October 2018 Witness

This past Sunday was our annual Homecoming Sunday celebrated on Buggy Days weekend.    On such Sundays, I always enjoy sharing a message that focuses on the good things that God has done in and through our church over the last 193 years! I have the privilege of serving as the 34thpastorof First Baptist Church of Barnesville.  And this church has accomplished an amazing record among Baptist churches. After 34 pastors, this church has never fired a preacher!  Well, at least not yet! In any and every generation, the church is in the life-changing business. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone be in Christ, they are a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When I was a freshman at Banks High School in Birmingham, Alabama, I remember having a substitute teacher on several occasions who was going to seminary in the evenings and wanted to be a minister.  I was so impressed with his character and his caring – with the joy and purpose that he had in his life that I thought that if I pursued the same vocation he was pursuing I would become like him. That young man so impacted my life that I wanted to become a minister before I even became a Christian!  All of my tomorrows were transformed by a Christ-filled substitute high school teacher whose name I can’t even remember! We had a good month in September with an average attendance of 373 in Bible Study.  “Speakin’ with My Deacon” took place on Sunday evening, September 9th, with a good attendance from our Sunday School classes and divisions.  We also focused on three TOWNHALL MEETINGSconcerning the STUDENT/YOUNG ADULT BUILDINGthat has been in the works for months now.  ChairmanSteven Bacon and our STUDENT BUILDING PLANNING TEAM made very strong presentations to our church at those meetings.   Our Deacons unanimously supported the plan for this new building at their September 9th meeting. I want to thank our Student Building PlanningTeam for the many hours they have put in.   A special thanks goes to ourPrayer Team led byJoe Andrews.  Carson Selph and his Design and Planning Teamhave worked tirelessly on a design for this new building. In addition, Chairperson Kim Walland our Fund-raising Teamhave selected a company to help us raise the needed funds. The work of Mark Smithand our Finance Team,as well as Ryal Siemand our Construction Team will soon begin provided the church adopts this new building plan. On Sunday, September 30th,we will share a CONGREGATIONAL PRESENTATION AND VOTE on this new building plan at all three of our morning services. Please be much in prayer for this most important day for us and for our future! October has, among other things, some great evening opportunities:

  • The women’s worship event calledTHE CANOPY takes place on Thursday evening, October 25th, at 7:00 P.M.Doors open at 6:30.
  • The kick-off of OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILDwill be on Sunday evening, October 14th, at 6:30 in the gym of our C.F.L.C. Thanks to Nancy Cloudt for leading this ministry of providing the greatest gift of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to children all around the world!
  • TRUNK OR TREATtakes place on Sunday evening, October 28th, on our west side parking lot. Thanks to our Children’s Ministry Team for putting this together for us this year!

We look forward to a great month in October.   COME EXPECTANTLY! I Love You, Garth


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September 2018 Witness

FROM THE SHEPHERD’S HEART

     In speaking of the need for patience amidst persecution or troubles as we serve God, the author of the Book of Hebrews writes in chapter 10, verses 35-37these words: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.   You need persevering patience so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.    For, ‘In just a little while, He that shall come will come and will not delay.’”

     Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the Gospel of Christ and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts.   William Carey,for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in India, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded in Burma.   In western Africa,it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church.   In New Zealand,it took 9 years; and in Tahiti,it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began.

      So, in the midst of a good work, remember the words of Paul from Galatians 6:9which says, “And let us not grow weary in doing what is right: for in due season we shall reap an abundant harvest, if we don’t lose heart and quit!”

     We had a good month in August with an average attendance of 356 in Bible Study.  Thanks to all those who participated in our annual PRAYER WALK FOR SCHOOLSon August 5th.   MISSION FESTwas a great event on August 12thas we heard from those who served the Lord in Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Honduras and the Philippines.    On our TEAM NIGHTwe gave our committees a first opportunity to meet together in the new year.    And the women’s worship event called THE CANOPYbrought lots of ladies from our community together for this quarterly event.

     ChairmanSteven Bacon and our STUDENT BUILDING PLANNING TEAM look forward to making a presentation to our church soon.   Carson Selph and his Design and Planning Team, have worked tirelessly on a design for this new building.   In addition, Chairperson Kim Walland our Fund-raising Teamhave selected a company to help us raise the needed funds.   We will be making an initial presentation to our Deacons at their first Deacon’s Meeting of the new year, on September 9th.  Following that, we will be bringing a presentation to our entire church family in the days ahead.   Please continue to pray for the vital work of all our important teams (i.e.; Joe Andrewsand our Prayer Team; Mark Smithand our Finance Team;and Ryal Siemand our Construction Team).

     July has, among other things, some great evening opportunities:

 

  • SPEAKIN’ WITH MY DEACONtakes place on Sunday evening, September 9th, beginning at 6:30 P.M. in our Christian Family Life Center.We’re asking our Deacons to supply finger foods while we supply the tea.   Afterwards, we will have our first Deacon Meeting of the new year.
  • We are also looking forward to our BUGGY DAYS HOMECOMING on Sunday, September 23rd. Notice that Buggy Days is a little later this year than usual.   We look forward to our annual lunch together that day, and to honoring folks who have served First Baptist so well.
     We look forward to a great month in September.   COME EXPECTANTLY! I Love You, Garth
 

 

                                                                                                          
 

 


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August 2018 Witness

    Jesus said in John 15:5:“I am the Vine, and you are the branches; He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth MUCH FRUIT: for apart from Me you can do nothing.”      

    In 1886, a well-known baseball player was converted to Christ.  And when that ball-player was baptized and joined the church, an older Christian put his arm around his shoulder and said,“Billy, there are three simple rules that I can give you, and if you hold to them I can promise you that you will never be a ‘back-slider.’    Take 15 minutes each day to listen to God talking to you through His Word; take 15 minutes each day to talk to God through prayer; and take 15 minutes each day to talk to others about God.”

    The young ball player was deeply impressed and determined to make those the three rules of his life. For the first 30 minutes of each day, he allowed nothing to interrupt his time with God.  The young ball-player’s name was Billy Sunday,and by the time he died in 1935, he had led 300,000 people to Jesus!   What a fruitful life Billy Sunday lived! Jesus promised that all of us can live fruitful lives if we will abide in Him!

     We had a good month in July with an average attendance of 343 in Bible Study.  As I write, we are in the middle of VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL that will run through July 26th.     Thanks to Russ Jenkinsand all who have volunteered to help him put together a great VBS this year! In addition, I want to thank Jason and Honey Tealfor leading our children to CENTRIKID CAMPat Gardener Webb College July 9ththrough the 13th.  Both Russ and the Teals went above and beyond the call of duty in taking on assignments normally performed by our children’s minister. Greg Burrell’sannual DINNER THEATERtakes place at the end of VBS, on the evenings of July 27th-28th

     We are also excited about the progress that ChairmanSteven Bacon and our STUDENT BUILDING PLANNING TEAM are making. Carson Selph,Chairperson of the Design and Planning Team is working with his team to finalize the design of our new student facility.  In addition, Chairperson Kim Walland our Fundraising Team heard three presentations from potential fund-raising companies during the week before VBS.  Please continue to pray for the vital work of these important teams.

     July has, among other things, some great evening opportunities:

  • PRAYER WALK FOR SCHOOLStakes place on Sunday evening, August 5th, beginning at 6:00 P.M. at the Lamar County Schools Fine Arts Center.We’ll begin with some refreshments and then progress to praying for our schools.
  • MISSION FEST will take place on Sunday evening, August 12th, beginning at 6:30 in our C.F.L.C. We’ll hear exciting stories from those involved in Summer missions from our church as well as enjoy a western meal.
  • TEAM NIGHT, a chance for our church teams (committees) to get together and plan for what they want to accomplish in the coming year, will take place on Sunday evening August 19th, beginning at 6:30 in our C.F.L.C.
  • THE CANOPY, a worship event for women in our church and community, will be held in our C.F.L.C. on Thursday evening, August 23rdbeginning at 7:00 P.M.

 

     We look forward to a great month in August.   COME EXPECTANTLY!                                                                                                                  

Download August Witness Here                                                                                                              

    

 


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July 2018 Witness

       In John 10:27-29, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” 

      Tornadoes are phenomenal storms of great power that form when areas of very low pressure encounter high humidity and high winds. As geologists do with earthquakes, meteorologists rate the intensity of tornadoes, too. The scale that meteorologists use to classify tornadoes goes from one to five.  An F 5 tornado, the strongest of tornadoes, has winds over 260 miles per hour.    

      In the 1996 movie Twister, which is about a group of meteorologists who chased tornadoes in order to study them, someone asked one of the meteorologists what an F 5 Tornado was like. He replied that this all-powerful tornado was “the finger of God.” 

       But tornadoes are destructive powers that leave disaster in their wakes, while God’s power is constructive and leaves blessing behind.    Jesus said here in John chapter 10 that for all eternity believers are guarded by the fingers of Jesus in the palm of God’s hand.  If I was Jesus, I would have used a good Old Testament metaphor and said that believers are guarded by the “strong right arm of God!”  But Jesus said that all it takes is His little finger to guard us for all eternity!

     We had a good month in June with an average attendance of 324 in Bible Study.  We celebrated FATHER’S DAY and celebrated the birth of Olivia Josephine Bernard, the daughter of Trey and Amanda.  Jason Teal and crew worked hard to make the EQUIP MISISONS CAMP an exciting time here on our campus.   Equip Missions is an association-wide event for our students to do missions locally as well as consider God’s call to missions for their lives.    

     And thanks to our Children’s Ministry Team for helping us put together a great Wednesday night summer activity for our children, grades 1-5.   It’s called “OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR” and will run through August 1st, from 6:30 to 7:30pm. The Bible study follows the Gospel of Mark, while they also have some fun activities that work off of the biblical theme. And of course, there’s always something good to eat!  You can find more information about it in this edition of The Witness.  

     Congratulations to Michael Richardson for celebrating 17 years of sobriety!  We appreciate Michael and the way he walks every day as a genuine believer in Jesus Christ.

     We are also excited about the progress that Chairman Steven Bacon and our STUDENT BUILDING PLANNING TEAM are making. Carson Selph, Chairperson of the Design and Planning Team, reports that they have engaged the services of local architect Todd Albritton, who designed the new campus for Antioch Baptist Church in our association.  Carson’s team will soon be narrowing down their decision on the best design option for us and our future. Please continue to pray for this vital team’s work.
 
 

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