Gallup Christian Church
"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death so one way or another I will experience resurrection from the dead."
What a pathetic little church. That was my first impression of GCC as I spoke to Dale, Daniel, Jean, Tom and other wonderful people, the remnant, the faithful. They lost their pastor and as a result, lost many of the flock. Today twenty people filed in to the '70s looking building, with pale red carpet and gray paneling. How can an already small church rebuild? Suppose they have eighty people, and they give the national average of $20/week per person. That's around eighty thousand a year for a pastor, missions, utilities and upkeep. Not much. They reiterated the struggle with finding a pastor to come to Gallup, New Mexico.
Daniel led the service, God bless him, as his speech was sub par, with many missing teeth. We sang 'Victory in Jesus,' 'When We All Get to Heaven' (1898) and more of the oldies. A woman and man played the piano and guitar, respectively. In fact, the number of people willing to help was impressive, as four men ushered for communion and the offering. With Daniel and the musicians, a third of the church served.
They served communion, and as a visitor it's the most uncomfortable time, since each service is different. Do we go up, take the elements back to the pew, take them right away or wait for a prayer or something? Since I sat in the third row, I was first. Churches tend to fill from the back. Sure enough, I took the elements and waited, but saw others take both and return the tiny cups to the ushers. D'oh! No big deal, really.
Instead of preaching, they played a DVD of a sermon from last week, from a big church in Idaho. The pastor used the Ephesians scripture to encourage us that through our suffering, we can be more like Christ. I was struck by how the message was so perfect for this church, going through a death type experience. Lord willing, they will rebuild and be stronger than ever.
The service broke up and people met me, the new guy, and we drifted to the parking lot and Libby, the people drawn to the map on her saddlebags. Most had stories of bikes and riding from the past. Speaking of that, what does BSA stand for? I know, do you? Those bikes were popular in the fifties and sixties.
Honestly though, I got depressed halfway through the service. Such a small church, up against huge challenges. Hopefully God uses the fire of suffering to refine them like gold and they will emerge stronger than ever.
And now, by popular demand (in other words, my Mother In Law would shoot me if I didn't!), photos of QG's latest creation!