Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ghosts of Conventions Past

I was looking at some pictures recently and saw these from past National Conventions.


Here is Randy Wright praying at the Wednesday night commissioning service.


Dana and Betty Booth and Jim, Sylvia, and Rachel Martin
(I'm so glad the Martins became home missionaries!)(Uh, of course, the Booths, too)

Allen, Jenny, and Allison Hall

Howard, Patsy, and Brooke Gwartney

Tom and Pam Jones: (Now his hair is cut short and I can hardly recognize him)

Tim, Lori, Carlton, Gabriel, Matthew, and Isaac Byers


Janice Donoho, Sarah Hadley, and me at home missions booth (I'm resting after doing all the work)

Jim Fairchild, Don Bailey, and David Crowe

Home Mission Board members at reception

Jeff Crabtree and Todd Smith look like they aren't too enthused about the food.

Clayton Hampton (third time through)

Bobby Shepherd, Jeff and Charissa Isaacs

Carolyn Adams and Ida Lewis (We still miss Carolyn)

Richard Adams and Scott Cheatham

Cliff and Kathy Donoho, Sue Hayes, Kathy Brown, Ray Lewis

Christa and Calyn Bailey (Aren't they cute?)

Paul Park, Jerry and Carol Atwell

Khristi Shores and Sandy Atwood

Rick and Sharon Bowling and Wanda Powell

Larry Powell and Charlie Tremendous Jones

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists met last week outside of Houston in the church of former home missionary, Randy Puckett. Their new building was beautiful! With 12,000 square feet, they had plenty of room.

Here is a picture of Randy and me in front of their building:

This is their lobby:

Right off the lobby, they have this room to gather for coffee, etc. Randy said it is a favorite spot.

Here is Shelley Puckett getting some snacks ready:

I'm happy for Randy and Shelley and their church.

Everyone at the Texas meeting was very friendly. Free Will Baptists have nice and good people all over and it was good to be in their meeting.
It was also good to see former home missionaries, Paul Hammons, who now pastors in Conroe, TX and Nick and Angie Stewart, who are still in Victoria, TX.

And it was good to see the present home missionaries in Texas.

We saw Jeff and Sondra Cates there, but forgot to take a picture.

So here is a picture of them in front of the canyon that Canyon, TX is named for.
(Jeff said they should be pouring concrete for their new building next week!)

Sandy and I rode over to San Antonio after the meeting to see the 2 FWB church planters there.

Jeremy and Jill Lightsey and Don and Sonya Bailey are both on the north side of town and still are 30 minutes from each other. We could ring the city with 10 more FWB churches and they wouldn't bump into each other.
Jeremy Lightsey's church is doing well with a Sunday attendance in the 60's. A big prayer request for them is to be able to afford a permanent location.
Here is Jeremy and Jill and their 2 daughters, Adria and Hope.
I asked them to pose for an action shot:

Here is Don Bailey and me in front of their new building. They hope to get it finished this summer.

This is a picture looking into the auditorium. Don said it should seat 160 people.

Don and I made sure we had a picture of us working.

Here is Don and Sonya with 3 of their children: Crista, Calyn, and Carson. Carra and Caleb were out of town.

Surprise! Chaplain Richard Anderson and his wife Faith and their 2 sons, came to Don's church on Sunday. Chaplain Anderson is based in San Antonio, but he travels as a recruiter of chaplains. The Andersons are friends with the other couple in the picture - Don and Marie Wilbanks. The Wilbanks brought their camper to live by the church and help Don with the new building. They have been there 3 weeks already and have been a great help!

We really enjoyed our visit to Texas! It is the second most populated state in the US and could use plenty of more good churches.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My brother Brian

Today(June 7) is my brother's birthday. He would have been 54. But he died a couple of months ago. I would have called him tonight and we would have chatted about life, about our families, about ministry (he was a preacher, also). Our sense of humor was a lot alike, so we would have laughed about stuff without even finishing the sentence.
Just a couple of thoughts:

1. He was a good man. I guess most people feel that way about their brother. Brian loved his wife, loved his children, loved his grandchildren, loved his church, loved preaching and leading worship, did things to show that he cared, and stayed faithful to Jesus. During my senior year of college, when I thought everybody had forgotten my birthday, Brian threw me a surprise party. I still remember.

2. I think it is okay to talk about people who've died. I hope someone will talk about me.

3. This sort of helps put things in perspective. I could die suddenly, too. What is really important? Am I ready?

4. All those calls, cards, emails, and even messages on facebook did help. It is nice to know someone took a minute to let you know they care.

5. I still can hardly believe it is true. Somehow I think it is ingrained in us that we are supposed to live forever.

6. It makes all the difference in the world that Brian (and I) know Jesus who has the words of eternal life. A lot of people put birthday greetings to him on facebook today. They know he is still alive.

7. I'll miss talking to him tonight.
Brian, Mark, and me -


All three of the men on staff at Home Missions along with their wives and several couples of Home Mission supporters went on the Heritage Trip to Pennsylvania over the Memorial Day weekend. Besides seeing some American and spiritual heritage on these trips, we visited some home missionaries.

All of us flew into Philadelphia and spent half a day touring there.
Here is a picture of Sandy and me in front of Independence Hall

On the bus: Board member Ron Parker and his wife, Elaine, are still in love.

Here is home missionary Allen Hall with wife, Jenny, and daughter, Allison, in front of the North Carolina Memorial at Gettysburg.

Several of the guys in front of Good News FWB Church in York, PA:

Pastor Hall opening the morning service.

Richard Atwood, David Crowe, Allen Hall, Larry Powell:

Allison drove the bus some:

Director Larry Powell speaking at the Keystone FWB Church in Greensburg, PA:

Home Missionary Tom Jones welcoming everyone. They have done a lot of work to get their building in shape. It is really starting to come together and Tom is happy for someone else to see it.

Tom's wife, Pam, is playing the keyboard and all three of the Jones girls are singing. Jenna (Altom) and her husband, Nate, are Associate Missionaries along with the Jones.

Here is Nate Altom:

David Crowe preaching. He did a good job organizing and leading this trip.

We had a great time seeing the church planters and spending time with other Christians.