We were never intended to do life all alone, but rather in the love and company of God and each other.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus, living in the 6th century BC said…
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Think about that. You can step into a river. But step into it a gain, and neither you nor the river are the same.
Later, one of the students of Heraclitus took his teaching a step further. He suggested that–yes, you can’t step into the same river twice. But for that matter, you cant even step into the same river once. As soon as you step into it, direction of the water changes, the rock, mud, silt, all shift…and nothing is the same.
It has been said that the only true constant in life is change.
Life, the earth, you, me…we are all in a constant state of change.
And that’s good. That’s how we are made.
But if you’re like most, change is not something we easily embrace.
We resist it, fight it, run from it…or at least try to slow it down.
The cold hard fact is this. Change happens. Life morphs.
But all through the Bible, and in each of our lives these morphing moments, these seasons of change and transition are nothing to fear. Quite the opposite. They are the sacred spaces where we have the opportunity to encounter God’s holy presence and divine love like never before.
That’s why I want to invite you to something special this Summer.
It is our Summer Sermon Series, entitled:
“Morph!” Navigating Life Through Seasons of Change.
I am especially excited to welcome 3 special guests to join me in this series.
Dr. Joel Gregory, Professor of Preaching at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary.
Dr. George Lyons, Senior Pastor of Gillfield Baptist Church, the second oldest African-American Congregation in United States.
Dr. Meredith Stone, Instructor of Christian Ministry and Scripture at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsden School of Theology.
Our “Morph!” series will launch on Father’s day, June 18th. I will open our series with a sermon entitled, “Semper Reformada!” based on Isaiah 43:19… “See, I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Then, Dr. Gregory will be with us June 25th and July 2nd, followed by Dr. Lyons on the 9th, and Dr. Stone on the 16th.
The final two installments for “Morph!” will be brought by me on July 23rd and 30th, concluding with a very special Lord’s Supper experience.
This series promises to be meaningful for every person, regardless where you find yourself on life’s journey. I hope you will make an effort to invite someone to be a part. Invite them to “Morph” with you!
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ~Is.43:19
Dr. Joel Gregory
Professor of Preaching
Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary
Dr. Joel C. Gregory holds the George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. In 2016 he spoke or taught 163 times in seven academic institutions, 36 churches and 17 conferences in 20 states, Wittenberg, Germany, and Oxford, UK. He brought the concluding message at the Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa last summer. He also serves on the BWA Commission on Worship and Spirituality. More recently, Joel was invited to bring the Second Annual Ecumenical Worship Service in Charleston, SC, a citywide event along with the governor and mayor to commemorate the Emanuel 9, lost in an act of racial violence at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Joel holds the B.A summa cum laude and Ph.D. from Baylor University. He received the M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1973) and taught preaching there 1982-1985. He served for two terms unanimously elected as President of the 5400-church Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has preached at venues as varied as Westminster Chapel, Spurgeon’s College and Kensington Temple, all in London, as well as Regent’s Park College, Oxford. He has preached at the Baptist World Congress in Seoul as well as Durban, the International Seminary in Buenos Aires, Princeton Seminary and Princeton University chapels as well as scores of seminaries and colleges. Among his pastorates were Travis Avenue, Fort Worth and First Baptist Dallas.
His Proclaimers Place® seminars have been conducted in 18 states, Oxford, Paris, Rome, Athens, Wittenberg and Israel with more than 80 four-day seminars and more than 1100 pastors trained over the last ten years. For the last 12 years Joel has taught the seminar at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.
For years Joel was the preacher on the International Baptist Hour radio program heard on more than 500 stations. He brought the annual sermon at the critical 1988 Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio, “The Castle and the Wall,” widely considered a watermark message in recent Baptist history. He is the author of five books, editor of three anthologies and the subject of a nationally performed play, God’s Man in Texas. He has been recognized by Baylor and his peers for his 50th preaching anniversary.
He is the husband of Joanne Michele Gregory (B.A., RN), a Baylor alumna, and they are the parents of four adult children.
Dr. George Lyons
Gillfield Baptist Church
Dr. George W. C. Lyons, Jr. is the Senior Pastor of the historic Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia. He is a native of Los Angeles, California and the only son of the late Rev. Dr. & Mrs. George W. C. (Delores) Lyons.
Dr. Lyons is a graduate of: the University of California- Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science; The Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. where he earned, with honors, the Master of Divinity degree; and the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio where he earned the Doctor of Ministry degree. He has completed additional studies in the Department of Religion as a Ford Foundation fellow at Princeton University.
In a ministry career that has spanned over 20 years, Dr. Lyons has served congregations in California, Washington D.C. and Tennessee.
Dr. Lyons is active in civic and religious affairs. He is a member of the Virginia Commonwealth University Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Class of 2010; a member of the Chesterfield Branch of the NAACP; the Petersburg Police Chief’s Advisory Council;
The Crater Regional Youth Taskforce; the Tri-Cities Alzheimer’s Advisory Council; and the Southside Community Partners of Virginia Advisory Council. Dr. Lyons has served as a volunteer police Chaplain for over 13 years having served law enforcement agencies in Tennessee and Virginia. Currently, he is a Volunteer Chaplain with the Colonial Heights (Virginia) Police Department and serves on an Advisory Committee of The Cameron Foundation.
Dr. Lyons is a member of the editorial staff of the National Baptist Voice, the official publication of the National Baptist Convention, USA. He is also a member of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia and the American Baptist Churches, USA. He is the Dean of the Bethany District Baptist Association. He is a member of the Virginia Council of Churches, the Richmond Baptist Minister’s Conference and the Petersburg Baptist Minister’s Conference where he serves as Dean.
Dr. Lyons has held positions of leadership on numerous boards and committees, which included: Leadership Knoxville, the Knox County Emergency Management Administration, the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational State Convention, the Knoxville YMCA, the Knox County No Senior Left Behind-Senior Steering Committee and the Outreach Council of the Alzheimer’s Association of East Tennessee, the Knoxville Police Advisory and Review Committee and was a member of the 2002 class of Leadership Knoxville. Dr. Lyons was also an instructor for the American Baptist College Extension Center in Knoxville for ten years.
Dr. Lyons and his wife LaCrechia are the parents of three daughters: Jessica, Maya and Angela. Most of all, Pastor Lyons is committed to carrying the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all.
Dr. Meredith Stone
Instructor of Christian Ministry and Scripture
Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsden School of Theology
Meredith J. Stone, director of ministry guidance and instructor of Christian ministry and scripture, joined the faculty of Logsdon School of Theology in the fall of 2014. The Ministry Guidance Office coordinates scholarships and grants for ministerial students and offers assistance in call clarification and ministry placement for students and alumni.
She received both her Bachelor of Arts (Bible) and Master of Arts (Religion) degrees at Hardin-Simmons. She also earned her PhD in Biblical Interpretation through Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University.
Before joining the Logsdon faculty, she has served as Women in Ministry Specialist for Texas Baptists (BGCT), Teaching Pastor at Crosspoint Fellowship, and Coordinator of Admissions for Logsdon Seminary.
She enjoys spending time with her family, golf, music, and being involved at First Baptist Church in Abilene. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Baptist Standard, and on the Baptist World Alliance’s Commission for Christian Ethics. She is married to James Stone who also works at HSU as Special Assistant to the President, and they have two daughters.