In an earlier post, I mentioned that Dr. Robert Jeffress would be preaching in view of a call at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. I am a member of that church, and this morning we voted overwhelmingly to call Dr. Jeffress as our new pastor. After the vote, Dr. Jeffress came back into the sanctuary with his family and accepted the call.
Dr. Jeffress selected Acts 2:42-47 as the text for his sermon. He basic point was that the Lord blesses churches that faithfully devote themselves to what God has called them to do. Acts 2:42 reads, “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Dr. Jeffress cast a vision for First Dallas that calls for a commitment to the very same things that the believers were committed to in Acts 2:42ff. The hope is that God would do even now what He did among those early disciples: “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
As usual, Sam Hodges covered the big event for the Dallas Morning News. For a brief description of what happened in the service, I direct you to Hodges’ story: “First Baptist elects Jeffress.” One thing that is difficult to capture in a news story, however, is the ethos of a service like the one that we had today at First Dallas. Calling Dr. Jeffress as pastor had the feeling of calling a favored son to come home after a long sojourn. Dr. Jeffress grew up at First Dallas and was a protÃ©gÃ© of Dr. W. A. Criswell. He was overcome with emotion at numerous points during the service, as were many in the congregation. Given his background in and love for First Dallas, there was a palpable sense that he is God’s man to lead our church.
After accepting the church’s invitation to be the new pastor, Jeffress shared something with the congregation that he said he had never shared with anyone elseâ€”not even his wife. He said that he feels like God has spoken to him twice in his life. The first time was when he was a sophomore in high school when God called him to be a preacher. The second time happened when he was an undergraduate at Baylor University. Dr. Jeffress said that he was walking down the street and God spoke to him: “God said to me, ‘One day you will be pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas.’ â€¦ Whatever happens, I know I am in the center of God’s will.”