Reflecting about Pastor Montgomery from our article from August 19, 2022 in The Community Voice
The kind of response we had on social media and our website in response to our Aug. 4 article about the joint retirement of Lincoln Montgomery and wife Annie is a reflection of the respect, appreciation and love this community has for this extraordinary couple.
Their roots are deep in this community; they grew up in and have dedicated their entire careers to service in Northeast Wichita. We [the community] feel we know them so well that they’re casually referred to as Lincoln and Annie. They’re us, but so much more.
Pastor Montgomery (I use in deference to the respect he sincerely deserves) is the longest serving minister at one of Wichita’s stalworth churches, Tabernacle
Bible Church. He’s led and directed the spiritual growth of the church’s members for 35 of the church’s 141-year history. Along the way, he is credited with implementing significant changes that transformed the church‘s meaningful outreach, spiritual renewal and discipleship efforts.
In 2009, after speaking about church unity for 25 years, Pastor Montgomery approached his parishioners about a transformational change – discontinuing their affiliation with the Baptist Church.
Saying denominations pull churches apart, Montgomery said Tabernacle Bible – as opposed to Baptist – would affiliate with “anyone who will have us.”
“We need to use that spirit of collaboration to begin addressing the issues of our community,” said Pastor Montgomery in a 2009 interview with The Voice.
At the same time, Pastor Montgomery led the church to adopt a new mission,” a church without walls.” The concept was simple – the church could no longer afford to exist entirely within church walls. It was imperative for churches to reach out into the community.
It’s a mission Pastor Montgomery successfully implemented within all of the church’s ministries. The examples were glaring, especially in their importance with ministries like:
Their successful summer Vacation Bible School with attendance approaching 400 youth from Tabernacle and the neighboring community.
Their Hallelujah NIght, a safe and alternative event for Halloween, where children and youth from the community could attend dressed in biblical costumes, play games, enjoy home-cooked meals, and receive prizes.
TBC Cares, a successful and free after school tutoring program, which aided hundreds of students in their intellectual growth and academic performance.
In an especially impactful outreach, TBC Care reached out to the Wichita Bulldogs Football offering tutoring to their players before their evening practices.
Beyond doing great things in the community, the Montgomerys did great things inside their church. Big on spiritual education, Pastor Montgomery transformed the church’s weekly prayer Bible study sessions called “Wednesday in the Word,” that offered a preview of the upcoming Sunday School lessons. In addition, he helped build a strong Sunday
School program by establishing in-house training to identify new Sunday School Teachers for all age groups. As a result, the church has active Sunday School classes each week for all age groups, from the nursery to senior adults.
He established care groups, small group Bible studies to fit various affinity groups with common interests, like men’s Bible study, women’s bible study, couples’ Bible study, singles’ Bible study and seniors’ Bible study.
Pastor Montgomery encouraged others who had an interest in the ministry and personally nurtured their development. He was one of the earliest pastors in Wichita to allow women pastors in the pulpit, in addition to including Annie in the spiritual leadership and growth of the church. For 20 years, Annie – a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist – led the church’s Family Life Counseling Center.
The love and respect Tabernacle members and the community have for this couple is evident and deserved. They will be missed.