Dear Church Members,
The dog-days of summer have finally hit. We had such a mild Spring and wet June that the summer heat has come with a vengeance. Praise God, our attendance and giving had stayed up and we haven’t seen any summer slump at Rye Hill Baptist Church. On the fourth of July weekend, God blessed us with a total of 390 in both Worship Services. We had 256 in Sunday School and the choir did an awesome job in our God and Country Sunday. Two weeks ago, we had a sweet lady join our church and last week we baptized a student. Praise the Lord! In June, we had a surplus of $23,974.00 in our budget offerings which allowed us to transfer $15,679.00 to our growth fund for the month. God is so good! We really appreciate the faithfulness you have shown during the summer months. I thank God that He allows me to Pastor such a committed group of people!
On July 9th, everyone had an opportunity to walk through our 850 seat Worship Center. When we ordered the chairs, we forgot to count the choir and orchestra. The 775 we spoke of earlier was just the floor seating. When our architect, Clay McGill, told us that at our last meeting, my heart jumped with joy realizing we will be able to seat 75 more people.
Everyone that came out of the new Sanctuary on that Sunday made a comment saying, “It was a really big building.” One child after coming out expressed it like this, “It is HUGE!” Compared to our present sanctuary, it truly is huge. In talking to Ronnie Keener, he is still saying that we are right on time and right on budget and three fourths of the way to completion! We are hoping to be in the building by the first Sunday in November. The way time is flying by, it will be here before you know it. Bro. Steve and I cannot wait to see everyone back in one service under one roof together again. We are going to suggest to the church to move back our starting times when we move to the new Worship Center. Sunday School would begin at 9:15 a.m. and Worship would start at 10:30 a.m. We really think once everyone gets accustomed to the new change they will really like it. Speaking of change, this Saturday, July 29th at 8:00 a.m. we will need all hands-on deck to get everything out of the two north classrooms in our Family Life Center to begin remodeling them into three Preschool classes for Sunday School and our Worship times. Everything we had ever read says that the preschool area needs to be as close to your Worship Center as possible. We will also need to move four adult classrooms around that morning to accommodate the changes of location. Please prayerfully consider helping this Saturday. The more people we have the sooner we can get it finished. My Christian friends, now will be the most challenging time of all our new construction. Classes will be out of place, tables and chairs will be stacked everywhere, and the Family Life Center will be a mess. Please be patient with us as we work through Phase 2 of our construction. Our plans are to start Phase 3 after the first of the year when we are comfortable in our new Sanctuary. Phase 3 will be the remodeling of our present Sanctuary. We will be able to get five classrooms and accommodate 50-60 people in each classroom. This will allow us to be able to grow in Sunday School for the next several years. We are hoping by Easter Sunday 2018 to have everything in place. Wow! What a Mighty God we serve and to say that we are a little bit excited about it would be a huge understatement. We cannot thank God enough for what he is doing at Rye Hill Baptist Church! The most awesome thing is that we believe with all our hearts the BEST is still yet to come. Keep praying the devil out and inviting the Holy Spirit to be with us each and every Sunday.
Please be praying hard for our Youth Search Committee that will be voted on in our next Body Life Meeting. We know this is a very important decision in the life of our church. We truly want the perfect will of God in this church decision. We were really encouraged to see our reception room full last Sunday night where we gave the youth, parents, and grandparents our future plans during the interim time in our Youth Ministry. Bro. Steve and I want to thank the following men who signed up to help with teaching times on Sunday and Wednesday night: Scott Warren, Chuck Chitty, Tony McCutcheon, Charles Goff, Van Steenwyk, and Carl Schneider. Replacing a loved staff member is never easy, but with God’s help we can find the man that He wants to lead us in the future.
We have kept the month of August a little lighter due to the busy summer schedule, but we will hit it full blast in September.
I am feeling better, but I am still on prednisone and a maintenance antibiotic until I see Dr. Meade in August. He wants me to lose weight, so those two words, diet and exercise have crept back into my life. I am scheduled for a sleep study on August 3rd, then I will see Dr. Meade again. I hope to be released at that time. He still doesn’t want me preaching on Sunday nights due to preaching twice on Sunday mornings. I have begun preaching on Wednesday nights again, and we are still in our series of “Old Testament” stories. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and concern for my health. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be down for so long, but I can honestly say that God has been with me every step of the way. I truly believe that I am going to be a better leader and preacher when all is said and done. Thank you again for your patience and understanding. I cannot put into words how much everyone of you means to me and how blessed I am to be your Senior Pastor. We are living in exciting times in the life of our church, and we see nothing but wonderful things in our future. May God bless each and every one of you. We hope to see you this Sunday in God’s church worshipping with God’s people! We love you with all of our hearts.