I. Meeting Facilities
- The church in Charlotte was re-established in 1998 through a migration that brought saints to Charlotte from all over the United States.
- Before the church had its own meeting hall, the saints initially met in a home, later a second home, then in a school, and at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte (UNCC).
- In 2004, the church continued meeting in its newly built hall up to the present time.
II. Book Service History
- When the Lord’s table was begun in 1998, the initial meeting of the church was in a home, and subsequently in another home. In both locations the Holy Word for Morning Revival (HWMR) was sold at the back of the meeting area.
- When the church began meeting in a school and later at UNCC the book room was a large canvas container moved around as necessary by the serving ones:
- The serving ones sold the ministry books, counted and totaled the proceeds, placed them in an envelope, which was put in the church offering box or handed to one of the finance brothers.
- Later the responsibility for counting the proceeds from the ministry book sales was given to the finance brothers.
- Beginning in 1999, two saints were given the responsibility to care for the book service under the guidance of the leading brother. The serving ones sold the ministry books to the saints according to cost, shipping and handling, less taxes.
- In 2004, the church moved into the new meeting hall. A room in the back of the hall was designed to be mutually used for the ministry books, tapes, and translation services:
- Later the church began its standing order for new publications. There were minimal sales of the ministry books; thus, after several years the standing order was discontinued except for the HWMR.
- At one time the church had a ministry tape service group, which stopped meeting some years ago. The book service assumed maintaining a self-service audio library. The church book service still subscribes to the audio messages from the semi-annual trainings, international conferences, and the Full-time Training Wednesday ministry meeting messages in multiple languages.
- Throughout the past years at least eight sisters have participated in the book service in some capacity. The service primarily focused on book sales. But a great shortage for years was the lack of “a service group meeting.”
- Toward the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018, through fellowship among the leading brothers, two coordinating brothers began to head up the book service, which brought in changes, a fresh direction, and the service group began to meet.
- Since the beginning of 2019, the church had a new beginning with all the service areas. Now there are two (2) brothers and seven (7) sisters serving in the book service.
III. Book Service Meeting
- The book service group meets biweekly on Saturday morning at 10:00 in the church meeting hall.
- The service meeting always begins with prayer for the service, for one another, for the church, and for the propagation.
- In the gatherings, the service group has been reading the materials from the Church Book Service Workshop, which was given in August 2018.
- After prayer and reading the ministry, the service group takes care of practical matters such as caring for the display and sales area, book inventory, pricing of individual books, and checking the accounting of weekly sales.
IV. Book Displays
- Currently we use permanent bookcases and wall shelving for book displays.
- We have one open tiered seven (7) row bookcase that displays the covers of forty-nine titles.
- A table and counter space enable us to display tracts, “rainbow booklets,” and CD’s.
- We are planning to place several movable displays in the meeting area of the saints in the future.
- Photos of the book room and book displays are presented on the last page.
V. Payment Methods
- Purchase of ministry books is by check or cash.
- If one is without a check or cash, then they may still take a book(s), and sign the “I Owe You” (IOU) ledger and pay their obligation at a later time.
VI. Lessons Learned and Keys to the Formation, Growth, and Continuation of a Healthy Book Service
- We have learned that the saints in the group must come together to pray and fellowship otherwise there is no progress or development of the service:1. The burden is to get the ministry into the saints’ hands and to encourage one another to partake of this ministry more and more.2. Praying together strengthens and encourages us as we contact the Lord and sense His living presence with us. Together we touch His burden to minister to the church.3. Although many saints are dutiful, at this time there seems to be at best a maintenance of sales without group prayer.
- If the brothers bearing responsibility do not pray and fellowship together and contact the other serving saints by email, text, or phone to encourage them to meet, then there are only a few saints who will regularly come to the hall to meet for the service:
- Building up the service groups really requires the shepherding, which eventually will be in mutuality.
- But at the present time, this shepherding depends very much on those bearing responsibilities to open to the Lord for the care of the saints, then the practical matters will follow.