Snippets from the Past - 2016 No.14
Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. So wrote Johnson Oatman Jr in 1897.
Arana Hills Church of Christ had been blessed. The physical evidence was very visible. Once again the space provided, especially for morning services, events and the Youth and Bible School ministries was becoming a squeeze. Classes were being held under the manse as well as in the church. A decision was made to pay off the ICA (Inter Church Aid) loan as quickly as possible so that extensions to the existing building could be considered.
Another consideration, lateral thinking or God inspired way of dealing with a temporary lack of space was to expand His kingdom or plant another church using members from Arana Hills as the seeds for a new church.
Like Stafford in 1966 there was a lot of prayer and discussion. And like Arana Hills, the Samford Church of Christ was established in a home, the home of Barry and Kay Hodges. Like Ray, June and the Stafford Board, Barry, Kay and the Arana Hills Board felt that Samford was fertile soil into which the gospel message could be sown. The first communion service took place on October 28, 1979 with 45 in attendance.
As with previous years there were various activities and events held throughout the year including a concert, lamington drive fund raiser, Bible School program and CWF (Christian Women's Fellowship) events.
After 7 years of dedicated and fruitful ministry Glen and Betty Stibbe accepted a call to the Ormond Church of Christ, Victoria. So with heavy hearts in December we said our farewells but knowing that God had a plan for Arana Hills and the Stibbe family.
Who was God preparing to shepherd his flock at Arana Hills?
Attendances: Morning 105, Evening 35. Active members: 71. Bible School and Youth 130