I get encouraged every month when I handle funds intended to help the children served by Harvest FWB Child Care Ministries, because they put donations to good use and manage them responsibly to carry out the Lord’s work. They help those who cannot help themselves, so I believe they are advancing the Kingdom in a special way. I was especially encouraged to receive a $5,000 donation to pass along to Harvest that came from an unnamed individual at Lakehills FWB Church in Cedar Park. Pastor Wes Hood contacted me to make certain that the money would reach Harvest, and we got it through channels to the recipient the same month, as usual.
We heard from the Advancement Directors at Harvest that they feel truly blessed by the donations. Martha Stone said, “Harvest Child Care Ministries would like to thank the individuals and churches of the Texas State Association for their amazing investment in the lives of the Mexican children. Your gifts and prayers make a world of difference.” Steven Shotzman stated, “At Harvest CCM a child will receive daily care and love they so greatly desire. I represent our work in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. I would love the opportunity to come to your churches and share my heart for this ministry. Many Texas FWB’s have become faithful partners in this ministry, and I would love the opportunity to invite you to join them. Please feel free to call, text, email, or Facebook message me to set up a service at your church.” Bro. Steven can be reached at (918) 949-8825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can help even if you cannot attend. If you know someone who is going who is willing to take some items along with them, you can help too.
“2022 IMPACT Birmingham This year, IMPACT will bless the homeless population in Birmingham during the National Convention in July, but we need you to get involved now. While in Birmingham, we want to provide “care kits” for the homeless that demonstrate the love of Christ in action.
The following list is specifically created from the requests of the homeless population in Birmingham:
Socks (most requested) Water bottle Bandages (especially large adhesive bandages) Wet wipes Toothbrush and toothpaste Sunscreen Tuna and cracker packs Single-serving snacks like trail mix, nuts, crackers Breakfast or protein bars (avoid chocolate, which melts in the heat) Nail clippers Comb and brush Hand lotion Lip balm Tissues Headlamp Flashlight Can opener Quarters for laundry Sewing kit First aid kit Ziploc bags Items to avoid: soap, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, anything with fragrance, large items. Soap, because anywhere they can get a shower offers soap. Hand sanitizer and mouthwash because they often contain alcoholic content, and this is not a good idea for potential or recovering addicts. Fragrance, because it is insulting and many people have sensitivities. Large items, because they are difficult to carry.
Start with a nice zipper plastic bag. Why the zipper? The regular types tend to stop sealing after opening and closing a few times. Spend the extra change to purchase the nice ones. The person who receives this will get a bonus reusable bag to store important personal effects after they use the items from the care kit.
Please take a moment to write a note by hand. This shows that you care. Just like a hand-written thank you note, hand-written invitations, or anything else. Don’t put a tract inside. Most recipients view those like junk mail. One glance tells you what it is, and it gets tossed. Instead, write why you are giving this care kit—that you love, care for, and value the recipient. Include a Bible verse and let them know you will be praying for the person who receives your kit. This will go much further than a tract requiring zero effort.
Your church or youth group can start gathering item and assemble these packs before shipping them to the North American Ministries office. If you cannot purchase and assemble the items yourself, why not consider a donation. These items will be purchased and the kits assembled in Birmingham to avoid shipping costs.
Once onsite in Birmingham, you can get involved in several ways. First, we will meet at 9:00 am, Saturday, July 22, in various locations. The addresses will be provided as we draw closer to the date. We will be working with the Salvation Army. Things you can do include:
Paint (experience is helpful) Landscaping Assemble bags for the homeless Distribute bags to the homeless Interact with residents in the Salvation Army shelter.”
An amazing phenomenon happens if a fruit tree doesn’t receive proper care and maintenance. Unpruned fruit trees (and, sometimes, even pruned trees) will set more fruit than the tree can support. While “too much fruit” sounds like a good thing, it can lead to major problems. In some trees, individual fruits do not receive enough water. As a result, the fruit is small, hard, or bitter.
More commonly, the excessive fruit grows so large and heavy that branches begin to break. In extreme cases, the branches grow so heavy the trunk itself splits, damaging the tree beyond repair.
Fruit cannot be produced without the tree. And that’s why it is so important to take care of the tree that bears the fruit.
The WNAC Tree For 87 years, WNAC has been “bearing fruit” as one of the most effective supporters of Free Will Baptist missions work. In the last decade alone, the ministry has given over $2 million to home and international missions. And this does not include the hundreds of thousands of dollars in supplies given to missionaries and church planters from the Steward Provision Closet. It does not include gifts to children’s homes, annual college scholarships both nationally and internationally, and local missions projects and objectives. To the glory of God, WNAC has produced excessive fruit!
We need to take care of the tree. While Free Will Baptist ladies always have been faithful in giving to missions, supporting special projects, and donating to the Provision Closet, we have not given enough attention to the WNAC office itself—the tree bearing the bountiful fruit.
As a result, the WNAC office is currently understaffed and underfunded. The budget has already been pruned to the breaking point. If something doesn’t change soon, the office could experience lasting damage.
The Giving Tree To meet these financial needs, the WNAC Board has established the WNAC Giving Tree, a fundraising campaign designed to increase annual income to the office by $35,000, relieving financial pressure and making future growth possible. You can join the Giving Tree by partnering with WNAC in one of the following categories of monthly giving:
White leaf : $10 per month
Bronze leaf : $25 per month
Silver leaf : $50 per month
Gold leaf : $100 per month
How many monthly givers will it take to meet the $35,000 per year goal?
30 individuals, groups, or churches to give $10 per month
25 individuals, groups, or churches to give $25 per month
20 individuals, groups, or churches to give $50 per month
10 individuals, groups, or churches to give $100 per month
WNAC Board member and CPA Jonda Patton (KY) encourages Free Will Baptists to join this exciting campaign: “Through the Giving Tree, we are laying the financial roots for Free Will Baptist women’s ministries to branch out and grow even more. Working together in Christ, we can continue to bear much fruit. Will you help us?'”
“All entries must be submitted to the Vertical Three office by May 20. This includes entries submitted by the state and by individuals. Any entry received after this date (May 20) will not be included in the VIII directory.”
GALLATIN, TN—Welch College conferred degrees on 41 students, according to Provost Matthew McAffee. Commencement exercises were held in the Student Activities Center. The gymnasium space was converted into a 700-plus seating auditorium for the Baccalaureate service on Thursday evening, May 5, and the Commencement ceremony on Friday morning, May 6. The college awarded degrees in multiple programs, including associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, the Master of Arts degree in Theology and Ministry, and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
Dr. Paul Harrison, pastor of Madison Free Will Baptist Church in Madison, Alabama, delivered the Commencement address. Harrison urged graduates to wage war with the weapons of God—seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Rev. Steve Lindsay, pastor of Red Bay Free Will Baptist Church in Red Bay, Alabama, delivered the Baccalaureate sermon, providing a character study on the life of John the Baptist and urging graduates to follow in his example of living lives that make an impact for Christ.
President Matt Pinson recognized retiree David Williford on his retirement for his twenty years of faithful service as Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Welch College. His work in this role spanned across the college’s constituencies in building relationships with churches and individual donors and was vital in the funding of the Building on the Legacy campaign. Dr. Jeff Crabtree, chairmen of the college’s Board of Trustees, recognized President Pinson and his wife Melinda, honoring their twenty years of service in the role of college president. Dr. Sarah Bracey, Program Coordinator of Psychology and Campus Counselor, was named Academic Advisor of the Year.
The college congratulates the 2022 graduating class and commends them to the service of Christ’s kingdom.
We hope to see you all at this year’s state meeting in Duncanville, TX on June 8th-9th! It is the 108th Annual Meeting of the Free Will Baptists. Please enjoy this promo video by Pastor John Collier of New Beginnings Church in Bryan.
“God calls churches and families to work together for the glory of God and the advance of the Gospel. In recent years, we have seen unusual spiritual attacks seeking to divide our families and churches. God has revealed, in the pages of Scripture, an intentional strategy for how the church can equip and strengthen families, so that faith in Jesus will be passed through the generations. Visionary Church: How Your Church Can Strengthen Families will equip you with a Bible-driven game plan for how your church can partner with families for the sake of the Gospel. Dr. Rob Rienow writes from the perspective of a husband, father of seven, and thirty years in family ministry. You can connect with the author at VisionaryFam.com.
Rob Rienow’s most important ministry is loving his wife Amy and leading their six children to love God. He serves as the founder of Visionary Family Ministries (visionaryfam.com), whose mission is to build the Church through a global reformation of family discipleship. He is a pastor, church planter, and author of several books including Visionary Parenting and Visionary Marriage. Rob has an M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School, an M.Div. from Trinity International University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The Rienow family lives in Wheaton, IL.”
“Equipping Fathers to Lead Family Worship offers a historical, theological, biblical, and pedagogical text that focuses on the responsibility that Christian fathers have to lead their families in the worship of God. The book is for use in local churches and Christian households and is meant to serve as a resource to assist pastors and leaders to equip fathers and family household leaders with personal and family worship practices
Kenneth Coley, Ed.D. is a senior professor of Christian Education at Southeastern Seminary, where he is the director of the Ed.D. Program. He has authored or edited seven books, including Teaching for Change: Eight Keys for Transformational Bible Study with Teens, published by Randall House.
Blair Robinson, D.Min. is the associate pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has pastored churches in Texas and North Carolina, overseeing ministries in adult education, discipleship, and missions. He and his wife, Lauren, have three children.”