Cody-Allen Brown Service As Camp Counselor at Camp CHOF

“There was this one kid name Draden (who was about 12 years old),” Trinity Baptist Church member Cody-Allen Brown remembered one adolescent he met this year while serving as a guide counselor at Camp CHOF in Canton, Ohio. “He views this camp as an escape. His family doesn’t want anything to do with church.”

Cody, who served at the camp from May-August, said “the biggest part of my job was to share the gospel. We saw a total of 96 kids get saved. That’s teens and kids. There were several I got to talk with ….church was not a part of their lives.”

Cody said the children at the camp, who ranged from seven to 18, also made various other commitments to the Lord, including to be baptized at their home churches.

Activities at the camp included volleyball, GA-GA Ball, various activities in a game-room, an obstacle course, rock climbing, swimming, and a big swing that included a harness and a drop of 30 feet from the air. There were also morning and evening church services, and small group meetings during the day, during which participants discussed the things they learned from the Bible.

“I was guide counselor,”Cody explained. “A lot of my tasks were making sure the kids had a lot of fun, but always prioritizing the gospel.”

” I knew the Lord had called me to be a pastor, maybe a youth pastor for a while (followed by becoming a senior pastor), Cody explained how the camp could potentially help him. He added he also learned a lot more about reading and studying the Bible and making the Bible the focus of everything.

Before serving as a camp counselor this year, Cody served for three to four years at the Word of Life Camp.

American Independence and Freedom in Christ

As America prepares to celebrate its Independence, have you ever wondered about the final fate of the men and women who helped found America to bring the freedoms we have today? The people in this article are not as well known as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin, but they were all important in helping America become the country it is today.

The British drove John Hart from his wife’s deathbed, according to Their 13 children fled for their lives. The enemy laid to waste his fields and his gristmill. He was forced to live in forests and caves for more than a year, before returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Five signers of the Declaration of Independence were captured by the British and tortured as traitors, two had sons who died in the Revolutionary War, and nine of the 56 signers died from wounds or hardships of the war.

Richard Stockton, of New Jersey was dragged from his bed by a group loyal to the British King, and imprisoned him in New York. according He was denied the basic necessities of life, and although he was finally released, he had endured such hardships that he never completely recovered. He lost almost his entire fortune, saw his lands had been ruined, his library and papers burned, and his livestock seized. His friends had to help him to be able to survive for awhile.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, died in rags, after selling his home and properties to pay debts. He was forced to sell everything after seeing his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy.

Thomas Nelson, Jr., at the battle of Yorktown, quietly urged George Washington to open fire on his own home, after British General Cornwallis had taken it over for his headquarters. After the home was destroyed, he later died bankrupt.

Despite everything the founding fathers endured in helping us bring the freedoms we now have, freedoms men, women and children throughout numerous other countries in the world would love to have, our American freedoms pale in comparison to something else–the freedom we have in Christ.

After all, we could have all the freedoms others would love to have, plenty of food, while many in the world starve, and possessions those in poorer countries might envy, but what would it matter if we died in our sins and went to hell:

Mark 8:36: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Indeed, because the Bible teaches we are all sinners against a holy God and can’t save ourselves, the death of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, on the cross for our sins, and his resurrection from the dead is an even greater gift than American freedom–even as great a gift from God as that freedom is.

This year, we can all thank God for our freedoms in America, that cost so many so much, but we can thank God for the death of the sinless Son of God so we can have an even greater gift, a home in heaven: Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

Finally, let’s consider the lyrics to the song, “It Wouldn’t Be Enough,” from Tim Archer music:

“If I had all the riches this world

 has to give,

All the comfort that it brings

Never needing anything

I could search the whole world over far and wide

Trying to by that precious love

That was sent from God above

And it wouldn’t be enough

No it wouldn’t be enough

To buy one splinter off the tree that Jesus died on

And it couldn’t pay the price

For one single drop of blood

That was shed for my salvation.”

Memorial Day

As Trinity Baptist Church prepares to celebrate Memorial Day, on May 30, the day before the official holiday, here are some things to consider:


On November 21, 2010, in Afghanistan, Lance Corporal William K. Carpenter saw the hand grenade headed toward him and a fellow marine on top of a building in the violent Helmand Province. Without a second’s hesitation, he jumped on the grenade, but somehow managed to live, according to After his injuries, he was medically retired in July 2013. He received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, for his “singular act of courage.” He was only the second living marine to be so honored since the Vietnam War.

Audie Murphy was known as a famous actor, and was a songwriter, and rancher as well. Some also consider him one of the greatest American war heroes of all times, as well. During World War II he single-handedly held off a company of German soldiers at the Comar Pocket in France in January 1945, and then led a successful counterattack, despite being wounded and out of ammunition. He received every combat medal available for valor from the United States Army and the Medal of Honor for his actions that day in France, when he was only 19.

George Day served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and was captured twice and held as a POW in North Vietnam for more than five years. He served during his time as a colonel in the Air Force, Army, and Marines. He received the Medal of Honor for the hardship he served in Vietnam.

Through the years those who have served to protect American freedom have died, been crippled, worked at hard labor in prisoner of war camps, often suffered hunger and were often too weak to even try to escape, and sometimes shot and killed when they did try. On May 30, Trinity will remember those servicemen and servicewomen who have protected America from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror as soldiers, doctors, nurses, and others. We will also celebrate the lives of members of Trinity who have died, as well as members’ relatives who died.

In addition, Southern Gospel quartet, Sould Out, which has often appeared at Trinity, will appear again in concert. The group, with members, Dusty Barrett, tenor; Jason McAtee, lead; Matt Rankin, baritone; and Ian Owens, bass; has travelled the country, according to its official website, “with a mission of evangelism and discipleship to not only win souls for Christ by telling the world ‘what the world doesn’t know’, but also to further strengthen and encourage God’s people to be the salt and light to the world and ambassadors for Christ.”

Jr. High Camp and High School Camp for Students at Trinity Baptist Church

“I can honestly say that without my time at camp I would not know the love of my Savior the way I do today.” “I remember hearing my leaders talk about Jesus as if He was a friend of theirs. That year I ran into a love for me so big, I barely knew what to do with it.” “The power of camp isn’t just fun, games and songs. It’s more than what you see on the surface. The power is in the lives that are changed each week. The power is in the kids who go on to be counselors and camp staff members.”

Those online testimonies from a variety of online websites and blogs are typical of those who attended Christian summer camp. Jr. High Camp at Camp CHOF for students going into the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade will be June 13-18. Registration must be completed online at When registering, please use the code: TrinityCC21.

Senior High Camp at Camp Chautauqua will be June 21-25. Registration can be completed online at Registration for the camps must be completed by June 21, and cost is $275. Payment is required when registering.

On its website, Camp CHOF states it exists to “reflect the values of the Kingdom of God through a unique environment and exciting program with the goal of cultivating genuine relationships with God and one another!” The website says campers have the chance to connect with God and one another in a safe environment. Activities include swimming, go-carts, field games, water games, crafts, and more.

Camp Chautauqua says it exists to “engage, equip, and empower leaders to impact their world. We aspire to achieve this mission through a culture that inspires generations to know, love, and serve.” It says it partners with schools, churches, and organizations to reach its goal. At the various types of camps it has it has activities such as leap of faith, zip line, giant swing, and more.

Online, people who have attended camp said it affected them positively in a variety of ways, including inspiring them to read the Bible, becoming a part of a Christian community in a safe environment that was different than the environment at school, learning to make prayer a major part of life, learning to be leaders and to teach others, and learning to put others before themselves, and building relationships with other believers.

God Still Wants Christians To Pray For Our Leaders

“I won’t pray for the devil.”

A friend of mine of Facebook, whom I have never met personally, saId that when asked to pray for our new president, Joe Biden. I could understand how he felt–to some degree.

I could understand how any believer might be hesitant to pray for our new president when many of his actions totally contradict Biblical values, in fact are the opposite of things that would please God, but such an attitude, nevertheless, ignores clear Biblical teaching.

Before we look at what the Bible says about praying for leaders, lets look at some of the things our new president has done that do violate Biblical standards, he:

  • rescinded a regulation that barred U.S. foreign aid from being used to perform or promote abortions, according to
  • withdrew from the “Geneva Consensus Declaration,” which with dozens of other countries claimed there is “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.”
  • ordered a review of regulations by former President Trump that could now potentially use Title X Federal funds to give millions in grants to Planned Parenthood.
  • signed a stimulus bill that many pro-life leaders believe gave millions to Planned Parenthood, and which 25 Republican Senators claimed pro abortion groups used to “illegally” take more than $80 billion under the paycheck protection program.
  • supports the Equality Act, passed by the United States House of Representatives, but not voted on in the United States Senate. According to, the official site of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the Equality Act “is a threat to life as we know it in our nation today. It’s a real game-changer. This is not about politics—it’s about Biblical truth and religious freedom.” The website claims the bill would force churches, schools, hospitals, to accept government mandates about gender identity and sexual orientation. It claims the Act would require boys in girls’ sports, men in women’s restrooms, men in women’s prisons, and men in women’s shelters. Schools would have to tell students as young as first graders they have the right to choose between being a boy a girl, regardless of how they were born.

Regardless what our leaders have done, God never rescinded His commands to pray for them. We can pray for their salvation, for God to guide them to make wise decisions, even if those decisions go against their nature, and even that their plans will fail if they contradict Biblical teaching.

Romans 13:1:  ”Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Remember governments in place at the time part of the New Testament was written threw Christians to the lions. However, while Christians must obey even ungodly leadership, it is only to the point that does not violate Biblical teaching. Peter told the religious authorities he had to obey God, not man, when they told him not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus. I also don’t think a Christian doctor should ever perform an abortion, even if he or she would lose his job because of a government mandate if he didn’t.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 teaches we should pray for all leaders, that we would lead a quiet, peaceful life. It also says he wants all men to be saved, including leaders:

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Make no mistake, God still wants us to pray for our leaders. Remember how God was able to use a heathen leader to allow Nehemiah to gain the help from his fellow Jews to rebuild the temple. He even provided material support.

Testimony of Trinity Baptist Church Pastor Ben Jennings

Trinity Baptist Church Pastor Ben Jennings knew at the age of nine God wanted to give him a home in heaven. He also felt God leading him into the ministry at a young age.

“At nine-years-old I was dealing with the brevity of life, because my mom was really sick in our home, in what would become her deathbed with cancer,” Pastor Jennings remembered.

He recalled he had made a profession of faith five, but began to believe he had perhaps not understood at the young age. He said his dad, who was a pastor, knew he had already understood the gospel. His dad explained how he could trust Christ personally, and Pastor Ben said He knew Jesus had died to provide a home in heaven for him and asked him to be his Savior.

“I understood I was a sinner,” Pastor Jennings recalled.

Growing up as the son of a pastor, serving the Lord just became a natural part of his life. He thinks that is how God began to lead him to the ministry.

“My call to the ministry was I kind of grew up in church,” he explained, adding he often watched his dad lead people to the Lord, disciple them, and even provide counseling to those with troubled marriages. He watched as the people his dad influenced became involved in church as Sunday School teachers, deacons, and in other ways.

“I loved Mission Month,” Pastor Jennings remembered. “We would do a month of missions, instead of a mission day.

The Pastor remembered eating with missionaries. Serving God just seemed natural, as he always felt the Lord touching him. As a junior in high school, he accepted the call to full-time ministry.

“I always had a desire to pastor in church and knew that was what God wanted in my life,” Pastor Jennings explained.

He served as Associate Pastor at Sonshine Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, Florida from August 2006 to January 2014 and as Outreach and Assimilation Pastor at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio from 2014 until accepting the call to be Pastor at Trinity this year. He always felt if God wanted him at a particular church, someone from that church would contact him.

It happened, and he had conversations with Trinity Baptist deacon Brian Kelly about the possibility of being Pastor at Trinity. He also discussed the opening with Canton Baptist Tabernacle Music Minster Eric Hiltibidal, who previously had the same position at Trinity.

“I definitely feel like my view for the ministry is for it to continue to make disciples of all nations,” Pastor Jennings explained the view he believes God has given him for Trinity.”I would love to see God raise up someone to go to the mission field.

“I already have a love for this church and the people of this church”, Pastor Jennings said, ”I don’t know anyone really well. I feel that’s God working in my life. Everyone has been so warm,” adding he has received numerous welcome cards and other examples of love from Trinity members.

He has two degrees from Baptist Bible College: a Master’s Degree in Church Ministry in 2011, and a Bachelor of Science in Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology in 2004. He met his wife, Megan at Bible college, and the two married in 2006. Pastor Ben and Megan have three children: Melana, 10; Audrey, 8; and Ezekiel, 4.

Trinity to Vote on Whether to Offer Call to be Senior Pastor to Pastor Ben Jennings

Trinity Baptist Church on November 8 will vote on offering a call to Pastor Ben Jennings from the Canton Baptist Temple to be senior pastor at Trinity. Pastor Jennings has served at two different churches in the ministry for 14 years.

Before serving at Canton Baptist Temple since 2014, he served as Associate Pastor at Sonshine Baptist Church in Punta Gorda, Florida from August 2006 to January 2014.

“At Sonshine I was responsible for student ministries, music ministries, outreach ministries, a Sunday School class for parents with kids in the home, overseeing all major church wide events, and regularly preaching and teaching,” Pastor Jennings said on his online Linked In profile.

The profile lists his starting as the Minister of Education at Canton Baptist Temple in July 2014. He is currently listed on the Canton Baptist Temple website as the Outreach and Assimilation Pastor.

“I am the Outreach and Assimilation Pastor at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio,” he explained on his official website,” “It’s a great church with a heart to see people be saved, discipled, and sent out to do ministry locally and around the world. I am always looking for opportunities to help people encounter Jesus Christ and take steps towards Him.  I am passionate about seeing God work in my life and in the lives of others. I’m also passionate about helping everyone I can do the same thing.”

His Linked In profile also explains Pastor Jennings has a “demonstrated history” of working in the local church. He has experience preaching, in pastoral counseling, in spiritual growth, spiritual direction, and the Bible. According to the profile he is a “strong community and social services professional with a Master’s degree focused in Church Ministry from Baptist Bible College.”

Pastor Jennings has two degrees from Baptist Bible College: a Master’s Degree in Church Ministry in 2011, and a Bachelor of Science in Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology in 2004.

“Ben enjoys spending time with his family, music, and sports,” the official website for Canton Baptist Temple website,, says of Pastor Jennings. “He has been married to his wife, Megan, since 2006, and they have three children–Melana, Audrey, and Ezekiel.

The Church During the Spanish Flu of 1918 and During The Coronavirus Today

In Alabama, the governor ordered the closing of schools, churches, and theaters, to protect the public health. Throughout the country local officials banned large public gatherings, and ordered the closing of businesses, schools and churches. In Philadelphia, city officials launched a campaign against public spitting, coughing, and sneezing, yet ten days later hosted a parade attended by 200,000 people. The first case of the deadly public health hazard occurred at a Kansas military base, but St. Louis had some of the most restrictive measures including quarantining affected people in their homes and banning large public gatherings–and one of the lowest death rates in the country. The death rate during the deadliest period of the new crisis, the first six months was 358 per 100,000 people in St. Louis, while in Philadelphia it was 748 per 100,000.  

The year was 1918, and the dreaded disease was not the Coronavirus, but the Spanish flu. By the end of the epidemic in 1920, between 50 to 100 million people died worldwide, including more than 500,000 Americans. Yet, through it all the church of Jesus Christ survived and served its Lord and fellow man, and maybe the church of today can learn from history. 

There was no Facebook live for church services back then, no YouTube, no television. Yet, many newspapers of the time reprinted sermons for those stuck at home. Prayers were offered, as well, in newspapers. People were urged to have public altars at home and to spend time reading the Bible and prayer. Some churches mailed copies of sermons, prayer materials, and Bible studies to members. Sermons given for churchless people of city were reprinted, with this introduction by the Birmingham, Alabama, news, “30,000 or more persons who usually wend their way churchward Sunday morning will be spending this Sabbath in their homes. The News presents to them excerpts from the sermons they would have heard had not the ruling of the City Commission closed the churches until the influenza epidemic is checked.” 

The Spanish Flu not only did not stop Christians for worshiping God, although it may have changed the method of doing so temporarily, and it also did not stop them for serving Christ and people around them. The Baptist Press reported combined mission giving in Georgia among Baptists for 1918 and 1919 was greater than the ten previous years combined. The Georgia Baptist Children’s Home continued to serve, with 194 of the 350 children ill with the flu. The Brooklyn Baptist Church, in Washington D.C., had those who “visited the church families, keeping track of cases of sickness and following up [with] church finances.” according to an online report. Other churches also found various ways to serve, with the Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside offering its building as a makeshift sanctuary hospital for military trainees recovering from the flu.

Online, offered a list of ways the church can serve during the current Coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Praying for one another
  • Dropping care packages, with such things as tracts and devotional material, soap, tissues, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, and snacks on someone’s porch.
  • Delivering meals and dropping them off on someone’s porch.
  • Making contact by phone with members or those who have visited to determine their needs.
     People have continued to respond to the gospel during the current pandemic. In a television interview, Franklin Graham, well-known evangelist, and the son of the late Billy Graham and head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, elaborated in a television interview on March 21 of this year.
    “Early this week, we began airing a 60-second evangelistic message on TV across the entire United States, and we have had thousands of people call,”he explained on WBTV. “But I want you to know that God loves you, He made you, He created you, He knows everything about your life. You don’t need to be afraid. Jesus said I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.”
    The church still has a lot to look forward to, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.


After Almost 19 Years, How Can We Say Goodbye to Pastor Spann and His Family?

After almost 10 years as our senior pastor, and counting the time he served as youth pastor before that, a total of almost 19 years at Trinity Baptist Church, how can we say goodbye to Pastor Spann and his family, as he and his family move to serve at Bible Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi? Do you find it hard to come up with the words that will adequately express your appreciation, for the time he spent studying the Word of God, teaching it to us and preaching for our benefit as believers, sharing the gospel with the lost, discipling new believers, and encouraging strong families through teaching, through the example he and his family provided, and through scheduling such things as marriage retreats?

How do we thank him for encouraging us to have a love for missions and the lost by bringing missionaries to speak to us, and in other ways, and the many other things he has done? In addition how do we thank Leigh Ann for being a strong supporter for him, teaching ladies, and the strong example she has been? How do we say goodbye to his children when we remember all they have met to us? Let’s look at some reasons we can be thankful for the pastor and possible ways to thank him.

There are actually too many to mention, but here are five reasons we should thank Pastor Spann:

  1. Pastors are “on call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  How hard would you find that kind of a life? Can you imagine what it would be like to often have to break away from your own family to help a church member  through a difficult situation?
  2. Pastors often are examples because of the selfless daily sacrifices they make for their congregations. We may never even know about many of them.
  3. Pastors have the responsibility of making  the Word of God and His Truth plain and simple. That makes it easier to apply it to our everyday lives.
  4. We can thank the pastor for being human. We need to remember although people often tend to put their leaders on a pedestal, they also have struggles, joys, hobbies,  and favorite things (Can anybody say powdered donuts?). Yet we can thank our pastor for living for Christ.
  5. Pastors gave up their own desires to follow  God’s call  and serve others.

There are a number of ways to thank the pastor and his family when we tell them goodbye. Here are some personal ones:

  • Send a personal thank you note, email,  or card and to let the pastor and his family know how your life has been bettered.
  • Tag Pastor Spann  in a social media post with the hashtag #pastorappreciation and tell church members, friends, and family what you appreciate about him.
  • Take the pastor and his family out for a meal, make and deliver dinner to them, or invite them to your home. The pastor and his family are so busy serving others, you could just buy them a gift card to a restaurant, so the family can have a night out.
  • Give a gift card or certificate related to the pastor’s hobbies and interests, preferably something he can use anywhere, including the area he and his family are moving to.
  • Ask the pastor to list some books he would like to read but hasn’t yet, or buy him a gift card to buy it himself.
  • Buy a leather journal and share encouraging notes with the pastor and his family as to what they have meant to you. You could also use the journal to have others in the church leave their comments.

These are just some ideas. Hopefully you find them inspiring. You can probably come up with many of your own. Thank you Pastor Spann, Leigh Ann, and family for all you have done for us!









Herberts Lead Word of Life Club At Trinity

Why would someone leave a ministry he and his wife had been involved with for 12-13 years to lead a new ministry, and why would someone whose career keeps him extremely busy spend all the time it takes to be in charge of that new ministry? Aaron Herbert said he and his wife, Melissa, stepped away from involvement with the teen ministry to serve in the Word of Life Club at Trinity Baptist Church because they thought God was guiding them. Aaron also says if God is guiding a person he might “never know what kind of impact you’re going to make.”  

“We were working with the teens for close to 12-13 years under (at that time Youth Pastor and current Senior Pastor) Mike Spann and various other youth leaders.” 

He remembered that after Pastor Spann became the Senior Pastor he asked the Herberts to consider leading the new ministry for third to sixth graders and to pray for God’s guidance. He added Dave Fawcett, who had led the ministry for the young people that Word of Life would replace, AWANA, for many years was extremely busy and needed a break. Besides a ministry to local inmates in the Hancock County Jail, Fawcett was also involved in the bus ministry for the church.  

In 2016 the Word of Life Club started at Trinity. Children in the club have a book with activities and a daily quiet time to study the Bible at home. They also sing a club song, a couple of other worship songs, and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, and a pledge to the Christian Flag, the Bible, and their local church. They hear a Biblically based lesson, and their small group leader later discusses that with them. They also compete in a game, based on the previous week’s lesson, with the boys competing against the girls, and close the night with either a snack or game time, such as Dodge Ball, or some other game, or a snack and a game.  

“It’s a tool for churches,” Herbert explained why he likes the Word of Life club. The local church has the authority to pick and choose” which parts of the program to implement. “We implement the pieces.” 

He likes the chance for club members to become involved in a daily quiet time, reading the Bible, Christian service opportunities, and in memorizing Bible verses. He also likes the fact the program has simple Bible lessons that are easy for teachers, who may be very busy during the week, to prepare.  

“We get kids from non-church backgrounds,” Herbert added (He said a number of children have made professions of faith in Christ as Savior over the years.) . “I’d say ten percent come from churches” (whose parents attend with their children on Sunday mornings, but the churches don’t have a club for children like Word of Life on Sunday evenings).  Many children from Trinity attend.

As a leader, Herbert is involved in the planning and preparation for the club, including theme nights, such as Crazy Hat/Hair Night, and Mustache Night. He emails the supplemental lessons to those who will be teaching the Bible lessons to the children each month.  

“I think it’s important to have solid relationships,” (with the children) Herbert explained. “I think it’s important to visit them outside of church.”  

Herbert, who with Melissa has attended Trinity for 17 years, has learned the importance Christ can have in a person’s life. That is why he spends so much time involved in the club, event though his job as a Marathon Planning and Analysis Manager, involved with contract analysis, keeps him busy too.  

“My father-in-law is the one who led me to the Lord,” Herbert added. He remembered Bible studies as an 18-year-old man, and being invited for a Bible study afterward.

Cody-Allen Brown: On Discipling Young Believers and Cleaning Tables and Floors

John 13:3-5:  Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator in the flesh, set an example while teaching and discipling others by taking time to serve them by washing their feet. This summer, at Word of Life camp, Trinity’s own Cody-Allen Brown, served in a ministry that allowed him to teach and disciple others, while at the same time serving others by washing floors and tables. He explains in his own words.

Discipling and Cleaning Floors at Word of Life Camp


Cody-Allen Brown

This summer I had an awesome opportunity. I had the privilege to serve on floors. In this position, I was a supervisor in the room and in the work area. My job was to basically clean the floors and disciple those who were given to me. Discipleship comes in various forms. It could look like one-on-one during dinner, or in a group setting in devos. Ninety percent of the time we met once a week, and I just wanted to get to know them better and encourage them to deepen their faith in many areas.

As a room supervisor my job wasn’t just discipleship, but it was also dealing with those in the room. I dealt with any disputes, as well as any confrontations. I had to make sure that all kids in my room did their dorm assignment and room assignment. I sometimes needed to enforce rules when needed. Then I gave weekly reports on each kid. Sometimes this is difficult, as some camp crew members don’t see the need to be discipled, nor do they desire to be.

This makes life tough when this happens because I cannot force one to be a disciple. In this ministry, I had good encounters and often bad encounters. I loved this ministry, but it was extremely difficult with those who did not desire to listen. But this is where God challenges us and grows us–when ministry is difficult God grows us most.

My second ministry was working on floors. This ministry was very exhausting, because I worked three times a day by myself, with no team. This often was frustrating and prosperous at the same time. My desire was to grow and gain as much fruit as possible. With my work schedule, I was either late or unable to attend many meetings. This was unfortunate, because sometimes I missed something that was really good, or did not get the full message.

This job was prosperous in the sense of the floors being clean. I had to make sure the floors look very nice before each meal. I also cleaned in the gym and huskies’ den and conference room regularly. I mostly just mopped and sweep in there, as well as checked trash. I mostly just swept in the gym unless it really needed to be mopped. In the Bollback, I had to clean the floors in the cafeteria, lobby, airport lounge, and conference and seminar rooms. In the cafeteria it took longer to do because it was a tedious job. I had to flip every chair on the table, sweep underneath, use the dry mop and then mop underneath all the tables. Depending on the day, I used the floor machine. Then I un-flipped all the chairs.

After the cafeteria was done, I worked my way into the lobby area, basically doing the same thing as in the cafeteria. I then checked trash and vacuumed in selected areas. When the windows looked bad, I wiped them down, making sure that the bugs were no longer there. This was the ministry that I was so blessed to be apart of this year.

Lauren Abate’s Mission Trip To Puerto Rico

(Editor’s note: God has often used young people to spread his message. In 2 Kings 5, a young girl from Israel who had been taken captive by the Syrians was a maid who served the wife of Naaman, the captain of the host of king of Syria. She told Naaman’s wife if her husband went to God’s prophet, he would be healed of his leprosy. Naaman did go to Elisha, and although he rebelled at first against the message he heard, because he thought it was too simple, he eventually heeded, and God did heal him of his disease.

Trinity’s own Lauren Abate was a young person who went this year on a mission trip to Puerto Rico with the youth group from Findlay Evangelical Free Church, under the authority of Score International to share her faith by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and serving the local people. In the following letter to those who supported her in prayer and financially, including supporters from Trinity Baptist Church, Lauren thanked them.)


            My Mission Trip to Puerto Rico


                          Lauren Abate

I wanted to take the opportunity and thank you for making it possible for me to go to Puerto Rico this summer and be able to reach out and touch the lives of the individuals that we met.

We got the opportunity to reach out into the community of San Juan to encourage, love, and share the gospel with many different age groups. We spent time in some nearby nursing homes, while other times we went to parks and beaches, really getting to know the heart of Puerto Rico.

My favorite part of the trip though, was the time we spent at the local church we were partnered with. This small Puerto Rican church was home to some of the most loving people I’ve ever met, each and every individual possessed such a servant’s heart within them to the glory of the Lord. If I could take anything from this trip and bring it back home with me it would be that church, not the walls, not the delicious food that was served to us each day by the community, but it would be that church family. God opened my eyes to one of the purest forms of love on this mission trip, and I owe it all to that church.

From the moment they welcomed us with opened arms to our tearful goodbyes, they will be something I will never forget. I came into this trip ready to serve, to give it my all, and do everything I could to love the people of Puerto Rico, but God had another plan. His perfect, beautiful plan was so much better than I could have ever thought it could be. He showed me what a true servant’s heart looks like in the hearts of these individuals. He also showed me how much His love, in the lives of His children affects everyone around them.

I am so grateful for your generosity, your trust, and most importantly your prayers for this trip. God truly moved in so many amazing ways, I cannot thank you enough.


Lauren Abate



Cody-Allen Brown’s Mission Trip to Brazil

(In his own words, in this letter to Trinity Baptist, Cody Brown tells about his mission trip this year to Brazil. In the near future, we will publish another letter from Cody, which describes his work at Word of Life camp.)

My Mission Trip to Brazil


Cody-Allen Brown

Hello church family! I am pleased to tell you that the mission trip to Brazil was amazing! As many of you know this was my first opportunity to go outside of the United States into another country. The specific area that we went to in Brazil was called Belem.

Belem is one of the busiest cities in the world! It is one of the major cities in Brazil. Belem is considered to be called a port city. It is there where they receive most of their imports.

We left Thursday, April 18th for Brazil. We had a four hour flight to San Paulo. From San Paulo, we flew three hours to Belem. We arrived Friday afternoon.

Immediately we started to prepare for English camp. English camp is a two day camp where we take random Brazilians, from any age to come learn English, and most importantly, learn about the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We worked on workshops such as baking, art, and ultimate frisbee. The goal was to make camp as American as possible. We had opportunities to counsel those who came.

We had campers from the age of 15-40. They all stayed in rooms with us. This was super challenging because some of our campers didn’t speak much English or none at all. We would have on occasion that we had a camper who was fluent in English.

After English was over on that Sunday afternoon, the team split up into two teams where we selected people preach to two churches. I had the opportunity to preach in a small church just outside of the Belem Word of Life campus. It was there that I got to have a translator. I taught out of the book of Lamentations, teaching about the hope and boldness we can have in Christ!

That Monday we packed up and headed out to the river communities to share the gospel to students and adults. We had to take a two hour boat ride to our location. The particular location that we had, had a church already. At this church we had the opportunity to sing worship in English; we did a drama, introduced ourselves, and shared the word of God. We were all pretty exhausted that night, so we went to bed early for the first time in days since our flight.

The next morning, we found out that there was an incident at the school, and we could no longer visit. I was disappointed that we couldn’t go, but God gave us the opportunity to grow as a team and to help Pastor Antonio. He was the pastor of the church on the small river community. We helped him pick up a lot of debris the flows from the Amazon river and from the high winds of the storm that came the night before.

After we were done helping the Pastor, we got the opportunity to swim in the Amazon. We had to be extremely careful to look out for the stingrays that come to the shore on low tide. We had some more bonding time with the team where we would play games, worship and just continue to learn more about each other.

We didn’t have anything scheduled for the night, so we all played basketball with the Brazilians on campus. After that, we went swimming. That was supper nice for all of us because we all acquired a sun burn. I ended up giving away my aloe to a boy who looked like a lobster; he got burned that bad. Fortunately, I packed a lot of sunscreen and only obtained a mild burn on the shoulders.

On Wednesday, we went to schools in community back in Belem. We went to the morning, afternoon, and night schools. They divide there system by age group. Young primary and elementary students attend in the morning. The middle school and high school attend in the afternoon. And some high school and adult students gather in the night to learn English at the Word of life English Connection school.

At these schools we did the same thing that we did at the churches. We sang music in Portuguese and English; we did a drama, and we shared the gospel. We got to also interact with the students a little bit.

That Thursday was our tourism day. We spent all day shopping and just learning more about the culture of Brazil. The part that we went was known for thieves, so we had to be extremely careful.

Towards the end of the tourism day I ran into a merchant.  I  bargained with him a little bit. I told him if he would listen to me about what I had to say then I would buy something. I got the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. The man’s name was Eduardo.

Eduardo had previously accepted Christ! He was one of few Brazilians who spoke English well enough to communicate with. I told the director of BI in Brazil (Gary Gleams), and now Eduardo is enrolled in English Connections where he is learning to share the Gospel with others in Brazil! It is so amazing to see how God can work in one’s life! That Friday we started our departure for the United States, and we arrived back safely.

Thank you to every one who supported me through prayer and funds. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to be given the privilege to share the gospel to so many people. I pray that one day I would be able to go back on another trip to do it again. It was through this trip where God has made it very clear to me that I am called to do missions out of the country. Please continue to pray for me as I finish up my studies here in New York, and hopefully, in Ohio as well. I look forward to seeing you all soon, and I will have a presentation ready when I come back. Again thank to everyone for your support!


Your brother in Christ,

Cody-Allen Brown




Using Social Media To Share Your Faith

Do you ever use social media to share your faith? According to an article in article in, the first and last thing most people do every day is to check information on their cell phones. In fact, 80% of people between 18 to 44 do this. They may be scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. They may want the answer to a question from Google. It would seem almost as if we don’t share our faith on social media, we failing to walk through an open door.

It would seem as though Evangelical Christians do use social media to share their faith often. About 40% say their church has an active Facebook page. About 25% say they have listened to a sermon online or downloaded a podcast of a sermon. About one in five has posted a status update on Facebook about being in church.

I will freely admit I have not used social media to share my faith as much as some I know. I have used Facebook to invite friends to events at church, posted videos of groups that will sing at church, or even a Christian testimony, but I have known others who use social media far more to share their faith.

In this article, however, I will write about ways I have found online others use social media to share their faith. I will also mention I have seen the power of the Internet in being an online volunteer for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as a Chat for Jesus volunteer. This year, I have had the privilege of leading nine to make professions of faith in Christ as Savior–most, but not all, from the United States–and one or more to rededicate a life to Christ. Of course, some I have chatted with weren’t really that interested, and I remember one who cursed the Father, Son, me, and others. Here are some tips.  

Show Instead of Telling

If you have a chance to share your personal testimony, or a link to someone who has a powerful testimony, don’t hesitate to do so, but don’t only tell, show. Be courteous to those who communicate with on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media outlet. Don’t argue. Be respectful. Don’t hesitate to show pictures of Christians ministering in a soup kitchen, or nursing home.  

Don’t Hesitate to Share Links 

If you have the chance, share a personal word about how God is working in your life, or testimony, whether salvation, or another testimony, but don’t stop there. If you read something from a site that shares the way you wish you could, share it. The same is also true about a powerful Christian song or poem.  

Help Others In Every Way Possible  

If you find out about someone who is sick or has some other great personal need, by all means let that person know you are praying for him or her, but don’t stop there. Is there any other way to show concern personally?  

Don’t Argue 

Not everyone will accept your faith in a kind manner. Don’t argue with someone who won’t. Just let the person know you care and will pray for him or her. Never argue or criticize a person or his position.  

An Idea From Guidepost 

Ask God to put five people on your heart. Pray for them and send them a message about your prayers.  

Post Pictures  

Post pictures from events at your church, or upcoming events, with an invitation to come.  

Post An Inspirational Bible Verse  

Your verse may be just what someone needs to hear.  

Share Links of Videos  

If you know someone who is discouraged, share a link to an encouraging video of a song or something else to that person’s Facebook timeline. There are so many people online on social media every day–saved and lost. It seems a shame to not use this tool to share the gospel.









Keep Praying For That Lost One You Love

Have you prayed for someone for years to trust Christ as Savior, and that person hasn’t been saved? Whatever you do, don’t give up! Keep praying, no matter how long it takes!

I’m sure many in the early church never thought a man named Saul would be saved. When Steven was stoned to death for preaching the gospel of Christ, there are a couple of interesting things to take note of. First one man in the crowd who agreed with the plan to kill him was a young man named Saul. Second, the dying words of Stephen were to pray for forgiveness of those who killed him, which would have included Saul, and for the Lord to receive his spirit. I don’t know of any other verses that showed believers praying for Saul, who later was known as Paul, but I’m sure they did.

Acts 7: 57-60: Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Before he was saved, Saul continued to persecute the church. I’m sure a lot of believers might have thought he would never be saved. Notice Acts 8:1 shows Paul agreed with the plan to stone Stephen.

Acts 8:1-3: And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Acts 9:1-2: And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 

Take note that after Saul was saved and was known as Paul, the English name for the Hebrew Saul, He taught that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and died for the sins of the world and rose again to save those who trust Him in the Jewish synagogues. He taught Gentiles. He shared his faith before a king. He was stoned for his faith, with God miraculously sparing his life; he was beaten multiple times for preaching the gospel. He was shipwrecked and sometimes suffered hunger. God used him to write numerous books of the New Testament, and he was finally beheaded for his faith.

I’m sure Paul was glad believers prayed for him, and his letters are full of teachings that showed he prayed for those in the church.

Now for a personal story of something I experienced from a ministry I have been involved in. In February, I went with others with the Bill Glass prison ministry to share the gospel with prisoners in a jail in Dayton. One of the speakers there preaching the gospel, had once been in a variety of well-known prisons in a number of states, including San Quentin and others for a variety of crimes he had committed. He had been involved in substance abuse involving drugs, I’m sure, and I think alcohol too.

He had once pretended to receive Christ as Savior, but his heart was not at all in it. He just wanted the attention of a lady, he later married. His life showed he wasn’t sincere.

Eventually, he stole something from an elderly lady. Under the “Three Strikes Law” in California, he faced more than 100 years in prison for that charge, if convicted. It so happened, however, that elderly lady was a believer. She became convinced God was going to save that man, and she dropped her charge.

As a result, he only faced only three or four more years in prison. One day in prison would seem like an eternity to me, but not that man, he was used to it! He was saved, and when he got out, he began to preach the gospel wherever he had the chance.

I’m sure that man who now preaches the gospel was glad someone prayed for him. Brethren, let’s continue to pray for those we care for!


What Would You Have Done? ( The Day of the Christian Martyr)

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting online with a believer on mainland China. He told me life is difficult there because of atheists and a Muslim around him. Yet, he did not go into detail to explain how. Maybe that is because he was afraid the government could somehow monitor his chatting. Maybe that is because he didn’t want sympathy. How would you have responded to him, if you had been the one chatting? What comforting words would you have offered, or would you have just offered to pray?

I do regularly chat with people in the United States and elsewhere, more in the America than elsewhere, but still a number outside the United States, as a volunteer for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as a part of Chat for Jesus. I have been blessed by God this year with the chance to lead seven lost people to Christ as a part of the ministry  and two people to rededicate their lives to Him. He has also given me the chance to minister and pray for believers, and offer words of comfort from the Bible.

When I chatted with my new friend in China, however, I found encouraging him to be one of the most difficult things I have had to do. What do I know about the pressures he feels being a Christian there, with all the freedom I have? The worst thing that has happened to me as a believer is that I lost a friend because of my testimony. What to say to him when I have only been laughed at behind my back because of my faith, or seen people ridicule the name of Christ on Chat for Jesus, when others in other countries have lost homes, jobs, or even their lives for their faith? I found myself praying for him twice to offer encouragement.

All this was written not only to make you think of my situation, but to tell you June 29 is the day of the Christian Martyr. It is the day church historians mark as the day they believe, because of church tradition, in history the Apostle Paul was martyred. Why don’t we all take time that day to pray that day for Christians under persecution and thank God for the freedoms we have in the United States?

If you are interested in doing more, you can go to the official website of the Voice of the Martyrs at to register to receive free digital resources including a video testimony of a persecuted family, watching the Martyrs Induction Ceremony, and more.

Youth Pastor Chris Bowles Leaving After Six Years

Although it “was not an easy decision,” Youth Pastor Chris Bowles is resigning, effective Mother’s Day, May 12, after six years of service. He will be a candidate to be an associate pastor at a church in the North Cincinnati region. He is ready for the final step in the selection process, although he has not officially been chosen as associate pastor yet, and for that reason does not want to name the church that might call him.

Pastor Bowles said his duties at the church would include preaching, working with young families, and “training leaders to deal with youth.” When asked, he agreed that some duties will be similar to Trinity, including working with those who work with youth. Pastor Bowles also has preached many times at Trinity.

Pastor Bowles explained the decision was made after “a series of events over the last two-and-a-half years. At the time we did think much of it.” He added he was sure of God’s leadership in the decision.

“We love the people, the community (of Findlay), the congregation,” Pastor Chris explained why the decision to leave was so difficult. He recalled highlights of ministering in Findlay and at Trinity, including “seeing teens saved, baptisms, Fort Findlay Coffee, Dietsch’s Ice Cream. We’re going to miss everybody. It was not an easy decision.”

Other highlights of the time in Findlay for Pastor Chris and his wife, Heather, have included the birth of their triplet sons, Kenton, Kyle, and Kaden–three, and their twin daughters, Kennedy and Khloe, one.

Pastor Bowles served has served as a youth pastor for a total of 12 years–six at Trinity, and six before that in Vandalia, Ohio. Before that he served full-time at teen camps.





Another Reason To Support and Pray For Missions: The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Yaqoob Bashir, a 25-year-old mentally disabled Christian in Pakistan was sentenced to life in prison by the Session and District Court of Mirpurkhas on September 28, according to, the official website for the Voice of the Martyrs,  for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam.  He was sentenced for using derogatory language against Muhammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet, after being found innocent of desecrating the Quran. He had reportedly received treatment at a mental health facility in  Hyderabad before being accused of blasphemy.

As Trinity Baptist Church is in the middle of its annual Mission Conference, from October 28-30, and as the world approaches the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, this Sunday, November 2, the persecution believers, including missionaries, endure in other countries is one more reason to support missions with money and prayer. The persecution in those countries does not make the souls of the people who live there any less precious to the Savior Who died for them than those who live in
America, or other countries with more freedom.

Names of missionaries Trinity supports on dangerous fields will not be mentioned in this article to protect their identity. The church, however, supports missionaries who minister in Hindu countries, including one country where believers are under tremendous persecution, Muslim countries, including in an area near ISIS, and may in the future support a missionary who never knows when the secret police will show up at a service.

A video, which can be viewed online or ordered from the Voice of the Martyrs mentions that in Pakistan some Christians are beaten, imprisoned, and killed for their faith.

“Under Islam, rural Christians are second class citizens, forced to serve Muslims in humility,” according to the film.

Pastor Fassal serves these believers.

“Though we have committed no crime, we are ostracized, and banished to the lowest place in society,” Pastor Fassal explained. “Often we are forced to leave our villages and our own homes. We cannot get good jobs, and we have no voice in government. What is left for us is servitude, and we know we will never advance.

“But we have a church,” he added. “A place where Christians come together to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, to sing his praise, to study His Word. For awhile our country has turned its back on us. God has not. Sometimes it is not easy–the laws, the injustice, so please remember to pray for us.”

The video shows Christians working as trash collectors, brick makers, sewage cleaners, and house servants. The man working as a sewage cleaner had to climb down into the sewage and use a bucket to hand to clean the sewage out, by handing it to someone else to dispose of.

This year, as you pray as to how God would have you to be involved in missions by giving and other ways, and asking how much to give, remember to also pray for the persecuted church this Sunday, November 2.




Who Can Be Your Friend on Friend Day?

His name was Jim, and as a young man, he was my best friend. There was something different about him, and at the time, I didn’t know what it was, but I found out later it was his faith in Jesus Christ. At that time, I didn’t have a similar faith, and I don’t remember him talking about his faith or what made him different. Later, after Jesus became my Savior too, he told me he had talked with me about what Christ meant to him before that night, but I don’t remember that. My heart must have been so darkened, I wasn’t listening.

I did notice, however, that he was friendly with everybody. I did notice that he didn’t judge people. I did notice he talked with me and listened to what I had to say. I remember he took the time to play pool and ping pong with me, as well as volleyball. When he asked me to go to a Nicky Cruz crusade, although I didn’t know what I was getting into, I went.

Although I had heard about Christ before, it was there the love of Jesus touched me. As I found out how the love of the Son of God had changed a violent man like Nicky, who had led one of the roughest street gangs in New York into a saved person who wanted to share the love of Christ with everyone, I began to believe God loved me too, and that His Son died on the cross for my sins and rose again to give me a home in heaven. I trusted the Son of God, Jesus Christ as my Savior that night. Nicky Cruz and I had lived very different lives before being saved, but we did have one thing in common: we were sinners, and God loved us enough to let Christ die for us.

Sunday, September 30, 2018, is Trinity Baptist Church’s annual Friend Day. I am glad Jim was my friend. I am sure the Apostle Peter was glad his brother, Andrew, was not only a brother, but a friend, and introduced him to Jesus. Who was a friend to you by introducing you to Christ, someone at school, work, church, a parent, spouse, brother, or sister? Who can I be a friend to on Friend Day? Who can you be a friend to?

Trinity Youth Department Annual Teen Storm Event

Luke 14:23:  “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

In the above verse, our Lord Jesus Christ told the reaction about a man’s reaction after his servants had invited a number of people to a big meal he was going to have. He heard the invited people had all refused, giving various excuses, such as recently getting married, business, or for some other reason. He replied that his servants should go out and compel other people to come and added that those who had already refused would not attend the meal.

In the same way, the Youth Department at Trinity Baptist Church has annually scheduled a STORM event (Sending Teens Out to Reach the Masses), where teens have gone out in vans, with an adult driver, and invited their friends to come back to church for various fun activities, a meal, and to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year’s event will be August 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Youth Pastor Chris Bowles said in previous years students have gone to their friends’ houses and invited them. He has since changed that so the students are picked up at their local schools. There is a competition to determine which school has the most students to attend.

Pastor Bowles has participated in the even as a youth pastor for 14 years–six of them at Trinity. He said the nationwide STORM event, with other churches also participating, used to be called a “Jalopy Raid.”

“You fill those cars with teens and bring them back,” Pastor Bowles explained. “You account for a lot of teenagers to get saved, and then you follow up with them afterwards.”

He said STORM usually has 100-150 teens, and a total of 180-200 people attending, counting adult workers. Because the event is the biggest evangelistic Youth Department of the year, Pastor Bowles said it usually leads to about a ten percent increase in attendance on a weekly basis. There are usually a number of people who make professions of faith.

The event will have inflatables, Connect 4 Basketball, funny videos, and games, and the gospel will be preached. Gifts will be given–including headphones and gift cards to local restaurants. The Youth Department annually accepts gift cards from members at Trinity to give out on the night.

Speaking will be Doctor Charles Ware, the former President of Crossroads Bible College. He has spoken around the world, including a Biblical Counseling Conference in Indiana.

Trinity Teens To Present Suicide Drama

Jennifer Sellers was proud of her daughter, Sydney Dane Sellers, and thought she knew her well. As reported on the website,, Sydney, 14, was a freshman at Pell City High School, who was an honor student who wrote poetry, had earned a black belt in Taekwondo, and might listen to Breaking Benjamin one day and Ella Fitzgerald the next. She had a boyfriend who seemed to be the kind of young man parents might hope would be involved with their child, and seemed to have everything to live for. Her mom didn’t know, however, about the assaults her daughter had suffered from students at her school and was, therefore, shocked after finding her hanging from a belt looped around her loft bed, and she added later that she didn’t really know her “child, only the part of her she wanted me to know.”

The Youth Department at Trinity Baptist Church will present a drama on teenage suicide, written by Youth Pastor Chris Bowles, on Sunday, August 12, at 10:30. Because the topic is sensitive and a prop gun will be used, Pastor Bowles said the play is recommended for viewing only by those 13 and over.

“Suicide is always a relevant topic for teenagers,” Pastor Bowles explained why the Youth Department is presenting the drama. “About eight in ten teenagers have either thought of or attempted suicide.”

He added that there a number of reasons young people think of or attempt suicide–a fight with their parents, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, bullying or gossip at school, or embarrassing situations.  He added that the three most common ways for teenagers to attempt to kill themselves are shooting, hanging, or popping pills.  Pastor Bowles did not give away the plot for the drama but said it will show what can lead up to a suicide or suicide attempt and a turning point.

“We don’t know what someone’s going through,” he added, saying it doesn’t to help much effort to help at least a little, although hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ can help most of all. “Even talking with someone can help–a simple ‘hi,’ a simple, ‘hello.'”

He told of hearing of one teen who was shocked one day when his father told him he loved him and was proud of him. Before hearing that, he had not believed his father did care and was planning suicide. He had even written a note, but he did not follow through after coming to believe his dad did care.

“It’s (the drama) meant to send a message, as well as a challenge,” Pastor Bowles said of the play, adding the drama may not leave people with a warm fuzzy feeling in their heart, but he hopes they will be encouraged to share the gospel.

He added that being rich or famous doesn’t shield a person from committing or at least think about suicide, adding there were few people more lonely than Elvis Presley, and Alexander the Great fell on his own sword.

“Only Jesus Christ can satisfy,” Pastor Bowles added.

Carter Ritchie: One of the Many Young People at Trinity Serving the Lord

What kind of person makes the best witness for the Lord? Would it be someone with a dynamic testimony, someone the Lord has saved from a life of sin, like the woman at the well, the demon-possessed man who had lived in the tombs, someone saved from a life controlled by drugs or alcohol? Certainly such a person would make a good witness, but wouldn’t God be able to use the testimony of someone saved as a young child, and whom He protected from getting deep into a life of sin to begin with just as much? Would it be someone who has attended multiple classes on soul winning, or attended Bible college to become a pastor or evangelist? Certainly those things are great, and God uses such people, but doesn’t He also use anyone of any age, with a heart geared toward Him and who is willing to follow?

One example of such a person is Trinity’s own Carter Ritchie, a 16-year-old high school junior, and there are also many other examples of other young people at church who have served as helpers in Vacation Bible School, by inviting friends  to  the annual STORM event, and in many other ways. There are also examples of young people in the Bible that God used greatly. Carter led his friend Marshall Reinhard  to the Lord at the recent senior high camp, served as a helper at the Vacation Bible School, and led a child to the Lord at it.

“At first I was nervous,” Carter remembered witnessing to Marshall. “I had never done that before. At the sermon that day, the speaker asked if you had never received Christ to raise your hand.”

Later Carter asked Marshall if “he had ever done that before.” He recalled they texted each other back and forth, and Marshall said he had not. Carter said the problem at first was that his friend seemed to believe that he had to work his way to heaven and that faith in Christ wasn’t enough.

Carter shared verses relating to salvation from the well-known Romans Road method of sharing the gospel and read John 3:16 with him. Marshall not only trusted Christ but later was baptized at Trinity, the same day his sister also trusted Christ!

Carter remembered learning verses to share the gospel in the youth group at  Trinity, as well as practicing for just such a time as he had at youth camp. He plans to attend vocational classes his senior year of high school and hopes to become a Kindergarten or 1st grade teacher.

One example of God using a young person to share his message in the Bible is in Second Kings 5. The Bible tells of a young girl, without telling her age or name, who told the wife of the captain of the host of the king of Syria that she wished he were with the prophet in Samaria, for then he would be healed of his leprosy. Simply put, when he did go and receive the message from God’s servant, at first he rebelled against the simple message of dipping himself in the Jordan River seven times. When he did it, however, he was healed!

There’s no telling what can be accomplished when God’s people, including young people, listen to and obey God’s voice!

What Does Easter Mean to You?

What does Easter mean to you? To me it means I have hope. You see only true believers in Jesus Christ have real hope in the world. Now, I didn’t say only believers have any good things happen to them. Bad and good things happen to all—believers and unbelievers alike. I didn’t say only believers have anything they hope for. Everyone has things in life to hope for—a new job, a better job, for things to go better in the job they are in, a baby, the right person to marry, better health.

Only believers, however, have a hope for the most important thing in life—forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven when they die. If you’re reading this and are not a believer, you have no hope for the most important thing in life, just as I once did not. The hope I now have, not a wish for kind of hope, but the kind of hope the Bible offers, a total assurance, came because Jesus Christ rose from the dead all the years ago, giving assurance of eternal life to all who trust in Him. That is what Easter is about. If you’re reading this and He is your Savior, why don’t you tell someone else of your hope?

Ephesians 2:12-13 speak of a time when those of us who now trust in Christ had not yet and had no real hope in life and of how our life changed after we did: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  13. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Romans 8:24 speaks of the hope we have, even though we have never seen Christ in the flesh: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

Our hope has given us a home in heaven, when we trust the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, as Colossians 1:5 teaches: “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.”

As John 3:16 teaches, Jesus the Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world, and anyone who trust His blood has everlasting life, instead of everlasting judgment. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 teach that not only did He die, but after He was buried, He rose again, and was seen many times by many witnesses.

Romans 10: 9 teaches that if we confess Him with our mouth and believe He rose from the dead, we will be saved: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

I would urge you to ask Him to be your Savior if you never have and find true hope. If you have, I would urge you to tell others about your hope.

A New Way of Looking At Life

During this new year, I am going to give you a new way of looking at life. The words, however, are not my own. They are those of Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, and are only part of the commencement speech he gave when his son graduated from ninth grade at Cardigan Mountain School. They may not encourage anyone to turn to Christ, but they do, nevertheless remind me of a Bible verse, Romans 8: 28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Following is an excerpt from his speech:

“Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”



What is Your Role in Faith Promise Missions?

John 4: 35: Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

1 Corinithians 15:34: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

As Trinity prepares for its Missions Conference, scheduled November 1-5, we should ask ourselves two questions: 1. How would God use our prayers and money to help the full-time missionaries Trinity Baptist supports share the gospel with a lost world? 2. What is our role personally in sharing the gospel?

Jesus said in John 4:35 taught that the fields are already white to harvest. In other words, there are those in our personal area, as well as those around the world, ready to respond to the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:34 teaches that we should be ashamed when others don’t have a knowledge of God or the saving power of Jesus Christ, if we have had a chance to impart that knowledge and have not done so.

Thinking of these things, we should dwell on how many people are lost around the world, and the fact that many may be ready to respond to the gospel if they can hear it. Trinity has missionaries who are already doing that and more that it will support in the future.

We should also consider how many times we have had to share the gospel and have not done so. How many times did we not share the gospel with our neighbor, compared to the times we actually did, with a co-worker, a fellow student, a family member? Remember, while many may reject the gospel, Jesus taught in John 4:35 that there are those ready to respond.

Thinking of these things, we should then ask God to help us fulfill both roles in praying for and financially helping missionaries share the gospel and sharing the gospel personally. When asking what God would have us to pledge to support missionaries next year, either weekly, monthly, annually, or however, a good verse to think of is Proverbs 16: 3: Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

A good thing to remember when giving is what Jesus did for us, as 2 Corinthians 8:9 reminds us:  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

God Works When His People Pray (Fasting and Praying September 25-29 for Revival Scheduled October 1-3, or praying for Revival Anytime)

Acts 1

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Acts 2

1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 12

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

Nehemiah 1

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah 6

15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.





How Can God Use Ordinary Christians From Trinity Baptist Church in Panama

Members of Trinity Baptist Church will have the chance to share the gospel of Jesus Christ for a week in March, 2018, in Panama, and God can use them even if they don’t speak Spanish or believe they have any special talents, according to Youth Pastor Chris Bowles and Associate Pastor Herb Koonce. The two pastors believe God will provide the way for those called to go, even if they don’t believe they have enough money for the trip. The two added even those who can’t go can support those who can financially or with prayer.

Pastor Chris said members can share the gospel with local citizens by handing out tracts that tell the story in Spanish of Jesus Crist and His death and resurrection for the sins of the world as the Son of God. In addition the two pastors say those on the trip can serve in other ways by doing any work that needs done, such as painting a building and added translators will be around for those who don’t speak any Spanish.

Pastor Chris said local residents will welcome Americans, and will accept tracts from them, because “one of the big draws is they don’t see a lot of light-skinned people.”

While no definitive estimate of the cost for the trip is yet available, Pastor Mike Spann has estimated it will be around $1,500 per person. Pastor Chris and Pastor Herb say, however, there are a number of ways funds can be raised for the trip for those who can’t afford it, and God can provide.  Pastor Chris said members can send out letters to friends asking for prayer and/or financial support.

“This is what God is doing in my life,” Pastor Chris said a letter could say. “If you feel led, you can support me (with prayer), or if you feel led, funds. Even if somebody gives five bucks, you’re $5 closer (to the needed funds).”

Pastor Herb said money could also be raised for the trip through auctions or a bake sale. He added some might be willing to pay $100 for a cake, if the money were going for a mission trip. Pastor Chris said many people are more likely to give financially for a mission trip for a friend than they are even for a professional missionary.  The two pastors also added that people may be willing to give more money if the person asking for support says money given would make a good Christmas gift.

There are other ways of serving on such a trip.

Pastor Herb said it isn’t that hard to learn a well-known gospel song in Spanish, even for someone who doesn’t speak the language, and sing it with local residents.

“Anything like that means the world to those people,” he explained. “And the key is to remember we’re no better than they are.”

The two also said there will be time on the trip for those who go to visit tourist areas or do shopping.

An informational packet by Baptist Fellowship International missionaries Stan and Jackie Sherwood tells those considering the trip that they can be used if God is calling them on such a trip.

“Each ministry is unique and has the ability to reach different people,” according to the packet. “Just like you being part of this mission team. You have talents and gifts that God has given to you to make you a vital part of this ministry. With all of us working together for the same goal of reaching souls with the Gospel we can accomplish great things for the Lord! All that we have becomes tools that God may use to accomplish His purposes.”

Trinity Associate Pastor Herb Koonce: Not Ready For Retirement

After serving for decades as the senior or associate pastor of a number of churches, why would someone on a “sabbatical” continue to preach all over the country for a year–in various states, including Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Virginia? Also, why would Herb Koonce come off of his sabbatical to accept the position as Associate Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, rather than retire?

“I would go nuts in retirement,” Pastor Koonce explained why he accepted the position at Trinity, rather than continuing to travel and preach. “You can shift gears. There’s ministry to be done. That to me is fun. There’s joy” in serving the Lord and ministering to people.

Pastor Koonce was saved at the age of 18 in an Independent Baptist church after being in a Baptist church at the age of 14 and a Nazarene church at the age of 16 and wanting to get the assurance of salvation without receiving it. He said both at 14 and 16 he went to be counseled on salvation and was told he was then a Christian, without anyone really explaining how Christ had died for his sins and risen again and that he could ask Him for salvation. He said he left both times lost. At 18, however, it was a different story, and the gospel was explained, and Pastor Koonce was saved.

“When I was 14, I went forward in a Baptist church and was told I was a Christian but went out lost,” he remembered, also recalling he was baptized as a baby in a Catholic hospital. He remembered, however, that at 18 the “pastor showed me how to be saved and ask Christ to be saved.”

“I was attending church, and there were men who were going into the ministry, and they asked me when I was going into the ministry,” Pastor Koonce recalled God’s call for him to be a pastor. “I said I haven’t the foggiest idea,” he remembered, because he hadn’t yet been called by God, adding he was willing to do anything for his Savior. He remembered God convicting him at Peach Creek Youth Camp in Texas that God did want him in full-time Christian service, telling a pastor there of his decision, and that God’s call on his life was a “sweet thing.”

After accepting the call to preach, he received a degree from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1967 and another degree from Malone University in 1969. Graduates of Baptist Bible College have included Jerry Falwell and Gene Milioni.

After getting his degrees, Pastor Koonce served as an Associate Pastor of Canton Baptist Temple from 1968-1979, a church which averaged 5,000 in attendance and is also known for being the home of the Christian Hall of Fame. He started a young married Sunday School Class and was Director of Sunday School Education.

He then served as an Associate Pastor of Bangor Baptist Church in Bangor, Maine from 1979-1980 and taught in the Christian school there.

From 1980-1998, he was the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chicopee, Massachusetts. During his ministry there, more then 30 people surrendered to full-time Christian service. The church also helped start a Spanish speaking church and assisted in starting 15 other churches.

From 1998-2010, he assisted the pastor in Calvary Baptist Church in Westerville, Ohio.

From 2010-2015, he was the Pastor of Sunbury Central Baptist Church in Sunbury, Ohio. During his “sabbatical,” he continued to preach in 2016-2017 in various churches, including Trinity, before accepting the call to be associate pastor.

Herb and his wife, Judy, have been married 48 years and have three children, actively involved in serving the Lord, Todd, a bachelor, Heather, and Shawn, a son. Shawn, who is married, works for the Tin Roof Society in Nairobi, Kenya, which assists in training individuals to be productive in their lives while sharing the gospel of Christ with them. Todd sells insurance, and Heather’s husband is a worship leader in a “Biblical Presbyterian church.” Judy, whose great-grandmother once sang for D.L. Moody, is the children’s resource coordinator at Trinity.

Pastor Koonce’s favorite verse is Joshua 1: 9: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Welcome to Trinity, Pastor Koonce and Judy!

A Second Look at Sports With Dwight Allen

Imagine discussing coaching with Tony Dungy, listening personally to what it was like to coach the winning team in a Super Bowl, or hearing his personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Do you think you would enjoy talking to Oral Hershiser about being the World Series MVP in 1988, winning the Series and Cy Young Award for the Los Angeles Dodgers the same year, playing for the Cleveland Indians for years, and his faith? Would you enjoy a ministry that allowed you to talk with John Smoltz about winning the Cy Young and World Series with the Atlanta Braves, his faith, and discussing sports and faith in Christ with other famous and not-so famous athletes and coaches in football, baseball, basketball, and other sports from the professional to high school level?

Trinity Baptist Church’s own Dr. Dwight Allen, who served as a pastor for 25 years in various locations, including Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, and California, doesn’t have to imagine any of those things. As host of “A Second Look at Sports,” for 25 years, currently on more than 500 radio stations, including stations in the United States, Turkey, India, Russian, Canada, Africa, and in the Middle East, he does just that. Besides the 30 minute show, he also hosts “A 60 Second Look At Sports,” and “Racing World,” featuring NASCAR Racing. Dr. Allen also served as a scout for the Chicago Cubs and as a youth pastor.

“I found myself going to the ballpark (in Idaho Falls, Idaho in the 1980’s),” Dr. Allen remembered in an interview how the ministry started when he still served as a pastor. “They had a minor league (baseball) team. I got to know him (the manager of the team at that time, Joe Madden, who last year managed the Chicago Cubs to the team’s first World Series Championship since 1908.) I was the chaplain. He came down and would be a part of the chapels. I started doing radio in those days. I thought it was an extension of my ministry.

“We’re (as believers) required to go into the world and plant the seed (of the gospel of Christ) and water it, and God gives the increase.”

“I love to speak and encourage local churches to have sports ministries,” Dr. Allen’s website reported. “Utilizing the ideas we have gathered for evangelism, we speak at worship services, athletic banquets, high school assemblies, and civic groups all over the country.”

The ministry has continued with interviews with any athlete, in high school, college, or the pro level, who has a sports story to tell, combined with a Christian testimony. He has interviewed Dungy, Hershiser, Smoltz, golfer Nancy Lopez, Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Tamika Catchings, who stared in the WNBA, and many others.

He said in the interview many had dynamic testimonies. In his book, “A Second Look at Sports,” he noted that while many coaches win by intimidating their players, Dungy, who looked to Christ as a model of what a leader should be, modeled self-control and a humble spirit. He looked to Psalm 23 and the Lord as shepherd as an example. Dungy, before coaching the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl championship, was fired as coach of Tampa Bay and looked to the words of Romans 8:28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” for comfort.

In the interview, Dr. Allen said Dungy “is still a football commentator. He has given up a lot of his football activities to barnstorm the country in family seminars” to share the faith of Christ after the suicide of his son, James. While still coaching he shared his faith publicly at events, such as a Christmas party children sponsored by the Colts.

He also recalled how the gospel of Christ and his saving power was shared at the funeral of racing car driver Dan Wheldon, who lived his life as a believer before dying in a crash at a race.

Dr. Allen says he isn’t at Trinity every Sunday, because he has so many speaking engagements. He pointed out that Trinity member Kevin Ritchie is responsible for scheduling many of them.

You’re Never Too Old or Too Young to Serve Jesus

This month, unless the Lord decides to take me home to live with Him before that, I will be 60 years old. I have heard Pastor Spann say when some people get older they feel like they have done enough for the Lord and that the younger people in the church should do all the work, and they should just rest. I have no doubt if Pastor Spann said it, there must be people who feel that way, but I don’t feel that way at all. Let me first say, there are many far better examples in the world or even just in Trinity of faithful servants of the Lord than I.

I do, however, still have a desire to tell friends, family, and others that Jesus Christ is the only One Who can forgive your sins and give eternal life. I still have a desire to serve as an altar worker, in Word of Life, in Vacation Bible School, at the county fair, as an altar worker at special events for teens, or other places God might call me. I also believe the Bible teaches God wants us to serve Him at any age, young or old. Let’s look at some examples in the Bible of people who served God when they were older.

After the children of Israel had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and did not take possession of the land God wanted them to have because of the sin of fear of the inhabitants of the land, Joshua and Caleb remained. Some of those who had died also had committed idolatry and fornication. All but Joshua and Caleb had died.

An 85-year-old Caleb, however, said God had blessed him and he was as strong as he was 40 years earlier. He said he was ready to take possession of the land God had promised him, “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:12).

Exodus 5:1 said Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh that God had told them to tell him to “let my people go that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” Exodus 7:7 says he was 80, and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to the Egyptian leader. Acts 7:30 also says Moses stood before the burning bush 40 years after he killed the Egyptian, which also would have made him 80. So, this famous servant of God was not a young man when God used him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Psalm 92:12-13 say: “Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in The courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”

According to, Billy Graham, who has shared the gospel with
millions of people, retired in 2005 from preaching. That would have made him 87, so he is an example of the truth of verse 13 above.

Of course the Bible also teaches we are never too young to serve Christ. Paul told a young man, Timothy, a pastor to: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Of course, we all also remember the young lad who gave his five loaves of bread and two fishes to Jesus, and that the Master fed five thousand men, and however many women and fish were in the crowd with them.

Friend Day

And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Jesus said we all have a responsibility to share His love, the news that the Son of God was crucified, buried, and rose again to pay for our sins, so that we could live forever with Him, instead of going to hell. In other words, we need to share the gospel with anyone we can, stranger or friend. What does this mean for our Friend Day, March 26, 2016?

In 1977, a young man in Colorado Springs, Colorado, took the time to be my friend, talk with me, and one day took me to see an evangelist named Nicky Cruz in a big high school football stadium. I was saved, and my life was forever changed.

In John 1:41, Andrew introduced his brother, Simon, to Jesus. Simon Peter became Peter the Apostle. God used his preaching to save 3,000 people on the day of Pentecost and 5,000 after another sermon.

In John 1: 45-46, Phillip introduced his brother, Nathaniel, to Jesus.

In John 4, Jesus met the woman at the well and told her all about her life, which included being married and divorced five times and living with a man she was not married to at the time Christ was talking with her. In verses 28-29, she told the men she knew in town about a man, the Savior Who knew everything she had ever done and had forgiven her. In verses 39-42, many were saved, some as a result of her personal testimony, and others because of listening to Jesus preach.

In Mark 5:19-20, after Jesus had cast the demons out of the man in the country of the Gadarenes, Jesus told him rather than going where Christ himself went, to tell his friends at home what Jesus had done for Him. He did, and the Bible says all men marveled.

In Matthew 9:10-13, the Bible tells of the friends of Matthew, the tax collector, who had met Christ, sitting down to dinner with Christ and His disciples.

In Luke 19, another tax collector, Zaccheus, invited many of his friends to a dinner party to hear Christ.

Who do you and I know we could invite to church March 26?