April 2019 Witness

For the five Sundays in March we focused on our GENERATIONS FOLLOWING FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGN for the purpose of raising the monetary commitments to build a new Student/Young Adult Building. But, a campaign like the one we have participated in is about more than just raising money for a particular project. It is about raising the spiritual climate of our church family so that each and every life is challenged to live more for the Lord and give more to the Lord! In one of my messages, I told the story of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.  He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company.  He is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time. To give you some idea of his vast wealth, Jeff Bezos of Amazon is the richest man in America today and worth $112 billion.    That sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? But by comparison, John D. Rockefeller was the richest American of all time and if his wealth was brought into today’s dollars, he would be worth $409 billion! The great thing about John Rockefeller is that as one of the richest men in the world he was also one of the most generous. He gave away millions of dollars and there are buildings all across America with his name on them. What is interesting is that from his very first paycheck until his death he tithed on his earnings. The story is told that at one point he thought he was dying, so he began giving away his wealth. An amazing thing occurred, he lived, and he attributed his living to his having become a more generous person! Now, I’m not promising you that if you live a lifestyle of generosity that you will live longer, but I can promise you that if you live a generous lifestyle other will be glad that you lived longer! In his last meeting with the elders of the Church of Ephesus, the Apostle Paul said to them, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the needy, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”  (Acts 20:35) We had a good month in March with 380 in Bible Study. We enjoyed the Bible Emphasis Saturday with Andy Cook of Experience Israel Now on March 2nd and then our Creation Seminar with Steve Levinson on March 10th. April is filled with some great opportunities:

  • Our ladies are looking forward to the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast “GOING BEYOND LIVE” that takes place here at our church on Saturday, April 6th.
  • The “FIRST FRUITS SUNDAY” of our Generations Following Campaign will be on Palm Sunday, April 14th, at all three morning services. We are asking our folks to give generously to this first official offering for our new Student/Young Adult Building. We’ll also celebrate the Lord’s Supper that day.
  • Our COMMUNITY EASTER EGG HUNT at Summers Field is from 2:00 to 3:30 on the afternoon of April 14th. We are putting on this community event this year in conjunction with First United Methodist Church of Barnesville.
  • April 14th is also the date of our EASTER CHORAL PROGRAM which will take place at 6:30 in our Sanctuary.
  • The women’s worship event known as THE CANOPY will take place on Thursday evening, April 25th, beginning at 7:00 with doors opening at 6:30.
  • An old favorite, our CHURCH-WIDE PICNIC AT THE ROCK RANCH will take place on Sunday, April 28th, from 5:00 to 7:30.

April is going to be a great month!   COME EXPECTANTLY! I Love You, Garth April 2019 Witness


March 2019 Witness

In our Sunday morning series “When Bad Things Happen to God’s People,” we’ve faced the fact that life hits us with some painful things that we can’t understand. I remember when I was at Auburn University and decided to pursue a future in the field of teaching science, but I had one big hurdle I had to get over and that was physics! I some how had escaped taking physics in high school. I had opted instead for marine biology in my senior year at Sarasota High School.  And the only reason I passed pre-calculus with trigonometry is because my teacher was also my football coach!  So, I had never taken physics and I didn’t have the math background to take it. But I had to get through it in order to pursue my goal.

My physics professor was Asian and, as I like to say, I learned more Chinese than I did physics. Every day, after filling up three chalkboards with numbers and symbols, that brilliant man would end class with a smile and the same words, “You no understand?  You go home and study and you understand!”  Well, I went home and studied, and I still didn’t understand.  But I didn’t drop out of school, and I didn’t ditch my major.  I persevered and finally got my degree in Secondary Science Education.  And oh, by the way, by the mercy of the good Lord and that professor, I made C’s in Physics.

Life is like that.  We can’t quit because painful things happen to us, we don’t understand. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

We had a good month in February with 380 in Bible Study.  We enjoyed such events as the R. A. Racer Derby on February 3rd, Upward Games on Friday and Saturdays with the Awards Night on Sunday, February 24th, and The Canopy, a worship event for women on February 28th.

March is filled with some great opportunities:

•Our BIBLE EMPHASIS WEEKEND will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Our guest speaker for the event is Andy Cook, founder of a unique ministry called “Experience Israel Now.” Andy makes the Land of the Bible come alive to us through his virtual video presentations of the history, geography and archeology of the Holy Land.    

•We begin our GENERATIONS FOLLOWING FAITH-RAISING CAMPAIGN on Sunday, March 3rd through the end of the month. This will be five Sundays of encouragement and challenge as we look to the future together and seek to discern and follow God’s will for our church.

Steve Levinson will be with us for a CREATION SEMINAR on Sunday evening, March 10th at 6:30 in our Sanctuary.

•We will continue to sell tickets to the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast “Going Beyond Live” that takes place on Saturday, April 6th.

March is going to be a great month!   COME EXPECTANTLY!

I love you,


February 2019 Witness

I’m presently preaching through a series called WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOD’S PEOPLE, and last Sunday I shared that Persian rugs are woven in an unusual way.   The fabric is stretched over a large, vertical rack. The master weaver stands on one side and his helpers, who do the actual weaving, stand on the other. The master weaver, as the artist, gives directions to his helpers on the other side, who pull the woolen yarn through without realizing what they are creating. Only at the end of the day do they get to walk over to the finished side and see the masterpiece that they have helped create.   How much the weaving of that rug is like life for us as believers. There are times in our lives when we don’t understand what God is weaving into our lives – when God doesn’t make sense to us – but He sees the finished side that we can’t see, yet.  B. M. Franklin wrote “The Tapestry Poem” to remind us of that.   My life is but a weaving                                              Not ’til the loom is silent Between my God and me.                                           And the shuttles cease to fly I cannot choose the colors                                          Will God unroll the canvas He weaveth steadily.                                                    And reveal the reason why. Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;                                   The dark threads are as needful And I in foolish pride                                                  In the weaver’s skillful hand Forget He sees the upper                                            As the threads of gold and silver And I the underside.                                                    In the pattern He has planned.   We had a good month in January with 365 in Bible Study. February and early March are filled with some great opportunities:  

  • The A. RACER DERBY is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 3rd, in our C.F.L.C. Weigh-in begins at 1:30 P.M. with the races beginning at 2:00. Thanks to David Bloxham and his crew!
  • UPWARD BASKETBALL & CHEERLEADING continues with games on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of February with their Celebration Banquet on Sunday evening, February 24th, at 6:30 in our C.F.L.C. Thanks to Chuck & Kim Bankston & all those who make Upward happen here at FBC!
  • A ministry of our church is being “renewed” through the efforts of Becky Patterson.   Becky will be leading “GRIEF SHARE,” a weekly class beginning on Sunday evening, February 3rd, at 5:30 in Room D-207 (C.F.L.C.).
  • Kim Wall and our Fund-raising Team are working tirelessly on our capital campaign called “GENERATIONS FOLLOWING” that will kick off on the first Sunday in March!
  • Our Young Adult Ministry will host “THE CANOPY” once again in February on Thursday evening, the 28th, at 7:00 P.M. Thanks to Honey Teal and all who make this event a blessing to our church and community!
  • Our BIBLE EMPHASIS WEEKEND will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Our special guest speaker for the event is Andy Cook, founder of a unique ministry called “Experience Israel Now.”  Andy leads trips to the Holy Land, but he also brings the Land of the Bible home to us in his video presentations through history, geography and archeology.   It will be a Saturday you won’t forget!
     February is going to be a great month!   COME EXPECTANTLY!