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42 minutes ago, DaveW said:

 

What's with you being part of the "House Church" movement?????:4_2_109v:

 

(Jk - look in the top ledt corner of the pic.... I assume it is half of the "Lighthouse Baptist church" sign.... :8_laughing:

Now that's just too funny!

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1 hour ago, DaveW said:

 

What's with you being part of the "House Church" movement?????:4_2_109v:

 

(Jk - look in the top ledt corner of the pic.... I assume it is half of the "Lighthouse Baptist church" sign.... :8_laughing:

Yes, that is our banner - it's one my husband had made with the logo, adding our new slogan: Church on the Grow. One of the men in the church loves to repeat that. Often. LOL

I must confess - we do meet in a manufactured home.  And when we first started going, it looked like a very flower-y-decorated home. But now...it's looking more like a church that meets in a manufactured house. LOL

The church was given 100 nice chairs from a funeral home several years ago. We use those rather than pews. They are quite comfy.  The master bedroom is the office (and we will be setting up my hubs' office in there sometime in the near future). The second bedroom is the children's Sunday School room...when we get some kids coming. It's small. But it's on the grow...slowly, but surely.

So, actually, I guess you could say we are part of the "manufactured house church" movement. :4_joy:

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I know a church that had a triple-wide mobile home as their first building. After 8 years they moved and sold that building to an HVAC company.

I was assistant pastor in a one church that bought the old Elks Lodge building and again in another one that bought an old Redneck bar. Our building where I pastor used to be the RLDS building.

I also know a church whose first building was a 40 y.o. barn and the parsonage was a single-wide mobile home.

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We are renting the building from a friend of one of our members.  The landlord owns a gravel pit - I'm not sure if he's ever rented the building out or if he used to use it as an office. Because it's a gravel pit, we aren't allowed to put permanent signs up, so we have one on wheels to put by the main road, a folding sign to put at the turn onto our road, and the landlord allowed us to put up the cross that has the name of the church on it - it is by the gate (it's the back gate of the property, actually), attached to the block that the chain hooks to. One of our members designed the cross to fold so that when we are not having services, it lays down. 

We have talked to the landlord and he is open to the possibility of us obtaining a couple of mobile classrooms to turn them into an auditorium.  The landlord had a heart attack a while ago (his third) so any discussions like that have been tabled. But it's heartening to know that our landlord is so willing to help us - he, as far as we know, isn't saved but he's very supportive of us.

I'd love to see us be able to get those classrooms for the auditorium, then we can turn the manufactured house into a fellowship hall/Sunday school. One plus for us purchasing the classrooms is that if we own them we can bring them with us if we move to another place. 

Our landlord's name is Bill. If you would join us in prayer for his salvation, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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This Sunday Randy will be preaching on Hell. He's encouraged folks to bring friends. Please be in prayer for the day that, if there are any lost they will get saved, and that those who are saved will get convicted about and surrender to be stronger witnesses.

Heh...and then Sunday night he'll be teaching on Halloween...

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Well, we have less than a dozen of our second batch of brochures left! That means we've handed out almost 500! Considering that our membership is so small, and that all of us are heading to 60 or older, I think that's pretty good! 

We've not seen any fruit yet, but we know God will honor what we're doing because we are doing it for Him and not ourselves. We did have a good visit today with a lady who was quite clear that she is saved. She has mostly gone to Foursquare and Calvary Chapel churches, so her doctrine/standards isn't completely what ours is. But she is very interested in trying our church. She can't make it tomorrow, but she wrote down the info for next Sunday. And I think maybe we'll stop and leave a reminder  next Saturday.

One of the our deacons and his wife met one of their neighbors a couple of weeks ago (new neighbors). There are two kids (I start salivating when I hear of the possibility of kids coming to church :91_thumbsup:) and 5 adults, apparently. They have expressed interest in coming to church, and two of the adults have said they will be there tomorrow. I sure hope so!

Hubs has asked our members to bring in food for Thanksgiving boxes. We want to do a good box for a couple of needy families. Folks are excited about it. The tub we brought in is already just about full, so we may need to get another one. Good problem to have!

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Woo-Hoo!  The visitors came to church this morning. And they liked it! They are in their 20s, and planning on getting married eventually. They both have salvation testimonies, but have been backslidden. They want to do right, get involved, and grow. They came back tonight, and are planning on coming Wednesday night. Next Sunday they are bringing his nieces with them. YAY!

After church this morning, we were all enjoying our pizza when an elderly man came in. He was quite upfront about the fact that he is a Christian, and that he had not been able to get out to church for a while because he had no car. But God has given him a car, and now he can come to church. So he came by. Randy offered him pizza, he accepted and stayed and chatted for a while. He came back tonight, liked what Randy taught about Halloween, took the Bible study sheet for Wednesday night and said he'd be back.

A gentleman who has been coming for the past few weeks (he's dating one of our members) talked to hubs tonight and told him he'd like to join the church. He's studied our constitution and questioned my hubs about it very thoroughly. We are thrilled - we've already talked with him and know he's saved. He seems to really want to serve the Lord. Interestingly, the older gentleman and he knew each other from a church they attended together, but he didn't know the gentleman was attending.

What a day! The devil fought Randy preaching on Hell (it was a great message), and he fought him on the Halloween message, too. But God gave the victory.

We are excited at the visitors. We are praying for fruit that remains. Mayhap this is the beginning. :17_1_10:

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We all know that when one victory happens, the devil tries to derail it. Well, he's at work...I would appreciate some earnest prayer on behalf of our church and my hubs. Someone who is influential in the church has allowed pride to grab hold and may create some real havoc. Please pray that God will protect and that God will grab hold of this person's heart (and that this person will allow God to do so). And please pray for wisdom for my hubs. Thank you.

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Thank you to all who prayed. God worked in a great way!  While we are not convinced nothing like this will happen again. we saw God's hand moving in several members today. And...this morning we welcomed a new member - the first since hubs became pastor. The children didn't make it today due to circumstances, but hubs and I will be going to their home on Saturday to meet them. Hopefully they'll come next Sunday and we can get our children's ministries off the ground.

Our newest member is engaged to another member. At the end of the year, there's going to be a wedding...Below is a picture of our newest member, Frank, and his sweetie Diana.

 

 

diana adnd fran.jpg

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So far the kids haven't come. I know they will, it's just that "life" is getting in the way. :1_grinning:

But! There is a couple who are neighbors of one of our members. The lady visited our monthly lunch several months ago. We have visited them at various times, inviting them out to church. This past Saturday my husband and our deacon visited them again. Both were home - and they came Sunday morning! Praise the Lord! She told my husband that the reason they came was because we kept going back.

They said they would be back.

The gentleman recently finished a dependency program and has been sober for 30 days. They told my husband Saturday that he needs new friends. They took my hubs' phone number, too. 

This is exciting! It really encouraged some of the members, especially the neighbors who've been inviting them.

While the situation I mentioned in an earlier post has cleared up, there is still something below the surface.  I would appreciate continued prayer for protection for our church.

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Since October, we have been collecting food for a couple of food baskets for Thanksgiving. He asked the members to give some names of needy people in the town. And so we got two names.  And the food began pouring in! We also took two evening offerings so that we would have cash for perishables (turkey, milk, etc).

We were able to do two HUGE baskets and still had food!  So we did a third, smaller box. And there was till money left, so we got a gift card for one of the ladies of the church who is very needy.

This was so exciting! We are a very small church and to see their generosity! It was amazing!  We split into two groups to deliver the two main boxes. Here are photos of the folks with the stuff. 

DePriest team.jpg

Springgate team.jpg

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  • 7 months later...
  • Lady Administrators

Well, we are about to hit the one year mark since my hubs became interim pastor. I haven't updated in a good while, so I thought I'd summarize...I hope folks are still willing to read. 😄

Our membership still hasn't grown. We are out knocking on doors, but to this point we haven't had any takers. The young couple I mentioned a while back went back to CA. We have a lady who was coming faithfully for a while but now is hit and miss.  We have seen some spiritual growth in some of the members, though, so that is wonderful.

Since the last photo I shared was Thanksgiving, I'll start after that. We had our first annual Christmas party. The members enjoyed it - games, snacks, etc. Since there are a couple members who can't get out and about much (one is an invalid, one has to be at home most of the time with her failing mother), we brought cookies to make baskets, signed cards, and went caroling to their houses. Everybody enjoyed themselves.

For New Years' Eve, we watched the film The Printing. We've seen it several times, but it's always good, and convicting. 

In February, we had our annual Valentine Breakfast. More members came out for it than had the previous year.  In April, we had our first church work party. A good portion of the members came out for it, flowers were planted and the grounds made to look very nice. This was the day before Easter.

In May we had our second Mother/Daughter Tea. There were some visitors, but not as many as the previous year. Please pray that we might be able to get a couple of the ladies coming to church.

This past Friday night, we had our first men's dinner.  My husband told the church it would be an annual event. There were 8 (out of 9) male members there, with 6 visitors. Pretty good percentage!  

This Friday, the Clint Rardin family will be here. They are missionaries to Mexico. He and my husband were in college together; his wife and I are good friends; I babysat their oldest for a while way back when. Anyway, they'll be here Friday, and on Saturday we will be blitzing the area with a flier about them (I'm going to attach it at the end of this post). We'll be hitting part of the area we've already been, hoping that seeing our church name again will pique some interest and bring some people out. On Sunday we'll be having a Mexican fiesta after church. The manager of an area Mexican restaurant is donating refried beans and chips for it - we are praying that the manger, Thomas, will make it to the service.

We'll also be having a picnic on July 4, and have our midweek service that afternoon.

We're doing a lot, and some folks might think that's not a good idea. But actually, we are a community, a family, and so we need to spend time together. Not everyone is faithful, but most are and we are praying that others will become so. 

We are praying for workers. The membership is older. We still have no children attending, and there are circumstances that make it impossible for me to get out there and do something like a 5 day club. If we had some younger folks it might be a little more plausible. Please pray with us: we want to see our church grow. Spiritually most importantly, and numerically (we are not concerned with having  a large membership, so please don't get the idea that we want thousands...).

Two recent blessings: one of our men quit coming to church back in November. His wife died, and he didn't want to be around anyone - and I mean nobody. Well, he's had some medical help and so is feeling better physically and has worked through some of his grief. He has been back to church the last couple of weeks. That has been such an answer to prayer. Second blessing: one of the men quit church last July because he didn't like the direction my hubs was taking the church. He is still friends with several members, and one has been talking to him for a while. Upshot - the man came to the men's dinner. He hasn't come back to church yet, and I don't know if he will. But if you would pray that he would. 

I didn't want to make this a long, long post, so I summarized it down as much as I could. Thanks for reading, and thanks for praying.

 

July 1 mexico missionary rardin.jpg

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It rained this morning. We were concerned that maybe folks wouldn't come out. But they did! We had 6 teams (2 of them had 3 people). We were able to pass out almost 375 fliers. We would have done all 400 but one of the drivers (my mom - oops!) brought the ones she had left home with her. We were able to cover more territory than we expected. The goal of the blitz was to just get the fliers put on the doors (or in the paper boxes). There were a few people that were out and about and so were talked to. There seemed to be a little bit of interest. We'll see tomorrow.

We met a woman Wednesday who asked if we have a Sunday School. My hubs told her we don't because we don't have kids, but that I'm ready every week just in case. So she said she'd be bringing her 9 year old granddaughter tomorrow. We've been praying that she will.

We're having a Mexican fiesta for our meal tomorrow. The manager of one of the Mexican restaurants in town is a Christian. He donated chips and beans for tomorrow. And he said today that he'd see us tomorrow. We are sure hoping/praying he does come. 

Lots of excitement about tomorrow in our house this evening.

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Well, we didn't have any visitors as a result of the fliers. Nor did the lady and her granddaughter come. But we had a good day nonetheless. Bro. Rardin preached a message that the Holy Spirit used throughout the congregation.

We're still praying that God will bring folks in.

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Today was an exciting day: the lady I mentioned before came - and she brought her mother, her daughter, her granddaughter (9 years old) and grandson (5 months old). They liked the service and plan to come back next week. We'll probably visit them on Saturday. The 9-year-old is excited about a "kids' class" next week, and is planning on bringing a friend. I'm stoked!  Please pray that they will return, and that we can begin our Sunday School program.

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  • 1 month later...
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Sometimes I feel like we're on a roller coaster. The lady and her family came one more time...and hasn't been back. We do not have a physical address for the family, so all I could do was call. She asked me to call back in an hour...so I did. No answer. No answer a half hour later, either. So I left a message and haven't heard from her. I have no idea why, but I'm doubting they'll be back at all. 

However...the couple I talked about a few posts back moved back to the area from CA. They were in church on Sunday, and are planning on coming regularly (Sunday morning only, because of work). 

Randy was able to lead a man to the Lord on Saturday - praise the Lord! He has visited the man before, and witnessed to him. This time he was ready. Problem is, though, he works every Sunday. His name is Tony. If you would pray that things would work out for him to come to church, that would be great.

We took another church photo at the end of July. I am posting it here. It is still minus the 4 members who were not in in last year, but there are some additions - not members yet, but attending.  Two of the members, who are a mother and son, do not like their photos taken.  Over the last year, their attendance was sporadic due to several things. One major thing was that the mother's mother had to come and live with them, and so she had to take care of her. The lady was not saved. We were not able to meet her, as whenever we stopped by she was always in another room.

But recently she had to go into a nursing home. On hospice. My husband and his visitation partner went to visit.  Now, please know: the church has been praying for months for this lady's salvation, while her daughter and grandson have been praying even longer. God allowed my husband to lead her to the Lord! What rejoicing has gone on in our church! This lady went home to Glory Friday morning. Isn't God good? 

Still no kids coming to Sunday School. We have been dedicating the evening offerings to children's ministry (it is now simply a ministries offering), to purchase curriculum/pictures, etc. Randy told the church the other day that we have been preparing for kids, but there's one thing we, as a church, haven't been doing: praying that kids will come. LOL - he used George Mueller as an example, when he was beginning his orphanage ministry. And so now (hopefully) we are praying as a church for God to bring kids in.

The first Sunday of this last month (August) we had our first service at Victoria Place, an assisted living home. We will hold a service there each first Sunday of the month, after our afternoon service.  God is working, praise Him!

LBC July 29 2018.jpg

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  • 6 months later...
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I started this thread two years ago this month. And a lot has happened in those two years. Not all of them good, but God is in control.

Sadly, the photo I posted in Aug, 2018, is no longer accurate.  Several of the folks pictured are no longer part of our church.  I don't want to be too specific, because these posts can be read by anyone. Simply put - two women decided they no longer wanted to attend and they gossiped...to members AND to non-members. So our membership has reduced drastically. While we are saddened about this, we do believe God is in it as well. Sometimes a purging is necessary when members won't submit to God and His Word. 

Since November, our church has gone through some pretty serious things. One member dealt with cancer (before November, but God has helped him heal), and now his work keeps him away from services). Three members left...2 following a woman. And talk continued (gossip has been a problem since the get-go), getting a bit worse and spreading.  So two other women left (the husband of one has not, but is sporadic in attendance due to his health).  Winter hit us pretty hard for this area...and it was ice that caused my hubs to fall and end up in the hospital...with a VERY long recovery prognosis.  Members got hit with Type A flu. I've been sick with one thing or another since the day my husband came home from the hospital. But...

There are some good things. While my husband was in the hospital, he used the four faithful men of the church for the evening services. And our son has become the song leader. He's not a singer, but he was willing and the folks of the church are glad (hubs is, too - it saves on his voice; plus he doesn't have to stand for so long - it is still quite painful for him to stand for long periods). 

I mentioned a young couple a few times in this thread. They did not become faithful. But they recently returned to church, after going through some things. And yesterday: we had our first Sunday School/Jr. Church classes! The man's nieces came with them. And the girls enjoyed it and said they will be back next week (the older of the two asked my mom to make spaghetti some time LOL - so she's making it for our April potluck). What a blessing! I am mailing them cards this week letting them know how glad I was to have them in class.  I told them next week will start a faithfulness "contest." If they come for 6 weeks, they will get a Bible. Neither of them have one, and they got excited.  I am hoping that this will encourage them to come every week. Their uncle really wants them to come all the time, and he is determined to come faithfully himself. 

We are excited, because we know that the girls might invite friends. I will encourage that eventually as they become faithful. But right now I want to work with just the two (unless, of course, God brings others in - we won't refuse them!) for a few weeks so they learn how classes will go and will be able to be an example to new kids. 

My husband has asked people to pray for God to give them one or two people on their hearts to invite to Resurrection Sunday. We have created a prayer list just for that, and there are names on it already. 

Our Mother/Daughter Tea is in May...I have felt like cancelling it due to so many women having left. But Randy said no. The ladies want to invite the women who left (one of whom has promised to come to Resurrection Sunday). We'll see how it goes. Lots of praying going on.

God is good.

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Thank you for the update LuAnne. It is indeed encouraging when we can see the good in the midst of all of life's discouragement. The Lord never promised us an easy path, but He did promise to walk that path with us, no matter where it leads.

I would encourage you to do the mother/daughter tea, it will be a blessing t those that are sill there and may be the impetus for encouraging others to take part in other church functions.

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God is good.

Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that your son is helping with the song leading, the your couple and girls are coming.

Best of glad to hear of the good spirit of Randy and you.

God is good. May He bless all of you in your hearts and lives.

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8 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

Sometimes a purging is necessary when members won't submit to God and His Word. 

Thank you for the update. We also had a purge after our first year of starting the church. 75% of our church left. I have found in my 3 years of pastoring/church planting that people don't leave over doctrinal issues. In our case it was incest aoung a family and other things I will not go into.

God has blessed us since then. Just keep staying strong for the Lord, He will bless you.

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No kids today - their aunt was sick, and I think she's the one who gets them ready. I'll be visiting them this Saturday, hopefully. Please pray with me that they will be able to come and begin being faithful. 

I have to admit I was pretty heartbroken this morning. I know, in God's time. But after last week, I was sure hoping it was time! 

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