Tenth, Twenty-Fifth, Fiftieth, One Hundredth…those are the marks that garner the most attention when celebrating anniversaries. If the Community Bible Baptist Church had anything to say about it, those are merely numbers. The night of October 21st, 2011 saw a celebration of 22 years that resonate in the church’s heart(s).
To ring in the 22nd anniversary of the Community Bible Baptist Church and its founding pastor, Reverend Dr. Clevester O. Wimbish, the church opted for a Pre-Anniversary Gospel concert. Led by the efforts of recording gospel artist, CBBC member and Master of Ceremony Reverend Daniel Austin and First Lady Diane Wimbish, the event was assembled with a variety of vessels that who knew how to invoke and ignite God’s presence.
The concert began with CBBC’s own Melissa Davis, who served as the evening’s cheerleader, getting the audience excited about the evening at hand. From there, she offered up a prayer which is sure to avail much. Sister Kenya Reynolds ensued with scripture reading from Psalms 100, which encourages showering God with grateful praise. Before the Occasion, which was next in the order of service, Reverend Austin implored everyone in attendance to listen out for five song titles that were hidden in the occasion. Anyone who could name those songs would be awarded a prize. Skylar Allen, who gave the Occasion, knew what was assigned to her; however she allowed herself to be led by the Holy Spirit, sparking a pep rally to set the event’s tone.
At the conclusion of Allen’s revision of the Occasion, Austin returned to give Allen kudos for allowing God to use her, express gratitude on his tenure with CBBC and give a rundown of the concert’s lineup. Austin couldn’t have been more clear in emphasizing the event was to glorify God in celebrating CBBC and its founding pastor. In a single breath, Austin disposed of any notions that the event was a competition, admonishing everyone to support the groups that were to sing God’s praises.
Once the house rules were established, Christopher Randolph and Gifted came forth to kick off the concert, with their renditions of “It’s About Time for a Miracle” and “You Are the Strength of My Life”. Jeremiah Hicks soon followed, keeping spirits high with “Bless the Lord with Me” and “He’s Able”. As the time drew near for Earnest Pugh (the evening’s special guest) to make his appearance, the aura of expectancy couldn’t have been more radiant. The concert was already blessed, but when Pugh sung “The Great I Am”, made room for a praise break, and then concluded his set with “Rain on Us” and “Let It Rain”, the Community Bible Baptist Church was drenched from a torrential, spiritual downpour. Pugh ministered healing and restoration into the lives of everyone in attendance and with no regard towards his celebrity status, he allowed the Holy Spirit to move within him. Rounding out the awesome lineup of performances was Ryan Vincent Ford & Ministry ministered with “Your Name I Will Praise” and “I Shall Win”. Between each act was the Community Bible Baptist Church Homecoming Choir, which entailed former and current members throughout the church’s existence. The fruits of this ensemble’s labor were quite evident, given how well it ministered through song, their renditions of “Let It Rise”, “Lion of Judah”, “Everything That the Devil Stole” and “I Do Worship” .
Closing this awesome event was an invite to discipleship and closing remarks by Austin. In that, Austin showed an expression of gratitude highlighting who and what Pastor Wimbish and Community Bible Baptist Church have been to him. Wimbish received this celebration greatly and gave honor to God for equipping him with a heart to receive and serve God’s people.
With everything this auspicious occasion entailed, this inaugural Pre-Anniversary celebration made its mark in CBBC history. Looking at the standard that’s been set in opening a pastoral and church anniversary, one can’t help but wonder what’s in store for the years to come.