Tim Mann (B.A. graduate of V.P. Black College of Biblical Studies at Faulkner University) is scheduled to journey toward Eclectic, AL tomorrow after successfully conducting ministry at Endless Mountains church plant the entire month of July.
Don Myers (preacher of Elmore congregation in Elmore, AL & Assistant Professor of Bible at Faulkner with wife, Judy, and grandson, Jordon); Gene Clemons (global church planter from Pikeville, KY); Sam Ackers (deacon of the Pikeville congregation); Terry Carlisle (elder of the Elmore church with wife, Winni), Jonathan Carlisle (deacon of Elmore church with wife, Brandi, and son, Jack) and Roger Rives (with nephews, Grayson and Gavin) were with him significant portions and at different times during the month. All Summer 2016 participants traveled at their own personal expense or raised their travel funding outside the Antioch Initiative fund. In short, sacrifices are being made on the part of numbers of Christians.
Tim & Patsy with entire family traveled and involved themselves in the day to day ministry and needs of the new church plant. During the last few days of the trip, Tim suffered the break down of his transmission and the elders of Elmore underwrote the $2100 repairs--not intending to take funds from the Antioch Initiative, but through a special church contribution. (Anyone wishing to assist with this expense may send your check made out to: Elmore Church of Christ, POB 95, Elmore, AL 36025 and earmark--Tim Mann.
Among the tasks performed by Tim were: preaching, teaching, finish renovation of the church meeting place, follow-up on June campaign contacts, one-on-one Bible studies, and, generally, getting to know and interfacing with several local residents.
Tim re-linked with Dr. Dave Laton (and wife, Lynne) on Saturday, 7/30/16. Tim was to orient Dave on prospect developments during the month of July. Dave will serve for the entire month of August in ministry at Endless Mountains church.
Beginning the first Sunday of September 2016, Bill Garrett (a faithful and wise brother of Lewistown congregation in Lewistown, PA) will activate his team of six rotational Pennsylvania preachers who will begin traveling to Tunkhannock to preach, teach, and evangelize each weekend until a full time evangelist is secured. (Soon Bill will submit a report to us aimed at acquainting each of us through a digital photograph and bio-sketch of each rotational preacher. Watch for that report soon.)
Rotational preachers are volunteering their time and are committed to expend their own finances for food and gasoline to take their periodic trips. Yet, the Antioch Initiative is seeking funding to assist with their lodging expenses. It was believed that such would be prohibitive in making these trips on their parts practical and doable. The cost of one night's lodging at Comfort Inn in Tunkhannnock with a hot breakfast is $90 total (room, taxes, etc. included). $1720 has been raised thus far to offset these lodging expenses. Should any reader of this report want to participate in funding those spokesmen of the gospel, please send your check to: Elmore Church of Christ, POB 95, Elmore, AL 36025 and earmark--Rotational Preacher Lodging.
Meanwhile, core leaders of the Antioch are advancing their preacher search by publicizing the need for a Tunkhannock evangelist in the Christian Chronicle, Gospel Advocate, and other brotherhood publications. September 25 - 27, Don Myers will preach a gospel meeting outside of Cookeville, TN at Moss, TN. The Moss elders are now supporting the work $500 per month and are initiating efforts to introduce Don, Jimmy Davis, and Stan Taylor to other regional church leaders aimed at recruiting other partners for the Antioch Initiative. Further, Don will speak at Westside congregation in Searcy, AR on Wednesday, August 3rd. Westside Mission Committee have already had an interview with Jimmy, Stan, and Don to consider putting this work in the future mission planning. Another appointment will come in late August with the eldership at Liberty congregation in Hope Hull, AL. Core leaders of the Antioch Initiative stand ready to travel and present this work to other leaderships when called upon.
Now that the Endless Mountains church of Christ has been launched, the core leaders of the Antioch Initiative have already begun preliminary and informal chats to see the wheels begin to turn (Lord blessing us) for the 3rd church plant in either Susquehanna or Sullivan County Pennsylvania.
More later as God blesses...
July 5, 2016
Endless Mountains Church of Christ
Dave & Lynne Laton finished the entire month of June aided by Jimmy Davis, Arthur & Sandy Barry, & Robin Barry and his family of eight or so. The third week of June, a large number of Christians from Sycamore congregation in Cookeville, TN (http://sycamorecoc.com/) came to promote and execute a week long VBS. The best day of the VBS (held under an open-air pavilion) yielded five (5) children—each one being more precious than all the gold in Fort Knox! Those who worked in the month of June, essentially, knocked on all the door in Wyoming County, PA with the exception of one township (Washington) that has not granted us a permit to go door-to-door. We await word from them by the middle of the month of July. Those soul-seekers working in the months of July and August will have an opportunity and occasion to meet the lost face to face once again as they go to promote an early-August Ladies’ Day to be hosted by Endless Mountains congregation featuring three sisters from the Prattville congregation in Prattville, AL (http://prattvillechurch.org/). During those encounters, efforts will be made to set up Bible studies and World Bible School correspondence courses.
Those coming to campaign during the month of July are the Myers, Manns, Rives, Gene Clemons & wife, Sam Ackers & wife, Roger Blankenship & two Carlisle families (Terry & Jonathan). Tim Mann and family will be on site the entire month of July preaching, teaching, and evangelizing. Upon the arrival of the Myers and Mann families, Dave and Lynne Laton oriented them on contacts made and Tim & Don began their follow-up of the same today, July 5th. This week’s plan includes follow-up on all prospects generated during June, careful record keeping, and painting the church-facility this Friday & Saturday on the heels of Eric Schafer’s family finishing the walls. Tim will guide the painting and trim work and it is certain to transform the ole’ plumbing shop from a pig’s ear into a silk purse! We are committed to a year’s lease of this location, but, if the church grows as we think, the meeting place will scarcely be adequate in the realm of seating and parking.
The search of an evangelist continues and, yet, we are confident that Bill Garrett of Lewistown, PA will need to activate his team of six rotational preachers coming every weekend to preach, teach, and evangelize.
Keep campaign efforts in prayer. To give you an idea of the friendliness of city residents, the Mann family’s next door neighbors invited them to supper on the first evening of their arrival, loaned them two window AC units, and invited the Myers and Mann’s for a July 4th feast and karaoke sing-song! Don Myers’ commented, “This is the best 4th of July of my life!”
Arthur & Sandy Barry will join Don & Tim on Thursday of this week for a day of evangelizing and fellowship.
Elmore family are missed sorely.
The Endless Mountain church of Christ launched this past Friday. It will be a tool and touchpoint for the new congregation in Tunkhannock. Right now you can sign up for World Bible School, find a way to make contact, and find a map to the "Schaefers Building" where the first service will be held. It will later expand to include more information, and help create excitement to the local community. The church has been registered with the local Chamber of Commerce, and will now hopefully be searchable online.
To reach the website point your browser to: http://endlessmountainscoc.org/. The motion graphics work best on a PC.
Stan Taylor (left, Elmore elder), Phillip Bailey (center, core member of Catalyst Initiative), Terry Montgomery (elder, Memorial Drive, Houston), and Don Myers (not pictured) enjoyed a lovely meal prepared by Gaye Phillips and discussed prospects of collusion and interfacing of their church planting vision with that of the Antioch Initiative.
If God wills, a new church plant will launch in Tunkhannock, PA on June 5th and an ongoing campaign involving up to fifty (50) Christians coming and going over the entire summer will create a growing pool of contacts. Molly Rivera (the daughter of Arthur and Sandy Barry of Dryden, NY and preacher of the first church plant in Sayre, PA) will be a core member of the new congregation in Tunkhannock along with her four children. When asked, Molly named the new congregation Endless Mountains Church of Christ. Her act underscores the need for Antioch Initiative core leaders to allow members of this new congregation to take initiative and ownership in their work instead of doing everything for them. Such an approach views members of Endless Mountains congregation as the ones who must carry on their own work by evangelizing their own part of the world.
Given the launch date of the new congregation and the coming-and-going of campaigners this summer, a lease has been signed securing a meeting place for the new plant. A three-generation plumbing business situated on a busy highway near Walmart and two car dealerships will provide a 1200 square-foot church meeting place and is being refitted to provide two small classrooms and a church assembly area. Bee-like activity has resulted in the new congregation being listed with the Tunkhannock Chamber of Commerce; two booths being secured for the town's upcoming Founders Day in mid-June; radio and newspaper advertisements being activated over a three month span; a VBS being put on the Summer calendar; World Bible School courses being extended to the region with growing numbers of students presently engaged in Bible study; and a potential evangelist entering the interview process even now.
Jimmy Davis (elder of Elmore church) met with two of the Kittanning, PA elders (Ben Wright and Brian Steffy) on May 3rd to negotiate a redirecting of $500 of the monthly support being sent to them for the first church plant in Sayre, PA to be redirected to the second church plant in Tunkhannock. The Kittanning elders and Arthur Barry are working diligently to shore-up that $500 need with their own sacrifices and/or fundraising efforts. This move references the non-paternalistic philosophy of the Antioch Initiative in seeing church plants become self-financed, self-led, self-propagating, and self-theologizing.
How many congregations of the churches of Christ in the United States have taken the lead in planting a congregation in the U.S.? If we are failing to plant churches, it may be because it simply is not on our spiritual radars. Being prayerful and intentional about spreading the gospel over the U.S. must become a part of the fabric of who we are. Someone for whom I have great respect said, "Don, God will be pleased that we have tired." Let us not fail to try.
Financial help is needed now in Tunkhannock. Not for the next twenty years, but for the first few years. We will expect prospective evangelists to assist in the raising of their own support. We do need temporary help in the rental of the meeting place in Tunkhannock and in the lodging expenses of rotational preachers who will begin circulating into the new church plant in September if a permanent evangelist is not located. The lodging expenses will run a maximum of $170 per weekend. The rental of the church meeting place will be $1150 per month.
Join us with boots on the ground; with prayers; and with financial support. God will be pleased that we tired.
Arthur Barry organized the Annual Men’s Revival at the Valley Cities’ facility on the theme—Climate Change. Various nuances of the spiritual dimensions of that theme were delivered by Arthur Barry (evangelist of the Valley Cities congregation in Sayre, PA); Larry Krause (evangelist of the Kittanning congregation, Kittaninng, PA); and Stephen Connors, evangelist of Horseheads congregation, Horseheads, NY).
It was a day of fellow among brethren from Kittanning, Sayre, Lewistown, PA; Horseheads, NY; Newark, NY; Prattville, AL; Montgomery, AL; and Elmore, AL. Jimmy Davis, Dave Laton, and Don Myers were able to share various aspects of the Antioch Initiative and specifics concerning the church plant targeted for Tunkhannock, PA on June 5th of this year.
Listen to the audio recordings Here: http://valleycitieschurchofchrist.org/index.php/sunday-service/men-s-revival-2016
Phillip Bailey (left) surprised Don Myers with the honor of meeting brother George Bailey on Don's recent trip to Houston, TX aimed at seeking partners for the Antioch Initiative. Don said, "It was, rather, overwhelming to have the chance to pray with a man who has serve so many In the preaching of the gospel." Later that evening, Phillip allowed Don to review a large stack of brother George Bailey's handwritten sermons that were, literally, filled with scripture. Years ago, Jimmy Allen commented, in effect, that George Bailey's sermons were so filled with scripture that there was little room for comment!