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
As thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King;
We'll reign with Him."
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,
Faithfully loving your own -
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne;
Oh, were falling before your throne."
It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears
O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die
It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore