Lift High the Cross: The Dedication of the Sanctuary of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Overland Park, Kansas

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6.14

“It is impossible to plant a church that holds to reverent worship, Gospel expository preaching, the ‘old paths’ of Reformed theology, and still be grace driven, missions minded, and evangelistic…and grow through conversions.”

rainbow-touchup-1.jpgThat seemed to be the prevailing thought in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But this past weekend I visited the church I planted in Overland Park, Kansas: Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We did, in fact, plant a church to fulfill God’s purposes in the world and in this generation and in that community that embraced reverent worship, recovering a Reformed liturgy, as well as the “old paths” of Biblical faith which men call Calvinism. We were not a “community church” non descript “fellowship gathering” but a “Presbyterian” congregation proud of our association with our brothers and sisters in the Presbyterian Church in America. We sought to emphasize “changeless truth in changing times.” We were counter cultural in our philosophy of ministry and worship style and preaching style and ethos. And yet we did grow, by God’s astonishing grace alone. The church is also noted for its commitment to world missions as well as home missions. And the local church, today, is comprised of new converts to Jesus at the rate of about 21%, according to a recent count. Equally as important is the fact that a Bible believing, Gospel driven, confessionally faithful congregation is established to reach the world for Christ through the generations. To know the truth is to be set free. And this is a truth telling church for our generation. Praise the Lord.

But we are all careful. This could only be the work of God. This could only be to the glory of Christ. And as I look at the tall steeple, so reminiscent of the grand edifice called Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia, I am reminded of the hymn, “lift high the cross.” And I am reminded of Paul’s words:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6.14

But let me tell you about this past weekend and the Dedication Services.

insidesanctuarysmall.jpgWhat a wonderful, awe inspiring, and God-ward time we had as we dedicated the new sanctuary to the glory of God and the salvation of sinners and the worship of the saints for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There was a wonderful banquet with testimonies of the founding families as well as Mae and myself. There was a dedication service following in which each part of the sanctuary, the pulpit and communion table, the pews and the musical instruments, the baptismal font and the steeple, were dedicated to the vision and mission of worshiping God and making Him known to others. My wife and I both failed gloriously at holding back tears as we were given a front row seat to the litany by The Reverend Tony Felich and the ruling elders of the church. On the Lord’s Day there was a brunch in the new gymnasium of Westminster Academy and then worship. They decided to put in kneelers because apparently it was brought out in the discussions about that addition that we used to pray on our knees when the church started in our living room. And this brought me to my knees in thanksgiving for a people who not only caught the vision but are now seeing through the ages at generation after generation worshiping Jesus Christ at Redeemer Presbyterian Church until Christ comes again.

rpc-sanctuary.jpgAnd I am grateful that they brought back the founding pastoral wife and her husband who made so many mistakes, so many misteps, and so many miscalculations. I was deeply honored and they seemed to honor with intentionality and grace. Thank you. By God’s grace one has planted, another watered, and God Himself has given the increase.

The old processional hymn implores us to “Lift High the Cross.” I want to honor my friends and well beloved children in Christ at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in our old home of Overland Park, Kansas. They are doing just that, both in their new sanctuary, and with their lives.

Note: Check out the steeple raising video at this link.

About Michael A. Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D., MPA (University of Wales; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author.
This entry was posted in Calvinism, Calvinistic, church planting, Churches in Kansas, Churches in Overland Park, conversions, Dedication Services, Dr. Michael Milton, elders, Expository Preaching, God, God Worship, Godward Worship, Grace driven, home missions, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Kansas, Kansas churches, KS, Michael Milton, Mike Milton, Old Paths, Overland Park, PCA, PCA churches in Overland Park, Presbyterian Government, Redeemer, Redeemer Presbyterian Church Overland Park, Reformed Theology, Reverent Worship, Sanctuary, Traditional Worship, World Missions. Bookmark the permalink.

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