January 2020 Witness

Why not make the new year of 2020 a year of devotion? Start or end each and every day talking to God and listening to God speak to you. We talk to God through prayer. We listen to God by reading His Word, the Bible.  

Find a place for your devotional time – a place that will be available to you each time you come to God. Make it a quiet place where distractions will be minimal. Satan will seek to distract you, especially from praying, so you’ll have to learn to focus on your conversation with God. Developing a passionate prayer life demands two things: concentration and consistency!

Find a readable translation of the Bible that is faithful to the original text.   There are more options for that today than ever before. I use a hard bound One Year Bible in the New International Version that I have marked through years of reading. I like it because each day I get a couple of chapters of the Old Testament, a chapter of the New Testament, a passage from the Psalms and a Proverb or two. There are many other choices out there, both in hard copy or online or in the form of apps.

The important thing is to take the time to be with God! The story is told that on one New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gasoline. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.

We have vast spiritual resources through our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a shame when we “run out of spiritual gas” because we don’t spend time with God. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

December has been a good month with 350 in Bible Study.  Dr. Robert Pepper, former missionary to West Africa, did a great job sharing at our Lottie Moon Emphasis on December 1st.      Our Christmas program, “The Wonders of His Love” performed by our multi-faceted Music Ministry and The Cross Ties Band, was one of the best we have ever had! Many hands were busy setting up for The Christmas Canopy in our gym, which was a very special event for the women of our community.

We also voted on our 2020 Church Budget as well as voted to implement a new Sunday Morning Schedule on January 5th, 2020. The new schedule will be:


9:00-9:55 Classic Worship combining the Traditional & Blended services

10:10-11:05 Sunday School for Everyone!

11:20-12:15 Contemporary Worship Service


Our 24th ANNUAL BARNESVILLE GAME & FISH BANQUET is scheduled for Tuesday night, February 11th. Seminars will take place from 6:00 to 6:55, with the banquet beginning at 7:00pm. Our banquet speaker is legendary professional bass fisherman, Hank Parker. I’ve had the opportunity to hear him before, and this is the ONE BANQUET you’ll want to bring your unchurched friends to! Tickets are again $10 per person or a table of ten for $80. Tickets go on sale Sunday, December 29th.


January is going to be a great month! Come EXPECTANTLY! 

I Love You, Garth   



December 2019 Witness

In 1988, Anissa Ayala was sixteen years-old and diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. The doctors said that if she did not receive a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy and radiation treatment she would die.  Neither her parents nor her brother was a match, and they could not find a donor elsewhere. Her parents, both in their forties, conceived another child and hoped that its bone marrow would be compatible with Anissa’s.


To their great delight it was determined that this new baby was a compatible donor, and when Marissa Ayala was fourteen months-old they took some of her marrow and gave it her older sister, Anissa. Anissa made a full recovery from the Leukemia and both sisters lead healthy lives today. In a very real sense, Marissa saved her sister’s life. She says, “Without me being a perfect match for my sister, she would not be here.”   


Jesus was born into this world for the express purpose of saving us. His very name, Yeshua in Hebrew, means “The Lord is Salvation.”  That is why the angel that appeared to Joseph told him, “…you shall call His name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21) He is the one and only Savior that can save all those who put their trust in Him.     Christmas marks the day we celebrate His birth, and without Him there would be no salvation for us! 


November has been a good month with 374 coming to Sunday small groups!  Thanks to our new Children’s Minister, Jennifer Zeager, for a great Trunk or TreatUpward Basketball & Cheerleading has been conducting evaluations during November, will be practicing through December with games starting in January.  Thanks to Chuck & Kim Bankston for their passion for this ministry.   Operation Christmas Child collected shoe boxes during the last week of November. Thanks again to Nancy Cloudt for her leadership in this wonderful international ministry.  We had a great Community Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, November 27th, at the First United Methodist Church, with a very festive Downtown Illumination Service.   

     December has some very special emphases:


  • Our first Sunday in December, the 1st, will be a busy day. We will launch our LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS with a goal of $25,000 this year. Robert Pepper, former missionary to West Africa, will be sharing with us in our morning services. Then, the HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS PARTY will take place at noon with children caroling at Heritage Inn following.
  • Also, on the 1st we will vote on our 2020 PROPOSED CHURCH BUDGET in all three morning services. In addition, that evening at we will have a CHILI SUPPER in our C.F.L.C. as we discuss our NEW SUNDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE recommended by our Service Schedule Team and our Deacons. Supper begins at 6:30 with childcare provided for children up to 5 years old. We will then vote on this new Sunday service schedule in a Called Church Conference at all three morning services the next Sunday, December 8th.
  • The CHRISTMAS CANOPY will be Tuesday evening, December 17th, beginning at 6:30 in our gym. Our ladies have been looking forward to having a special Canopy at Christmas!
  • Our Christmas program, THE WONDERS OF HIS LOVE, will take place on Saturday and Sunday evenings, December 7th and 8th, at 7:00 P.M. This year, Greg has arranged for The Cross Ties Band to join our choirs and musicians for a wonderful celebration!
  • This is the year for us to do our FAMILY LORD’S SUPPER on Christmas Eve, December 24th, from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Suzanne and I look forward to sharing that special time with you!


     From all of our Church Staff, may you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!  

                                                                                                                I Love You, Garth
December 2019December 


November 2019 Witness

What does it mean when the Bible says that Jesus is able to “empathize” or “sympathize” with our weaknesses? Years ago, a man put up a sign in his yard that read: “Puppies for Sale.”  Among those who came to inquire was a young boy. “Please, Mister,” he said, “I’d like to buy one of your puppies if they don’t cost too much.” “Well, son, they’re $25.”

The boy looked crushed. “I’ve only got two dollars and five cents. Could I see them anyway?” “Of course. Maybe we can work something out,” said the man. The boy’s eyes danced at the sight of those five little balls of fur.“I heard that one has a bad leg,” he said.“Yes,” said the salesman,“I’m afraid she’ll be crippled for life.” “Well, that’s the puppy I want. Could I pay for her a little at a time?”

The man responded, “But she’ll always have a limp.” Smiling bravely, the boy pulled up one pant leg, revealing a brace. “I don’t walk too good either.”     Then, looking at the puppy sympathetically, he continued, “I guess she’ll need a lot of love and help. I sure did.  It’s not so easy being crippled.” “Here, take her,” said the man. “I know you’ll give her a good home. And just forget about the money.”

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that, like the boy with that puppy, our Lord Jesus can empathize and sympathize with us because He experienced every kind of difficulty which we oursleves experience, yet He never sinned! He experienced every kind of tempation and tribulation, every kind of hardship and heartache, every kind of sadness and sorrow, yet He never sinned! What a wonderful and compassionate Savior we have!

      October has been a good month with 349 in Bible Study. Hope Night to benefit the ministry of Little Children of the World was an inspirational night for us all.  Our kick-off for Operation Christmas Child gave us much to look forward to as we prepare for National Collection Week. We took 150 backpacks for children in South Georgia to the Fall Meeting of Centennial Baptist Association. The first gathering of The Summit was a great event with lots of help from lots of people, and Hutch Matteson did a great job as our speaker. We ended the month of September with a total of $788,084 given toward our GENERATIONS FOLLOWING campaign!


November has some very special emphases:


  • TRUNK OR TREAT takes place at the end of the month of October, on 10/30 from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. on our west side parking lot. Let me thank all the Sunday School classes that are helping with the candy and all the volunteers that will once again make this a great event!
  • UPWARD BASKETBALL & CHEERLEADING is now registering through Friday, November 15th, for players ages 4 through 14 (8th grade). Evaluations will be Thursday, November 7th, from 6-8 PM and Saturday, November 9th, from 10AM – Noon.  All games will be here in our gym on Friday nights and Saturdays from January through February.
  • OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD’S NATIONAL COLLECTION WEEK is November 18th-25th. We are looking for any volunteers will help our church pack 1,000 shoe boxes as we again serve as a collection center for our area.
  • Our COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE and DOWNTOWN ILLUMINATION take place on Wednesday night, November 27th, beginning at 6:30 at First United Methodist Church.


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

I Love You, Garth

   November 2019 Witness