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And Be Thankful…

On a cold winter night in 1996, MacArthur Sanders, Emmett Sanders and I met at Dot and Emmett's home. We sat in Bro. Emmett's living room and discussed the work at Maysville. With a long history of rapidly changing preachers, they emphasized that they wanted a preacher who would agree to stay a long time and truly become a part of the church and they built some compensation incentives encouraging that longevity into our working agreement. I wonder if they imagined that conversation would lead to 28 years together? All of the good memories I have of Maysville are the result of that meeting, which occurred in a house long ago torn down, with men long gone on to their rewards.

On the first Sunday in April 1996, I preached the Sunday morning sermon to a very sparse crowd of folks. As it turned out, that was the weekend for Lads to Leaders and most of the young families and youth were gone! After services I approached Bro. Emmett and asked him if there was something he needed to tell me. He laughed and told me that all the missing folks were in Nashville and sure enough they came pouring into the foyer a few minutes before services began on Sunday night!

There are so many names and faces in my mind and I remember meeting so many of you for the first time, although we look a little different now than when we first met! I have knives, clothing, tools, fishing tackle, a drawer full of personal notes and a variety of other gifts that various ones of you have given to me and Libbie along the way. As I handle them they always bring a smile to my face.

Almost immediately the elders were happy for us to make some changes in our youth group which allowed me to become deeply involved in so many young lives. We also started a new young married class within a matter of weeks. Over time older members drifted in, and some singles, and we all aged to the point that the name young had to be dropped!

I'm thankful for so many friends, both living and gone on, and so many wonderful experiences that would bring up at least 200 names to discuss here, but I can't do that.

I'm thankful to God for allowing Libbie and I to have our lives so completely enriched as we lived among you for so many years. This is barely a start for all I'm thankful for, but alas, as always, time and space has run out...!

I pray that the Lord will continue to richly bless the church at Maysville in every way and I leave you with this verse; "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." (Col 3:15)

-Tim Orbison


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