Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home Missionary News

Daryl Grimes in Erie, PA - "Praise God we have closed on our building! It was so exciting to stand before our people and hold the deed of the building in my hand. Only God could make this possible! In just a few days we should receive word that our loan has been paid in full. Keep in mind we have only been having weekly services since Easter of this year and we already own a building that is debt free! No payments, no
more rent, no setting up and tearing down. Only God could make this possible! In this building we now call our own I had the privilege to lead Marc to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He prayed a prayer of tearful repentance and faith in our prayer room. I felt like I was in the labor and delivery room as a new
child was born into the family of God. Only God could make this possible!

Another new building - Scott Warren in Salt Lake City had the dedication for their new building last week.  They will have a Grand Opening Service on October 7.

Jeff Cates in Canyon, TX says they are ready for the drywall in their new educational wing.  The church plans on going self-supporting next year.

Jose Correa in Puerto Rico reports that 6 people were baptized in August!

75 people attended the service and pig roast recently in Rochester, NY.  2 people were saved that day!  Dana Booth and Jim Martin minister there.

In nearby Buffalo, NY, Brian Williams said that two people were baptized last Sunday!

Larry Reynolds in Meridian, MS had 3 people saved there recently!

Tim Riggs in Mobile, AL had 3 people saved and 6 baptized in August!

David Sexton and Marc Neppl in Suffolk, VA had a Community Day at their church on a recent Saturday with 400 to 500 people attending!  David says he was hoping for more than the 154 that came on Sunday, but they did have 35 first-time visitors!

Talked to Jeff Goodman in Marana, AZ yesterday.  They had 93 people on Sunday with 4 people saved!  Then a man from their church went out that afternoon and led two more people to faith in Christ!
He and Josh Bennett have started 2 small groups in their homes.  Two important subjects - marriage now and finances coming in next 8 weeks.

Chad Kivette (going to Clarksville, TN) has had good success raising support.  He started in June and already has 80% of his goal!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Our family used to be mystery shoppers.  Different restaurants would reimburse us for the cost of the meal if we filled out a form evaluating our experience.  Years ago, we had 4 children at home and didn't make much money, so we were happy to do it.  Eat out for free!
The restaurant wanted to know if the bathrooms were clean, how long we waited for our food, if the food was good, etc.  Why did they give us free meals?  To evaluate how they were doing.

If I was a church planter or pastor today, I would hire a mystery shopper.  Maybe you could give them a gift certificate to a restaurant if they visited your church and then answered some questions.
Here are some possible questions:

1. Was the church easy to find?
2. Was it easy to park your car?
3. Were there enough signs to let you know where to go?
4. Did church start on time?
5. Did you receive a friendly reception?
6. Tell what you thought about the service - the music, preaching, length.
7. What did you like?  What didn't you like?

You could come up with questions of your own.
None of us like criticism, but I think this would be easier because we are asking for feedback.
All of us have blind spots.  That's no sin.  But being too arrogant or lazy to try and do better may be.
Let's get some help in evaluating what we are doing.  Then hopefully we can improve.

Not only will people be more likely to come back a second time, but your regular people will be more likely to invite their friends!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


A new church is getting started in Champaign, Urbana, Illinois - The Fields Church.
Church Planter Tyler Penn says the Fields Church name signified two thoughts -
all the corn fields around the towns
the fields near and far that he wants the church to reach.

The church meets in a photography studio.  It is close to downtown Urbana (and the University of Illinois) and the rent is cheap.

Sandy and I went to be with the Penns  last weekend for their 2nd preview service.
The chairs are all set up before the service.

Refreshments were available before church.  Most of the crowd was young people.

Kyle did a good job leading worship.

Here is Tyler as he starts to preach.  He started on the stool and would stand periodically.  His sermon was on Lost and Found and he did a good job.

Kellie (Tyler's wife in yellow sweater) helps to pack up after the service.  She taught the children during the service.

Almost everyone helped tear down and pack up after service.

The chairs didn't have to be loaded in the trailer, but almost everything else did.

Tyler took me out on Monday and showed me around the two cities of Champaign and Urbana.
Here is Tyler in front of the Quad at the University of Illinois.
The University of Illinois has over 40,000 students and thousands of them are from other countries.  Two of the biggest student groups are from China and India.  What an opportunity to reach young people in these countries that are closed to new missionaries!

Tyler, Kellie, Mason, Millie, and Madden
They would love to have people move there to help them in this exciting work.

Friday, September 14, 2012


The 2nd weekend of September, Sandy and I went to Mobile, Alabama to visit the home mission church there.
Missionary pastor Tim Riggs took us to Lamberts Cafe - the home of the throwed rolls.
On the left beside Sandy is Andrew and Caleb Riggs.  The oldest son, Stephen, had to work
On the right is Tim and Angie Riggs in the forefront.  
Blake and Cassie Nance and their daughter also went with us.  Blake works with the youth.

Tim is trying to catch a roll.

Tim before church looking for those people to come.

Sandy and I spoke on marriage in the men's and women's SS classes.
Here is everyone gathering for church.
The building was about full with 111 people attending.

Blake leads the singing while Tim looks on.

After the service.

Tim and Angie at lunch.

The church had a Marriage Banquet in their gym on Sunday night.  Sandy and I spoke and did a skit.

Here is Tim eating again.

JL Gore and his wife, Dot, have retired and are living in south Mississippi.  They drive over to attend church in Mobile. The Gores were very successful church planters - starting 3 Free Will Baptist churches.

Tim and Angie Riggs and the folks there have done a great job in Mobile!


Several pastors of churches that support home missions made a trip with their wives to visit California and see a couple of home mission churches there.  This was on Labor Day weekend.
We started our trip in San Francisco.
You can see the San Francisco skyline in the background.

We visited Alcatraz (former prison).  This is my wife, Sandy, in front of a normal cell(5 feet by 9 feet).  Al Capone occupied a cell just like this at Alcatraz.  There is a sermon illustration there somewhere.

On Saturday night, singer-comedian Aaron Wilburn performed in Greenfield.  Home Missionary Jim Kilgore had rented the Community Center for this show.  Aaron Wilburn had everyone laughing.

 Sunday morning was time for service in Greenfield.  The church has a small building, but it wouldn't hold the crowd, so we met in the park in the middle of town.  The weather was beautiful.

Here is Jim Kilgore laughing with someone before service.  Board member Ron Parker is seated.

 During the service.

Cliff Donoho and Scott and Kristi Coghill did a great job singing!

 David Crowe with Jim and Tracey Kilgore.
The Greenfield church celebrates its 2nd anniversary in October.  The Kilgores have done a terrific job. Their building is getting full and they are trying to figure out how to get more space.

I didn't get a picture because my hands were full, but the Greenfield church prepared a nice meal for us to eat on the bus.
We drove down to the Los Angeles area for a Sunday evening service with the home mission church at Castaic.

Aaron Wilburn performed again.

Everyone is enjoying the service.

A men's quartet did a great job singing that night!  From left to right - Scott Coghill, Jay Baines, Darin Gibbs, and Travis Moots.

Home Missionary Keith Bartlett has had a lot of health problems lately.  After a second hip replacement for the same hip, Keith is walking on a cane.

The church was kind in providing food after the service.

Here is the Home Mission team in Castaic:
Ray and Iris Hollifield and Keith and Janet Bartlett
They are salt of the earth people!
The church plans to go self-supporting in a few months.

The group got together for a picture before everyone headed home on Monday.