From Your Missionary:
In & Out of our Churches: It has certainly been a blessing to be able to visit and preach in many of our 30 churches. I have had wonderful experiences while being in & out of different churches. I want to share two that stand out in my mind today. First, I happened to drop in on Spring Hill Baptist with Bro. Mike Benefield on a Sunday Evening, They have installed a baptistery and it was such a blessing to able to witness the first ever Baptism service inside their church. Then secondly while visiting Vacation Bible School at Unity Baptist where Bro. Gary Holcomb is pastor, I was sitting in the Fellowship Hall when a class of young boys came in for snacks. I asked one young man if he was having fun at VBS and he looked and me and said, “Yes, Sir! Jesus just saved me!” That is what it is it is all about. We have a wonderful family of 30 churches here in the Sand Mountain Baptist Association of all sizes and locations and God is working in all our churches.
Website: We have recently made changes to our website! This been a work in progress for several weeks as we’ve strived to create a website that will be more interactive, user-friendly, and informative. There will continue to be “tweaks” along the way to further customize the site. We want to be able to use the website and our social media to help promote our churches and to help people be informed. I want to thank Sarah Guinn and Michelle for their work on the site.
MANNA on The Mountain Associational Revival: Our Associational Revival is just a weeks away. We have a great line-up of singers and preachers; Robert Smith, Charles Carter, Junior Hill, Bob Pittman, and Don Graham will be preaching. Singing this year will be The Voices of Zambia and The Taylors from North Carolina. I have been blessed to be in service with The Taylors many times and I can tell you that they are the real deal and you will not want to miss them. Please pray for lives to be changed, souls to be saved, and that the financial needs of the meeting will be met. Ask and plead with God to send revival to the churches of SMBA. Wednesday August 3 marks the beginning of 40 days leading up to the meeting. Consider having a Special Prayer service for our Association Revival. You may even consider having a joint service with churches in your area. You may want get together to have a Prayer Rally for Revival that Wednesday night or the Sunday night prior. Whatever you feel led to do, please pray. Then please promote the Manna on the Mountain Associational Revival. Let your people know about the meeting and encourage them to attend. When we come together, God can move.
Christmas Backpacks: Just a quick word from me to encourage you to promote and participate in this worthy Mission endeavor. We have a lot of items that have been donated to us to use in helping fill the backpacks, come by the office anytime and fill up a box!
I wanted to give you a update of the highlights of the SBC Annual Meeting. I have been going to the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on and off since 1990. I left thinking that this is one of the most historic meetings that I have ever attended for several reasons.
1. In the past the SBC has been considered an Old Man’s meeting. Just looking around it seemed to me that at least 40-45% of this year’s attendees’ were under 40 years of age with many of those in their twenty’s. It is a positive thing that younger people were engaged in the process. It’s my prayer that more young people will become engaged at the Associational level.
2. We left St Louis in Unity as a Convention! The president election could have caused us to go away divided. There were three Godly men who were nominated to serve and after the first vote there was runoff between Steve Gaines and JD Greer. After two votes there was still no clear winner (By-laws says that the winner must have a 50% plus 1 majority) right before the vote was to take place JD Greer in a show of unity humbly and graciously removed his name from consideration. Greer then made a motion that Gaines be elected by Acclamation.
3. Immediately following the election of Gaines as the 61st President of the SBC, Dr. Ted Traylor preached the Convention Sermon. His text was Psalm 133 Behold how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! No one but God could have orchestrated the events leading up to the Word that Ted passionately preached. This was without a doubt a God moment.
4. Several resolutions were presented and passed including resolutions that addressed the Orlando Tragedy, Biblical Sexuality, Support of Israel, Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Caregiving and the Church, Women and the Draft, and others. The one that has had the most Media coverage is the resolution On Sensitivity and Unity Regarding the Confederate Flag. One may argue that it is not an issue that we should even address and that was my first thought. But I met an African American Pastor from Virginia that with tears in his eyes told me how much the resolution meant to him and that it would help him win the lost. http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/search/results.asp?query=2016
5. Some may ask you about the SBC helping build Mosques in America. Many of the articles that I have read are very misleading. First, the Southern Baptist Convention is not in any way building mosques. Secondly two entities of our Convention, the ERLC and the IMB has joined 16 other faith group in an amicus brief. The brief stated, "the denial to build a mosque represents a potential threat to the free exercise rights of each of the amici represented here and is an affront to our nation's commitment to religious liberty for all. The following is a link to ERLC President Russel Moore answering a question concerning the issue:
6. Several times throughout the Pastor’s Conference and the convention thousands of people were on their knees and faces before God praying for Revival and an Awakening in our churches!
6 Executive Committee Mtg, Pisgah, 6:30
13-15 SBC, St Louis, MO
19 Father's Day
19 Baptist Men's Day
To be more accessible to our Bi-Vocational Pastors, Bro. Chris is now offering extended office hours on Monday's until 6:00 PM, and Wednesday's until 5:00 PM.
Our next Associational Meeting will be Monday, June 6, at Pisgah Church, 6:30 PM. Remember: Angela would love to meet with all Pastors wives and Preachers wives in your church during the meeting for a time of fellowship and prayer.
Bro. Chris is available to speak in your church June 26, July 24 and July 31 to preach, or just to say a quick word about our association and how it works.
Ministry Opportunity: Rosalie Church is collecting hymnals for Todd & Kim Smith. You can bring your song books to the associational office, or to Rosalie Church to be sent to Africa.
Remember: SMBA will be partnering with NAMB to provide Christmas backpacks for the needy children throughout the Appalachian Region. Our associational goal is to provide 200 backpacks and the items to fill them. Call Michelle at 256-451-3750 for more information.
We have begun the Associational Calendar for the next year (20174). If your church would like to host an Executive Committee Meeting, please call Michelle at 256-451-3750.
Please bring your ABCH & FM Camp snacks to the June Executive Committee Meeting, June 6 at Pisgah Church.
Michelle has started the list of volunteers to mow the associational office yard this summer. If you would like to be put on the list, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 256-451-3750.
Please pray for Dutton and Pisgah Churches as they begin their search for a new Pastor.
Does your church need a like new Ice Machine? Roger Little has one for sale, call 256-599-8759.
To promote or advertise events happening in your church, please call or email Michelle at email@example.com or 256-451-3750.
30 Churches Doing Together What No Single Church Can Do Alone:
Bethany, Bethlehem, Calvary, Corinth, Dutton, East Brow, Ebenezer, Five Points, Flat Rock, Freedom, Friendship, Happy Home, Henagar, Hodge, Ider, Mount Zion, New Bethel, New Home, New Sardis, Pisgah, Pleasant Hill, Pleasant View, Poplar Springs, Rosalie, Section, Spring Hill, Stamp, Sylvania, Union Grove and Unity.