Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

Greg and Lea Floars are working in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It is a beautiful area with lots of trees. When the Sawyer Air Force base closed down, the government sold the houses and buildings there.
Greg and his church bought the former chapel and it is now their church building.

Sandy and I visited them this weekend.
Here is there auditorium before church started.

I got a picture of Greg looking studious in his office.
We took a lot of time there talking about plans for a new church they will be starting in the upper peninsula in the near future.

Here's Greg behind the pulpit. If the pulpit looks big, it is because it doubles as a baptistry.

Greg and Lea took us to a beautiful spot that overlooks Marquette and Lake Superior.

There's a sharp dropoff, so we can't back up too much.

We had a great time with Greg and Lea and the people there. There are lots of good stories about people have been saved and lives changed! Looking forward to see what else God is going to do in the UP of Michigan.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Heritage Trip

Each year the Home Missions Department sponsors two Heritage Trips. David Crowe plans these. They are a combination American heritage, FWB heritage, and visiting church planters.
On Labor Day weekend the Home Missions staff and their wives were joined by a group that visited Washington DC, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Here is Board member Bobby Shepherd with his wife, Juanita.

Here is Board member Bob Lewis with his wife, Brenda.

Board member Ron Parker was also there with his wife, Elaine, but I didn't get a good picture of them. It was good for our Board members to have a chance to visit home missionaries.

We toured Washington DC one day. There was a protest at the White House and our Director acted like he was a part of it.

Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia was started by Free Will Baptists after the Civil War. We visited there and David Crowe told us its history. I guess most of you know that David is very knowledgable about FWB history.

John Colby was a FWB evangelist in the early 1800s. We visited his grave in Norfolk, Virginia. Here is the Home Missions staff - David Crowe, Larry Powell, and Richard Atwood - in front of his grave.

On Sunday morning, we visited the new work in Suffolk, VA. David and Charity Sexton and Marc and Casie Neppl have converted a former funeral home into a church building. Looks great!

Here is David Sexton giving a tour.

The church was pretty full - attendance that day of 118.

Marc Neppl has been learning the guitar so he can play in church.

A ladies trio sang. That is Casie Neppl on the left and Charity Sexton on the right.

The church graciously provided lunch for us after service. It was delicious!

I had to get one last picture of David - just as his mouth was open.

We drove to Harrisonburg, VA for the Sunday night service there. Paul and Patty Collins welcomed us to their new church building. It looks great!

Paul gave a tour of the new building.

Before the service.

We are very excited about the two works in Virginia that we visited. God is working in both places and great things are happening!

It was a great trip, but we were worn out and ready to go home.

Here is the Powells and Crowes at the airport.

It is good to be back home - but Sandy and I leave tomorrow on another trip.

New York

Two weeks ago, Sandy and I traveled to the state of New York to visit the two Free Will Baptist home mission works there. First, we visited Rochester. After church on Wednesday night, the Booths invited us to their house for supper.
Here is a picture of Dana and Betty Booth.

Dana took me upstairs to show me how he encourages people to be faithful to church.

On a more serious note, Dana was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He has had more tests to see if the cancer has spread, but has not received the results yet. Please pray for him.

We also got to see Jim and Sylvia Martin. They work with the Booths.
Here we are eating again.
The couple in the middle is Nathan and Rachel Atwood (our son and the Martin's daughter)
We appreciate the good work the Booths and Martins are doing!

We left Rochester and headed to Buffalo. On Saturday, several folks gathered together for an Operation Saturation.
Here is Emily Williams and others as we were waiting to get started.

This is Brian Williams giving instructions to everyone about to saturate the area with information about the church.
Home Missionaries Tom and Pam Jones are sitting there listening. They came all the way from Pittsburg to help out! I like that unselfish attitude!

We met at the new location of the church. To help get the cheap rent, Brian and the church agreed to renovate the building. They have been working hard to get it done.
Ken Akers (Masters Men Director) and I helped do some of the work. I appreciate Ken and his desire to help new churches. His wife, Sandra, also came up to Buffalo.

On Sunday morning, we met for the last time at the school they have been renting.
Here is Darin Alvis in front of a church sign. I love good signs.

Tim York led the singing. Amanda York is signing. Leah Williams is playing the bass. Dalton Alvis is playing the drums.

Brian Williams is giving announcements. Just over his shoulder you can see Joy Alvis. She plays the keyboard.

The Williams, Alvis', and Yorks make a good team! This Sunday, September 11, is the Grand Opening for the church in their new location. Pray for a great start!