Service unites ministry leaders
Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The second annual Community Thanksgiving Service took place Sunday in Longwood University’s Blackwell Ballroom and featured a smaller group than last year but had involvement from more ministry leaders in what was described as an encouraging event.
Among those offering comments during the service were Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV and Farmville Mayor David Whitus.
Calvary Chapel Farmville Pastor Marv Fisher, also of the Farmville Area Minister Association, coordinated the event.
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“Longwood did such a gracious job of hosting us, and President Reveley opened up the evening and did a welcome and just welcomed us to Longwood and expressed his own thanksgiving, his own personal heart of thanksgiving for all that he sees happening in this town,” Fisher said. “… I thought he did a fantastic job, and Mayor Whitus finished it out with a personal testimony of thanksgiving on behalf of the town, some of the real positive things that are happening as far as the town, and he gave thanks to the Lord for it. I was really encouraged by (it), and then he had a closing prayer over the evening.”
Fisher noted the event included 20 other ministry leaders that were greeting, ushering, reading scriptures and praying on behalf of the people of the town.
“So I felt very blessed to be a part of it,” Fisher said. “We had prison chaplains involved, we had hospital chaplains, we had counselors, we had pastors.”
He added that many different denominations were represented, including those who are non-denominational.
“We had different races represented,” he said. “I feel like it was a great night of ministry leaders serving together.”
The focus of the evening was “America: It’s Revivals & Awakenings.”
“And so what we did was we had different ministry leaders read over five of the great revivals that took place in this land and kind of a summary of the atmosphere of the country at that time of how God moved and really reshaped the culture again,” Fisher said. “And that was really good to hear that. And then we just prayed that God would visit us in that way again and would again bring that revival with Him to our land again.”
Reveley said, “I was honored and pleased to be involved in the Community Thanksgiving Service — an inspiring display of community spirit, vitality and fellowship. Events like these galvanize us in deeply important ways, and as we look forward to the celebrations of the holidays and new year, it’s important to reflect with gratitude on what makes this place so special.”
Whitus said he was most appreciative of President Reveley and Longwood for hosting the event.
“As I have said on numerous occasions, Farmville is unique — and in so many ways,” Whitus said. But this unique opportunity allows the community to come together in a spirit of togetherness and thankfulness for who we are as a community. It allows people from all walks of life to share in a time of thankfulness. It is led by the ministerial association, which I believe is one of the foundational pillars of our community. I hope this is a new tradition that will continue.”
Fisher did note that those in attendance numbered about 100 to 120.
“It was quite a bit smaller than last year, probably half,” he said, speculating that this could have been because no one church was hosting the event this time. It was at Calvary Chapel last year.
The location also may have been difficult for elderly people to reach this year if they were not sure where to park and how far they would have to walk, he said.
“It was a really nice place to have it, but I’m not certain that it was the ideal location for the people involved because of that,” he said. “You almost have to know Longwood to know where to park to get close to anywhere around there.”
He later added that “we’re going to meet next month as ministry leaders, and we’re going to talk about it, and we may end up doing it like at Farmville Baptist on Main Street or somewhere where everyone knows where they’re at, they know where to park, so we take away that ‘I’m not sure where to go’ kind of thing.”