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November 2018 Witness

A sculptor had ruined a huge piece of beautiful Carrara marble. It was left in the courtyard of the cathedral in Florence, Italy, for almost a hundred years. Artisans thought it was beyond repair, but in 1505, a young sculptor by the name of Michelangelo was asked if he thought anything could be done with “The Giant” as it had come to be called. Michelangelo measured the block and carefully noted the imperfections caused by the bungling workman of an earlier day. To his mind came the image of the young shepherd boy David. So he carefully made a sketch of that biblical character as he envisioned him.   For 3 years he worked steadily, his chisel skillfully shaping the marble. Finally, when one of his students was allowed to view the towering figure, 18 feet high and weighing 9 tons, he exclaimed, “Master, it lacks only one thing, and that is speech!” Michelangelo salvaged that gigantic, beautiful piece of Carrara marble. The word “salvation” means “to salvage.” To salvage something is to rescue what was intended for the garbage heap. God salvaged us when He saved us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  God rescued us and has made something worthwhile and beautiful out of our lives. We had a good month in October with an average attendance of 336 in Bible Study.   The kick-off for Operation Christmas Child went well on Sunday evening, October 14th. The Canopy took place on October 25th.  God is blessing this growing women’s worship event. Thanks to the Children’s Ministry Team members who worked so hard to put together “Trunk or Treat” on October 28th. On Sunday, September 30th, our church voted without opposition to build our STUDENT/YOUNG ADULT BUILDING. We have hired Mark Brooks, a consultant from a company called Generis, to help Kim Wall and our Fund-raising Team as we prepare for our campaign beginning early winter, 2019. A special thanks to Chairperson Steven Bacon and our Student Building Leadership Team for all of their hard work throughout this special project. Our Personnel Team has also made good progress in our search for a CHILDREN’S MINISTER.  We have narrowed down our search to two fine candidates and will be bringing one of them before our Children’s Ministry Team, our Deacons and ultimately our entire church family soon. November has, among other things, some great evening opportunities:

  • OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD Shoebox Collection Week is October 11th through the 19th. Thanks to Nancy Cloudt for leading this ministry of providing the greatest gift of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to children all around the world!
  • The Schedule for our 2019 BUDGET PRESENTATION AND APPROVAL will be: Budget Presentation to Deacons at 7:30 on November 11th. Budget Discussion with Congregation at 6:30 on Sunday, November 25th. Budget Vote without Discussion at all three morning services on Sunday, December 2nd.
  • Our COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE takes place on Wednesday evening, November 21st at 6:30 at Barnesville First United Methodist Church.
We look forward to a great month in November. COME EXPECTANTLY! I Love You, Garth


October 2018 Witness

This past Sunday was our annual Homecoming Sunday celebrated on Buggy Days weekend.    On such Sundays, I always enjoy sharing a message that focuses on the good things that God has done in and through our church over the last 193 years! I have the privilege of serving as the 34thpastorof First Baptist Church of Barnesville.  And this church has accomplished an amazing record among Baptist churches. After 34 pastors, this church has never fired a preacher!  Well, at least not yet! In any and every generation, the church is in the life-changing business. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone be in Christ, they are a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When I was a freshman at Banks High School in Birmingham, Alabama, I remember having a substitute teacher on several occasions who was going to seminary in the evenings and wanted to be a minister.  I was so impressed with his character and his caring – with the joy and purpose that he had in his life that I thought that if I pursued the same vocation he was pursuing I would become like him. That young man so impacted my life that I wanted to become a minister before I even became a Christian!  All of my tomorrows were transformed by a Christ-filled substitute high school teacher whose name I can’t even remember! We had a good month in September with an average attendance of 373 in Bible Study.  “Speakin’ with My Deacon” took place on Sunday evening, September 9th, with a good attendance from our Sunday School classes and divisions.  We also focused on three TOWNHALL MEETINGSconcerning the STUDENT/YOUNG ADULT BUILDINGthat has been in the works for months now.  ChairmanSteven Bacon and our STUDENT BUILDING PLANNING TEAM made very strong presentations to our church at those meetings.   Our Deacons unanimously supported the plan for this new building at their September 9th meeting. I want to thank our Student Building PlanningTeam for the many hours they have put in.   A special thanks goes to ourPrayer Team led byJoe Andrews.  Carson Selph and his Design and Planning Teamhave worked tirelessly on a design for this new building. In addition, Chairperson Kim Walland our Fund-raising Teamhave selected a company to help us raise the needed funds. The work of Mark Smithand our Finance Team,as well as Ryal Siemand our Construction Team will soon begin provided the church adopts this new building plan. On Sunday, September 30th,we will share a CONGREGATIONAL PRESENTATION AND VOTE on this new building plan at all three of our morning services. Please be much in prayer for this most important day for us and for our future! October has, among other things, some great evening opportunities:

  • The women’s worship event calledTHE CANOPY takes place on Thursday evening, October 25th, at 7:00 P.M.Doors open at 6:30.
  • The kick-off of OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILDwill be on Sunday evening, October 14th, at 6:30 in the gym of our C.F.L.C. Thanks to Nancy Cloudt for leading this ministry of providing the greatest gift of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to children all around the world!
  • TRUNK OR TREATtakes place on Sunday evening, October 28th, on our west side parking lot. Thanks to our Children’s Ministry Team for putting this together for us this year!

We look forward to a great month in October.   COME EXPECTANTLY! I Love You, Garth