Few things reveal time’s impact more eloquently than the look of weathered wood. Weathering showcases the passage of years, of many seasons under the sun, in ways that mere words are incapable of capturing.

When the original letters on this sign were removed, the full extent of years of weathering was revealed for all to see. With little difficulty, you can still read (most of) what this sign originally said.

I remember when the sign was brand new (the letters were a rich red color). I was present at the sod-turning ceremony before construction even started. And at 16 years of age, I worked on the roof many weekends, driving in four-inch spikes with a sledgehammer. I was there when the original cornerstone from the old church downtown was split in two and re-installed at the new location, one half reading “1928” and the other “1978.”

Fast forward to 2012:

A church merger has resulted in the congregation relocating elsewhere in the city. The building at 2501 Eaglesfield Drive has been sold. In a short while, the name Brant Bible Church will be meaningful only to a certain generation.

When I look at these pictures of the church’s interior, Im astonished by the multitude of memories and emotions that come flooding back. It feels like it was just yesterday. It also feels like it was a million years ago.

I was baptized here when I was 17.

Five years later, this is where I met George Mercado; I later did my seminary internship under his leadership.

The carpet-on-concrete foyer would be the site of many life-changing encounters with God through the youth ministry.

When I was 27, Wendy and I stood together on the platform with our daughter Jordan in our arms, experiencing our very first child dedication as parents.

And no matter where we lived after that (Hamilton, Kitchener, Victoria, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Tijuana, and now Kelowna), whenever we returned to visit family, this was the church we’d attend together.

When all is said and done, of course, it’s just a building. Seriously. The Kingdom of God goes on quite well with or without it. But looking at these images as I write, Im amazed at the storehouse of memories they awake.

It’s the goodness of God and the memories of people that are the true treasure, but never underestimate the power of a weathered 34-year-old sign to remind you of it.

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