The crowds arrived early, and the building buzzed as members took the opportunity to explore every inch of the new facility. That energy soon filled the sanctuary, where the voice of Rev. John Yates III voice boomed out over a powerful speaker system.
“The first thing I want to say this morning is: ‘Welcome home,’” he said, before asking those gathered to address God individually in prayer.
At that point, the church fell silent for a few moments as heads bowed and hands clasped in prayer. Then, suddenly and stunningly, the orchestra replaced the quiet with music and bid everyone to rise for the first hymn: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”
That sense of exuberance ran throughout service, and most of the Bible verses and hymns conveyed feelings of gratitude toward God. In his sermon, Yates preached the Gospel and made clear what they had really come to celebrate.
“We’re here to worship Jesus, who chose to become one of us – not to prove something to us or demand something of us – but in order to rescue us,” he said.