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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

September, 2015

Dear Church Member,

As I reflect back over the past eight months, the verse that comes to mind is, “I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13. Words never seem enough when it comes to what our church family means to us. It has truly been the most challenging time of my life but your prayers and wonderful support through this whole process of my mother’s passing made it easier to go through. We had to lean on Romans 8:28 and Proverbs 3:5,6 many times this year. There have been so many people who have covered for me while I was going to see mom every other week. The bulk of the load was put on Bro. Steve and Carla. I appreciated them so much and want to thank them publicly. Church life went on and ministry went uninterrupted because of their hard work and dedication to our Lord. Several men taught and preached in my absence like Thurman Smith, Brandon Halsey, Tony McCutcheon, Chuck Chitty and Paul Walker. Several sweet people sent me cards of encouragement, gave me gas money for travel, and so many prayed daily for me. You truly made this painful process bearable and have always been there to support me in so many ways. From the bottom of my heart “THANK YOU” so much! I love and appreciate every one of you and feel blessed to be the Senior Pastor of Rye Hill Baptist Church. I also want to thank everyone who has sent a sympathy card, made a phone call, and given to our Building Fund or purchased Gideon Bibles in honor of my mother’s passing. The number of cards and donations have been unbelievable! I am so ready to get back in full force and greatly appreciate the church allowing me to spend so much time away with Mom. She really was the best Mom a family could ask for. Please continue to pray for our family and especially my sisters, who are having a really hard time with our loss. It still hurts but knowing she is in heaven walking the streets of gold sure brings us much comfort.

We are very excited about our newly elected Building Committee which includes Ronnie Keener, Lee Merry, Cynthia McCutcheon, Juanita Culverson and Bill Fant. Alternates are Bob Peirce, Sharon Gushing, Jerry Wisdom, and Dan Stewart. We will begin meeting soon to start looking at newer Sanctuaries around the area and begin putting together a rough draft of the size and design so that we can begin to request bids from several architects. This first process will probably be the longest time spent because we want to be sure the Sanctuary will fit our property and is exactly what we are looking for. Please pray for our Building Committee! Specifically that they will be united and in one accord, plus that they will only have the over-all good of the church in mind. We cannot tell you how excited we are for this new chapter in the life of our church to begin!

The Lord has allowed me an opportunity to preach a Revival, on September 27-30 at my home church, Cameron Baptist in Lawton, OK. When Pastor Mike Teel mentioned it this spring after preaching in our church, I was just waiting for the fall dates. This will truly be a wonderful time of renewing old friendships and one awesome opportunity to preach in my home town. Please pray that God will bring Revival to the church, souls would be saved and it will begin a Revival in Lawton OK. To say that I am just a little excited would be a huge understatement!

Hey men, we want to thank you very much for being so faithful to our “True Courage” Bible Study and breakfasts this past year. Bro. Steve and I are looking at a new Bible Study to begin this fall. Watch for the date in October and think of someone who you can invite to join us. They do not have to be a church member. We want to use this Men’s Ministry as an outreach tool as well as a discipleship tool. We have also rescheduled our Men’s Fishing Trip for Saturday, September 19, at 6:00 a.m. The weather should be perfect this time of year. We will meet at the church and go to James Fork Lake. We appreciate Orville and Bette Bittle getting us in this beautiful private lake. I hope many of you men will come and try to out- fish your preacher!

Be sure to save the date of Sunday, September 20th to honor Bro. Dale and Raye Montgomery on their 10th Anniversary as Children’s Ministers of our church. That is an amazing tenure for any Children’s Minister! They have done a great job for us these past ten years. Details of the day will be shared soon.

In closing, I want to thank my wife, Lori for being such an awesome Soulmate, Preachers Wife, Nursery Director, Mom and now Grandmother. I know she hates the limelight but she has truly been amazing these last eight months and especially last week at Mom’s funeral. I am not sure I could have made it without her. She understood a crazy summer schedule, spring school and me being gone so much and she never complained. I could not do what I do with out her full support and help. She quietly stays behind the scenes but believe me, she is my rock and my biggest supporter. I pray that God will allow us to serve here until we retire or He comes again. I really miss church when I am gone and truly believe that there is no place like HOME. Thank you for allowing us transported Okies to call Arkansas our home! May God bless you and we hope to see you this Sunday as we get back into “A Survey of the Old Testament” and the Book of Jeremiah. I love you!

In Christ,
Michael Franklin