Dear Church Member,
God truly blessed us with one of the best attended Easter Sundays in the history of our church. We had 256 in Sunday School, 245 in the first Worship Service, and 304 in the second Worship Service for a total of 549 in both Worship Services. Praise the Lord! That is amazing considering it was raining late that morning. Bro. Steve, Susan Lovan, the Praise Team, and the Adult Choir was totally awesome! We had church visitors all over the Sanctuary in both services. You are really doing a super job “Inviting” and “Engaging” people to come with you to our church. All I can say is “To God be the glory, great things He has done!” You can clearly see why we need a new Worship Center that will seat 775 people.
Speaking of our new Worship Center, Bro. Ronnie Keener tells us that they are right on time and on budget for the completion of the new Sanctuary. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to have our first Worship Service in the month of November. We cannot express in words how excited we are to see this dream come true. When we began pastoring in February 2004 there was no way we could ever imagine God doing such an awesome work at Rye Hill Baptist Church. I talked to a man last week that used to be a member here, and he remembers having 16 people in attendance one Sunday.
He also shared how excited he was to see what God is doing at our church. It really seems like everywhere I go nowadays, someone is telling me how happy they are to see what God is doing at our church or wondering what is going on at our church. My friend, God has been with us since we first cast a vision for a new Worship Center. It is so obvious that He is going to see it through until the building is completed and paid for! Our motive has always been to fill it up for God’s glory and to be able to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please just keep praying that we will put God FIRST in everything we do as a church, and that the devil will have no influence on any area of our church body.
We are going to start a new Sunday School class on May 21. We see a great need for a Young Married Couples Sunday School class. After much thought and prayer, God has led us to Bro. Steve Stewart as the teacher. He has family in this age group and is a fantastic teacher of the Word of God. He is excited about this new opportunity of ministry. Bro. Chuck Chitty will take on the responsibility of teaching Bro. Steve’s F.L.I.G.H.T. class. Bro. Chuck was in this class before he moved into the Pairs & Spares class two years ago. He has agreed to move back to help in this wonderful, growing class. Bro. Doyle Thresher has agreed to teach the Pairs & Spares class again. He taught it previously for several years and is a natural leader and teacher of adults. We see great potential in all of these changes, and know that by adding classes our Sunday School will continue to grow. The Young Married Couples class will begin meeting at the back of the Sanctuary on May 21. Please pray for these changes and everyone involved in this transition. By the way, we have not voted on it yet as a church but, our plans are to remodel the current Sanctuary in-house (doing most of the labor ourselves) and make 5 Sunday School classrooms that will seat 60 or more persons. That will meet our needs for future growth in Sunday School for many more years to come! My heart is totally full of joy seeing what God has allowed us to do these past 13 years and anticipating what He is going to do in the future. We truly want to be the “Lighthouse on the Southside of Fort Smith.”
Please pray for Bro. Scott Warren and me as we go to the Lakota Baptist Church May 18-22. We will be doing a Leadership Conference and Church Growth Clinic for them. Their greatest need right now is adult training in church leadership. We will also be teaching in areas of Outreach, Evangelism, and Pastoral Ministry. Bro. Mike Merrival really needs some help in these areas of ministry and we are praying for a good attendance while we are there and that many will step up in the area of church leadership. I will be taking years of experience and many vital hand-outs on how to have an ‘Acts 2 New Testament Church’ for the glory of God. I appreciate Bro. Scott, as our Missions Leader, taking off work and going with me.
Thank you so much for your continued prayer support in my recovery from viral pneumonia. I am not at 100% yet, but I know in time God is going to take this cough away and give me back my energy. It has been a challenging journey for sure.
Can you believe it is almost May already? Summer is a very busy time in the life of our church. Please continue to pray for all of our summer camps and activities. We can always use help in these summer events, so don’t wait for somebody to ask for your help. Just tell us you want to go and let’s do ministry together for our Lord and Savior. Thank you so much for your strong support and faithfulness in all areas of ministry. I love each and everyone of you and we are as excited today as we were our first Sunday 13 years ago. May God bless you and your family.