2024 – Resolution of Appreciation for Vernon Forest Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC—Host Church

The New Testament local churches the Apostle Paul cared for comprised a wide spectrum of spiritual maturity. According to Paul, a local church’s generosity was an encouraging indicator of its spiritual health. Where a church did less than they could, like the Corinthians, Paul communicated serious concern (2 Cor. 11:8). Where a church gave sacrificially, like the Macedonians, Paul expressed thankful commendation (2 Cor. 8:3). Greatly encouraged by the love of the Philippian church, Paul responded with great assurance that their generous spirit would never lack the blessing of the Lord’s provision: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). 

As we have gathered for fellowship with sister churches, our hearts have been warmed by the generous spirit of the servants of the Lord at Vernon Forest Baptist Church. In the words of the Apostle, “[We] have all, and abound” in your care. Like Epaphroditus of Philippi, your family of believers have blessed us in many ways this week, “an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God” (v. 18). We thank you for this kindness. We thank you for the hospitable offer of the use of your beautiful and spacious facilities, for the delicious meal and refreshments expertly prepared, for the helping hand we have had extended to us at every turn. The enthusiastic labors of your godly and gifted pastor, our brother Jim Brown, were especially encouraging. Your Christlike labors in this regard have created an appropriate setting for our fellowship’s contemplation of “The Just Shall Live by Faith.” Encouraged by your example and kindness, we return to our churches strengthened to be faithful for Christ.

Paul’s word to the Philippians is the word we would leave with you as our dear sister church: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; in as much as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:4-8).