In late August of this year, we moved from Shepherdsville, KY to Newton, NC to begin work with the church in Newton. Our relationship with the congregation goes back many years and has always been warm. In fact, we were asked several years ago to consider moving here, but the circumstances were not right. However, earlier this year, through God’s providence, circumstances changed and the door was open again.
The congregation did not completely stop meeting when the general nationwide shutdown hit back in March 2020. Rather, they cut back to one assembly on Sunday for a few months and added back the Wednesday class assembly earlier in the summer. Now we are meeting for class on Sunday, as well as worship, along with the Wednesday Bible class. The classes are in the auditorium only; the children’s classes have not started back due to virus-related concerns.
The men of the congregation had some class material they wanted to finish before I started any classes, so there was a small delay. At this point, I’ve started teaching the Wednesday class in which we are studying Ezra and Nehemiah. This material was chosen because of the “restorative” nature of the work done by Ezra and Nehemiah. It is my hope to encourage them to build a solid foundation for the congregation and a zeal for the Kingdom. You may want to check it out at BibleInfo.co/ezra where you can see the material and take the lesson quizzes.
Lord willing, in a few weeks, after the current Sunday class wraps up, I will start teaching on “Legends of Faith,” a study of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. These character studies will help us see real-life examples of faith; people of like-nature who struggled and triumphed with God’s help.
I am partaking in an ongoing personal study, along with another brother from the church. There is a couple that has attended for a few months. The wife has been a Christian for many years and the husband was recently baptized. They are interested in placing membership, but there are a few issues we need to study before that occurs.
The Newton TV program, Word and Sword, continues on the Hickory TV station, WHKY. I have been told the broadcast reaches parts of five states (NC, SC, GA, VA, TN). It is also carried on local cable and satellite channels. Members of the church here state that many contacts and a good number of conversions have resulted from the program.
We hope to build on this work and increase the contacts made to study the gospel. I just finished recording the two October episodes (in my temporary studio). The episodes include the following lessons:
- Judas’ kiss: examines the betrayal and associated lessons
- King of Salem: from Genesis 14
- 1 Peter
- Circumcision of Christ: focus on baptism
- Death Penalty
Each episode of the program is two hours long for the final edit. This is a significant part of the work – between preparing, recording, editing, uploading, etc. – but is very valuable to the cause and something I enjoy.
You can see the TV program here:
- https://wordandsword.com (church website homepage)
- https://youtu.be/l133hH7vQdk (Youtube link for Oct. 6, 2020 episode)
Personal note: we are working on our housing situation. We are temporarily with my mother-in-law, but hope to move forward with either purchasing our own home or starting the building process soon. The market is super tight and the prices inflated (in our opinion). Whichever direction we go, we plan to have a home that will allow for both an office and recording studio, similar to what we had in KY.
Support is coming along a little at a time. The Newton congregation just agreed to increase my support by $125 per week, bringing it to $1,125 per week total. Other support at present includes a combined $1,550 per month from individuals and churches. So, the total monthly support is about $6,425 per month. A significant portion of the outside support is uncertain on how long it will last; much depending on individual and church budgets in light of the present distress in our society. I am seeking more and trust God will provide.
My appeal to you is to pray for the work here. Specifically, please pray about:
- The spiritual growth of each member of the congregation
- The personal study with the husband and wife, David and Kris
- The TV program to reach lost souls who are interested in further study
Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, and fellowship in this work of the Lord.