Dear Church Member,
It is hard to believe that we have just gone into the fall season. We thank God that we at Rye Hill Baptist Church did not experience any summer slump! God has allowed us to see the baptismal waters move the last five weeks. Our attendance a week ago was 126 in the early worship service and 266 in the late worship service for a total of 392 in both worship services! That is real close to 400, my friend. We had church visitors all over the Sanctuary. Sunday, we had 273 in Sunday School. Praise the Lord! Our giving has been wonderful throughout the summer also. Thank you so much for being so faithful to God and His church during our summer months. I truly believe that with the opening of our new Worship Center just weeks away, we are heading for an outstanding fall season.
We have not set an opening date yet for the dedication of our new Worship Center because we are not sure of a completion date. The estimated time is the first or second week of November. We want to have at least one service in our new Sanctuary to work out all the media and sound issues. Everything will be new, so you can understand the importance of a couple of practice runs in a live Worship Service. We are hoping to set a couple of church records in Sunday School and in Worship that “Dedication Day”!
We will call it “High Attendance Day” in the life of our church, so begin to think of who you can invite for this historic opening Sunday in our new Sanctuary. I stood on the stage last week and got chill-bumps thinking about the potential of growth for the next several years. I also had to keep tears from my eyes recalling how far God has brought us in the last 13 1/2 years. Let me say it again from the bottom of my heart, to God be the GLORY for everything He has done! I thank Him every day for His strong presence in the life of our church. People ask me all the time, “What are you doing at the church?” I tell them loving God, worshipping Him in truth and spirit, loving people and giving God the glory for everything that is going on in our church. If I have heard it once, then I have heard it 10 times over the last few weeks. Everyone cannot wait to be in one worship service again. To say that we are extremely excited about it may be the understatement of the year. Please continue to pray that our new Worship Center will truly be a “Lighthouse” on the south-side of Fort Smith. Please make note, that we voted and approved NEW starting times for our Worship Center. Sunday School will begin at 9:15 a.m. and our Worship Service will begin at 10:30 a.m. It will take us some getting used to but, I think over time everyone will adjust and enjoy the new church schedule times.
We have talked previously about remodeling the current sanctuary. Well, it is time to decide for sure what is going to be done and make it official. On Sunday evening, October 15th , in our Body Life Meeting we will be voting on a plan of action. Remodeling the Sanctuary and making classrooms for Sunday School space will serve our educational needs for years to come. Sunday School is still an important part of any growing New Testament Church and the life line and heartbeat of the church! It is our small group Bible teaching arm of the church! Our goal is to allow every class room to grow and disciple Christians in the future. With the larger Worship Center, we want our Sunday School growth to keep up with our worship attendance.
Our Youth Committee is hard at work looking for a part-time Youth Leader. We have interviewed two candidates so far. We are also checking out references and praying for God’s perfect will to be done. We have set October 22nd as the deadline to submit resumes, so please pray that more resume’s will be submitted. We must be patient for God’s timing in this huge decision in the life of our church and Youth Ministry. I promise you that the church staff and the Youth Search Committee only wants the BEST possible person for the youth leader position. I believe with all my heart that God will supply the person we need with His perfect will and timing. I want to thank the men and ladies that are keeping the Youth Ministry going. I want to encourage parents and grandparents to have your youth at our youth activities and Bible Study times. I want to encourage our youth to invite their friends to church on a weekly basis. Our prayer is to have a Youth Leader in place by Christmas with God’s help and guidance.
I have been fully released from any restrictions concerning my health and lungs. Dr. Meade said my lungs are all clear and I can resume a full schedule. Thank you, Jesus! I’m still getting adjusted to the CPAP machine, but things are truly getting better. Thank you once again for your prayers and strong support. I believe that I am real close to being 100% again. God is so good! We all just must keep doing what God has called us to do with love and humility in mind. We must also stay on our knees in prayer, keep our eyes daily in God’s Holy Word, and continue to INVITE and ENGAGE friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to our church. Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you in church this Sunday as we continue our preaching series on “Mountain Top-Experiences.” I love each and every one of you!