Alive! Youth Conference

Dear Pastors and Churches,

The CE Board has updated the event information for upcoming Alive Youth Conference. We are excited to get the summer started with this great event. The event dates are June 16-18 (Wednesday – Friday) and the event will be held at CrossLife Church in San Antonio. The cost of the event has been lowered to $70 per person. It is not too late to register. Simply follow the link below and fill out the information. We look forward to seeing you there!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LK7JG7T

Area hotels:

Holiday Inn Express

Book Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites NEAR SEAWORLD, an IHG Hotel in San Antonio | Hotels.com

9536 Amelia Pass

San Antonio, TX, 78254

La Quinta Inn

Book La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham San Antonio Northwest in San Antonio | Hotels.com

11155 West Loop 1604 North

San Antonio, TX, 78254

Heath Ferguson

Pastor

Woodforest Church

www.woodforestchurch.com

State Meeting Registration


Just a reminder that, if you are planning to attend this year’s State Meeting, all of the information is available on the website (see link below) and we would like to have your pre-registration completed by Memorial Day (May 31).  Please contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing all of you there! 

 

Marcus Brewer

Moderator/State Office Coordinator

Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists

 

CONVENTION HOTEL RESERVATIONS

“Reservations for the 2021 Convention can be made online using the blue links below. Group codes for the convention rate are already built into the links and will not need to be entered.

Convention Cancellation PolicyThe first night’s room and tax will be charged for any canceled reservations. The charge is non-refundable, but reservations are transferrable. Available rooms can be posted on our website for transfer.

NOTE: Convention events will be held in the Renasant Convention Center.

Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel

(Connected to Renasant Convention Center via skywalk)

250 N Main Street

901.527.7300

Rate: $142

Valet Parking: $26/Day

Crowne Plaza Memphis

300 N 2nd Street

901.525.1800 (press Option #2 for Front Desk)

Rate: $149

Self Parking: $18/Day

Courtyard by Marriott Memphis Downtown

75 Jefferson Avenue

901.522.2200

Rate: $130

Valet Parking: $25/Day

Self Parking: $10/Day

SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown

85 W Court Avenue

901.522.2100

Rate: $130

Valet Parking: $25/Day

Self Parking: $10/Day

Comfort Inn Memphis Downtown

100 N Front Street

901.526.0583

Rate: $139

Parking: $10/Day

The Moxy Memphis Downtown is not available for convention hotel reservations”

More information on the National Convention can be found at Nafwb.org

State Meeting Registration and Lodging

Hi everyone,

A quick follow-up to last week’s announcements: State Meeting info is posted on the website! Schedule, driving directions, hotel details, and pre-registration can all be found here: http://www.texasfwb.org/statemtg21/index.shtml

Note on the pre-registration form that there is now a checkbox for attending the Thursday lunch graciously provided by the host church. If you plan to attend the lunch, please check the box, and complete your registration by May 31. If you have already pre-registered before the “lunch box” was added, please contact the State Office and let us know how many to add to the lunch count.

Also note that the deadline for hotel reservations to get our group rate is May 18, so make your reservations soon if you have not already. We look forward to seeing you at Lakehills on June 9-10!

Marcus Brewer

Moderator/State Office Coordinator

Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists

P.O. Box 2716

Bryan, TX  77805-2716

(979) 774-3125

stateoffice@texasfwb.org

www.texasfwb.org

State Meeting Information

“The 107th Annual Session of the Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists will be meeting June 9-10, 2021, at the Lakehills FWB Church in Cedar Park. Board meetings will begin on Wednesday morning June 9, and the formal opening of the Annual Session will begin with the Wednesday evening worship service. Our keynote and conference speaker will be Faron Thebeau, Pastor of Mosaic Church in Rolla, MO. Lodging for this year’s State Meeting has been arranged at La Quinta Inn & Suites Austin -Cedar Park. The hotel has a number of rooms temporarily blocked at a reduced rate; to make reservations, please see the information below”

La Quinta Inn & Suites Austin – Cedar Park – (512) 528-9300
1010 East Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park, Texas 78613
Room Rates: Single King or Queen/Queen – $80.10 + tax
Reservation Deadline: May 18, 2021
Rates include all standard amenities, such as free breakfast, parking, and high-speed WiFi.
Below is the booking link for the hotel. The default is arrival on Tuesday (June 8) and departure on Friday (June 11), but you can change those dates to match your arrival and departure. If you need additional nights outside of the June 8-11 period, you can call the hotel directly. The reservation deadline to obtain the reduced group rate is no later than May 18.

As in years past, pre-registration is available and encouraged for all attendees. You may register using one of the registration forms sent to your church, mailing it to the State Office, or you may register online at ww.texasfwb.org. We ask that you submit your pre-registration by May 30 in
order to have your information compiled prior to the meeting. Onsite registration will also be available, but you are encouraged to pre-register if you know that you will attend. Preregistration helps us to keep records more efficiently, and pre-registered attendees will have a pre-made nametag at the registration table.
If your church or district has had any directory changes since last year’s State Meeting (new pastor, address, area code or phone number, e-mail address, website, etc.), please send your new information to Clerk Kevin Williford (kwilliford10@gmail.com) as soon as possible so that we can update the directory for the 2021 Yearbook. If you’re unsure whether your information is
correct, check the online Churches and Pastors directory at the ww.texasfwb.org website.
All of the enclosed information and more will be online at the State Association’s website: http://www.texasfwb.org. Please make plans now to join us in Cedar Park, and feel free to contact this office if you have any questions.”

Sincerely,
Marcus A. Brewer


You Can’t Trust That Book!

There are a lot of views on the Bible. Sam Harris says, “Theology is ignorance with wings.” Richard Dawkins even says, “The resurrection was invented by eager new recruits to Christianity.” I just recently, in our Q and A series at church, did a sermon on the reliability of the Bible. I want to quickly rehash what I talked about there. The goal is to equip believers to know the truth and to expose seekers to that same truth as well. And while I can’t possibly answer every question that may go through someone’s mind, I want to give you some truths, with the hopes of pushing you to study these topics further. 

Dr. Stephen Meyer said, “The heart can’t exalt what the mind can’t believe.” If we’re gonna go by this book, let’s get it down. If we say we follow who this is all about, let’s get equipped and ready. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” People ask if this is true. People are searching and need to have believers ready to give them an answer. Right? People are making a decision about the most important decision they can make: do they have faith in Jesus, who He said He was and whether or not He rose from the grave. Listen, this book is not just like any other book out there. It is not a simple self-help book written by a collection of people who figured out life. It is the God-breathed words of the Creator of everything. Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, “ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

It’s alive, it’s living and active! This isn’t just poetic nonsense. We’re getting a description of God and His word that He has given to us. We’ll talk about that a little later, but it’s His God-breathed words. This isn’t just another book. Paul tells us that in 1 Thessalonians 2:13. “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

So let’s lay out the evidence for what we have. Let’s start with the OT. 

The Old Testament:

Let’s just consider one book. The book of Isaiah. It was written around 700 BC. 700 years before Jesus. So a question that comes up for “always being prepared to give an answer for why we believe” may be “How do you know Isaiah was copied right?” We don’t have the original, but what do we have? Well in 1947 a shepherd boy was out and he threw a rock in a cave and heard something break. Long story short, he found all these jars containing 900 ancient scrolls. This has become known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this was a whole copy of Isaiah dating to about 200 BC. Ok, so what they did was compare that with what we have now and it was amazingly accurate. What was written then, we have now. There’s no telephone game whisper in the ear mess ups here. 

And with that being said, let’s think about the implications of us knowing that the book of Isaiah (specifically chapter 53 we’ll look at) was the same then as we have now. So we have the original in 700 BC, the Dead Sea Scroll around 200 BC, copies from about 1000 years ago, and then what we have today. So we put those all together and exactly how accurate is it? Very! Norman Geisler said, “Of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, there are only 17 letters in question. Ten of these letters are simply a matter of spelling, which does not affect the sense. Four more letters are minor stylistic changes, such as conjunctions. The three remaining letters comprise the word LIGHT, which is added in verse 11 and which does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore, this word is supported by the Septuagint (LXX). Thus, in one chapter of 166 words, there is only one word (three letters) in question after a thousand years of transmission – and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage.”

So back to what this means. Over 2200 years have gone by and it has kept true. It means that we know for sure there was a very detailed, specific prophecy on Jesus. It was fulfilled by Him. Here’s how accurate Isaiah 53 is towards Jesus. It says He, “would not be widely believed, wouldn’t have the look of majesty, would be despised and suffer, would be concerned for others health and would die for our sins, would have pain and punishment for us, wouldn’t respond to charges, would be oppressed and killed, would be with criminals during life and death, buried in a rich man’s tomb, be crushed, suffer and die and yet live, would bear our sins, and would have a portion with the great.” 

And just to add a little more, Daniel, in about 500 something BC prophesied about kingdoms coming and falling. Early on in Daniel he was given a prophecy about 4 global empires: Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. Then in chapter 8 it specifically mentions Greece as a world power and the great King in there is Alexander the Great who would be cut off at the height of his power (he died unexpectedly in his thirties), be split into four parts (he had no successor so it was split into 4 kingdoms) that wouldn’t be as powerful as him (they weren’t). Eventually after other terrible and powerful leaders (like Antiochus Epiphanes) then Rome came to power and put it all under one again. All of this is prophesied hundreds of years before. And came to be.

What about the New Testament?

William Lane Craig, apologist, theologian rightly says that from the time evidence is found and written to the time you get it is irrelevant. What matters is the distance between the event happening and someone documenting it. Consider the first and second most reliable documents of antiquity.  

Homer’s Iliad- Poem telling about the Trojan War.  Time Gap- 400 yrs   Copies- 643

NT- 25,000 manuscript copies, Time gap- 25-200 years. 

It’s not even close!

What did the NT writers and apostles think of their writings and each other’s writings? Check these two examples out.  

2 Peter 3:15-16 says, “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” What does he do? Peter equates Paul’s writings to scripture. That’s huge. It directly knocks down some of the terrible, misinformed attacks on the Bible that I have seen. Here’s another one for you. 

1 Timothy 5:18 says, “For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” Why do I bring this up? “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” is from Deuteronomy 25:4. OT scripture. Something they were familiar with. And then “The worker deserves his wages” is from Luke 10:7. That’s NT! I think it is intentional that he puts them both together here and says, “For scripture says…” and he puts them on equal ground. 

But is it true?

Christian author and speaker Dr. Frank Turek says there are 6 lines of evidence that show us that it’s true and not made up. And they all start with E. Here they are very briefly srtated:

Early testimony: Most if not all the NT documents are written prior to 70 AD. Why do I say that? Because the destruction of the temple (a huge, massive thing that would certainly be at least mentioned) is not mentioned in any NT writing. Not to mention that most conservative and libreal scholars hold to an early dating for their writings. 

Eyewitness Testimony: Read Luke’s introduction to his gospel to see that he said he wrote it “as it was handed down to” him, from “eyewitnesses” and that he “carefully investigated everything” to “write an orderly account” so they can “know the certainty of the things you’ve been taught.” 

Embarrassing Details: It seems extremely unlikely that anyone who made this stuff up, or fabricated it in anyway would include many of the details about the disciples that did not make them look good.

Excruciating Evidence: The eyewitnesses and many in the early church could have denied Jesus and said they were making it up, or they got it wrong, or just denied in some way to save their own lives. But they didn’t. They kept the story. The only real, logical explanation for this one alone is that it’s because it was true.

Expected Testimony: There is OT prophecy that leads you to the expected Messiah-Jesus.

Extra Biblical Testimony: I mentioned a little, but there are 10 ancient non-Christian sources within 150 years of Jesus’ life. When you take their brief accounts of Jesus and His life you get a story that is congruent with the NT.

Finally, one last cool thing to see. It was ahead of the time on science and understanding creation. The Bible served as a basis for modern scientific pursuits. When scientists thought the earth was flat (although sadly this seems to be making a comeback), the Bible said otherwise. Isaiah 40:22 says, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” The circle of the earth and it also in that verse points out the expansion of the universe which we know is happening. Job 26:7 God tells us that He suspends the Earth on nothing. Before oceans were explored, the Bible spoke of valleys and springs of the sea. It even mentions the hydrologic cycle of the circulation of the water of the earth long before anyone knew about that in Ecclesiastes 1:6-7. This is the kind of things these guys had no business knowing about unless…this book is not a normal book. 

We have good news to share…and its’ true! The Bible is living and active. This is the real, powerful, life-changing, evil-calling-out, moral, eternity-shaking, unchanging, truthful, good news that gives us the knowledge of faith in Jesus alone to save and take us from death to life. That is what this is. But my experience with too many is that it’s nothing more than a coaster on a side table or a decoration. That has to change. You want to hear from God? We all want to know Him more and maybe cry out to Him, “Why don’t you speak to me?!” He has, but are we listening and reading it?

Waco Missions with Jim and Tracey Kilgore

“The Kilgores are planting a new church in Waco, Texas in partnership with the Texas state mission board. Jim and Tracey are no strangers to church planting. After pastoring for some time in California, they planted Heritage FWB, in Greenfield, CA in 2009. Jim has felt a burden for the city of Waco for several years and they are excitedly following God’s calling into the area. The Kilgores moved to Waco in 2021, and they were immediately concerned by the lack of gospel outreach particularly in the North Waco area. They plan to plant a church and live in North Waco, a region with a population of around 30,000 people but only a handful of established churches. Half-way between Dallas and Austin, Waco is a popular stop for visitors from all over the country making it a great region for this new ministry.”

2021 NAM Hispanic Power Conference

” May 31-June 1, 2021 North American Ministries will be hosting a Hispanic Power Conference at The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, TN. This conference will be translated into both Spanish and English. We encourage our pastors to come and be a part of this unique experience. We encourage everyone to become apart of this opportunity to come together and learn how to be United for One Vision.

Schedule

Monday, May 31

6:00 pm Music
7:00 pm Service: Dr. Noe Martinez

Tuesday, June 1

9:00 am Seminar
10:00 am Seminar
11:00 am Seminar
Lunch
1:30 pm Seminar
2:30 pm Seminar
3:30 pm Seminar
6:00 pm Music
7:00 pm Service: Dr. David Crowe

Speakers

Dr. Noe Martinez: Pastor of one of the largest churches in Mexico City, Centro de Fe, Esperanza, Y Amor Tacuba. Dr. Martinez is also the president of these churches that are around the entire Mexican Republic.

Dr. Rufo Gomez: Dr. Rufo is a church planter around North America. He is involved in discipling and training his members for ministry. Now Dr. Gomez is planting a church in Smyrna, Tennessee. He is also one of the teachers at the NAM Bible Institute.

Pastor Fernando Bustamante: Fernando is a pastor in Florence, South Carolina who has planted churches around North America and parts of Central America. His passion and heart are in missions to take the gospel where there is none. He is also a teacher at the NAM Bible Institute.

Pastor Alfredo Botello: Alfredo is pastor of Faith, Hope, Love Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He is the Director and also a teacher of the NAM Bible Institute.

Dr. David Crowe, Executive Director: The Lord has placed a burden on David Crowe to help Hispanic ministry, pastors, and people. David is a successful pastor and evangelist. He has ministered to over 1,300 churches around the country and in other countries as well. After 18 years on the Home Missions staff, he became the executive director of the department and has been serving in that capacity for the past 8 years.

© 2019 North American Ministries “

Ivory Coast News

“Pastor Hénoc Dah, who works in the southwestern part of Ivory Coast, far from most of our other churches, reported that 5 mission churches in the area got together for an Easter Conference. Fifteen people were baptized during the conference.Please support our partnership in Ivory Coast by giving to the World Missions Offering (WMO): iminc.org/give.Give by texting impartnerships to 77977. #WMO2021 ” For much more news around the world visit: https://iminc.org/