A taste of heaven

Pastor Mike Miller calls Columbiana’s Community Thanksgiving Service a taste of heaven. It is a day like no other in Columbiana when a whole community comes together and worships under one roof to give thanks to our God for the blessings in our lives. Pastor Miller of the First Baptist Church of Columbiana does not remember when the service started. Nor do long–time members, Jackie Cates or Carolyn Sockwell, of Columbiana United Methodist Church know. So, for a long time three churches have allowed their sanctuaries to be open on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 6:30 pm for a very special service, Columbiana’s Community Thanksgiving Service.

The three churches, Columbiana Church of the Nazarene led by Pastor Gary Tankersley, Columbiana United Methodist Church led by Dr. Don Wright, and First Baptist Church of Columbiana led by Pastor Mike Miller, rotate as the host church where the service will be held. Other churches in our community share the preaching duties, including Pastor Terry Linholm of the First Assembly of God, Pastor Richard Kidd of Macedonia Baptist Church and Pastor Ouitin Auten of Shelby Christian Fellowship Assembly of God. Pastor Miller has in recent years been the coordinator behind the scenes with the other pastors.

At the end of the service, the congregation meets in the fellowship hall of the host church, shares each other’s company and enjoys a pie feast. The Community Thanksgiving Service is known for the fellowship of the believers, but also for this “Taste of Heaven!” Every pie you can imagine will be served, all homemade by loving hands, to be enjoyed by all who come. Pastor Miller said the greatest blessings of this service is to worship as a community, see old friends, make new friends and eat a piece of delicious pie.

Pastor Tankersley, new to the Church of the Nazarene this year, will preach his first thanksgiving service Sunday, Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Columbiana, this year’s host church.