• 72°

Church news for Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lime Springs United Methodist Church
Our Sunday School lesson continued to focus on the Hebrew names of God found in the Holy Bible. This Sunday we studied Jehovah Tsidkenu, “The Lord, Our Righteousness.”
Bro. Shannon brought the morning message from Genesis 37:1-11 entitled “The Dysfunctional Family.” He reminded us that a dysfunctional family is defined as one that does not function the way God intends. The problem may arise from divorce, child abuse, spouse abuse, addictions, extramarital affairs, etc. The problem with dysfunctional families is the real victims are often the children. In fact, studies have shown that most children grow up to repeat the mistakes of their parents (Numbers 14:18). However, when God gets involved with a dysfunctional family, the end result does not have to be negative.
Bro. Shannon used the family of Joseph for an example. He showed how Joseph’s family was imperfect. His father was a polygamist, passive and showed favoritism. His mother and stepmothers were very jealous and insecure. His brothers were envious and hated Joseph. Joseph himself may have been a little arrogant, as shown in his wearing of the coat of splendid colors into the fields where his brothers worked. However, because God was involved in his life, Joseph ended up doing great things for his family and the people of God.
Good News! We are invited to become part of God’s family by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In this family, we can find acceptance, forgiveness, support, identity and security. In the family of God we can find our lives functioning the way God intended, regardless of how dysfunctional we may have become in this world.
Our evening Bible study was entitled, “The Holy Spirit and Miraculous Gifts, Part 3.”
Happy birthday to Bailey Miller.
We invite everyone to join us for worship at Lime Springs. Our service times are as follows: Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.; Sunday morning worship at 11; evening Bible study at 5; and Wednesday night prayer meeting at 6:30.
For more information, call 755-6356.

Christ Independent Methodist Church
Sunday our pastor, Dr. Mac Stinson, was unable to fill our pulpit and we missed him and Glinda. But God never closes a door without opening a window, so he sent the Rev. Jim Popwell and wife, Norma Lou, to bring our morning worship service. This couple has come to us in time of need several Sundays during years past, and we appreciate their dedication in bringing God’s word to us. We count them friends; not just substitutes filling in.
Rev. Popwell’s sermon title was “Identifying a Christian,” based on scripture from John 13:34. Here Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
It almost sounds like a repetition of last week’s news, but love is one of the most commonly used themes found in the Bible. Rev. Popwell’s provocative title deserves close analysis rather than a short, flippant observation. We might be tempted to go with the short answer and say that a Christian is a church member, but wait a minute. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 pretty much what a “true Christian” really is. Each of us can read and judge ourselves as to how we measure up. We are not to judge our brothers and sisters. That is God’s prerogative.
Paul is not the only biblical scholar to tell us the attributes of a Christian, though he covers the subject pretty thoroughly. We separate and identify trees by the fruit they bear. We can also recognize Christians by the fruit they bear, such as conversation, lifestyle, where their treasure is, reaction to and/or treatment of other people, and above all the importance we place on charity.
1 Corinthians 13:3 says, “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
Rev. Popwell made this observation: “Who we are speaks so loud that people can’t hear what we say.”
Pray fervently for our pastor. His heart is giving him problems again. Everette and Robbie Bagby continue to need our prayers. Also remember Wilma Ellison, Mable Mitchell, Michelle Parker, Dell Moody and Dekota Justin. Remember to pray for our church, our community, our country and each other. Always remember little Israel.
Our Sunday night study, “That the World May Know,” continues at 5 p.m.
Remember Beulah Camp is coming up soon.
Have a blessed week.
Friendship Baptist Church
Our choir special was “Love Grew Where the Blood Fell.”
Bro. Gene’s message was from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, “How a Church is to Treat Its Pastor.”
Keith and Regeana Funderburk shared their mission trip to Guatemala during the evening service.
Happy birthday to Janice Wyatt.
A very special thank you goes to Bro. Gene, Peggy and Ray Hitchcock. Bro. Gene has been our interim pastor for nearly two years. We are going to miss them.
Our youth lunch fundraiser is Sunday, May 22 at 12 p.m. This will help support our Give Kids the World mission trip next month.
Anyone wanting to work in VBS should meet at the church at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.
Prayer requests: The McCalls, Alicia Mims, our church and new pastor, and Lucille Price.

Mount Bethel Baptist Church
Our great day of worship began with a song of praise followed by prayer.
We should think of Sunday as a special day given to us for praise and worship. The psalmist said, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the world.” Do we feel that close relationship with our Lord? Is Sunday just another day? Sometimes we just need to get our priorities right.
The choir opening the morning worship hour with “Then I Met the Master” and the choir special was “Dwelling in Beulah Land.”
The Rev. Oneil Cleckler’s morning sermon was on playing hide and seek. Scripture came from Genesis 3:8-13. We all know the story. Eve at the fruit first and then gave to Adam to eat and he did. When God came to the garden as he did every day to talk with Adam, he called to him, “Adam, where are thou?” Adam and Eve were hidden because they were naked. Jesus asked, “Who told you that you were naked?” Jesus already knew the answer.
They hid not only because of their nakedness but also because of their sin. We try to hide our sins, but God knows all about it. Isaiah 29:15 says, “Woe unto those that seek deep to hide their council from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, who seeth us? And who knoweth us? No matter how hard we may try to hide from God, he will always seek us out.
In our Sunday night Bible study, Bro. Cleckler taught from 1 Peter 3:18-22. Christ physically died on the cross, and his death was for the sins of all mankind. At any time Jesus could have said the world is a lost cause and went back to the Father, but he chose to die. Jesus was the rescue for the human race. His sole purpose was to save people. In obedience we follow him in baptism.
We would like to wish a happy anniversary to Dale and Lisa Marcus.
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.

Cedar Grove
On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, Bro. Steve Price got everyone in a happier mood by leading “There’s Power in the Blood” followed by “I’ll Fly Away.”
We wished happy birthday to Kip Cleckley, Jacob Vines and Kevin Boothe.
It was the special day for all mothers. Sister Patricia Cofer read a story about a little boy and what a mean Mama he had, and Bro. Jeff read a story about a child’s way of writing the Bible. Bro. Alton Russell sang a beautiful song that says it all: “Hall of Fame for Mothers.”
The choir sang several songs, and Bro. Gary Hubbard sang “I’m Amazed.”
All the mothers had their names in a bowl. There were three drawings, and the winners were Peggy Pearson, Fay Lowery and Missy Price. All the mothers received a gift.
Brother Jeff Carroll read from Matthew 23:37-38 and spoke about how special mothers are.
We closed with the invitation song, “What a Friend We Have In Jesus,” and the altar filled.
On Sunday, May 15, an old favorite was our first song of the morning, “Victory In Jesus” followed by “At Calvary” and “The Gloryland Way.”
Happy birthday to Elizabeth Flowers, Kane Belk and Gary Hubbard.
Our attendance was down due to illness and other reasons. Patricia Cleckley is in the hospital at the time of this writing, Sis. Sandra Carroll was absent because of a cold, and Buddy Popwell is ill. Please keep them in your prayers. Remember Sara Winter, who has been in the hospital, and pray for Cedar Grove’s prayer list.
Jordan Harvely sang the special “Mighty To Save,” a beautiful song and Jordan did a good job singing it.
Bro. Jeff Carroll preached a message, “Old Testament Gospel,” from Exodus 6:1-9.
The invitation song was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and several came to the altar. Debbie Scott sang “I Won’t Have to Worry Anymore” and did a beautiful job.
Sunday evening Bro. Heath Vines took his text from Daniel 3:17-18  but later read most of the other verses. The title of his sermon was “No Compromise.”
Bro. Alton Russell and Sis. Amelia Hubbard sang the invitation, “After All.”
We welcome all our visitors and hope you will come again. Our service times are: Sunday morning at 9:45, worship at 11 a.m., evening service at 5:30 and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church
What’s happening at Mt. Pisgah? Our calendar is full already and summer hasn’t even gotten here yet. Our Sunday night service is a lesson on the book of Mark.
Congratulations to Brandy Cleckler on the birth of her precious baby girl. There will be a baby shower for her at the church next Sunday, May 22, from 2-4 p.m.
Our congratulations also goes out to Jessica Bell on graduating high school. There will be a special Graduate Sunday on May 22.
Mt. Pisgah will host a special Disaster Training for UMCOR on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Cost is $23 and qualifies the participant for entering disaster areas.
Our Vacation Bible School will be from June 13 to June 17 for ages 3-12. So come join us on Main Street. Registration for VBS is Saturday, June 11. Watch for more details!

Bethany Baptist Church
“Cleanse Me” was the special brought by a ladies quartet, which was an appropriate song for Bro. Steve’s message taken from Proverbs 11:3: “The integrity of the upright shall guide them; but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Integrity (honesty and uprightness) should be our guide; it will take us on the right path.  Integrity might be defined as doing what is right, even if nobody knows about it.
Sunday night, Bro. and Sister Vickers presented “Remind Me, Dear Lord” using the organ and guitar and Bro. Steve singing the vocal.  His sermon was taken from 2 Timothy 4:10-11. Demas chose to desert Paul in his time of need: Paul said that he left “having loved this present world”.  He may have chosen the ease and comfort of the world.   Paul tells us in Colossians 3:2: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Upcoming Events: Lunch at Pastor’s home next Sunday; Mothers/Fathers Day Banquet June 4 at church; VBS at Journey Mission, Calera, June 6-8; Mission Development Meeting at Bethany June 11.
May birthdays:  Jane Vines (8th) and Lillian Burkhalter (12th).  May anniversary: Wanda and Ralph Wilson (16th).
Prayer list:  Lillian Burkhalter, Ellen Gray, Ernestine Hatch, our servicemen and women, Larry Miller, Billie Neeley, Pvt. Josh Peppers, Jesse Wallace, James Bixler, Barbara Neeley.
See you Sunday!

Jackson Chapel
Bro Dewayne Castleberry got the Sunday School hour started off with a good lesson entitled “Redemption and Blessing.” Bro Gary Fant got the morning service started off with “Glory To His Name” and “Trust and Obey.” Bro Dennis Smith blessed us with “Glory Road” and his text came from Matthew 7:21-23 with a message entitled “Things that are hard to listen to.”
There are things that we as Christians have to listen to in this life that are hard to listen to.  We have got to understand that Jesus is with us no matter what we go through and that everything happens for a reason.  Every situation that happens to us will not be easy, but we’ve got to fight the good fight because it will be worth it to get to heaven.
The service ended with several coming to pray, and we had one more soul added to the kingdom of heaven. We praise the Lord for the work he is doing in our church.
Bro Gary Fant got the evening service started with “I Want To Be Ready To Meet Him,” “Where the Soul of Man never Dies” and “I’ll Fly Away.”  Bro Dennis Smith and Glenn Riley blessed us with “I Will Trade This Old Cross For A Crown” and “In The Garden.”  Bro Dennis’ text came from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17. If we as Christians are not careful, Satan will plant a seed of doubt in our mind. Dwelling on those doubts will cause us to stumble or be a stumbling block for other people.  Satan will also cause us to fight those battles in our minds, and we’ve got to pray to God to help us overcome those battles we face.
The service ended with several coming to pray.
Please remember these as you pray this week: Patricia Cofer, Debra Collins, James and Marie Johnson, the tornado victims, our lost loved ones and our service men and women.
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.

Calvary Independent Baptist Church
Calvary Independent Baptist  Church welcomed Evangelist Chip Coleman as guest preacher for the Sunday, May 15 morning worship service. He brought a very good message from the word of God about the worship of Jesus. It was a joy and blessing to be here in the services Sunday.
JOY is better spelled as Jesus, Others and then You. Church is about Jesus first and foremost, and then about edifying and building up others in the faith.  We hope and pray that you are a part of a church family where Jesus is glorified and you find JOY in worship and serving the living and true God. When our work honors God, then God honors our work.
Sunday, May 22 we have baptismal services planned as a part of the morning services . Evening services will be starting in Revelation 5. Come visit with us for any, or better yet, for all our services. Sunday School is at 9 a.m., worship services and Junior Church at 10 a.m., Sunday evening services at 5:30 and Wednesday services at 6:30 p.m. We are located  in south Clanton past Dollar General just off Highway 31 on Fulmer Drive.

Bethsalem Baptist Church
Our morning service began with singing “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know.” We held a baptismal service for Billy Fulmer, Emma Shepherd and Austin Chandler.
The message was from Ephesians 4:7-16, “God’s Measurement of Maturity: Part 2” and Mickel Stantley was saved.
During the evening service, we had a baptismal service for Jennie Mallory, Mickel Stantley and Preston Blankenship.
The evening message, “How Great is Our Salvation,” was from Titus 2:11-14. We were blessed again when Scottie, Allison and Parker Willis joined our church by letter.
Wednesday night is family supper at 5:30.
Next Sunday is graduate recognition day, and during the evening service we will host the Billingsley Baccalaureate service. Everyone is invited.
Happy birthday to Adam Barrett, Nakita Ellison, Katelyn Chavers, Jane Humphrey, Melissa Atchison, Samantha Lowery, Cleve Mallory, Brooklyn Edwards, Zachary Barber, Chris Collum and Grey Vinson.
Pray this week for Johnny Kelley, Charles Bryant, Elza Enrique, Dylan Collum, Hunter Moore, Addison Spigner, Kyle Pack, Betty McGee, Chris and Sonja Cox, Jim Beck, Mandy Mims, Jeff Potts, Austin Chandler, Sheila Baker, James Pettie and Kelley Reece. Also remember the storm victims, our missionaries, and all families that have lost loved ones.
Come worship with us on Sunday and get connected.

Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
Our call to worship was “I Worship You, Almighty God.” It was great to see the new visitors and hear the sounds of babies.
It was sure a blessing to see William Heaps looking so well and Carolyn Popwell back after a couple of falls. Please continue to pray for Lavada and Ray; it is looking like he feels better after his last procedure.
Beautiful white roses were placed in memory of Mrs. Lois, Nina’s mom, and Jerry’s “best mother-in-law that a man could have,” Barbara Russell, our little buddy Larsen Bright, the storm victims, and those who are caring for those in need. Help is on the way!
What a fine group of children we had Sunday. Diane Handley brought them a story about how they must get their toys recharged. People need recharging from time to time; we all need spiritual recharging. Jesus even got tired; he prayed and was recharged.
The choir special was “Come to the Table” followed by the hymn of preparation, “Holy Holy Holy” and special music by Lisa Abbott, “In Remembrance of Me.”
Bro. Tony asked those who were in the choir or played instruments to please stand: “These people are blessings of my life. See what God is doing for us spiritually!” Amen brother.
Bro. Tony said there are some old expressions that come from the Bible that we use today, but we may not know the origin. In Matthew 15:14, Jesus said of a group of people, “They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall in the ditch.” Sometimes we let the true meaning go over our heads. Jesus, once in what he called his early ministry, gathered 12 people, one of whom would be the betrayer, Judas, and that single name will forever be associated with a betrayer. Did Jesus know that Judas would be the one? I know, in my mind that he knew but chose him anyway. Did Judas have to be the betrayer? No! Judas made that choice. God has chosen each of us and given to us a work to do, whether or not we accomplish it is up to us. It will be our choice and by that choice our life will be defined. Will it be like Judas or like John? I would greatly prefer that God’s Holy Spirit make me more like John.
We observed Communion, meditation, great thanksgiving, prayer of intercession and shared the Bread and the Cup.
The benediction was led by Mark McPhearson, and the postlude by Joan McGriff and Sara McPhearson.
Sunday, May 22 will be Senior Day, a day to honor our youth in the Class of 2011, Jenson Gore and Kayte Culpepper, two very outstanding students. Lunch will follow the service.
How about our church softball team? At midseason they are undefeated, 6-0! Way to go, team.
Remember, Sunday School is at 10 a.m. Come visit and bring us some babies.

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church
First, let us be sure to invite you to our quarterly singing which will be held this Saturday, May 21, at Rocky Mount.  The singing begins at 6:30 p.m. and always includes, in addition to the singing, good food and fellowship.  Call the church if you have any questions.
Our Kids Crusade (in place of “Vacation Bible School”) will be held June 13-17.  Watch for more details and make your plans to join us for a week of evening fun.
We continue to pray for those of our church and community who have needs, whether in rehab, assisted living, homebound due to health and all the other prayer needs which God knows.
In the absence of Brother Willard, Charlotte Powell brought us a blessed message from 2 Peter 1:1-12.  Peter was aware that death was near and that the church was in danger due to false teachers creeping in.  He urged believers to hold to the precious word and grow spiritually.  He urged the people to keep in mind the promise of Christ’s return.  Peter set out some guidelines, beginning with faith, for the people to follow.  He concluded with the importance of the love of, and a relationship with, Jesus.  After outlining his “rules,” he offers the choice of following the guidelines and in return you shall be given entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  While Peter wrote these for the Christians of Asia Minor, everything he wrote can be equally applied to us today.  We need the faith, we need to change some lifestyles, we need the knowledge and attitude and the Love of Jesus to be our shining light.  If you are saved and you know it, do something to strengthen your faith and relationship.  If you are not saved, pray for the knowledge and guidance to be saved.

Mt. Carmel No. 1
It was such a blessing to have a wonderful day of worship and fellowship at the Confederate Memorial Park in Verbena this past Sunday. Even though the weather was a little cool, the Lord was present to warm our spirits. Just being able to go into the old church building was such a stirring experience. It would be interesting to know what the people of different ages in attendance saw or didn’t see as they entered the building. To the older generation it could have brought back memories of churches they attended when they were young. Maybe the younger generations were thinking where is the sound system, the padded pews, and (oh yeah) the indoor plumbing. But whatever was on the minds of those present did not prevent the spirit of the Lord giving Bro. Derrell a wonderful message to deliver after the singing of several of the older favorite hymns, such as “I’ll Fly Away” and “Nothing But the Blood.” His message was taken from Proverbs 22:28 and titled “Yesteryear.” He started his message by asking several questions beginning with “Do you remember when?” Questions such as do you remember when all the news you heard came from a radio; when a mouse was a small rodent that made everyone squeal; when timeout was you being taken out behind the woodshed. There’s a lot of terminology that has changed over the years, but the way to be saved is still the same — through faith accepting the grace that God so graciously offers. In the scripture that Bro. Derrell used for his message we are reminded that our forefathers left us landmarks that we should cherish. As we reflect on these, caution should be taken not to remove certain things from our worship services today that was preached and taught in yesteryear. The message of the Gospel is still the same. God’s definition of sin has not changed. The truth of heaven and hell has not changed. God’s desire for us to be that living sacrifice that wants to serve Him has not changed.
Our Vacation Bible School will begin on Monday, June 6. It will be held from 1-4:30 p.m. There will be classes for everyone through those that have completed the sixth grade. Please begin to pray for our teachers and the children that will be attending.
Our other pray concerns this week include Hershel Scott, Ruthie Jean Giles, Cecil Franklin, and those that are graduating from college and high school.
If you do not have a regular place of worship, you are always welcome to join us at Mt. Carmel. Sunday School begins at 10 a.m.; morning worship at 11; Discipleship Training at 5; worship at 6 and Wednesday evening service at 7 p.m.