Dear Church Member,
God never ceases to amaze me with His awesome power and His strong presence in the life of our church. When many churches have a “summer slump” with many folks on vacation, God is adding to our church every Sunday. This past Sunday is another wonderful example of how blessed we areas members of Rye Hill Baptist Church. We had 292 in Sunday School, 420 in Worship Service, and we baptized 2, had 4 joined by letter, and 1 more come for baptism. Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve! You truly can sense the Holy Spirit working in each and every service. Another incredible statistic is since January 1, 2018, God has added 74 people to our church membership through either baptism or the moving of a church letter. To God be the glory, great things He has done! Everywhere I go people are asking me what is happening in our church. One thing I tell them is that God’s Presence (Holy Spirit) is in our services in a mighty way. Another factor is our Praise and Worship time. Bro. Steve and the Praise Team take us to the Throne of God each Sunday to prepare our hearts and minds for the preaching of the Word. Last Sunday a couple that was visiting for the first time told me as they were leaving that our church was the friendliest church they had ever been in. Wow! What a compliment! Greeting guests and being friendly does make a huge difference in how people feel about God’s church. Another factor is how many people are inviting friends, relatives, neighbors, work associates, and even strangers to our Worship Services. Two weeks ago a man wrote on his Visitors Card that he was at Hardees and someone invited him to our church. Last week a family came on Sunday night because Sunday afternoon one of our members invited them to our church at Golden Corral. That is totally awesome! Another big factor is our Outreach Ministry. Bro. Scott is our “First Responder” who visits guests on Sunday afternoons. Our deacons, yokefellows, and teachers have made it a point to contact every visitor we have in Sunday School or Worship Service. Add in much prayer and you can see why God is blessing our church in a mighty way. My prayer is that we will never take God’s blessings for granted and that we will continue to be faithful, friendly, and mission minded.
Praise God the new Chapel chairs are to be in next week. It will be the last piece to our remodeled Old Sanctuary. We have now moved 11 Sunday School classes to new locations. Because of our remodel, every Sunday School class now has room to grow. Our Sunday School attendance for the last three weeks has been 272, 289, and 292. I believe that 300 in Sunday School is just around the corner. Thank you, Jesus! Show me a strong Sunday School program and God will show you a strong church. Our students are about to go back to school, so why not join us for Sunday School at 9:15 AM next week? I promise you it will be a great time of Bible study and getting to know people in a small group setting. We really have some of the finest Sunday School teachers in Fort Smith.
Please remember to pray for our Backpack Outreach Ministry on Saturday, August 4th, from 10:00 AM to noon here at the church. It will be a super way to minister to our community and share the gospel with many in the greater Fort Smith area. Bro. Scott has told me that we need around 40 volunteers that day to make it work efficiently. Please prayerfully consider coming early and helping us minister to needy families in our city. I truly thank God for Bro. Scott and his heart for missions. You can still help us by purchasing school supplies and having them at church by Wednesday, August 1st. You also can give to our Backpack Ministry or to Missions and we will purchase the items for you. Thank you for your strong support for genuine needs and true ministry in the life of our church.
Our “Every Home Reached” ministry has really slowed down due to the extremely hot weather. We have decided to suspend it until the month of September. Our thought is to bring it back at that time with the idea of having a Saturday Outreach Blitz once a month during the fall to catch up on our goal of knocking on every door looking for prospects in our neighborhood. On these special Saturdays, we will be asking everyone (men, women, boys & girls) to seriously consider helping us reach out to our Jerusalem for the purpose of finding prospects that do not attend church
anywhere and inviting them to our church. This Outreach Ministry is fulfilling the “Great Commission” that Jesus shared with His disciples before leaving earth. We need at least 20 teams (2 people each) going out once a month to reach our goal. Please do not let fear overcome you or intimidate you. We will pair you with a seasoned veteran in outreach and they will do the talking. I promise you God will be with you and bless you for your effort.
I had a sweet lady tell me a few weeks ago that what God is doing in our church reminded her of the “good old days” at First Baptist Church with J. Harold Smith. Wow! I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be your Senior Pastor. I get up every morning excited about the Lord’s work. Sunday’s are truly my favorite day of the week. My prayer is that we will stay hungry for His presence, humble in spirit, and continue to give God the glory for everything He has done and will do in the life of our church. I still say that our “BEST” days are ahead of us. Let’s continue to stay in the perfect will of God as we fill up His church for His honor and His glory. I love each and every one of you and cherish your daily prayers and strong support. May God bless you. Hope to see you in church this Sunday!