Christ’s Final Victory Over Sin

the book of revelation web

MESSAGE. “The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” (GC, 602) This is the theme of our Discovering Hope Bible seminar. Tonight at 7pm we will have the 3rd meeting. The topic of tonight’s presentation is “Hope for a Meaningful Life”. We will study Revelation 7. On Sabbath morning I will have two different topics for the first and the second service.

Our services this Sabbath will be beautified by music from the group Message of Mercy.


MINISTRY.  Pathfinders Club had a fabulous weekend at Cohutta Springs camp last weekend. It did not even rain (which is unusual 😉 ! Here is a short update from Cory. Don’t forget to click on the link below to hear the club sing a camporee theme song.

“Cohutta Springs was as beautiful as always, and even more enjoyable because the construction has finally finished on the campside buildings and bridges.  We were blessed with great weather for camping.   Set up on Thursday afternoon went smooth and Friday was spent doing various fun activities.  Ooltewah organized a bocce game and taught the Pathfinders how to make alcohol camping stoves from aluminum cans.  Our kids had a great time rotating through many fun activities including a triathlon (new this year).   Sabbath was another beautiful day spent learning many new honors.  Amy and I taught the Puppeteering Honor during the 3 time slots and had a blast watching each class perform their puppet shows.   With dozens of other Georgia Cumberland clubs all sharing this place we get to see and visit with friends who we may not see very often. Rhonda Hicks once again outdid herself and provided our club with delicious meals that were fit for a king.  We have been blessed with amazing staff who love and dedicate themselves to serving our kids.

Each evening was spent together as a family on the hillside enjoying the program with Pastor Jeff from GCA.  The Camporee theme was Here I Stand  H.I.S. and we were challenged to go beyond just a head knowledge of the cross and to allow Christ’s gift to change us.  Many of our kids made the stand and committed themselves to living for God.

The camporee theme song that was chosen for this year came from the Ooltewah club.  Emelia wrote it and played it each night with several other Timberwolf helpers.  This weekend was a wonderful and spirit filled time together that we will not soon forget.  Thank you God for giving us these amazing kids and the ability to be their counselors.” Cory Goss


WOMEN’S & TEEN GIRLS SPRING RETREAT. (From Linda Kulik) “April 12-15, more than twenty women and teen girls from our church joined four hundred others from around GA Cumberland Conference (and beyond!) for the women’s and teen girls spring retreat, “Repurposed”.  Since this was my first women’s retreat, I really did not know what to expect. But what an incredible experience!  I was not disappointed and will certainly plan to attend the next one! We were so blessed and inspired!

During her presentations gifted retreat speaker, June Price, challenged us to spend time daily seeking a deeper experience with God through His Word.   She used a visual demonstration to show how our words or behavior can cause the image of God to be distorted in the eyes of others.  Paul reminds us that God seeks to live in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16); We were reminded that our bodies are the temple of God and during one of her presentations, Mrs. Price challenged us to take time to reflect on the kind of home we are offering to God.  We were encouraged to rededicate ourselves to God and let Him work in us to empower us to become beautiful reflections of Him.

The teen girls also had their own speakers and activities and it was thrilling to see the support offered to them as we “older women” were encouraged to serve as mentors for the young women in the church.

Inspirational music was provided by the very talented musician, Gale Jones Murphy.  What a joy it was to hear so many voices lifted up in spirited praise for God!

On Sabbath afternoon, the rain held off (an answer to many prayers!) and many women were able to enjoy a relaxing walk along Cohutta’s many nature trails – the varieties of wildflowers growing along the trails were gorgeous!

It was wonderful to have a weekend to fellowship and get to know my sisters from the Ooltewah church! For those women who were unable to attend the retreat, another opportunity will be coming September 6-9 when the Southern Union Women’s Convention will be held in Chattanooga at the Chattanooga Convention Center.   Watch for more details soon!   I encourage you to attend – you will be blessed!” Linda Kulik


Ooltewah Men’s Ministry continues to grow. Here is a report from Edymar Penagos: “Guys, I know a lot of you were out of town this passed Sunday. Let me tell you, we had a wonderful spirit filled Haney’s Hungry Hombre’s breakfast.
In addition to some, stick to your ribs biscuits and gravy, the guys all shared a blessing/answer to prayer. It was so moving to hear first hand reports of what God was going for them in their lives. Men, we love and know a God that is so BIG, He spoke the universe into existence! And yet, still cares about our requests no matter how big or small. It is so humbling.
After the nearly hour long praise report (how awesome is that!), guys teamed up and exchanged a prayer request. Normally, we clean up and go home at 10am. Not this TIME! After the closing prayer, I saw men scattered around the fellowship hall praying for each other! That’s what its all about. Being there for each other when we need help.
Thank you to all who were able to help cook and clean up. As usual, we had a great time cutting up (teasing Mike Hughee and Fred Turner) while preparing the food. Oh, and there may or may not have been some wrestling after the breakfast as well…”

Several new members are joining our church this Sabbath. Four OAKS students will be baptized during the second service. They are Preston Palmer, Christopher Mushik, Davon Graham, and Jenne Mize. This will truly be a day of celebration for the candidates, their families, and for our whole church.

We will also be voting on membership transfer for Dina Cole’s parents, Tim and Iris Morgan.



Nick and Abri-Ronel Delgado



Tracy Haubrich (no photo at this moment… I hope I will get it later this afternoon and will try to add it to this post)


Bruce and Olivia MacDougal. (No photo. However, I just hear from Olivia, that they moved to Florida to be closer to their family.)

PRAYERS. Cathy Sabo’s surgery went well and she is expected to go home tomorrow.

Mary Ellen Walter will be having surgery on May 2nd.

Peter Rogers – upcoming heart surgery.

Prayer of Praise for Margo’s recovery. Here is a Facebook post by Mike Haughee: “On April 17th it was exactly a month after Margo fell at church and broke her femur. She went to the doctor and he said get rid of the walker and go back to work as soon as you want to. He said listen to your body and if it tells you to rest, do so. Within the hour she was at the school planning for the next day. She went half days on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday they were out of school. Monday and Tuesday she was at teachers convention and in the classroom yesterday and today. She is exercising the leg and following PT orders. She has a limp and some trouble sleeping but God has been good to her and us both. She is not a FB so I will say “thank you for all your prayers, food, visits, other thoughtful gestures and flowers”.

Please, remember our local church budget for the month of April. Let the Lord impress you to give generously tomorrow. “The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won’t let you outgive Him. Go ahead and try. See what happens.” (RA)

Have a blessed Sabbath day,


Living For God


MESSAGE. “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” (1 Peter 4:19) There is no question that we are seeing the world change before our very eyes, and yet, as Peter will tell us in this powerful verse: God is still on His throne. This should be an encouragement to Christians everywhere. We who live for eternity, who have been adopted into the family of God by the blood of Jesus, who know the Sovereign One who holds the world in His hands; we can live with hope because we know that this world and it’s passions are passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

This Sabbath morning I’m preaching my last sermon from 1 Peter. Please read 1 Peter 3 and 4.

MINISTRY. Last Sabbath morning was truly a time of joyful celebration. The brass and the church choir performing together was absolutely awesome! Thank you, our musicians and singers, you brought heaven down to earth. Here are a few photos from the first service.

At the Board meeting on Monday night several church ministries shared their reports. The Finance committee presented an encouraging report showing that our local giving in March was at 200%. This allowed the church to fund all ministries and to cover the deficit of the two previous months. Thank you, church! OAKS reported steady enrolling for the new school year. Cory Goss announced that he is stepping down from his leadership role with the Pathfimnders Club. Three years of Cory’s ministry demonstrated his wholehearted commitment to our young people. Thank you, Cory! Yours’ and Amy’s dedication and hard work is greatly appreciated by the Ooltewah church. The Board unanimously recommended Aaron Brewer to take the Pathfinder club director position. This nomination wil now be taken to the whole church for your approval. The Collegiate Sabbath school class has been having a good year with a regular Friday night Vespers program attended by about 20 SAU students. At the same time they desperately need church families willing to host their group on a regular basis.  If you are interested in having twenty students come to your home once a month on a Friday night to eat, to sing, and to study please contact me or pastor Matthew. I have no doubts that we will find enough families willing to help.

This weekend is packed with many church programs and activities. Pathfinders are heading to Cohutta Springs. We will keep them in our prayers. The weather is promising to be simply perfect.

This Friday evening the Fletcher Academy String Ensemble will present a vespers program at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary of the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church.
This group of 16 young people will capture your heart as they share their talent and love for Jesus. Principal Brad Durby will present a short homily as we usher in the Sacred Sabbath hours. Come and rest as their music brings us closer to our Heavenly Father as the Sabbath approaches.

Here is an invitation from the ladies of our church: “Ladies please join Women’s Ministry this Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. This will be a time to discuss the necessity of prayer, the structure of prayer, how prayer has worked in our lives, and to pray for each other and those around us. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to get together and worship.”

Tomorrow is our monthly church lunch Sabbath. Here is an appeal from Steve Bremner: “Your help is needed with potluck this Sabbath. Greg and Rhonda Welborn are out of town and the Rose family will be out of town. These are the two main families that help with potluck. Your help is really needed. Since the kitchen is down to only one oven please bring summer foods. We will begin the summer menu. Please bring plenty of salads, fruit, or vegetable trays, sandwiches, chips and desserts.”

Eddie Penagos is sharing the following message with the men of our church: “Can you believe we are approaching the end of the month of April? This Sunday is our monthly breakfast and it will be low key event. Lots of fellowship with good food and a focused bible study on being an authentic man of God. If you have been wondering what we have been doing over in the school Sabbath mornings, you should come to the breakfast this Sunday. The bible study will be based on the material we are currently presenting in class and quite frankly, it has been having a real impact on some of the men in our church. I encourage you to come this Sunday and bring someone with you. Breakfast will be severed at 830am sharp and the program will end at 10am on the dot. If you would like to help set up and cook, please plan to be there by 730am.”

DISCOVERING HOPE Bible seminar is starting this coming Wednesday at 7 pm at our own church. Are you planning on attending the seminar this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sabbath nights? On April 28 and May 5 we will be witnessing several baptisms of OAKS students. Praise God for their decisions!


Kathy Sabo – an upcoming surgery

Peter Rogers – upcoming open heart surgery

My Mom, Anna – declining health concerns

In the photo below: my sister Elena, who came from California to be with our Mom, our daughter Stacey (visiting from Florida) with our grandson Pierce. Mom is in a wheelchair at LifeCare Center of Ooltewah.


Celebrating Pierce’s 8 month birthday was a highlight this week 🙂


Be blessed. See some of you tonight and many more tomorrow morning.


Called into His Marvelous Light



MESSAGE. We know that Christ came to earth to do two things according to Mark: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NIV) As we seek to grow and become more like Christ, we need to learn how to live a life of service. This will help us create a lasting spiritual legacy.

The man who blesses society, and makes a success of life, is the one who, whether educated or uneducated, uses all his powers in the service of God and his fellow men.— EGW, (The Southern Watchman, April 2, 1903.)

This Sabbath morning I will continue my series on 1 Peter. Please, read chapter 2.

MINISTRY. Last Sabbath weekend was super busy for many of our church ministries. Two services were beautified by the OAKS Bell Choir. Later that afternoon church elders got together for a monthly elders’ meeting. After the elders meeting I praised God for the wonderful spirit of unity among our church leaders. Later that same night Singspiration gathered a good size crowd of those who love to praise God through hymns and music.

Pathfinders had boy and girl Lock Ins. The boys were in the OAKS gym. The girls had a great time in the church Fellowship hall until the burglar alarm auto-armed itself at 11 pm. The motion detectors started picking up even the slightest movement 😦 Alarms and loud sirens were going off. No security codes helped until Kent and Aaron manually took the control box apart. Thank you, Pathfinder leaders, for your ability to tackle any difficult situation in a bold and creative approach. Good job!

Sunday was cold and windy, but a band of OAKS and Bowman Hills school musicians was unstoppable. At 4 pm they had an outstanding performance on Cambridge Square in Ooltewah. What a great way to share the joy of the Gospel with our immediate community.

Both services tomorrow morning will take place in the Fellowship hall. We will have lots of great music. The church choir and band will be bringing praise and glory to God in their joint performance.

OSDA ChoirConcertPoster landscape

This weekend over twenty of our church ladies will be attending a Women’s Ministry program at Cohutta Springs. We will certainly miss them, but I believe that this will be a good learning and bonding experience.

The Men’s ministry needs your help. Here is a message from Edymar: “Good afternoon, men. It’s time to show our love in action.  I need a team of 6 to 8 guys who are able to paint, stain and help with a few projects around a house. We are planning to start and complete the project on 4/29. So if you are able to help, please email or text me as soon as possible.”

The Prayer Ministry group will gather in our home tomorrow after the second service for their Quarterly lunch/meeting. Thank you, prayer warriors, for your unquenchable  spirit of prayer. Your prayers are like blood vessels, bringing life to our church family.


Pete Rogers (heart valves issue, possible surgery)

Roger Wolve (battling cancer)

Bobby Meeks (heart issues, currently at Erlanger East hospital)

I’m writing this blog from a hospital room. My mother, Anna, has a number of serious health concerns. Your prayers are appreciated.

On a positive note, our daughter Dasha Crawford drove from Atlanta to spend the weekend with her other three sisters. Our oldest, Stacey, and our 8 month old grandson Pierce came from Florida to visit us for a few days ! What fun it is to play with Pierce! 🙂 He is planning on attending the Cradle Roll Sabbath school class tomorrow morning.

Love One Another


MESSAGE. “Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.” (David Wilkerson).  In his first letter, apostle Peter is reflecting on the matters of practical Christian living. In chapter one his emphasis is on holiness. If we claim that we are the children of God we’ll reveal it by loving one another. “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” 1 Peter 1:22. We love God because He gave us His Son, Jesus; but why should we love other people?

Tomorrow morning I’m starting a new short sermon series on 1 Peter.

MINISTRY. Ooltewah church is known for its music ministry. We are blessed with great pianists, organists, and trumpet players! Last Sabbath our worship service spirit was uplifted by an awesome choir performance. Thank you, choir members, Thank You, Larry! The church choir will sing again next week with a bonus program in the afternoon. Tomorrow, OAKS Bells will play for both services. I am sure you’ll not want to miss church tomorrow.

Cereal Barrel ministry is providing food for hundreds of individuals in our own community. Some weeks I see the barrel overflowing with cereal boxes. However, I noticed that in the last couple of weeks our barrel was half empty. If the Lord is inviting you to help our community through this ministry don’t wait for too long. He needs you now :-)!

Remember our prayers for a miracle in the local church church budget for the month of March? I know that many of you responded to a challenge and gave extra. Thank you, church! We met our goal in March and covered the deficit of the previous two months! Please remember to say a prayer of praise for the Spirit of God working in this church.

This week I received a photo from the orphanage in Eastern Ukraine. On the photo (posted below) you can see children drinking water. This purified water is delivered daily to the orphanage because of your support of the Light of Hope ministry. In June I’m heading back to the war zone of Eastern Ukraine. Please, keep this ministry in your prayers. Doors of religious freedom are rapidly closing in that region.


This Sunday OAKS and Bowman Hills schools band will perform on Cambridge Square in Ooltewah. The concert will start at 4 pm. Invite your family and friends. Come to enjoy the beautiful music. Free snacks and water will be provided by our church. Don’t forget to share Discovering Hope Bible seminar brochures with your friends.


Jerry Lastine

Roger Wolfe

Pete Roger

Easter Fowler


April NEWSLETTER is up on the church website. Click here to access the digital version. Thank you, Alisa! Great job!


There is a number of important announcements posted in this week’s church bulletin. Click here to open the bulletin.