Lifting up Richard’s family in their grieving and celebrating.


December 18, 1929 – November 13, 2023

Richard Myron Anthony, Sr., 93, of Oklahoma City, OK, passed away on Monday, November 13, 2023.  He was born on December 18, 1929, in Patrick Springs, Virginia, to the late John Virgil Anthony, Jr. and Hallie Ethel Foster Anthony. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Cora Lee Hiatt Anthony; seven brothers, John Virgil Anthony, III, Douglas Anthony, Clarence Anthony, Charles Graves Anthony, William Penn Anthony, James Maxwell Anthony, and Thomas Anthony; and two sisters, Nancy Elizabeth Anthony and Hallie Anthony Slagle. 

Richard was a member for 40 years of the First Baptist Church of Martinsville and a member for 22 years of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Richmond.  Richard was a business owner; he owned R.M. Anthony Construction Corporation, Brookshire Apartments, Sherwood Manor, and Fairway Apartments. He was the co-owner of Anthony Brothers Lumber Company.  Richard graduated from the University of Richmond, and while attending, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, where he was a chapter president. He served as the president of the Bassett Kiwanis. 

Richard is survived by one son, Richard M. Anthony; two daughters, Kimberly Anthony, and Lisa Anthony; one chiweenie named Larry; and one pitweenie named Lucy.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at Bassett Funeral Service Chapel. The funeral service will start at 2:00 p.m. at the Bassett Funeral Service Chapel, with Rev. Mark Andrist officiating. A burial will follow immediately after the service at the Anthony Family Cemetery in Patrick Springs, Virgina.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association by mail to 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, or online at

Online condolences may be made by visiting Bassett Funeral Service is serving the Anthony family.

Follow-up: TBC Building Assessment


unusually good; outstanding.

What a gift it was to come together on Sunday afternoon to hear the story of what God has done over these last three months, celebrate the faithfulness of those making ministry happen, and embrace the voices of those leading us.

What a gift it was to welcome Carson Dean back into the fold, grow in awareness of his exceptional giftedness and receive the generous gift of his time and expertise.  It was truly an exceptional meeting, a much needed gathering in an exceptional moment in the life of our church.  Thank you to all of those that served on both sides of the kitchen counter and also in front of computer monitors. Thank you to our leaders, and the larger community,  for the courage to see the bigger challenges and opportunities before us.

Click Here to read the Draft Report Cover Letter received from Carson
Click Here to read Carson’s Draft Copy of his Facility Management Assessment & Usage Visioning Report

What might God do with the dust of our fallen structures?

In light of last week’s headline, World Health Organization declaring an end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency


A word of encouragement to those (re)building, (re)viving, (re)missioning, and (re)forming institutions

All humans long for stability. Throughout time, Societies have built structures to protect stability. Call it covid, call it chaos, there’s been a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. Rigid structures don’t tend to fare well when the ground starts shaking. No structure is meant to last forever and yet when history circles back around we’re surprised by its arrival. Anything we carve or build out of rock, bricks, steel, or glass, eventually falls. Travel to Greece, Rome, the site of the former World Trade Center in NYC, or, (dare I say it) down a long stretch of Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va, historical structures eventually and always buckle under the pressure of the passage of time.

Most any group of people that find themselves finally tasting the “good life” naturally want to build a structure that can maintain, expand, and protect that way of life (aka stability). Think about the destructive cycles that spin chaos into the world from there. If building, maintaining, expanding, and protecting our “good life” requires the diminishing, disqualifying or destruction of the lives of others, expect chaos and prepare to choke on the dust of fallen idols, fortresses, and structures.

I believe God is refashioning us, not only out of the dust of our fallen idols, fortresses, and structures, but also out of the dust being stirred up by the beautiful feet of those walking beside “God with Us”

There’s a moment in the Bible when the disciples of Jesus find themselves awestruck by the Temple structure,“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what a wonderful structure!” Jesus responds, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” The temple is supposed to be the most stable place on earth, the one place where God’s finger touches the world, therefore the one place chaos can’t possibly exist.

Later in the story, those that arrested Jesus justify their actions based on the audacity of Jesus bringing chaos, the equivalent of kryptonite, into the temple. He doesn’t help his case when he predicts the temple’s destruction or in claiming he will rebuild the temple in three days. To add insult to injury, he claims the new Temple won’t be confined by geography or any other lines we might draw in the sand. No-one-corner of the world will be able to claim this One as their own. This One, is meant to travel. This One is a throwback to the original design. Anyone with institutional memory might call him “Tabernacle”, but most of his followers call him Savior.

Church, I know we’re all longing for stability, it’s natural to do so, especially in our grieving. I want you to know that I join you in deep grieving. So much more, I want you to know that we worship a God that brings order out of Chaos.

Any version of life, built upon a structure that diminishes the potential for thriving in the lives of others, cannot be attributed to the goodness of God.

YHWH didn’t fashion us out of metaphorical dust, breathe air into our lungs, and put us on our feet, only for us to create our own versions of the “good life”. Any version of life, built upon a structure that diminishes the potential for thriving in the lives of others, cannot be attributed to the goodness of God. Any version of the “good life” that leads someone into isolation, separation, or even relational annihilation is a cheap counterfeit. God is good…all of the time. The good life Christ offers is the real deal….the Way, the Truth, and The Life. Walk in the knowledge that we follow a Savior that can take all of the fallenness, brokenness, and complexities of the stories of the past and present, all of the unintentional chaos we’ve unleashed into the world, and somehow bring profound goodness through it. Know that God can, and will, make ALL things for good.

As we move out of this global pandemic, it will be critical for us to understand that it’s not our job to rebuild our temples. God already did that, three days after his son was crucified. The news gets even better. The resurrected Savior is inviting us to tabernacle with him right smack into the middle of the chaos. He’s inviting us to join the search party for those who have stumbled into, or were pushed into, lostness and loneliness. He’s inviting us to join him in the reclamation of the abandoned, to participate in the healing of the brokenhearted, and even in the resuscitation of the hearts of the presumed “righteous”.

In this very moment, I believe God is refashioning us, not only out of the dust of our fallen idols, fortresses, and structures, but also out of the dust being stirred up by the beautiful feet of those walking beside “God with Us”. It’s an invitation to breathe again. It’s an invitation to life again. It’s the invitation of a lifetime!

Rev. Sterling W. Severns, Pastor

  • This is an adaptation of something first written in January 2022.

Registration Deadline for this weekend’s: Re-Visioning Retreat, January 13-15, 2023

In decades past, previous generations at Tabernacle set aside time, often full weeks or weekends, to come together purposefully and expectantly. Long ago, these gatherings were called revivals and more recently spiritual renewal weekends.

 Though the format of those gatherings have changed, the longings and expectations of each generation, including our generation, have not wavered. For almost 150 years our local congregation has come together, often in our most vulnerable chapters of communal life, to express our yearning for revival, to pray for inspirited vision, to petition God to give us unity in the (re)discovery of purpose and call. 

The weekend of January 13-15, 2023, our generation will come together, in both the physical church building and in our virtual acre. Mark Tidsworth, our facilitator, will  help us explore the challenges and opportunities standing before the Universal Church and guide our local church in prayerful discernment/dialogue.

We will  introduce three questions as an invitation into  discernment.  

What might God do, in and through us,  if we were to shift away from __________________  and move toward _________________? 

  • member identity to disciple identity
  • attractional to missional church
  • consumer culture to sacred partnering

On Friday night, Mark will provide a format we’ll use for capturing our insights and we’ll continue to gather and glean throughout the entire weekend. This, plus the insights generated during multiple small group discussions, will be funneled to church leadership after this weekend. In turn, the leaders will determine how we can effectively continue to discern together as a congregation. 

The Holy Spirit is prompting our old church to embrace a new day in this new world we’re all living in and we offer our praise to God for what we’re about to see and hear.  Tabernacle, yet again, Christ is on the move, and, yet again, the revived, renewed, and re-missioned Church is called to follow.  

Retreat Schedule:
Friday, January 13 6-9 pm (dinner provided)
Saturday, January 14, 9-12 pm 12-12:45 (lunch provided), 12:45 – 3 pm
Sunday, January 15, 9 – 10:30 am + worship

There is no registration fee. However, we do ask that each participant bring a pack of bottled waters or canned beverages + a sweet/salty snack to share.

Whereas, we won’t be able to provide a nursery on-site,  we can help offset some of the expense of baby sitting in your homes and possibly identify babysitters.


It will be helpful to us if each participating member of your household registers separately. Please REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE.

A greeting from our Retreat Facilitator

Guidance on receiving your Epiphany Star (word)During the invitation in today’s service (1.8.23)

During the invitation in today’s service, you are invited to click on this link to request a star (word for the year):

One of your fellow worshippers will be asked to gather a star for you. We’ll reach out in the next couple of days to real your word and you can anticipate receiving the tangible star sometime in the week ahead.

FOR OUR GUESTS:This practice is incredibly meaningful to our little church. You picked a fantastic day to join us! * Your star will have a word written on it. * There are 100+ different words we’ve written on the stars and folks aren’t given the option of trading their word in for another. As you pray and reflect upon your word throughout 2023, it’s possible God wants you be more deliberate in your embracing of something. It’s equally possible the word represents something God will help you relinquish or re-frame. The fullness of the gift can only be revealed in time.

Save the Date! Church Wide Retreat

Save the Date: Church-Wide Re-Visioning Retreat

God is preparing our historic church  for a new chapter…..a new day….a new beginning.  TBC leadership hasinvited Mark Tidsworth, founder and team leader of Pinnacle Leadership Associates, to bring  the entire congregation together for a weekend of discerning dialogue.

We will gather:  Friday evening, all-day Saturday, and conclude in worship on Sunday morning.  Participants can join us in both the physical building and/or TBC’s virtual acre.  Sign-ups will begin in the next week or so.

The leadership of the church would love for you to join us in reading Mark’s book, Shift: Three Big Moves for the 21st Century Churchin preparation for the retreat.

Invite to a special evening: Wed, Nov. 30

A couple of weeks ago I challenged the congregation to join me in closing down “Pandemic Church” and step into the Advent Season with anticipation that God is preparing us for something new. This Wednesday, Nov. 30th, we’ll gather together to look back (hindsight), engage in conversation about this present moment (insight) AND offer a heartfelt prayer of communal closure (foresight).

For those of you aware of our creative Maundy Thursday Services…..this week’s Dinner church will feel familiar. 

1. The rhythm of this week’s dinner church is unique in that  the majority of us will be eating in the physical sanctuary and remaining in that space throughout the evening.
2. Preschool – 1st grade will eat and meet in their usual space. 
3. It’s really  important for folks to RSVP by 7 p.m. (Monday evening) 


5:45 – 6 p.m.  Anyone that arrives in this window will begin eating when they arrive. 

6:15 – 6:30 p.m.  Second seating begins. 

UNIQUE PROGRAM: Ending and Preparing Well.

6:00 p.m. – 6:20 PM   Video presentation (some of us will be at the table and others in the pews)

6:20 – 6:45 PM    Group Dialogue (“  “  “  “ “ ) 

6:45 – 7:30 PM    “Exploration” and dialogue with smaller groupings 


8:00 – 9:00 PM I need about 5-7 folks to stick around and help disassemble the sanctuary installation.  

I hope you’ll consider joining us….even if you’d rather just wait to eat supper until you get home!  It’s really important for folks to RSVP so that we can figure out the logistics and order the right amount of food.  

Nov. 21 Zoom mtg postponed

Tonight’s  Zoom Meeting, regarding Fire Protection, has been postponed.

The decision to postpone tonight’s zoom mtg. is based on updated information our lay leadership received this morning. Thanks for your flexibility and  also for helping us put the word out to your classes, committees, teams, and small groups.

We’ll reschedule the meeting after we’ve explored the info we’ve just received.