Monday, October 29, 2007


This past weekend, we attended the annual communion meeting at Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church in Madisonville, TX (where we are members, well, all but Mr. Baby, that is :) ) and had a wonderful blessed meeting. Services began Saturday morning - preaching by Van Quick and eld. Pat Young. Saturday afternoon - preaching by eld. Chris Blevins and eld. Tommy Hart. Sunday morning - preaching by eld. Chris Blevins and eld. Lindsey Blevins. After services and lunch, we entered into communion. Our pastor, Lindsey Blevins asked eld. AnthonyBlevins to take the footwashing part of the service, eld. Chris Blevins to speak on the bread and eld. Lindsey Blevins spoke on the wine. It was a beautiful communion service. This was our eldest 3 children's first communion service to participate in since joining the church this past summer. They have witnessed many in their young lives - always sitting on the front row to observe. It was a wonderful blessing to wash my little girls' feet and to have Miss E wash mine, Miss A wash her Granny's and Mr. E to wash his Daddy's and his Granddaddy's, as well as his uncle's. Such a blessing to see the little ones in the church. If you're ever down Madisonville way, I know the saints there would love to have you visit.

Here is a picture of some of the ministers who attended the meeting:

Back row: (eld. Stumball, eld. Lindsey Blevins, eld. Chris Blevins)
Front row: (eld. Jeff Moseley, Van Quick, eld. Tommy Hart, eld. Pat Young, eld. Ron Smith)
not pictured: eld. Anthony Blevins

Also, when we arrived home last night, there was an email in my inbox sharing an article from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. The topic? Footwashing! Please take a moment to read it if you can:

I've copied it in below in case that's easier for some:

In His Footsteps

Jesus once told his followers to wash one another's feet, and modern adherents say it is a humbling experience

By Jim Jones / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Foot-washing is a symbolic act of love and humility that many believe was ordained by Jesus on the night before he was crucified.

He took off his robe, girt himself with a towel and washed his disciples' feet, according to John 13. He told the disciples to follow his example and wash others' feet.

I first heard of foot-washing years ago when I lived down the street from a Primitive Baptist church in my hometown of Bowie. My dad told me these were "foot-washing" Baptists. I was intrigued by the idea of grown-ups going into their church, taking off their shoes and socks, and washing one another's feet.

I later came to learn that this humbling act of servanthood reaches deep into the heart of the Christian faith. A growing number of Christians in other denominations are starting to embrace it.

On a recent Sunday I had the privilege of witnessing a foot-washing service for the first time. It was held at the Indian Oaks Primitive Baptist Church in Lake Worth.

Males were on one side; females on the other. About 60 men, women and children seated in a circle took turns kneeling before small basins of water and washing one another's feet.

It was a moving experience just to observe the event, which was a part of the church's twice-a-year celebration of Communion.. Coincidentally, one of the men leading prayers during the service, Elder Frank Baker, 84, once was pastor of the Primitive Baptist in Bowie that I remember so well.

Love in action

Elder Larry Webb, pastor of the church, told the congregation that the service was about love.

"This is a time when we can show our love, not only for the Lord, but for one another," he said. "But if it stops here, it's all for naught," emphasizing that Jesus urged followers to go out and serve fellow human beings.

In an interview, Webb said that washing someone's feet is a sacred act that can change a person's life.

"My heart hurts for those who don't get to experience this," he said.

Webb's father and grandfather were Primitive Baptist preachers. His grandfather, the late Elder James Albert Webb, celebrated his 100th birthday by preaching a sermon at the Fireside Primitive Baptist Church in Dallas.

Broader popularity

Today a few denominations besides Primitive Baptists -- the Church of God, Cleveland, Tenn.; , Seventh-Day Adventists and some other conservative groups -- include foot washing as a regular church practice.

It also is practiced on Maundy Thursday, an Easter week event commemorating the Last Supper, in many Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in a number of United Methodist, Episcopalian and Lutheran churches. Some pastors and bishops use the foot-washing rite when they ordain ministers to emphasize the servant leadership role.

The growing popularity of foot washing goes along with a search for more tangible and meaningful spiritual practice, John Thomas Christopher told the Washington Post. "You can sanitize baptism and the Eucharist, but it's pretty hard to sanitize feet," said Christopher, author and professor at the Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn.

United Methodists at their 1992 general convention sanctioned foot-washing, and that led to several congregations initiating the practice, including Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, which has a foot-washing service on Maundy Thursday.

"It certainly is a humbling experience," said the Rev. Stephen Swisher, chief operating officer and executive pastor of Lovers Lane.

Primitive Baptists

Origin: Primitive Baptists, meaning "original" Baptists, trace their beginnings to Jesus' time and birth of the Christian church. In 1832, many Baptists who believed in missionary projects split with "Old School" Baptists, later called Primitive Baptists.

Membership: Estimated 126,000 members in 3,000 churches -- including about 20 in North Central Texas -- although there is no accurate count.

Beliefs and practices

Seek to neither add nor detract from New Testament church practices.

Most don't use musical instruments in worship.

Most don't have Sunday schools.

Most ministers are self-taught and don't rely on seminaries.

Feet washing is taught as a command of Jesus in most congregations.

Most use real wine, not grape juice, during Communion.

Believe that God, before the foundation of the world, chose a definite number who would be saved and that salvation is eternal.

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