What contains 1258 people, 582 cars, 982 worship bulletins, 30 audio tapes, 2 1/2 hours of video tape, 372 donuts, 11 boxes of donut holes, 5 baptisms, 38 classes and meetings, 20+ ushers, 24 hours, 14 cameras, 11 photographers and 1257 pictures?

Answer: A day in the life of Bible Center Church.

On September 8, 2002, we set out to document a single day in the life of Bible Center Church and in so doing, present a comprehensive view of the scope of the ministry of Bible Center. I had been planning on doing this project for more than two years and finally with the help of 10 other photographers, we have captured this in the accompanying photo essay. It was also a day in which I was more than normally aware of what was going on around me. This awareness leads me to a few thoughts to share with you.

First of all, a little background. The week before, our building was used to the max, with more than 300 children here Monday through Friday for School and Daycare. Wednesday, the 4th, we had more than 300 children and teens in AWANA and Youth Group and more than 200 adults in Bible Institute classes and choir.

On Saturday the 7th, Bible Center Church hosted the AWANA Training conference. We had more than 400 people in our building and Lee Walker and I were the church staff on duty during the day. We were both here for more than 10 hours. Pastor Jones put in half a day and Pastor Thompson was the worship leader for the conference. This meant a major amount of scrambling to get our building ready for its Sunday wake up call. John Mitchell, John Holivic, and Charlie Hogen, Omri Medley and Nat Young from our maintenance staff came in Saturday night and worked long hours to move tables, chairs and cleaning for the Lord's day. Without these faithful servants, you would not want to see this place.

The following Wednesday we had a noon time September 11th service of rememberance and hope which was attended by 548 folks from BCC, Grace Bible Church and our community.

Back to the 8th of September. My alarm sounded at 4:35 a.m. on Sunday and of the 24 hours in this day, I would see all but five of them (a half hour nap was a necessity ). The first picture I took of the day was of the sky lightening over our church sign at 6:58 a.m. By that time, Lee Walker was already checking the building and Jim McQuerrey had already unlocked the doors. From that point the activity of this place gets too much to fully apprehend. Three services at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. were each a blessing and what a blessing to see hundreds of people filing into our sanctuary. For the final two services, I have the best seat in the house, on the platform looking over a congregation of people eager to worship God and listen to His Word. I sing with a talented choir pushing me along from behind and surrounded by an orchestra! Not far from the sounds of heaven think I. While this is going on, a small army of willing servants serve as ushers, greeters, counters, teachers, attendants, technicians and prayer partners. Our radio station tells us that nearly 1000 are listening live on the radio and we don't know how many may be listening live over the Internet. Others will join these services later via audio tape. While all of this unfolds, the team of photographers are happily snapping away.

Finally the last song is sung and the last amen is spoken and 1258 people make their way to their homes hopefully better and stronger and more Christ-like. Pastor Thornton and I spend an extra 40 minutes praying with a person in need of some spiritual encouragement. When I leave the building at 1:07 p.m., I have already been "at work" for 6 1/2 hours. I arrive home where 10 or so members of the youth group have joined my sons in our family room to watch football together. Pastor Thornton is off to a 2:00 p.m. memorial service in honor of military and emergency personnel.

A quick sandwich and a brief nap and it seems as if the afternoon has evaporated as quickly as the morning dew. I am back at Bible Center at 5:05 - my first picture back is of my clock in my office showing the temperature at 90.5 degrees. The activity picks up again - setting the internet video camera to capture the baptismal service, rigging an automatic camera behind the baptistery (which fails to capture a single image) and then prep for the Adult Bible Fellowship I lead with Joe Martin. Fortunately, Joe is leading tonight and doing an outstanding job with Exodus 11 as I have to slip out early to prepare for the baptismal service. In tonight's service I will have the privilege of baptizing my own two sons. We will also pray for the Gee family as the prepare to return to the mission field of Poland. 290 believers will celebrate the ordinance of communion and enjoy wonderful music.

But what I most notice is the people, especially after the service is concluded. Many do not seem to want to go home, They enjoy the company of their fellow believers. They smile, gather, hug, encourage, share, respond, talk, advise, plan, greet, love, accept, fellowship, thank, acknowledge, reflect, and a dozen other activities that attest to the sweet fellowship that only those who know Jesus Christ personally can share. This is the church in truest, purest form and I am blessed to be in its midst.

I will walk out the door at 9:23, snapping a final picture of Pastor Jim McQuerry and Pastor Thornton as they depart with me. I have spent another 4 1/4 hours at church. As I head home in the darkness I cannot but be amazed at this church, its people, its leadership, its history and the joy I have of being a small part of it all. But above it all, I am amazed at what God has built here. 60 years ago there was no Bible Center Church. But a few folks began meeting in homes for Bible study and from those humble beginnings, God has built a marvelous church, a rich and diverse group of people who have one thing in common; faith in the Lord Jesus. In this single day, I have seen with my own eyes and experienced personally Jesus promise...

"...on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

Let all of us join with the host of heaven and say to our blessed Savior

"Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13).


Jesse Waggoner 
(as he appeared on 9/8/02)


(Joe Martin)  


  © 2002 Bible Center Church