The service opens with the singing of “Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim,” (00:00-00:47) an opening prayer, (00:48-02:58) and the mention of a responsive reading from Selection 43, “Great is the Lord,” based on Psalm 145 (02:59-03:23). An introduction is given for Russell Cherry, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC, who was from Portsmouth, VA. He graduated with a BA degree from the University of Richmond in 1947 and a BD (1950) and Doctor of Theology degree (1954) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He served as Fellow in the Department of Preaching at SBTS, and he has pastored in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. He was a lesson-writer for the SBC’s literature for churches, and he was a Bible instructor by extension for the University of Richmond for 8 years. He is married with three children (03:24-05:15). Russell opens his message in prayer, (05:16-05:50) and the sermon text is 1 Thessalonians 3:1-10 (05:51-07:56). This message is about the pastoral relationship between Paul and those whom he served, chiefly seen through five key words (07:57-08:50). First to mention is “affection,” which shows the pastor’s love for truth and for those in his care, refusing to be a recluse (08:51-12:51). Second to mention is “anxiety,” which shows the pastor’s parental longing for the church to persevere through life’s hardships in his absence (12:52-16:09). Third to mention is “help,” which shows the pastor’s heart to always protect and come alongside the church in its forward progress of the gospel (16:10-19:32). Fourth to mention is “joy,” which shows the pastor’s fruit of ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ (19:33-22:32). Finally, the word “prayer” describes the pastor’s heart in his relationship to God and to the people for their growth and perseverance (22:33-26:05). Russell Cherry closes the sermon in prayer by reciting Numbers 6:24-26 over the congregation (26:06-26:37).
Fisher Humphries was Professor of Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In this message, Humphries speaks on the subject of sanctification and spiritual formation, drawing from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. He focuses especially on the role of the church in this process, and a significant portion of his time explores the current state of the Southern Baptist Convention and its relation to Liberal Protestantism, Fundamentalism, and Evangelicalism.