The Nashville Pacesetter Ministry Background Until 1998, the older disciples were already referred to as Pacesetters and met in weekly night time Bible Talks in member’s homes. The meeting might include a meal. I served as one of the BT leaders. In 1998, church leadership suggested that we consider consolidating these Bible Talks into one group and meet on a weekday in the daytime as our midweek service. This was attractive to everyone as nighttime driving had already become a concern for some and we are a geographically spread out group which made carpooling difficult. So, the Daytime ministry began then and Evelyn and I have been leading since that time. We began with 4 couples and continued to meet in our homes until later when we began renting clubhouse space to accommodate the size of our group. When the church purchased a building we began meeting there. A few years back we welcomed the news that Tom and Sheila Jones were coming to the group and would be our mentors. Currently We currently are made up of 2 disciples in their late 50s, 27 in their 60s and 70s, and 4 in their 80s. We meet every Wednesday at 10:30. Our typical service includes prayer, singing, a lesson led by one of the men in the group. We always have a meal together afterwards and may or may not have study(s) with visitors afterwards. Every sixth week, or so, we will have men and women lessons separately. Like every older group, we have had through the years a mixture of baptisms, restorations, move-ins, move-outs, deaths, and serious health issues. We plan, so far as I know, to continue with the same format in 2017, however, we are open to fresh ideas and look forward to your publication. My prayer is that the group will continue to love Jesus, to love each other, and to love the lost, and never get too old to learn and to change. Best wishes and prayers for the Cedars group. Pressing On, Jack Reese 12/1/16
Claude Akins: Never Too Late
What do you do when you are 78 years old and not in great health? Do you try to stay as comfortable as possible, avoid any new commitments and just play out the string? That would be the normal plan, but that is not what Claude Akins did.
Thirteen years ago, he began to get with some disciples of Jesus who wanted to study the Scriptures with him. He humbled himself before much younger men, and more importantly humbled himself before the Word of God. After hearing the message of Jesus, he decided to follow him. That decision took him through an evaluation of his life, an acknowledgement of his sins, a time of repentance and then baptism into Jesus Christ where he experienced the promised new birth and gift of the Holy Spirit.
On December 28, after more than a decade of commitment to Jesus and his family, Claude, as the oldest member of the Greater Nashville Church, graduated on to be with his king, a condition Paul says is “far better!” (Philippians 1:23)
At the memorial service on Saturday, January 4, Al Hunter, George Lester, Jack Reese and Barry Holt spoke of Claude’s love for his wife Erma, his commitment to the fellowship (even when it took great effort), his faithful involvement with the Pacesetter ministry, his influence on a number of younger men, and his efforts to reconcile with those he had hurt in earlier years before he allowed God in his life.
Claude made a decision at age 78 to surrender to Jesus as Lord, and all our lives have been influenced by his decision to go the way of the cross and not the way of comfort. We will miss him coming into the assembly with his walker or sitting on its seat outside after the service, but let’s keep in our hearts what he taught us: it’s never too late to do the right thing.