Doxology is the premier sixteen-member vocal ensemble of the Billy Graham School’s Department of Biblical Worship, under the direction of Dr. Greg B. Brewton. The vision and purpose of Doxology is to provide musically excellent, gospel-centered music and worship leadership for the seminary community, our SBC constituent churches, and affiliated colleges and universities.
The repertoire of Doxology encompasses a wide range of styles and sounds including a cappella vocal jazz, gospel, modern, traditional, and contemporary. This ensemble represents our new and exciting training paradigm for those called to worship ministry offered through the Department of Biblical Worship in the Billy Graham School at Southern Seminary.
Please join us for this free concert Sunday evening, March 8th at 6pm.
Dr. Mark Coppenger, our interim pastor, is preaching through 1Peter. Join us each Sunday morning as we step through this study. Services are 9:30am and 11am.
Here’s a list of Dr. Coppenger’s sermons thus far in the series:
Dear Diaspora Sermon Series
Today’s devotion written by Pastor Todd…
It is Day 52 of our 52 Days of Prayer! It seems fitting that the final Scripture verse in our Prayer Guide comes from Romans 8. It’s verse 32 where Paul writes: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
The prayer prompts encourage us give thanks to the Lord for all the good things He has done—and will do—in both our personal lives and in the life of the church. Christians are encouraged to remember that God will see them through. He will carry them forward through every difficulty and see that they make it to the end, joyfully triumphant in the final state of bliss and glory with God!
In the same way, the God who takes care of His children individually takes care of them collectively. The blessings that accrue to the child of God apply to the gathered children of God in the church. God will see Henderson’s First Baptist Church through every future challenge, difficulty, and victory. Because of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, nothing will separate the church from Him! The church moves forward and will see even greater days ahead. Praise God!
Today’s devotion written by Hollis Marshall… “Paul is in prison in Rome. He is writing to the church at Colossae. Instead of being ashamed of his suffering, he is rejoicing in it! Paul rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer for Christ, for the Gentiles and for the body of Christ.
The false teachers in the Colossian church believed that spiritual perfection was a secret and hidden plan that only a few possible people could discover. God was using Paul to reveal the mystery to the Gentiles. The mystery is that salvation is available to all through faith in Christ. I am thankful that God included the Gentiles–you and me–in His plan of salvation for all! Pray that God leads us as we seek His will in the selection of our future pastor. Paul’s message for the Colossians and us is to tell other the Good News of Christ.”
Devotion written by Dana Ford...”In today’s reading, God’s Word tells us to show humility towards one another and to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. With our church being in a time of transition, we must remain humble and not let our pride get in the way. We are all part of the family of God from the least to the greatest but without God we are nothing. We must not only remain humble unto God but we must also show humility toward one another. This is totally opposite of what the world wants us to believe. We are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world. The world tells us that we should be self-centered and that can lead to being prideful, but we must remember to be focused on others and remain humble.
Also in today’s reading God’s Word instructs us to cast all of our anxieties on Him. Right now with our church being in transition, many of us may find ourselves being anxious about upcoming changes. Change can definitely provoke anxiety but Jesus tells us to not be anxious about anything and to cast our cares on Him. God will see our church through this time of transition and we should remain humble!”
Today’s devotion written by Michele Linn… Acts 13 details the commissioning of Paul on his first missionary journey. The church at Antioch had spent extended time in prayer and fasting and as they did, the Holy Spirit guided the church to set apart these two men, Paul and Barnabus, “for the work to to which I (the Lord) have called them”. We see as both these men and the church sought the Lord and followed in obedience to the Spirit, several things transpired. They were “filled with the Holy Spirit”, commissioned to be “a light to the gentiles” and experienced “joy and the Holy Spirit”. As I read this passage, I kept thinking of the many people God has called into various leadership positions over the years here at Henderson’s First Baptist. I am excited about the future of the church and what the Lord will continue to do in and through His people. God has called each believer to a unique work! Let us pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His will for the church both individually and corporately. May we then experience His joy and presence as we step out in faith and obedience to that which we have each been called.
Today’s devotion written by Jim Bryan….”When Dena and I started attending First Baptist about 15 years ago, I remember being impressed with so many things about our church. One thing that stood out then and carries on through today are the people who have been leaders here and how they care for those they minister to. From the pastors, to the minister of music, to the children’s director, God has always provided us with caring, Godly leadership.
In 1 Peter 5:1-4, Peter addresses this as he speaks about elders being good shepherds to those under their care. He goes on to say these “overseers” should do this not because they must but because they are willing; not greedy but eager to serve; not lording over those entrusted to them, but being examples to the flock. We have definitely been blessed in this respect!
Let us pray during these 52 days that God will continue to show favor to our church with this type of leadership.
Today’s devotion on Ephesians 1:15-23 written by John Alan Chamness…
William Barclay says it so well concerning this passage…
“It was Paul’s thesis that Jesus died to bring all the discordant elements in this universe into one, to wipe out the separations, to reconcile man to man and to reconcile man to God. Jesus Christ was above all things God’s instrument of reconciliation. It is in Jesus that all men and all nations can become one; but before that can happen they must know about Jesus Christ. And it is the task of the church to bring that about.”
And from the wisdom of Origen, one of the early church fathers we read this…
“The church is called the body of Christ. We inquire whether as the body is
distinguished from the head so we should think of [the church] here as an organ of its Head. Or should we rather think of the head as an aspect of the body of a person, so the whole church of Christ is Christ’s body in that he ensouls it with his Godhead and fills it with his Spirit. Or perhaps it should be interpreted in another way. But even if the second is true, the more human part of it is by itself a subservient aspect of the whole body, while the divinity that gives life to the whole church is, as it were, the divine power that enlivens it.”
We are the body of Christ!
This devotion written by Pastor Ken Lupton takes a look at 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
John Maxwell has well said “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” God still searches for qualified, godly leaders. Whether it be a family or a local church, that is indeed the case. The Holy Spirit imparts gifts to believers to develop leadership qualities for the building up of the body of Christ. The church is an organism yet it must be well-organized or it will die. Leadership is a part of spiritual organization. Sometimes, the task of leadership is to divide an overwhelming amount of labor as Moses did when he appointed judges to be “rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens” (Exodus 18:21). What leaders are in microcosm the congregation will become in macrocosm. The spiritual health of the church is determined by the quality of its leadership. This is even more true when the church is threatened by false teaching as was the case in Ephesus.
This list of qualifications for elders is not intended to be exhaustive but it envisions a person of mature Christian character. Church leaders must set examples for others to follow. The Lord gives a list of essential characteristics for elders in the church, all 15 of which are important. They deal with the elder’s personal life, domestic life, spiritual maturity, and his public life before the world. Churches were expected to utilize these qualifications as they appointed leaders in every city where new congregations were established (Titus 1:5). These elders needed to be established in the faith and “blameless” (not perfect), but free from scandal and condemnation in their personal and family lives. They were to be good ambassadors for Christ as they were also responsible for the teaching and preaching in the church, activities essential to combat false teaching. As churches matured, their leaders and positions of leadership became established.
Churches today still need godly leaders who will not only preach and defend the gospel but also faithfully serve the flock of God. They should be mindful that they serve under the “Good Shepherd” who tenderly cares for His own. The leaders should represent Christ well in the community. Will the church community be surprised or affirming if he is selected? The health of the church in the midst of such a hostile world and a church’s good reputation depends on the quality of its leadership. While nobody perfectly measures up to these qualifications, we should all strive to achieve them. These graces cultivate a godly symmetry in the lives of pastors and the church as a whole. Then, the gospel is adorned beautifully before a lost and dying world that desperately needs to know Christ!
Written by Michele Linn…”Today’s verse brings back fond memories of a dear sweet man named Leo Winchester. This was his favorite verse and he often quoted it during his many hospital stays as his precious wife faithfully sat by his bedside. Leo and Mary were true educators! They loved the Lord, loved the Word, and loved teaching the word to others. My own boys benefited from this teaching as the Winchesters faithfully served in our Preschool and Children’s Ministry, teaching 3rd graders for several years. Of course when Leo would quote the verse, he would go back to the familiar King James, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Paul in His letter to Timothy is challenging the younger to remain strong in his faith, committed to faithfully serving Jesus, focused on the study and teaching of the truth found only in God’s Word!
Today, may we thank God for those faithful servants who have gone before us, those who have been committed to the Word of truth, those who have fulfilled the great commission and remain committed to the vision of the church in making disciples who make disciples!”
Today’s devotion by Tara Venditti…”It’s easy to forget, isn’t it? We forget where we put our keys, our phones. We forget what time to pick up the kids (no, just me??). Here in Proverbs we are shown something we are NOT to forget: wisdom.
Not only are we not to forget it, but we are told to search for it harder than we would search for hidden treasure! Unfortunately, wisdom doesn’t seem as shiny as treasure, and we shove it aside. Maybe because we think we don’t need it. Maybe because we think we don’t deserve it. But that’s what is amazing about God because He says He will give it when we ask!!
God knows we need wisdom. Personally, we need it to know Him more, to lead our families, to do our jobs. For our church in this time of transition, we need wisdom and the guidance from God that comes with it. We need it so that we as a body continue to share the gospel in the community, the commonwealth, the country, and the continents. That is our mission. We need it so that we can prayerfully and wisely grow our leadership. We need it so that we can love each other and work together through it all.
So let us not forget that our wisdom and guidance comes first from the Lord. Let us ask so that we may receive and praise Him who gives!!”
Today’s devotion is written by Darrin Phegley on Hebrews 13:17.
I was talking to Bro. Jacob the other day. I said “How are you?” he said “fine.” I said, “ no… really, how are you?” He took a second look at me and I knew then that he got what I was aiming at. And a deeper conversation went from there.
What I was concerned with, what I was asking him… really… was “man, I know you have to be feeling a heavy load right now. Within 7 months or so two of our long-time leaders will be gone. So, how are you… in light of the fact that, as a spiritual leader at HFBC, your job is going to feel a lot heavier?”
It’s a biblical fact that it’s a heavy load. Just read Hebrews 13:17 then check out Ezekiel 3:17-19 to get an even stronger perspective on this load that all ministers of God’s Word have. We’re talking souls, we’re talking salvation, were talking blood here! That’s pretty heavy.
But our ministerial leaders are not the only ones who have responsibility. Notice the two-way street the writer of Hebrews lays out for us as well… “Obey your leaders and submit to them.” I’m thinking to myself: “Hmm, so the writer of Hebrews is telling me to submit to Jacob? He’s way younger than me, he’s just a babe in the world of ministry.” But it’s true. It really is the way God has constructed things.
Look at the verse: “… for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.” This is where the blood stuff comes in. Ezekiel says in verse 18 that blood will be on every minister’s hands who does not care for the people God has put him in charge of. Those people are you and me! Then the writer continues with “Let them (including Jacob) do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” He means us right there. It would be of no advantage to us if we do not submit to and obey the ones God has put in charge of us. Our church leaders have the command to care for the flock, that’s their heavy load. We have the charge to obey and submit, which will give our leaders joy and the desire to continue to lead and carry that load. God’s structure right there.
In a sense we could look at this very similarly to a parent-child relationship. If you have kids, God has given you those kids to raise and be responsible for. God has designed it in such a way that their submission and obedience to you will go well with them. But also, if you neglect them, if you do not spiritually lead and teach them, you are held accountable.
For me this brings this verse into much better focus and application in our time of transition at First Baptist.
Today’s devotion is written by Pastor Ken Lupton… “A central command of scripture is to love one another (1 Peter 1:22). What goes into the deep love that we should have for one another? Our love should be unhidden, honest, and vulnerable. It should be so strong, so intensely compassionate, and so enduring, that no amount of difficulty will deter it. He knows that we need to develop unity and community in the midst of transition, testing, or trials. We need to have purity of soul and obedient hearts/minds. We are to obey the truth, not our inner urges or the counsel of others who would like to turn us against each other. We are to do away with ulterior motives and deal in integrity of heart! We must love our brothers and sisters as those who are born again through the living and enduring word of God, the gospel.
Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:24-25 that everything in this life-possessions, accomplishments, and people, will eventually fade and disappear. Only God’s will, word, and work are permanent. We must stop grasping for the temporary and focus our time, energy, and money during this transition (and afterwards) on the permanent Word of God and our life in Christ. As newborn babes, we as believers are to avoid acts of dissension and feed on the spiritual milk of the word. “Spiritual milk” is a metaphor that refers to the divine sustenance drawn from the gospel. We find God to be gracious and merciful (“you have tasted that the Lord is good”) This taste of His grace produces adoration! Without Christ, life is as certain as grass. Born again in Christ, life is eternal.
Christians are not born fully grown. They are like spiritual babies who need to grow and mature (Phil. 2:12). Growth is essential in the life of holiness. Knowing God motivates us to mature in Him and become like Him. This transitional time in the life of our church is an excellent opportunity to mature and be stretched in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. We must remain spiritually thirsty if we are to be strong Christians! God’s Word is the perfect nourishment for our life of faith. Draw from His well deeply during this transitional time! Be attentive to the still, small voice of His Spirit speaking to you. Experience His goodness afresh and anew by appropriating the Word to your life today.”
Today’s devotion by John Kloke...”We live in a world today where there is very little absolute truth. No one wants to be told they are wrong or what they believe is wrong. The world tells us everything is acceptable as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. In these verses Paul instructs Timothy to always be prepared to preach the Word. Timothy is instructed to reprove, rebuke, and exhort others through his preaching. We might better understand those words to mean criticize, correct, and encourage through his teaching and preaching. Paul continues to teach that people will not want to hear the truth of Scripture. They will flock to teachers that tickle their ears and make them feel good about themselves, their actions, and their passions. As we continue to pray for our current and future ministers may we remember this passage. Their responsibility before God is not to make us feel good about ourselves. They are to think clearly, be bold in their preaching, and stand firm on the truth of Scripture which will fulfill their calling. May we accept the preaching and teaching of our leaders as from the Lord for our good.”
By Kenny Noblett Col. 1:9-12
Today there is a large hill nestled in the mountains of southern Turkey. Sheep can been seen grazing on this hill as shepherds continue their ancient work. There is an occasional rock or possibly a piece of an ancient building scattered about on this hill. It is an eerie, peaceful and beautiful place. A small well-worn path reveals the interest of tourists (mostly American tourists the locals say). It once was the city of Colossae. A vibrant city with a local church, started by the Apostle Paul. The church was young, but was growing and making an impact upon people in their area as the “word of truth, the gospel” was bearing fruit among them and going into the whole world. (Col. 1:6-7) Several years later following a massive earthquake and the redirection of the nearby “Roman road” the city fell into ruins. We have the blessing of the letter written to these people by the Apostle Paul recorded in the word of God. Today’s scripture is the prayer of the apostle for these dear brothers and sisters. As we pray together, what better place to go to know how to pray than this passage?
The apostle makes two requests for local church in his prayer and they are still the desire of God for His people as they live and serve together in love. First, he prays that they would have the “knowledge of His will.” Notice not just knowledge, but knowledge that leads to “spiritual wisdom and understanding”. How much do we need this during our time of transition! He does not stop there but continues to ask that this knowledge lead them to “walk” or to live in a “manner worthy of the Lord”. Our prayer is for knowledge of God’s will in the calling and selection of several leadership positions. Not just to fill these spots and go on about our busy church lives, but that these leaders will lead us to live God-glorifying and Christ-honoring lives. Notice we will never not need this prayer request; Paul comes back to the “knowledge of God” in verse 10!
Second, he prays that we be strengthened – not just “make it”, but a strength that leads to “endurance, patience and joy.” I need this, don’t you? In addition, this strength will always lead to a proper understanding of our salvation and how God has done the work necessary to bring us in to the glorious relationship with God our Father (v. 12). Father, give us this kind of strength not only for days of transition but also for every day. A local church, now gone still speaks to us; this is the power of the Word of God among the people of God. Pray!
Todays devotion was written by Pastor Ken Lupton…”On the counter behind the desk in my office is a circular wooden plaque with the words “Pass It On, 2 Timothy 2:2” It reminds me of what our task is all about: investing in people, multiplying disciples, and reproducing leaders. It also reminds me that during this time of transition in the life of our church, it is our responsibility to guard the deposit of His Word. We must test everything by the Word of God, particularly the doctrines of grace. There are 4 generations in this verse: Paul, Timothy, Faithful Men, Others Also. Disciples are made when believers are taught the Word, led by a godly example, and then equipped to transfer their faith to others. While pastors are specifically called to produce disciples of Christ, every Christian’s legacy should include an enduring testimony and a commitment to discipling others.
The church is to be the hands, heart, and eyes of Jesus on earth while He is in heaven (1 Cor. 12:14-20). Every follower of Jesus is to make disciples who in turn will make disciples. This is how the entire world can come to hear the gospel. We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and this mission that he has called us to. The late Dr. Roy Fish (my evangelism professor in seminary) once said “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing”. We must not lose sight of this during this period of transition in the life of our church. It is crucial that disciple making be a multiplication process. You and I alone can’t reach the world or even a million people. Disciple making is not a one time event. It is the habit of our lives as Christians, a process of years and decades. Let God mold and shape you in unique ways as His disciple during this time of transition. Unselfish people make great disciplers of others! Picture how Paul’s words should play out in your life today. Have you given serious thought to how God would have you build into the lives of others? Ask the Lord to guide you by His Spirit to those whom you can disciple. Those whom you disciple will then become a source of great blessing as they grow in grace and invest in others themselves!”
Today’s devotion was written by Mary Nell Shewmaker
“Praise and thank God for the wisdom which He so freely offers! Pray that as a church family and individually we will accept and trust that wisdom and be guided by it.”
Today’s devotion based on Galatians 6:9 was written by Jenny Richmond.…”When Bro. Todd first spoke about focusing on 52 Days of Prayer, he immediately had my attention due to the number 52. During my 20 years as a police officer, my badge number was 52. It became part of my identity because I answered to a number more than my own name. During my career, there was a lot of excitement and I also saw many things that I will never “unsee.” It was easy to lose focus at times, but when I returned my focus to Go, things improved. It was still hard, demanding work, but I knew that God was with me during those hard times and not to give up. It took me several years to come to the realization that Henderson was my mission field and that God had placed me here to do his work. It was God working through me that allowed me to help others. I retired in January which was a huge time of change and transition for my family and me. I may have been a number 52 over the years, but Jesus knew my name. Change is already occurring within our church, but we should not worry and lose focus during this time. It is part of God’s plan for our church. We need to focus on the work that needs to be accomplished during this time of transition and pray for our church to remain focused and united.”
Day 36 of 52 Days of Prayer written by J.D. Graham…
These verses are preceded by a reference likely to Isaiah 61 which declares that the light has risen upon God’s people and has not only provided a clearer view of their present life but also a hope for the future. The declaration is “Awake… and Christ will shine on you!” Do we need help for God to guide us in what to do?
I submit to you we need to do as verse 17 proposes. We need to understand what the will of the Lord is for our church. The question is how do we do this and in what manner do we proceed to discover God’s will for our congregation?
The text gives simple advice: See that you walk circumspectly. This word means to walk with diligent exactness. The same word here is used to describe how Herod wanted the wise men to search for the infant Christ. He wanted them to dig without missing a detail. The charge to awaken is set against our tendency to the slumber of carelessness and going through the motions. May we with careful attention look at how we walk and thus be wise. May we become aware to those areas in which we tend to drift in slumber and comfort. May we re-set a wartime footing because the days are evil.
The second bit of advice Paul gives here is to make the best use of our time. We stand in constant need of Christ’s light to shine on us so that we don’t proceed in these steps of transition on autopilot. We need to make the best use, being decisively exact so that God may have His way with His church. The work doesn’t stop because we are in transition. The cause doesn’t go away. These days are indeed evil as verse 16 states. May we with urgency awaken. May we thus resolve and then enjoy the light of our dear Christ who will reveal what the will of the Lord is.
Devotion by J.D. Graham…Today’s text reminds us to serve where God has called and to serve as God has graced. When we function and fellowship in this way we provide the best basis for humility and genuine love. This is the highly effective, God-glorifying fellowship that is the only reasonable service of worship mentioned in the earlier verses of this chapter. This is the only reasonable response to the extravagant gospel of God so perfectly expounded in the previous chapters of this book!
God has given to every one of us certain gifting and abilities that are vital to a worshipful, healthy, missional church. Paul urges us to think of ourselves according to the measure of faith assigned by God and not to think of ourselves more highly than we should. In other words, the exercise of every gift is just as essential as your own. The implication is that you will not possess the needed grace to fully do another’s work by yourself. This fixes our NEED of one another and founds our appreciation for one another.
However, God has called and given the necessary grace for you to be a part. Paul says in verse 6 “let us use them.” It’s interesting that Paul also says not that we are merely members of some thing but we are members of one another! May we feel that truth and the urgency of participation.
When we see each other as essential for the worship and work done in and through the assembly of the body of Christ and know this is an experience with God we cannot by ourselves attain, as verse 9 opens, true love will be genuine! The truth is simple. I need you. We need you. You need us. May the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 be so that we would be one… that the world may believe.
Devotional thought for Day 34 of 52 Days of Prayer by John Newland, James 4:1-12.
Our prayer prompt today calls for humility in seeking God’s will, accepting we may need correction in order to rightly discern that will. A realization of this kind can be very difficult.
A personal experience of this type in my teenage years still affects my life. The man who coached my high school basketball coach when he played in college came to conduct our practices for two days my junior year. His reputation arrived days before he did and all were anxious and proud. To our surprise and, in a way that we were certain embarrassed us and our coach, he told us in no uncertain terms just how poorly we performed as players. He was even more clear in his animated disapproval of what we called team play. We weren’t ready for the message. We did realize, however, that it was the time for change. In our text for today the first recipients of James’s letter were informed that a change was needed if they were to honor God’s providence in their lives (vs. 13 and following).
If we apply the teaching of these verses in light of its original intent, we will: 1) be wary of and guard against causes of contention, 2) be willing to give up the world’s attraction in order to submit to our Lord, and 3) avoid all quick and harsh judgment of one another.
Since we can come boldly (without fear or shame) to God in our prayers, we can examine our walk in these matters and not feel accused in our hearts. Will we dare to ask Him to show us where we need correction? Will we see revival in our Church as a result of more love and less critique of ways and methods? Let’s pray and work together, earnestly seeking God’s will for HFBC.
Today’s devotion by Rhonda Phegley...”Joshua 1 starts out with the death of Moses. Israel’s leader was gone. God was giving encouragement to Joshua because all of His promises still stood. He reassured him that He would be with him all the way and that no man could come against His people.
God tells him three times to be strong and courageous because He knew Joshua had much in front of him upon crossing the Jordan River. Verse 7 is probably the key verse of the charge when He says “only be strong and very courageous,” solidifying Joshua’s commission to this responsibility of possessing the land. It’s almost like God is saying, “Don’t you be looking somewhere else… keep your eyes on Me!”
Weakness and passivity was not an option here. As we read verse 9 Joshua is asked, “Have I not commanded you?” God was emphasizing His command for him to be strong and courageous. He had already told him that he needed to obey all that was written and that His words should be on his lips, for then his way would be prosperous and successful. He had a plan in all this, but it was not for the faint of heart. This plan would take a resolve in knowing truth and following it, a dedication to staying faithful to it even when it got hard, and a deep-rooted unwavering faith in the One who called him to be His own.
Doesn’t this sound like our church in transition? Our leader is leaving, we need to be reassured that God is with us, and yet we need some direction and expectations set.
I believe struggle is just part of big change, don’t you? We get used to things. We like consistency and we’ve certainly been partial to our faithful pastor. Change is hard and often brings doubt to the front of our minds. Let’s resolve to be “strong and courageous” and not fall into a trap of spiritual molasses where everything slows down because we are negative or discouraged. Let us instead focus on the One who brought us to a prosperous and fruitful land 17 years ago with Bro. Todd’s arrival. Let us praise God for all He’s done through His servant as we have followed faithfully. Let’s not lose heart because of change but become strong and courageous, putting all that God has done in our church into practice as we move forward. Our church has grown spiritually, we have increased in biblical knowledge, we are not where we were 17 years ago. God has a plan, but it is not for passive pew-sitters. So let’s stand strong under the headship of Christ and our God-given leaders as a united front to advance His kingdom plan together.
“O Lord, let us be strong and courageous as we seek You through this time. May our mouths be full of praise and encouragement, our hands helpful, our feet quick to obey, and our hearts fully surrendered to You with resolve to be Your church. Amen.”
Today’s devotion on Psalm 51:10-12 by Seton Norris… “How much further could David get from God after committing adultery and murder?
“There are things about you God doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know how to love you any less,
Or how to leave you in distress,
Doesn’t know anything you can’t overcome…..,
Doesn’t know how to turn His back on you,
Or hide His Grace from your view.” Things God Doesn’t Know by Master’s Voice
God does not know how to love us less when we turn our backs on Him and go our own way. But God’s grace and mercy is sufficient for any sins we commit as long as we turn to Him. Will God ever cast me away? No, but I can in a sense cast myself away when I sin. If you don’t feel near to God, who moved? It wasn’t our Father. We must ask to be cleansed, restored and joyful in our salvation.”
Today’s devotion is written by Pastor Mack Shults
“Lord, help us to learn how to love one another as You love us!” What a challenge! Without Your help through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we are doomed to complete failure. We know that the commandment to love You is the first stone in the foundation for us to love one another. In fact, Your Holy Book is filled with this commandment to love You with all of our hearts, souls and strengths and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. However, in the moment You faced the agony of the cross and looked beyond the cross to Your glorious reunion with the Father, You informed Your disciples of Your departure and told them that they would not be going with You. It was then that You presented to Your disciples the distinguishing standard that characterizes a true disciple. This new standard could never be higher. It was to be the standard of love and modeled after Your own sacrificial love as shown through the Cross. Your kind of love which is sacrificial, patient, gracious, selfless, everlasting, and a love that protects, believes, hopes and is devoted to the truth is to be the revealing mark of Your Lordship over all Your followers. This new commandment is the church’s Mission Statement to a lost world that Jesus is Lord and we are His followers. Father, by the power of Your Spirit, enable Your church to meet this tremendous challenge by obeying You and making Jesus smile!
In His Strong Name
Amen and Amen
Today’s devotion was written by Pastor Jacob Clutts…..”Bruce Willis never saw it coming. He spent the whole movie The Sixth Sense with a kid who can “see dead people”. But neither Bruce Willis nor the viewing audience understood until the end that he himself was indeed dead.
In Revelation 3:1 the Holy Spirit addresses the first century church in Sardis. The Spirit says to that congregation, “I know your works; You have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.” The Spirit looks straight through their business and says to them, “I see dead people”. How bone-chilling must it have been to receive such a frank assessment. “You may seem like a church that’s is booming and blooming, but actually you are decaying spiritually.”
There’s a warning for 21st century, fast-paced Christians who are busy with all kinds of good works. We need to pause and ask, “Do I adore Jesus Christ, or am I just going through the motions?
The Good News for those who are dead is that God is the God who brings to life what is dead. Take a moment right now to ask God to revive your affections for Jesus. Ask God to renew our church to be passionate about Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 10: 19:25 by John Newland.
“On this our twenty ninth day of praying together in transition at HFBC, we are encouraged to continue worshiping together and praying for our leaders to go forward with the confidence of being in God’s will.
Before going any further in our devotion, let me encourage each of us to pause and thank God for His strong hand and the way He has guided our Church thus far.
The portion of Hebrews Chapter 10 (vs. 19-25) contains some of what Matthew Henry refers to as “suitable duties” for all who are engaged in the Christian walk. When we note the “therefore” of vs. 19 and look at the preceding text, we realize the writer recounts more than enough reinforcement and motivation to help us accomplish those prescribed acts of love within the Church. You are commended to these verses and the Spirit’s leading.
As we consider the sizable challenges of a transition affecting multiple positions of leadership, let us be mindful that He who promised is faithful. Only then will the duties we are called to—drawing near to God, holding to the hope we profess, and considering and encouraging each other—remain precious in our hearts.
Let’s look ahead. We will see, as shown in Hebrews and all Scripture, (and indeed our walk with Christ) that God will always use what we know to teach us what He wants us to learn. May He find us lovingly serving together as the Day approaches.
Today’s devotion is written by Anthony Givens! A great testimony of a life changed by salvation in Jesus Christ!…… “The prayer prompts that we have utilized as a church, means so much to Shirley and I and our entire family. Not long ago I was of the thought that faith and prayer were for the weak and those of low esteem, the meek, powerless and the like. Coming from Camden New Jersey my world view was very limited to the old adage that the strong survive. What an awakening in my life and my family’s when Jesus Christ revealed himself to me, and the reality of true strength and manhood was so contrary to what I had learned growing up. My strength was not strength it was fear masquerading as strength. The word of God matures anyone that seeks God through his word, and the dialogue that I believed was for the weak, applies to me because when I am weak he is strong. My dependency rest in him, and I in him. See God is the only I am, as his existence is the only eternal, everlasting consistent.
I am so appreciative for this season of Prayer in our church as it is so easy to misplace our focus as the body of Christ, and get caught up in our own strength as we once did prior to our encounter with Christ.”
Pray for the Lord to save souls and draw people to His church!
Today’s devotional thought by Jan Young... When I turned to this scripture it was marked already. I know it well because God has been working on my heart to get aligned with this truth. Earlier this year as I read the words: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I first thought “These are similar to the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I remember distinctly thinking, “Which ones am I good at?” I read the list out loud. God’s Spirit told my spirit in no uncertain terms that I did none of them well. That was humbling! I sat in stunned silence looking for these attributes in my life. God had already been working in my mind and heart about loving my local body of believers. Until this last year I did not realize the importance of all of you in my life. God has taught me your value and my need of you. He has taught me to listen to my family and think of your good, not mine alone. He has shown me how people in this body live out these qualities. Members who have taught, directed, befriended, loved and accepted me and my shortsightedness. I have learned my opinion is no more correct or relevant than yours. He has called so many members to do successfully what I could never dream of accomplishing. I’ve seen members quietly giving countless hours to loving people and doing what needs to be done. Now, as I sit typing I think of so many in our body who display these virtues. God continues to teach me thankfulness for my family of believers. My vision is clearer now. I see all of you as vital to me and my walk. I worship alongside all of you, seeing your portion, your gifts, your love—and it blesses, encourages and enriches my worship of our Father. I mourn the years of not realizing the necessity, the importance, the gift and the role of the local body in God’s plan for believers.
I give thanks to God our Father through Jesus for our church body and sing with overwhelming gratitude for this church. My prayer is we will allow God to adjust and improve our spiritual vision, hearing and hearts to love each other more fully.
Today’s devotion is written by Kevin Patton … “God came to Jeremiah while he was in prison and said, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
The Lord who made the earth, as verse 2 points out, invites Jeremiah to “Call me.” How comforting it must have been to the prophet to know that he could call on the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe at any time! Not only could he do that, but God wanted him to do so.
If he would but call on the Lord, God promises that He would then tell Jeremiah great and hidden things that he did not know.
While God is speaking specifically to Jeremiah here, there is an application for all believers. God wants us to call on Him. He loves to hear from his children! We have 24/7 access to God Himself. How incredible is that? Not only can we call on God, but He gives us a promise to go with the invitation. It is not a promise of possessions or wealth, but rather a promise of knowledge.
When we pray to the Lord asking for greater understanding and wisdom, He will provide us understanding of His word and His purposes in our lives. As James writes in James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
May we pray without ceasing, knowing that God is eagerly waiting to hear from us, and with a confident expectation that God will reveal the plans He has for us and for our church!
Today’s devotional written by Vicki Kloke-Smith …”For the past few months I have been using the last Bible my Dad used before his arrival in Heaven in March of 2016. It has brought me comfort knowing that I am reading from the same pages he read from for many years. Frequently, I will find verses he had underlined and it always causes me to pause and wonder what he might have been thinking at the time that prompted him to call attention to that verse by underlining it. As I turned to the scripture for today, to my amazement, it was underlined! When my eyes cleared from the tears that quickly sprang up my mind began wondering again, why did Daddy see fit to underline these verses on unity and how providential that those verses were the ones I would be asked to write the devotion for our 52 days of prayer. In His Holy Sovereignty, God prompted Daddy to call attention to these very verses knowing that today I would find them and as they must have spoken to Daddy then, they are resonating with me today.
These verses are a portion of a prayer Jesus prayed for His followers—not just those of His time on earth, but all who would follow—including the group of believers who belong to the the Body here at FBC Henderson. Christ prayed that we would unite as one body and that His glory might be seen in us so that the world would know that God “hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23b KJV). Let that sink in a moment! Christ prayed on our behalf—He prayed that we would stand united and know the Father’s love as Christ Himself was loved. During this time of transition, we are no doubt feeling overwhelmed with the task ahead of us, let’s take comfort in the words of Christ’s prayer for us and stand united in our resolve to continue to carry out the work of His Church. May we be worthy of the high calling of the gospel and not let our own preferences hinder us from welcoming our new leaders—leaders whom God Himself has chosen for us. We may be surprised or even shocked that we find ourselves in this situation, but God is not surprised, nor is He wringing His hands worrying about the future. Just as He prompted Daddy to call attention to these verses in the past, He is speaking to us today. Stand together, remember to whom we belong and whom we serve and trust that He will guide those who lead us during this present time of transition and He will bless us, in His timing, with the leaders He has chosen for us going forward.
Today’s devotion by Paul Brantley and Kim Caldwell Brantley…As we were reflecting on these verses that Jesus spoke to the disciples, it was very cool how it is similar to where we are today as a body of believers. Jesus was getting ready to go physically away from the ones in whom He had entrusted the future of the world with the gospel. They had been prepared to carry out the plan that God had put in place before the creation of the world. In the Book of Acts, we see the church is born and the gospel spreads like wildfire. They were prepared and they were strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
We too have been prepared and commissioned to continue on with the spread of the gospel; not because our pastor has given us authority, but because he has been obedient to the Father and shepherded the flock well so that the discipleship process will continue based on our foundation of Jesus Christ. We believe that God can and will keep this body of believers strong to proclaim the gospel, make disciples, and reach the nations in the time of change for our church because we too are being led by the power of the Holy Spirit just as the 1st century church was in Acts. May we endeavor to be even more diligent to carry out the Great Commission for God’s glory!
Today’s devotion was written by John Newland …”It is safe to believe that every good example you will meet has been first influenced in a positive way by another good example. Paul is referring the Philippian believers to follow after the example of Christ. He was inspired to teach that being like minded, sharing a love and a single spirit will make us like Christ. It will also add to the joy of others as they follow Him. May we be good examples of serving others with Christ-like humility. Their joy and ours will be more complete as a result.”
Devotion by Sid O’Nan…The first thing that came to mind when I read Day22 from our 52 Days of Prayer guide was this: “Lukewarm spirituality is easy.” Being hot or cold is hard. It takes effort.
I’m reminded of my days growing up in the 70’s with various leaders and volunteers who dedicated their time and money towards clubs and organizations they truly believed in. These volunteers put forth a tremendous amount of effort in making sure their causes (4-H, Boy Scouts, High School Band, etc.) remained strong and vibrant. Unknowingly their dedication was shaping a young boy’s life for the man of who I am today. In contrast to today’s time, I find people all around me who do not want to dedicate themselves to anything. Volunteer for something? No way! I’m busy.
Christ is coming folks. He said so in verse 11. So where are you today? Is your heart dedicated to the things of Christ? Are you volunteering your time to share the gospel so that a person’s life is changed for eternity? Or are you lukewarm just sitting at home? A blue ribbon is nice but a life with Christ is eternally more rewarding.
Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Will you open it?
Today’s devotion was written by Seton Norris
“What are you expecting when you walk into a worship service? Are you wanting to be entertained, get a temporary emotional high or have you prepared your heart to meet God? Certainly Isaiah entered into a magnificent worship experience, but he had to realize his unworthiness and be cleansed before he could submit to God’s call.
Before we enter the sanctuary, let us prepare our hearts and minds so that we see God and not the worship team and pray that we are ready to answer God’s call.”
Today’s devotion is written by Marty Coursey…A week ago I was working (actually surfing the web) on my Apple MacBook when all of a sudden my Safari web browser froze and I stopped receiving e-mails. So I did what any computer tech would do, I powered down and powered up. After powering back up I was back working (surfing) again on Safari and then the same thing happened. So I packed up the MacBook and headed to Simply Mac to hopefully get it fixed. Well, the technicians are still running diagnostic tests on my MacBook. They informed me that it had been infected with malware, a malicious software or file that is harmful to the computer. I had always been told that Apple products are immune from malware/viruses, I was wrong. This event showed me that even the strongest computer systems are susceptible to things that could bring it down. Thankfully there are smart computer technicians and anti-malware software to eradicate the problem. Sin infects our spiritual life the same as the malware/virus infected my computer, it shuts us down spiritually and God knows.
This morning in our quiet time we come to Psalm 139:23-24, a prayer of David that we all need to pray. Psalm 139 shows us that God is omniscient or all-knowing. We also see that God is Creator of everything. David ends his Psalm with an appropriate response to the truths of this prayer. I don’t know about you but I need to pray like David. If God has created me, has plans for me and knows me, it seems fitting to ask God to search me so I can know myself as well as God knows me… especially if I have something in my life that is offensive to our loving Creator. David prayed, “Search me, O God and know my heart”.
I had a question while reading this Psalm. If David had already acknowledged that God knows everything about him (Psalm 139:1-5), why does he need to ask God to search him and know his heart? David knew that his heart had been deceived. David is not asking for God to search his heart to find out what David is doing wrong, God already knows what is wrong. David is asking God to expose him or show him the sin that is in his heart.
If David, a man after God’s own heart, prays this prayer then I definitely need to pray it. God can show us sin that is keeping us from true worship and fellowship with God. It may be a sin that is so engrained in our life that we cannot even see it. This type of a sin could be detrimental to our spiritual life and is a huge hindrance to our worship of God. It keeps us from doing what the Shorter Westminster Catechism teaches, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Sin keeps us from doing what Paul said in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.”
The malware/virus that infected my computer shut my internet surfing and e-mail down. This reminded me of what sin does in our lives. It prevents us from sensing God’s presence and shuts down our worship and praise of God. We need God to reveal to us the sin in our life so we can ask for forgiveness. We need to take ownership of the sin and lay it at Jesus’ feet. His sacrificial blood has made the way for our sin to be forgiven, we just need to ask. Doing this will cleanse our heart. So pray with me today the prayer that David prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Today’s devotion by Darrin Phegley…Ephesians 4 is such a theologically rich and convicting text that comes after 3 equally rich chapters. To get the full force of chapter 4 you must read the preceding chapters. Paul always amazes me with the way he weaves God-inspired words to proclaim the immense power of the gospel and the great charge to believers, the called, to remain strong, steadfast, thankful, and unified.
Here’s my super condensed summary leading up to chapter 4:
Chapter 1: God lavished His chosen ones, His adopted ones, with unmerited grace. Wow!
Chapter 2: God, through Christ, graciously made a way for a sinner like you and me to be reconciled back to Him. Double wow!
Chapter 3: The mystery of the gospel is made known, the “unsearchable riches of Christ” have been brought to light, so that through the church “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known” so that even the whole host of heaven may glorify God all the more.
And then in Chapter 4 he says “therefore…” Paul says because of His lavished grace, because of His unmerited favor upon His chosen ones, because we have been graciously saved, and through the conduit of the church (we could say the chosen, the redeemed of Henderson’s First Baptist Church) Paul says “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”
That’s us guys! We need to walk in a manner worthy of our calling… right now. Our church is in transition and we are at a point, I would even say a paramount point in our church’s history, that we rise to this calling that Paul lays out here for us. That we would eagerly walk in humility, walk in gentleness, walk with patience, walk in love, all the while maintaining Spirit-led unity in our body that is based solely on, and is only found in, Christ alone. Our proclamation of the gospel and our beholding what He has done and does in having created the church glorifies God!
We should eagerly desire this “manifold wisdom of God” so that our church is seen from the outside, is seen from the inside, as a church that is founded and grounded in Christ alone and therefore unified during this transition time. And as we endeavor to search for a new pastor I pray that we, HFBC, will conduct ourselves in this “manner worthy of our calling.”
To God be the glory and for His kingdom to be advanced!
Today’s devotion is written by JD Graham
“We have been focusing these past couple of days on John 15 and considering our need for abiding in Christ and in His love. That life produces the fruitfulness, love, and fullness of joy that marks those who are known as the friends of God. We have been praying also for our church’s productivity and unity during this time. Today I find hope for this in our scripture prompt.
We do labor and will labor for continuity of the gospel ministry and at times like this can find the responsibility daunting. However, there is a cause of which we are a part that is undertaken by the King of kings and Lord of lords himself. Do not fear the failing of our tired hands. Do not fear the buckling of our weak knees. Do not fear the limitations of what we know is our energy for CHRIST himself has chosen us and appointed us to go and bear fruit AND that our fruit should remain! So take heart. Abide in Christ because you WILL abide! Christ will see it so. Bear fruit because you will bear fruit. Love because that too will remain.
On such a declaration that it wasn’t our choosing Christ but him choosing us let us pray and ask in Jesus’ name that the Father may give us what we need. Let us approach the throne of God with confident expectation for the provision of grace needed for the guidance our church and her leaders need.”
Today’s devotion is written by Kathy Noblett:
“As I read today’s Scripture focus in John, I was reminded of our 4th and 5th grade Wednesday night catechism class from last week. Question: “What does the law of God require?” Answer: That we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves. Our students were challenged to think of tangible ways to express upward love to God and sideways love to our neighbors. What a great challenge to us all!
As we pray and seek God’s guidance through the daily reading of His Word during this transition time at Henderson’s First Baptist Church let’s be focused on abiding in His love. Holy Spirit help us keep our eyes first lifted “upward” to our Father who first loved us and then in obedience “sideways” to our church body and beyond to our neighbors. What a great promise is attached to this act of obedience “…that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11b”
Today’s devotion by Michele Linn…Gardening is not my thing, but I have two types of plants which are special to me: the crepe myrtle and the Easter Lily. My crepe myrtle requires very little maintenance and grows so well that several of its “babies” are flourishing in the yards of friends all around Henderson. My Easter lily was received as a gift after the funeral of a dear friend. Working diligently, I’ve been able to keep it alive for several years. Unfortunately, however, my poor lily has never bloomed. Even now the leaves are starting to turn brown and I’m beginning to see the all too familiar signs of a failing plant. It is probable the leaves are brown because water has failed to fully penetrate the root system. When I remember to water the poor plant, I am usually in a hurry and try to splash it with a cup of water just to keep it going. It is alive, but it is not thriving.
In the same way, I have found that in the busyness of life and my rush to “get things done” that I can try to flourish in my own power. And yet, like a plant without regular water, I fail to thrive. In today’s passage Jesus teaches how to truly thrive in God’s garden: we must abide in Christ! We must stay rooted and grounded in His Word, daily feasting upon the nourishing waters of His presence and power. Jesus Christ is the perfect Gardener who will take care of us and give us exactly what we need.
May God give us grace to rest in Christ daily during these 52 Days, allowing God to do the work necessary to make each of us truly fruitful. And may our lives bear the beautiful fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self control and perseverance that we may truly prove to be His disciples.
Written by Pastor Todd
Reading today’s Scripture in our 52 Days of Prayer guide reminded me that the church at Ephesus was a really good church. Our Lord Jesus commends the church for its works, labor, perseverance, abhorrence of evil, and even for its driving out false teachers. Yet, the astonishing remark in the midst of this otherwise laudable record is the arresting statement, “you have left your first love (v.4).”
Like a marriage where husband and wife work to ensure their children are provided for, the bills paid, the house and vehicles maintained—these are all good works. Yet, apart from a purposeful, deepening love for one another over time, a couple may find themselves growing apart.
In worship yesterday we noted how easy it is to do things in our own power. Preaching sermons, teaching Sunday school, recruiting volunteers, and building teams—these are all great works! Yet, we must take care to bathe every action in prayerful, daily adoration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May our church fall in love with Jesus over and over again during these 52 days!
Written by Kenny Noblett.
Transitions are often times when we easily become distracted by worrying about the future. Michael Jordan said, “the minute you get away from fundamentals the bottom can fall out of your game…. or whatever you are doing.” We know we need to move forward but often we forget to do something very important. We need to look back! Back to the basics.
Today’s verses describe the basic activities of the Church of Jesus Christ from its very beginning. Let us fight off distractions with these foundational activities as we are about God’s work. Jeremiah 6:16 NLT “This is what the Lord says: Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…..” Let us go forward with our minds and hearts clear and focused upon what we are to be about.
Here’s a bonus devotion from our former Pastor Bill Patterson…Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
It has been said that we never have a problem that is not either a problem of prayer or a problem for prayer. With our pastor stepping aside in a few months you may be wondering about the future. Our pastor wisely has led the church to pray.
God knows our future. He knows the best days can be the days just ahead! Keep on praying. God’s arm is not shortened. He can do wonderful things through a people who are dedicated to seek Him, respond to Him, and constantly pray to Him.
I remember nineteen years ago when I departed the pastorate of our church. I consider my ten years with you as among the best years of my life. Many felt the church would go down after I left. It didn’t! The church selected a solid interim pastor and then Brother Todd came and has served as our pastor since. The church has done well!
Keep on praying. The church is God’s church. He loves it more than you and I do. The best is yet to come!
Today’s Devotion written by our Director of Preschool and Childrens Ministries Ellie Coursey …”What a blessing to know that as believers, we have access to the full armor of God as noted in Ephesians 6:10-18. Yet, sometimes we neglect to put on the armor and think that we can handle things in our own power. This is when the attacks of Satan catch us unaware. Or, as I Iike to say—“he knocks us off our block.” His fiery darts may be feelings of fear, discouragement or indifference. Satan wants to try to rob us of our enthusiasm and our joy. He wants to squelch our longing and desire to spend time with the Lord and His people. The armor is essential to protect us from Satan’s attacks. See your daily need for His protection and put that armor on! Sing this favorite hymn with me. – ‘Put on the gospel armor. Each piece put on with prayer. ’Til every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed!’”
Our finite minds struggle to comprehend the great plans of God! Today’s passage tells us that God’s ways are greater than ours and His thoughts far above ours! Thankfully, he has not left us in darkness! He has given us His Word, which will not return void. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. He loves us, cares for us, and will guide us! Call upon Him today in prayer and respond in obedience.
Church member, Byron Hunt writes today’s reflection from our 52 Days of Prayer…Day 10 1st Peter 5:8-9
“After reading today’s devotional it comes to my mind that I must be alert always to the fact that satan is trying and seeking to destroy the church. We must have faith that God will take care of His own and will prevail. We as disciples of Christ must be aware that as we are under attack from satan so are our brothers and sisters.
We must pray for each other and put on the whole armor of God. We must encourage and love one another as Christ loves The Church.”
–Brother Byron Hunt
“Do we trust God or do we just say we trust God?” Larry Burkett, a Christian financial counselor, would often ask this question in reference to finances. We find it easy to say we trust God with our finances, with our family, and with our future…. but we often find ourselves walking in worry and fear. Let us recommit today to truly trust God! Let us seek Him wholeheartedly and let us fully trust in His promises.
Our pastor penned this brief reflection from today’s Scripture in the 52 Days of Prayer Guide:
Several years ago Lou Hopper, a faithful “church man” at HFBC and master woodcrafter, surprised me with a gift: a hand-carved plaque with today’s Scripture engraved upon it in elegant script. He had heard me say that Proverbs 3:5-6 were my favorite verses that have guided me unfailingly over the years. That is still true.
We believe in a sovereign, good God Who always does what is right. When we turn to Him in faith—true faith—really believing He will guide us into the future, we can rest in the care of His providence. May God continue to make our paths straight as we look to Him during these 52 Days!
Where is your confidence? God is both the author and the finisher of our faith! He does the work! He is faithful!
Take time today to thank God for what he has done and what he will do!
Day 3 of our 52 days brings us to a passage (1Corinthians 4) where Paul acknowledges that the Lord is our ultimate judge. Though others may criticize or condemn, we will ultimately give an account to our Lord for our actions. Today’s prayer is for God to reveal and reconcile any divisions among the church body. May we continue to remain united in this time of transition!
From one of the praying men in our church: “Today I prayed that we would have the wisdom to seek God’s plan and will for us and not our personal selfish desires for the church.”
Special thanks to those of you who wrote a devotional during our 52 days of prayer! Byron Hunt, Ellie Coursey, Bill Patterson, Kenny and Kathy Noblett, Todd Linn, Michele Linn, J.D. Graham, Darrin Phegley, Rhonda Vanover Phegley, Marty Coursey, Seton Norris Sid –Lori Troyer O’Nan John –Annette Newland, Paul Brantley, Kim Caldwell Brantley, Vicki Kloke-Smith, Kevin Patton, Jan Young, Anthony Lamonte Givens, Jacob Daniel Clutts, Audrey Shults, Jenny Richey Richmond, Ken Lupton, John Kloke, Tara Venditti, Jim-Dena Bryan, Dana Ford
Forwarding page for our information on selecting a new pastor to replace Todd Linn.
HFBC is in transition and God is at work in our church. We’ve created this page to keep you updated on the latest happenings and to provide a way for you to pray and give input as we move forward. God is in control!
Phase I – Prayer and Listening
The most important work we’ll do during this transition is pray! So we ask you to continue to pray for our church, its current pastoral leadership, and for all the staff, deacons, and volunteers who are intimately involved in conducting the day-to-day ministries.
As importantly, we ask that you pray daily for our pastor search committee. They are facing an enormous task and need the saints to come alongside them with petitions to the Lord.
Those committee members are:
John Newland, Jim Bryan, John Kloke, Nancy Evans, Robin Fricke, and Kathy Noblett. Alternates are Erik Dalton and Nancy Brown.
We also want to be sure every member is heard! If you have a suggestion or comment that you would like to provide during this transition time, just fill in the helpful form at the bottom of the page.
Phase II – Pastor Search
Update February 13, 2020
In the coming month, the pastor search committee will begin receiving and evaluating applications from candidates.
Please pray that the committee would hear God’s voice with clarity and feel peace as they discern who they should interview. Pray that as they begin the process of reading applications, listening to sermon samples, and talking with candidates, they place the church’s needs and desires before their own. Pray that ALL members of the pastor search will know immediately and unequivocally the man God has for our church.
Update January 26, 2020
The Church Congregational Surveys have been completed. Those results will contribute to the Senior Pastor Profile and Job Description, which will be placed on the church website within the next few weeks. Continual prayer is urged and appreciated for the committee, the church staff, all our members, as well as the man God is preparing to bring to HFBC.
The committee has adopted a theme thus far: Prayerful Patience.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Prayer is a gift from God ~ when we have been faithful in prayer, we can rejoice in hope and be patient in all things. Pray we all love more deeply, serve humbly, faithfully pray, and share Truth in unity for His glory.
Our Interim Pastor
Dr. Mark Coppenger, began serving in our church on December 1st. Here’s his bio:
Dr. Coppenger is recently retired from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as Professor of Christian Philosophy and Ethics. In addition to teaching at Southern Seminary, Coppenger served as managing editor of the online Kairos Journal. Before attending seminary, he taught at Wheaton and Vanderbilt, where he directed a project for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has authored, edited, or contributed to numerous books. His articles and reviews have appeared in Teaching Philosophy, Touchstone, American Spectator, Criswell Review, Reformation and Revival, USA Today, and Christian Scholar’s Review. Coppenger has served as pastor of First Baptist Church, El Dorado, Arkansas; executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana; chairman of the SBC Resolutions Committee; president of Midwestern Seminary; and short-term mission volunteer to Brazil, Russia, Romania, Belgium, Egypt, and Sudan. He is also a retired infantry officer.
Dr. Coppenger resides in Nashville with his wife Sharon. They have two adult sons (both are involved in full-time ministry) and one adult daughter.
Our Interim Worship Leader
David Hayashi began as our interim worship leader on January 26th.
David comes to serve Henderson FBC with over ten years of music ministry experience. Currently he is finishing up a Master’s Degree in Church Music at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Before coming to Henderson FBC as Interim Worship Leader David served churches in Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Along with his musical ventures, David has traveled to over 14 countries to serve as a short-term missionary. It was on one of these trips that David met his beautiful wife Sharon. The two have been married since 2013 and they have two puppies, Lola and Zöey.
Besides books and attending concerts, David loves a good cup of coffee and cooking up good food for family and friends to enjoy, especially BBQ!
David’s favorite scripture passage is Psalm 34 which says:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
As we move forward, we have a unique opportunity to evaluate the various aspects of church life. Let us share together as we pray and dream about the future of Henderson’s First Baptist Church! Your comments will automatically be submitted to the staff and deacons for further discussion.