REFUGIO COUNTY – When Pastor Jordan Newberry and Elder Darius Robertson Sr. stand side-by-side their physical differences are obvious.
No one would ever suspect that the two are brothers. But, that is exactly how they see one another.
They are brothers in Christ who are united by His blood.
Newberry is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Woodsboro, and Robertson is the pastor of the Saints Memorial Church of God in Christ in Refugio.
The two men developed a friendship after meeting during the Hurricane Harvey rebuilding process.
One of the members of First Baptist was aware of the relationship between the pastors and suggested that the two congregations fellowship together at a joint worship service.
The friends met, discussed the idea, prayed for God’s guidance and formulated a plan.
That plan came to fruition at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the town square in Woodsboro as the first of two planned joint services was hosted by the First Baptist Church.
Newberry welcomed the approximately 50 people, of diverse races and denominations, who had gathered for the event.
He then read the following verses: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27.
The sounds of songs such as “I’ll Fly Away and “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me” filled the air as the worshippers sang in unison.
The service also included scripture readings, prayers and a solo by Candace Robertson.
Elder Robertson delivered the gospel messaged based on Psalms 8:1-9.
He emphasized that all of mankind was made in the image of God, and the world should see His reflection in the church.
Robertson clarified that being made in God’s image has nothing to do with a person’s outer appearance or the amount of melanin in one’s skin.
Being made in the image of God refers to having the moral and spiritual attributes of God.
Robertson ended by asking anyone who desired to come forward for prayer.
The Saints Memorial COGIC will host the second joint service at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 28, at Heritage Park, on Swift Street, in Refugio.
Newberry will preach on that occasion. The community is welcome to attend
When asked what overall message he wanted to convey to the community through these joint services Newberry said, “Our goal in having these worship services is to communicate to our communities that we are one in Christ Jesus.
“As Galatians 3:28 states, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“So while we have different pigmentation in our skin, we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ.
“This means I have more in common with African American and Hispanic Christians than I do with Caucasians who do not know Jesus as their Savior and King.
“Christ truly breaks down lines of division that are unfortunately common in our world.”
In response to the same question, Robertson stated, “As we address the perils of social and systematic injustices that plague our nation, I believe that it is paramount that we seek guidance from the Word of God.
“Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are one in Christ.”
“This expresses the logical outcome of any person having received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“When it comes to social and ethnical differences, God views every person, who express faith in Jesus Christ, the same.
“While outwardly there may be differences in the shades and complexion of our skin, eye color, hair texture or first language, every believer in Jesus Christ is united into one body, which is the body of Christ.
“This fact is resolute in that Jesus Christ has redeemed all those who believe in and has expressed faith in Jesus Christ, and the racial, social and gender distinctions that so easily divided people, in no way hinder any person from coming to Christ and receiving mercy.
“All people can equally become recipients of God’s divine love.
“Through coming together in a Refugio County community-wide united in christ worship service, we endeavor to show our community, our state and our nation how to overcome the barriers of social and systematic injustices by showing and sharing the message and love of Jesus Christ.”