Dear Friends and Supporters,
Brenda and I hope everyone is well and blessed as you receive our ministry newsletter. This month has been a good month, and we’ll try to keep it brief. We appreciate all of you who let us send it to you each month, so that you might know where we’ve been and where we are headed next month. God is gracious in continuously keeping us busy in various preaching and singing events. So, as always, I want to say a word about the upcoming dates on our schedule.
In the near future, the month of September is filled, and October is all filled except for the last Sunday (Oct. 29th). November and December are mostly open for now. I am reminded of how that we typically have some of our best meetings near the end of each year. I only have about 9 open dates remaining for 2017, and I want to mention early, a new year is just around the corner. I appreciate those of you who look far ahead in planning your church calendar.
As I continue, we are hoping and praying for opportunities to preach and sing in revivals around the country. That is what God has called us to do and that’s what I love doing more than anything in life. It has been the highest honor of my life to open God’s Word after study and prayer, and preach under His anointing. I love preaching and wish I was a better preacher. When I step into the pulpit, I try to remember Whose I am and the One I represent. I do the very best I can, because one of these days, it’ll be my last time. So to those of you who book meetings, I invite you all to take a look at our 2017 or 2018 Schedules, and if I can help, email me, or call or text me at 601-832-2458. I often think of Paul’s three “I am’s” in Romans 1 . . . I am debtor, I am ready and I am not ashamed.
May we never forget those devastated by floods and winds in Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. I’ve preached in Houston and knew of its propensity to flood, but never thought we’d see it in these proportions. We hear the word “unprecedented” a lot these days, and some people refer to the flooding as being of “Biblical proportions”. I don’t mean to detract from or minimize for one second, the hurt, suffering, death and destruction we have seen these days. People are losing everything they had and the most tragic part, some are without their families and friends.
After just a few days, look at how much water we see. Can you fathom a gushing, non-stop torrential downpour for 24 hours a day? Can we imagine that rain lasting for 40 complete days? For those of us who believe the Bible is God’s infallible Word, without error, we believe there was a universal flood just like God said. I wonder how people can still deny and refuse to believe there was once a global flood that actually covered this earth. Is that so hard to believe? How we need to pray, give and do our parts, large or small. I know millions are doing just that. America is not completely lost yet. There are still some wonderful, loving, charitable people left. I pray that out of the devastation and dark days, that all of America will be reminded that hope and brighter days are possible with God’s help, and that we the people, are His hands, feet and mouth. As someone said, “witness to everyone you can; use words if necessary”.
On the first Sunday of August (6th) I preached at Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church, near Sebastopol, Mississippi. The church is without a pastor at this time. This is the little country church where I first heard the Gospel as a little boy. I will always be grateful for a third grade school teacher for picking up some of us kids and teaching us about Jesus. The Word was planted in my heart, along with the rock-solid old hymns of the church about the cross and the blood. I heard John 3:16 for the first time in Sunday School there. It has been 2-3 years since our last trip to Salem. It was a good day and we appreciate every opportunity to go back.
The next Wednesday night (August 9th) I preached at Hazel Baptist Church, Lake, Mississippi. The Pastor, Bro. Victor Bugg, offers me the opportunity to preach sometimes when we visit. We are loved and at home at Hazel. Bro. Marion Felton is still music leader there, (30 years+). We always love seeing all our friends in Christ and former church members. They loved my family for 10 years as Pastor and have loved us ever since. Thanks to Bro. Victor and our beloved Hazel Baptist family.
The next Sunday, August 13, I preached at two churches. It was back to Salem Cumberland Presbyterian for the morning service and Clifton Baptist Church, Forest, Mississippi, for the night service. Clifton is special to me; it was where I was saved as a teenage boy. Pastor Kenny Lang needed a pulpit supply and we sang and I preached and had a great service.
The third week in August was a revival at Rose Hill First Baptist Church, Rose Hill, Mississippi, which is in Jasper County. The church is currently without a Pastor. Bro. Jeff Mercer is the worship leader there and booked me for the revival. Bro. Jeff and I go way back to our last pastorate at New Hope Baptist Church, in Meridian, Mississippi. He our Deacon Chairman for one year. Jeff does a good job leading music and singing, and it was a joy to see him and wife Paula again. Jeff’s dad, Bro. Ron Mercer is filling the pulpit for the church as he can. We were glad to see Bro. Ron and Ann Mercer, Tommy Cook, J.W. and Charlotte Mitchell, and several friends during the week. In fact, we had some of the best attendance in a while, including visitors from several surrounding counties. Tuesday night was almost packed out. God moved, people were saved and lives were changed. Our internet readers will see several photos from the revival. Also, I had tremendous liberty to preach. I was “wrung out” and exhausted each night after service. Thanks to Bro. Jeff Mercer and all the folks at Rose Hill FBC!
We finished the month of August again at Salem Presbyterian and had another good day of worship. Also, during the month of August, Brenda and I went to Atlanta, GA for a belated birthday visit with our son, Brad, who turned 38 on August 1. We couldn’t be there for the actual day, but we went as soon as we could. I fought the Atlanta traffic while Brenda prayed in the floor! We cooled our heels a little while Dr. Creel was up early and hard at work. We really enjoyed our time with Brad. He took us out to Bones for a most amazing supper. We’ve never been treated to anything quite like it. (Bones is not only #1 in Atlanta every year, but the Zagat survey rates it the highest ranked steakhouse in America for food and service). It was fine! Also, Brad is sporting a brand new car that he has dubbed “Vestal”. We can’t imagine why he didn’t offer to let either one of us drive it, but we did enjoyed scootin’ around Atlanta in style. Happy belated birthday to Brad!
We thank all of you who us in any way. So many of you pray for us, some send financial gifts each month to help us travel and to meet our needs. I want to thank individuals and the churches who bless us financially and pray every day for open doors and good meetings. We could never say thank you enough! Brenda and I want you to know how honored we are to keep traveling around to any preaching, singing events the Lord opens up. We love you all and pray every day for you and your families. As I close now, here is a look at what the Lord has opened for us next month. By the Lord’s grace, we plan to be at these places in September 2017 . . .
3 Shiloh Baptist Church Louisville, MS Jay Murphy, Pastor
10 Clifton Baptist Church Forest, MS Kenny Lang, Pastor
17-20 West Salem Baptist Church Sand Hill, MS Chad Carney, Pastor
24 New Prospect Baptist Church Conehatta, MS No Pastor
That All May Know,
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10
August 2017 Newsletter