One of the blessings of visiting churches that are receiving their Covenant Agreement or new Ordination Credentials for their pastor is the smiles. There is always plenty to go around. Maybe it is because they are joining something new. Maybe it is because they are leaving some stress behind. Maybe it is because they know in their hearts that they are doing what the Lord wants them to do. Maybe all three. Whatever the reason, the smiles are always there. And they are not just on the faces of the local church members, but on the faces of the CBC representatives as well. For us, it is the excitement of growth. CBC has been growing and there is little sign in sight of that coming to an end.

Take the installation of Chris Leatherman as Pastor of the Knobley Covenant Brethren Church near Keyser, WV, pictured below. You can see the smile on his face as Grover Duling installs him as pastor and there were smiles on the faces of the congregation, not only for the installation of Chris but also because of the recognition given Roger Leatherman the former pastor, for 29 faithful years of service to the Knobley congregation and 39 years of ministry.

There were also smiles in the White Pine Covenant Brethren Church North of Moorefield, WV, as they received their Covenant Agreement. This was a church that had been looking forward to this day and planned a celebration to take place following the service to mark the beginning of their new place in the Family of God. Pastor Don Judy and the church board chair, Keith Oats, were on hand to sign the Covenant Agreement on behalf of the church and Don received his new CBC credentials. CBC Regional Officer Leon Alt led a prayer of blessing for Pastor Don and his wife. It was a day that everyone there will remember fondly and one that could bring a smile when remembered for years to come.

Not long after that, Grover traveled to the Bowden Family Worship Center east of Elkins, WV to present to them their Covenant Agreement and to offer Pastor Lynn Ryder his credentials. Board Chair Jerry Catlett assisted in the signing of the Covenant Agreement on behalf of the church. Another new start and another round of smiles as another congregation joined the CBC family. Take note, these were not smiles of conquest or malice. They were smiles rooted in the joy of the Lord and a belief that they were following God’s guidance and purpose for their congregation. David said in Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.” That was the source of these smiles and we hope will be the source of all CBC churches for many years to come.

Submitted by Craig Howard – Publications Committee