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God Caused the Increase

Sep 25, 2023

At the end of August, Blue Ridge Grace Brethren Church in Winchester, Va., celebrated their fortieth anniversary. They marked the occasion with a special service followed by a meal.

Pastor Davey Ermold, who has been the lead pastor at Blue Ridge since 2018, said, “Our goal was to make it about the Lord’s faithfulness in sustaining us through the good and bad over past forty years.” Their celebration focused on projecting “all praise, honor, and glory to the One whose Church it is: to the Father who chose us, to the Son who redeemed us, and to the Spirit who has sealed us.”

Blue Ridge was founded in 1983 out of a church split with another Charis church. Over the last four decades, the church has only had six fulltime lead pastors. Davey said, “The church was born out of a time of difficulty. Today we are praising the Lord that through it all He has been faithful to bring beautiful things out of challenging situations.”

Members of the women’s ministry decorated the sanctuary with flower that honored those who founded the congregation and those built upon that foundation. For the meal, they utilized colors of significance that symbolized the Ruby Anniversary (red), the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus (white), and our ultimate and eternal Home with the Lord (gold).

The celebration service included a lot of music that all centered on the theme of the faithfulness of God. Former pastors Kim Robertson, Darrel Taylor, and Larry Weber participated it the service by sharing pastoral reflections and leading prayer. Former missionaries also attended the service, which drew a crowd of around 175.

Davey tied the celebration together with a message out of 1 Corinthians 3:5–4:5, emphasizing that Paul planted, Apollos watered,  but it was God who caused the increase. “We are where we are today because God caused the increase,” Davey said. “God is the master builder and Jesus is the foundation on which our church stands.”