Around 1996, I heard a sermon on cassette tape from the library of the El Monte Church of God (Holiness), El Monte, CA, the church I was pastoring at that time. It was a sermon on the Church and was delivered many years before at the local Inter-Holiness Convention by an outstanding expositor and revered pastor, the late Raymond Pollard. I remember being so moved by the message, especially the reading Rev. Pollard used at the conclusion of his sermon. I wish I knew who penned the piece but it was published in our church periodical, The Church Herald. It made such an impact upon my mind and heart that I have sought in vain for over 20 years to find the reading. I thought the reading was lost to time and posterity with the death of cassette tape media.
Then God surprised me. This week I was reviewing our new quarter of Sunday School material, which focuses on the theme of the Church. As I was looking over the lesson scope and sequence, I re-discovered this inspiring lost reading Rev. Pollard used! God had evidently prompted our current editor, Dr. Gordon Snider, to rediscover the piece and republish it. Needless to say I was ecstatic and determined to capture it on permanent media so it will no longer slip away into obscurity. This reading is reproduced below. I hope it’s as thrilling to others as it has been to me.
“The Church of God was incepted at creation, instituted at Calvary, inspired by the blood of the martyrs and is destined to rise in the rapture. She is the most powerful, the richest, the most peaceful, the hardest working the most elegantly dressed, the best advertised, the most benevolent organization in the world. The oil of the Rockefellers, the steel of the Carnegies, the railroads of the Vanderbilts yea the gold of Ft. Knox could never attain the heights of her power and riches.
“Her people are royally born–the most elite, in the highest society ever known. There is not a sinner in her nor a saint out of her. She has saved more homes, delivered more slaves, clothed more nakedness, fed more hungry, slaked more thirst, sobered more drunkards, emptied more jails, opened more eyes, unstopped more deaf ears, healed more diseases, satisfied more needs, appeased more wrath, stopped more wars and settled more disputes than any police force, Red Cross, March of Dimes, summit conferences, or armed forces have ever done.
“Her banner flies high above flags of the highest civilizations. Her foundation is surest and most steadfast this universe could ever know. She has withstood more oppression, weathered more storms, survived more assaults, and outlasted more antagonists than any other organization. Yet she towers higher than ever, above the filth and stench of this world.
“Her people are the most pure, holy, peaceful, meek, long-suffering, hospitable, yet the most feared in battle, the hardest fighters, the most determined, rugged, and sacrificial people ever known. They have died by rack, lions, stoning, sword, bullet, torture, burning a the stake, because of her. Yet as the death angel claimed their tortured and pain-raked bodies, they shouted praise to their glorious divine Father.
“Within her framework are found the most privileged people, the best chances for advancement, the best reward for labor, the greatest opportunities for service, the most varied careers, and the most security of any organization known.
“Time has not weakened her, nor bloodbaths vanquished her. When the world ceases to be, she shall still stand victorious over all: Jesus Christ the Righteous at the head, and Satan, her greatest foe, conquered at her feet.”