Dear Church Member,
Two words come to my mind when reflecting about what the Lord has done the past three weeks at Rye Hill Baptist Church – incredible and historic! Incredible that God has allowed us to baptize someone every week while continuing to see other spiritual decisions being made. Historic because we have set new all-time high attendance records the past three weeks. God has blessed us with 274, 288 and 292 people in Sunday School which averages 285 since the change to the 9:15 starting time. Our worship attendance, with the change to one service, has also been amazing this month with 428, 487 and 542 for an average of 486! To God be the glory, great things He has done! Can we get an Amen?
Everywhere I go people are talking about what God is doing at Rye Hill Baptist Church. Every Sunday I hear people comment on how beautiful and big our new Worship Center is! I still tear-up almost every Sunday thinking about what God has allowed us to do to provide room for growth in our church. All three Sundays have been wonderful, but the Dedication Service was truly fantastic! Everyone worked so hard to make it one of the best Sundays ever in the life of our church. The Holy Spirit’s presence has been strong in all three services, but it was especially extra special that day. It really has been a total ministry team effort on everyone’s part. From the bottom of my heart, a huge “Thank You” to everyone who had any part in making the last three weeks such a blessing! Things could not have gone any smoother considering everything was new and we had not had time to master it all. We are still in the learning time with video and sound, but it just keeps getting better and better each week. Another area of excitement is the number of visitors we have had each week. There have been visiting families and individuals all over the place in every worship service. You truly have done a super job inviting friends, work associates, and family members to join us for Sunday School and Worship each and every Sunday! Let’s keep up the wonderful work of outreach and inviting guests for our Lord and Savior. We are beginning the Holiday Season and I do not know any better time to invite people to our church than the Christmas Season. It is a great time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and keep the Christ in Christmas.
We want to thank everyone who had any part in the setup, serving, cooking, or cleanup for our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Fellowship. We want to especially thank Mary and Darold Mastin and the awesome Kitchen Committee that worked so hard to make everything run so well and serve so many in such a short amount of time! And how about the Decorating Committee’s work? Everything looked wonderful and every table was decorated in beautiful fall colors. I believe with all my heart that it was one of the largest crowds we have ever fed, the most organized it has ever been, and the smoothest one yet from start to finish! It is such a blessing to see our church family together and sharing a fantastic Thanksgiving meal. We hope to keep it a church family and friend’s tradition for years to come!
On Sunday Night, December 3rd, at 6:00 p.m., we will host the “City On Its Knees” prayer rally here at our church. We thank the Lord for Pastor Tashala Devrow’s vision for uniting all the churches in the Fort Smith area for the sole purpose of “Praise and Prayer” for our city, our country, and our leaders. We thank God that this will be the first city-wide service to be held in our new Worship Center. Our own Bro. Steve Stewart and our Praise Team will be leading out in the “Praise and Worship” time. Several pastors, including myself, will lead in prayers directed toward specific matters of concern. I hope you will consider joining us for this special “city-wide” prayer meeting. We are also anticipating hosting future events for our Association and State Convention.
We will be calling for a special Body Life Meeting on Wednesday evening, December 6th, at 7:00 p.m., to vote on a new Youth Leader for our church. The Youth Committee has been working hard for the past three months and have found who they believe is God’s man from seven possible candidates. This time is needed since there will be no Sunday Nights open in December because of other events and programs. We will give everyone, including AWANA workers, an opportunity to vote. Please pray that God’s perfect will be done in this extremely important call in the life of our church. We want only the best for our youth and the Youth Ministry.
On December 3rd, I will begin a new sermon series entitled “Keeping Christ in Christmas.” Our Children’s Musical will be Sunday, December 10th, at 6:00 p.m. Our Adult Choir Christmas Program will be Sunday, December 17th, at 6:00 p.m. You do not want to miss any of these Christmas messages or programs. Please feel free to invite friends and family to these special Christmas Season services; we would love a houseful. Be sure to make note that on December 24th and 31st, we will have NO Sunday School and our Worship Service will begin at 10:00 a.m. both days. Because it will be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve we will not have evening services these two Sundays. We will have Wednesday evening service on December 27th.
Thank you for your strong prayer support and faithfulness to God’s Church and the ministries of Rye Hill Baptist Church. Even with all that God is doing, we believe the best is still to come. With our new Worship Center and the remodeling of our old sanctuary in January and February, we will have room to grow in Sunday School and worship for years to come! God is so GOOD!
I love each and every one of you and look forward to serving with you for years to come!