Senior Pastor, Floral Heights UMC
The Merle Anthony Preaching Series in September will be one that Floral Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita Falls will long remember.
Our 2014 Merle Anthony Preacher was our own Bishop Michael McKee. The September 6-8, 2014, event featured lively worship, great preaching, lots of food and music including the 100-voice Northwest District Choir on Sunday night, a lively praise band on Sunday morning, and the music of the Encore! Women’s Choir on Monday night.
A district-wide youth rally, “In the Park After Dark,” kicked off the weekend. Youth groups gathered near Midwestern State University to hear great music, play lots of games and eat plenty of food. Richie Heussner, Floral Heights associate family ministries director, put together the program.
On Sunday morning, Zooniversity, a traveling wildlife education program that Family Ministries Director Whitney Rancourt arranged for the church, entertained the children.
Associate Pastor Nancy Sherman spoke on “Creation” and challenged the congregation to “Go Green.” Afterward, the Zooniversity team took over with a wonderful array of animals for all of us to enjoy. We learned quite a bit about God’s creation, preparing us for the morning worship with Bishop McKee.
The morning worship featured the Floral Heights Praise Band along with Bishop McKee’s sermon, “When Did I See You?” based on Matthew 25. After the service, we had our annual Feast of the Fatted Calf, a luncheon designed to call all church members back from the long summer of vacations and family outings.
David Rhines and Henry Krusekopf led the men, who stayed up most of the night cooking the brisket and hand-carving it for the luncheon. The line for it was out into the parking lot.
In the Sunday evening service — at which the 100-voice choir, led by Karen Lamberth, sang — Bishop McKee challenged us with his message “Now I See!” based on John 9. Afterward, Bishop McKee, Northwest Superintendent Marvin Guier and his wife, Kathy, enjoyed a reception in the Fellowship Hall.
On Monday, Bishop McKee shared his vision of the North Texas Conference and led a question-and-answer session at a well-attended luncheon.
On Monday evening, the closing worship of the series, Bishop McKee helped us understand Matthew 18 in a new and exciting way as he preached on “Unlimited Forgiveness.” World-renowned organist Chiemi Watanabe played Toccata, capping off the evening.
Pastor David Turner offered a special thanks to Karen Lamberth for directing the District Choir and planning the worship experiences along with Chiemi Watanabe and the praise team. He also extended thanks to everyone involved in the series, especially Carol Brown and the Merle Anthony Steering Committee.