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Rye Hill Baptist Church
11512 Old Hwy 71 South
Fort Smith, AR, 72916

08:00am - Early Service
09:45am - Sunday School
11:00am - Worship Service
06:00pm - Evening Service

January, 2016

Dear Church Member,

I absolutely love the Christmas Season and Christmas Carols. Bro. Steve, our Praise Team, and our soloists have done such a wonderful job leading us this special time of the year. Our worship attendance for these first two Sundays in December has been 347 in both services. That is totally awesome for December! We have also received $8,611.65 for our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering so far this month. It is not too late to give to this wonderful Mission Cause where 100% of dollars received goes to our Foreign Missionaries. I am so proud of our church collecting items for the Maggie House, which takes care of abused children in Charleston, AR. Several of our Sunday School classes have also helped needy families in the area that could not afford gifts for Christmas. You truly have proven that you believe and practice Acts 20:35 which says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your spirit of generous giving!

I asked Carla if she could give me a few statistics from our calendar year. I thought we had a great year, but over all, God has really blessed us in many ways in 2015. Our Food Bank Ministry has fed 2,944 people this year. Wow! Our Food Bank men are doing a super job, working sometimes daily, keeping us in boxes of food. Our Benevolence Ministry has helped 780 families this year with cut-off notices. That is an amazing amount of help for one calendar year! God has also blessed us with 47 people joining our church by letter or statement, 12 baptisms, 7 other professions of faith, 18 recorded rededications, not to mention the many that rededicate their lives and go back to their pews. That is a total of 84 decisions for this year! Hallelujah! To God be the glory, great things He has done! Our total gifts for our Growth Fund, which are our monthly budget transfers plus any gift given each month for the last 11 months, is $359,438.00! I just cannot thank God enough for letting me be a part of such a giving church. Our General Budget Giving has been $561,208.30 for 11 months. It is obvious that we not only have many tithing families in our church, but many families who give above and beyond their tithes, which God calls a true offering to the Lord! You have really proven over and again, that we are blessed by God, so we can be a blessing to others! We greatly appreciate every gift given this year towards ministry and growing our church for God’s glory.

Our Building Committee is currently in negotiations with two land owners on prices for parking spaces on the north side of our property. Please continue to pray for a reasonable price for land. We thank God for opening the door for us to at least consider future land for parking. We also want to thank Paul Walker for helping us talk with and negotiate land prices as an honorary member of our Building Committee. We have talked to three Architect Firms and are currently praying about which firm God wants us to use. I have to be quite honest, it is not going to be an easy choice. All three firms are capable of doing a super job. Please pray for your Building Committee on this subject. We want to be united and in one accord on this extremely important issue. Hopefully, we will have a decision to bring to you to vote on and approve at our January Body Life Meeting. Until then, any extra money that we receive will be put towards our Future Growth Fund. You have until December 31st, 2015 to be able to use it for your tax donations.

It is a sad day and world that we are living in. We are in the process of putting together a Church Security Team to protect our cars and church property during our service times. Satan hates what is going on at Rye Hill Baptist Church and has sent his people to steal from and discourage good Christian People. We have already had one training session, but it is not too late to sign up to help us with this very important ministry. Just see Tony McCutcheon and he can catch you up on what we are doing and what you can do to help us. All volunteer Security Personnel will be wearing visible name tags. They will basically be monitoring parking lots, hallways, offices, and classrooms, looking for suspicious activity or anyone just wandering around during any service. Our plans are to begin this Security Ministry in early January 2016. Please pray that the thieves will be caught and the theft of property and money will stop. We will do whatever it takes to protect personal property and the safety of our people while they are at church. I never thought we would see this day come, but the Bible clearly says that evil will be more and more prevalent in the last days. If we have enough volunteers, each person will be on duty in a once a month rotation.

Thank you so much for the love gift, beautiful Christmas cards, the kind words, the gift cards, gifts and candy for Christmas. You never cease to amaze me with your generosity and kindness to Lori and I. We appreciate you thinking of us this Christmas Season.

My heart is so full of joy as I think of the possibilities for 2016. I truly believe that we can look towards going over 250 in Sunday School and over 400 in both Worship Services in 2016. My prayer is that we will really support our Outreach Visitation Ministry and see many more people come to Christ in the new year.

I am honored and proud to be your Senior Pastor. Every week someone in our community tells me that they hear great things about what is going on at Rye Hill Baptist Church. Let’s pray together that we will never be satisfied on where we are or have been, but will continue to look for ways to minister to people in our wonderful town.

I love each and every one of you. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas break and a Happy New Year!

In Christ,
Michael Franklin