Watch Night gatherings welcome the new year

by W. Winston Skinner


Eric Ramey, left, minister of students at First Baptist Church in Moreland, shows his departing gift to Justin Jones during the church’s Watch Night celebration. 

Several area churches welcomed 2014 with Watch Night gatherings.

First Baptist Church of Moreland held a Watch Night that included a concert by Melanie House- worth. Also — during the evening — the church thanked eric Ramey for his service to the congregation.

Ramey “stepped down as the minister of students and received a picture from the church,” said Daniel Ausbun, the church’s pastor. Ramey had been serving in the position since July 2011.

Following Houseworth’s concert, “everyone ate breakfast,” Ausbun said.

the Watch night at Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church included refreshments, several games, a time to take down Christmas decorations and worship in the sanctuary. During the brief wor- ship period, Chad Hill, the church’s pastor, led the congregation in John Wesley’s covenant renewal service.

Hill said Wesley, the founder of Methodism, saw the new year as “a time to renew your covenant with God, make a new dedication.”

Those first Methodists were “a small group within the Episcopal church,” Hill said. Wesley asked them to sign the covenant and then abide by it.

“It was a serious thing to Wesley,” Hill said. “Once you signed it, it was a sign you were no longer following the world. You were following Christ.”

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