Thursday, August 25, 2011


The light of heaven is the face of Jesus
The joy of heaven is the presence of Jesus
The melody of heaven is the name of Jesus
The harmony of heaven is the praise of Jesus
The theme of heaven is the work of Jesus
The employment of heaven is the service of Jesus
The duration of heaven is the eternity of Jesus
The fullness of heaven is Jesus Himself.

What will make heaven such a special place is that for all of eternity we will enjoy the presence of Jesus. - D.L. Moody

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday Synopsis

Sunday was great @ GSJ. We decided to have one service and what an experience it was!

This gave us an opportunity to worship together as a church family on first Sunday which is a rare privilege.

For the past weeks our numbers have been down as is the case with many churches during the summer months. I was very pleased to see a strong showing of our membership.

Coming off a successful State Convention, we were happy to baptize four (4) young ladies who came to Christ during our Youth Session.

Thank God for the guests who graced us with their presence. It’s always good to have people join us for any and all our services.

The choir was very inspirational and uplifting with their singing. They were probably happier than anyone that we chose to have one service.

I was able to resume my current preaching series from the gospel of John. The series is entitled “Signs of the Savior.” My sermon focused on the fourth sign recorded by John in chapter 6:1-13 which I labeled “So Much With So Little.”

We were blessed to receive two additional people in the church with one being a candidate for baptism and the other a parent of two of the aforementioned young ladies.

Again I reiterate, it was a great day to be at GSJ.

The time is fast approaching for our annual outside ‘Tent Service’ which will be held on August 21. This is one of our evangelistic opportunities to canvas the neighborhood to win people to Christ. A picnic will follow. I can’t wait.  Hope you will join us. Details are forthcoming. Take care.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

IMBSC Annual Session

The Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church along with the Northwestern District Association eagerly anticipates the opportunity to host the 154th Annual Session of the Indiana Missionary Baptist State Convention. The session will be held July 30 – August 3, 2011 @ GSJ. Our Theme this year is "Foundation: What Are You Building?" taken from I Corinthians 3:9-13.

The following is a rough outline of what will take place:


Sat, July 30

Youth Session
8:30am – 1:30pm

“The Dirt on Sex” and “Interviewing- Dress for Success”

Presenters: Dr. Bruce Rose - Second Baptist – Bloomington and Mrs. Ruby Smith – New Salem Baptist - Indianapolis

Sat, July 30

Brotherhood Auxiliary
9:30 am

Pastor Sam Frison- Pilgrim Rest - Elkhart
Sat, July 30

Music Department

9am– 2pm
Sun, July 31

Pre-Convention Musical


Mon, Aug. 1

Parent Body Session
Pastor Douglas Tate, Jr. – Psalms Baptist, Indianapolis

Mon-Tues, August 1-2

Nurses Auxiliary
Pastor Steven Barnes – New Testament – South Bend

Mon, Aug 1

Welcome/Host Night

GSJ Mime/Choir

Tues, Aug 2

Parent Body Session

Pastor Barney Lewis – New Peter’s Rock – South Bend

Tues-Wed, August 2-3

Ushers Auxiliary

Pastor Lee Montgomery – Antioch Baptist – South Bend

Tues-Wed, August 2-3

Women’s Home & Foreign Mission – 1pm

Dr. Kenneth B. Ladd - Evansville

Tues, Aug 2

Lott Carey Mission Night

Special Guest
Pastor William J. Wyne – Second Baptist – Battle Creek, MI

Wednesday, Aug 3 

Parent Body Session

Presidential Sermon
Dr. Wayne L. Moore – Convention President – Pastor, Olivet Baptist - Indianapolis

I solicit your prayers for this meeting and for myself as I will serve as Host Pastor, District Moderator and First Vice President. Stop by if you can. God Bless.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Help for the Leader

But you should select from all the people able men, God fearing, trustworthy and hating bribes. Place them over the people as officials of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens... they can bring you every important case but judge every minor case themselves. In this way you will lighten your load and they will bear it with you. - Exodus 18:21-23

The following is an excerpt from a book I recently purchased and placed into my library. The author’s transliteration of Exodus 18 was very insightful to me.  Hope you enjoy!

 One day Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came up over a sand dune and looked down on a long line of people. It was an interesting group, and it was apparent that all were not happy wanderers. Fights, arguments, discord and disenchantment would be good words to describe this group of Israelites. Every once in a while a person would just get discouraged and leave the line.

Jethro noted that at the head of the line was his son-in-law, sitting under a tent listening to the various people who made their way to him. So he went down to see what was going on. “Mo,” he said, “what’s going on here?” “Well, honored father-in-law,” Moses responded, “God made me these people’s leader. They have disputes, and I am here to listen to them and settle the problems. I sit here day in and day out listening to all these gripes, solving personal and marital problems, and trying to explain theological issues.” Jethro was astonished. Had not Moses read Drucker during his years in the Pharaoh’s palace? In the kind words of a father-in-law, Jethro responded; “You’re crazy!” Having expressed his true sentiment, he went on to explain, “If you keep this up, you are going to experience burnout in ministry. What will become of my daughter if you go over the deep end? But worse yet, what will become of the people? God has made you their leader. If you are not able to lead because of fatigue, then they will suffer, and God’s purpose for them will not be achieved.” Now Jethro was a Midianite priest, which made him a leader. Good leaders know you do not pose a problem without providing a resolution. So he told Moses, “Select some men who are prominent in the nation. Look for quality men who are moral in character and righteous in virtue. Place them in charge of portions of the nation. Don’t overwhelm them. Assign the most capable person to groups of one thousand, then give them two lieutenants who can lead five hundred each of that group. Keep dividing the group into smaller units with leaders of each subgroup of one hundred, fifty, ten, or whatever. Now each subgroup leader is to be responsible to the leader above him. Let these various leaders solve problems at their level. If they can’t solve the problem, then they have someone over them whom they can take it to. That way you can reserve your decision-making responsibilities for the biggies—responding only to the issues that the leaders of the thousands bring to you or issues to which God directs you. Now if you listen to my sage advice, not only will it be easier for you, but you will develop some leaders as well.”
Robert Welch; Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, p 2

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Summary

Today was a great day @GSJ. I woke up more refreshed than I’ve been in a long time. Saturdays are usually difficult for me as far as going to sleep is concerned. Fortunate for me, I was able to get to bed earlier than normal which helped a great deal.

I arrived at church eager to continue our current preaching series “Signs of the Savior” with a message entitled “The Quest for Wholeness” taken from John 5:1-9. The message was well received in both services and two were added to the church.  Praise God!!

In the afternoon, we traveled to Benton Harbor, Michigan to fellowship with Pastor James Childs and Progressive Baptist Church on the occasion of their 65th Church Anniversary. My heart was warmed by the hospitality of Progressive as they eagerly anticipated our arrival. They were very friendly and they fed us well. There was a sweet spirit in this church and the service was hot from the very beginning.

 I was overwhelmed by the response of our congregation as many of them decided to join us. The selections by our choir were very inspirational and uplifting as they had been most of the day. When preaching time came, I was lead to preach a passage from Nehemiah 4:1-6. The title of the message was “So Built We the Wall.” Turns out it was exactly what they needed and the response was very favorable.

Thank God for the area pastors who came by to show their support.  A few of them I became acquainted with through our National Convention. When they learned I was in town, they took time out of their busy schedules to worship with us. I appreciate their kindness.

As I retire for the evening, I pray that the Lord would refresh me for the work ahead this week. There are a few loose ends that we must take care of in anticipation of our State Annual Session which will be held @ GSJ, July 30- August 3. Pray for us as we host this great session and if you are in the area, stop by. God Bless!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Take Comfort

A farmer needed a hired man. After trying several workers, who all failed to meet his standards, the farmer began to feel desperate. Then another worker applied for the job. The farmer asked him, "What qualifies you for this job?" The man answered, "I can sleep at night." That didn't sound too promising, but since he was desperate, the farmer hired the newcomer.

That night there was a terrific thunderstorm. The farmer awoke, ran to the hired man's room and tried to arouse him. He could not. Muttering to himself something like, "I'll take care of him in the morning," the farmer went outside into the night and the driving rain. He found the barn doors securely closed, the hay stack well covered and the tractor put away in the shed. There was nothing he could do but return to the house and go back to bed. Then he understood why his new hired man had said, "I can sleep at night." He had taken care of everything and was prepared for the storm. Isn't it comforting to know that when we have prepared ourselves for Jesus' coming by faithfully doing the things the Lord has made clear to us, He will take care of those things beyond our control?

Treasures from John- Rod Mattoon, Volume 2. pp. 121

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shine Your Light

Once upon a time a little candle stood in a room filled with other candles, most of them much larger and much more beautiful than she was. Some were ornate and some were rather simple, like herself. Some were white, some were blue, some were pink, and some were green. She had no idea why she was there, and the other candles made her feel rather small and insignificant.

When the sun went down and the room began to get dark, she noticed a large man walking toward her with a ball of fire on a stick. She suddenly realized that the man was going to set her on fire. "No, no!" she cried, "Aaaaagghhh! Don't burn me, please!" But she knew that she could not be heard and prepared for the pain that would surely follow.

To her surprise, the room filled with light. She wondered where it came from since the man had extinguished his fire stick. To her delight, she realized that the light came from herself. Then the man struck another fire stick and, one by one, lit the other candles in the room. Each one gave out the same light that she did.

During the next few hours, she noticed that, slowly, her wax began to flow. She became aware that she would soon die. With this realization came a sense of why she had been created. "Perhaps my purpose on earth is to give out light until I die," she mused and that's exactly what she did.

Rod Mattoon – Treasures from Treasured Psalms, Volume 3, pp.152

Monday, July 11, 2011

Memphis Memories

This past week I was privileged to attend The Frank Ray Expository Preaching, Teaching and Church Growth Conference at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Frank E. Ray Sr., Pastor of New Salem, founded the conference nine years ago out of a burden to enhance both pastor and people in areas critical to church growth.

Attending the conference afforded me an opportunity to be blessed by so many pastors including, but not limited to, Dr. Frank E. Ray, President, Dr. George Waddles of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Billy Bell of Dallas, Texas, Dr. R.A. Williams of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Arthur Jackson of Miami Gardens, Florida, Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Timothy Winters of San Diego, California and Dr. Anthony Pettus of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

It was my first time attending since 2005. This experience proved to be fruitful and timely. I desperately need to get away so that I could be retooled, revived and refreshed in my ministry. As pastors, because we pour so much of ourselves into the congregations we serve; it becomes needful to allow other pastors to pour into our lives. I was not disappointed. With great anticipation, I look forward to evaluating the results that come only through the implementation of the things I gleaned while in the presence of such great men.

When my family learned of my intentions to attend this conference they were more than happy to come along just to get away. I knew that if I were to accommodate them, I would have to balance my time so that they could take in some of the scenery rather than stay at the hotel all the time. This proved to be a great undertaking seeing that I never did it this way before but we made it work.

We were able to spend some time together during conference breaks visiting the following locations

·         Neely’s Barbecue

·         Graceland (Home of Elvis Presley)

·         Beale Street ( BB King’s Club Restaurant)

·         Fed Ex Forum (Home of Memphis Grizzlies)

·         Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel

Out of all the places we were able to visit this time around, The Civil Rights Museum made the most impression on all of us. The introductory film entitled “The Witness” featuring and narrated by Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, set the tone for our visit and deepened our appreciation for the museum and the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was especially moving for our twelve year old son who is still talking about it. My wife and I were happy to see him get this privilege so that he will not squander any opportunities to succeed in life. We anticipate that this and other experiences will shape his drive and serve as motivation to put his best foot forward in future endeavors.

After leaving this historic site, we traveled less than a mile down G. E. Patterson Avenue to visit Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ. The late Bishop G. E. Patterson was quite a preaching personality and genuine person and I wanted to see the church where he served. We were moved by the warmth of one of the church elders who was so kind to take us on a tour of the facility. What an awesome sight we beheld as we walked into their 5,000 seat sanctuary. It really is as big as it appears on television.

As I close this summation of our trip to Memphis, I thank God for the revival I experienced and the time my family shared together. Hopefully we can do it again real soon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It's a day of picnics, patriotic parades, cookouts and family reunions culminating in a night of various fireworks displays.

While we plan to celebrate in our own unique way, we should be grateful to God not only for the freedom of our country but also for the freedom we have through Christ.

                                      Have fun and be safe. Happy 4th of July!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Reflections

It’s been a great Sunday for me at GSJ today. When I arrived, I was determined to impact the worship experience with renewed determination. It took a minute for some to go with me, but after a while, we were off and running. Seeing that it was a holiday weekend, the crowd was somewhat down but we were delighted to have people in town visiting their families from Dallas, California and Cleveland just to name a few.

The first Sunday is always a special day for me. It affords an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate Christ, and all He did for us on the cross through the observance of The Lord’s Supper. Although we only had one candidate for baptism, I will take that over no candidates any day.
I preached a message from James 1:3-4. It was entitled “The Truth about Trials.” I had no idea it would be so encouraging to so many. God deserves all praise and credit for all that transpired.
I am excited as I plan to attend Frank Ray’s Expository Preaching and Church Growth Conference this week in Memphis, Tenn. The last time I attended was 2005, so you know it’s been a while. As a pastor it’s important to get away and allow others to pour into your life. Please pray for us this week and enjoy your 4th of July.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

God Is In Control

I was thumbing through a file on my computer when I come across this piece of inspiration. Although I can not take credit for it, I hope my sharing it with you encourages you as it has me.

It is important for believers to remember that no matter what comes our way, God is in control of the situation; God is still going to take care of us.

The story has been told of a believer, Frederick Nolan, who was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. Pursued by them over hill and valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a wayside cave, expecting his enemies to find him soon.

Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the little bug had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived and wondered if Nolan was hiding there, but on seeing the unbroken and unmangled piece of art, thought it impossible for him to have entered the cave without dismantling the web. And so they went on. Having escaped, Nolan burst out and exclaimed:

"Where God is, a spider's web is like a wall,
Where God is not, a wall is like a spider's web."

There is no need to wonder how God will take care of you; just be assured that He will.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Redeeming The Time

I am currently preaching a series of sermons entitled "Mandates for Ministry" at our church. So far, those who are poised to take God's work seriously are being richly edified while others are blowing in the wind. My prayer for the is that they will come along soon.

While studying Ephesians 5:16, I stumbled across an excellent illustration for effective time management that I wanted to share. I don't know who authored this piece but I'm sure it will bless you as it continues to bless me.

"The story is told of an expert in time management speaking to a group of business students. To drive home a point, he used an illustration those students never forgot. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers, he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." He then pulled out a one-gallon wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes." Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more. "Is this jar full?" By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not." one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question. "Is this jar full?" "No!" the class shouted. Once again, he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then the expert in time management looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is; if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it." "No", the speaker replied, "That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life; Your children, your spouse, your loved ones, your friendships, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others, doing things that you love, time for yourself, or your health? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you'll never get them in at all.”