Churches come together in time of need

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

March 19, 2017 at 11:06 p.m.

Mt. Nebo youth choir sings at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday.

Mt. Nebo youth choir sings at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday.   Barclay Fernandez for The Victoria Advocate

Two church congregations of different denominations are coming together for each other during a time of need.

The Rev. Fred Hobbs, Mt. Nebo Baptist Church pastor, spoke Sunday morning at the First Presbyterian Church about the importance of going to church, being part of a church community and supporting others. The mixed congregation reflected on those words.

People stood, clapped their hands and said amen as Hobbs spoke.

Hobbs has been preaching at the First Presbyterian Church since January. Mt. Nebo Baptist church is undergoing remodeling on the inside and out. Before the remodeling began, Hobbs came to the First Presbyterian Church officials and asked whether his congregation could use the church's fellowship hall for their services. The timing was clearly right as the First Presbyterian Church's pastor had just retired, and church officials are searching for a new one. The church congregations already had a strong relationship and have been worshipping together once a year for about five years.

"The atmosphere - there is love between two congregations," Hobbs said. "It's a godsend. We worship him in spirit and in truth. We don't see color; we see Jesus, and that's the relationship that every congregation should have."

By worshipping together, both church congregations are breaking barriers dealing with community, Hobbs said.

"As we break those barriers, not only are we going to love each other, we going to share and care about each other," he said.

The two churches have complemented each other by offsetting their weaknesses, said Robert Whitaker, a member of First Presbyterian Church.

"Our congregation is an older congregation, so as you can imagine, we are not as nearly interactive as Fred's congregation is," he said. "We're just a quiet congregation. With Fred and his congregation and their enthusiasm - that fires up everyone. Everyone I talk to has said there has been very positive things that have come out of our relationship together."

The churches have a lot to offer each other, and God definitely had a hand in what happened, Hobbs said.

"Even though we have different denominations, both congregations worship Jesus for who he is to us," he said. "We worship to make each other strong."

The two churches work well together because their Sunday school studies and Bibles are the same, Hobbs said.

The churches will meet together until August with Hobbs as the fill-in pastor for the First Presbyterian Church. Hobbs expects that the two church congregations will worship together more often than once a year after the remodeling is done at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church.

"This is not going to end," he said. "This connection is a lifetime connection. I preached at their church for the first time five years ago, and we fell in love from that moment on. It's a love relationship that we like, and God loves as well"



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