leaves and heads to some of the local eating establishments, beating the 11 o'clock church crowds. I always like telling people that. It also gives more time for folk to spend more of their day visiting or traveling to see family or going on special drives. Whatever they like to do. Like I said, Beulah is just a fun place to be!

If you would like to come and experience Beulah, we're located at 4610 Corinth Church Rd., Roseboro, N.C. We're only a few miles down the road from Salemburg, but have a Roseboro address so don't let that confuse you. We look forward to meeting you. If you have questions give us a call at 590-4372. Come and let us worship with you.

If you have a special memory of Beulah, please leave a comment.