Today I installed Todd Reynolds as pastor at the Church of the Nazarene in Morristown. Four years ago I wrote a blog about this town, and church and Byron Carmony. It is all still true today. So this is a blog resisted:
Today I preached at our church in Morristown Indiana. Morristown is a town of 1200 people in Shelby County Indiana. There are two restaurants in town that seem to be destination eateries, The Bluebird and the Copper Kettle. I had lunch today at the Bluebird. I highly recommend the Sunday buffet.
We have had a congregation in Morristown since 1930. There have been many good pastors and like most churches it has had its ups and downs. Perhaps one of the best known Nazarenes to come out of the Morristown church was Dr. Byron Carmony. If you still possess a Nazarene Hymnal, you will find one of the late Dr. Carmony’s songs: “Then I met Jesus.” Another of his songs that I remember from years ago is entitled, “He became poor.”
My friend Nelson Bradford wrote about one of the Rev. Byron Carmony’s songs.
Byron Carmony was born in southern Indiana in 1916. When he was four years old he became very ill and an old country doctor diagnosed meningitis…inflammation of the brain tissue. The doctor didn’t think he would live, and if he did, there was a strong possibility that brain damage would limit normal development. His parents did not take the doctor’s word as final. They gathered family and friends to lay hands on Byron and pray for his healing. God answered their prayer and he gradually regained his health.
When the Morristown, Indiana Nazarene Church was formed, his parents were charter members. In March, 1930 the church was in revival with evangelist H. N. Dickerson. Because of severe winter weather attendance was sparse. At 13 years of age, Byron was the only convert. That is when he wrote his most well-known song:
I wandered o’er life’s stormy road,
No hope in sight for me.
My eyes were blinded by my tears;
I could no shelter see.
Then I met Jesus, wonderful Friend!
He loved and saved me, love without end.
Now I am walking close by His side.
Storms may surround me; in Him I hide.
– Byron M Carmony, 1936
Copied from Sing to the Lord © 1993 by Lillenas Publishing Company
Sometimes we despise little things, but God has done some of His best work in small places. You never know who you are ministering to, every place is a place where God seeks to redeem and reclaim.
Perhaps the song that I really enjoy that Dr. Carmony wrote is “Alma Mater Olivet.” Like Dr. Carmony I am a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University.
There is no place so small that you cannot meet Jesus there.