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.
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!
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.
It is an incredible thrill and humbling event to be a part of planting a new congregation of the Lord's church. Today has been a day of days, one that I will never forget. We are all exhausted but jubilant with all that happened in the past two days. We see God's hand clearly working through our efforts. So much has happened that I'm not sure I can capture it all.
Yesterday, at the suggestion of Molly Rivera and her children, we inaugurated the new congregation by naming her the, "Endless Mountains Church of Christ. We shared God's word together and praised him in song and prayer. This morning Jimmy Davis, Don Myers, Arthur Barry and his wife Sandy, my wife Lynne and I spent all day introducing ourselves to the Chamber of Commerce, news papers, and radio stations to let them know our existence and to begin the process of institutionalizing our presence in the area. We've made arrangements to place ads strategically in the local media outlets.
We are discussing a physical address with a local business and hope to know soon what that will be. By the way, the person we visited with and his sons were excited about this opportunity and plan to attend the first service on June 5th. They are open to God's word.
We do have a phone number. It is a mobile phone that will remain with the person serving as the minister in rotation until we secure a permanent evangelist. The phone number is: 570-219-3045.
We continue to ask for your prayers for the Endless Mountains Church and for the community where she serves. We ask for prayers for the city of Tunkhannock and surrounding area as we show Christ to the community. Please also pray for the man we spoke with about a physical location to meet. He has gone through some stressful times and is interested in attending and studying God's word through the congregation. He has an incredible spirit for all he's gone through recently. His name is Eric Schaefer. He has two sons, Stephan and Colin that work with him and are also seeking. All three plan to attend Bible class and worship on June 5th.
Please keep the Antioch Initiative in prayer as we continue our efforts here and are making plans to continue "Taking the nation back by taking Jesus to the Nation."
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise him all creatures here below. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
Dave Laton, D.Min.
"Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight." (Proverbs 4:7 - ESV)