May 2018 CrossTie

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Cross ie




Class of 2018

On May 16, Smoke Rise will have a new HOMEpage

Smoke Rise has more than a new home page, we have an entirely new website. One of the first places that people encounter Smoke Rise Baptist Church is on the internet. So we wanted to better tell our story of who Smoke Rise is. All of the information on the old website is on the new website, but the new website will allow us to tell the stories of Smoke Rise more effectively. Our new website is clean, easy to navigate, and works well on mobile devices. Below, we have included screenshots of three of our most visited pages.

Each Sunday, our worship service that is in the Sanctuary is streamed online. People from Park Springs, out-of-state, and even some of our members who can’t get here as often worshiping with us online. To navigate to our service online follow these steps: 1. Click on “Resources;” 2. Click on “Sermons & Live Stream;” 3. Click on “Play”. When the service isn't streaming, you will see the same reminders that you see scrolling on the TV at the Welcome Center.

There are a variety of ways to give to the ministry plan of Smoke Rise Baptist Church. One of these ways is online. To give online, simply follow these instructions: 1. Click on “Give” at the top of the homepage; 2. scroll down to “Giving By App” or “Online Giving;” 3. Click on the link you would like to use, and 4. Follow the instructions on the page to give online.

There is so much more to explore on the new Smoke Rise Baptist Church website. On the homepage, you can navigate to different areas using the dropdown menus at the top of the page, or you can scroll down the homepage until you get to the gold bar of icons. (see above) Here you will find links to: streaming, sermon archive, the CrossTies, calendar, and the menu for Wednesday night dinner.



B e c k y C a s w e l l - S p ei gh t Minister to Families with Children 678.533.0546


From the Pastor











Jeremy Colliver Minister of Communications, Missions, and Youth 678.533.0551 Kat hy D obbi n s Minister of Spiritual Formation 678.533.0548 Chris G e o r ge Senior Pastor 770.469.5856

1 0 Family Ministry 11






At Smoke Rise, I am thankful that little children not only learn, but also teach. They not only follow, but they also lead in our congregation.

The Stewardship Committee is grateful for the response to our Live Generously campaign in support of the Smoke Rise Ministry Plan Budget for the 2018 fiscal year.


1 2 Serving 1 3 Serving 1 4 Monthly Snapshot


Life in the area where we partner with GAP is absurd. It is absurd that 60% of the people live under the poverty level and 40% are unemployed.

Bart McNiel Associate Pastor 678.533.0540 Danny Va n c i l Minister of Music & Worship 678.533.0560

CON N EC T W IT H US smokerise SmokeRiseBC

Smoke Rise

A B OU T S M O K E RIS E 5901 Hugh Howell Rd. Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Tel: 770.469.5856 Fax: 770.498.3598 Office Hours M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm

Smoke Rise Baptist Church is a loving and caring faith community where people come to grow spiritually, worship communally and serve faithfully. We are committed to fostering authentic relationships and engaging in meaningful ministry in our congregation, our community and around the world. We partner with others in an effort to be about God’s work. We commit to love God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and all our strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We proclaim the Good News of Christ in all that we say and do. 3 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG


On Palm Sunday, the children of Smoke Rise Baptist Church marched down the aisles waving their branches and leading us in worship. Standing on the platform, I could look out and see so many smiling faces in our congregation. The children of our church inspire us. In his vision of the Peaceful Kingdom, Isaiah writes, “And a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). At Smoke Rise, I am thankful that little children not only learn, but also teach. They not only follow, but also lead in our congregation. Children’s Sunday is one of my favorite worship services of the year. On May 6, the children will lead us in the worship of God by offering prayers, singing songs, collecting offering and reading scripture. We will celebrate together as several of our children share their faith stories and are baptized. I am also pleased to announce that two children, Blaine Colliver and Sophia McClendon, will be standing beside me in the pulpit and preaching our message. On Sunday evening at 4pm, the Children Choristers will present their Spring Musical, “Table for Five...Thousand.” It will be an extra special Sunday at Smoke Rise! Of course, in our children’s ministry each Sunday is special and each child is a precious gift from God. Each week, our Children’s Sunday school teachers prepare lessons using Biblical stories to teach age-appropriate theology and to help our children learn and grow in faith. They memorize verses in the Bible and the books of the Bible. They learn about caring and sharing, serving God through serving others, and what it means to follow Jesus. On the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays, while adults worship in the Sanctuary, the children worship in their own special space. They light a Christ candle; they take prayer requests; they engage in creative expressions. It is sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but always sacred. At the same time, the preschoolers worship in our Chapel space. These youngest members of our church family are already learning how to worship. They pass an offering plate. Some children bring pennies, nickels, dimes or dollars, while others bring cards that they can send to homebound members or toys that can be given to children in the community. They share stories from the scriptures and stories from their little lives. As a pastor and a parent, I am so very proud of the children of our church. I know you are too! We are blessed to have incredible ministers like Becky, Amanda and Harrison as well as so many who volunteer to share their time and talents. This May, let take time to pray for each child at Smoke Rise and to express our gratitude to all those who lead our children and their families. Still Learning from our little ones--Pastor Chris


alms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.” The Sanctuary Choir is busy newer compositions. One of the newer selections is called “Let was written by Terry York and it will serve as the choral

with Your Spirit. t.

preparing for the concert that will include both class called “Let the World Hear Our Songs,” was written

We have sung our songs as prayers to You. We have Go with us now to live for You. Help us live so the wo

We have sung our songs as prayers to You. We have Go with us now to love like You. Help us live so the w

WORS H IP I N G AT S MOK E LetRthe I SE World hear our songs in the lives we live. Let

with Your Spirit. t.

Your love in us. ve our praise and prayer. Amen.

Let the hear our songs, let the world see Your DA NNY VAN CIL - MIN IST E Rworld OF MU SIC

Don’t miss out on the Musical May at Smoke Rise

Music and Worship page for April

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April and May are music filled months at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. I encou attend all the wonderful offerings.

One of the musical highlights of April will be the presentation “Psalms, Hym preparing for the concert that will include both classics as well as newer com called “Let the World Hear Our Songs,” was written by Terry York and will se

We have sung our songs as prayers to You. We have harmonized with Your S Go with us now to live for You. Help us live so the world will hear it.

We have sung our songs as prayers to You. We have harmonized with Your S Go with us now to love like You. Help us live so the world will see it.

Let the World hear our songs in the lives we live. Let the world see Your love Let the world hear our songs, let the world see Your love, help us live our pra



of January Wednesday, May 16 6:30PM Wednesday, May 16 6:30PM

Every Time I Feel the S Children Choristers’ Spring Musical Children’s Spring Musical Sunday, 6, 2018 at 4:00pm Table forMayFive Thousand Sunday, May 6th at 4:00pm Fellowship Hall

We are small, the world is wide, yet we stand tall with God inside. Small things done with great love can change the world.

Every Time IPentecost Feel the Spirit Sunday

Pentecost Sunday Pentecost Sunday Sunday, May 20 at 11a Sunday, May 20 at 11am Sunday, May 20 at 11:00 am. Senior Recognition with Special Senior Recognition Graduate recognition withwith S Youth Choir Performance Youth Choir Performan Darien Waite preaching and a special Youth Choir performance.


GROW IN G AT S M O KE R I SE K ATHY DOBBIN S - MIN IST E R OF SP IRIT UAL Sunday School Class Profile: Pairs & Spares Recently, I sat down with some members from the Pairs & Spares class for an informal interview and encouraged them to talk about this group that has been together for a long time. Here are their comments: “What works in our class is the care we give to each other. We laugh a lot and love being together. Everyone is encouraged to speak up – all opinions are accepted. Even when we disagree with each other, we still love and respect each other. We have a passion for missions, and in order to fund the organizations we want to sponsor, we hold an annual auction. Last year, we raised funds which were divided among The Lilburn Coop and Networks, The Gap, Wellspring Living, Edgewood Church and Honduras/Nicaragua mission trip. A favorite social event among many others is the monthly ladies' night out. The men may not be as organized in doing their own thing, but they do get together also. The class teacher is Jenny Brannan who is described as faithful, accepting of everyone, with a wonderful sense of humor and someone who knows her Bible! To sum it up, our class is more about “being” church rather than “doing” church.”

Journeys 2018– May Wednesdays at 6pm "How do ethics relate to our practice as Christians seeking to imitate Christ? Study led by Harrison Litzell, Children’s Ministry Intern and student at McAfee School of Theology. starts May 2 in the Fellowship Hall Hard Questions For God Bring your questions for a discussion of the things you have always wanted to ask God. This study is led by Dr. Jeffrey Willetts, Dean and Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at McAfee School of Theology. May 9 in the Fellowship Hall

Ladies Night at Smoke Rise!

Fellowship Hall was decked out again for the annual Ladies Spring Event on April 24. The creatively decorated tables are a Smoke Rise tradition for women’s events. Daphene Jones told her inspiring story of forgiveness, restoration, and second chances and talked about her relationship with her sister Deborah Hall who is featured in the book, Same Kind of Different as Me.

At Smoke Rise, we know that the support and sense of community of a Sunday school class are important. It says a lot about this class that one couple drives from South Carolina each week just to be with these people. I know these statements could be repeated in many other Sunday school groups. We are grateful to Pairs & Spares for the gracious and willing spirit they bring to Smoke Rise! -Kathy Dobbins 6 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG

CONNEC T I N G AT SMOK E R I SE BECKY CASWELL-SPEIGHT - MINISTER TO FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN At a Wednesday night Bible study recently, I asked people to think about their last month and how their lives intersected with Smoke Rise Baptist Church. People mentioned choir, mission trips, hospital visits, Wednesday night fellowship, worship services, and many more. There were a lot of things that people at the Bible study loved about their church. Once all the events and activities were mentioned we used our original lists and added names of people that we could have invited to church. We talked about how there are plenty of people in our lives that would have enjoyed the same special moments that we did, if only we had invited them. I imagine many of the readers of the Cross Tie magazine could easily do a similar activity. I want to encourage every CrossTie reader to think of ways that their life will intersect with Smoke Rise in the upcoming month. Write down the activities below. Once you have created the first part of your list go back and list all of the people in your community that would enjoy participating in those activities. Lastly, call the people on the list and invite them to the activity or activities that you think they would enjoy. The newsletter is a wonderful Outreach tool. My hope is that this month each of us will use it to become ministers of Outreach for Smoke Rise Baptist Church.

On Friday, March 30th Valerie Coe Lowder submitted her resignation as the Weekday School director. We are grateful for the time and care that Valerie has given the Weekday School over the last two years. Under Valerie's direction the school has made many positive changes. Please be in prayer for Valerie as she continues elsewhere in ministry.

-Becky Caswell-Speight SRBC Activity 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


The Weekday School Board has begun the process of finding a new director for the 2018/2019 school year. Three members of the Smoke Rise Weekday School Board will serve as the search committee. The committee is taking resumes. Interested applicants can learn more about the position at employment.aspx. Resumes will be received until May 30th with the goal of placement by mid July. If you know of someone that would be interested in applying for the position please have them contact Becky Caswell-Speight at 678-533-0546. Resume may be submitted to 7 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG

Smoke Rise Baptist Weekday School is delighted to welcome the Rev. Deborah Gaddis Reeves as Interim Director. Originally from North Carolina, Deborah graduated from the Gardner Webb School of Divinity, and is a board certified chaplain. She is an active member of Smoke Rise Baptist. Deborah is the wife of Stephen and mother to Garret and Kellen. Many thanks to Deborah for helping us during this time of transition.


Welcome New Members in March

June and Warner Strickland Joined March 11, 2018

Church in Conference and Luncheon Sunday, May 6 As the school year comes to an end and summer looms on the horizon, we will meet for our second quarter Church in Conference and Luncheon on Sunday, May 6, in the Fellowship Hall immediately following worship in the Sanctuary. You may contact Merrilee Brock in the church office to make a lunch reservation. At regular meetings of the Church in Conference, we review reports from select committees and vote on those matters referred from our committees that require a vote. At Smoke Rise, we are blessed to have caring, qualified and competent people who serve on our committees and diverse teams. Together our committees and teams undergird the work of our church staff and oversee the variety of tasks that help us accomplish our shared mission. Thank you to everyone who helps us accomplish the “work” of our church by serving in roles that are seen and unseen, tedious and interesting, task-oriented and creative. May God continue to bless us with the necessary resources to answer God’s call at Smoke Rise.

Church Staff Spotlight: Antowyn Smith, Facilities Manager If you come to worship, Wednesday night activities, Bible studies, meetings or other events at the church, then you have been ministered to by Antowyn Smith. As our Facilities Manager, Antowyn oversees the functionality of all the buildings on the Smoke Rise Baptist Church campus. This includes the operation and maintenance of HVAC, building control, and the electrical, and plumbing systems. Antowyn supervises the contract custodial staff that work in the building seven days a week to set up and breakdown furniture and equipment for every activity on the church’s busy calendar. He coordinates and manages the companies contracted by the church for scheduled and emergency maintenance and repair. During our recent Refresh project work, Antowyn stepped up to work additional hours, installing new LED lighting fixtures, saving the church money on the project.


Thursday, May 3, Room S223, Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 9, Room S223, Grief Support Group, 10:00 am Thursday, May 17, Room S223, Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 23, Room S223, Grief Support Group, 6:00 pm Thursday, June 7, Room S223, Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, 2:00 pm If you have any questions about these support groups, please contact the church office or speak with our associate pastor, Rev. Bart McNiel. 8 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


The Stewardship Committee is grateful for the response to our Live Generously campaign in support of the Smoke Rise Ministry Plan Budget for fiscal 2018. As of April 26 we received 203 pledges totaling $1,220,005.38. Thank you for your pledges this year and for the continued support of God’s work among us. The Stewardship Committee Kathy Goodenow, Chairperson As we begin a new fiscal 2018 budget year, the Finance Committee has approved the use of reserve funds to cover our budget deficit from the previous year. We are beginning this year under a reduced budget and anticipate phasing in additional budget reductions in fiscal 2019. We are also moving into the final year of our three-year Refresh Campaign effort and will be assessing giving totals going forward. We are grateful for the ministry, missions, worship and fellowship we share at Smoke Rise. We remain committed to use wisely the gifts and resources of our church. The Finance Committee Jeff Kelley, Chairperson

MONTH OF MARCH Amount Given $160,195.92

Amount Spent $203,020.29


Negative Balance ($42,824.37)

FISCAL YEAR-TO-DATE (APRIL 1, 2017 - MARCH 31, 2018)

Amount Given $2,065,777.67

Amount Spent $2,262,742.76

Negative Balance ($196,964.09)

Pledged $1,346,104.00

Received Current Balance $1,019,082.70 $215,661.66

UPCOMING PROJECT Chapel Renovation *The Chapel will be closed during June and July for renovation.


FAMILY M I N I ST RY AT SMOK E R I SE Newest Member of the 27 Book Club

Vacation Bible School Vacation Bible School is only two months away and the children’s ministry is collecting items to bring Babylon to life. If you would like to donate items please place donated item in the bins by the office or in the preschool area. If you have items that you would like to loan please turn them into Becky, Harrison, or Amanda. They will carefully mark each loaned item with the owners name and telephone number. All loaned items will be returned after Vacation Bible School. Items Needed for Vacation Bible School: • Fake Foliage • Unused Pencils (donation only) • Pop Up Tents • Biblical time Instruments • Ceramic pots • brand new pillow case (donation • plants only) • rugs • bubbles (donation only) • blankets • rolls of blue tape (donation only) • fabric • boxes (donation only) • Fruit Loops Cereal (donation only) • Any other Bible time decorations!


Abby Kate, 27 Books

YOU TH AT S M O KE R I SE Congratulations Class of 2018

Grace Conway,

Parkview High School, will be attending the University of Alabama.

Madison Crews,

Parkview High School, will be attending University of North Georgia.

Jonah Dodson,

Parkview High School will be attending Georgia Southwestern State University.

Spencer Decuir,

Parkview High School, will be attending Mercer University.

Teresa Reed,

Brookwood High School plans on doing real estate and ministry in her future.


Ascension Groups Our rising 6th graders made their way down to the Youth Room officially for the first time. There was some trepidation as they walked down the stairs wondering what they were about to get into. It was a different story as they left the room with laughter, and amongst the older youth, as they pounded back up the stairs. And, for no other reason than that feeling of comfort is the reason for the Ascension Group.

SERVIN G ON M I S S I ON Absurd Living J. D. Vance in his memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” said, “…I find the existence of the book you hold in your hands somewhat absurd.” While this statement is meant to be selfdeprecating, it well describes life in Appalachia. Life in the area where we partner with G.A.P. (God’s Appalachian Partnership) is absurd. It is absurd that 60% of the people live under the poverty level and 40% are unemployed. It’s so absurd that somebody somewhere ought to do something about it! You must know that you and I are trying to do something about it through our partnership with G.A.P. Several years ago, through the HOPE offering, Smoke Rise gave G.A.P. enough money to purchase a track of land for future expansion of the ministry to the good people of McDowell, Floyd County, KY. And most recently,

through the 2017-18 World Mission offering, we gave $25,000, to start developing the property. And soon, on May 20, our dedicated volunteers will journey to McDowell to begin construction of the first residence on the property. We are doing something important-important for Floyd Co, and important for us. Will it matter? I have to say a resounding “yes!” Over the years of our partnership, we have made dozens of trips of compassion. We have built relationships with people who are clannish and shy, and who rarely are able to say “thank you.” Yet we know they are grateful for our efforts because we have helped improved their lifestyle or their homes or their personal appearances. Our work in Appalachia is the best example of incarnational evangelism. The Incarnate Christ in our volunteers shows forth in all

Men's Construction Trip Men’s Construction Trip Coming Up! The Men’s Mission Trip to Appalachia will be May 20 – 25, 2018. The cost is $300 and you may register on line at www. Your deposit of $100 is deducted from the cost of the trip. For more details, contact Bill Blanton at 770-921-4115 or


that we do. It is because of Smoke Rise’s profound sense of generosity of money and talents that some have hope for tomorrow. Do you know what it is like to heat your house with the vent from the dryer or by opening up your oven? At least one family in McDowell does. And that’s so absurd that you and I did something about it. Now the power bill is $150 per month instead of $700! Thank you, Smoke Rise. Keep on giving and keep on going. -R. Page Fulgham

SERVIN G ON M I S S I ON Annual Gourmet Bake Sale Don't miss the New York Mission Team's 13th Annual Gourmet Bake Sale, Sunday, May 20 at 9:00 am! Delicious cakes, breads, and other goodies will be available – ideal for graduation dinners, parties vacations, or simply to have in the freezer, ready to pull out at a moment's notice. The tables of baked goods will be located outside the Fellowship Hall, in the downstairs Welcome Center under the gym, and in the upstairs breezeway before and after 11:00 am worship. Proceeds go to assist the NYC team in the their ministry to children in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Come early (9:00 am) for best choice. Cash or check only!

Compelled by the Gospel to walk in each other's shoes The Gospel compels us to bring about a transformation in people's lives and into the communities because all people in all communities have a contribution to make. There are over 3,000 refugees in North Carolina. We look for ways that will seek to be beloved community to those who literally spent years on the refugee highway, unable to work and far away from family. We advocate on behalf of them and look to find ways to help their transition. This ministry of welcoming refugees is all about building beloved community together as we practice radical hospitality by being willing to go outside of our comfort zone. Because, in order to truly cultivate beloved community, we need to somehow, some way walk in each other's shoes."

Please Pray for Lemoyne Boulevard Recently a tornado came down the street of Lemoyne Boulevard Baptist Church in Biloxi, Mississippi and destroyed the building across the street from the church and also damaged the church building. Lemoyne Boulevard was the staging area for the ministry Smoke Rise partnered with when rebuilding homes after Katrina from 2005-2009.

World Mission Offering The final total given for the AWMO is $47,205. You did an awesome job, Smoke Rise, in surpassing the AWMO goal of $40,000 for 2017-18! Through your generosity, $25,000 from the offering has been sent to God’s Appalachian Partnership (GAP). Thank you for your generous support of all our Smoke Rise Partnerships.

- Marc and Kim Wyatt, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel, Research Triangle, North Carolina


HOI 2nd Annual Tony Barnhart Golf Classic Save the date: May 7, Sugarloaf Country Club



WEEKLY S C HE D UL E S u n d ay 9:00 am Worship in the Chapel 9:45 am Sunday school 11:00 am Worship in the Sanctuary 2:00 pm Matupi Christian Baptist Church Worship Service 5:00 pm Youth Choir and Worship M o n d ay 10:30 am PrimeTime Choir Wed n e s d ay 5:00 pm Wednesday Night Dinner 6:00 pm Journeys Sanctuary Handbells Preschool Music and Mission 18th Annual Car Show 1st-5th Grade Music and Mission YouthSaturday, Gathering May 5 7:00 pm Sanctuary Choir


Friday Call 678-533-0556 if you have questions 10:00 am Mother’s Bible Study

Chapel Renovation Chapel renovation is set to begin May 29. The chapel will be closed all of June and July and will reopen for worship on Sunday, August 5. During the months of June and July there will be one unified worship service in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings at 11:00am. We appreciate your flexibility at this time and look forward to returning to this beloved sacred space.


Vacation Bible School JUNE 25-28 9:30-12:30 Register at

Annual Conference of the Baptist History and Heritage Society May 31-June 1 at Smoke Rise Baptist Church Conference Theme “Baptist Women in the Twentieth Century: Missionaries, Mission Leaders, Churchwomen, Civil Rights Activists, and Ministers.� Make plans now to join us for this rare opportunity for learning and fellowship with Baptist history and heritage experts and scholars from all over the country! SRBC Members who are interested in attending the conference, please contact Bart McNiel, Associate Pastor at for details and conference registration deadlines and rates.

Church in Conference May 6 Our second quarter Church in Conference and Luncheon will be Sunday, May 6, in the Fellowship Hall immediately following Worship in the Sanctuary.

Children's Sunday May 6th

Worship 11:00am Children's Spring Musical 4:00pm

Address Correction Requested

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