On January 20th our Church gathered for our “Vision Kickoff Weekend” and what a weekend it was! Wow! We had great attendance and your enthusiasm, care and concern for Bethel was evident. One of the Bethel’s strengths that was highlighted during that weekend was how supportive and caring we are for one another. Several people commented that one of the reasons they attend Bethel is because we are a welcoming, friendly church who really seem to care about each other. One of the people that exemplifies this is David Wilson, he’s truly a “Gem,” pun intended! As you’ll see, David has a pretty unique hobby, he’s a rock collector.
I asked David how he got into rock collecting and he said, “I started collecting rocks and minerals when I was in the 6th grade. It was because of a science project that Mrs. Salle wanted us to do. I had a classmate named Johnny Packard and his family owned Packard’s Rock Shop in Midlothian. Johnny brought in some beautiful Jackstraw quartz crystals from Arkansas. That’s what got me started. I started going to Packard’s Rock Shop and I was mesmerized by the different types of minerals. Mr. and Mrs. Packard are the ones who noticed my interest and they helped and encouraged me along the way. They introduced me to the Richmond Gem and Mineral Society. It was during one of their shows that we took a field trip to the Rutherford Mine in Amelia County. When I went into that mine, I knew I
found my passion. Discovering so many minerals immediately grew into a love for geology and then into a love for the mineral world. My father would often take my sister Dana and me to the mines. My mother once asked me why I like to collect rocks and I told her it’s because they are like fingerprints, no two are ever alike.” I asked David if he had a favorite rock and he said, “It’s hard to pick one, but if I have to say it would be the Oklahoma Desert Rose. I discovered it on a trip to see my grandparents who lived in Oklahoma.”
I asked David if studying rocks and minerals helped him to understand God. He said, “I discovered how awesome God is by creating minerals that we depend on every day of our life. Think about it? Without the knowledge of geology, we would still be living in the stone age. The Bible has a lot of references to metals, minerals, clay, limestone, and salt. The Eilat Stone is a green-blue colored gem-stone and was first mentioned back in Biblical times. Then there’s Aaron’s
breastplate, which is made up of 12 different gem stones.”
David’s knowledge of rocks and minerals is impressive, but the way that David lives out his faith is most impressive. On the sermon on the mount, Jesus says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” David’s built his life on “The Rock” by following our Lord’s instruction
and putting his faith into action. For several years now David has been going out of his way to bring folks to church, folks like Marie Justice and Barbara Burchett who don’t have their own transportation. David says,
“Did you know that Marie Justice used to be my cub scout leader? Or that Barbara Burchett was my 8th grade geography teacher? When I started bringing people to church, I saw them glow. They just seemed to light up
and they really appreciate coming to church and being able to see all of their friends. This is especially true for Barbara Burchett.” A few years ago Barbara had a stroke and lost her ability to speak. David helps to bring some joy into Barbara’s life by bringing her to church. David says, “The Lord has made it possible for me to bring a little joy and happiness into other lives.” In addition to transporting people to church, David also enjoys visiting with some of
our home bound members. David says, “I always enjoy having dinner with Peggy Heath and chatting with her.” I want to thank David for his wonderful ministry. He is an example to us all. As we continue praying to
“Discover God’s Vision Together,” let’s listen carefully to God, our Rock, on how we can build upon our friendly, caring nature. I believe it will be foundational to fulfilling God’s purpose for Bethel.
I asked David if he would want to share anything with the congregation and he said, “The Last thing I want to say is please take the time to get to know people in our congregation. There is a rich history in each of us. Seize the moment and get to know each other. Finally, when I die, do not come to my grave to tell me how much you love me and how
much you missed me, because those are the words I want to hear while I am alive.” David, I’ll write the words for all of us at Bethel: We love you and we appreciate you and the gift that you are to our congregation. You
are loved and appreciated my friend.
May God bless David Wilson and may God bless Bethel Church as we Seek God’s Vision Together.