by Laura S. Tinnel

Donnie and Stephanie VickiPURCELLVILLE, Va. (BNc) — Jan. 24 was a momentous day of firsts in northern Virginia. That Sunday morning Donnie Vick stepped into the pulpit in Purcellville to begin his first full-time ministry as a preacher in the Lord’s church. That same day, the 11-year-old local congregation heard a sermon from its first full-time preacher.

When Vick and his wife Stephanie arrived at their new home just two days prior, they were greeted by excited adults and teens of the congregation who assisted in moving their belongings. They presented the Vicks with a pantry stocked with dry goods and gift cards to get them started in their new home.

Vick is a January 2010 graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching in Memphis, Tenn. The son of a 30-year gospel preacher, his dream has always been to preach.

“I started when I was a little boy in the living room,” he said.

While Vick was at MSOP, the brethren in Purcellville were busy working to complete the first and only worship facility of the saints in Loudoun County, Va. Concurrently, the congregation was making plans to hire their first full-time preacher. Church elder Clyde Roby spearheaded the effort, making a recruiting trip to MSOP in April, 2009.

Roby’s efforts were met with enthusiastic support from the school, which permitted him to give a brief presentation to identify interested aspiring preachers. Donnie Vick was among those who expressed interest and met with Roby privately to discuss the work in detail.

“I was impressed with his excitement and attitude about preaching the truth”, said Roby of Vick. “He seemed even more excited when I told him that northern Virginia is considered as much a mission field for the Lord’s church as any place outside the U.S.”

According to Vick, he and Stephanie have long desired to work in a mission field. When asked why Purcellville, he replied, “The work excites me. [There are] 300,000 people in Loudoun County, Va., and only three churches of Christ in the county. Needless to say, there aren’t 100,000 people in each congregation.”

Vick plans to follow the pattern in Acts 20:20 in preaching publicly and from house to house in order to evangelize Purcellville and the surrounding community. He stressed the importance of living the Christian life and letting our light shine before men.

“When they know that [our Christianity is important to us], then when we start talking to them about the Gospel, they will listen”, he stated.

When asked about barriers to be overcome, Vick said, “The devil wants me to fail, but really the only person that can stop me from living right and preaching the truth is me. So I’ve determined that failure is not an option.”

Vick then said of the congregation, “After what the brethren have already done for Stephanie and me, it would take the Virginia National Guard to get me out this place!”

Vick, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Freed-Hardeman University. He plans to continue his education in the areas of Biblical languages and counseling.

The town of Purcellville is one of 26 cities in the fourth fastest growing county in the USA. It is located 52 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., near the West Virginia border.

The Purcellville congregation consists of about 37 adults and 30 teens and young children. It is served by three elders and four deacons.

For further information, visit the congregation’s website.