On Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Colonial Hills Baptist Church planted two dogwood trees in loving memory of Chad, Courtney, baby girl Phelps, and Tonya Weindorf. The service was held following the evening service and was a time for tears and remembrance but also a time to worship the God that those who lost their lives on July 27th now see face to face. The two trees will serve as a reminder for generations to come of the life and testimony of those who were promoted to heaven in the bus accident.
The service began with a few words of purpose from Pastor Keith Lewis. Pastor Keith was a dear friend of Chad and Courtney. He knew Chad from their days together in youth group and High School. During Chad's time at Colonial his office was located directly across from Pastor Keith. The two grew to be very close friends in the ministry as they labored together at Colonial. After Keith said a few words the congregation sang together the song There is a High Throne. The words struck a chord with everyone in the audience as they though about Chad, Courtney, baby girl, and Mrs. Weindorf. In the song the author writes and says.
"He'll wipe each tear-stained eye
On July 27th four people exchanged a dirty highway for streets of gold. Today they know what it means to have the tears wipe from their face. They have experienced the joy of never hungering again. But most important they have seen the Lamb who is now their shepherd King and they worship at His feet.
After the song Pastor Nate Utley gave a short challenge from God's Word as he reflected on the lives of Chad and Courtney. Pastor Nate was another close friend of both Chad and Courtney. He interred with Chad and Courtney at Colonial for a summer. Chad was also a groomsmen in Nate's wedding this past year. Nate opened to Acts 7-8 where we read the account of Stephen's martyrdom. He noted how the small struggling church reacted to the martyrdom of Stephen. The church grieved the lost of their dear brother in Christ. In Acts 8:2 we read that "devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him." The church grieved but they also went out and spread the Gospel. Acts 8:4 tells us that "those who were scattered went about preaching the word." The passage was a great reminder to all of us that in our grief we must be willing to go out and continue to proclaim the good news of the Gospel to a lost and dying world around us.
After Nate's challenge the congregation sang the song Wonderful, Merciful Savior. Once again the words of the song were very meaningful for everyone in the audience.
"Almighty, infinite Father,
Pastor Keith followed the song with a short challenge from God's Word as he reflected on the life and testimony of Mrs. Tonya Weindorf. After his moving challenge Pastor Ben Farrell sung a solo. The song was entitled It is Not Death to Die.
The service ended with my Dad praying that God would continue to bless the testimony of Chad, Courtney, baby girl, and Tonya Weindorf and that He would allow us to continue to "Fan the Flame."
Posted by Caleb