Church news for the week of Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

Published 12:15 pm Thursday, September 23, 2010

Christ Independent Methodist Church
If I did not begin my column today by thanking each of you who came for our Homecoming celebration, I would be remiss in my duty. The day was perfect in every respect. Let me explain: our little church was filled with your presence and your praise.
Our visiting minister, Rev. Jim Webster, preached one of the best sermons that I have ever heard in my long lifetime. Both before and after his sermon, Holy Destiny singers may be compared to the icing on the cake — always considered the best part.
These young men blessed us with their music, words of praise and the obvious joy they displayed while witnessing through their music. We at CIMC thank each of you who came and helped to make the day successful. We hope you feel blessed, and we invite you to visit us again. We wish to extend our best wishes and prayers for Holy Destiny and their continued musical witness.
The Rev. Jim Webster from Florence brought our morning sermon titled, “Three Mountains in my Life.” These mountains he identified as Mt. Sinai, Mount of Conviction; Mt. Calvary, Mount of Conversion; and Mt. Zion, Mount of Cleansing.
Rev. Webster’s scripture reading was taken from Hebrews 12:18-24 and parts of Exodus. It was fascinating to hear him relate how visiting these physical landmarks in the Holy Land impacted his life, leaving an indelible mark.
I knew where he was coming from. Having visited those same three mountains, my personal summations were that after visiting the Holy Land one would never read the Bible with the same eyes or hear it read with the same ears. For many people, visiting the Holy Land is truly a life changing experience.
Those who continue to need our special prayers are Dr. Mac Stinson, and wife, Glenda; his mother, Mrs. Edmondson; Major Rowland; Wilma Ellison; Opal Miller; Kelly Parker; Mac Hunnicutt; Horace Carden; our military and their families; our church, country and each others.
Traveling grace is asked for those who must be on the road or in the air in the line of duty.
We were so glad to welcome Mable Mitchell back today after her long absence due to surgery. She is our official greeter and greatly missed when she is absent.
Wednesday night we will resume our study of the Book of Revelation at 7 p.m. These study nights are informative and well presented. We invite you all to join us.

Lime Springs United Methodist Church
Our Sunday school lesson focused upon “The Sixth Trumpets” found in Revelation 9:12-21. The morning message was taken from John 2:1-11 and focused upon the first recorded miracle performed by Jesus. This miracle was the turning of water into wine at a wedding.
Brother Shannon shared with us many of the traditional beliefs honored in a Jewish wedding. One of these traditions was the presentation of wine for the wedding ceremony. It was believed that wine was a symbol of joy. Imagine how alarmed the servants became when they realized the wine was running out. Surely the joy experienced at such a great event would also quickly disappear.
It was for this reason Mary asked Jesus to help. Jesus instructed the servants to fill the water pots with water, and He then turned the water into wine. By doing so, Jesus became the source of joy for the marriage ceremony! Brother Shannon reminded us that Jesus is still the source of joy in our lives (John 15:11).
He can turn our sorrow into joy when our wine runs out, by seeking Him as master of our lives. Brother Shannon concluded the message by reminding us of the important role Mary played in this story. Not knowing what to do, the servants were led to the answer by Mary. Once we have tasted the grace of God, we too must be willing to lead others with no joy into the source of joy unspeakable, Jesus Christ!
Our Sunday and Wednesday services were cancelled due to the Pumpkin Patch Revival.
We invite everyone to join us for worship at Lime Springs. Our Sunday school starts at 9:30; morning worship at 11; evening Bible study at 5 p.m.; and Wednesday prayer meeting at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, please call 755-4950 or 755-6356.

Friendship Baptist Church
Brother Gene Hitchcock preached from Acts 22:1-21. The title of his sermon was “The Christian’s Responsibilities.” Paul tells his conversion story. We are responsible to witness and there are always opportunities to do so.
Evening services: Brother Gene’s sermon was from Acts 23:1-10. The title was “A Good Conscience.” Paul speaks to the Sanhedrin. We must have the Lord’s guidance in everything we do. Our conscience cannot always be our guide.”
A special thank you to our Homecoming committee, John Will Wyatt, Linda Wyatt and Carl and Joan Headley. What a blessing and what a crowd!
Upcoming events: Training conference. This is a special day of training for the leaders in our churches and for those who lead in Sunday school or discipleship training. Jemison Baptist Church, Thursday, Sept. 23, from 7-8 p.m.
Happy Birthday: Randall Wyatt, Jim Wakefield, Shirley Cordes, Brandon Hunt and Marty Wyatt.
Prayer requests: the John “Buddy” Jones family; the Edith Williams family; the Chambers family; the McCall’s; and the unspoken.

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, No. 1
Praise God for another wonderful Lord’s Day. Our attendance was good, and we welcome our visitors. The Sunday morning service was opened by special music by David Jones. He sang “Thank You Lord for Loving Me.”
The dedication service for baby Natalie Grace Cluck, daughter of Anna and Mason Cluck, was held. Proverbs 3:1-18 was the Scripture Brother Derrell read for dedication service. Brother Derrell gave the charge to the parents to train a child in the ways of the Lord, seeking wisdom from God in all decision, a charge that was also given to the extended family and church to help with.
Sunday morning sermon was taken from the Book of James 1:17 and was titled “The Great Philanthropist.” The gifts provided to this philanthropist are from God. They are to be used for God. If the receiver does not use them for God, they will not prosper.
Activities that need to be remembered are: adult choir practice Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., Wednesday night Bible trivial study, St. John Chapters 13, 14 and 15; youth Bible study and drama practice at 7 p.m. Wednesday; prime timers fall trip Oct. 2, meet at the church at 9 a.m. to leave in the church van for Marion.
Please remember all who are on our prayer list this week, all our shut-ins and all others that have been asked for our prayers.
Tell someone about Jesus this week.

Mount Bethel Baptist Church
What a great time we had worshiping the Lord this Sunday. It started with a sing followed by prayer, after which we went into our classes for Bible study.
The choir opened the morning worship hour with “What a Day That Will Be,” and the choir special was “He’s the Master of the Sea.” We also had a special from Tina Littleton, “Trust In Him.” She did a great job.
The Rev. Oneil Cleckler’s morning message, “A Man With a Purpose” was based on John 1:6-8. John the Baptist was a man born with a purpose given him from God to be the forerunner for Christ Jesus. Even though John and Jesus were cousins, John always knew he would pave the way for the Messiah. The name “John” means “Jehovah has been gracious.” John was to bear witness of the Light so that all men through that Light might believe.
When John the Baptist was a young man, he went into the desert and God told him what he needed to do to prepare the way for Jesus. A lot of people wanted to follow John, thinking he was Elijah who had returned. He dressed and ate like Elijah and may have even taught like him, but John wanted no recognition. He was just a plain, simple man on a mission for God. In Mark 1:7, John states that he is not even worthy enough to unloose Jesus’ shoes.
John never compromised the word. He proclaimed it even to the Pharisees and Sadducees. He preached repentance and the One who could free them from their bondage of sin, Jesus. Are you fulfilling your purpose in God’s plan?
The evening service was joined with other churches at the Pumpkin Patch for revival.
We would like to wish a happy birthday to Marsha Mathis, Mildred Jones, Ben Sims and Linda Dennis. Happy anniversary to Ray and Betty Dennis and Gene and Betty Hucks.
Visitors are invited to join us for worship and fellowship.  Sunday School is at 10 a.m.; morning worship at 11; Discipleship Training at 5 p.m. and evening worship at 6.

Jackson Chapel
Bro Dewayne Castleberry got the Sunday school hour started off with a good lesson entitled “Live Right in Relationships.” Bro Gary Fant got the morning worship service started off with “Are You Washed in the Blood” and “I Love to Tell the Story.”  Bro Horace Wyatt blessed us as he sang “Going Home” and during prayer service people began to come to the altar to pray, and the Holy Spirit was surely present.
Bro Dennis’ text came from Philippians 3:13. We as Christians need to quit letting Satan take us back to things that we used to do and let God take us to higher places that are much better then we could ever imagine.  We also need to learn that we need the power of Jesus Christ to shine in our lives for the world to see.
The service ended with several coming to pray.
Bro Gary Fant got the evening service started off with “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” “Victory in Jesus” and “Nothing But The Blood.”  Bro Dennis and Wanda Chadwick blessed us with “I Know My Redeemer Lives” and while they were singing several came forward to pray.
Bro Dennis’ text for the evening service came from Romans 6:12-13 with a message entitled “Instruments.”  We as Christians need to be instruments God can use and that he will be pleased with.  We also need to be very careful and not yield to the way Satan wants us to go because he will have us going down the wrong road.  When we yield to Satan, we break our fellowship with Jesus Christ and begin to let sin get into our lives.  We also have got to have a desire to serve Jesus Christ. If we don’t, we can rest assured that he will not put himself on us if we don’t want his blessings. We have to remember that there are always people who want to receive God’s blessings.
The service ended with several coming to pray.
Happy anniversary to Herschel and Marie Rhodes.
Please remember these as you pray this week: James and Marie Johnson, Shirley Burnett, Gail Fant, Ann Booker, Hershell and Marie Rhodes, Janet Castleberry, Janie Smitherman, Nancy Martin Kraft, Earl Davenport, Margie Waites, the Todd Chambers family, Callie Ramsey, our service men and women and our lost loved ones.
We are located at 4020 Yellowleaf Road in Clanton.  Our service times are as follows: Sunday School at 10, morning worship at 11, evening worship at 6, and Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study at 7.  We also have Kid’s Club on Wednesday nights at 7 for grades 1-6.

Bethsalem Baptist Church
The morning service began with ministry opportunities and a welcome to our congregation. We sang many great songs.
Students Zachary Martin, Alex Green and Brady Edwards reminded us about See You at the Pole this Wednesday. Special music by the Celebration Choir was “Faces with Thank You” featuring soloist Sharion Williams.
Bro. Brad Eubank brought his morning message, “Use Me: The Person God Uses,” from 2 Chronicles 34-35. We were blessed yet again when George and Rita Brasher and Lena and Kela Cox joined our church.
For the evening service, Bro. Cleve Mallory brought his message from Ephesians 6:10-18. It was entitled, “Battle Ready: The War We Face, The Tools of War, and the War We Fight.”
Wednesday night is family supper at 5:30, followed by prayer meeting at 6:30, choir practice and programs for all ages.
Pray for James Moore, Pete Burnett, Cathy Patton, Eva Jacks, William Jacks, Kacy Barrett, Tammy Littleton, Tonnia Spigner, Marie Smith, Thomas Jackson, Ellis Reese, Linnie Hathcock, Lula Spigner, Nancy Deavers, Marie Smith, Jeff McQueen, Thomaseen Johnson, Charles Bryant, Lera Price, Destiny Griffen, Eunice Mims, Emma Baker, Doris Reynolds, Ellie Grace, Reese Tammy Cleckler, Glenda Mims, Hannah Vines, Ray Parrish, Pettus Smith, W.L. Broome, Glenda Mims, William Jacks, Travis Woodfin, Ludean Garrison, Larry and Brenda Dickerson, Paige Wright, Jim Lett, Joshua Wright, Sue Bradberry, D.M. Bone and Barry Lynn.
Happy birthday this week to Lynn Cox, Dana Reeves, Tiffany Smith, Taylor Barrett, Makayla Wingard, Mike Williams, Kelley Courtney, Chris Edwards, Jason Hill, Jennie Mims, Katie Pack, Robbie Gilliland and Larry McCary.
We welcome all visitors. Come and get connected with us in Sunday School and Life Tracks.
Have a blessed week and tell someone about Jesus. God is so good.

Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
Remember in prayer the O.J. McGriff family, the Johnny Ratliff family, Gene Gilliland, Kay Wade and Lavada Attaway.
Following the invocation, we observed the lighting of the Christ candle. May Christ be the center of all we do today.
During our time for children, Diane Handley explained to the little ones what homecoming means.
Our offertory was a beautiful selection and presentation of “There is a Fountain” by Joan McGriff and Sara McPherson.
We were blessed by guest singers 4 By Grace of Prattville, who sang “Great Great Morning,” “He Touched Me,” “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” “4 By Grace,” “Sinner Saved By Grace,” “I Bowed on my Knees and Cried Holy,” “His Love is Boundless Love” and “Goodbye, World, Goodbye.”
Bro. Tony Hughes brought God’s message from Philippians 3:12. He said, “Every time we have a homecoming, and we have had many, I think of those who have had home-goings. Some of those went on to their journey to God before we were ready, some died in the fullness of their time, but none out of God’s time! God truly does hold this world in his hand and desires what is best for us — so much that by his marvelous grace, he sent his Son to die for us. As parents, we should know that if we try to take all the challenges away from our children, they will stay in the cocoon and not become a butterfly. If we take all the strain and pain out, there will not be any joy.
“We grow older and more reflective. There is not one here today, regardless of how young or how old, that cannot get complete forgiveness of their sins. If everything is going wrong, I promise you, the problem is sin. God has the power to wash it all away, by grace; it’s free, but it will not be forced on you. It must be accepted. We must press on to the calling that we have to be a mature Christian. God expects our service, our very best service.”
Bro. Jim Popwell led the benediction and blessed the food we were about to partake.
What a wonderful fellowship of the new and old, and together we enjoyed the abundance of super-great food.
Walnut Creek United Methodist Church has been centered in this community for 190 years. We are here to give of our time and energies, our financial blessings, to glorify God and praise Him, and to grow in God’s kingdom, the Body of Christ.

Christ Independent Methodist-Protestant Church
“Won’t It Be Wonderful There” was the first song of the service followed by “He set me Free.”
Brother David Bullard dismissed with prayer for everyone to go to their classes.
The lesson taught by Brother Gary Hubbard was entitled “Christ, Our Example of Humility.” The Text came from Philippians 2:5–16. Golden Text: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
True humility implies unselfishness. The Christian must not put himself first; he must not regard his own wishes, his own interest, as the one thing to be thought of. He must consider the feelings of others, and only true humility will enable him to do this.
Brother Alton Russell dismissed with prayer for our worship service.
Next Sunday night will be our regular fourth Sunday night singing. Our guest singers will be Heavenstrings with Brother Jim Lowery. I am going to have to quit bragging on our talent in this church. They are so good, other churches want them. We really do have quite a lot of excellent singers and musicians and we are so proud of them.
Happy birthday to Sherry Ray, Naomi Gillespie and Jessica Collins. Happy anniversary to Chris and Renee Cleckley.
Brother Steve led the congregation in singing “Standing on the Solid Rock.”
The choir sang several songs, Brother Steve sang “What A Lovely Name” and Jordan Harvely sang “We Will Ride.” We were really blessed by such good singing.
Brother Jeff preached a good sermon entitled “The Moving of the Spirit” from Genesis 1:1-2 and John 3:1-8.
Brother Chris Cleckley sang the invitation, “And Now My Lifesong Sings.” The altar filled with people praying and being prayed for.
The evening service was great, too, with good singing, preaching and a few testimonies and praise reports. Brother Heath preached a good sermon from Hebrews 4:1-11.
We welcome our visitors, and we were glad to see a cousin formerly of Gulfport, Miss., Genendal Fratantuono. She came to the Price reunion and we were so glad she came to church this week.
For more information, call 646-2390.

Bethany Baptist Church
We look forward to our homecoming this Sunday.  Everyone is invited.  The services will begin at 10 a.m. with singing and a PowerPoint presentation.  Bro. Paul Armstrong will bring the message.  He is one of our former pastors and is currently a missionary at Journey Mission in Calera.  After lunch in the fellowship hall, we will have some special music by Brent Davenport and his singers.
Sunday morning, Bro. Aubry brought a message from Psalm 91:1: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  What a comfort these words are when we experience fearful times.  Psalm 27:5 is another encouragement:  “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”  We can trust in Him.
Sunday night in Bro. Aubry’s text, Mark 7:1-9, Jesus said the Pharisees honored Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (verse 6).  Jesus taught that worship should come from the heart and not just from tradition.
Upcoming events:  Oct. 8-9: Annual state meeting at Bethany.
Prayer list:  Lillian Burkhalter, Sherry Cooper, Lela Mae Courtney, Mildred Crawford, Ashley Friday, Jack Friday, Ernestine Hatch, Gloria Headley, Mary Knight, our military, Nell Mims, Billie Neeley, Pvt. Josh Pepper, Aubry Wallace and Shirley Wallace; rain, revival in America.
See you at homecoming!

Samaria Baptist Church
Sunday was a wonderful day in the service of the Lord.  We wish a happy anniversary to Drusilla and Walter Hudgins, and happy birthday to Trae Caton and Ozelle Mims. We continue to request pledges and donations for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering sponsored by our W.M.U.
Prayer concerns are for Mike and Jennifer Hahn, the Todd Chambers family, Ray Hardee, and John and Joan Hill.
Our scripture was taken from 2 Peter 3. Scoffers belittle and make fun of Christ’s coming as though they have no belief that He will return. He will come as a thief in the night, suddenly, without warning.  There will be those who walk after the flesh who despise God’s governing; these people are self-willed, uncaring of anyone but themselves, and not giving thought to the judgment of God that will be coming.
People speaking evil of Christ will perish in their own corruption.  It’s better for those not to know the word than for those who know and reject Him.  In the last days, scoffers will ask, “Where is the Christ that you said would return?”  It is the responsibility of those who are Christians to warn the lost that hell is not a temporary setback. Hell is forever.
Rejecting Christ doesn’t hurt God at all, but it can be the complete damnation of those who turn their backs on the only hope for heaven.
We can escape hell now, but when it’s too late, we cannot get out.  The way we live speaks for us day by day.  This is the conversation that the world hears, by what it sees in us.
Christ will return, and we must behave in a manner that pleases Him.  Christ is Lord of your life, so make your peace, repent, prepare, and be ready for judgment and the wonder that awaits us in heaven.
Diane Fisher sang, “When He was on the Cross” for our special music.  Brother Floyd Collins is our new Minister of Music and is doing a wonderful job.
Our homecoming will be Oct. 3 beginning at 9:30.  Our pastor, Bro. Charles, will bring the message, and our special music will be provided by Broken Vessels and Steve Roberson. There will be no evening service, and our day will close with our noon meal.
Our evening service Sunday night was about how we are always too busy.  We should never be so busy that we don’t pay appropriate attention to our children or other family members.  We have to work, and God knows this, but He provides enough time for all important things if only we ask Him how to help us manage it.
Please join us at Samaria for a wonderful blessing. Our pastor just gets better with age, and God is using him in a mighty way.  God bless you and keep you is our prayer.