If you were bless-ed enough to hear about, happen upon, or just plain went-to church services at John 3:16 , Charlotte, AR, today, I know exactly how you felt. There were tears, amid laughter, joy, shouting, arms waving in the air, singing-along-with, and abundant blessings to each and every one who attended the graduation service this morning at John 3:16, a spiritual boot camp for men with addictions. Bryan and Beverly Tuggle and their efficient, compassionate staff of 26 daily give their lives for a cause for which they are so openly passionate. There are presently 105 in their boot camp, a significant growth from whence they began, yesterday celebrating their 4th Community Fest feeding around 8,600 with about 10,000 in attendance in Jonesboro.
The full-house audience this morning were first shown a personal video of the three graduates, followed by various family members speaking their heartfelt thanks to God and John 3:16. Then each of the graduates took the stage, a momentous feat for many to solo!, all grateful souls who found God and put their lives back on course with the love and teachings of John 3:16. Each gave thanks first to God, then to John 3:16, Bryan and Ms. Beverly, their teachers and peers, and then welcomed the new boot camp members, amid many cheers and tears!!!
The concert began with the entrance of the renowned contemporary Christian band of Big Daddy Weave, lead singer Mike Weaver. It was a stand-on-your-feet praise worship service like I have never, ever attended. One soulful praise song led to another, culminating in one of their largest hits, “Redeemed,” the singer repeatedly offering his own personal testimony, and ending with a prayer, praising God for everything given to him, his, yours, ours, theirs and everyone who would accept God as their Savior.
The crowd consisted of many family and friends of everyone at John 3:16, including myself and friends Cathy Martin, and Jim Browning of Memphis. Afterward we were all treated to one of John 3:16’s specialties – BBQ pork and BBQ chicken dinners, complete with baked beans, sodas, chips, and about 40 different desserts. I got to shake hands with 2 of the 3 graduates who spoke today and consider myself among the very blessed to have witnessed and been a part of what John 3:16 does 24/7, help save men who are lost and have nowhere to turn – by introducing each one to God and His Mighty Love and Power. What a humbling service it was to my group! We enjoyed every second, even coming early to visit with Bryan and Beverly, the leaders of the center, to whom all the graduates voiced their deepest respect and love. I’m glad to know John 3:16 is around. What a wonderful Sunday in my life! Ginger