RICHMOND, Va.– Since he’s been pastor of Triumphant Baptist Church for 33 years, Dr. Arthur M. Jones had an especially poignant message for hundreds who gathered at the Trinity Baptist Church today– “Be Ye Thankful.”
The longtime pastor has outlasted most who’ve come and gone from pulpits in the hundreds of churches in Virginia’s state capital.
Jones’ message was delivered less than a mile from his church on Lamb Avenue and only a few blocks from First African Baptist Church, whose members joined those from Trinity and Triumphant in a Thanksgiving tradition that goes back longer than 20 years.
Today was the first time in more than a decade that I was able to renew this tradition of attending the Thanksgiving Service, which rotates between the three churches whose pastors take turns each year bringing the Thanksgiving Day Message. Setting with my uncle his fiance and my mother, I was reminded of the times that I was brought to this fellowship service as a child.
“Every day is a day of Thanksgiving,” Jones said.”We as Christians who are born again in the newness of light don’t need a special day because every day is Thanksgiving.”
He used the words of Psalm 92 and story of King David as recounted in the book of Chronicles to depict the Biblical imperative to give thanks.
“Sometimes we are so busy asking that we don’t take the time to thank God for what He’s already done,” Jones said.
More than 300 packed the Trinity Baptist sanctuary, which is located at 2811 Fendall Avenue.
Hearing Dr. Jones’ message and the words of both Trinity’s pastor, Dr. A. Lincoln James, Jr. and my own home pastor, Dr. Rodney Waller really put me in the right frame of mind for this traditional holiday that often gets overlooked by the rush for Christmas.