Those who worship at Lebanon United Methodist Church (Elizabethtown District) received a surprise on Sunday, April 13. The senior pastor, Rev. Darren Gillespie, and the music minister, Dr. Don Hutchinson, were present as usual, but they served less customary roles in the service. Dr. Hutchison preached, while Rev. Gillespie led the music. The two had planned the “trading places” service for a few months, and the congregation was really energized.
Dr. Hutchison preached a sermon entitled “Press On” from Philippians 3:12-14. He stated that he hadn’t been in the pulpit since the 1970s and it was both an honor and a little scary to preach. The congregation responded in a wonderful way, and many people were at the altar when the invitation was given.
Rev. Gillespie enjoyed designing and leading the music portion of the service. He has led congregational hymns at various times, but leading the choir was a different story. “Don even had to show me the basic steps in leading the choir,” said Rev. Gillespie, “but the choir was very gracious and they truly ‘led themselves.’”
The “trading places” service was a great experience for both the ministers and the congregation. We would encourage other churches to give it a try.
Darren Gillespie, pastor, Lebanon UMC
Pastor Darren Gillespie leads the choir.
Music minister Don Hutchinson preaches the sermon on "trading places" Sunday.