Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ancient Paths Church Presents A Study Of "Ancient-Future Worship"

 Our new church plant is one step closer to seeing the vision come to fruition! 

Beginning FEBRUARY 6 (**THIS IS A NEW DATE**), we will begin a new study using Robert Webber's video material, "Ancient-Future Worship: A Model for the 21st Century."  This is our next step towards establishing the Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene church plant.

Take a look at the following video, and if you live near the Floyd & Clark County areas of Southern Indiana (or Louisvile, Kentucky), prayerfully consider whether God might be leading you to be a part of this new church plant.

In addition to the video, below, you can find our Facebook page, here, and the Facebook "event" page, here.

Most of all, I'm asking all of those who read this blog to keep us in your prayers!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Remembering Bishop James Varick

 Today, according to For All the Saints: A Calendar of Commemorations, we remember Bishop James Varick, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The following is a copy of one of the hagiographies I contributed to that book (the second edition, edited by Heather Josselyn-Cranson).

James Varick, founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, was born in Orange County, near Newburgh, New York in 1750.[1] His mother had been a slave of the Varicks before being freed. Richard Varick, James’ father, was baptized in the Dutch church of Hackensack, New Jersey, where he was born in 1720. Later, he and his family moved to the City of New York.[2]  

James received an elementary education in New York City. At sixteen, he joined the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church.[3] It was the first Methodist Church to be erected in the City of New York. By 1796 the John Street Church contained a large number of members of African descent. However, they experienced caste prejudice keeping them from participating in the sacrament until after all of the white members had been served. In addition, they were denied various other church privileges. Thus, the organization of an African Methodist Church seemed to be needed.[4]  

In 1796 James Varick led the organization of the very first African Methodist Episcopal Church. The first African Methodist Episcopal Church building was erected in 1800. It was named Zion. Later, out of respect for her, the connection took the name, Zion, as well. Thereby, the denomination became known as the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.[5]  

In 1821, in the Zion Church, the first annual conference of the AMEZ Church was held. The meeting was presided over by the Reverend William Phoebus of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On June 17, during the conference James Varick, along with Abraham Thompson and Leven Smith, were ordained by white Methodist elders. Varick became Supervisor (later called bishop) of the denomination on July 30, 1822.[6]

In addition to his role in the AMEZ Church, Varick ran a school in his home, later moving it to the church. He became the first chaplain of the New York African Society for Mutual Relief, and he was a vice-president of the African Bible Society. Varick was also involved in petitioning the state for the right of Blacks to vote. Bishop James Varick died at his home on July 22, 1827.[7]
[1] McMickle, Marvin Andrew. “From slavery to bishop, James Varick.” An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage. Judson Press, 2002. The African American Registry. 26 May 2006. < bishop_James_Varick.>.
[2] Wheeler, Benjamin F., The Varick Family. Mobile, AL., 1907, pp. 43-5.
[3]“July 30, 1822: James Varick Became the First Bishop of the Zion Methodists.” Staff or associates of Christian History Institute. 1999-2006. Christian History Institute. 5 June 2006. <>.
[4] Speaks, Bishop Ruben L., “African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.” World Methodist Council Handbook of Information. 1997-2001. p. 29 Lake Junaluska, NC: The World Methodist Council.
[5] Mead, Frank S. Revised by Samuel S. Hill. “African Methodist Episcopal Church.” Handbook f Denominations In the United States. 10th Ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 1995.
[6] McMickle.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

A Service of Evening Prayer for Epiphany

I invite you to join with me in praying the Daily Office of Evening Prayer as we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.

In order to actually pray with me, you can find the Evening Prayer Office of the 2019 Book of Common Prayerhere.

We conclude by singing the hymn, "As with Gladness Men of Old."  It is on page 200 of the Sing to the Lord hymnal (Nazarene), or you can find it, here. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

A Covenant Prayer As We Enter 2022

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will:
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.  Amen.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Ancient Paths Church Plant: 1 Week Until our First Meeting!

 We are just one week away from the first meeting for those exploring the possibility of being a part of the core group to plant Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene! Check us out at on our Facebook page, here, and check out the "Event," here.

***One correction about parking: We will be parking in the main parking lot. Do NOT turn right. You can use the guest parking on the left, or any of the spots in the main parking area. You will go through the main doors (door #3; with the drive through overhang). - Once you go through the doors, go straight, and the last room on the left before coming to the end is our room! - We will have directional signs inside. - Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Location for the First Meeting of Ancient Paths Plant

 We now have confirmed a location for the first meeting of those who are prayerfully considering becoming a part of the core group for the Ancient Paths church plant!  -  Perhaps God is calling you to be a part of this church plant!  -  Check us out, here, on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Baptismal Hymn

 Unlike most Baptists and many others in the larger Evangelical world, the Church of the Nazarene, in her Articles of faith and elsewhere, clearly identifies Baptism and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion / the Eucharist) as sacraments and as means of grace.  That is to say, they are not mere ordinances.  Nor are they merely my testimony, my work.  Rather, they are God's testimony, God's work.  That is to say, God is present and at work in and through them, pouring out God's very grace to us.  -  This understanding is consistent with our Wesleyan theological tradition.

During my praying of this morning's Daily Office, I finished up (once again) the hymns in Wesley Hymns, edited by Ken Bible.  The hymnal concludes with a marvelous little hymn that would be just wonderful if sung as the Church is preparing to baptize.  It is, in fact, a prayer for God to be at work in the sacrament, and as such, it would be especially helpful for those Nazarene congregations that have been overly influenced by the Baptists and "generic" Evangelical belief system when it comes to Baptism.  -  The hymn is titled, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," and the words are as follows:

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

1. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
In solemn pow'r come down!
Present with Thy heav'nly host,
Thine ordinance to crown,
See a sinful soul of earth!
Bless to him the cleansing flood!
Plunge him, by a second birth, 
Into the depths of God.

2. Let the promised inward grace
Accompany the sign;
On this newborn soul impress
The character divine!
Father, all Thy name reveal;
Jesus, all Thy name impart;
Holy ghost, renew and dwell
Forever in his heart!

(By the way, if one is only baptizing female candidates, I would suggest that it would be completely appropriate to change the pronouns used for the baptismal candidates.)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: Exciting Announcement

Please see the following video for some exciting news about our new church plant!  After watching the video, please be sure to contact me if you are interested in being a part of Ancient Paths Church in the Floyd/Clark Counties area of Southern Indiana.

Friday, September 3, 2021

God: The Sole End and Source Of Our Being

Currently, during the Daily Office, I am singing my way through Wesley Hymns, a great little hymnal put together by Ken Bible.  -  In fact, over the years, I have made this little hymnal a Christmas gift to musicians in the churches where I have served.  -  During today's Morning prayer, I sang a wonderful little song by Charles Wesley entitled "O My All-sufficient God," and read a brief excerpt from John Wesley's A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.  The two go hand in hand (which is probably why Ken Bible put them together in the hymnal!).

I am reproducing them, here, praying that they will be a blessing to you:

O My All-sufficient God

O my all-sufficient God,
Thou know'st my heart's desire;
Be this only thing bestowed;
I nothing else require,
Nothing else in earth or skies,
Not through all eternity;
Heav'n itself could not suffice:
I seek not Thine, but Thee.
(Charles Wesley)

     One design you are to pursue to the end of time, the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity.  
     Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the Creator.  But in 
     every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view.  Let every affection, and 
     thought, and word, and action, be subordinate to this.  Whatever you desire or fear, whatever you 
     seek or shun, whatever you think, or speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole 
     end, as well as source, of your being.  -  From John Wesley's A Plain Account of Christian 

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Two Grand Branches of Salvation: Justification and Sanctification

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to read John Wesley's sermon (85), On Working Out Your Own
  In that sermon there is a great section where Wesley talks about what he calls the two grand branches of salvation.  Here is what he says:

[After God's "preventing grace"] . . . we experience the proper Christian salvation, whereby 'through grace' we 'are saved by faith', consisting of those two grand branches, justification and sanctification.  By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favour of God: by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God.  All experience, as well as Scripture, shows this salvation to be both instantaneous and gradual.  It begins the moment we are justified . . ..  It gradually increases from that moment . . . till in another instant the heart is cleansed from all sin, and filled with pure love to God and man.  But even that love increases more and more, till we 'grow up in all things into him that is our head', 'till we attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ'.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: A Wesleyan-Anglican Church Plant

Here is video number five in my series of descriptors for our proposed church plant in the Floyd/Clark County, Indiana area.  In my prior videos, I: 1.) cast my vision for the church; 2.) described the plant as a "Three Streams" church; 3.) described it as an "Acts 2:42" church; and 4.) described it as an "Ancient-Future" church.  In this video, I talk about what it means for Ancient Paths to be described as a Wesleyan-Anglican church.  (Who would have thought, given this blog!)

If you are in the Southern Indiana or Louisville area, and you think that this might be where God is leading you, or if you have further questions, please contact me!  You can visit our Facebook page at Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene.

I am asking everyone who sees this post to please be in prayer for us!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: An Ancient-Future Church Plant

 This is the fourth video about our proposed church plant in the Floyd/Clark County, Indiana area.   In the first video I cast my vision for the church, and in each of these other videos I am focusing on one  of the terms that I have used to describe the church.  In the second video, I talked about the church plant being a "Three Streams" church.  The next video focused on it as an "Acts 2:42" church.  In this video I discuss the concept of an "Ancient-Future" church.

If this resonates with you, and you believe that God may be leading you to be a part of the core group of this church plant, please contact me.  -  I look forward to talking with you!

Again, we continue to ask for prayers as we seek God's direction!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: An Acts 2:42 Church Plant

Here is my third video about a new church plant in the Floyd/Clark County, Indiana area.  The first video casts a vision for the proposed church plant.  The second video focused on the idea of being a "Three-Streams" church.  In this video, I describe what it means for the church to be an "Acts 2:42" church.

I would love to hear from you, if you are in the area and believe that God may be calling you to be a part of a core group to plant this church.  Please comment, below, or otherwise message me.  

Please, also, pray for us as we continue to seek to discern God's will concerning this church plant!

Friday, August 6, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: A Three-Streams Church

In a recent post you will find a video that casts a vision for a new church plant in the Floyd County, Indiana area.  In that video, I mentioned a series of descriptors for the church that I have envisioned, and I indicated that I would be shooting a series of brief videos about each one of those descriptors.  Below, is the first of those videos.  It focusses on the idea of being a "Three-Streams" church.

Again, if you are in the area and believe that God may be calling you to be a part of a core group to plant this church, please comment, below, or otherwise message me.  And, of course, I appreciate all of the prayers as we seek to discern God's will concerning this church plant!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Ancient Paths Church of the Nazarene: A New Church Plant

 For years, I have had a vision of a new church, but the timing has never seemed quite right.  Now, my wife and I are prayerfully seeking to discern whether this might be the time.

Take a look at the video, below, and check out our Facebook page, here.  -  If you are in the Floyd County, Indiana area and believe that God might be leading you to be a part of the core group for this church plant, please comment, below, or contact me, otherwise.  -  For everyone, please keep us in your prayers!