RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Expository preachers are often known for spending lengthy periods of time in one book of Scripture. The well-known British pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones spent almost 12 years preaching through Romans, and one noted Puritan spent over two decades preaching through the book of Job. But recently the Rev. Alvin Jones of Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Raleigh entered his 35th year of preaching through the book of Ephesians...and he's still only on chapter one.
"When I began my pastoral ministry at Kirk of the Hills 35 years ago I had intended to spend one year preaching through Ephesians and then move on to some other books." Said Jones. "I suppose I just got caught up."
After 35 years of preaching through the book on Sunday mornings, Jones has managed to make it through verse 10 of the first chapter, and for some this is just too long.
"I understand that the truths contained in the first chapter of Ephesians are so great that we could spend the rest of eternity examining them." Said Jack Miller, a member of the church. "But we need to be fed from some other parts of the word too. We need to see some things in context and know how they all fit together. A couple of years ago my Bible split and fell in half right on the page where Ephesians begins, and I had to get a new one."
Jone's Sunday evening sermons also show the same pattern. He has been preaching now through the book of Genesis for 5 years and has managed to reach half-way through chapter 2.
"Genesis is a much larger book, so understandably I'm moving faster through that one." Said Jones.
When asked what his plans might be for future books in his preaching Jones replied, "I've been eying Revelation for a while now, and really want to tackle that one, but I just can't predict how much longer we'll be in Ephesians and Genesis. There's still a lot more ground to cover. I'm hoping we'll make it to Ephesians 2 by 2009."