We are family

The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates adopted the Sister Sledge song, We Are Family, for their title run that won their fifth World Series title. Willie Stargell led an all-star collection of players who demonstrated a fierce competitive spirit and a close-knit fraternity. The song rocked the stadium and the clubhouse through their historic season.

What does it mean to be family? It doesn’t mean everything is perfect. While winning 98 wins that year, the Pirates did lose 64 times. Their best hitter that year, Bill Madlock, hit .328 during the regular season. That means he failed to get a hit almost 7 out of 10 at bats.

I don’t know any perfect families. That is certainly true of church families. We all know that.

But families stick together, in good times and not-so-good. We find strength in each other. We celebrate the victories. We mourn the losses. We stand beside the faltering. We encourage the struggling. We depend on each other. We love, extend mercy, and offer grace because we need those things and we need to give those things.

Paul wrote to the Roman Christians: “Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection. Take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9,10).

That’s what families do. I am glad to be a part of this one. We are Wieuca.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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