Sunday Sept 15th I journeyed east of Dallas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Our Saviour, Mesquite. They have been faithfully served for 25 years now by Pastor John Schelter. OSLC serves their community in a number of ways including housing refugees in their Bethlehem house and providing a large community garden that serves a local food insecurity project.
The mayor of Mesquite came to deliver a proclamation declaring Sept 15 Our Saviors day in Mesquite. We enjoyed a wonderful meal from Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. It was an inspiring morning and we look forward to the next 50 years of ministry for this congregation.
I drove back to Dallas a new way avoiding a wreck on I-30. In so doing I drove past two cathedrals of Texas high school football. The home of the Mesquite Skeeters (one of the more creative named for a mascot) and the Mesquite ISD stadium. This area had grown so fast and large it now has 5 high schools. The drive culminated by driving past the Cotton Bowl (the house Doak built) on my way to Mt. Olive, Fair Park, Dallas.
This congregation, originally Trinity English Lutheran (LCMS), was rededicated in 1948 as Mt. Olive. An intentional outreach to the growing African descent population in South Dallas. Our first bishop in NT-NL Synod, ELCA the Rev. Mark Herbener was pastor here. During the 1960s Mt Olive was an active part of the civil rights movements and hosted many meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference including some attended by Dr. King.
Our preacher, Elder Randy Leatch of Mt Sinai Baptist in Houston and the little brother of active Mt. Olive leader Jackie Leatch reminded us of that history. He gave thanks for Rev. Herbener who taught him as a boy and built his foundation of faith. The current pastor of Mt. Olive the Rev. Todd Bruning, reminded us a legacy is something we receive and then pass on. It was a good celebration and I am so excited about our 2020 assembly to be held at Paul Quinn College in South Dallas. The oldest HBCU in Texas. It is part of our commitment as a church to cross barriers and borders in the name of Jesus who crossed over death to life so we might live.
A good day in NT-NL and in two special communities in our midst. We give thanks for how our church is positioned to be an institution that crosses barriers and unites people. What it means to be #InMissionTogether #NTNL #OSLCMesquite #MtOliveDallas