Note: The following message is an e-mail I received earlier this evening from a good friend of mine, Joshua O’Donnell. Joshua was a member of mine in Vermont when I pastored there (I pastored the tiny little Church to which he belongs on two separate occasions). I had the privilege of baptizing Joshua a couple years ago. His story is amazing in its own right. An accomplished artist originally from Boston, he showed up at our small and aging 15-member church in Vermont out of the blue after watching a series of videos by Walter Veith and never looked back. He – a young man just a few years older than me – is now the head elder of that church – which I have subsequently moved away from.
His e-mail highlights two things: first, it paints a refreshing picture of the much-maligned Chris Hudson, who has received the ridicule of many within the media in the last 24-hours because of his influence on Angus T. Jones. Secondly, it dramatically highlights the impact that a little church in the middle-of-nowhere can have.
I trust you will be blessed by Joshua’s testimony.
I thought you’d be amused at this after I just read your post. People magazine called me to ask about Chris Hudson (Forerunner Chronicles that did the interview where Angus called the show “filth”). The reason they called me is a lesson in why we should take care to do the little things in ministry, and seize opportunities.
A year ago, one of our members, Mark Cleminson, met Chris in North Carolina at a conference. Mark asked Chris if he would come up and speak at South Newbury, and he said sure. I had seen Chris many times on YouTube and knew of him, so I hustled to get the support of our pastor, Mark Harris. Then I called Chris to officially invite him and warned him that this is a tiny church in a rural area, and not to expect a big turn out. He said essentially, “No worries, I go wherever there is an opportunity and an invitation, I’d come and speak even if their were only 2 sincere listeners.”
So to make it worth while, I made sure to video the sermons he gave and post them on YouTube. Chris was an amazing witness to me about how to serve in ministry. He spent a lot of time praying before each message. Not once, but multiple times through the day he disappeared to pray. Then he presented his message like he was speaking to a large, important audience, even though there was maybe 15 the first night, and no more than 30 on Sabbath. One of the videos, “Preparation for the National Sunday Law,” has caught a lot of attention, and I think has even more views than most of Chris’s own videos on his Forerunner Chronicles channel. It’s close to 20,000 views, and it’s been increasing fast lately. (I spent a lot of time answering all the biblical debate comments.)
So the researcher at People Magazine for the story about Chris and Angus saw my video on YouTube and that he spoke at South Newbury and wanted to contact someone from the church. Eventually she got me, not realizing I was also the one who posted the video.
I was hoping that South Newbury would get a mention in the article, but she just told me that in the final edit all of my direct references were dropped.
I’m so curious to see how the article reads and what slant People will take. The researcher was really nice, and seemed sincere about getting accurate info on Chris. I was kind of impressed with People for their research.
Anyway, it made me glad that all the work of recording, editing, and posting the videos is paying off to raise the profile of our tiny little church in nowhere. Anyone really can influence souls wherever they are, even at South Newbury!