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Celebrating 50 years of ministry

On July 2, the Lynchburg, Va.-based Thomas Road Baptist Church will celebrate its 50th year of ministry with the biggest celebration this side of heaven. The occasion will also mark my 50th year of pastoring the church that I started as a very green 22-year-old recent college graduate in 1956.

While I typically review a news story in this column, I wanted to use this venue to invite my friends from across the country to join here as we observe our Golden Anniversary Year celebration. Please allow me tell you all about this special all-day event that is designed to commemorate TRBC’s 50 years of ministry in addition to our annual God & Country event celebrating the birthday of our great nation.

On July 2, we will launch TRBC’s next 50 years of ministry in our brand new, 1 million-square-foot worship, educational and recreational center that is a sight to behold. Our first service will take place on Sunday, July 2, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., in the 6,000-seat auditorium that includes a state-of-the-art sound system and theater seating. (You can take a look at the new facility under construction at this website.)

We will welcome several special guests to help us celebrate our Golden Anniversary. Charles Billingsley and Guy Penrod (of the Gaither Vocal Band) will be our special music guests. They will electrify the audience as they sing praises to our Lord. Guy, a Liberty alumnus, is also bringing his seven sons, who will also be singing.

I will be bringing the message at this initial service as we celebrate 50 years of incredible miracles at TRBC and prepare our hearts to see what God has in store for us in the years to come.

As we conclude this service, the day will actually just be getting started!

At 2 p.m., Liberty Mountain will come alive for our annual Independence Day celebration. This all-day event in the Arthur L. Williams Football Stadium will include a host of carnival rides, games, tours of the Liberty campus and new TRBC complex, ice skating (at the LaHaye Ice Center), music and more food than you can imagine. I guarantee there will be fun for the entire family.

Then at 7 p.m., we will kick off our Celebrate America festivities that will include an inspiring patriotic musical extravaganza featuring Charles Billingsley, Guy Penrod and many other guest vocalists and musicians. We will also honor our military during this service. I will conclude the observance with a tribute to our Founders and a call to return to the Judeo-Christian values that were at the foundation of this nation.

In addition, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., will be joining us on this extraordinary evening. We are pleased to have this conservative leader from Virginia to help us dedicate our new facility and celebrate America with us.

The grand finale of the day will be the largest fireworks display in Central Virginia to be launched from atop Liberty Mountain. The thunderous fireworks will rock the mountains.

Best of all, there are no admission fees or parking fees for any of these events.

This is certain to be one of the most exciting days in TRBC’s history. Our church family is already anxiously awaiting this great day as we celebrate 50 years of ministry and miracles in Lynchburg.

I invite all of our readers to come and be a part of this historic celebration.