February 1, 2019
The old phrase “Time flies when you are having fun” really seems to be true these days. It is hard to believe that on February 3rd I will have been the Senior Pastor for 15 years at Rye Hill Baptist Church. From the 52-0 vote to the building of our new Sanctuary, God has truly been with us every step of the way! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought we would do what God is allowing us to do for His glory in the life of our church. Those early years were extremely challenging, but God’s love and wisdom has allowed us to see some amazing things during these 15 years. We have seen so many ministries started which are touching the lives of so many people.
God has blessed us greatly in the area of finances. We were able to pay off $770,000.00 owed on our Family Life Center in 7 years. We saved close to 2 million dollars to put down on our new Sanctuary. After last night’s Body Life, we transferred $55,000.00 from our General Fund to put directly on our loan principal. In 15 months. We have paid a total of $576,814.12 to our loan principal. Hallelujah! From a beginning of well over $5 million, our loan payoff is under 3 million dollars as of this past Sunday. I still believe with all my heart that with God’s help we can pay our loan off within the next 4 years! Praise the Lord! Another huge blessing is that we have seen 120 people join our church through baptism or moving church membership in the last 15 months! To God be the glory, great things He has done! Our Sunday School attendance and Worship attendance has steadily grown over the last 15 years. From the bottom of my heart, “Thank you” for allowing me to be your Senior Pastor, for your prayers and strong support these past 15 years. Even with all that said, I believe our best years are still ahead. I believe 2019 could be our best year ever if we will continue to seek God with all of our hearts, keep our eyes on Jesus, and listen to the Holy Spirit in everything we do this year.
I still say Sunday is my favorite day of the week! I cannot wait to get here every Sunday! Please continue to pray for our church staff. I love working with the staff God has put here and pray that He will keep us together for many years to come.
We had a great start to our Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study in January. We began a new study entitled “Man In the Mirror” with 60 men in attendance (3 were first time guests). Thank you, Jesus! Several men told me how much they enjoyed the Bible Study. Our next Men’s Breakfast is on Saturday, March 2nd, at 8:30 AM. Be sure to reserve that date to join us for some great Christian fellowship. Think of someone you can invite or encourage to come with you. The breakfast meal is always outstanding!
We voted unanimously in our Body Life Meeting to adopt Westside Baptist Church for one year where Bro. Dale Montgomery is now pastor. The word now used in the Arkansas Baptist Convention is ‘Revitalization.’ We will come along beside them and help them in any way that we can. We did the same thing for Temple Baptist Church several years ago when they were struggling. Westside Baptist is a small congregation that doesn’t have a lot of leadership. One of the first things they need is a male Adult Sunday School teacher. If you are interested in teaching for a while, please contact me and I will give you the details. We hope after a few months, as the church grows, new teachers and leaders will come. Another outreach we are planning is a Block Party in the spring. We will need several volunteers for this missions and outreach ministry, so keep your eyes and ears open for that date. Please pray daily for Dale and Raye and the spiritual challenges in front of them. They were one of our own for 13 years. We pray nothing but the best for them, their family, and their ministry.
To say that we are looking forward to our Spring Bible Conference would be a big understatement. Dr. Dale Thompson from First Baptist Church in Fort Smith and Bro.Tom McCone will be leading us this April 7th thru 10th. Dr. Dale is a seasoned veteran of preaching and is well respected in the Fort Smith area. Most of our shut-ins watch him every Sunday on television and love his preaching. We are really blessed to have Dr. Dale start our conference on Sunday morning and continue through Wednesday night. Bro.Tom is a wonderful music leader at First Baptist Church in Greenwood. He has served in churches around the area for years and brings a variety of music and ‘Praise Teams’ with him to every revival service. Please mark the dates and begin praying for a great movement of God that turns into a true revival! We really think God is going to do an awesome work those four days.
Lastly, thank you for being so faithful in the areas of attendance, giving, prayer, and support for all of our ministries! People tell me all the time that they hear some wonderful things about our church. We couldn’t do what we do without the hundreds of people that support all the ministries of our church. You truly are a special and committed people who love God, His church, and others. I count it an honor to worship and minister with every one of you. I love you with all my heart and pray nothing but the best for you and your family. May God bless you, and may 2019 be a wonderful year for you, your family, and our church!