By SI Filings Jul 10 2019 Church DeclineRural Ministry"The church is on the North Alabama Hallelujah Trail, a list of 32 churches that are at least a century old, still stand on their original sites, are accessible to the public and still hold services." - BPNews 871 reads There are 10 Comments Why? Aaron Blumer - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 7:23am So, is it because there are so few pastoral candidates or because they're really hard to please? (Or "location, location, location" as they say) Oh yeah? Bert Perry - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 3:23pm Well, that's nothing compared to when the Nazis opened the Ark of the Covenant....oh, wait, that was just a movie. Oops! Seriously, I'm not seeing the connection between the title and the article. Regarding the article about the church not finding a pastor, I'm thinking it has something to do with location, location, and location. Stevenson has about 2000 people and at least one other Missionary Baptist Church nearby. Plus, they're half an hour from much bigger churches in Chattanooga, so it may be a classic case of "someone decided to build a church building without building the congregation." Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. ? TylerR - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 3:25pm I thought this was a Babylon Bee article. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Real article Bert Perry - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 3:42pm Comes from Exeter, England, and mental health is at issue. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Oops Aaron Blumer - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 10:15pm Yeah, that's embarassing! Copy-paste error. Bert got the right link for that one. The BPNews story was ... obviously a different post. The intended one. Fixed: So... this thread doesn't make much sense now. Apologies! Building on nonsense Bert Perry - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:02am We could either bring back the thread in a serious manner, or we could just pipe up with whatever we saw in the supermarket check-out aisle tabloids when we bought our lunch. Stuff like "headless body found in topless bar" and such. (real story from a murder case in New York City) But back to the real story, I don't have much to say beyond what I noted above. When churches are built as memorials, instead of being built from the ground up, you're going to have to retrofit things to build that grass roots membership. If one doubts this, see western Europe, where there are a ton of little churches and shrines rotting out there. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Not sure TylerR - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:05am Some churches don't know how to look. Some pastors expect too much. I'd guess it's the former, here. Probably some of the latter, too. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Stevenson, Alabama Fred Moritz - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:42am We lived in Decatur, Alabama for 28 years when we served at Baptist World Mission. The shortest, and most scenic, route to Atlanta was through that part of the world, and I've driven it many times. We drove that way to avoid Birmingham if the weather was good. I don't know that I've driven past this particular church, but I've driven past several like it in that part of Alabama and Georgia. Those churches came into existence to serve small rural communities, and they still have enough people to sustain them. On a similar note, the first place I preached regularly (1961-63) was in southern Minnesota, 20 miles north of Rochester, and seven miles south of Mazeppa (population about 200). We were across the road from the Zumbro River, where we baptized new believers. Churches in those kinds of areas can have good, but obviously limited ministries. To the point of the article, it can be difficult to attract pastors to scarcely populated areas. This article Jay - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:12pm This article makes TylerR's points elsewhere on SI about the looming need for bi-vocational pastors. I don't know that this church will ever be able to afford a full-time pastor with benefits and such, but surely there is someone in Alabama that is qualified and could shepherd on a small/part-time basis? Maybe an elder from a church in a neighboring county or something? "Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells Info TylerR - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 2:37pm We just hired a second pastor, and he'll be bi-vocational, like me. He's young, single, and a Maranatha grad. He'll likely stay for a few years. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?