Hope in the Lord


MESSAGE. All have sinned, but “whoever believes in Him shall not perish.” We may feel like we’ve failed, but the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ offers us forgiveness and redemption. His love is unfailing and His redemption is complete. (Psalm 130)

MINISTRY. Our monthly Season of Change Luncheon is always a big deal.  Here is a brief report from Lupina: “The theme was ‘Happy Trails’. The Veggie BBQ was delicious (special thanks to Judy Thurmond). We had 61 attending that included 9 helpers and guests. Two members of SALT Came to help and learn about our ministry. Thank you Tui and Hula. We also had a wonderful skit presented by the third grade OAKS class of Margo Haughee.”

Our vibrant Men’s Ministry group met last Sunday morning. Here are some highlights shared by Edymar Penagos:

“For those who were not able to attend the breakfast last Sunday, you were missed! We had a great group of guys show-up. The food was wonderful and the conversation was even better (see attached photos). The topic we discussed was, the role of men in church. Is this something you have thought about or have questioned yourself? Below is some food for thought.
  • Women comprise more than 60% of the adults in the typical worship service in America.
  • No other religion suffers the enormous gender gaps that plague Christianity.
  • It’s not just attendance where men trail women. Men are less likely to lead, volunteer, and give in the church. They pray less, share their faith less, and read the Bible less.
  • The men who do go to church seem passive and bored. It’s often impossible to get churchgoing men to do anything other than attend services.
  • The church’s gender gap is often invisible because the top tier of church leadership is still heavily male. Over 90% of protestant pastors and 100% of Catholic priests are male. But Leon Podles put it best: “The modern church is an army of women led by a few male generals.”

Guys, the purpose of the topic was to get you think and my prayer will be that it leads you to God for answers and direction. Men need the church but, more importantly, the church needs men.”

Here is what we can do in practical terms:

“As many of you know, our beloved Mike Hughee is battling throat cancer and he needs our help to finish up a project that was started before his diagnosis. If you are comfortable with hammer and have a few hours this Sunday, please reach out to me. We currently have 3 guys and could use 3 or 4 more. The plan is to meet at Mikes home in Harrison at 8am and work until 2 or 3pm as a group. If you can come or stay later, that works too! We will be finishing up a small shed and putting up a privacy fence. Lets show Mike how much we love him!” Edymar Penagos.


Last Friday night was windy and chilly, but a camp fire on our church property brought together a group of young people for the monthly Vespers. The youth sang songs, made S’Mores, and David had the devotional. Jenny Spicer sent me this picture of the camp fire to prove that they truly had a warm spirit of worship that night 🙂





CHURCH YARD SALE – Our church yard sale will be held in the Fellowship Center on April 28 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monies raised will be used to help the Pathfinders replace stolen items as well as help for Oshkosh. Please donate gently used items and your time. Help is needed on Saturday night and Sunday. Please contact Jackie Rose at 423-244-5839, if you have any questions or need help with your donated items.


God cares for you


MESSAGE. My sermon for this Sabbath was born out of recent conversations with a number of our church members. I was asked the same question again and again in the last couple of weeks: ‘Does God really care about me?’ I wouldn’t argue that this is a valid question. The reality of this world is harsh. Someone young lost a job, someone else is battling cancer, a father is having serious issues with his two kids. How can I be sure that God truly cares? How can I know that I’m not on my own? Apostle Paul had a good reason to doubt God’s care while he was in a jail. However, he made a startling statement in Philippians 1:12 “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” He is celebrating while rotting in chains, “and I will continue to rejoice” (1:18). If we focus our attention on chains and bars, we lose sight of Christ, who is right next to us. He is holding our hand and saying, ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

MINISTRY. Last Monday night our church Board met for its monthly meeting. Encouraging reports were shared by the Juniors’ Sabbath school class and by the Pathfinders’ after their last week’ camping, and OAKS showed steady financial and educational results. One new initiative was shared by Lucas Patterson. He is encouraging the church to participate in the “Feed My Starving Children” ministry. If our church chooses to partner with three other area churches we could prepare hand-packed nutritious MannaPack™ meals specifically designed to assist in reversing and preventing undernutrition for a 100,000 kids. Lucas will gather more details in the next few weeks and will share them with the Board in April.

One of the highlights of the board meeting was a brief story shared by the SALT team. That same night they went out to offer Bible studies in the neighborhood around the church. God led them to a house adjacent to our church property. A lady recently moved into that house and was praying about someone to help her with Bible studies. That was a wonderful testimony encouraging us all to keep evangelism as our priority in everything we do.

54731146_10156989182786168_8269055218788859904_oHere is a report from pastor Matthew: “Last Sabbath a group of our teens and young adults traveled to Cartersville, Georgia for Regenerate, our conference’s annual youth and young adult festival. We worshiped together with hundreds of other youth and young adults from across the conference. The music was great; all of the worship leaders were young people themselves. We listened to inspiring messages from Pastor Mark Witas, who pastors the Sunnyside Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon. And we enjoyed a variety of afternoon activities; the improv room was a big hit.

As always, I want to thank our church family for your support of our youth and young adult ministries. Your generosity, prayers, and encouragement are much appreciated. Special thanks also to our youth leaders—Jenny Spicer, David Reynolds, and Sarah Penagos—and our young adult leader—Noah Banks—for their dedication and service. Also, this Friday evening our teens will be gathering at the church for our monthly youth Vespers.”


Saturday the Ooltewah Juniors class met for a hike on the SAU biology trail. The kids got to know one another more and even went geocaching. They had so much fun. They look forward to getting together again soon.


This morning I had a special blessing participating in the OAKS weekly chapel. Great music! Thank you, pastor Matthew and Wes Bradford. After the song service every grade reported on their support of a selected charity. Isn’t it great that our students care not only about their own school programs and projects, but also about community needs? Below is a video clip from the chapel.


Here are several pictures from the Pathfinder camping weekend (downloaded from Aaron Brewer’s Facebook without permission 😉


This coming weekend Michael Carducci of Coming Out Ministries will be at our church. He’s going to show their movie, Journey Interrupted, on Sabbath evening and again on Sunday afternoon. Click here to view the trailer

PRAYERS. Words of Praise for Mike Haughee. He is planning on coming to church this Sabbath! We will continue prayers for your full recovery, Michael.

Richard Dahlberg is at home on hospice care and appreciates your prayers.


On Friday evening, April 19, 2019, beginning at 7:00 p.m. the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church invites you to hear internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody, share a free Good Friday Gospel Concert entitled “Road to Calvary.”

This Sabbath we will launch the promotional campaign for our church’s outreach for Easter weekend.  The event is a concert from our own Steve Darmody, featuring songs of Calvary and the Cross.  But we need each of you to help.

This weekend we need individuals to take 11”x17” posters to their place of employment and display them.  Some of you have the skills to approach businesses, restaurants, and community spaces to ask the proprietor to allow you to display the poster.  We also have thousands of concert fliers for you to take to friends, neighbors, and work associates.  Face to face invitations mean 100 times more to people than the costly and impersonal approach of mailing fliers through the Post Office.  Think of four or five people and then take that number of fliers.  Make a private pact with God to find the time to reach out with a personal invitation.

Next week we will have 1,000 mini-posters to ask our members to spread like the leave of autumn.  These card stock, 5×7 mini posters can go up almost anywhere.  Be creative.  Staple one to a telephone poll near an intersection, stick it in a window at the mall, or tape one to your office door at work.  These can also be addressed and mailed as postcards as a follow-up contact to the individuals you have already invited.

This is personal ministry at its finest.  You will discover this to be a very easy personal ministry activity. Many of us only talk of our church and faith to people when we are having a crusade.  That’s too far of an emotional jump for most people.  That’s why a Community Concert is such a wonderful bridging event.  It is a first step to know and love us here at Ooltewah.  Let’s all get involved.


Thank you for your precious birthday cards and wishes on paper and on Facebook! 🙂 You are too kind to me.

See you tomorrow.


Pray without ceasing…


MESSAGE. Everyday we hear about innocent people dying. We wake up to the news of massacres, school shootings, and unnecessary pain. What can we do to help? Is there anything in our power to help? My resources may be limited. My influence may be totally insignificant. However, I can pray. I can pray for comfort for those who are hurting. I may pray for the Lord to come soon. I may pray for the words of the blessed hope to be heard by those who live in darkness and despair. “Pray without ceasing …” God Almighty is still in control.

MINISTRY. My life is gradually getting back to normal after a two week mission trip to Ukraine and Russia. Last Sabbath I was happy to share with the church a brief overview of the mission, but that was just a fraction of all the stories, pictures, and emotions that overwhelm my heart. Below is a 90 second video of the photos I shared during the sermon last week. More will come in the form of a Newsletter by the end of this month. Please, continue to pray for all those dear people who continue to attend the meetings and are studying with local pastors.



Last Sabbath we celebrated the beautiful baptism of Angeline Zhang. Elder Ron Malloch studied with Angeline for several months, preparing her for this wonderful decision.



Building Hope Logo SmallThe OAKS renovation is just a few weeks away. Here is an update from Shelly Turkenkopf: “Our fundraising for our new roof is still in full swing and the students are gearing up for one more fundraising push before the school year ends. The final costs may be higher than first expected, but once the work is done OAKS will be in a strong position to provide a safe and comfortable facility for many years to come. There have been a few new small leaks that new patches have quickly fixed. Overall the building feels dry and secure from imminent disaster. I am weekly amazed by the generosity and support of our church and community. The students see it too in the endless hours of volunteers we have in our building. Thank you to each and every person who is giving systematically to our Building Hope fund. We are still anticipating a summer roof replacement if that is the Lord’s timeline. Please continue to be prayer for the students and staff at OAKS as we wrap up the school year.”

You Give Them Food. Last Sabbath while many of us were still in bed over a dozen volunteers from our church were downtown Chattanooga fixing breakfast for the homeless. What great ministry this is! Thank you to all who were there, showing the love of God in action.



Love In Action. Read below Edymar’s report about February Men’s Ministry breakfast and activities:

“We set February’s breakfast aside to share. We went around the table and welcomed others into our lives with praise and pray requests. Amongst the praise, it became evident that many of us struggling. But we should not fear! God is with us and He ready to turn our pain into praise. One of my new favorite verses is Psalms 94:19: When anxiety was great with me, your consolation brought me joy. I will be praying for you all.
Love in Action:
Our beloved Ms. Bird needed some last minute help moving from one unit to the other at her assisted living apartment. Thank you David Denton for connecting us to Ms. Bird and thank you Kevin Hicks for your help. Attached a photo of Ms. Bird riding on the luggage rack, keep in mind she is 94 years young!”


STEWARDSHIP – “Giving to God, being financially faithful is not just a spiritual commitment or a philosophical choice. It is by far the most significant financial factor for life management. We acknowledge that God created everything and therefore He owns everything, This is a foundational principle for Biblical money management.” ~ Stewardship & Everything by Mitch Hazekamp

PS. Our pastor Mitch Hazekamp passed away this Wednesday night. Please, remember his family in prayers.

Religious Liberty Emphasis Sabbath.

This Sabbath our guest-speaker for both services is Ms. Amireh Al-Haddad, Religious Liberty Department Director for Southern Union Conference. You can read more about the speaker here: https://www.southernunion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Amireh_Al_Haddad.pdf 

Fellowship Meal. Please join us this Sabbath for our church Fellowship Lunch following the second service. Please bring enough food for your family and guests.

PRAYERS. On Wednesday Mike Haughee completed his cancer treatment. Praise keep him in prayers daily. He’s feeling weak, but his faith is strong!

Richard Dahlberg is now on a hospice care in his home. Prayers, please for Adele and Richard.

Looking Forward: