Be The Church



If my church is closed because of the pandemic what can I do? I can Be The Church! Each one of us is a living cell of the spiritual body of Christ. Christ is alive, and His Church is alive today. Don’t allow the virus or panic or fear to infect your spiritual cells. Let the blood of Jesus continue to circulate through your “sanctuary”, let the fresh Spirit breath the words of love and care through your “spiritual lungs”, let the living Word of God fill your lips with words of grace and your social media with the messages of hope, let the power of Christ strengthen your spiritual muscles in serving your community. While a virus may destroy the church, God builds up His sanctuary. Be the sanctuary in your home or your community.


Last Sabbath morning hundreds of our church members participated in the digital worship service. During the sermon I asked those who were watching to send me a text message. My phone was flooded right away with messages from many watching individually or together as families. That was really encouraging! Please keep sending your messages tomorrow. It helps me feel connected with all of you. It assures me of our spiritual spiritual unity. I was grateful to Larry and the choir for the excellent service in music and songs. Connie shared a perfect children’s story which helped our children get the sermon message in a simple way and with a beautiful illustration. Below are a couple of photos I received last Sabbath. Don’t forget to share your photos tomorrow, please 🙂


Church library. This morning while at church, I met Noah Banks, Moriah, and Noah’s mom, Joan Banks, sorting books for our church library. We prayed together asking God to bless this new initiative. Here is what Noah asked me to share with the church:  “Hey church family, we wanted to let you know that your church library is quickly growing with many wonderful books donated by fellow church members. Once the church is open we hope to have the church library ready for check out after we get our system in place. We want to personally thank our contributors for their donations and would like to ask if you have any books for donation please let us know so that we can get them and share them with our Ooltewah church family. We are looking for all kinds of books from marriage, family, men’s/ worms ministries, stories, study helpers, and all kinds of genres to give our library some diversity. We please ask that you look at the books and think if it is a kind of book that our church should carry and pending approval we can put it into the library. If you need more info please contact Noah Banks at (423) 599-3656 or Moriah Shadley at (256) 794-5492.”


SMALL GROUPS MINISTRY. Like never before, small groups ministry becomes crucially important in keeping our church alive and keeping it together. Here is a message sent by Lucas Patterson to the group leaders:

“You’re likely NOT meeting in your homes, but that doesn’t mean small groups have to stop. I see pictures of church members hiking with 8 or 9 other church members, so clearly some folks are still willing to gather and are prioritizing time with their friends. And speaking of nature, Pastor Kulakov has offered to let small groups meet outside at the church if you want. We can set up some folding tables in the grass and you can spread out to a safe distance. No offense to our church’s location—it’s relatively serene—but if you’re willing to meet outside I can probably think of more attractive locations (parks, etc). Either way, give it some thought.  What about the possibility of online studies using a Facebook group or videochat function? I’m no expert in either of those options, but have been doing group videochats with co-workers all week and I’m happy to help set you up to lead in this way should you want.

Please shoot me a reply and let me know the status of things with your small group. I encourage you, as the group leader, to be intentional about staying in touch with your group in the best way possible—whether that means meeting in person, online, or making regular phone calls to each participant (and encouraging them to do the same).”

Let me encourage our church members to build a beehive of  “small groups”. You can meet online or on the phone. Today is the day to act.

MEN’S MINISTRY is here for you.  Please read Edymar’s message: “Men, I hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well. I wanted to reach out to see if you or anyone you know (church member or not) needs assistants in the following ways:

  • Money for food?
  • Food?
  • Money for fixed expenses like a power bill, water bill, insurance bill, cell phone bill, etc?
  • Money for medicine?
  • Pickup and delivery of goods?
  • Someone to talk to and pray with?
  • Toys or games for kids?
  • Toilet paper and sanitizing products?
  • Repairs around the home?
  • Vehicle repairs?
Please know that I do take the current situation seriously and if we are called for assistance, we will use every precaution the CDC has recommended to prevent the spread of this virus. With that being said, I also want our brothers and sisters to know that God loves them, and that in times like this the church is still united and here for them. Even when the doors to the church building have been shut.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9″


Almost every day I am receiving phone calls from our church members offering help to deliver Sabbath school study guides, groceries, or any other needed supplies to our sick or elderly members. What a caring church we have!!! If you need help, please, do not hesitate to contact your elder, me, or Pastor Matthew. We are here to help.


This Sabbath, March 28, our live stream worship service will start at 9 am. We’ll have a children’s story and a song service. To watch the worship service go to and right there on the home page, click on the “ON AIR” blue box. If you go directly to YouTube, search for the Ooltewah Adventist Church channel.

Sabbath school study will start at around 10:20. If you do not stop the live stream after the worship service you’ll smoothly join the Sabbath school discussion.

Tithe and offerings is a sacred part of our worship service. You can easily participate by going to the church website and clicking on the ONLINE GIVING link. Your tithe automatically goes to the Conference account. Your support of the local church budget allows our church to continue its operation even at this dramatic time in the history of this world. Your local giving supports our ministries, church daily operations, utilities, and of course, over 60% of our local church budget goes to support our school and students attending Adventist academies. God bless bless for your generous and faithful support of our church and school.

If you prefer to write a check or donate cash you can always request a tithe envelope from the church office. Please call or text me and our office will deliver tithe envelopes to your front door.

Day of Prayer and Fasting 2020-04-04 Social Media Image

STUDENT AID REQUEST DEADLINE – The deadline to submit student aid applications is MONDAY, JUNE 15, AT NOON. Please email the church office at to request an application. Student Aid Forms must be completed every year.

The forms are also available on the church website (under CONTACT tab) or right here: Non Constituent Application 2020-2021, for Academy (1) Student Assistance Guidelines and Application 2020-2021 (1)

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