I referenced this in an earlier blog titled GOING HOME (dated 04/20/2015 below). The 190 year old Church sits in the community where I grew up, not three miles (as the crow flies) from the farm where I spent my childhood. My great, great, great, great grandfather, Jordan Jackson, was a founding member and Deacon there back in 1825.
As I participated in the program for the day, I was reminded again of the similarities with what is recorded in the Old Testament Book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 24, verses 1-14:
1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest. 3Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
4Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the Lord. 5He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now.” But the Levites did not act at once.
6Therefore the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the Lord and by the assembly of Israel for the tent of the covenant law?” 7Now the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the temple of God and had used even its sacred objects for the Baals.
8At the king’s command, a chest was made and placed outside, at the gate of the temple of the Lord. 9A proclamation was then issued in Judah and Jerusalem that they should bring to the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God had required of Israel in the wilderness. 10All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly, dropping them into the chest until it was full.
11Whenever the chest was brought in by the Levites to the king’s officials and they saw that there was a large amount of money, the royal secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and carry it back to its place. They did this regularly and collected a great amount of money.
12The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who carried out the work required for the temple of the Lord. They hired masons and carpenters to restore the Lord’s temple, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the temple. 13The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it.
14When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made articles for the Lord’s temple: articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord.
As the young king Joash took the throne, his first order of business was to look to the needs of the House of the Lord. Because of his concerns for its continued well-being, he led the priests and the people of Judah to raise money and undertake the task of refurbishment. As a result, the House of God was strengthened and continued its important ministry presence in the life of the Jewish people.
I am thankful to Mr. Dean Breest and countless others who saw a similar need in the venerable old Hopeful Church. And also that, as a result, they took it upon themselves to raise the necessary funds and labor needed to refurbish this historic landmark in the Hopeful community.
Because of Joash’s actions, the work of Moses in building the original Tabernacle some 650 or so years earlier was not in vain. Nor was the work of Solomon in constructing the first permanent Temple 200 or so years earlier. And because of Joash’s actions, the Temple of the Lord would still be functioning when Jesus Christ came into this world some 800 or so years later.
Likewise, because of what the good citizens of Hopeful community have now done in this generation, the faith and work of my great, great, great grandparents in helping to found this historic church back in 1825 was not in vain. The continued ministry presence of this church in that community even today is also validated. But, most importantly, one now has the hope that this particular Baptist Church will continue to be alive and well and flourishing in her God given ministry context when Jesus Christ once again returns to this earth!
NOTE: If you would like to know more about the renovation of historic Hopeful Baptist Church, you can follow the updates on special Facebook pages at: https://www.facebook.com/hopeful1825/info?tab=page_info and https://www.facebook.com/hopeful1825.