PIKEVILLE — For more than 50 years, Reed Sells has been leading the music and choir on a volunteer basis at First Southern Baptist Church on Main Street here.
On Sunday, June 3, the church paid tribute to Sells and throughout the month a series of summer concerts will be held in his honor.
On Sunday mornings, Sells leads the choir and congregation in singing. He practices with the choir on Wednesday nights, and at times sings solos. Sometimes he gets small groups together and has them sing before the congregation.
“Reed has a love for the Lord and music,” said Pastor Jim Whitaker.
“Reed’s desire is to serve Him. This is evident in his faithfulness that he has exhibited over the years. His dedication to serving the Lord has always been his top priority.
“For the past 50 plus years Reed has prepared music for and led worship at First Southern Baptist Church. He has conducted many Christmas and Easter presentations, along with special music for our choir. It takes many hours of preparation to make this the blessing it has been.”
This love for Christ and being a servant began at the age of 8 in Mobile, Ala. His family later moved back to Pikeville. Sells and his mother, Roberta, and brother, Bobby, were among the charter members of the church. He was ordained by the church as a deacon in 1964. Since being a part of the church, he has taught adult Sunday School and Training Union classes as has his wife, Lola.
He has been active with the youth, and now his daughters and their husbands, Karla and Jeff Moore, and Karen and Houston Thomas, have filled those shoes. During his time working with area youth, Sells took them on monthly skating trips, youth evangelism conferences and youth camp where he would lead the singing nightly. He also was a vital part of the church coed softball team as their pitcher in years past, and men’s basketball team.
After returning to Pikeville after a stint in the Army, Sells began serving in various capacities while continuing to serve his country as a member of the Army Reserve for 27 years.
His service to the Lord and the church is not limited to leading the music. For many years, Sells has been the one who would make sure the heat and air were on before everyone else arrived for worship. Over the years he could be found sweeping the parking lot. He has been involved in the church’s building projects including the construction of an educational building, remodeling of the sanctuary and most recently, the building of the new Family Ministry Center.
“No job has been too great or too small for him to do,” added Whitaker. “Reed’s ultimate goal is seeing that others come to know Christ and have a personal relationship with the Lord.”
In recognition of his years of service and dedication, the church presented Sells with a framed print of “Amazing Grace.” He was honored with a reception later that day with many local residents and church members attending.
— This article is reprinted with permission of The Bledsonian Banner, Pikeville.