Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy B-Day St. Martin in the Desert

Happy 2oth birthday to St. Martin's in the Desert. Two decades back, two good Episopalians in Pahrump were driving over the hump to Las Vegas for Sunday morning church. They had an accident, and that persuaded them it was time for Pahrump to have its own church. They started one in their home and invited friends. They later invited the diocese to send clergy support -- Mike Garrison, Richard Henry, Curt Edmonds, Mary Bredlau and others. Eventually, they started growing their own clergy locally just like they make their own wine out there in the desert. I know: desert wine doesn't sound right,but it is just great -- like the desert clergy.

The congregation outgrew the Lunsford home, so they built a small church. They outgrew the small church so they built a larger church. We consecrated it just last year.

This year we celebrated the big 2-0 anniversary. We sang Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus; I Love To Tell The Story, and other hits of faith. Priests and deacons from the old days came to the reunion. The house was packed.

St. Martin's does bang up evangelism and community ministry -- especially to the youth and children of Pahrump regardless of where or whether they go to church. St. Martin's is one of the major supporters of Galilee in the diocese. Folks who live so near Death Valley know Tahoe is worth a drive. They also throw a good party in the old church which now serves as their fellowship hall. It's happening out there, people. At this rate, they may be having to build again before long.

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