“Abide in Me”


My friends,

Remember last Sabbath? Many of you could not attend the worship service because of the icy roads. Our church parking lot looked like an ice skating rink. Our first services started with four people; two of them on the platform :-). Emily was leading our song service and Wayne was playing the organ. We kept singing until our attendance grew to fifteen brave worshipers. By 11:30 am the sun melted the ice on the main roads and our attendance grew to 45! I trust that those of you who stayed home had a safe and blessed Sabbath day.


I hope you survived the beautiful snow storm. It was really pretty behind the parsonage. I felt like I was back in Russia.

I heard that some of you had to work for hours cleaning your driveways and roads leading to your houses. Good news! The warm sunshine cleaned all the roads around the church. Our church parking lot is dry and ready for you. I missed you last week and I am looking forward to a joyful and dynamic worship service with you tomorrow morning. I am starting a new series of sermons on Christian discipleship titled “Be My Disciples.” Tomorrow morning is Part 1 – “Abide in Christ”. Please read John 15:1-8.

Last night the OAKS school board unanimously approved Rosa Lee’s permanent employment status. According to the Conference policy the school staff needs an annual rehire vote for the first three years before they are voted as regular employees. This year Rosa Lee completed her initial three-year term and per last night’s school Board vote received regular employment status. Congratulations, Rosa Lee. Thank you for your hard work and for your commitment. The meeting lasted for about three hours. Board members frankly and passionately talked about the blessings and the challenges of our school operation. That was a very helpful meeting. I was impressed with the unity of the school Board and their desire to see our school prosper and grow. Please, remember Rosa Lee and the OAKS teachers and staff in your prayers daily. This is not an easy job. They are in the mission field, leading our children to Christ.

Next week the contractor will start preparation for the church roof replacement. This became possible because of your generous support of the Nehemiah project. I am sure that it will not take long before we see new pews in the sanctuary, new windows and doors in the hallways. This is the house of the Lord. Let us give our best to Him.

Next Wednesday night at 7 pm our prayer-warriors will share their report of the prayer conference they attended last weekend. I had a chance to visit with some of them and was impressed with the insights that they received during the conference. They are ready to share these important thoughts with us during the Wednesday night prayer meeting. Please, plan on attending the meeting this coming Wednesday night.

Because of the very low attendance last Sabbath our church budget needs very serious attention. I know how much you care about our church ministries and about our school. I pray that tomorrow morning we’ll see a miracle of what God can do in us and through us when we step into the water of the Jordan river by faith. God will stop the river. He will take away our fears. Try God’s power tomorrow! We need at least $10,000 in donations toward the local church budget as tomorrow is the last Sabbath of the month. Please, pray about your part in this miracle.

Ed Pino, our extern and church elder, had to drive home to be with his mother who is terminally ill. Please, remember Ed and his family in your prayers. Let God give him strength and courage. Let His loving and comforting presence be with Ed’s mother.

Mark your calendars:

The Emmanuel Quartet will be presenting a gospel concert in our Family Fellowship Center on Sabbath evening March 14, at 7:00 PM. You will not want to miss this event. The Emmanuel Quartet’s home base is located right here in our own community but have presented concerts throughout the USA. They have many loyal followers around the country and sing with Spiritual fervor and commitment. They love Jesus and are dedicated to spreading the Good News through beautiful arrangements of hymns and gospel songs. No tickets are necessary. We will take an offering to help with their expenses and CD’s of their music will be available after the concert. Your Ooltewah Church Music Ministry participants are asking that you let people know about this concert. Let’s make this event a part of our evangelistic outreach to our community.

Check the new mobile-friendly design of our church website at www.ooltewahchurch.org

Here is a link to the February church Newsletter 

I’ll see you tomorrow. Happy Sabbath.

Pastor Peter

“He calms the storm…”


Dear friends,

The weather forecast is not looking good for tomorrow morning. Please, do not drive to church if you do not feel safe on the road. Your safety should be your priority.

I will be at church tomorrow at 8:55 am and 11:25 am for those who feel safe driving and choose to come. We may have some visitors from the highways who are not able to drive to their destination and might be stuck in Ooltewah because of the icy roads. I want them to have a place of worship.

Our 3-rd Sabbath potluck is cancelled. Enjoy your Sabbath lunch with your family or friends.

Pray for our Pathfinders. They are on the road to Cohutta Springs for the TeenCamp.

Pray for our “prayer warriors”. They are heading to Cohutta Springs for the Prayer Conference that takes place this weekend.

Please, remember about our local church budget. Our ministries and our school are fully dependent upon our regular weekly support. If you are traveling or not  able to attend you can make your weekly donation online. If you have not yet tried it in the past, try it tonight. Here is the link:  https://www.ooltewahchurch.org and choose the ONLINE GIVING tab.  It is easy and convenient. Let the Lord bless your faithful and generous support of our church ministries and programs.

Thank you, Ooltewah Health Ministries team for the excellent Health Fair last Sunday. It was a cold day, but you came and represented our church in the most wonderful way. It was good to see visitors from the community as well as from our church family. I was happy to learn that my sugar level is 96! Which is good. I had several extra cookies that afternoon 🙂

Delbert Fisher is out of the hospital. He is currently at LifeCare facility in Cleveland. He is doing better and getting stronger. Thank you for your prayers for Delbert.

Let the Lord calm the storms in us and around us. Trust His mighty power the way the Psalmist trusted:

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders. (Psalm 107:28-32)

Wishing you a safe and happy Sabbath day.

Your friend and pastor Peter


Agape. Lots of red and pink colors surround us this weekend! As we talk about love I invite you to remember of the One who is the source of true love – our Heavenly Father. God is love.

Romans 8:37-39 – Now, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“How can we know something that surpasses or is beyond knowledge? How can we know something that is beyond words?… We can and do use words to point to all of our human experiences. However, the experience of “God as Agape” is beyond words, beyond the limitations of our minds.” (JDG)

Adventurers. Last Sabbath we were blessed with a beautiful worship service presented by the Adventurer Club. Thank you, Becky and your team, for your hard work!


Sabbath morning was just the beginning of many exciting activities for the Adventurers. They spent the night and the full day on Sunday at the Discovery museum downtown Chattanooga.


OAKS. This morning our Fellowship Hall was radiating with love and joy. It was the OAKS Teddy Bear Tea Party for Grades K through 2. Love was truly in the air. See a couple of photos below:

IMG_0806 IMG_0807 IMG_0808

Tomorrow morning the Children’s story will be shared by the members of the Destiny Drama company from Southern Adventist University.

Sabbath sermon. I will continue my “The Secrets of the Kingdom of God” sermon series. Tomorrow, Part 4, “Fish sorting”, is based on Matthew 13:47-50. To be saved for God’s Kingdom we need to know our Savior personally. Otherwise, in the Day of Judgment we may hear the unfortunate words: “Depart from me, I never knew you…”


The Youth and Young Adults will have a fun Sabbath afternoon. Supper will be served beginning at 3:30 p.m. followed by a drama performance by Destiny Drama Company from Southern Adventist University at 4:30 p.m. Later in the evening, the Youth and Young Adults will be meeting at SuperFly for some trampoline fun! Come and enjoy food, music, a drama performance and fellowship.**Please note: although all are welcome to attend the vespers program and supper will be geared toward ages 13 and up** Thank you, Lisa Patterson, for bringing this Sabbath treat to our church from SAU.

Prayers needed. Delbert Fisher is at Skyridge hospital in Cleveland due to internal bleeding. Bradley Hyde is considering treatment options for prostate cancer. Tim and Cindy Mountcastle and their big family need prayers for comfort. Tim’s brother passed away early this week.

Church budget. I pray that we all come together in supporting our local church budget. It is only with YOUR support of the church budget that we’ll be able to expand the wonderful work of our many departments and ministries, including OAKS. Please, start planning your church budget contribution on Friday night. Come prepared on Sabbath morning. This is the way to show our love to God and His church. Thank you, my friends, for being faithful stewards of the Heavenly Father.


Heart Health Fair. Are you bringing someone to the church sponsored health fair this Sunday? Medical professionals will be on site from 1-4 p.m. to provide blood pressure and glucose screenings, share heart-friendly recipes, and hand out great giveaway items (water bottles, pedometers, blood pressure monitor, stress relief neck pillows, fitness balls, etc).

The fair takes place in the Greenbriar Cove Club House at 9555 Leyland Drive and is sponsored by the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church. Let us use this event as a witnessing opportunity to our friends and neighbors.

Happy Sabbath! See you tomorrow.

Your friend and pastor,


“In Thy presence is fullness of joy”


My dear friends,

The Sabbath Day is approaching in a few hours. I invite you to set aside any task or trouble that may keep you away from the presence of God. Listen carefully and you will hear God’s heart beating. His heart beats joyfully because He loves us. What about us? Can we say along with David, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy”?

Tomorrow is the Adventurer Club Sabbath. I am looking forward to seeing many of our children march to the front of the church and lead in our service. The Adventurer Club will participate in both services. My Sabbath sermon will be Part 3 of the “The Secrets of the Kingdom of God” series. It is based on Matthew 13:44-46.

Tomorrow night is a special program for the church youth. Here is an invitation from the Youth Ministry Leader: Youth and Young Adults, join us Sabbath, February 14, for an early supper and a vespers program. Supper will be served beginning at 3:30 p.m. followed by a drama performance by Destiny Drama Company from Southern Adventist University at 4:30 p.m. Later in the evening, the Youth and Young Adults will be meeting at SuperFly for some trampoline fun! Come and enjoy food, music, a drama performance and fellowship.**Please note: although all are welcome to attend the vespers program and supper will be geared toward ages 13 and up**

The Nehemiah fund is climbing up. The church bulletin report shows $80,000 plus! Thank you, church, for assuming responsibility for the physical condition of the Lord’s House. We don’t want to pass the needed repairs on to the shoulders of our children. I pray that very soon we’ll see a new roof on our church, new windows, front doors, new church pews in the sanctuary, and, of course, new outdoor signs directing people to our church.

On Tuesday night the church Board worked on a document outlining the new church financial philosophy. We are definitely not the largest church in the area, but with God’s help we are able to support many ministries and programs. Our church departments, utilities, office needs, staff payroll, ongoing repairs, tuition assistance and OAKS allocations come ONLY from your donations marked “CHURCH BUDGET”. The document makes a provision for “percentage based allocations” to the church ministries in place of the monthly “set amounts” distributions. This approach will prevent our church from creating a larger deficit in those months when we don’t reach our planned “combined budget amount”. I have no doubts that we all recognize the need to support our ministries and various departments. If you have not yet tested the goodness of the Lord by contributing to the church budget I encourage you to do it at least for the month of February. See for yourself how the promise of God in Malachia 3:10 will be fulfilled in your life:

“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour  out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”

Your prayers are need for Bradley Hyde. Last Wednesday night he shared with the group that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  The doctors are reviewing his treatment options. Let us uplift Bradley and Sylvia in our prayers, remembering that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34;19

Happy Sabbath to you,

Pastor Peter