These last nine months we have been in the most exciting times we have ever seen in the life of our church! God has shown us His Holy Power and Presence in every area of our church. He has truly blessed us beyond measure. My mind and heart continually go back to those four words found in Psalm 23:5, “My cup runs over.” We should be in an attitude of praise and gratitude for the many blessings He is bestowing on us! On August 26th, we had 474 in worship and averaged well over 400 in attendance for the summer months. In our August Body Life we reported 18 additions by baptism or church letter. We also transferred $100,000.00 from the General Budget to pay on our loan principal. That means in the last nine months we have paid a total of $370,000.00 toward loan principal. Can you shout ‘Hallelujah’? We also have had 92 additions to our church since January. To God be the glory, great things He has done! Every Sunday God is adding to His church and people are making life-changing decisions. We greatly appreciate your faithfulness to His church and your commitment to giving generously to the Lord’s work. These are the reasons God is blessing our church in such a mighty way!
I cannot tell you how excited I am for our first Fall Discipleship Conference. We are calling it the “Know Why” Conference. On October 7th thru 9th (Sunday night at 6 PM.; Monday & Tuesday at 7 PM). Bill Newton, Youth Pastor from FBC from Hot Springs will be sharing Biblical reasons for why we believe what we do about God, and how to talk to others. The Arkansas Baptist Convention uses Bro. Bill as a featured speaker in their “Super Summer” programs. Friends of mine give high recommendations for him and his gift of communication. He will also be teaching some apologetics in this extremely special conference. We are inviting other Southern Baptist Churches in our Association to join us for these three wonderful nights of teaching. I hope and pray you will commit to be here every night of this conference. I promise that you will not be disappointed. It will strengthen your faith and ability to share the “whys” of what we believe. Feel free to invite guests to come with you to this awesome time of discipleship and learning.
We are excited about the ‘Kids’ Beach Club’ after-school program that will begin in October at Orr Elementary School. This will be a fantastic opportunity to get God, Bibles, and salvation back into our schools. Bro. Scott and Cindy are leading out in this wonderful outreach tool that will also help reach parents with the gospel. It will give us an opportunity to invite the whole family to our church. They had a good group of volunteers at their first meeting/training, but still could use some more help. Please pray for this new ministry. See Bro. Scott or Cindy if you are interested in volunteering for this amazing after-school program for 3rd through 6th graders.
I want the church to know how much we appreciate all our volunteers who make our committees function, and minister to our people and others. Without you, we would not be able to minister effectively in our community nor in the life of our church. I also want to especially thank the Nominating Committee, the Personnel Committee and the Finance Committee for a job well done. All of our committees are important, but these three shape the culture of many ministries in our church. Please continue to pray for all of our committees as they begin work on October 1st.
Bro. Steve and I have a special request for Sunday mornings. Please do not look us up for issues that do not pertain specifically to the morning Worship Service. These issues should be referred to an usher or deacon. It is extremely important for Steve and me to get focused on God, prayer, scripture, and music so that we can be totally prepared for Worship. My goal on Sunday mornings is to shake hands with everyone who attends the Worship Service. With the growing attendance, it will also help tremendously if all prayer requests are given to us in a written form. You are important to us! Guests are important to us! Worship is important to us! Please help us with these two issues. We will be extremely grateful for your cooperation and understanding.
Lori and I want to thank you for allowing us to be gone for an extended vacation this year. We appreciate having this time to rest, relax, read, and enjoy our time together. I love each one of you with all my heart and want nothing but the best for you, your family, and our church! May God bless you, and may He continue to shine His Light on our church as we give Him the glory for everything that goes on in the life of Rye Hill Baptist Church.