Mt. Zion Baptist, friends mark beginning of the Advent season

Mt. Zion Baptist, friends mark beginning of the Advent season
December 03
00:00 2015
Photos by Timothy Ramsey
Mt. Zion members sing a hymn at start of the Advent revival at the church on Monday, Nov. 30.

By Timothy Ramsey

For The Chronicle

With Thanksgiving now over, the start of the Christmas season has now begun. For many Christian churches like Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 950 File St., it marks the beginning of the Advent season.  Advent is the time of year in the Christian calendar that begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.

The theme for this year’s Advent season at Mt. Zion is “Messiah Comes to Free Us,” which speaks of God’s promise that he would give us a redeemer to save us from the power of sin and death.

“We want our parishioners and the community to remember that this is the celebration of the birth of Christ and when the word of God became flesh in the form of Jesus, and when he comes he brings liberation, social justice, salvation and peace,” said Mt. Zion pastor Dr. Serenus T. Churn when asked about this Advent season.

“This is the time I celebrate the Lord and everything he has done for me and my family and thank him for bringing us through,” said Evelyn R. Moore, a member of Mt. Zion Baptist. “Advent season gives us hope because we know a lot is going on in the world, so we have hope for the future by believing that Jesus came to save us.”

Mt. Zion was joined by Jerusalem Baptist Church from Spencer, N.C. at Monday night’s gathering. The sermon was led by Jerusalem Baptist’s pastor, Dr. David L Bracken. Pastor Bracken’s message revolved around the fall of man and the Bible verse Genesis 3:16 which comes from a conversation in the Garden of Eden between God, Adam, Eve and the serpent who misled her into eating the forbidden fruit and then ultimately enticing Adam, who consumed the fruit as well.

Bracken went on to speak about sometimes in order to appreciate what has been provided for us, we have to understand where we came from and sometimes in order to gain insight as to what God is trying to tell us, we have to go back and look at what he has done for us in our lives.  He also expressed to the congregation that even though the time of Advent is seasonal, what God has provided for us cannot be taken away from us.

When asked about why he decided to participate in the revival, Bracken said, “Dr. Churn and I are friends, and he invited me to come and share a word for such a joyous time of the season such as this, and we try to come together and share God’s message and encourage others.”

When asked what inspired his sermon Monday night, Bracken said, “I see a lot of people who seem like they have lost hope and have given up and they forget the real reason to celebrate Christmas, which is Christ and what has been provided to us through Christ, and I want people to get the message they don’t have to go through life feeling sad or down but can rely on what has been provided for us and it’s enough to sustain us.”

Churn closed by saying, “It’s more than simply a time for parties, celebration, toys, and trees. It is a holy time of the year.”

Mt. Zion has been having the Advent revival for over 30 years. Churn said that Mt. Zion likes to follow the liturgical calendar and celebrate the great festivals of faith.

The church was joined by other guest revivalists: Bishop Sherwood T. Davis Sr. of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Michal Long of Zion Baptist Church and the Rev. Donald Jenkins of St. Paul United Methodist Church.

“It’s a great time to share the story of Christ and of Jesus coming and what it means and to celebrate that,” replied Jenkins when asked what he looked forward to during this Advent season at Mt. Zion. “It’s also a great time to get together, fellowship and be with Pastor Churn again.”

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