In His Presence…

Finally it feels like spring is around the corner! This will be a gorgeous weekend with plenty of sunshine and warmer temperatures. I expect that Christ’s love will also shine in our church as we’ll gather together to worship our Savior tomorrow morning.

A birthday party for Ina Longway who turned 90 was a wonderful time for everyone who came last Sunday. Ina is a missionary, a nurse, a poet, a Pathfinder leader, a sabbath school class teacher, and a loving mother of 8 children. Happy birthday, Ina! You are loved and appreciated by the Ooltewah church family. Thank you, Pathfinders for your hard work.


Friendly church. Every Sabbath morning I see some new visitors. I trust that we all do our best to help them feel welcome in our church. Showing love and care towards the church visitors is the most overlooked key to church growth. Here are a few helpful tips from the “Now Go Forward” book:

“- Every church member is a host and not a guest. Making visitors feel welcome is primarily the responsibility of members, not the nebulous “church.”
– The most important person for a visitor to talk to in order to feel at home in a new church is you. It is not the pastor, or the greeter, but a regular attender…
– Smile at everyone and offer your hand.
– Look people in the eye and smile.
– Take the initiative, don’t wait for visitors to initiate conversation with you.
– Learn people’s names and remember them.
– Ask questions and learn about your guests. It is better to express interest in them than it is to try to “sell” your church.”

Prayer Ministry. Last Wednesday night many were blessed listening to the reports of our church members who attended the Prayer Conference a couple weeks ago. Thank you, Cynthia, Sondra, and Linda. Your presentations helped us see a direct link between our prayer life and our spiritual growth. We often deprive ourselves of the blessings when our prayers turn into the routine repetition of memorized phrases. Let the reviving sap of the Vine bring life and vibrancy into our daily spiritual walk.

Next week, we will continue Jacob’s Ladder Prayer Seminar. I hope you’ll make an effort to be there to study and to pray together with your brothers and sisters. There is power in praying together!

Our church Youth is preparing to go out into the neighborhoods around the church with flyers for the Parenting Seminar. Thank you, Sarah, Edymar, and Louis for inspiring our people to be mission oriented. If any of you would like to help with the flyer distribution please talk to Linda Kulik. She has almost 2,000 flyers that need to be passed out in the next 10 days.

My message tomorrow morning will be Part 2 of the “Be My Disciples” series. Sermon title: “In God’s Presence”. We grow in discipleship only when we develop intimate communion with God in prayer.

Prayers are needed for Jim Estes. He was taken to the hospital on Thursday with congestive heart failure. Adam Garrett also needs our prayerful support due to some serious health concern. Adam will stay at Wildwood for another week. His email is

Stewardship. Thank you for your faithful and generous support of our local church budget. To meet our budget in March we’ll need about $5,500 every Sabbath. Let the Spirit of God use us and our resources for advance of the Gospel proclamation. “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” – (V.L.)

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

Light of Hope Mission. I know that many of you are praying about our Light of Hope mission to Ukraine in May of this year. Here is a brief update.

On a personal note… Barby and Sean’s engagement is off. There will be no wedding in May. It’s a heartbreaking situation for us all, but we believe that God has a plan for both of them. We believe in His providence and guidance. There are new adventures ahead.

Have a Blessed Sabbath day. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Your friend,


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