FREE W i n t e r
2 0 13
F r a Z e r
u n i t e D
M e t H O D i s t
c H u r c H
I N E
BRI A N & L E SL IE WORD
A DiFFerent KinD oF PArents
Pag e 6
THE FAMILY THAT sinGs toGetHer 19 A LIVING TRANSLATION 13
BREAK EVERY CHAIN
WORSHIP AT wesley GArDens
HEA R ING T HE
FREEDOM SOUND Pag e 34
PLEASE TAKE ONE.
Following Jesus Where will your passport you? on mission intake 2013 montgomery, alabama
red bird, kentucky STUDENT MINISTRY
TRANSFORMATION MONTGOMERY â€˘ GREAT DAY OF SERVICE
Pick up your Missions Passport for details in the Atrium or visit frazerumc.org/missions
e ed iscipl
INFO AND APPLICATION AT FRAZERUMC.ORG/MISSIONS 2
| Following Jesus
m er go
FOLLOWING JESUS Vol. 1 no. 2 winTeR 2013 Published by Frazer Memorial united Methodist Church 6000 atlanta hwy. Montgomery, aL 36117 Printed in usa by Publications Press
editor & layout ken roach
editorial Coordinator amy Presley
writers Mac McLellan amy Presley ken roach Martha Poole simmons andrea vandermey Photographers Mac McLellan Lori Mercer Martha Poole simmons Lee Werling suzanne Williams COVER IMAGE: brian Word and son tyson. Photo by Suzanne Williams Photography.
©2013 frazer Memorial united Methodist church. Limited permission is granted to reproduce articles in their entirety for the purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus christ without commercial gain.
Apply to be A volunteeR wRiteR oR photogRApheR. ContACt Amy pResley, Amyp@ fRAZeRumC.oRg 334.495.6436
To Worship is to Love AS WE BEGAN MAPPING OUT OUR PLAN FOR THIS MAGAZINE, we determined to focus each of the first four issues on a theme from Frazer’s mission statement: worship, win, disciple, and serve. Most of our first issue focused on serving. This is the issue of Following Jesus on worship. Of course, in some ways all that we do as followers of Christ should be worship, from our private morning devotions, throughout our daily routine, until we lay our heads down again in the evening. There is no act, however mundane, if performed with a heart of love for God, that cannot be turned into an offering of worship. As we are told in Romans 12:1, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Nevertheless, there is something special for followers of Jesus about those occasions when we gather together as a Body to worship God together in prayer, in music, in the ministry of the Word, and in the sacraments of baptism and communion. These acts of worship together take many forms, as well. We worship in a variety of places, styles, and languages. Yet these differences do not divide us (or they ought not to); rather, they show the beautiful diversity of the Church, a living Body with many different parts united in one common Spirit under one Head, Jesus himself. So, in the pages that follow you will find stories of worship in contemporary and traditional styles, in prisons and in nursing homes, in English and in other languages. You will also find one article that does not fit the theme of worship: the story of Brian and Leslie Word, their heart for orphans, and their adoption journey was just too good not to tell now. But ultimately, this too is worship: as James 1:27 famously tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” THE RESPONSE TO OUR FIRST ISSUE has been tremendous. It has been gratifying to hear from those who not only enjoyed the stories we were able to share of following Jesus, but were also challenged to recommit themselves to their own walk with Christ. My prayer is that the Lord will see fit to continue using this magazine to encourage His people to follow, to worship, and to love Jesus more.
KEN ROACH, COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR FRAZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
THE DOVE DESCENDS: stained glass art in the frazer sanctuary depicts the birth of the Church on
pentecost sunday, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, when the holy spirit (symbolized by the dove) came down upon the followers of Jesus with the appearance of ﬂames of ﬁre over their heads.
| Following Jesus
TABLE OF CONTENTS The Many forms of Worship This issue, Following Jesus focuses on worship in itâ€™s many formsâ€”contemporary and traditional, in English and in other languages, in church buildings, chapels, and even prisons. As you read, consider how God may be calling you to worship as a response of the heart to the call of following Jesus.
A Different Kind of Parents
Prison Ministry: Break Every Chain
The Family that Sings Together
Hearing the Freedom Sound
A Living Translation
22 Photo Update: Haiti
To Tell the Old, Old Story
44 Photo Update: Montgomery Following Jesus
| Following Jesus
A DIFFERENT KIND OF
Words make a difference through foster care, adoption By Ken roAcH | Brian Word has never been a biological father—but Frazer’s 30-year old Student Minister is an adoptive father, foster father, godfather, and a spiritual father to dozens, perhaps hundreds of young men and women. The same could be said for his wife Leslie as a mother—with the added note that she is leading a movement to raise up even more foster and adoptive parents. This young couple are changing the face of parenthood at Frazer in more ways than one. Here is the story behind their transformation into a different kind of parents.
Brian’s Journey: Two Spiritual Fathers Brian’s journey as a follower of Jesus began late in high school. He made a profession of faith as a child, but in his own words he didn’t “fall in love
with Jesus” until several years later. “I had head knowledge. I went to church to be seen by others and to feel like I was doing life right,” he says. But at age 17 on a youth retreat, he sensed that God was pursuing a deeper relationship with him. “For the first time, I felt like I heard a voice saying, ‘it’s time to give your life to me.’ Instantly I felt something new in me. It was time to stop playing the game of church.” That was when the first of Brian’s “spiritual fathers,” Troy Amster, began to play a key role in his life. Brian’s previous youth minister had taken another position, and Troy came into that role at a critical time in Brian’s life. “I was devastated by losing my first youth pastor,” Brian recalls, “and I didn’t know if Troy and I would gel. But it turned out to be Troy who taught me how to be not just a believer in Jesus, but a disciple, a follower. He mentored me to go deeper, to know why we do what we do as Christians.” Football had always played a significant role
opposite: Brian and Leslie Word on vacation in Chicago. Brian serves as Frazer’s Student Minister, while Leslie
heads up the Frazer OneFamily ministry for orphans as a volunteer. Photo contributed. Following Jesus
Above left: Brian (left) with his former Student Pastor and ministry mentor Troy Amster (second from left). Right: Brian (second from left) with David “Teg” Tegelaar (center, white shirt), the man who discipled him while
at the University of Tennessee. Photos contributed
in Brian’s life, but now it took on a new dimension. “Going into my senior year, I still wanted to be successful on the field, but now I wanted to be successful as defined by God.” He turned down a scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee to attend a Christian college, but then returned to UT as a walk-on after determining that he could serve God better during this season by continuing his athletic career. That decision connected him to the man who would become his second “spiritual father,” David Tegelaar, or “Teg.” “The first week of classes I met Teg while working out. We ended up meeting weekly for the next four years.” Brian credits Teg with taking him from baby concepts of faith and growing him into a “selffeeder,” someone who takes responsibility to read and apply the Bible for himself and is matured by the Holy Spirit. Teg was on staff with Athletes in Action, a branch of Campus Crusade. Individually and in small groups, Teg constantly challenged those he discipled to ask the “so what” question—as in, so what are you going to do with the knowledge you are learning from scripture? Teg also modeled what has become the core of Brian’s concept of doing ministry with students: doing life together. Anywhere Teg went—the gym, the grocery store, he would take someone with him, and turn the conversation into an opportunity to grow spiritually. Brian shares the value of this
| Following Jesus
one on one investment in his life: “I am who I am today because they were authentic, unashamed, and vulnerable. They shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was 10 years younger, but they accepted me, embraced me, and celebrated who I was. They confronted my stubbornness and lack of discipline. I can remember Teg, making PB&J sandwiches for us in his house, and I told him ‘I haven’t done my stuff’ [assignments for Bible reading and spiritual disciplines]. Teg said, ‘Word, I love you, but I don’t have time to waste if you’re not all in.’ It was a slap in the face, but it was the challenge I needed.” During those college years, Troy Amster stayed in touch with Brian as well, and when Troy took on the Student Ministry of a church in Windermere, Fla., he reached out to Brian with an opportunity to work as a summer intern. As he approached graduation, Brian was still struggling with the tension between his call to ministry and his dream of continuing his athletic career. This time however, the decision was made for him: after accepting an offer to play professionally for the Knoxville Nighthawks, he broke his right wrist in the first workout. The very next day, he got a call from the church in Windermere with an offer to take over the Student Ministry because Troy had moved back to Montgomery. Brian has been in full-time ministry ever since.
Leslie’s Journey: Trust and Obey Born in New Jersey—”not the hub of evangelical Christianity,” as she notes drily, Leslie accepted Christ at age six through her parents influence. She considered herself a “good girl”—someone who wanted to do right and please God, even though she was aware that marked her out as different among her public school classmates. After graduating high school, she attended a Christian college to become a teacher, and upon graduating, made her way to Atlanta. There she discovered Northpoint, the innovative church led by Andy Stanley. Through his teaching of scripture and the authentic community she found in a small group, she gained a deeper understanding of God’s grace, not just “being good,” as the foundation of following Jesus. Life was following Leslie’s plan, it seemed. She taught in a suburb of Atlanta for several years, and began leading a middle school girl’s small group at her church, something she expected to do full time when she got married. Then, a long term relationship came to a painful end. She was devastated, but God used that loss to bring her into full surrender. “My life is yours—I mean it this time,” she prayed. “Everything has been my plan. Now I will follow Yours.” That year, a door opened for Leslie to pursue full time ministry with high school girls, not as she had
expected through marriage, but as a single person raising her own support through Student Venture, another ministry of Campus Crusade. She had to get out of her teaching contract, but God provided as she saw her whole funding needs raised in two months and a free apartment provided to boot. Her first disciples were some of the very students she had taught in elementary school, only now she was free to share Jesus with them in ways she had not been able to in public schools. For five years she worked on campus with weekly meetings for evangelism and discipleship, teaching girls to reach their peers for Christ. During those years, Leslie credits a small group of older women with teaching her how to follow Jesus, particularly in the area of God’s Word. “The only advice they ever gave me was out of scripture,” she recalls. “They left an indelible mark on me of how a godly woman speaks, lives, and leads.” As it happened, all of them were adoptive mothers—an influence that would play a key role later. Because of her grounding in scripture, Leslie finds that she is slow to embrace causes or yield to expectations just because it is tradition or because others are doing it, but once she is convinced of something from the Bible, she stands by it no matter what. “Belief is big for me. I’m passionate for just a few things, things God has hit me with from scripture.” Leslie met Brian during her fourth year at Student Venture. The two shared an immediate
Left: Leslie (third from
left) with her small group in Atlanta. Some of the girls pictured were led by Leslie from the 5th grade on, and she is still in close contact with many of them. Both Brian and Leslie have experienced the power of small groups by being discipled and by discipling others. hoto contributed P
“Somebody should do something.”
Above: Leslie speaks to the church on Orphan Sunday, 2012 about the worldwide orphan crisis and the role of Frazer’s OneFamily initiative to meet the need through adoption and foster care. Photo by Lee Werling.
connection through their heart for ministry, passion for reaching students, and commitment to make Christ the center of their lives. Leslie had her concerns: despite her love for her work, she found it exhausting; what would life be like with the expectations that are placed on a pastor’s wife? Brian was also much more extroverted, with a resulting style of ministry that was much more public than Leslie, who prefers to build a few close relationships. She encounters God in quiet times alone with worship music, while he senses God’s presence most in a big crowd where he can hear the stories of how God is changing other’s lives. But she trusted that God would have a plan for them that would bring their strengths together in complementary ways.
| Following Jesus
God began to unfold one of the essential ways that complementary role would take shape early on in their relationship. “We began talking about adoption on our second date,” Leslie says. “A year after we were married, we thought, why not start the process?” As they began doing research, Leslie was confronted with the enormity of the orphan crisis in the world—and the passion God has for the fatherless over and over in the Bible. She was still trying to find her place in Frazer since moving to Montgomery, but she was not looking to start a new ministry. But when she approached Discipleship Director Susan Fisher with the idea that “somebody” needs to help educate the church on orphans, she got a classic Frazer response: “maybe that somebody should be you.” She didn’t feel that she had the experience or knowledge to lead such an endeavor—but she knew it was a biblical mandate. And she was reminded of her commitment: “Lord, my life is not mine, it’s yours.” The result was Frazer’s OneFamily initiative, a movement to educate, equip and inspire the church to care for the orphan through adoption, foster care, and other orphan ministries. To date, 17 full time and six respite-care foster families have been trained through OneFamily and DHR; 35 foster children have been provided a safe, loving home, and more than 200 people have volunteered to help the fatherless in some way.
Waiting on a Word Brian and Leslie are adamant that their own road to adoption is not a “plan B” for someone who could not have children biologically. In fact, although they have not become pregnant yet, they have been given no medical reason they should not be able to have a child at some point. Instead, their desire to adopt has been driven by a calling from God to respond in that way to His mandate to care for orphans. Specifically, after learning of the horrific conditions that prolonged civil war has created for children in the Democratic Republic of
Above: Brian and Leslie have become legal guardians for 18-year-old T.D., a young man who needed a place to get a fresh start. T.D. can often be seen around the Student Ministry offices assisting Brian with ministry tasks. Photo contributed.
Congo, they felt led to adopt from that African nation. But along the way they met the challenges of adoption. Paperwork, red tape, waiting lists, delays. Yet God used even the waiting to challenge the Words in new ways. The more they learned about foster care, the more convinced they were that they should not wait for the adoption process to bring a child into their home, even though foster parenting brings its own set of challenges. “We’re subject to government dictates and forces beyond our control,” explains Brian. “Tomorrow our house may not have the laughter and pitter patter of little feet it has today.” However, as Leslie is fond of saying, “it’s not about us.” “When you get involved in the lives of children, it’s messy. You can’t control everything. But that’s what God calls us to do.” Life is indeed a lot more messy for the Words. At the time of our interview, they had a 15-month-old
foster son living with them, and an 18-year-old, “TD” whom they have taken in and become legal guardians for. Like all young parents, they struggle to find time for even their personal walk with God amidst juggling the schedules of home life, not to mention the wild ride of being a minister to students. But in the midst of the craziness, they are finding joy. “I can remember weeping before God,” confesses Brian, “asking him why he hasn’t let me become a father yet. We see teens becoming pregnant, and people who aren’t able or won’t take responsibility to care for their children, and here we are—we’ve given our lives to Him, we want to raise children in a Christian home, but we haven’t had that privilege.” Then God began to show him a new perspective. A former prisoner he had led to Christ on a mission trip to Africa had a son, and she named him Brian in
his honor. On a return mission trip, he was able to help dedicate the child to God. Close friends back home asked Brian and Leslie to be godparents to their newborn boy. Doors were opened for foster care and for TD to come and live with them. Not to mention the scores of young people Brian and Leslie have been spiritual parents to through their ministry, discipling them one on one just as Troy and Teg and the women in Atlanta did for them. “As God expanded my vision of being a father,” Brian says, “I wept and told Him, ‘Lord, you are so faithful; you answer prayers in so many ways.’” ••• A month after we sat down for this interview, Brian and Leslie got the call they had been waiting for: their adoption paperwork had been finalized. Their son was waiting for them in the Congo. Over the Christmas holidays, they flew to Africa and
had the privilege of meeting Tyson Henry Word for the first time. He had been loved for his first few months by a foster family in Africa, following the same call of God as Brian and Leslie were here in the U.S. And in January of 2013, they were able to bring their son home. Brian and Leslie know that their road to parenthood, even in the racial makeup of their family, is different. But they also know they are making a difference. As followers of Jesus—those who have the heart of the Heavenly Father—that’s just what they do. ••• You can learn more about the Word’s story in Leslie’s own words by reading her blog, Waiting on a Word, at waitingonaword.blogspot.com. Get more information on God’s heart for orphans and how you can get involved with OneFamily by visiting frazeronefamily.blogspot.com.
Below: The Words arrive back in the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo with their newly adopted son,
Tyson Henry Word. Photo contributed.
| Following Jesus
THE FAMILY THAT
Sings Together Peavy family ﬁnds a song for the generations. By Ken roAcH | Come to Frazer on a given Sunday and you are likely to hear a member of the Peavy family sing. Come during a church musical and there’s a good chance you’ll hear all five of them. Father Alan lends his tenor to the sanctuary choir and Exaltation Singers; mom Debbie leads the highly successful Youth Worship Arts program and is a powerful soprano in her own right; sisters Sara Kate and Anna Beth join the choir when home from college; son Matt leads worship for the Crave Student Ministry and has now joined the contemporary worship praise band. You might be tempted to think a whole family
Above: Pastor Tim Thompson watches as Matt, Sara Kate, Debbie, Alan and Anna Beth Peavy sing during a Frazer Sanctuary worship service in 2011. Photo by Lee WerLing
of such talented performers are just that—performers. But dig deeper into the heart of this family, and you’ll find that following Jesus is the beat this band marches to.
Brought Up and Brought Together in Choir The song began for Alan when he believed in Christ at age 12 in a revival service at a Baptist church in Greenville, Ala. In addition to his father and mother—Christian parents, a deacon and a Sunday School teacher respectively—Alan credits three men with helping to forge his early faith. One was his pastor, Charles Blackmon, whom he remembers playing basketball with in the back yard, carrying on long conversations about life and walking with God. Then there was his youth minister, Ray Howell. Amidst the hecticness of Alan’s teenage years, Ray was calm, a man of prayer, who provided an example of a godly man. The third was Jim Couch, the minister of music who built a youth choir program at their church from scratch. It was singing in that choir where Alan met Debbie. Like Alan, she credits godly parents with
| Following Jesus
starting her journey of faith, as well as her passion for music. “I was placed in the second row every Sunday because both my parents were singing in the choir,” she explains. “I sang in church for the first time at age 3 along with my sister.” So when they moved from Auburn to Greenville, Rev. Couch’s choir was a natural fit for her. After two years of singing together with Debbie, Alan says, “it hit me.” The two started dating and went on to marry after college.
Joining In The couple drifted away from church for a season in college, but after the birth of their first child, Sara Kate, they were drawn back. Having moved to Montgomery, they visited Frazer. Alan was so overwhelmed by the size and skill of the choir, led at that time by Joe Pat Cox, he thought “there’s no way we can sing in that choir.” So when Debbie decided to go to practice, he took off for the mall instead. But he joined her the next week, and they’ve been a part ever since. “I’m thankful for a church that welcomed us in,” says Alan. “Joe Pat treated us like family. People around the country
watched us sing on TV, which was humbling, but children of her own and a full-time job teaching at least my Momma knew I’d been in church.” school, she never visualized doing the job herself. From the beginning, their involvement in Fraz- She pitched the idea to a number of parents, but no er’s worship ministry was a family affair. “We were leader emerged. Sara Kate kept asking, “Have you asked to lead worship on Sunday nights, and the found someone, Mom?” Finally one day she told her children would sit on the front row and get the mother, “My friends and I were thinking, and we’re ‘evil eye’ if they looked like they might misbehave,” just wondering...why not you?” Debbie says those Debbie recalls. They would all pile into a van and were the exact words God had been whispering go perform at revival services around the area. All in her heart. The whole family agreed to be part five would sing together even before all the children of the new ministry adventure, and Frazer’s Youth fully understood the music, such as when Sara Kate? Worship Arts had begun. recalls singing “Can I Get a Witness” and thinking Before the kick-off meeting, Debbie was praying, the words were “Can I Get a Whipping”! “Lord, give me 13 committed kids.” At launch, 23 had signed up, and by the first choir tour, there were 40. “Give me 13 Today YWA has over 100 young people regularly incommitted kids” volved, and scores have made their way through the program under Debbie’s direction. She recalls Lynn As Sara Kate moved into her teen years, Debbie Mathison telling her, “instead of saying your plate approached Joe Pat about the need for a youth choir is too full, pray for a bigger plate.” The YWA plate at Frazer. She was concerned that her children and has been full indeed for Debbie, and none have been their friends had no outlet for music, but with three more impacted than her own children. Below: Youth Worship Arts Christmas Musical, 2010. Under Debbie Peavy’s direction, Frazer has grown
a youth choir remarkable not only for their numbers and talent but also for their dedication to Christ and to sharing His gospel across the nation. Photo by Lee Werling.
Right Top & Center: The Peavy children have a long history of participation in music and drama. Photos contributed
Right Bottom: Alan and Debbie perform a duet. The couple met through singing in a choir and have continued ministering through music together throughout the years. Photo by Lee Werling.
Sara Kate The first time Sara Kate went on stage with the Frazer Children’s Choir, she turned her back to the congregation and refused to sing. But music kept her in church. After motivating her mother to take on YWA, she went on every choir tour with the whole family. Eventually, the message sank in from her head to her heart. After four years serving as a camp counselor, one year she realized she herself needed to accept Christ for herself. Now in nursing school at Troy University, she has found that her faith is growing deeper. She credits Chuck and Megan Carson, the college minister and his wife at First Baptist Troy, with helping her understand more deeply why she believes what she believes, and challenging her to put that faith into action. One way she is living out what it means to follow Jesus is through advocating for justice. At the Passion Conference last January (a worship event for young people that draws tens of thousands from across the nation), Sara Kate became aware of the international human trafficking epidemic. “27 million people are still in slavery today,” she explains; “I gotta’ do something.” With other students she has organized a chapter of International Justice Mission at Troy and helped to lead a gospel-centered “Justice Week” awareness event to educate other students to the cause. The girl who once insisted on standing backwards is now standing up for those in need as a follower of Jesus.
Anna Beth The Peavy’s second daughter like her siblings is a singer, but prefers to be behind the scenes. In fact, she recalls that she did not like the Frazer youth group at first, her shyness causing her to dislike being with a large group. However, she identifies
| Following Jesus
two major stepping stones that helped her become a fully devoted follower of Jesus. The first was a DNOW student discipleship weekend when she was 12. Although she had asked Jesus into her heart four years prior, this was the time she recalls truly understanding who God is and her relationship with Him. The second was a Student Life Retreat in Kentucky, where she heard nationally recognized worship leader Aaron Keyes. “I realized through Aaron that God really speaks through music.” Anna Beth is now majoring in Entertainment Management, also at Troy University, with a goal of using a knowledge of the music business to advance the kingdom of God.
leader Jon Powers with equipping him to do ministry. “He taught me, encouraged me, then threw it at me—he said I was ready to handle it on my own before I even thought I was.” Since then he has gone on to get other friends involved in the band, paying forward the investment Jon made in him. In turn, God has opened up a wider stage for him to have influence: in the last few months, Contemporary Worship Leader Jerrod Dorminey has asked Matt to join in Sunday mornings with the Frazer Praise Band.
One thing all the Peavy’s agree on is that life in the church and in the music ministry in particular has taken up a lot of time. But they have no regrets. “Other families build their schedules around “The boy” as Alan calls their youngest child was school or sports,” notes Debbie. “We’ve built ours in fourth grade when YWA began, so of all the around church and music.” She knows that training Peavy’s he has been immersed in it the greatest up children who will follow Christ for a lifetime is part of his life. At 3, he walked up on stage in the not done in a weekend experience; it is a consistent Fellowship Hall, stood on tiptoes and pulled the lifestyle. Whether singing together on stage, haulmic down to sing. “Choir has always been there,” ing equipment for a choir tour, performing puppets, he explains, “always something to look forward to; taking part in a student Life Group, or simply being it’s where I can express myself.” present in worship, the Peavy’s have simply been Now a senior in high school, Matt helps to too busy to drift away from following Christ, and lead a student band Sunday mornings for the along the way the songs, and the Savior they sing gathering time of Crave University. In addition about, have become an integral part of who each to his parents, Matt credits former student band of them is.
Below Left: Sara Kate on mission in the Dominican Republic in 2009. Photo by TJ Davis. Center: Anna Beth performs a solo with YWA in 2011. Photo by Lee Werling. Right: Matt helps to lead the youth band 2012. Photo by Lee Werling.
Above: Alan Peavy (left) and son Matt performed together in the 2012 Frazer Spring Musical, The Light of that City. The Peavy’s influence on their children is evident not only in appearance and musical talent, but also in their devotion to following Jesus. Alan and Debbie say that they, in turn, have been challenged by their children’s faith to walk all the more closely with the Lord. Photos by Mac McLellan.
The Teacher Becomes the Student After listening to each child share how he and Debbie helped them to follow Jesus, Alan breaks in to make a point: “the real influence for me to follow Jesus is to watch my children.” Grandparents influenced parents, and parents influenced children, but perhaps even greater is the influence children can have back to their parents. “Sara Kate’s Bible is ragged and marked,” Alan observes with a crack in his voice. “I’m so encouraged by my daughter’s determination. Anna Beth is quiet, deep, sincere. The walls in her room are covered in cards with the Bible verses she’s
| Following Jesus
memorized—and she lives them. The boy (Matt) taught himself to play guitar with no lessons. At 7 a.m. on Sunday morning when I’m still in bed, he’s rolling out the door to set up the band before even the Student Ministry staff arrive. That’s dedication.” Determination. Devotion. Dedication. Not bad lessons to learn from your children. It sounds like the melody of following Jesus will continue to be sung for generations to come in the Peavy family. ••• Students or volunteers who wish to become involved with Youth Worship Arts may contact Debbie at email@example.com.
Translation Volunteer extends the ministry of Frazer Contemporary worship to the Korean-speaking community. By AnDreA vAnDermey | “It is dark in our world, but we have lights and hope. I want to share my light, especially in the dark. I always know that God wins and I remember the ending.”–Sam Hur For those who worship in Wesley Hall during the 9:30 hour, many may not be aware that the message is being spoken in two languages. While the congregation listens to the sermon in English,
Above: Hansaem “Sam” Hur watches a video feed of Teaching Pastor Patrick Quinn backstage in Wesley Hall while she translates his message into Korean. Photo by Lee WerLing.
Above: In addition to volunteering as a translator, Sam has been involved in Frazer’s Student Ministry. Left: Sam spends time with children in the Dominican Republic on a youth mission trip. Right: Sam (second from right) with her student Life Group, which she has been a part of since 10th grade. Photos contributed.
several members are also hearing it in Korean, thanks to one member who using her gifts and talents to bring God’s message to Frazer’s Korean community. Hansaem (Sam) Hur, a college student at Huntingdon, has been translating Frazer’s 9:30 Contemporary worship service from English into Korean for almost five years. Sunday mornings, Sam can be found translating into a microphone in a small storage closet just backstage in Wesley Hall, while the Korean members of Frazer’s congregation listen from the audience through headsets. If you ask Sam, she says never thought that she would be where she is today, offering her talents and gifts to glorify God by translating the entire service into Korean. But God is using her for just that purpose, and she plays a vital role in Frazer’s Contemporary worship ministry. “Sam has a passion for seeing people grow closer to the Lord. She is not merely translating sermons in the Contemporary Service, she is preaching God’s Word
| Following Jesus
from her heart to the hearts of all those who have come to hear” said Teaching Pastor Patrick Quinn. Rebecca Bright, assistant to the teaching pastor, agrees. “Sam is an amazing college student that is sharing her gift of translating with Korean people in our Contemporary service. She is working for God and is humbled by this experience,” she said. Sam was born in Korea and moved to the United States with her family when she was 12 years old. Upon arriving, they attended a Korean church for about six months before they decided to visit Frazer. Sam speaks English, along with fluent Korean. Her father speaks some English, and her mother does not speak much at all. Though they enjoyed the services, her mother could not understand much of what was being said. Sam’s father suggested that she translate for her mother. At first, the idea seemed unbelievable and daunting. After a year of preparing, she found herself translating the 9:30 contemporary service for the en-
tire Korean congregation during her 10th grade year in high school. Sam’s story is interesting, encouraging and inspiring. She uses her gifts not only at Frazer but in many other aspects of her life. When she last visited her home in Korea, she accessed the Frazer service online and translated for a group that gathered in her home. “The Korean community is grateful to Sam and the gift she is sharing” Rebecca said. English and Korean are very different languages and that creates many challenges when it comes to translating. Sam has to listen to the complete English sentence before she can begin her translation. “I am just thankful for the opportunity to give glory to God. It is all about God and I cannot do anything without Him. God is just using me, an ordinary girl, to translate,” Sam said. Since she began volunteering as a translator five years ago, Sam’s outlook on life has changed. She said she realized that God was using the opportunity to mold her. Instead of falling away from God in her college years, she has grown much closer to Him in her walk. She feels in tune with God, especially in that one hour a week she spends translating the service. Sam said that she feels as if the Holy Spirit is moving through her in that time, that He is speaking through her and using her. This one hour a week is not an obligation. God uses it to fill her with true joy that can only come from Him, she explained. Through her volunteer work, Sam has noticed a difference in the rest of her life, too. Her optimism outlasts Sunday mornings and follows her throughout the week; especially with the Huntingdon Golf Team. Whether she is playing a good or bad golf game, she knows that God is in control and allows Him, not her circumstances, to rule her life. Following her graduation from Huntingdon, Sam is discovering new opportunities that she never would have thought possible. For example, she is currently looking at the possibility of an internship as a translator for the Olympics. Sam also has realized that God’s plan is so much better than hers. “I just try to follow God’s plan for my life and have faith. In everything I do, I remember that it is more of Jesus and less of me,”
Top: As a student at Huntingdon College, Sam competes
on the golf team. Above: Sam with her parents. Photos contributed.
she said. Looking back to her childhood, she can see evidence that God was pushing her in the direction of translating. When she was 12, her mother asked what she wanted to do when she grew up. Sam’s immediate response was: “I don’t know. Maybe I will be a translator.” Translation is not the only growth in the Korean Ministry. Starting this year, there will be small groups held at Frazer, and Sam, Patrick and the Frazer family are excited about these new growth opportunities.
New Day Dawning A Photo Update on Frazerâ€™s Work with the Deaf in Haiti
| Following Jesus
Opposite: Sunrise in Haiti. God is bringing new hope
to the people of this nation through the generous giving and serving of churches like Frazer and our partners on the ground, Mission of Hope and 410Bridge. Opposite, Bottom: (Left) The roof is on and construction nearly complete on the Church of Hope funded by Frazer on Christmas Eve, 2011. (Right) The hearing and deaf people of the Leveque community are already making good use of the church. Above: (Left) Part of the sustainable approach to development our partners are using in Haiti includes growing trees, both for the nutritional value of fruits and
the ecological restoration of the island that has suffered from deforestation. (Right) Houses continue to be built in the Leveque community for Haitians formerly displaced by the earthquake. Below: (L to R) Frazer supported missionary Kathryn
Montoya, Berthide and Sainteloi William (pastor to the deaf community), and Frazer volunteer missionaries Elizabeth Beaird and Margaret Spratlin, at the Williamâ€™s wedding. Their marriage was not only a personal cause for joy, but also a significant â€œmile markerâ€? showing how far the community has come in embracing the deaf, as hearing and deaf alike came together to celebrate the couple. Photos from Mission of Hope.
Easter at Frazer
| Following Jesus
March 31, 2013
sunrise worship at Blount Cultural Park 6am Sanctuary & Contemporary Worship 8, 9:30 & 11AM
Holy Week Events
Eggstravaganza family fun day March 23 Good Friday worship March 29 7pm Stations of the Cross prayer experience March 27-29
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26 NKJV 26
| Following Jesus
Break Every Chain
Prison Ministry helps inmates ﬁnd freedom in Christ. By Dr. mArtHA Poole simmons | Outreach to inmates has a long history at Frazer. Since the 1950s, Frazer has provided a prison ministry to Kilby, Staton, Elmore and Draper Correctional Facilities and Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. The purpose of Frazer’s Prison Ministry is to share God’s love with the men and women who are incarcerated in prisons in Montgomery and the surrounding counties by providing spiritual guidance and worship services to these individuals. Frazer lay men and lay women work closely with the prison chaplains to meet the spiritual needs of the inmates, and the Good News is shared through music, worship, a message, prayer and encouragement. Frazer has been involved with caring for the spiritual needs of inmates in many ways throughout the years. Through the efforts of Frazer volunteers,
five chapels have been built in the Alabama prison system. Joe Pat Cox, who served as Frazer’s director of music for 56 years, led groups at a musical service at Kilby Prison, even broadcasting soul music into the Louisiana Prison System. Former church administrator Charles Holston led Frazer into the present day Prison Ministry, modeling a servant’s heart to death row inmates in Atmore, where he served as the only contact to the outside world many inmates had. That ministry continues to this day. Most recently, the Prison Ministry purchased 20,000 Christmas cards at minimal cost from the Salvation Army and sent them to inmates. Volunteers visit inmates at Kilby each Tuesday, Draper twice a month, Staton once a month, Elmore every Thursday and Tutwiler once a month. Volunteers from Frazer also do ministry at the
opposite: Kilby Correctional Facility in Mt Meigs has a capacity for 440 inmates. Frazer volunteers lead worship
and discipleship groups in facilities like this across the region. Photo froM WikiPedia. Following Jesus
Above: Frazer Prison Ministry Volunteers (Rear) Doug Barfield, Terry Roberts, Mike Anderson, Tom Harrell, Bill Heath, Jim Reinhardt, Bob Rudder; (Front) Denny Rea, Yvonne. Garrison, Doug Finlay, Gerri Spinozzi, Tim Benefield. Photo by Lee Werling.
Montgomery County Detention Center. Other ways the Prison Ministry reaches out include working with the River Region court systems to provide community service projects through Frazer’s Community Ministries, Transformation Montgomery and the Salvation Army. Frazer also maintains a presence at the Mt. Meigs Youth Facility, and provided Christmas gifts of fruit and candy to 150 young men there. The ministry volunteers are only allowed to talk to the inmates who come voluntarily to the meetings. ”This prevents us from proselytizing anyone,” Bill Heath explains. “We cannot enter the cell blocks to invite anyone to come to the meetings; however, new faces are being seen just about every time along with most of the old timers who are always there.” Sometimes, Prison Ministry means helping someone avoid prison. Community Impact Pastor
| Following Jesus
Charlie Kendall has been involved with Frazer’s Prison Ministry for 28 years, and recently worked with judges to transfer a young man from the county jail to the Christian ministry Teen Challenge for one year of drug treatment.
Men Who Share the Word Tom Harrell serves as Frazer’s Prison Ministry lay director. He’s known as “Free Day” among the male inmates at the four institutions served by the ministry. A retired U.S. Air Force officer and high school mathematics teacher, Tom began his prison ministry in 1998 at Kilby Correctional Facility at Mt. Meigs. “God has put it in my heart that this Prison
Ministry is what God wants me to do, and that is to share the Word in the prisons,” he said. Leadership of the Frazer Prison Ministry at Kilby is provided by Doug Finlay, at Staton by Tim Benefield, at Draper by Tom Harrell and at Elmore by Reece Adderhold. Others involved in the Frazer Prison Ministry include Jim Reinhardt, Doug Barfield, Bob Rudder, Larry Stevenson, Terry Roberts, Denny Rea, Mike Anderson and Bill Heath. Reece Adderhold meets with inmates at the Elmore Correctional Center each Thursday night for a Bible study. He has been volunteering with the Prison Ministry for almost five years. Most weeks, he has about 10-12 inmates in attendance but has had as many as 25 join him as they study the New Testament and the first five books of the Old Testament. Bill Heath has ministered to inmates at Draper Prison for 12 years, and says that he feels like he is the one who receives the blessing even more so than the men who come to hear him speak. “Tom and I always try to give the inmates a grounded, well-rounded version of the gospel according to the Methodist tradition. We always tell them of the love of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We explain that God is a loving God willing to forgive all sins, past, present and future. The inmates seem to appreciate that.” Oftentimes, Bill said they share insight or experiences from their own lives as part of their message to the inmates. For instance, Bill travels a lot so he tries to weave details from his trips into the message. “The men always ask about where I’ve been lately and want to know about the places that I’ve been. I sometimes draw a map to show them the locale of the latest trip. They seem to appreciate that aspect of my talk,” Bill said. “Tom talks about his high school teaching and about the students that he has influenced over the years. The inmates really relate to that.” Bill also likes to bring some humor to lighten the mood in an otherwise dark and depressing place. “They especially liked “Grandpa” and “redneck” jokes, which I always tried to keep clean and respectful,” he explained.
Above: Community Impact Pastor Charlie Kendall with Prison Ministry Coordinator Tom Harrell. Photo by Martha Poole Simmons.
Bill and Tom have been partners in the prison ministry for many years, and Bill said they are able to lift each other and encourage one another during trying times. ”I would like to think that I have had a positive influence on the men at Draper prison, even though the limited time there does not lend itself to mentoring on a face-to-face basis,” Bill said. Over the years, Bill said he has visited several prisons, including Staton, Frank Lee and Kilby, but Draper remains his favorite. Despite the poor condition of the building and the overcrowding, Bill knows that God has given him a heart for the men who are serving their time there. “I thank God that I only have to be there for a couple of hours at a time when I go for the visit. I continuously pray for the inmates that come to the meetings and that they will gain their parole, leave there and never return,” he said. “I don’t know why
they are there, and I am not allowed to ask. I pray lives will improve for the better from the teaching that God will keep them safe until they can walk that we try to do, because when they are eventuout the gate for last time.” ally released back into society they will face many Michael Anderson began his Prison Ministry difficult challenges in putting back together a life about 10 years ago, and his background as an at- that will be good for them and good for society and torney and former prosecutor as well as his present good for Christ,” Michael said. work as an administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration helps him understand the needs of inmates. He believes that, as a Christian and a lawyer, his strong interest in truth and justice piques his realization that all of us need Christ, especially those who have gone astray and committed For 22 years, Dr. Ruth Bradshaw initiated and crimes worthy of incarceration. He goes to Draper coordinated the HIV+ Prison Ministry at the Julia Prison monthly bringing a message to 15 to 30 in the Tutwiler Prison for Women at Wetumpka. In 1982, prison’s congregation. A sermon based on material Tutwiler inmates created a beautiful bedspread and from Frazer’s pastors and his own thoughts are fol- 12 decorative, embroidered pillows from materials lowed by a question and answer session on current furnished by Frazer and presented them to Dr. Bradevents or other issues asked by the inmates. shaw. Whenever she visits the Prison today, the “I feel that we are making a good effort to help prisoners warmly and affectionately greet her with, them understand the Gospel of Christ, and to grow “Mama Ruth.” Not only did she start the HIV ministry spiritually in some small way. Our hope is that their at Tutwiler Prison, but she also helped women upon
Women of Encouragement
Below left: Tutwiler Prison Ministry volunteers Yvonne Garrison and Gerri Spinozzi. Photo by Lee Werling. Opposite: “Mama Ruth” Bradshaw, founder of the Tutwiler prison ministry. Below Right: Embroidered items
presented to Dr. Bradshaw by Tutwiler inmates. Photos by Martha Poole Simmons.
| Following Jesus
their release with counseling and employment. Yvonne Garrison has been involved with ministry at Tutwiler Prison for about 10 years, and Denny Rea, who serves in the Prison Ministry currently Carol Frederick serves with Yvonne the at Kilby, sees hidden blessings in the very different first Thursday night of each month. The number of worship environment prisons present. He explains, inmates in attendance ranges from 20 to 80. Praise “How amazing could a church worship service be and worship songs are followed by prayer, a mes- if all the members came without individual pride sage or Bible lesson, a presentation of the plan of to cloud a humble openness of heart as they apsalvation and either an open altar call or a group proached the altar of Jesus? Imagine attending a or individual prayer time. worship service where everyone wore the same “The ladies there are open to hear any word of outfit so that the talk of fashions did not crowd encouragement that we can give them. They are the conversations about the body of Christ. The in a state of brokenness and are ready to receive a inmates have lost their freedoms, their privileges, word of hope,” Yvonne said. their families and most of their pride. They all Many of the inmates are able to watch Frazer wear the white uniforms of convicts with no indiservices on television sometimes, so they feel like vidualism. Many are at the very bottom of their part of the church family, Yvonne explained. She lives wondering how they will ever cope. 90% of and Carol are touched by the inmates’ prayers for the men have families and children of their own, their safety as they drive home after a meeting, which adds a burden to their hearts. Some have and are encouraged when they hear how thank- never been introduced to Christ, and more have ful the women are for Frazer’s ministry to them. never received Christ in their hearts. That is God’s Yvonne said the women share their concerns for mission for Frazer’s volunteers.” their children or unsaved family members with her and Carol, and especially need prayers and support during the holidays, when it can be most difficult to be separated from family. Some of the women Another opportunity to inmates to encounter share their talents and bless the others by singing God is the Kairos weekend. The event is moda solo or sharing a poem they have written. Yvonne eled after the 72-hour “Walk to Emmaus” spiritual said she and Carol feel blessed every time they retreat, and is designed to address the spiritual visit Tutwiler. needs of incarcerated men and women, as well as “In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus speaks about visiting their families and to those who work in the prison people in prison and meeting the needs of ‘the least of these.’ I truly believe that, for me, it means the Below: Kairos volunteers Jim Miller, Tommy Nolan, ladies at Julia Tutwiler prison,” Yvonne said. Dr. Neil Epler John Morris, Roger Turenne. Photo “I am so encouraged when I see spiritual growth contributed in the ladies. I can see how they are being transformed by their prayers changing from being only mindful of themselves or their court cases or their release date, to praying that their family will come to Christ and even being thankful that they were incarcerated because it brought them to a relationship with Jesus. When I hear these things, I know that they get it. There is definitely spiritual warfare going on there. There are many different belief systems in this prison. For this reason it is very important that someone brings them the truth from God’s word.”
| Following Jesus
environment. In April 2012, Dr. Neil Epler, Frazer’s Coordinating Pastor of Congregational Care, was part of a group of 30 men (including five from Frazer) who spent three and half days sharing the love of Christ with 40 inmates. After completing training through the Alabama Department of Corrections, the volunteers wrote letters to the inmates who would participate in the Kairos weekend. Thousands of cookies and two home-cooked meals were prepared and served, and these volunteers shared the Good News with the inmates. They told them that they are not forgotten; they are loved, and they are forgiven. “I find myself thinking and praying about the men who sat at the table with me. I pray that they will continue to know that God loves them and that they are not abandoned,” Neil said. “I pray that they will know the grace of Jesus and that the Holy Spirit will empower them to be true disciples and enable them to live out their lives knowing that they are persons for whom Christ died. They need our help and God’s love.”
“The beginning is love. The middle is love. The ending is love.” George Caldwell served at Kilby Prison for many years, until his death from cancer in January 2011. He was known as the “Kilby Angel.” After his death, Denny had the opportunity to share these words George wrote to the inmates: ••• “First let me tell you all how much that I love you and how much you have meant to me since I have been coming to Kilby. You know that you are all in my family. Without you and your prayers, I’m not sure that I would have gotten this far. So I love you and looked forward to seeing you here. Every one of us must come to this point in life where we understand that we’re moving on. I’m sure everyone will have a name for it, but I just say I’m going home. I’m pretty sure that all of us at one time have looked around and felt, “What am I doing here?” Knowing after all this time, that I’m not really from here, it makes sense. We don’t belong here. This is just a stopover for
Above: George Caldwell (right), shown in a scene from a video created for use in prison ministry. Photo contributed
us to learn to trust and obey our God. While we’re here, we’re placed into situations that test us and therefore build our faith into a mature level that will sustain us when we become fearful. If we spend our time with Him and study the Word, not only will our time and life here on Earth be enriched, but others will see His light emanating from us and that is but one of the things we can do to honor Him. We are to be living sacrifices to His Glory. You are all precious to Him. You’re precious to me, and if you are living the life, you’re precious to each other. The beginning is love. The middle is love, and the end is love. I’ve come to know love in a way that is completely saturating. The Holy Spirit leads me daily. Jesus comforts me moment by moment even when I’m not thinking about it. The Father is truly just that, The Father who is holding me when I’m in pain, protecting me when my soul cries out for release. Through it all, I know how much I’m loved by all of you and my heavenly family.” ••• Want to get involved? Volunteering in the Prison Ministry starts with a background check and clearance. Volunteers then receive training by a chaplain and become certified by the prison system. To learn more about the Prison Ministry, and how to get involved, contact Charlie Kendall in Community Ministries at 495-6313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hearing the 34
| Following Jesus
Freedom sound band members Hudson Thompson, Photo by Emily Thomas Melinda Smith, Mike Presley, Jerrod Dorminey, Jon Powers and Kevin Wolfe. Photo by Nick Drollette.
eedom Sound Following Jesus
The Freedom Sound brings the message of hope through music By Amy Presley | “Shout it out for the glory of God!/Sing it out with all you’ve got/Jesus Christ, who died for me/He’s alive and we’ve been Set Free!” The resounding chorus from the Freedom Sound’s debut song, “Set Free,” defines the message of the six-piece group made up of members of Frazer’s contemporary worship praise band: Christ died for us and now we are free from sin and death. Through Spirit-driven music, the Freedom Sound aims to carry that message to the world, and help others also become the kind of worshipers that God seeks. With the help of many in the Frazer family, the band recently released their debut album, “Set Free,” and God is using their songs to bring the light of Christ into a dark world. The early days of the band started in 2009, when Frazer’s contemporary worship leader Jerrod Dorminey started getting together with drummer Mike Presley and bassist Kevin Wolfe (both members of the Sunday morning praise band) to practice songs and write new music. A new worship experience geared towards young adults, called The Gathering, was in the planning stages at Frazer, and the three guys met weekly to prepare for the launch of the new service. The first Gathering took place
in fall 2009, and vocalist Melinda Smith joined the trio. Guitarists Hudson Thompson and Jon Powers came on board soon after. In the summer of 2010, Jon and Jerrod wrote the song, “Set Free,” and the other band members helped arrange the song, which they began playing at The Gathering and during Sunday morning worship. Around the same time, the still unnamed group was given the opportunity to open for the David Crowder Band concert at Frazer. “We started talking about wanting to do something bigger than just The Gathering. We wanted to take what we do outside of the walls of the church,” Mike said. With the Crowder concert on the horizon, the band decided to call themselves The Freedom Sound, based on the message of the song, “Set Free,” and Galatians 5:1, which states, “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” (The Message) The Gathering worship service ran its course, but God had bigger plans for The Freedom Sound. Between the summer of 2010 and the summer of 2011, the band wrote more original songs, some of which were introduced in the contemporary worship
Below: Opening for the David Crowder Band concert at Frazer was an early catalyst that brought the
Freedom Sound together. Photos by Nikki Johnson.
| Following Jesus
Above: The Freedom Sound performs during Frazer Day at the Montgomery Biscuits stadium. Photo by Ginger Tyson.
services. God was speaking to the band members, and they wanted to share His message with anyone who would listen. Most of the band’s songs were born within their individual quiet times with God. Jerrod explained that, generally, the songs are a reflection of what God is speaking to the individual about their own lives, as well as what they feel God is calling the church towards. “These songs become a testimony of our faith that we want to share with the world around us,” he said. Melinda agreed. “I have found that the words and music that come out of these personal worship times are more real…it is usually not planned, or perfectly orchestrated, but it’s our hearts crying out to God in all situations. And it often resonates with people who are dealing with the same issues or having the same emotions,” she said. Melinda said the words to the song “Renewed” perfectly illustrate that point.
“’Renewed’ is very special to me because it was written during a time when I made the decision to finally let go of worldly obsessions and let God take control of my life.” One of the songs, “Hallelujah He’s Alive,” came together rather quickly. Jerrod recalled that, while he was planning Frazer’s 2011 Easter worship service in Wesley Hall, “I couldn’t find a song that truly expressed the Easter story in the way that my heart was feeling,” he said. “Then the words, ‘Hallelujah, He’s alive’ came to me and, within an hour, the song was written. It was a total God-moment and the song still moves me every time I hear or play it.” During that time, the band realized that they wanted to record the songs so people could listen and worship wherever they were during the week, not just on Sunday mornings. With the help of Frazer’s sound technician Steve Wolfe, the Freedom Sound made demo recordings. They began talking about the possibility of finding a professional producer to record the album.
Above: Set Free is the first CD released by The Freedom Sound. cover design by Matt gaMbLe. bottom: The band during recording sessions in Atlanta. Photos by MichaeL sMith.
God opened those doors for the band in the summer of 2011, when they were connected with Scotty Wilbanks, an Atlanta-based producer who is also the touring keyboard player for the band Third Day. Scotty listened to the demo recordings and was very positive about the potential of the songs and interested in working with the band, which provided a huge boost of encouragement. The biggest challenge they faced, however, was the cost of recording a professional album with a capable producer, which was considerably more than six working individuals with families to support could
| Following Jesus
come up with on their own. The band members were overwhelmed with the thought of coming up with the funds to record the album, but they felt like God was urging them to have faith that He would provide what they needed, Mike said. Knowing they had the backing of their church family, the band decided to act on that faith and put their needs out there, through letters and posts on their Facebook page. The response was both overwhelming and humbling. Several very generous and supportive members of the Frazer family donated close to $10,000, which enabled the Freedom Sound the opportunity to work with Scotty. Melinda said the band has been humbled by how many people in the congregation gave their support for the band and the recording project, before they even had a copy of the CD in their hands. “They had so much faith in God’s plan for us that many have stepped up and offered to help in whatever ways we’ve needed, from our web site developer, to photographers, to sound technicians,” she said. “Our congregation loves God, and they have poured so much love, prayers and support into us so that we may bring glory and honor back to Him.” The band said many individuals stepped up to offer their skills to help the band, including Ken Roach and Frazer’s communications team with promoting the CD and the accompanying night of worship concert, Patrick Quinn for his support and enthusiasm, Steve Wolfe for recording the demo versions of the songs, Chris Bowden for developing the band’s web site and Matt Gamble for helping
with the album cover art. “We could not have done this without the overwhelming support of the Frazer family. There are so many people ‘behind the scenes’ who have supported us through their technical, spiritual and financial gifts; without them this project never could have happened,” Kevin said. After working through scheduling conflicts, the band was finally able to begin the recording process in the spring of 2012, traveling multiple times to Scotty’s studio in Atlanta. They also worked extensively with Scotty’s audio engineer Andy Bowen, who co-produced the album. Once they arrived at the studio and started working on the recording, once again, the band members realized that God had led them to exactly the right place. Scotty and Andy were not only skilled professionals; they also have a heart for Jesus. Melinda described how they began each day of recording with a prayer “to keep it all in perspective, remember that ultimately, this is not for our glory, but for God’s alone,” she said. The recording process was both exciting and exhausting, as everyone juggled full-time jobs and families to fit studio time in with hopes of an October release. The producers shared their ideas and expertise on how to polish the songs and create the best-sounding record possible. “God opened the door for us to work with an incredible producer who was able to invest in this music and take it to the next level,” Jerrod said. Vocal work for the album was finished by early summer, and the Freedom Sound began selling preorders through their web site. Many orders came from the Frazer family, and the much anticipated
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23 CD was officially released Oct. 9, 2012. Since the CD came out, the song “Set Free” has received regular airplay on The River radio station. Jerrod and Melinda appeared on Faith Radio for a long interview to talk about “Set Free.” Nearly 500 people packed Frazer’s East Sanctuary (where The Gathering used to meet) on Nov. 11 for the Freedom Sound’s Night of Worship and CD Release Celebration. “The energy level and excitement was unbelievable,” Mike said. “You could feel the Holy Spirit moving throughout the night.” Melinda said the response was exactly what they hoped for- “a room packed-out with God’s people coming together to worship completely uninhibited. There was singing, shouting, dancing, kneeling and praying… all for Him,” she said. Jerrod added, “It was an incredible night of praise and worship. The East Sanctuary was full of people eager to be in the presence of God.” “Now that the album is finished, we are beginning to hear stories of God drawing His children into times of prayers and healing and renewal through this music,” Jerrod said. “We have been blown away by the response we have received, and the stories of how God is using this music to touch lives.”
While the anthem-like songs “Set Free” and “Nothing but the Blood,” both songs the band decided to release to the local radio stations, have been well-received, Melinda noted that many listeners have shared how much they have been touched by other songs like “Renewed” and “Speak.” “The testimonies I have heard based on these two songs alone have been mind-blowing,” she said. “I realize that many people are using them as a means to make a confession, cry out for help, request strength or proclaim their hope in His promise.” Now that the CD has been released, what’s next for the Freedom Sound? Truly, only God knows His plan for these six musicians, who all still work fulltime jobs to support their families and continue to lead worship Sunday mornings at Frazer, too. The band is writing more songs and looks forward to
| Following Photo by40 nick droLLette Jesus
God opening more doors for them to share their message of hope and healing through the Blood of Christ. Wherever God leads the Freedom Sound, their mission will be to continue to share the story of Christ’s redeeming love and to bring glory to His name through powerful music and passionate worship. “Our hope is that God uses us, as individuals and as a group, to share His story of unselfish love and forgiveness in this fallen world,” Kevin said. “Our constant prayer is for the Holy Spirit to move through us and our music.” ••• “Set Free” is available in the Frazer Bookstore, and also on iTunes and Amazon MP3. For more information and the latest news about The Freedom Sound, check out their web site at www.tfsworship.com and “Like” their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/tfsworship.
THEY LOVE TO TELL
The Old, Old Story Frazer Volunteers lead worship for God’s older children at Wesley Gardens retirement center.
By mAc mclellAn | For more than a quarter of a Four teams of volunteers conduct Sunday sercentury, a group of dedicated volunteers from Frazer vices at Wesley Gardens. Barbara Duke, Frances have been lovingly and enthusiastically sharing the Culberson and Martha John play the piano, while Good News and worshipping with the residents at Tom Searcy, Charles Woernle and Bill Long lead the Wesley Gardens Retirement Community on Sunday singing. Mary Long plays organ. Carol Ann Nolen, mornings. Under Rev. (Ret.) Jack Gray, the leadership Gloria Wilson and of Martha John Rev. (Ret.) Stan MulAllison, Frazer’s lins give the message. Older Adult MinRev. Ray is a retired istry director, Baptist minister and volunteer teams Rev. Mullins, a retired have given their Methodist minister, time and talents and both reside at to provide a Wesley Gardens. meaningful wor“The folks at ship experience Wesley Gardens just for the residents love to sing, and they at the retirement don’t care about my community, and skill as a piano playwith the recent er,” said Barbara, who completion of has served at Wesley the Rev. Robert Gardens for 20 years. Above: A Frazer volunteer reaches out to one of the residents at (Bob) Lee Wilson “I was leaving one Wesley Gardens during a Great Day of Service project. Scores of Memorial Chapel, Frazer volunteers are regularly involved at the United Methodist Sunday when a little they now have a retirement home. Photo by Lee WerLing. old lady came up to beautiful place to me and thanked me gather for worship each Sunday morning. for playing and I told her that ‘You’re the only au“We actually try to answer whatever the need is dience I’ve ever had that doesn’t care if I make a at Wesley Gardens,” said Martha John. “We are ready mistake or play a wrong note.’” to call bingo, help in the gift shop, give a talk, work “She said ‘Honey I’ve been listening to you for in the garden, help the residents according to their a long time and I’ve never heard you play a wrong needs, lead excursions, and help with exercise.” note.’ That just made my day! They love to make a
Above: Martha John Allison, director of Frazer’s Older Adult Ministry, speaks at the opening of the Life Enrichment Center at Wesley Gardens. The center was completed in no small part due to Martha John’s passion to provide excellent worship services to the residents. Center below: The new Life Enrichment center which also serves as a Chapel. Photos by Mac McLellan.
joyful noise and that’s what it’s all about,” Barbara said. Barbara truly has a heart for senior citizens. In addition to her service at Wesley Gardens, she also is active in the Montgomery Council on Aging and has been delivering Meals on Wheels for 20 years. Carol Ann Nolen has been delivering the message at Wesley Gardens since September 2002. “I really love going out there and enjoy the members of the team that I serve with. Barbara Duke has been there much longer than I have and Tom Searcy joined us about a year ago to lead the singing after Ray Best passed away. We’ve had services in the original chapel, the parlor, where we had many interruptions, including the dining room activities, and now the new chapel which is so wonderful,” she said. “It is actually a life enrichment center that can be used for so many activities during the week and then serve as the chapel on Sunday.” Until recently, services were held in various locations of the retirement facility, including the parlor and living room, where other activities and visitations were going on at the same time. The recently
| Following Jesus
completed Chapel has provided a space to worship God without all the distraction. The Chapel, also known as the Life Enrichment Center, was built primarily due to the tireless fundraising efforts of Martha John Allison, and contributions from the Frazer family. Ground was broken on the new facility in March 2011, and the residents and volunteers couldn’t be more grateful for the new space. “Funds to build the chapel came from numerous sources including a huge yard sale at Frazer, fund raising dinners, Canasta tourneys, private donations, and, of course, the highly successful Branson Show in 2011 which so impressed Christopher Tomlin, CEO of Methodist Homes, that he contributed funds which covered the anticipated construction shortfall at that time,” Martha John said. Wesley Gardens Administrator Randy Allen said that the impact that Frazer volunteers have made at the facility over the years and in the lives of the residents and their families has been incredible. “Without the volunteers, especially those from Frazer, we might as well just close our doors. They are the driving force behind our volunteers,” he said.
“Whenever families come in for tours, or new residents move in, they can see the big difference that Frazer volunteers make in this community. Residents that have come from other communities in town are flabbergasted with the involvement of volunteers.” Though the residents at Wesley Gardens are enjoying their new space, there are still some needs to be met to truly complete the facility, Martha John explained. “There were some items which we had not anticipated, like the sprinkler system and the city’s requirement to update our water system, to include a backflow device, and they aren’t cheap! We are currently in the process of raising an additional $50,000 which will cover the cost overruns,” she said. “The Holy Spirit is there,” Carol Ann said. “We never get together in advance to prepare, but everything is always wonderful.” ••• Anyone interested in volunteering at Wesley Gardens or obtaining more information on the financial needs of this project should contact Martha John Allison at 334-495-6391 or email@example.com.
Top: Dr. Tim Thompson, the late Bishop Paul Duffey,
Dr. John Ed Mathison, and District Superintendent Ron Ball at the opening of the Wesley Gardens Life Enrichment Center. Center: Betty Ann Nolen (left) shares a message and Rev. Tom Searcy (right) leads in singing at a Wesley Gardens worship service. Bottom: Martha John assists a resident with adjusting her hearing aide. Photos by Mac McLellan.
Signs of Life A Photo Update on Frazerâ€™s Transformation Montgomery initiative in the Garden Square Neighborhood
| Following Jesus
NOT A CEMETERY
he site of Frazer’s future Transformation Center outside the Garden Square neigh-
borhood in North Montgomery at one time was
a business manufacturing grave markers. Work is underway now to transform this place into a community development center that will bring new life and hope where once there were only “markers of death.” fAR left: Frazer volunteers do roofing work on a
rehabilitated property. These homes will become affordable housing where families in poverty can get a new start.
CenteR left: Frazer volunteers Bill Pace and Alex Ansley of the Roll Up Your Sleeves ministry contribute their skills to the project. CenteR And fAR Right: In addition to Frazer
volunteers, outside groups are now taking note of the Transformation Montgomery project. On the MLK, Jr. Day school holiday, public and private school student groups including River Region Helping Hand and Cornerstone Christian Academy came in to take part in clean-up of the Transformation Center for the National Day of Service. Collaborations of this nature demonstrate the potential of this project to bring the whole community together in greater unity of spirit and purpose. Photos by Lee WerLing.
April 13, 2013 Following Jesus means serving others every day. On this special day, Frazer joins with other area churches to spend a Saturday serving our city, as a demonstration of Godâ€™s love. Thereâ€™s something for everyone with projects ranging from light construction, painting, yard clean up, and cooking, to Friendship Parties at area Assisted Living Homes, neighborhoods, and Boys & Girls Clubs. To learn more or sign up contact Butch McPherson, 334-495-6325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Following Jesus
How to Become a
Follower of Jesus 1. Repent | To repent means to turn around, to change your thinking and your direction and go the other way.1 The Bible teaches that every person has a Sin Nature—a deeply ingrained inner tendency to go our own way instead of following God’s way.2 When we follow our sin nature, we violate our conscience and break God’s commands by not loving Him and not loving our neighbor as ourself.3 The results are broken relationships, lack of peace, loss of purpose, anger, worry, fear, frustration, and hopelessness. The ultimate consequence of sin is death.4 you can pray a prayer of repentance like this:
“God, I admit that I am a sinner and I deserve to die. I have
broken your commands. I have not loved you as I ought to, and not loved my neighbor as myself. I repent of my sins. I turn from going my own way to go your way and obey you as Lord.” 2. Believe | The “gospel” (good news) of Jesus Christ is that we do not have to earn a relationship with God and pay for our sins by doing good deeds or religious rituals.5 Instead, God Himself took the initiative to come to us, being born as a man, suffering on the cross and dying in our place on the cross. He won the victory over sin and death by rising from the grave.6 God promises a new spiritual birth to those who believe in Jesus, trusting Him by faith.7 This new birth makes the believer a child of God, and begins a process of inner transformation8 that fills us with His joy, peace, and love, and the hope of eternal life.9 you can pray a prayer of belief like this: “God, I thank you that Your Son Jesus died and rose again the third
day. I trust in him alone to save me from my sins and give me your abundant, new, spirit-filled life to transform me now, and to give me the hope of resurrection and eternal life.” 3. Commit | The decision to follow Jesus begins with repentance and belief, but it is lived out by a daily commitment to live according to the pattern of life and teaching Jesus showed us.10 Some of the ways you can follow Jesus daily include: •
become a member of a local church.
The church is the Body of Christ,11 the living expression of
Jesus on earth. Joining a church means more than signing up for a human institution. It means you are committed to building authentic relationships with other believers for worship, growth, fellowship, and service together. •
read and prayerfully reflect on the bible.
God has revealed himself to us through the scriptures.12
The Holy Spirit uses the words of the Bible to give us understanding of who Jesus is and how we can live like Him as we study it on our own and in community with other believers.13 •
serve others in humility. We
enter into the experience of Jesus’ death and resurrection by “dying” to
ourselves and our selfish desires so we can discover the joy of giving and living for others.14
1 Mark 1:15 2 Rom. 3:23 3 Mark 12:29-31 4 Rom. 6:23 5 Tit. 3:4-7 6 I Cor. 15:3-6 7 John 1:12-13 8 2 Cor. 5:17 9 John 3:16 10 Luke 9:23 11 Eph. 5:29-30 12 Heb. 4:12 13 John 14:25-26 14 Mark 10:43-45
I NVES TING I N E TE RN I T Y
LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY
YOUR WILL. You can know the joy of helping others become followers of Jesus Christ by making a designation in your will. Call us today at (334) 495-6305 or e-mail email@example.com to request a copy of our free brochure, “A Legacy of Giving.”
THE FRAZER MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Charitable Trust Fund Keeping the Cross always lifted high.
| Following Jesus
Stories of how people at Frazer UMC are following Jesus. Winter 2013 issue focuses on worship in its many forms.