Church news for Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

Published 5:55 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bethany Baptist
In spite of the rain, we had a good crowd this Christmas Sunday. It was a sweet, worshipful service focusing on the first coming of our Savior to the earth.  We sang a few favorite Christmas songs, including “I Call Him Lord” (ladies group) and “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” (men’s group).  Playing the guitar, Bro. Steve sang “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” Bro. Steve sang another song playing the banjo, joined by his son John on the guitar. We always enjoy the music on the piano and organ performed by Jane Vines and Phyllis Vickers.
Bro. Steve’s message was taken from Galatians 4:4-5: “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
These two verses sum up the coming of our Lord: (1) God’s timing is always best, (2) Christ knows each one of us and comes to where we are; (3) Christ came to redeem us from sin and the bondage of the law; (4) Christ came to adopt us and make us heirs of God; and (5) Christ came to fellowship with us.
Prayer list: Betty Biggs, Carl Gray, Ellen Gray, Ophelia Griffin, Ernestine Hatch, Danny Jones, Lori Knight, Mary Knight, Larry Miller and Billie Neeley.
Let’s endeavor to put God first in our lives; let’s pray that our churches and our nation will experience another year of freedom to worship as we please. We should take advantage of our freedom and meet together for worship in the house of the Lord at every opportunity.

Bethsalem Baptist
Our Christmas morning worship began with Sharion Williams leading our music. Kelsey Pierce sang the special music, “O Holy Night.” A job well done and very beautiful.
Bro. Cleve Mallory preached from John 1:1-5, “Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future.” Remember, Christmas is hope and Christians are hope. Christ has come and Christ will return.
No evening services or Wednesday night services were held.
Next Sunday morning, worship will begin at 10:45 on New Year’s Day. There will be no evening services or Wednesday night service.
Pray for Jeanette Smitherman, Louise Thomas, Charles Bryant, Lilianna Thompson, Tyler Harmon, Debra Mims, April Stange, Renee Wingard, Keith Smith, Janice Blackmon, Max Martin, Johnny Smith, James Harris, Crystal Keith, Pamela Howell, Betty Gregory, Jacob Jones, Diana and Alyson Stockton, McCoy Duren, Robert Etheridge and Scott Bogard.
Happy birthday this week to Kathy Warrington, Brandy Clackley, Tracy Jones, Kylee Connell, Anthony Miller, Delea LeBlanc, Shane Lovett, Jennifer Gray, Derrick Burnett, Kathy Blow, Diane Moore, James Earl Bates, Alton Ellison, Sandra Mims, Tommy Corn and Monica Eiland.
We hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and a safe one. Take time to tell someone who Jesus is and how much you love him. He is coming back.
Have a blessed week.

Baptist Church
Calvary Independent Baptist Church had wonderful services Sunday including communion in the morning service.
It was followed by a message from our Pastor Rick Hatchett. He preached from the book of Isaiah and other passages on salvation that is possible only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.  Because of his love for mankind, not willing that any should perish but that the world through him might be saved. Evening services included a message from our Associate Pastor Oscar Mims on another gift that is fast approaching, the gift of a brand new year. He preached from Proverbs 3 about how we all need to start out the new year in the will of God and strive to stay in the will of God throughout the year. We want to encourage everyone to start off the new year searching for more knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ. To know him is to love him, to love him is to trust him, to trust him is to obey him, and to obey him is to be blessed.
If you do not have a church family, we invite you to consider joining with us. If you have questions or would like a visit from our pastors, please feel free to call: Pastor Rick Hatchett at 256-786-0977, Associate Pastor Oscar Mims at 205-755-9399 or Youth Pastor Kevin Shaw at 205-351-4585.
We are located south of Clanton just past Dollar General off U.S. Highway 31 on Fulmer Drive.

Cedar Grove
We had a very good attendance at church Sunday, even though it was raining and was Christmas Day. What a good feeling to be in church on Christ’s birthday. It was only an hour-long service, but it was very enjoyable.
To begin, Sis. Debbie Scott led the congregation in singing “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and “Joy to the World.”
Lauren Wyatt sang “Happy Birthday Jesus” and Chris Cleckley sang “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (the Christian version). Both singers did a great job.
Bro. Jeff Carroll read the birth of Jesus from Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 2:1-18 and Revelation 12:1-11 (we never tire of hearing it).
Skyler Lee Drummond, son of John Drummond, was dedicated to the Lord Sunday.
We are proud to have John, Brittany and Skyler with us and are glad that Brittany’s brother and his wife visited. We hope they will come back.
The song of invitation was “I Am Thine O Lord” and the altar filled. It was a beautiful service.
We will have Bible study Wednesday night at 7. We would love to have you. Remember to pray for the sick, the sad and bereaved.
Praise the Lord, Donny Eslinger is home now. We are all very proud of him and glad he is home.
God bless and happy new year.

Christ Independent Methodist
On this beautiful but rainy fourth Sunday of Advent, Dr. Mac Stinson and Glenda were invited to light the Christ Candle representing the light of the world. Historically, Dec. 25 is celebrated as the birthday of our Lord born as a little baby in a lowly cattle stall in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.
Then Dr. Stinson gave us this profound but hypothetical question to consider: What would the world be like today if Christ had never come?
Sadly, there are those among us who do not accept the story of this child born in a manger as fulfilling the plan of God for this child to grow up as the perfect reflection of God. As Christians, we accept the story as told in the Holy Bible as being true as affirmed by historical and archaeological records. As believers, we now look forward to the Second Coming as the next event.
Dr. Stinson took his scripture from Hebrews 1:1-4. Read these words: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
Again in Hebrews 1:5-6 Christ is quoted: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
These explicit words leave nothing merely expressed.
On your birthday, Lord, we thank you for coming.
With this year fast coming to an end, let us bid farewell and greet the new year with gratitude for the past, hope for the future and treat our neighbors with love, respect and forgiveness.
Remember to pray for our military, their families, our pastors of all denominations and those who need the Great Physician. Pray for Israel and Christians worldwide.
Have a blessed week. My best wishes for you and your family.

Mars Hill Baptist
Getting to go to church on Christmas Day was a rare treat. There was a good crowd in attendance, and we had a short service hearing the Christmas story. It never gets old.
Jessica had the small children come forward to lead the adults in singing “Happy Birthday Jesus.” They did a great job. Thank you Little Ones.
We ask your special prayers for our own little Macoy Duren who is scheduled for heart surgery Jan. 12.
Please lift him up before the very throne of God. And remember his parents also, Jason and Jessica Duren. It is a very empty feeling when the doors to the operating room close and Mama and Daddy can go no further.
Remember: Don’t forget to pray today because God didn’t forget to wake you up this day.
If you do not have a church home, we invite you to visit Mars Hill.
Mt. Carmel No. 1
The Christmas story is one of hope for all mankind. Let’s make sure everyone hears that message of hope in the coming new year.
On Christmas Day we gathered in the house of the Lord for fellowship and worship of our Savior and King. You are part of telling the lost world that God loved the world so much that he gave his Son.
It was so good to see the large crowd that gathered Sunday for worship on this rainy Christmas Day. Christmas carols were sung, and we had a special piano solo by Emily Ann Gilbert, a beautiful song entitled “A Baby Changes Everything” sung by Heather Scott Simpler.
The birth of Jesus was our sermon taken from Luke 2:1-20. Come into the house of God as the shepherds did. Come and worship him and go out praising God for all the things we have heard and seen and been blessed with. Glory to God in the highest and on earth. Peace and good will toward men. My Savior lives today.
We had no service Sunday night, but we asked for everybody to spend time with their families and friends. Our prayer is that this was what you did and your time was well spent.
Church service will be regular time for the next services.
We ask you to remember and pray for the On Mission Celebration coming up February 25-26. Please come and take part in this celebration.
Special prayer requests this week are for baby Jacob Jones and his family, Danny Childress, and Cecil and Gladys Franklin. God still heals. Come worship with us this Sunday.
Mt. Springs
We had a very special Christmas service on Christmas morning to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Bro. Kenneth Moates led the church in two favorite Christmas songs, “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.”
Bro. Don gave a wonderful sermon from the scriptures Matthew 1:21 and Luke 2:11.
Jesus was born to save us and set us free from our sins. That is the foundation of what Christmas is about. Are you letting Jesus deliver you from your sin nature?
We will be having a New Year’s Eve singing Saturday, Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m. with special groups, Canaan’s Crossing and Canaanland.
It will be a wonderful service to pray the old year out and the New Year in. Hope to see you there!