“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. ” – Deuteronomy 8: 1-2 (NIV)

While Moses was in the wilderness with the Israelites, he spoke these words. He was encouraging the Israelites to remember where they had come from and how the Lord had blessed them over and over again. He was also reminding them of the Lord’s commands and how the Lord had tested their faith and sincerity over the years.

In 1879, “about twenty individuals banded together” to form what has become Flora First Christian Church. They first met in the brick school house that was located on North Division. Over the years since its inception, the church has been through many phases. Sometimes it has seemed that the congregation was wandering through the wilderness, while at other times, it appeared they had arrived in the promised land.

Regardless of the year or who the members were, the test from the Lord has remained the same. The Lord has continually asked, “Will you keep my commands?”

We are embarking on an exciting year. This year- 2019 -we will celebrate 140 years as a congregation. This will be a year of reflection, anticipation, and expectation. My prayer is the same as Moses’ words to the Israelites. May we never forget where we have come from and may we always remember that the Lord has blessed us over and over again. May we always have the courage to follow God’s commands.

We have been showered with favor to have been in existence for 140 years. I believe as long as we remain true to the scriptures and to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will continue to exist. Not only exist but to flourish. Our ancestors took a leap of faith when they started Flora Christian Church. As we move forward, we must be on guard against becoming complacent. We must follow in the footsteps of our founders by continuing to take leaps of faith. The Lord our God will lead our way just as He led the way for the Israelites. It is up to us whether or not we will follow.

I look forward to celebrating this milestone year with you all. We have much to remember. We have much to be thankful for. We have much cause for celebration.

Happy 140 Years, Flora First Christian Church!