Forty-five years ago the members of River Road Church, Baptist built a house of worship to the glory of God. These people of faith envisioned a place they could come together to rejoice and give thanks. With sacrifice they made possible an expansive space in which no one could think small thoughts about God, where spirits could range as high and deep as the organ’s sounds and choir’s voices.
The sanctuary of River Road Church is ever God’s house. But now it is our time to continue, with vision and sacrifice, what a prior generation began. It is our time to restore our Möller organ, so essential to every service in our sanctuary.It is our time to upgrade the lights to illumine our sanctuary’s classic beauty and to be more efficient in our use of utilities. Because we are in the business of communicating the Gospel, it is our time to improve our sound system so everyone can hear God’s word read, sung and spoken.
Now we embark on a campaign to secure over the next three years $1.5 million, the amount necessary to restore our organ and upgrade the lighting and sound systems in our sanctuary. Our campaign theme is Rejoice & Give Thanks: God’s House, Our Time.
In the coming weeks you will be given the opportunity to make your sacrificial gift to ensure that our sanctuary will continue to serve our congregation and community well into the 21st century. It is God’s house. It is our time. Let us rejoice and give thanks.
Michael J. Clingenpeel, Pastor
O, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise…
Raising our voices together to sing these moving words of Charles Wesley in our sanctuary, we feel our prayers — along with our spirits — lifted up. Our thoughts turn to God — and not to the 3,624 pipes or the 10,000 tiny silver connectors under the organ keyboard, beneath the foot pedals and in the organ chambers that support us as we worship. That was always the plan. How amazing, how wonderful it is to Rejoice & Give Thanks to our God in this place!
Taking our places in the pews, Sunday following Sunday, one season following another, it is easy to take for granted the beauty of this space and the music that fills it so powerfully and well. We are not thinking of lights and sound systems, of pipes and bellows. We await God’s blessings here, in this place we call “sanctuary.” We ask forgiveness, and we receive grace. We pray for ourselves, and we pray for others. We listen for God’s Word, and we find strength for our going out. We bring our offerings to our God in this “our” sanctuary — yet it is not ours, only God’s. We are but the caretakers. And today is our time.
Decades ago it was their time, the months and years when the visionaries who preceded us imagined this setting, built this building, offered their homes as collateral to secure the mortgage, and filled it with the tools to enable transcendent worship. Today it is our time to ensure this legacy for the generations that follow, that they may be nourished, as we are, to serve in God’s name. Come, friends, let us take up the standard and together Rejoice & Give Thanks.