Paslay2The Pastor's Pen

January 2019 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

As we approach a new year in the life of our church, I want to share some thoughts with you about what is happening in our congregation. Many of you that have been a part of our church family for a significant period of time know that we are going to miss Bro. Earl and Melony. Anytime a staff member gives nine plus years of service, that person makes an impact on our church family. It will be an adjustment for all of us and we obviously wish Bro. Earl and Melony the best as they enjoy their retirement. So, we are will be in a period of adjustment for a while.

As we go through this period of adjustment, we need the Lord to guide us to our next staff per-son who will come in and serve as we minister to our church family and community. I have shared with the deacon body and will be sharing with you in the days ahead concerning the direction we need to go. We must be willing to stretch our faith and trust the Lord in His leading. It is imperative that we seek the Lord and embrace His will for us. If we believe that God led Bro. Earl to retire and go in another direction, then He obviously has a person He is preparing to come to Grove’s First Baptist. This is an opportunity to shape the future of our church and lead us beyond 2019 or until the Lord returns. So, I am encouraging you to make our staff situation a matter of prayer and ask God to get us all on the same page in seeking His perfect will for our lives! Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind on this most important decision; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Another important event will be on January 13, 2019. We will be ordaining Jesse Carper to the deacon ministry. We are excited about Jesse accepting the call and having a willingness to serve within our church. He and Sonya have already been serving faithfully in our church and we are excited for him in taking this next step. We are looking at an afternoon service with an ordaining council meeting before the service. We will have details in the bulletin on Sunday. Pray for Jesse and Sonya as they serve as a team within the church body. And may it remind us all of our responsibilities as well. Jesus came to serve! We should be like Jesus and seek to serve!

December 2018 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

As we approach the final month of 2018, I want to share some thoughts with you concerning our church. If you have not heard, Bro. Earl read his retirement letter to the church this past Sunday. The Cumbies will be retiring to Waco, Texas by the first of January. Their last Sunday here will be December 16th. They have been with us at Grove’s First Baptist for over nine years. Earl came on as Minister of Education about the time the church was swapping facilities with Cornerstone. I have personally come to lean on Bro. Earl in helping do ministry within the church. He has always been there for people and his personality has endeared him to many people. Earl has been the consummate team player on our staff. He and Melony are loved by this congregation and they will surely be missed. We are in the process of planning some events to allow us as a church family to say “good bye” to the Cumbies. Please be in prayer for Earl and Melony as they make plans to retire in Texas. Earl and Melony, thank you for sharing your lives with us at Grove’s First Baptist. Thank you for your work and dedication in serving the Lord! You leave a part of yourselves here as you go, and we hope you take a part of us as you go to Texas and enjoy your retirement. Dear Lord, bless Earl and Melony Cumbie and lead them with your love and care!
Remember that December is Lottie Moon Christmas Offering time around here. We have set a goal of $7,025 and I believe we can reach that goal and go beyond. Our International Missions Banquet will be on December 2nd. It will be the kickoff of our emphasis on international missions within the Southern Baptist Convention. We support our international missionaries with Cooperative Program dollars. Right now, our church gives 10% of our undesignated offerings to the Cooperative Program. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes to fund special projects overseas like new construction of a church building and resources for clean drinking water in third world countries. Every dollar that we give as a church will go overseas to make sure the gospel is being preached and shared to all people groups. I have asked you as your pastor to set aside an offering for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering each year that is above and beyond your tithe to the church. The theme this year is “Every Church, Every Nation.” Please take an envelope provided for you in the auditorium and give sacrificially. You can also support Lottie Moon by using the Lottie Moon Post Office for your Christmas cards. Give a gift to Jesus this Christmas season! Bro. Jim

November 2018 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

Sunday, November 4th, is the 120th anniversary of Grove’s First Baptist Church becoming a church body. It is a significant moment in the life of our church. God has blessed down through the years and we have an opportunity to reflect and celebrate His blessings. The plans are to have our regular Bible Study Time at 9:00 AM and Fellowship Time at 10:00 AM. We will begin our Morning Worship Service at 10:30 AM and will follow with a fellowship meal in the MPR/Fellowship Hall. After the meal around 1:30 PM, we will have a special afternoon service to conclude our day of celebration. Currently, we have former pastors James Wilder, Robin Cowin and James Duffell planning to attend. Other former staff members have been invited as well as former members coming back to worship and celebrate with us. The church is providing the meat, salad, bread and drinks for the meal and you are being asked to provide vegetable dishes and dessert to help. Contact Terri if you have any questions. This will be a great day to worship and celebrate! Make plans to attend! Lorie and I have been truly blessed by the acts of kindness by individuals for Pastor Appreciation Month. You have been a blessing since we were called to this church and I am grateful to the Lord for bringing us this way. I have shared with people in recent days about the opportunities afforded us here and how the Lord has moved in different ways to grow our church. We have seen significant growth in baptisms, new members and attendance over time. The Lord has blessed us financially and we are now operating with NO debt. Praise the Lord! It has been exciting to see God move in some new ways like our AWANA program. We have provided worship experiences through concerts and dramas. We have had the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma in our church and will have the Singing Churchwomen in April of 2019. We will be planning some other events to encourage spiritual growth and fellowship in the new church year. These are some exciting times here at Grove’s First Baptist Church. I want to personally thank you for your prayer support and a willingness to be a part of what God is doing here! We had special friends this last week visiting with us and they were impressed with the spirit and the demeanor of the church body. We are blessed! Nothing more can I say! So, Grove’s First Baptist Church, congratulations on 120 years of being a lighthouse and an influence to this community and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I pray that we continue to be “found faithful” until Jesus comes back! To God be the glory! For the great things He has done!
Bro. Jim  
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