The Kingdom of Heaven came to Richmond Yesterday

First Baptist, Richmond is on a yearlong mission trip this year.  Jesus Christ is the driver and the bus has pulled into Richmond to bring the Kingdom to town.  It’s a beautiful ride to be a part of.  Yesterday, I saw First Baptist bring the Kingdom to Richmond as the church celebrated one of her own, Katie Boykin.  

Katie is called; in fact she was born to become a minister and be a healing presence of God for those in need.  Yesterday First Baptist ordained her into the Christian Ministry.  First Baptist is her home church.  She was baptized there. She grew up there.  She ministered there as she taught youth the lessons she learned growing up and then let go to help them learn their own.  First Baptist lifted this little girl into the called hands of God and brought her back to Richmond as a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart for Christ and all of God’s people.

Like I said, First Baptist is her home church.  As an ordained minister, I am grateful to see this home lift up and recognize this woman as a minister who is able to teach, preach, lead and bring the gospel and the sacraments to the people.  I have no doubt that all the ordained ministers at the service yesterday were remembering their own ordination service.    Glen Allen Baptist ordained me in 2005 and I remembered the people involved and the words shared with me during service and the Laying On of Hands.  Glen Allen was not my home church, but Glen Allen recognized this woman as a called minister and I am grateful for the way you surrounded me and celebrated my calling.  You will always have a special place in my heart and ministry.  First Baptist, I have no doubt you will always have a special place in Katie’s heart and ministry too.

For Katie, my little sister in Christ, many words were shared with you and your family about your calling, your laughter, your spunk, and your heart. Treasure those words from Lynn Turner, the youth, your family, and the others.  Their words were beautiful and heartfelt.  I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face hearing those words and seeing you feel them in your heart. When Pastor Jim Somerville called you “Reverend,” I got goose bumps.  It sounds cheesy I know, but to see the person you have become and hear the church recognize you as Reverend, matters.  It just felt right and to see your humbled smile and hear the congregational applause, it was right.   We are not called into ministry to glorify ourselves. We are called into ministry to glorify God and when your church recognizes the work of God in you, it matters.

First Baptist, thank you for bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Katie and surrounding her with your love and support.  She will need it.  She will remember that service with love, spirit and light on those days that are hard.  She will remember your love on those days when she feels alone.  She will remember your spirit on those days when she needs someone to pick her up.  She will remember your support when she is sitting at a patient’s bedside, supporting a soul in need of a healing touch.   Thank you for bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Katie, who will carry that Kingdom wherever she goes.

For Katie, I am so proud of you.  I leave you with the blessing you gave the church, however with a little change.    “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord’s face shine because of you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up he countenance upon you, Rev Katie Boykin, and give you peace. Amen.”

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