The Power of Faith



“We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.”
Ellen G. White (COL, 146)


CHURCH MINISTRY EXPANSION PLANS. Our church members who attended the town hall meeting last Saturday night were introduced to the conceptual drawing for the new sanctuary and the new Sabbath School class wing. The sanctuary is being planned for six hundred seats. This number is less than our current membership of 730, but more than our average Sabbath attendance of about 450-500. This way the proposed new sanctuary is planned simply to accommodate the needs of our current membership. The total projected  building cost is 5.5 million. On March 7 the whole church is invited to a business meeting where we will need to vote on the proposed drawings and the capital fundraising campaign. Let the Spirit of God guide us in the right direction. He gave boldness and courage to the pioneers of this church fifty years ago. He has been with this church up to this day blessing the amazing growth of this congregation from 85 members to 730. I have no doubt that He will continue to guide this church in the future until the day of His glorious appearing.

BUSINESS MEETING. On Monday night, at the church Board meeting, we had an active discussion of the future of our ministry. The Board affirmed the Church Manual policy on business meeting voting. There will be no provision for early voting or voting by proxy. You need to be present to express your position on the voted items.

EVANGELISM. I was very encouraged by the support this church is giving to public Evangelism. The Board of Elders, as well as the Church Board, approved the concept of Spring Evangelism. You will be hearing a lot more about the upcoming health, music, and community service projects leading to a Bible Seminar in May of 2020. I hope you will be actively participating in the outreach ministry of your beloved church. Jesus is coming soon. People in our community need to hear the Good News of salvation.

TRAINING. One of the building blocks of evangelism is our engagement in offering personal Bible studies. I’m grateful to elder Mike Doucoumes for inviting his daughter Michelle to train us in giving successful Bible studies. The first training event is tomorrow right after the second service. Lunch is provided for the seminar participants.


Volunteer for Global Service Project. Thank you for signing up during the past two weeks to volunteer with “Feed My Starving Children,” a March 14 mission event where our church—along with two other local churches—will help pack more than 100,000 meals of rice, soy, and vitamins to send overseas. This is a great opportunity to serve alongside your friends, family, and neighbors. We have raised all the money we need. Now we are simply asking for your time, and more than 120 of you have already signed up! There are three volunteer slots available for the packing event which will be held at our neighbor’s facility, the Ooltewah United Methodist Church: 9-11 am (4 slots still available), 12-2 pm (10 slots still available), and 2:30-4:30 pm (15 slots still available). Email project organizer Lucas Patterson with your questions or to sign up. Sign up form is also available on the Community Services webpage here.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to the deaconesses of our church who provided a wonderful meal for Opal Vega’s memorial service last Sunday. Your hard work is a witness to what the Spirit of God is doing in this church.


OAKS Music & Marinara planning crew worked from early Sunday morning fully transforming our Fellowship Hall. They put so much effort and love into making this a very successful event. Here is what I read in the school newsletter:
“Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to raise
$3,039 from Music & Marinara and $65 from the bake
sale afterward. These donations will go toward the band
trip. We were also given a generous donation for the
band program. Thank you so much for your support!”

The Sabbath School Council met on Wednesday night to review the ministry joys and challenges. I’m extremely grateful to all SS leaders and teachers for their passionate ministry. It requires serious study and commitment to be ready to lead your class discussion every week. A few weeks ago Sarah Penagos stepped down from the SS Superintendent position. Her leadership was truly inspiring for us all. I hope after a much needed spiritual sabbatical Sarah will come back refreshed to continue in a leadership role.

The SS council voted to start a New Beginnings class for those who are new to the Adventist doctrine. The class will be meeting in the school building. Watch for the official announcement and the starting date.

Men’s Ministry update by Edymar Penagos:

“Happy Friday! Anyone else as glad as me that tomorrow is Sabbath?

If you were not able to attend the Haney Hungry Hombres (HHH) breakfast last Sunday, boy did you miss a powerful meeting. We had around 30 guys show up hungry and ready for fellowship. Even though we had planned for a short devotional and budget discussion, we had church that went for an hour and could have kept going.
What I mean by church is that we praised and celebrated God together by sharing all that He continuously does for us. Guys shared the promises He has faithfully kept and the tough situations He has delivered them from. There was real fellowship, a closeness to the spirit and each other that I and others felt in the room. Attached is a picture of the group and below are a few testimonials from the guys. Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” 
“Hi Edy,  Words cannot come out of my mouth of how impressed with last Sunday’s meeting.  I was so emotionally moved by the wonderful testimonies the different fellow shared.  I appreciated the openness the fellows shared with us and how the entire group was so impressed and moved by those who shared.  I am so proud to be part of the best church I have ever attended.  I have been in the church 50 years and never had the opportunity to witness such a powerful experience among men in church.  Some shed tears and others were moved as well with their testimony.  I am so glad I made the decision to attend that meeting on Sunday.  What a grand experience.  Sincerely,” Fred Turner
“Loved the fellowship, men crying, and being emotional, and the food.” Micah Guster
“This week I enjoyed having a select few guys sharing their favorite or meaningful scripture and how it effected their life. On a regular basis, I enjoy the fellowship with the guys while we cook. Arron Brewer
Men, I shared a picture of the group because we are one body, and a body missing parts is incomplete. If you have never attended one of these breakfasts or the men’s sabbath school class, I hope you will consider joining us next time. Corinthians 12:26 “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
In addition:
David Denton has relaunched the “mountain bike small group” and we are trying to come up with a name, so far at the top of the list is the Holly Rollers or Bikecipes. We had our 2nd ride last Sunday, and had a blast. See attached picture. If you would like to learn more or join the group, please contact David Denton at 423-505-7878. THIS IS FOR EVERYONE not just guys.
Coming up soon on 4/3-5, Blue Print for men is having a recharge retreat, link with info is below. I will be there and if you would like to join, don’t forget to register ASAP. If you or know of someone you know could use a recharge but needs some final assistance, please get with me.



Betty Chastain had a heart procedure this morning. She is on her way home. Everything went well. Prayers of praise!

Pastor Matthew has been very sick for the last few days. Please pray for Matthew.

My dear wife Galina has been sick for over a week. We are trying to figure out what’s causing her condition. Your prayers are needed and appreciated.


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