Joshua 4:6 “…so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean to you?”
When the people of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Cabot began to plan a celebration to honor their pastor for 25 years of ministry, church member Dennis Wilkins thought back to the Old Testament for an idea of stacking memorial stones.
Beginning with Terry Fortner’s call to the ministry in 1971, they identified 18 areas of ministry to be recognized. A church member fashioned lightweight “stones” to be stacked as part of the morning worship service on April 24. A stone representing Fortner’s call to the church in April 1997 was laid by Mrs. Freva Johnson, Zion Hill’s longest attending member.
State Representative David Ray laid a stone representing Fortner’s serving multiple times as a “chaplain of the day” to the Arkansas State Legislature and read a letter from the governor. Additionally, his service with Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief, North Pulaski Baptist Association, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Extension was recognized.
Fortner’s church leadership was recognized with a stone noting the 20 mission trips he has led while at Zion Hill. A stone representing the 290 people he has baptized was laid by his grandson, Colt Fortner, who was recently baptized by his grandfather. Additional stones represented the number of weddings and funerals performed and hospital visits and home visits he has made.
The personnel committee hosted a potluck reception immediately following the morning worship service.