Thursday Night Opening
Anybody that has experienced Remnant Fellowship’s Passover Celebration before, knows that it entails joyfully sleepless nights, convicting sermons, amazing testimonies, and endless fellowship with out-of-town members, visitors, and hundreds of youth of all ages. Prior to festival week, Remnant families prepared by cleaning their houses, and hearts, in order to get ready for the guests driving and flying in from all four corners of the Earth to get to Brentwood for this one weekend. On Thursday evening, Gwen Shamblin opened wide the doors to “Ashlawn,” her home in Brentwood, welcoming all of the out-of-town travelers and new Church members. With beautiful food, drink and 200+ joyful hearts filling the rooms, the overwhelming love felt like a giant family reunion!
Meanwhile down the road at the Church property, the festivities also began for the youth group! A tweet was sent out for all of the youth to meet at 6pm at the church, and before long everyone was welcomed in through the brass doors through a “tunnel of love.” There was waving palm branches, the names of out-of-towners being cheered, and all around a warm welcome to everyone who just got into Tennessee. The tunnel of love started off the evening right, with encouragement and praise to God for
allowing everyone to make it. After the initial greeting, games like corn hole, volleyball and knockout kicked in high gear, as well as letter writing to those not able to come, and of course, this amazing fellowship went on for quite a while. Everyone was called inside for a prayer… Tedd Anger and Elizabeth Hannah charged the youth to stay connected and plugged in no matter where you are in the world…that everyone should be reaching out, texting people, and sending letters of encouragement. Then all the Youth Encouragers (old and new) were called to the front to introduce themselves and allow everyone to know whom they can go to for advice, prayer, and encouragement. This was followed up with testimonies, prayer requests, and a final prayer. The rest of the night was extremely blessed with fellowship and encouragement for the out-of-town saints. There were hugs, hands shook, names shared, and numbers exchanged. Everyone had a friend by the end of the night! Praise and laughter resounded throughout the entire church building as the teenagers and young adults fellowshipped. Thursday night was a blessed and great start for everyone to the Passover weekend.
Friday Night Concert
Even when compared to the most expensive and sold-out concerts of the world, there is NOTHING like a concert at Remnant Fellowship! The concert we had Friday night of Passover weekend was one for the books. Beginning the evening was a line-up of testimonies of lives changed as a direct result from putting Remnant’s Bibilically-based teachings into practice. From healed marriages, restored finances, weight loss and prodigal children coming home, the stories of changed lives were incredibly moving and nothing short of miraculous. Then to continue the evening with music from the Heavens was absolutely incredible!
Since the inception of Remnant, God has been pouring out original music through Michael Shamblin resulting in hundreds and hundreds of worship songs that have become the backdrop of our lives. He and the other Remnant musicians delivered a powerful line up of music that had the entire congregation raising their hands in grateful worship to God. The next generation of Remnant singers and musicians also contributed to the evening with a youth band performance of an original song titled “Your Eyes” that was so sweet that it brought tears to many eyes, as well as a rendition of “Coming Home” rewritten to be about God. As everyone’s cups were overflowing with joy, Gwen Shamblin gave a powerful opening weekend charge moving everyone to a deeper love for God and more resolve to be “all in” for Him. In just over an hour, all of the saints who were present, as well as those who watched from out of town via webcast, were already moved by what was played and passages read from the Bible between the songs. After the concert, families gathered in the Fellowship Hall and on the back of the Church property to participate in the Passover meal and to continue to fellowship with one another. As night two came to a close, there was nothing to do but be in awe of what God had done and look forward to what he had in store for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday morning continued the Passover Celebration with yet another powerful line-up of testimonies of changed lives. As a matter of fact, throughout the entire festival weekend, over one hundred members took the stage to testify to a completely changed life away from the slavery of sin and now living a completely born again life…and there could have been many, many more testimonies if time had permitted…as everyone at Remnant Fellowship Church has a powerful personal story of change. The morning also included the opportunity to listen to very gifted youth musicians, who use their gifts God has given them to worship Him! Twelve year old Daniel Anger played a beautiful piece on piano, the Remnant Children’s Choir sang with Michael Shamblin on his original composition, “Christ Died for Us.” New members were recognized and honored on stage, as well as the experienced members of the church and also the original founding members of Remnant. More wonderful testimonies followed, people sharing how God has changed their lives in so many ways and what this Passover had been like for them. The Praise Band closed the service with another selection of worship songs and in the afternoon, everyone continued to fellowship, going out to lunch and getting together before the evening service.
Although we had already experienced a full day and a half of events, everyone was still VERY eager to return to the Church Saturday evening to gather once again. An hour and a half before the doors even opened, there was a line in front of the Church building that wrapped clear down the sidewalk!
The evening service opened with…more beautiful testimonies!
Families that had completely changed relationships and better lives with their own family, and people with completely changed lives because of this amazing message of following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ! The Remnant Orchestra opened the music portion with a beautiful rendition of Michael’s song “Psalm 1”. The men and young men of the Choir sang “Deliver Us” from the Prince of Egypt movie. It was astounding to see the men singing in such powerful unison.
The message Gwen Shamblin gave Saturday night was so amazing and beautiful as she expounded upon the original Passover, the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ…giving clear insight and understanding into the symbolism these to two historical events and how they now connect us back to the Father. It moved everyone and made us all feel so convicted and grateful that God has passed us by and delivered us out of “Egypt,” now symbolically meaning a life of sin and into the “promised land” of a completely born again, new life by following Jesus Christ’s example of living only to please the Father. The celebration continued with an awesome time of singing, fellowship, dancing to God, wonderful food and children at play…ending night 3 of the amazing festival weekend.
Sunday, The Closing Day
The final day of the Passover weekend was just as incredible as the days before it. Everyone congregated together back in the sanctuary of Remnant Fellowship, and it was a morning service filled with testimony and praise. Musical gifts were shared from the youth, and God truly outdid himself in showcasing his blessings. Other ministries were recognized demonstrating God’s powerful hand at work among us…The prison ministry, led by Greg and Cherri MacPherson and food committee, headed up by Ashley Hamilton and Karen and Larry Sims, were recognized and honored for the work they are doing for God’s kingdom. Not only had the hearts of those on stage changed, but the Prison Ministry shared story after story of changed lives as a direct result of their evangelism in prisons across the country.
Sunday night brought two major events, both of which will be remembered as some of the best in Remnant Passover History. God provided the perfect weather for an outdoor concert with heavenly music directed to God and children got to enjoy more playtime on the beautiful Church property. The concert alone was a fantastic “part two” to the outdoor concert that God provided in the fall at our celebration of Feast of Harvest. God showcased not only the abundant gifts that he has given our musicians, but also his artistry. The sky was lit up in the warm tones of the sunset, and you couldn’t help but be in awe at the beauty. The unity was unbelievable as the congregation of out-of-towners, visitors, and local members came together one last time to sing praises to the Lord. The fellowship continued for several hours throughout the Church grounds and Gwen Shamblin could be found in the Sanctuary closing the night with words of encouragement to a smaller group, speaking of the beauty of self denial and accepting circumstances for the glory of God.
Everyone concluded the weekend with hearts full of more love for God and each other…and from the youngest to the most experienced, all agreed that this was the best Passover weekend ever!
Tedd Anger: The Passover, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ 2016 was the most blessed ever! After incredible Truth, countless testimonies, fellowship and music from the Heavens- the weekend was closed with Gwen charging us that the time was now for us to love God with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength and that this place would be so pure by Pentecost that the Spirit of God would come down powerfully on the Church like never before. Our family is agreeing with this prayer starting with our own lives and we have never been more grateful to be a part of a Church being taught God first in everything and how to have a humble and obedient relationship with God…and how to pass this relationship down to our children. All praise to God and His Son Jesus Christ who showed us how to live for God and the Church!
Terrell Cohen: The blessing of my first Passover was truly making the connection and understanding what our great God has freed me from! I spend 40 years of my life enslaved to every kind of sin and depravity. Twenty of those years were spent in a counterfeit church where I struggled to repent and find truth. But Praise be to God that our Father in Heaven chose our family out of the world to be in this message! Since Passover not only have my convictions been strengthened but I walk with my God confidently and changed in every way. The Spirit speaks more clearly and my tests are being passed strongly. I feel God with me and can understand His message clearly. I look for ways to change and embrace changing myself without projection. This Passover came to me with power and left me with excitement for every day I get to show Him how much I love Him back. I pray everyone could experience what God has given me.
Carmen D’Amato: This Passover was in a blink of an eye. The schedule beforehand caused me to think: “Will I keep up with these few days?” God took care of every little detail. I love that I have been here for 14 years, and it is a sweet blessing to watch all the young people grow up and participate in song, word and deed. The young and older men dancing and sharing and serving is truly what we learn here. We learn to honor, love and serve each other. It is a true message of living for God in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Praise God for another year!
Maxine Day: I am forever changed after Passover 2016! I feel a fire of passion like never before to give to God ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength! I understand more now what God was trying to teach His people with the Exodus story, and I am loving applying this lesson of self-denial out of LOVE for God and His Kingdom! The tests have been many, but so have the victories, rewards, and blessings! Praising GOD for His ordained festivals that teach us more about Him each and every year!
Rebecca Gunger: My family celebrated our 10th Passover this year, and I can say it gets better year after year as this was the best, most convicting and encouraging Celebration yet. I truly was sharpened in every way, from the guests that stayed in our home to the amazing testimonies shared at each assembly. I felt renewed and recharged to double down and get everything right, and I was not the only one. I got the opportunity to speak to a bunch of the youth group members, and all shared with me how moved they were to truly make that last Exodus and find this pure relationship with God. I know everyone went home changed for the better! Forever grateful!