The More Things Change
“Remember your leaders who spoke to you the word of God””
It has been my honor to serve as the pastor of this beautiful Centerpoint family for 29 years now. I vividly remember the names and faces of the men and women who were leading this church when I first arrived. Although at times, as people come and go, I considered installing revolving doors on the worship center, God has always supplied the mission and ministry of this church with just the right people at just the right time. The names have changed, yet we hold to the same doctrine as our founders, teach the same inerrant Bible, and obey the same mission outlined by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. “The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
One hundred and seventy years ago, the French author Alphonse Karr spoke the truth when he wrote, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” or, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The pace of change around us is accelerating. But the truth of Scripture is as timeless as God Himself; a rock-solid foundation upon which a Christian can stand. The Bible still speaks to the sin and need of mankind and reveals the grace of God found through faith in Jesus Christ. As varieties of sin rapidly multiply, Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and peace with God remains the same.
In 1961, only 8,000 people called this sleepy little town “home.” Royal Avenue was a dirt road and 2369 was a walnut orchard. Since the inception of our church, many world-changing events have occurred. And during our first ten years, the riptides in our culture were especially tumultuous. In 1961, John F. Kennedy was our president. In 1962 he pulled us back from the brink of a nuclear exchange in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in 1963 he was tragically assassinated. The Vietnam war raged, and the protests at home were inflamed. Woodstock and the summer of love happened in 1969, signaling the beginning of a rapid slide in the morals and values we held dear. The six days of the Watts riots in the summer of 1965 left L.A. with 34 fewer citizens and a broken heart. In 1968, our nation suffered another tragic loss with the assassination of the Baptist pastor and civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.. And on July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong took the first walk on the moon, declaring, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In subsequent years, many more epic, culture-shifting, world-changing events have occurred, and the pace of change has increased.
And even though our name has changed from First Southern Baptist Church, to Royal Avenue Baptist Church, and now to Centerpoint Church, our doctrine and mission have remained the same. Many faithful servants of God have come and gone, but I’m especially grateful to the ones who came and stayed – a solid core of Bible-loving, Jesus-preaching people. Relationships, residences, jobs, leaders, and even governments change, but Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Have no fear; 12 men have sat in the oval office during the life of our church, but Jesus has always been, and always will be, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16) And remember; Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” And the Kingdom of God “cannot be shaken.” (Luke 12:32 and Hebrews 12:28)
All for Jesus with love,
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:7-9a
One thought on “60th Anniversary of Centerpoint”
Steve, Joyce, pastors, elders & members, Thank you for serving so tirelessly & faithfully as we allow Jesus Christ to transform us into His likeness. We thank Him as He led us to Centerpoint Church 7 years ago.
God bless you all, in His precious name!