Westfield Baptist Association
Newsletter Ma 2011 Norman B. Lockwood - Director of Missions P. O. Box 879 - 207 W. 11th Neoga, Illinois 62447 Phone 217-895-5214 E-Mail NBL515@aol.com
WESTFIELD BAPTIST ASSOCIATION Statement of Pnr1lose The Westfield Baptist Association is a family of churches working together, fostering fellowship, and assisting one another in our unique setting to carry out the full scope of the Great Commission (going, ministering, making disciples, baptizing them, and leading them to maturity as disciples of Jesus Christ). In fulfilling this task, we join in cooperative partnership with Illinois Baptist State Association and the Southern Baptist Convention.
PASTOR AND WIVES SPECIAL! E!VENTS May Birthdays 1 Joyce Oakley 15 Norman Lockwood
May Church Anniversaries None Wedding Anniversaries 4 Jeff & Jean Loper 24 John & Melissa Blaylock
May 15 *********************************************************************************
Norm's Notes I think spring is here! We are now getting storms on a regular basis although our Disaster Relief Chain Saw Team has not yet been called out. They are ready and waiting to minister wherever they are called. We are now getting ready for the September Annual Meeting that will be at Toledo on 9-20-11. The answer if the Nominating Committee asks you to serve is yes. The committee will be meeting in May. Pray that God's will is going to be done. Bro. Norman
News from Dianna Shotts Palm Sunday greetings to you all! (And while I'm at it, let me add "Happy Easter" in advance.) It's a blessedly quiet day here, which is a relief after the tension of the run-up to the presidential election yesterday. We are grateful to God that the first two of our three election weekends have passed off mostly without serious incident. Keep us in prayer for peace as the presidential results are announced later this week, and also for the Apr. 26 gubernatorial elections. It is also a great relief to me to have new and improved Internet access, which makes it possible to be online without tears again! My always minimal communications skills have been basically nil for the last three months, as it was more aggravation than I could bear to do more than a few minutes at a time online. But now, for the moment (and in Nigeria, "no condition is permanent"), I am online at a- blazing speed of 300 kps! That's like horse and buggy speed for most of you, but it sure beats pushing a wheelbarrow for me! Help me thank God for the small blessings of life, including improved water and electricity supply during this terribly hot season (after weeks and weeks when it's still 95 degrees at 11 PM, you know life is much more bearable with fans and showers!) Now, to go back to the beginning. I returned to Nigeria in mid-January to find most things in good shape. The library had been well cared for by my four capable professional and clerical staff (quite a change from the days when I was the staffl) We're moving forward with several special projects to improve library service to the students and faculty, and looking forward to the future by planning for the new library at the new site. Pray for the Seminary as we continue to work on infrastructure (such as roads and fencing) at the new site, in preparation for the building process. In the new believers' fellowship, growth continued in my absence as well. Though I haven't been able to database all the information from that time yet, at present there are over 13,000 believers in 1000+ locations in 26 states and one other neighboring country. We continue to work to disciple new believers, which is quite a challenge spread over such a wide area, and also to develop leaders at all levels. In March, we had three students "graduate" from two different dry season Bible schools (after three sessions of three months each over the past three years). What ajoy it is to hear them speak with increased zeal for evangelism and discipleship, and to listen to them teach and preach with greater spiritual depth. One day not long before the graduations, I was much amused and touched to have a "Bible question bowl" right in my living room, as they tested each other on Bible knowledge and understanding. We now have five leaders who have some level of theological training, and this has enhanced the work greatly. Pray these trained leaders will put into practice all they have learned, in order to strengthen their ministry among their people. Pray, too, for God's calling-out of new students to begin next year. Also last month, we held a leadership retreat on "Women in the household of faith." Invited teachers (both missionary and Nigerian) challenged us on topics such as "Jesus' ministry to and with women," "Godly women of the OT," "The church ministering to widows," "Husbands and wives in Biblical perspective," "The value of a woman in the eyes of God," and "Leaders relating to women in the churches." We spent many hours grappling with Biblical teachings and their application to a maledominated culture. It was a great time of study and fellowship for 16 leaders. Pray that these teachings will help the leaders see their culture with new eyes, and deal with all people in Biblicallyappropriate ways. Another blessing was to return and find that the entire New Testament had been published in our people's dialect for the first time! The translation has been done for awhile, and we have had access to portions of printed Scripture as well as audio recording of the complete NT. But to hold the beautifullydesigned and printed Scripture in one's hand is a special joy. Thank God for the Wycliffe NT team that has worked for many years to see this day, and also pray for the Wycliffe OT team which is still at work.
Ahead for us early next month are trips to Ogbomosho for the Nigerian Baptist Convention annual meeting, and to Lagos for the annual Missions Conference of Good News Baptist Church, which is one of our main local partnering churches. The distances involved are great, and the roads hazardous. Please pray that our journeys will be safe, and accomplish God's purposes for the advancement of the work. It seems this is a time for new beginnings in several ways. First, you may have heard that the IMB has a new president, Dr. Tom Eliff. An experienced and well-known pastor, he has also been a missionary and been on staff at the IMB in the past. Pray that God will guide Dr. Eliff to be the practical yet visionary mission leader needed in today's uncertain world. Second, at the Nigerian Baptist Convention meeting, both General Secretary Dr. S. Ademola Ishola and Global Missions Board Director Rev. Israel Obieje will be completing their ten-year terms of service, and new leadership will be elected. Pray for God's direction for the new leadership team, and for His blessings on those who have served with distinction. Third, many changes are on the way among 1MB missionary personnel in Nigeria. Mike and Becky Stonecypher will be transferring to Niger to work at Sahel Academy when they come back from their stateside assignment in January; Clint and Harriett Bowman will be moving to Kenya in June to work as consultants through the Sub-Saharan Africa Affinity Group. However, we have the joy of welcoming a new journeyperson, Ashley, to work with the logistics office in Jos beginning in June, and we are expecting a new career family in January, also on the logistics team. Though in the months of July and August we'll have only four missionary units in country (six people total, with one more on stateside assignment), we believe God is at work in the hearts of others to join us in the vast harvest fields of Nigeria. Won't you pray with us as we wait on God for His provision of more laborers for the harvest? Well, this has been a long letter for having been so much delayed. Let me just throw in one more minor prayer request: I'm looking for a new dog, both for companionship and security. And the thing is, I'm picky about what I get! If you've got an extra prayer minute, pray for me to find just the right puppy at the right time. Finally, in recent days as I hear continuous stories of persecution, suffering and trial among the new believers (most of whom are nomadic cattle herders who live a harsh life even in the best of circumstances), I've been comforting them with the glorious vision of a coming day, from Rev. 7:16-17: "Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. " In these days before Easter as we think of Christ's death and resurrection, and the promise of his return, our prayer is this: "Come, 0 Lord."
"Maranatha! " Love, D'Anna
April 18, 2011 We met on Feb
zs" at Friendship
with 12 in attendance representing
5 churches. We discussed the menu for the Christian Activity Center as well as the crafts and devotion to be given. We went to The Christian Activity Center on March 22ndâ€˘ This was a blessing for those of us that went as well as the ladies that attended. We had 12 Women that went and we had approximately 13 ladies that come to enjoy the meal of chicken salad on croissants, pasta salads, and had fresh fruit and Cheese Cake for desert. I have contacted Carmi Children's Home to obtain the date for their big carnival and it is Saturday September 17th from 9:00 am and going all day. The churches wishing to attend have plenty of time to gather items and make plans. I also contacted Angels Cove and they do not have any big events planned for the year at this time but I left my name and number with them to contact us if something comes up. We will be going to the Crisis Pregnancy Centers in May to assist with their spring cleaning and sorting baby items. We still have not had anyone commit to assistant WMU director yet so please be praying about this.
Kathy Himes WMU Director
Calendar May: 6-7 6-7 8 14 15-21 16 30
Disaster Relief Training, Grace Southern Baptist, Virden Disaster Relief Training, Grace Southern Baptist, Virden WMU Annual Meeting, Mt. Vernon Mother's Day 8:00 a.m. Pastor Fellowship, Hardee's, Casey Baptist Association Emphasis 7:00 p.m, WBA Council Meeting, Casey 1st Memorial Day, IBSA Holiday -
June: WBA Executive Board Meeting, Friendship Baptist Church 11 8:00 a.m. Pastor's Fellowship, Hardee's Restaurant 14-15 Southern Baptist Convention, Phoenix, AZ 19 Father's Day 20 6:15 p.m, WBA Executive Board Meeting, Friendship Baptist Church 28-712 Super Summer, Greenville College, Greenville ***********************************************************************************
Family Ministry Committee It is our prayer that we as the "Westfield Baptist Association" can make a difference in what is happening to our "Families" in the United States today. If ever a emphasis is needed to strengthen our family units it is now. Recently in a poll taken among young people revealed that 38% of those polled indicated the family was no longer needed. Over50% of marriages end in divorce and this applies to Christian homes also, couples living together without the covenant of marriage is on the increase. As goes the family, so goes the nation. The family is the basic root of our society, it is our foundation upon which this nation was built. But, you say what can we do about it? I believe as churches and as a denomination we can make a difference. We hope to have a WBA emphasis on "Family Life and Marriage." Please pray with us that during the month of June traditionally the month of marriage we want to have a session on the "Five Love Languages." Pray with us that it can be planned, attended and have an impact on marriages in our association
CHURCH NEWS ASHMORE BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: David Colvin Reporter: Nancy Fluckey Another Month has just flown by. It seems like when you are busy the time is just gone. At a special called business meeting Many Lemmon was selected to be the VBS director for 2011. Our dates for VBS are July 10-15th. After the meeting the VBS committee had a short meeting to get things going for VBS. It will be here before we know it. David is starting a new series on "The Passion From Peter's Perspective" for the month of April. He started off with "Obstacles For Your Optical" from Mark 14(27-42). On Wednesday night we finished up the series of repentance (the first command of Christ). We started on the next command which is entitled "Follow Me". It has been a very interesting study. Sunday April J" was Awana Sunday. It was very nice to see the children and their parents in Church. We will finish up with Awana's with an award ceremony on April 27th. The Awana's had their monthly supper on April o'" with about 75 in attendance. They had pizza, salad and cupcakes. A good time was had by all. Thursday April 7th David is starting a new series on ways to evangelize. Friday April 8th was family fun night. There was 14 in attendance. We had a blast. It is nice to just visit, eat and play games with other Christians. The Prairie Choir is working on a special for Easter along with the 3yrs to 4th grade children. Is should be an awesome morning. Keep us in your prayers that we may increase in size and people understand the importance of Sunday School for everybody. We are never to old to learn more about Jesus. Happy Easter to everyone and Remember what he gave up for us.
CASEY FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: John Blaylock Reporter: Kathleen Carlson Greetings Dear Readers, Spring Revivals are coming up like the Daffodils. It's time to get re-charged! We were so blessed with out revival. Eddie Bumpers was our energetic, exuberant evangelist. His messages were so filled with the Spirit that it was hard to sit still. Our music leader was Mark Mathes whose talent in singing and song writing was equal to his talent on the piano. We were double blessed with these men of God, and we have been revived! Our Pastor John preached a revival at Moriah Church of God early in April and will preach another at the Toledo Baptist Church later in April. God is at work in many places. Our Sew Busy Stitchers scheduled a free mending day for the church recently. Anyone who needed mending done to some clothing was asked to bring it in. The sewing team was happy to serve our church in this way.
Our busy Senior Saints have fmished stuffing the plastic Easter eggs that will be scattered for the "hunt" at the park the morning before Easter. At our last luncheon, we also presented our version of the Antique Road Show. Many brought in their favorite antique treasures for our antique expert, (Ron Perisho) to critique. Some things turned out to be pieces of sentimental junk, and to our surprise some things were highly collectable and worth much money. You never know what treasure you may have in your closet. It was so much fun! God is blessing these Community Dinners. There is good attendance in all the participating churches. We served 309 dinners at First Baptist this month. A group from First Baptist is again planning to participate in "World Changers" this year. Plans are being made for this wonderful out-reach program. Some of our kids are working to earn their money to be able to go. All those who go always return feeling blessed for being able to help someone. Awanas had maintained a good attendance this year. The kids have been enthusiastic and many have given their hearts to Jesus and received salvation. Pastor will be counseling them and planning baptisms. Praise the Lord! On April 30t\ our WMU is sponsoring a Brunch for all ladies of the church. As the Antique Road Show was so popular, it will also be the theme of this gathering. We are asked to bring an antique to show. It promises to be a delightful time. Thank you and God bless.
CLARKSVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Jeff Loper Reporter: Jean Loper
March 27th through Clarksville Baptist Church held a Revival with Michael Brown. What a blessing it was for all who attended. Michael Brown's wife has had several operations during the past few months, and has been staying in a nursing home since the last operation. During Michael's time with us his wife Virgie had a fall, but thankfully nothing was broken and Michael was able to carryon with the revival. We need to keep praying for Virgie that she might continue to improve and return to good health. What a blessing so many of our members were in providing meals. Matt and Tammy Burgett, and Joleen and Herb Spires provided the dinners on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Jack and Debbie Sims, Tony and Jenny Williams and lela Belle Clapp provided the lunches. On Sunday evening we had a carry-in-meal and we want to thank our Kitchen Committee for getting everything ready. During the services, Michael also shared his desire for a return missionary trip to China later this fall. Pastor Jeff has a desire to join him in the trip that is planned for November of this year. On Friday evening April 1st, the Men's Brotherhood of Clarksville hosted the Fisher's of Men meal. This is a Christian organization that provides fishing tournaments. They use a local church to provide a meal and have a gospel message. Evan Lycan did the grilling, and Pastor Jeff gave the message. It was an enjoyable evening. This event was hosted by our Men's Brotherhood. Thank you for all those that helped in any way. On April s-s", Pastor Jeff and Jean attended the S.A.L.T. meetings in Decatur, II. It was a time of learning from those who were leading the meetings, but also a great time to have fellowship with those who attended with us, both from the Westfield Association as well as many others across the state we have come to know through the years.
We are completing our AWANA program for this year. What a blessing it has been for everyone involved. Scott Neihart has done a great job of leadership. Kim Neihart has overseen the AWANA Stores as well as several AWANA suppers during the year. What a wonderful opportunity it is for our church to be able to provide a program that not only ministers to the children of our congregation, but also to those in our community. So many of our church has been involved in this important outreach to our children. Sunday evening, April 17th at 6:00 p.m. we held our closing program. It was preceded with a spaghetti dinner at 5:00 p.m. A big thank you to everyone fora great evening and a wonderful year. Easter is once again here. As we celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, what a wonderful time for us to remember His sacrifice on our behalf, and to experience the wonder of our salvation that was paid for in full upon the cross. We here at Clarksville will have the opportunity of partaking of the Lord's Supper during the morning service, as well as celebrating in music and in message that indeed "Christ the Lord is risen as He said."
ENON BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Reporter:
FAITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Chad Kerner Reporter: Theresa Kinnison
FREEDOM BAPTIST CHURCH FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Tom Skinner Associate Pastor: Dan Hutton Reporter: Linda Skinner We finished our Revival that ran Sunday April 3rd through Wednesday the 6th and "Praise the Lord" for Bro. Art Orndorff our Evangelist. He did a wonderful job and the altar services we experienced most every night was a thrill beyond description. We had good attendance every night again "Thanks" to our own people's faithful attendance and the other churches that joined us. We want to express our thanks to the Martinsville Church who had people here almost every night and we also had some other Westfield Baptist Churches that came. We need to support our Associational Churches when they are in Revival as I am sure the Lord would bless other churches as He did Friendship.
We are looking forward to Easter Sunday when the choir under Sister Carol Galey's direction will have their Easter performance. It will be a good Easter Celebration that we want to bring glory to the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This year we are trying something different for our Vacation Bible School. We are planning a "Sunday Afternoon Family Fest" beginning early evening with fun and games for the children and Bible emphasis that will include all ages. We are inviting families to join us and everyone will share in the adventure. The evening will end with a wiener roast with all the trimmings. The evening will end by introducing Jesus Christ as a friend who will be a Friend until the very end if you will only let Him. Pray for us as we embark on this new adventure June the 12th. Our prayers are for our Westfield Baptist Churches and our DOM Bro. Norman Lockwood and his wife Ann as they are both undergoing so many health problems. Pray for their healing and God's provisions in all they are trying to accomplish. Why doesn't our Associational Churches each designate a specific time to pray for them. Maybe as we close out our Sunday Morning Services we call for special prayer for their healing and provisions what ever they might be. Friendship will begin this the Sunday after Easter would you join us.
GREENUP BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Brooke Davis Reporter: Marjorie Cizek Greetings: Exciting news, Mike Klaker has returned home from serving our country in the military. He is a wonderful young man and we have missed him very much. We thank God for the loving care for Mike while serving overseas. We had some birthdays this past month, and they are as follows: Sabrna Klaker, Mike Klaker, Dan Jackson, Diana Fish, and Jerry & Marjorie Cizek. Anniversaries also were celebrated for: Luke & Linda Parr, Leon & Janie Lemons, and Doyle & Mari Jane James. Betty Kuhn celebrated her anniversary. She would have been married 66 years to the late Joe Kuhn. There was another awesome night at the Greenup Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Great fellowship, wonderful food, soup, potato bar, and sundae bar was enjoyed by all. Following the meal, entertainment was provided by those in attendance. A "Minute to Win It" contest was held. Games such as "A Bit Dicey," Bucket Had, "Nose Dive," "Elephant March," "Suck It Up" just to name a few were played. It was a great time for everyone, with much laughter, not to mention a great way to learn what your brothers and sisters in Christ are capable of. For those that think the Christian life is not a happy one, you should come and try it out. My understanding is that Diana Fish headed this night up, but she had lots of help in doing this undertaking. Rhonda Tucker is the teacher of the first and second grade Sunday school class. They are learning to worship God in many different ways. Some of these are, praying in sentences, singing praise songs and also sharing God with others. Vacation Bible School is coming up in June and they are very excited for it to start. Karen Powell, teaches one of the adult classes. Her message comes from a book entited,
"10 Misconceptions of New Christians." This book was written by, Mary Fairchild. We want you to get a small amount of what she is teaching, and follow up in the weeks to come. 1.) Once you become a Christian, God will solve all of your problems. Many new Christians are shocked when the L" trial or serious crisis hits. Here/s a reality check * get prepared * the Christian life is not always easy! You will still face ups and downs, challenges and joys. You will have problems and troubles to over come. I Peter 4:12-13. This verse offers encouragement for Christians facing difficult situations. Next month we will continue with step 2. We have some really good news. Barbara Redman will become the wife of our pastor, Brooke Davis. Barb has been in our church forever and we love her very much. Thank you Jesus, for bringing these two really wonderful people together. Psalms 33:4-5 speaks of "All God's words are right, and everything He does is worthy of our trust. He loves whatever is just and good; the earth is filled with His tender love." If only others could see and understand. HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL GOD'S DAY! Remember, everyday is God's day.
MACEDONIA BAPTIST CHURH Pastor: Marvin Oakley Reporter: Joyce Oakley
MARSHALL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Paul Cooper Reporter: Elena Myles Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Our web site is www.marshallbaptistcburch.org and our e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org We are entering a busy season in the life of the Church. Easter, Mother's Brunch, VBS, Graduation, weddings, etc. We've had activities and events scheduled at the church almost every Saturday from April 16- May 28. We reached and surpassed our goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter offering. Our goal was $1,200.00 and we received $1,376.00. We are almost finished with our 15th year of Awana. We have had an average of 79 children and youth attending every Wednesday for Awana. We've had an average 22 Awana leaders every Wed. and an average of 4 listeners each night. The Awana Clubs have donated canned soup to the Marshall Food and Clothing Center. Missionaries have visited our Awana Clubs during the past year. They are Don Estep, Connie Wieck, and D' Anna Shotts. Awana Clubs received $30.50 offering for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The Loving Hands Mission Group will host a Quilt ShowlBake Sale/Soup Luncheon on Saturday, May ih. Our Loving Hands Group will display their quilts in the church Fellowship Hall on from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM with a Bake Sale featuring home made pies, noodles and other baked goods. A chicken noodle or vegetable beef soup lunch will also be for sale. Proceeds from the day will be used by the group to make more quilts for charitable organizations such as the Baptist Children's Home, Angel's Cove Maternity Care Services, Crisis Pregnancy Center and others who show God's love for those in need. Quilts from days gone by, family heirlooms, modem day quilts, baby quilts and those
being donated to the Baptist Children's Home will be on display. Come and maybe you will be inspired by the quilts and enjoy good food and fellowship. Everyone is welcome, admission is free. Our Youth Group will be having a Pork Burger Drive Thru on Friday, May 20 during the evening. Proceeds will benefit the Youth Mission Trip to Memphis, TN in June. That's all for this month. Thought for the day: Tomorrow never comes and yesterday never comes back, so live today to it's fullest so that your yesterdays will be remembered with happiness and your tomorrows will be full of brightness and hope.
MARTINSVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Art Orndorff Reporter: Lucy Johnson "Excuses, excuses, you hear them every day ... "began a popular gospel song years ago. I was reminded of it a few weeks ago when Pastor Art brought us a message entitled "What Excuse are You Giving?" taken from Luke 14:15-24. Benjamin Franklin said "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Ouch! I have a feeling more than just me needs to examine my "excuses" and keep quiet more often. Be sure to check out our website: www.martinsvillefbc.com to see Bro. Art's message outlines and comments, and if you have a question or comment be sure to send him an email. Sisterhood are currently studying Genesis with Jesi Sweitzer leading the study and Jen Reddicks helping her. These ladies meet on Monday evenings. March 22nd, Lucy Johnson and Andrea Harrison joined other ladies from the association to go to the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis, Illinois for a ladies day out event. Other churches who sent helpers were Mt. Zion, Friendship and Ashmore, with total of 12 helpers, and 12 guests at CAC. Other churches also helped with items for the lunch. Besides lunch, we provided a craft and devotion. Saturday, March 26 we had about 10 or 12 ladies attend the women's unity event in Terre Haute, IN with Patsy Clairmont speaking. Then most of us ate out on our way home -- great fun and fellowship. What a special blessing on March 27 to hear that Storm Washburn was saved at home during the week before. The following Sunday, a praise was given that Bryson Howe was saved, also at home. God is working]! Praise Him for tender hearts who are listening and responding. Praise Him for parents who are alert and ready to guide. Our bi-monthly S.W.A.P. (Sisters with a Purpose) meeting was scheduled for Monday, March 28. We began with a carry-in meal, then Sister Paula Phelps brought our combination historylsong/"devotion" -- great fun and we learned something too! Once again we had a Sunday school contest for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. It was neck-and-neck for several classes but Agape I adult class coupled with the Youth boys class were our final winners. Our Purpose Partners (Women on Mission group) will prepare breakfast for these two classes before Sunday school on April 17. Church-wide final offering was $1,446.61, a little short of our goal, but we are so thankful for everyone who gave. On Sunday, April 10, Sister Marge Thompson led our choir in the Easter cantata, "The Christ, the King, the Risen Savior." Marge had been having health problems so we were thankful she was able to lead us. We had several sing specials in it this year who were new and we were blessed by them. Food and fellowship committee reported that on March 16, there were 85 at our St. Patrick's Day
fellowship, a carry-in of "green food" (yum! everything was better than it sounds!); the Bread of Life ministry served 19 homebound plus 61 on March 24; the church missionslbenevolence team took meals to 3 families during March because of illness, etc. They also give God praise for a new refrigerator that has been donated to our church kitchen. The children and youth have been practicing for their Easter program, to be presented on April 1tho Those working with Junior Church (Sun. a.m.) are Randy Dillier, Nancy Hardway, Trina Pennington, Gene Piehl, and Keith Pennington and our Spuds (grades 4-6) leader is Brenda Dillier. And our YOUTH have been BUSY, serving, growing and going. Bro. Justin announced that 14 youth and 6 adults attended the Dare-2-Share conference in St. Louis, MO on March 25-26. Coming back from Dare-2-Share was tricky since that was during a blizzard in that area. Our youth center (old church building) will be renamed "The Refuge", a name the youth have chosen themselves, I'm thinking. At present, they are having an average of 20+ youth who come to the Center for after-school activities and homework help, and sometimes in the 30's on Wednesday evening youth Bible study. What is so exciting is that about % of those kids coming through the week are unchurched andlor unsaved. The youth themselves are spreading the word and God is working. A Bible study has also begun on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:15 for girls and is led by Alisha Lowry and Beth Baird. Bro. Justin has shared that some special needs they have (besides snacks & food -- always needed with kids!) are volunteers to help when youth are there, and furnishings (sofas, loveseats, chairs, coffee/end tables, etc.). Anyone who might have something to donate please call the church or Bro. Justin (youth also has news items on our church website) and be a part of our ministry to the youth as well. Remember! No excuses when God comes knocking on your heart's door, but serve Him and others with joy and faithfulness.
MATTOON FIRST SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Dr. John Calio Reporter: Marge Alumbaugh April 15 is the deadline to get our news in for the May newsletter and also our deadline for filing income taxes. This year we have three days reprieve on the taxes. I'm typing this between seven and eight p.m. Friday night and we're getting a thunderstorm. I'm hoping we don't lose our electricity so I can't get my news in on time. One of the highlights of the past month was having Chicago director of Jews for Jesus, Amer Olson, speak in both worship services on March 20. He shared his life experiences and how he came to know the Lord. He set up a representation of the Passover table and explained the way the Passover is observed in a Jewish home and the purpose of each item on the table. Several of the younger people were not familiar with grated horseradish. He gave a spoonful of horseradish to a youthful "victim" who had volunteered to assist him. His facial expressions let us know just how bitter horseradish is. The pastor was ill and missed both services but it was convenient for him not to have to seek a last minute supply speaker. The Live Wires went to Georgie Boy's Buffet Restaurant in Charleston for lunch on Thursday, March 17. The women are having a six-weeks Thursday evening Bible study at the home of Rhonda Brotherton that began April 7. The video-based study is of "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. The men are having a Bible study that meets at church on Thursday evenings. The Men's
Ministry had their usual monthly breakfast at Pagliacci's on Saturday morning, April 2.
MT. ZION SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Fred Harner Reporter: LaDora Poe
MULLEN BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Tom Cosat Reporter: Janet Yocum Hello from Mt. Zion Baptist Church It has been a busy spring. I hope you have had some time to get outside and enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us. If you take time to look, you will see a rainbow of color bursting out all over. It is all His creation. The children will soon be out of school. Start now planning how they will spend their summer. Keep them reading, and studying and most of all keep them in Sunday School and church. With all the Vacation Bible Schools, church camps, and regular services you may hear less, "I'm bored". Take time to study and read God's Word as a family. Those times in my younger years (won't say how long ago that was) when it was time to read and study the Bible as a family, it was special. I can still hear my parent's voices, even though they have been gone many years. It can also be a time of truth and tell. There's something about that special time that helps us face the truth. I once broke something and blamed my younger sister who could do no wrong. I knew her punishment would be less than mine. Even though she denied it the blame stuck until our next study and talk time. I confessed and felt much better. My Bible study and talk time with my children were not always at home around the table. We would go to parks, find a quiet place along a country road, or just sit in the yard. But I hope someday my children can say, "I remember mom's voice reading and talking to us about Jesus". No matter where, set aside time for God not just for prayer but for study time and making memories that last a life time. We pray for God's guidance as we seek to reach the lost. We need to let others know God lives them. Let them see God in us. It's a seed we can sow and not even get our hands dirty. We need to let our actions match our passion for Christ. He paid the price and it ours to accept. We continue to lift those up who are sick, losing their jobs and families who have lost love ones. May God's will be done in all and through all. We have started the study, Share Jesus Without Fear, on Wednesday nights. Brother Fred is leading the study. The youth are also doing the study being led by Whitney Huckaba. Our youth are involved in collecting food for the Neoga Food Bank. The youth had a successful drive for shoes. They are also busy in baking cooking and helping in the community fund raising hog roast to be held in memory of Brother Chod Williams who recently was called home to glory. Pray for our young people as they continue to work for the Lord. Our Brotherhood hosted the monthly meeting of the Associational Brotherhood. A good meal was enjoyed and the Bible Study was led by Brother John Herring who spoke on the theme, "Easter Changed Everything". It is our prayer that we will strive as one body in Christ to reach the lost. Till next month. Love in Christ
NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH Interim Pastor: Chad Kerner
TOLEDO FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Norman Lockwood Reporter: Ann Lockwood Greetings from Toledo I" Baptist----Well, I thought Spring was here, but I guess I was wrong, I had to turn the heat back on. The calendar says one thing, the weather says something else. Tornados an all. On April 1 & 2, I attended the Ministry Wives Retreat (1st time), along with Sister Linda Skinner of Friendship and Sister Jean Loper of Clarksville, (they had been before), and I met my daughter Pat Carpenter, (her 1st time), her husband Mark is pastor of Bethel Baptist in Danville. We all had a wonderful time and I would recommend it for all pastors wives, it gives them a chance to unwind and just have fun. There was stories, scripture, music and song, games, and lots of FOOD! Food seemed to be everywhere. This month, Norman and I have attended many Revivals in the area. March 14-Mullen; March 28-Clarksville; April4-Friendship; Aprilll--Casey, and then ours, April 17 to 20, with Pastor John Blaylock, Evangelist. We want to thank Casey Church, Members of their church was there every night, and the other churches that came to show their support. Thank You. April 3, We had Pastor Fred Harner from Mt. Zion for our evening service, He showed slides of their Missionary Service in Brazil. Some 38 years of service. (Lots of discussion later) Just hold he and wife Shirley in prayer as they lead Mt. Zion Church and their trips back to Brazil. April 8-9, we attended the SALT (State Associational Leadership Training). Learned several things from this meeting, Had 13 from the Association there.
"HAPPY EASTER" "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)
UNIVERSITY BAPTIST CHURCH Pastor: Tim Boyce
WESTFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH Interim Pastor: Gene Ellis Reporter: Doris E. Caputo-Morris