Dr. John McKnight served as president of the American Council of Christian Churches for many years. He is a remarkable individual who falsifies the common perception that to be a fundamentalist is to be a Baptist. The church that Dr. McKnight pastors was known until recently as Evangelical Methodist Church. It has renamed itself the Reformation Bible Church, perhaps because, as Dr. McKnight once explained to me, “We are Whitefieldian Methodists, not Wesleyan Methodists.”
During both his pastorate and his tenure with the ACCC, Dr. McKnight has proven himself to be a genuine Christian statesman. It is no surprise, therefore, that the American Council has chosen to honor him with a declaration of appreciation.
American Council of Christian Churches
75th Annual Convention, October 18-20, 2016
Faith Baptist Church, Kittery, Maine
An Open Letter of Thanks to Dr. John and Diane McKnight
Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,
Our Savior admonished his disciples to understand their calling to leadership as servanthood. “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:26-28).
John and Diane, you both have been examples of that kind of leadership during John’s tenure in the office of President of the Council for over a decade. You brought enthusiasm, excellence, and energy to this important work. In this endeavor to lead is to serve, to work, to plan, to prepare, to encourage, to protect, to sacrifice, to battle, to console, and at times to suffer silently and patiently. Our “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10).
Thank you for that labor of love. Thank you for loving our Savior. Thank you for loving His truth. Thank you for loving Dr. Colas and Alice. They always esteemed you both very highly in love for your work’s sake. Thank you for your love shown to the current Executive Secretary and other officers who were privileged to work closely with you and learn from your vision, insight, and example. Thank you for your love for the Council, its stand, and its work. Thank you for your love for Christ’s Church.
The ministry you have fulfilled in our behalf required selfless dedication and dependence on the Lord’s sufficient grace. Together you found that grace and demonstrated that dedication. The Spirit-blessed power of your life and preaching, John, and the pleasantness of your supportive spirit and kind hospitality, Diane, especially have encouraged and furthered this work of the Lord in a needy hour. You are a man and a woman among us, who help to make up the hedge and who stand in the gap (Ezek. 22:30).
“The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26). And should He still tarry, may He grant us many more years of continued service together according to His will and by His grace.
With Sincerest Appreciation,
Your Fellow-Soldiers in Christ of the American Council of Christian Churches