OUR MISSION IS OUR HEART

Mike Durbin – BSCM State Director of Evangelism

(Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

(Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

It is exciting to see and hear what God is doing in churches across our state. I recently had the privilege of representing the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) at the grand opening of Harmony Baptist Church’s new worship center in Jackson and celebration of their 57th anniversary as a church. The new building was packed as people gathered to celebrate and thank God for what He has done. Both the current pastor, Rod Walker, and the former pastor, Chuck Turner, brought inspiring messages. Together, these two men have served the church for the last 23 years.

 

Rod and his wife Kelley began attending the Harmony Church in 1994, at the invitation of their children’s babysitter. Chuck was the pastor back then and he sensed very early that God had his hand on Rod. He says, “Rod reminded me a lot of myself. He tried

every excuse he could for why he shouldn’t be in the ministry. He did a lot of jobs around the church, but none satisfied the calling God had on him. God wanted him to serve as pastor.” When Chuck left to serve as a Director of Missions, Harmony asked Rod to fill the pulpit while they searched for a new pastor. “I was 34 years old when I came here,” Rod says. “I started as an usher, then they asked me to pray. It wasn’t long until the church asked me to preach. The church sensed my call before I did,” Rod says. “I did pulpit supply - running from God.”

 

He was asked to submit his resume to the Pastor Search Team. He didn’t even have a resume. He had been working for the last 25 years in the printing business. Despite what he calls his lack of experience and education, the church called him as their pastor in March of 2004. Rod says, “God called me. I went through a lot of fear and spiritual struggles only to realize God didn’t call me because of my ability. It was my availability.” That availability has been used by God. It was evident at the Grand Opening and church anniversary.

Construction on the new building began when a group from Texas called to volunteer from Christian Builders. They arrived in June of 2015 and spent 6 weeks doing the rough-in phase of the building. The team of 14 couples ranged in age from 63 to 88. Pastor Rod says, “They were one of the most inspiring groups I have ever worked with.”

 

Two weeks after the Grand Opening, the church celebrated again as 10 people publicly proclaimed their faith in Christ and followed Him in baptism. Nine people joined the church by Statement of Faith, and three returned. Pastor Rod tells about one little girl who backed out of being baptized at the last minute. As a result, her mother who recently started attending the church, decided to profess her faith in Christ and get baptized with her daughter.


“Our mission and our heart is simple: to reach the lost for Christ. That has been our mission for the last 57 years. We are thankful for what God has done. We are grateful for our new building, but it’s not about the building. We are here to meet the needs of people and make Christianity personal for those who come. Advancing the Kingdom is foundational to our ministry at Harmony Baptist Church.”

Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)
Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

Construction of new building begins in 2015. (Courtesy Harmony Baptist Church)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.

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