The atmosphere was charged with anticipation and excitement on Sunday, June 28, 2015, at the Flatwoods Pentecostal Holiness Church. People had gathered from far and near to witness the last message that Pastor Phillip Hart would preach as the pastor of this historic country church, where he and his wife have faithfully served as pastors for 57 years.
Hugh’s News reports that nearly 200 people were in attendance for the worship service that began at 10 o’clock. Many people who came to know Christ through the ministry of Phillip and Inez Hart were present to honor the man and woman who had been with them in various seasons of their lives–births of their children, dedications, hospitalizations, graduations, military service, baptisms, and many other life events.
Several IPHC ministers were also present to support Rev. Phillip and Inez Hart on this special occasion – Bishop and Mrs. Tim Lamb, Dr. and Mrs. Tony Moon, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Waters, Dr. and Mrs. Hugh Morgan, Rev. and Mrs. Keith Hearn, Rev. and Mrs. Lawrence Johnson, Rev. and Mrs. Tim Gaines, as well as missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Willard Wagner and Beulah Sturkie.
Pastor Phillip Hart opened the service with the call to worship recorded in Psalm 100. The congregation and choir then joined in worship with several hymns. After Pastor Hart accepted prayer requests from the congregation, Bishop Tim Lamb led in corporate prayer.
For his text, Pastor Phillip Hart read Matthew 16:13-18 for his sermon entitled “Everybody Ought to Know Jesus”. Dr. Hugh Morgan reports,
His message was appealing and convincing as he preached with passion. He was able to use his own personal conversion and growth in grace to demonstrate how God has transformed his life.
Following the altar service, the church council presented Pastors Phillip and Inez Hart with monetary gifts and a plaque. The president of Women’s Ministries, Mabel Payton, thanked Inez for her many years of dedicated and loyal ministry as their co-pastor and pastor’s wife. The church family was then joined by members of the community for a special luncheon for Pastors Phillip and Inez Hart.
Bishop Tim Lamb states,
There were tears of joy for the Harts accomplishing this milestone in their lives but there were also tears of sadness. For many that attended, Rev. and Mrs. Hart had been their pastor and a part of their lives for the past 57 years. Rev. and Mrs. Hart have invested the last 57 years of their lives building a good foundation, like wise, master builders, at the Flatwoods Pentecostal Holiness Church.
Following lunch, Rev. and Mrs. Hart were escorted to the rehab center where long-time church council member Colonel Charles Dixon resides. Colonel Dixon then presented Rev. and Mrs. Hart with a 2014 Cadillac in honor of their retirement.
Originally published in Hugh’s News. Edited with permission.
Photo Credit: The Hart Family