And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Five dirt roads met in the obscurity of Michigan farmland. Here, God gathered a little platoon of His people, purchased by the blood of His Son. Before the world began their names were graven on His hands by sovereign grace. And then, as redemptive history unfolded, these beloved of God found each other on February 4, 1940. William Barnett, a local farmer, gathered 22 people in his home to worship Christ in humble simplicity. The Word of God was central, the Savior was exalted, the hymns of Zion were sung, and the gospel was the article upon which the church would stand. The house church found itself in the joyful company of saints throughout church history who were brought together in such obscurity—from the first century Christians scattered by persecution to the missionary outposts in remote regions to the exiled faithful of the Reformation to the underground churches under murderous dictators—gathered in caves and fields and huts and barns and homes and halls all over the world. Soon, the Spirit of God had filled the house to overflowing with followers of Christ.
In the fall of 1943 the Five Points Community Church was formally organized, taking its name from the 100 year old place where five dirt roads came together like spokes on a wheel. With a people shaped by two world wars, the Great Depression, and the daunting work of establishing a church, these men and women of whom the world is not worthy began to build a home for the growing church family. Mr. Barnett gave the land and churchmen built a 32’X40’ basement to house the church. In December, 1943, services were being held in the humble structure.
By 1951, the flock of God was in need of a shepherd. Gordon Lindsay was ordained as pastor on September 5—he and his beloved Earlene were married the next day. And so began the faithful, fruitful, and gracious work of Gordon Lindsay—a labor of love that would last until Gordon’s death in 1994. Waves of grace continued to be poured out on the family of God gathered at Five Points—the candlestick was lit and the light of the gospel was shining. The family was growing now, so in 1952, the upper structure was built on the basement…thankfully, running water was afforded in 1958. Five Points, was a bright and shining light, indeed—gathering the redeemed of God into joyful communion with Christ and His church. Missionaries were sent, cottage prayer meetings held, the saints were discipled & nurtured, and the gospel proclaimed.
The surrounding land was purchased and additions were made to house the ever-burgeoning church family. And, then, in 1961 the present sanctuary was constructed. No small sacrifice was made to establish this church home—people mortgaged their homes, opened their savings, and poured out joyful sacrifices to God. This was a family that loved Christ, His gospel, and His people. We stand in their long shadow of faithfulness and passion for Christ.
This present generation of believers is entrusted with a legacy of a truly God-entranced vision of life and ministry. The men and women who have gone before were shaped in the fabric of their being by the conviction that life was Christ and that life was to be lived in the church gathered together. The deepest human relationships were found and celebrated in the fellowship of Christ. Worship and ministry together was the context out of which life was lived. The family of God was their family and the gospel of Christ was the foundation of their home.
By His grace and for His glory, here we are. A little platoon of God’s people purchased by the blood of His Son. Before the world began our names were graven on His hands by sovereign grace. And then, as redemptive history has unfolded, we’ve found each other where five dirt roads met, a faithful people gathered to love their Christ, and the glory of God’s grace in the gospel would be proclaimed and lived.
The echoes from our cloud of witnesses call to us. We’re entrusted by our ancestry and by God’s grace with the ministry of the gospel and a beloved family of believers. Those men and women who sacrificed with joy for the love of Christ and His Bride have left us gift and call us to faithfulness.
Look you, sirs, there are ages to come. If the lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth today. We have come to a turning-point in the road. If we turn to the right, mayhap our children and our children’s children will go that way; but if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to his Word. I charge you, not only by your ancestry, but by your posterity, that you seek to win the commendation of your Master, that though you dwell where Satan’s seat is, you yet hold fast his name, and do not deny his faith. God grant us faithfulness, for the sake of the souls around us! How is the world to be saved if the church is false to her Lord? How are we to lift the masses if our fulcrum is removed? If our gospel is uncertain, what remains but increasing misery and despair? Stand fast, my beloved, in the name of God! I, your brother in Christ, entreat You to abide in the truth. Quit yourselves like men, be strong. The Lord sustain you for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
The Five Points Community Church was established on the gospel of God’s glorious grace. Our cloud of witnesses calls to us: What will we do to fan the flame of the gospel and provide for the ministries of the gospel for generations to come, if the Lord wills and His people are found faithful? What will be the joyful sacrifice of this generation of believers—the overflow of our love and passion for the name of Christ to be exalted? We have been given a sacred trust.
We live in a new dark age where a passion for God’s glory has been hollowed out of the evangelical landscape. We pray to be found faithful in guarding the gospel and holding the ropes for a missionary outpost in our own time. By God’s grace and for His glory, men and women of whom the world is not worthy have preserved for us a sacred trust: a church and a home for our family. We will answer with our lives whether or not we will be found faithful to this sacred trust—Will this present generation and the next and the next have the gospel—to pursue the glory of God in all things for the joy of all peoples? For love of Christ, His glorious gospel of grace, and for the people of God seeking a church home—we seek to be found faithful—by His grace and for His glory.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
-1 Pet 2:9-10