Doing good.


MESSAGE. It is in tough times that our true nature becomes obvious. The recent tornado in our own community caused unimaginable pain to hundreds of residents. At that same time my phone was flooded with phone calls and text messages from our church members offering help. It showed me how many loving people we have in our congregation. They were ready to cook food, deliver generators, cut branches and broken trees, etc, etc. I praise God for each one of you who followed the example of Jesus and went into the community “doing good” (Acts 10:38.)


Following the devastation caused by the tornado on Easter night, our neigborhs have many needs. We also have so many people willing to jump in and work hard to help those impacted by the storm and it is a blessing to see! Last Friday we had over 30 people come out to volunteer in the community. Organized by the Love In Action ministry, volunteers divided up into four teams and went to four locations to offer help. Those four locations turned into eight as we made connections with neighbors and learned of others we could help. Four of the families helped were from our church family and the other four were points of outreach. An additional team of nine went out on Sabbath to help a family with immediate need caused by the rain that was to come that night.
Our volunteers worked all day long with chainsaws, wheelbarrows, hatchets, rakes and a whole lot of muscle. We were able to remove trees from rooftops, chop and untangle mounds and mounds of mangled trees and do some yard clean up as well. The work was hard, but the workers were many and much was accomplished. The spirit of service and determination was energizing! A huge thank you to those that came out to help and who found additional opportunities to help our community. The support and love has been felt again and again by those hit by the storm. And an even bigger thank you to our God for keeping us all safe as we engaged in sometimes dangerous work to help meet the needs of others.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the community and we will continue asking God to show us the opportunities He has lined up for us to take care of others. If you would like to be notified of upcoming volunteer days, please contact Edymar Penagos at 813-541-2184 or


Here is more received from Mike Haughee:

760Hope Awakens. The It Is Written meetings are bringing the message of hope into our homes. Just in the area around our church, sixty people haver registered for the meetings. We need to do our part and connect with these people to help them with Bible studies. I am very encouraged that we have a team of volunteers who are staying on top of this important task. I am grateful to Mike Doucoumes for his great job in coordinating this effort.

Here is an update form Mike Doucoumes: “The church has been actively involved in It is Written’s Hope Awakens evangelistic series, with John Bradshaw. Ooltewah Church has 15 Virtual Bible Workers (VBWs) who are following up around 65 interests who have registered for the series. As far as we know, these are non- SDAs and we have checked their names in e Adventists and we did not find them there. Our Bible workers are sending e-mails to the interests with friendly messages and pdf books attached in an attempt to build relationships with these viewers. Across the U.S. there are 70,000 people viewing this series. Please pray for Elder Bradshaw that he will he strengthened by God so he can continue to bring such powerful messages as he has thus far. And pray for our VBWs, as well as the VBWs all over the U.S. and pray for our interests and the country’s interests. We hope to see hundreds of people baptized as a result of this series.”

To watch the messages go to

God’s Word is being preached to Europe and Asia in the Russian language from our own church. I was humbled by the request that came from the Euro-Asia Division to present a series of ten meetings to the millions living in that part of the world. Four times a week Hope Channel Ukraine and Hope Channel Russia deliver these messages straight from our Fellowship Hall. Wrapped in Steve Darmody’s songs and Jaime Jorge’s violin the sermons are being sent across the ocean. Hundreds of thousands are watching live on the internet, not even counting all those who watch in their homes via satellite  and cable networks. The response is overwhelming. Please continue to pray for Europe and Asia. Your support of the Light of Hope ministry is needed and greatly appreciated.


Shelter in Place order and our worship services. The Tennessee state authorities are planning on a gradual reopening of businesses beginning May 1. Let the Lord give wisdom to our governor and our county mayor. We all want it to be done right. With churches being a place where people are in very close contact, we may wait a few more weeks before we resume our regular in-person worship services. The Church board meeting will discuss this matter this coming Monday night. I will keep you posted on the final decision of the board.

This Sabbath, April 25, once again we will worship in our homes with a live stream from our church starting at 9 am. I am sure by this time you have figured out how to access the video stream from our church website. But just in case here are simple instructions: go to, at the bottom of the main page you will see this box online services

click on right before 9 am or any time after 9 am and join the service.

If you use Facebook then go to our official Ooltewah Seventh Day Adventist page and right at around 9 am you will see a post inviting you to watch the service live.

The Blessing of Giving. Are we not grateful that in spite of all the hardships we have gone through in the last six weeks, we still have food eat and warm beds to sleep in. I am absolutely sure that God will continue to take care of His children. Let us show our love to God and His church by bringing our tithes and offerings this Sabbath. This is the last Sabbath of April. I invite you to show faith by supporting your local church and school.  To make a donation visit our church website and follow the ONLINE GIVING link. Paper tithe envelopes are available in the church office during normal office hours.

Attention families who are new to our church since September 2019 and families who were not able to participate in our directory photo session in September.
If you have a photo (jpeg) of your family that you would like to share for our online directory, please contact Mike Haughee by email ( It might take a couple of weeks for the updates to be downloaded but you will be notified when the updated directory is ready for viewing.
If you have any questions, please contact Mike.

Dr. Derek Heldzinger, MD is an SDA family physician who recently opened a Family Medical clinic in Ringgold. He is American Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine and received his certification in Lifestyle Medicine from Blackhills Education Institute as well.  He has also worked with Dr. Neil Nedley, running the residential Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program.

The clinic is located at 102 RBC Drive.  The phone number is: 423-827-4705.
Dr Heldzinger is accepting new patients and has a comprehensive lifestyle treatment approach, and understands vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

Elma Marie Heldzinger – Office Manager

Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the clinic. Posted in this blog per office manager’s request.

Please continue to pray for our church and our community.

Happy Sabbath,


“I am the resurrection and the life.”

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MESSAGE. “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 MSG

Pandemic kills; Jesus brings life! This is the message that we need to affirm today. As a caring parent by the bedside of a sick child, Christ is right next to each one of HIS children during this time of pain and suffering. He knows how to heal. He has the power to resurrect! Share this hope with one another today.



The April 4 Sabbath worship service united our church again in the spiritual reality of our online services. Lots of phone messages were going back and forth sharing praises and prayer requests. Pastor Matthew had an excellent children’s story based on his personal experience of God’s faithfulness during tough times. Wonderful songs by the Highlanders group reminded us about heaven without tears. Thank you, Larry! Greg and Arlene Leavitt blessed us all with a thorough Sabbath School lesson study. There were several other ZOOM studies going on at the same time. Hear a short message from the Herrell’s:Hi Pastor Peter, we enjoyed your sermon so much yesterday! It was very meaningful to us.  Thank you! I wanted to tell you that my mother’s favorite Bible verse in the whole Bible was Titus 2:13. My maiden name was Titus. My mother always clung to that wonderful blessed hope. I know I will see her again someday!  We had our own Sabbath school class on Zoom yesterday. That was our Discipleship Class. Mike was the facilitator as usual. Fifteen of us met together on there! It was wonderful. We plan to do it every Sabbath from now on until we can meet back at church.”

Jenny Spicer and Pastor Matthew led the Youth Sabbath school class. Their class will meet again this Sabbath at 10:15 am. Cory Goss is planning on starting a ZOOM Sabbath class for the Primary age group tomorrow at 11:15, after the Adult Sabbath study is over.   How exciting that we can still study God’s Word and worship Him at this time.

April 11 Worship Service will go live at 9 am at . Let the Spirit of God keep us together in worship and in study through this new Sabbath day.

HOPE AWAKENS. We are exactly a week away from the opening night of the It Is Written online evangelistic meetings. Our church registered to be a part of this virtual outreach. Please visit the It Is Written resources available online, and share the news with your friends and family.

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Click here to register and to learn more about the upcoming seminar.

Light of Hope Ministry. COVID19 is hitting every possible nation of the world and is wreaking financial and economic havoc. The Euro-Asia Division based in Moscow, Russia asked me to present a series of evangelistic meetings starting April 17. I will be preaching in Russian from Ooltewah, and the Hope Channels Russia and Ukraine will be broadcasting it across Eastern Europe and Asia. People living in those countries need hope and encouragement. I am humbled by this request and solicit your prayers. Steve Darmody and Jaimy Jorge graciously agreed to be a part of this unprecedented global evangelistic event. We are just a few days away from the opening night of the meetings. Please keep the Light of Hope Ministry in your prayers. Below is a 40 second promotional video in the Russian language used by our churches and satellite networks in preparation for the event.

PRAYERS. I invite you to pray for our church and our community. Pray for those who lost their income. Pray for the healthcare professionals from our church as well as around the globe. They are on the battlefield of a real war. Pray for the young couples with little children. Pray for our OAKS students and the school teachers. Pray for those volunteers who help with food and household supply deliveries. Pray to find your place in the ministry to the discouraged and the struggling souls around us.

Pray for Pastor Matthew as he’ll be sharing the message of hope tomorrow.

widowsGod bless you for your faithfulness in bringing your tithes and offerings. Last week many drove by the church and dropped their tithe envelopes into the “secure offerings mail box” by the office door. Others used the online Adventist Giving option. COVID19 will not stop us from supporting the work of God’s Church! Here is a link to the Online Giving

Church bulletin is also updated every week and you can access it at anytime by visiting our church website

FROM MY HEART. This weekend was planned a year ago as a time to celebrate our youngest daughter’s wedding. COVID19 closed the doors for a big event. Our family members cannot travel to attend the ceremony, but the wedding is still taking place. We agreed to pray over this new union of hearts right at the sundown time this Sabbath night. The ceremony will take place in our back yard. We cut a couple of trees, set a few stumps (for 10 people 🙂 ), put together an arch made of our of own tree branches. Please remember our daughter Barby and her fiancé Jared in your prayers as they will be joined in marriage by the end of the day tomorrow.


Encouragement during COVID-19

save-imageMESSAGE. The daily news of the growing coronavirus cases and deaths makes my heart bleed. The new Hamilton county order to shelter in place makes me think of those who lost their income due to closed businesses. Driving by churches with closed doors brings a terrifying feeling of a ‘doomsday scenario.” With this dark reality weighing heavy on my heart, I keep opening God’s Word. It gives me hope that God is still with us. I begin to realize as never before that hope is a lifebelt from the heavenly Father “who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thessalonians 2:16). With all the bad news there is good hope!

MINISTRY. Our church is a living church in spite of the closed doors. Last Sabbath hundreds of fiber optics internet strings connected us together in the joy of Sabbath worship. Thank you all, who sent text messages while you were participating in the online worship service. I hope to hear from y’all again this Sabbath (it does not matter what time you watch the service…just send a short text or a prayer request. My number is 678-571-1743). Below is a photo from the Kulik’s home. Maggie liked the worship service!


0BDECD80-9742-4A1D-AFE0-E2CCABA4CFEFOn Monday night our Church Board had a virtual meeting. I was impressed to see thirty two members join the ZOOM room. Thank God we have this option in the time of sheltering in place and social distancing. The Board prayed for our community, our nation, and the whole world. After reviewing the February financial statements we praised God for the faithful and generous giving of our church members. The local church budget was met, all the bills were paid, all ministries received their allocations. How wonderful! However, I was even more encouraged today when the church Treasurer, Rita Rogers, shared with me the good news of your giving in March. Once again your contributions to the local budget reached (and even slightly exceeded) the set goal for the month! This church believes in sharing the Gospel no matter what!

With the shelter in place order we cannot proceed with our plans for our own spring evangelistic meetings. This, however, does not mean that we’ll remain silent. The church board voted to join the It Is Written online evangelistic meetings scheduled to start on April 17. In the next few days you’ll receive, by email, and see on Facebook promotional material for the meetings. Please, plan on your own participation as well as sharing these digital flyers with your friends and family. Use your email, repost these flyers on your Facebook page. Stay home, and be creative. Pray for the thousands of people in our community to watch these meetings. More info is coming in the next few days.

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OAKS. OAKS is moving forward bravely into the new world of online schooling. There are many neat things that this system can create for students. Please pray for our teachers and students as they navigate this new challenge.


On Sabbath afternoon a couple of our prayer worries walked around the Morning Pointe Assisted Living Center. They prayed for the residents and decorated their windows 🙂 Sue Wiley share this photo with me.  Thank you, ladies!




Men’s Ministry remains active in service and prayers for one another. Thank you, Edymar, for providing spiritual guidance to the men of our church. Below is Edymar’s latest update and photos.

“I wanted to share a few things with you and also let you know that each of you, as well as your families, are in my prayers. With all the uncertainty out there, let us not forgot that God who spoke ALL things into existence is with you and you can take that to the bank! “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Love in ActionWe recently completed a screened-in porch for a special lady whose trust was taken advantage of by someone who could use our prayers. Thank you, Geofrey Jenses, Barry Tryon, Chester Caswell, David Denton and our foreman, Darren Downey. You guys embodied and demonstrated Christ’s command to “love our neighbors.” I have found that when I am most stressed about my life, focusing on others really helps! Aren’t Gods directions on how we should live our lives so amazing!?

Men’s Sabbath School class: Guys, I want to encourage you to reach out to others (especially those who might not have the same support and resources as you) and either start a virtual group or join a group during this isolation period. It will help with the psychological impact of the physical separation. One option is our sabbath school class this Saturday at 10:30am which you can join using the Zoom link below. For those that want to participate, please watch “The Echo” by Andy Stanley. This is the finale in his series “Future Family” and can be found on RightNow Media. If you are unable to view the video before Sabbath, don’t let that stop you from joining class. Thank you, Lucas Patterson, for leading this virtual segment of our class. I really enjoyed it last week! (see attached photo, sorry David Denton) Link for the meeting:

 Here is a testimony about the men’s class from Luis Rivera:  “I love that we can openly share and not be judged, and I think it’s because most of us either are going through or have gone through or know someone whose gone through a similar experience. I love that we are breaking down the lie that men aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings or aren’t supposed to show emotion. I love the various ages that are in our class and that despite the gaps we can still learn from each other. We have great discussions and am so happy when I hear younger men say they enjoyed the class even though they stayed quiet. I feel it is imperative to have a class like this because men need each other, we were not meant to go through life alone, Jesus didn’t so there is no reason we should. The devil can do a lot of damage when we isolate ourselves and shut down everyone around us and try to be the lone wolf/hero. I pray that the class continues to grow and that us men grow closer together and to God. Thank you to everyone who makes this class happen and to those who continue to share and pray for each other.”

 Mountain Bike Ministry: One way that you can get out into nature while still observing current TN recommended guidelines for social distancing is to get on a bike and join our mountain biking group! No need to be close to anyone in order to share some fun on a trail! If you are interested, contact David Denton at 423-505-7878 or

Lastly, I know these are challenging times and we are all doing the best we can. We also know that our loving Father uses challenges to draw us closer to Him. I would love to hear and share how He is accomplishing this in your life. How are you seeing His hand in your life these days? “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21″ 

You are in my prayers daily. Let the Spirit of God unite us in the Sabbath morning worship service on YouTube.

Hugs from Galena and I.