The World English Dictionary – at Dictionary.com – offers this as one of the definitions of the word “dedication” – “complete and wholehearted devotion…”
This sets up nicely the REST of the definition for us here in the Remnant Fellowship. We are taught here that to be “dedicated” to GOD and to Jesus Christ and to GOD’S true Church is to be completely and wholeheartedly devoted to HIM! Gwen Shamblin has taught for more than a quarter of a century…through both Weigh Down Ministries and for the past (nearly) 15 years in the Remnant Fellowship that we as men, women, and children ABSOLUTELY can be and in fact ARE “completely and wholeheartedly devoted” to something or to many things in this life. Part of the foundation of Weigh Down’s teaching is that something as basic as FOOD can be an idol…it can be something that you are SO wholeheartedly devoted to that you consume WAY too much of it and therefore carry around excess weight on your body from overeating. It has become a “god” to many, many people. But Gwen RIGHT-sides that with the amazing messages about replacing your love for food with a love for GOD. This CORRECT wholehearted devotion to GOD then FILLS your life and you are set FREE from being a slave to “created things.” Praise GOD!
Gwen has been teaching people how to be “dedicated” to GOD since the 1980s, and in March of 1999, she founded this Church…which is a place where EVERYONE is committed to that “dedicated” relationship with GOD. We started out meeting in the Weigh Down warehouse, in local parks, in homes, and in restaurants. ANYWHERE and ANY TIME that like-minded Saints would gather, that was “Church” to us. During these formative days, weeks, and months, GOD led Gwen to purchase the land at 1230 Franklin Road in Brentwood, Tennessee, and in 2003 and 2004, He gave her Heavenly inspiration to build a place where this Church, the people of the Remnant Fellowship, could gather in freedom and worship Him with wholehearted devotion! This amazing generosity, poured out in Gwen’s donating of the land and construction costs, has resulted in a Building and Grounds that glorify GOD with every square inch of design and decoration. GOD granted Gwen’s desire to build a place for Him, and that place THRIVES to this very day! So much more could be said about the incredible details and vision that went into the construction of the Building and Grounds at 1230 Franklin Road, and may the MEMORIES of those amazing stories of divine creative brilliance be shared for ages to come.
On the Sabbath Day, November 16th, we celebrated and remembered…and we learned more historical significance about the building and growth of GOD’S people throughout the generations…and up to this very day and time in which we live. It was a powerful and special day, and Gwen’s words set the tone for this special and reverent occasion. We are honored to share just a few snippets of those words, and beyond that, we wanted to share some thoughts and perspective on the Church Dedication from a few Remnant Saints who were there as this beautiful place was built in 2003 and 2004. Enjoy!
WORDS from GWEN – The SABBATH DAY, November 16th 2013
- “God has planted a remnant and it has taken root and is bearing much fruit. In November, nine years ago – God completed the building on these 40 acres and gave us the official permit to enter His Sanctuary. This was not to be just one more building in America made for man’s religion. This was established by God and for God alone—a sanctuary that did not tolerate a religion of divided hearts, multiple gods – a place where God is everything, God rules and resides because its people live to obey. Over the centuries, and in His word…God has made it clear—He does not dwell in a place where He is second place – He dwells where He is on His throne and number one.”
Then, after referencing King David and Solomon and the building of the Temple in Solomon’s day, Gwen shared this historical perspective and warning about false confidence.
- “But as glorious as it was with the faith of King David, later in time, they started trusting in all this beauty and how much they had and how much everybody was wowing over it, and they became very expectant that the presence of God was in that place. The leaders and the people, what happened when they became once-saved-always-saved? God was always with them? What happens when you have that type of religion? Well, they lost sight of everything and how hard it was to get out of Egypt, how many wars were fought to establish the land, how much effort and sacrifice it was to build the temple, and most of all how special it was to be the greatest nation in the world because the Great I Am, God Almighty was with His people in that House. How neglectful of the people to not insist on teaching the next generation the Truth of everything.”
Later, Gwen talked about the “whole new temple.” Read on…
- “But it was time to change the location – it was time for a whole new temple – a totally cleaned up temple, a perfect and complete tabernacle – temple number 7… the final resting place, the final house of God, the final place for the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus would usher in not a rebuilding of just a physical temple – but a house for God in your heart. The entrance into a new life through following the footsteps of Jesus Christ through the death and burial of selfish desires, a whole new life, a resurrection to a whole new life. Something found through full obedience. Full obedience – I cannot say that enough – it is a life through full obedience. Since God and Christ were in your heart now through love and obedience, your heart could meet and God in it in the Catacombs/graveyards or homes and wherever. Jesus laid the foundation so that when two or three met together – there the Father would be also.”
Gwen also reminded us of the opposition to the rebuilding throughout history…the troubles and persecution…for Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jesus, Paul…and made the connection to us today.
- “Rumors were piled so high that you could not address them without ten more piling on, false accusals – There is not enough time in the day. We were buried in lies like Ezra and Nehemiah. That we were building a wicked city. At the same time, the leaders were loaded down with counsel as persecution hit all the satellite groups as well – a well-organized opposing team.”
- “The whole Bible became alive as you opened it up and saw that anyone doing God’s will were either thrown in a cistern, thrown in jail, attacked by the government, stopped, falsely accused, and were having to hold sword in one hand and build with the other. You saw what Nehemiah and Ezra went through – the exact same thing and yet survived.”
- “By staying in the Word we survived because God showed me the troubles of Ezra and Nehemiah, Jeremiah, and Christ, and all the Saints following Christ. They were all hung on a tree and crucified. There was the innocent Apostle Paul in prison and in chains by the religious people of his day – knowing that if God was for you – what does it matter if man is against us — we knew we had to be on the right path.”
- “By the grace and the power of the God alone against all the gates of Hades, the impossible became possible and the building (this Remnant Fellowship Church Building) was completed in record time.”
- “We made it through… Through essential spiritual warfare – the refiner’s fire – but in such an upside down, ironic way it meant God was with us – not against us. From Idolatry to the glory returns… The band of original survivors made it – bless their hearts – with the added bonuses of promises – and the blessings that came with wholehearted dedication have been poured out from the heavens on us in abundance!”
The memories continue…as a few Saints who witnessed and were a part of this astonishing project share their hearts…
- “I witnessed so many miracles, both large and small, before and during the construction of this beautiful building that it would be impossible to list them all. I still remember clearly the day Gwen walked from a small opening in the fence on Franklin Road through the horse field while I cut a path in the tall grass behind her. That path would become the driveway we use today. Even from that earliest moment she was thinking of how she wanted people to enter God’s property and Sanctuary. She wanted the “S” turn in the drive so you would naturally enter slowly and more peacefully. Even her decision to set the building so far off the road, in the center of the property, was done so we would have that few seconds drive as a buffer from the cares of the world around and allow us to take a breath and be in awe of God.” – Joseph Langsdon
- “One of the biggest memories for me were the details behind acquiring the land itself. Gwen asked the members to pray and beg God for a clear answer as to whether land was to be purchased. More than one person shared (including me) on the next gathering that we got Scriptures about buying land. It was truly another major time when I felt God was so very near and truly guiding and REAL!!! We all got an answered prayer together upon Gwen leading us to go into prayer!! And one of the most fun memories was when the Church’s steeple arrived and the children were out there with us to see it! We got the word here at the Weigh Down offices to travel down to the Church because something very special was about to happen. Seeing the machinery taking the steeple with Gwen and Joseph up to the top so that it could be assembled in its place was a huge thrill!! We had music playing and it was a gloriously sunny day!!” – Jenni Mendl
- “I think the most profound memory is one that is still in the making. God moved us to Nashville in January of 2004, so we had only been here for a few short months while the construction was taking place and being completed. I had an extremely small grasp of the historical significance of being allowed to participate in the construction process. Absolutely no understanding of the amazing gifts God has given Gwen. I spent two decades in the construction industry and have seen a lot of structures built, but never, ever witnessed one that was built through God’s perfect leading. The sheer volume of work accomplished in such a short time is amazing – the beauty of the finished product is still breath-taking – the bonds of friendships built with the Saints I served with are as strong today as nine years ago. What still moves me to tears to this day is the purity and holiness that was demonstrated through Gwen, the sense of awe that God truly resides in His Temple in no small part because of that poured-out life. The significance of being selected out of six billion plus people to witness it increases with every day that passes. That memory is fresh every time I walk into the building and my increasing understanding of the true significance, incredibly humbling and moving. It is difficult to put this into words, let alone fewer than 10,000.” – Rich Friesen
- “Praise God for getting to witness the construction of the Church and to see God pour out His Spirit to Gwen on the building/design. God’s Spirit would move fast, and there were many mornings where Gwen would come in and share how God had given her ideas in the evening. I still remember well her walking in with the drawing of the now “Eagle room.” She had been up in the night and God had given her an incredible vision for that space: the stone, the arches, columns, antique sconces, the etchings for the floors, and the round table for the leaders to gather around. It was amazing to see the direction given and then the response from all the men to carry out. Work instantly began – selecting the stone, searching for the antique sconces, constructing the columns, creating a series of perfect circles to etch into the stone floors, the design of the table that would hinge open in the center to allow the carved wooden eagle to rest in the center… And this was just one room. To see the true connection Gwen had, her desire for this Church to be a glory to God, and for us to share carrying out the work – was truly amazing. This happened countless times throughout the construction process.” – Jonathan Walters
As you can see, the memories literally could go on and on…and Gwen shared so much more in her message as well. It truly is a humbling HONOR to call this place – the Remnant Fellowship – HOME. The evidence of GOD’S presence and leading – His will being carried out – is everywhere in this Church. Yes, it is in the memories and beauty of this amazing Building and throughout the Grounds. But even more powerfully than that, it is in the LIVES of the SAINTS who have GOD’S Spirit leading their hearts in purity…and in “DEDICATION” – wholehearted DEVOTION – every single day. Praise GOD for the Remnant Fellowship Dedication Remembrance in this month of November…in the year of our Lord – 2013!