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Small Church, Big God

Carolyn Anderson (center) with her husband Jim (right) and Executive Director Steve Young (left)

Growing up in the mountains of Virginia in the 1950s, I carried water from a pump well. We had to let the water “settle” before we drank it. There was always an inch or so of sediment in the bottom of the bucket. The water tasted of iron.

Fast forward to the year 2006. The Lord, in His wonderful grace, called me to serve as pastor of Wartburg Presbyterian Church (USA), a beautiful little church established in 1873 in Wartburg, TN. A good Sunday had seven people in attendance, with my husband Jim and myself two of those seven.

The congregation was small, and the members feared they were too small to make a difference anymore. I told them to remember what our Lord did with only 12 men. We agreed to try to do some mission outreach. My husband volunteered to find a mission project. He learned about Living Waters for the World, and talked to Wil Howie, who was the Executive Director at the time. Wil’s enthusiasm was contagious.

The church members agreed this was a wonderful project. I could easily relate to the need for clean drinking water, and shared my experiences with the church about the water I drank growing up. Our church set up a booth at the WECO (the local radio station) annual Outdoor Show, and we sold baked goods and bottles of water, explaining to people who stopped by our booth about LWW. We raised $900.

The Wartburg Presbyterian Church booth at the Outdoor Show

And so it began. Since that year, our church membership now has 15 members. We no longer sell baked goods and water at our booth, but now have a silent auction at the Outdoor Show. Each year the Lord blesses our efforts for this mission work. We have raised over $30,000 to send to LWW. It’s true we are a very small church, but we serve a very big God!

Members of Wartburg Presbyterian Church and their guests who came out to hear Steve Young preach on Aug. 12


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