Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Sandy and I just got back from visiting our FWB church planters in Arizona. On Thursday and Friday we visited with the Goodmans and Bennetts in Marana (just north of Tucson). Jeff and Josh took me out to see the area and then to have a Sonoran Hot Dog for lunch. It was, I mean they were good.
On Thursday night, we attended their weekly Bible study. They meet at their apartment complex and here is their sign and the room they meet in.

Everyone is invited to a free meal before the study. Here is Jeff, Josh, Heather, and Ashley getting everything ready.


Jeff is teaching.

After another song, Josh finished the teaching.
They both did a good job and told it straight. There was a record attendance of 41!
On Easter Sunday, they start meeting on Sunday mornings in a local school.

We had a great breakfast on Friday. You can eat outdoors in February in Arizona.
On the left is Jeff and Heather with their daughter, Ava.
In the center is Josh and Ashley Bennett.
My wife, Sandy, is on the right.

Here is Sandy and Ava with some beautiful desert scenery. Ava was a little sweetie the whole time. (Sandy was, too)

Cactus are bigger than they look on TV.

Arizona has a beauty of its own.
In the center right of this picture is Old Tucson, the location of many movie westerns.

On Saturday we drove up to Florence to be with Howard and Patsy Gwartney.
They took us out to see the property for their new church.

Here is another picture of the property. It was a rare occasion and actually rained.

Of course we had to eat out. Here we are with Howard and Patsy.

This is Sunday morning at the school. You can see the church's truck. They started unpacking it about 6:30 that morning.

Before church

Mrs. Pat Thomas mans the information table. She also plays a clarinet in the band, sang in a trio, and teaches a weekly Bible study at an RV park. She is Patsy's mother and the wife of former Home Missions Director, Roy Thomas.

They have a pretty big orchestra for a new church. They sounded good, too!

Howard during the service.

At the end the chairs are all stacked up to go back in the truck. A lot of people pitched in and take down was like a well-oiled machine.

It was very exciting to be with these families and new churches! We had a lot of fun together. I also enjoyed our times of serious discussion. The Bennetts, Goodmans, and Gwartneys all have a heart for God and for starting new churches.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Every new home missionary goes through a week of training here in Nashville called Boot Camp. Here is a picture of the 6 men who met last week along with the Home Missions Staff.
From left to right:
David Crowe, Director of Development
Richard Atwood, Director of Missionary Assistance
Mark McCraney, Castle Rock, Colorado
Daryl Grimes, Erie, Pennsylvania
Randall Wright, Dallas, Texas
Tim York, Buffalo, New York
Heath Webb, Boise, Idaho
Darin Alvis, Buffalo, New York
Larry Powell, General Director

I appreciate all the people who helped out. We skyped with present church planters David Sexton and Macr Neppl in Suffolk, VA; Tim Riggs in Mobile, AL; and Jeff Goodman and Josh Bennett in Marana, AZ. All the guys commented on how helpful they were. My wife, Sandy, spoke to the guys about helping their wives and women's ministries. Janice Donoho did a good job of getting everything ready for the meeting, including the food. Here she is getting the pizza ready for lunch one day.

Can you see Randall Wright hamming it up for the camera in the picture below? He kept us all laughing with his funny comments. To be fair, he had several intelligent comments, too.

Everyone came over for dinner at our house one night. Tim York's wife Amanda was able to come and also Mark McCraney's family: wife, Danielle, and their two boys, Ethan and Lucas. Sandy made a great meal. After dinner we have a wonderful time of prayer together and then talked and laughed. I really enjoyed spending time with these folks and getting to know them better. I'm encouraged about how God is going to use them.