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Meet the 2019 Lectures

            Few things in life last for 40 years.  Those that do don’t always function at the same level as they once did.  This June 17-20 will feature the 40th edition of the Southside Lectures.  They are as vibrant and effective as they were when they began in 1980.

            The number 40 is frequently used throughout the Scriptures.  Forty days and nights of rain during the flood.  Forty years of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  Forty days that Jesus fasted before being tempted by the devil.  This number is thought by some to symbolize a period of trial or testing.

            The 40th Southside Lectures will be as significant as the past 39.  They will proclaim the truth of the Bible.  They will encourage the saints at Southside.  They will provide an opportunity to invite people to “come and see.”  But this year, they will ask a question that promotes what the gospel is all about: “Do You Know My Jesus?”  There is no greater test or examination than that.

            Our speakers this year have all participated in the lectures in past years: Paul Earnhart, Rickie Jenkins, Gerry Sandusky, and Terry Slack.  They are men not only of considerable ability but of noble character.  By their own exhortation and example, they will help us to know Jesus better.

            Paul Earnhart has been loved by the Southside congregation since his first appearance on the lectures in 1982.  His insights into the Scriptures are seen not only in his preaching but in his writings on the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, and Ecclesiastes.  During the 2019 lectures, brother Earnhart will preach such subjects as “He Carried My Sorrows” and “Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer.”  We look forward to them already.

            Rickie Jenkins has also been a frequent speaker on the lectures.  As he has done in previous years, he will add passion and depth to the program.  Rickie serves as an elder at the Campbell Road church in Garland and will fittingly speak on “The Lord’s My Shepherd.”  He will also challenge us to “Stand Up for Jesus.”

            Gerry Sandusky was actually a visitor at the very first lectures.  He rode here from Indiana on a motorcycle.  His father was tied on the back of it.  When Giles Baker heard they were staying in a tent in a park by the church building, he insisted that they come to his house.  They’ve remained close through the years.  Gerry’s appealing and practical style will certainly come through when he preaches on “Jesus Saves” and “Victory in Jesus.”

            This will be Terry Slack’s second appearance on the lectures; he was also here in 2008.  He was converted to the Lord while in the grocery business and decided to give his life to preaching at the age of 26.  He has done a good work in the kingdom ever since.  Brother Slack will deliver timely sermons on “Christ Arose” and “A Soul Winner for Jesus.”

            For the eighth year in a row, Tim Stevens will lead the congregational singing during the lectures.  As you have probably noticed from the lecture titles, he should have little trouble finding hymns to match the subjects this year!  The Southside church is pleased to help support Tim financially in his work of preaching gospel meetings and conducting song worship training series around the country.  You should know that when we confirmed the dates for this year’s program, Tim replied, “Lord willing, Vicki and I will be there.  Southside Lectures is one of the highlights of our year.”

            Though it may seem far off, the lectures are only 10 weeks away.  That’s 10 weeks left to pray for the speakers as they prepare their sermons.  That’s 10 weeks left to sow the seed among our friends and classmates and coworkers and neighbors who need to know Jesus.  That’s 10 weeks to plan and make certain that you can be here as much as you possibly can.  That’s 10 weeks to see what needs to be done and how you can be about helping to make this year’s edition of the lectures the best one yet.  It won’t happen simply because of the number 40.  It will happen when each member remembers the phrase that is said leading up to each lectureship and bears repeating for this one.  The Southside Lectures are first and foremost for the Southside church.      

            For a 40th wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is a ruby.  I am persuaded that the value of the 40th annual Southside Lectures will be far above jewels.