March 2015

Celebrate Christ’s victory over sin, death and the grave

March 26 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

On Easter Sunday we will commemorate the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Resurrection Sunday is a time to celebrate as we realize the confident hope we have in Christ. Through His sacrificial death, and his triumphant bodily resurrection, Jesus made it possible for us to become reconciled back to God the Father.  
Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit, we have been in great need of God’s mercy and grace because all of humanity followed in their footsteps and walked a path of sinful pride and self-sufficiency. Our life of rebellion against God’s desire for us to live in obedience to Him plunged us into the sad predicament of separation from God.
But rejoice! God the Father, because of His loving-kindness, gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we could embrace His love, turn from our sin and become followers of Him (John 3:16). In our sin we deserved death and hell but Jesus took our place on the cross, endured His own righteous judgment against our sin, and provided us with the greatest gift of all: salvation.
Through this gift, Jesus made it possible for us to experience His life and His power within us while living here and also the assurance that we will spend eternity in heaven with Him and all people who trust in Him alone for salvation. We have been miraculously transformed into new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Think about this – the same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave resides within us in the person of His Holy Spirit. That is how and why we can live in victory.
Easter is a time when many people who do not truly know Jesus the Christ are intrigued and interested by the hope that we have. Perhaps there is someone you know who needs to hear the message of hope that can only be found in Christ.
During this season, as you reflect on all that Jesus has done for you, share that good news with someone else. Invite them to turn to the one who has conquered death. Ask them to place their trust in Him, repent of their sin and commit to follow Him so they can receive eternal life.
Because He lives, we too will live eternally. For those who follow Christ, death has lost its sting and the grave has lost its victory. Celebrate Christ’s victory over death, hell and the grave!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – 1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

3/26/2015 4:52:20 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments

Birthday blessings to a faithful servant: Fred Lunsford

March 9 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Those who know Fred Lunsford know that he considers himself just a simple mountain preacher. Yet the faithfulness of this humble servant of God has impacted the lives of many individuals far beyond the mountains that he calls home.
Earlier this month, many friends and family joined Brother Lunsford in celebration of his 90th birthday. His life and ministry have touched and influenced many North Carolina Baptists, myself included. He is a treasure to many, and we are honored to celebrate this special occasion and wish him a very happy birthday.
Born and raised deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Lunsford’s life is characterized by an unceasing desire to serve the Lord. He gave his life to Christ at a young age and surrendered to a call to preach the gospel after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He has been serving the Lord ever since and has not slowed down.
In addition to pastoring several churches, he faithfully served the Truett Baptist Association as director of missions for 26 years. He is one of the finest associational missionaries to ever serve in this state. In 1987, Fred was recognized by the Home Mission Board (now known as the North American Mission Board) with the Outstanding Missionary Leader Award for rural/urban associations in the eastern part of the United States.
His love for the Lord, combined with his folksy manner and homespun humor, made him a popular conference leader and evangelist. He is well known for conducting numerous Sunday School revivals, during which he encouraged and equipped pastors and churches to reach and disciple new members.
Even after he “retired” from the Truett association at age 65, Lunsford returned to local church ministry and pastored up until just a few years ago. Even now at age 90, Fred teaches a Sunday School class and opens his home once a week for pastors and anyone else who wants to seek God’s face in prayer. Fred has personally mentored several men who serve churches in western North Carolina, and he continues to be a “pastor to pastors.”
In this column, I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface about how God has used Fred Lunsford to touch the lives of countless people. To learn more about his life story, I would encourage you to read Glory in the Mountains: The Sound of Many Waters and Golden Nuggets from the Mountains. In these books, Brother Fred shares more about his life and ministry as a testament to God’s glory and faithfulness.
He also published a book about mountain preachers titled God’s Messengers from the Mountains.
Brother Fred’s life is truly an example of someone who has been faithful to his calling. As a result, he has built a strong legacy in North Carolina Baptist life. In doing so, God continues to use this ordinary mountain preacher in extraordinary ways for God’s glory. Happy birthday, Brother Fred!
A faithful man will abound with blessings …” – Proverbs 28:20a (NKJV)
3/9/2015 3:16:54 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments