Living for each other.

shutterstock_590600921The human body is the most complicated mechanism. The way it functions is absolutely fascinating. A strong and healthy body is actually built out of super tiny parts which we know as cells. They keep the body together and make it work like a flawless watch. The body cannot exist without cells and cells lose their meaning and function if separated from the body. This is a perfect illustration of the body of Christ and His church. There is no church without human beings- church members. This is the same way a human being separated from the church loses her/his place and meaning in the body of Christ. This is why the apostle Paul makes a strong emphasis on the importance of individual members and the unity of the spiritual body (1 Corinthians 12, etc). Do we do all it takes to keep our church a healthy and vibrant organism where every individual feels needed and appreciated?

Last Sunday night our church came together for our annual business meeting. It is at that meeting that we voted to embrace the ‘church cells’ concept as a complete makeover for our church. You’ll be hearing more from your pastors and elders about how you can be a part of this new nature of our church. If you are interested in learning and leading please contact one of your pastors and we’ll be helping you along the way. A training seminar will be scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks. Stay tuned. 

The business meeting also approved modified building plans and voted to start a building fundraising campaign called “Cornerstone Building Fund”.  These plans include a 510 seat sanctuary and new Sabbath school classes. I know we all hate to see how building material prices go out of control and we also do not like to pay interest on a construction loan. The more we raise now the less interest we’ll pay, therefore saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The goal is to raise 2.3 million dollars in the next 12 months! Any contributions to this fund need to be marked “Cornerstone Building Fund.” This line will be added to the online Tithe envelope ASAP. God is leading us forward! We do not want our children and youth to look back and say that we did not have the faith or courage to plan for the future ministry of this church. We are grateful to the pioneers of our church who stepped forward 50 years ago and built this church. Let us show that same faith in our vision for this wonderful Ooltewah SDA church.


The men of our church were blessed with a great program last Sunday. Here is Edymar and Matt Geraghty reporting: For those who were not able to make the men’s breakfast last weekend, you missed out and were missed. Thank you to EVERYONE who showed up early to prepare the feast we enjoyed together. Below is a recap from Matt Geraghty and attached are some pictures.  “The dictionary defines POWER as the: ability to act or produce an effect! read more So very true, isn’t it?  At the latest edition of Haney’s Hungry Hombres, we had a [click here for the full report]

Sabbath school council will meet tomorrow, May 1st at 4 PM. If you are a teacher or leader for one of our SS classes your participation is very important and needed. Please plan to attend in person. If you are out of town here is the ZOOM link:
Cooking class for this Sunday, May 2nd is cancelled due to a low number of those who registered for the seminar. We’ll plan it again sometime in the future. Thank you, Nelson Denver and your team, for your hard work in planning this event. 
Prayers continue for Joan Malloch who fell a few days ago and broke her hip. She was in surgery yesterday. Your prayerful support will be very much appreciated by this dear family.
Nancy Smiley is recovering after an unfortunate incident that happened last Sabbath afternoon. She has a few broken ribs and is currently undergoing tests. Please surround Nancy with your love and prayers. 
Have a blessed Sabbath day.
With Christian love,

The word of God kept on spreading


This week the Word of God has been spreading from our church “live” to the continents of Europe and Asia. I feel extremely honored to share the Three Angels message in the Russian language through the Hope Channel Russia, Hope Channel Ukraine, 3 ABN Russia and TBN Europe. Every day thousands of listeners across this vast territory learn about hope in Jesus. After the broadcast they stay for the “live” question and answer session, where they also share their prayer requests and ask for Bible studies. Call centers across the Euro-Asia Division receive their requests and connect them with local pastors. We may not have a fancy studio at our church, but we have a church family that believes in sharing the Gospel and leading people to Jesus. Thank you for your support and your prayers. This Sabbath is the final broadcast of this series.  Please pray for those who are just starting Bible studies in Europe and Asia.


imageHere is an invitation from Edymar, our Men’s Ministry leader: “You do not want to miss out on the blessing we have scheduled this Sunday at men’s breakfast. I had the opportunity of listening to Grant speak at the Rock-Solid men’s retreat back in March and it was powerful, dynamic and full of fervor for our Lord and Savior.  For those who do not know who Grant is, below is a little bio from the Blue Print for Men’s website. I hope you make every effort to attend this Sunday.  If you would like to help cook, we start at 7:30am in the fellowship hall. Otherwise, I hope to see you at 8:30am sharp! Now go and spread the word! Let’s show some support for our brother in Christ.”

GRANT GRAVES is a veteran educator, gifted speaker, and author.  His career path includes teaching from elementary through college and more recently as a corporate sales and marketing trainer.  He loves working out, listening to books and podcasts, and spending time with his wife Riley and their daughter Libby.  Recently he released his first book, “Fearless: Finding Courage in the Character of God”.  His dream is to one day hear Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful friend.”


On Thursday night we continued the Reversing Diabetes seminar. I was impressed with the efficiency and the spirit of hospitality showed by our volunteers. Sylvia Hyde has an excellent team of people willing to help and to serve. Thank you, Sylvia, for your hard work. This seminar has proved to be a blessing. 



Cereal Barrel ministry needs your support. Thank you for your consistent help in the past. Let us always remember about those in our community who cannot afford a box of cereal for breakfast for their family. Christ teaches us to care and to share. Thank you, Julia Easter, for coordinating this program.


Over the last couple of weeks the church Building committee, church Board and church elders met a number of times to review our church building plans and financial goals. Finally we are now ready for the Church Business meeting. The meeting will take place this Sunday @ 5 PM in the Fellowship Hall. I have invited two leaders from the Conference office who will bring their input and will be happy to answer our questions. Please, do not miss this important meeting. 

A few days ago I had a good talk with some members of the Hispanic Adventist Church who are building their church on Ooltewah-Ringgold Rd. They shared with me how Satan was trying to discourage their members from moving forward with the project when COVID hit the world. However, they did not allow doubts and fears to prevail. They are so excited that this project is vibrantly moving forward. God’s work needs to expand and to continue till the day we see Him coming in glory. 


PRAYERS. It is with great sadness and pain I share with you that early this week David Denton’s father and step-mother were involved in a terrible car accident. David’s step mother did not survive the accident. A memorial service was held for her this afternoon. David’s father, Melvin,  needs lots of prayers as he is recovering after the accident. Please uplift David, Becky and their whole family in your prayers as they go through this devastating experience of grief and pain. 

The driver in the other car who also did not survive the accident, is Michael Cylke, a former graduate of OAKS and used to be in our Pathfinder club. Please remember his family in your prayers as well. He was only 31. 


Let the Lord bless you as we are welcoming the Sabbath day.

See you tomorrow.

Your friend, 


Living a Pure Life


“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)   David said in the Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart O God.”  (Ps. 51:10). The more you grow in purity of heart, the more you will see God.  You will begin to see Him in all areas of life.  You will see Him in worship, see Him in his Word, and even when you face trials and temptations you will see God and His presence in your life.  This is easier to say than to do.  Just about the time you might feel you have victory in an area of life, Satan goes on the attack to trip you up.  However, do not lose hope my friends.  God is with you.  He is stronger than anything in this world.  He can give you the power (through the Holy Spirit) to overcome sin and temptation.  It is true that we will never attain perfection until the return of Christ but don’t allow Satan to have victory in your life.  Rely on God and give Him the glory for great things He has done.


Edwin Reynolds is reporting on the Health Ministry project: “The Reversing Diabetes seminar on Thursday night was a great success. The Wickhams presented on carbohydrates (pro and con), which was very helpful and informative. High-fiber lasagna made with brown rice noodles and black beans was served for everyone to illustrate a good balanced carbohydrate. It was not only healthy but quite tasty. Beside the 31 participants present (3 were absent), there were 8 spousal support people and visitors, and 35 volunteers. There was a lot of discussion at the tables between coaches and participants afterwards. The spirit was very good, and some commented after the seminar that this was the best, most practical seminar they had attended. Others have noted that it is well organized and runs smoothly. Changes are made each night to improve efficiency. We are grateful for the many volunteers who have worked hard to make this seminar a great success. I would add regarding the sack-lunch program that things went well also on Monday morning. We had plenty of help as the fifth-grade classroom came over and helped. We have gotten increasingly efficient, and are usually finished and cleaned up before 9:00. Thanks especially for the regular helpers that we depend on in order to keep things going even when the students are not available to assist us. The next sack-lunch event is on April 19. No need to call ahead. If you would like to help, just show up and we’ll put you to work.”



OAKS board met on Thursday night to make a historic decision. Here is a brief report from Shelly Caswell, our school principle: “In 2 Kings 6, the story is told of a school of the prophets that was too small. The students took the initiative and asked Elisha for his blessing to go and cut down trees to build a larger school. “The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, “The place where we’re staying is too small for us. Let’s go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some logs and make a place for us to live there.” When I read this story, I am reminded that having enough room to educate children has been a challenge since the times of Elisha. It’s encouraging that God has always led in providing materials and opportunities for our schools to fit more students.  

OAKS is embarking on an exciting journey of expanding the lower grade program to have each grade in single teacher classrooms. This will open up many more seats for students in our community who want to come and enroll in the unique, God filled program that we offer. Last night, the OAKS operating board voted to open a new classroom next year to accommodate more students in the elementary program. Enrollment for next year is already the highest in the history of OAKS, which is a tremendous blessing considering the pandemic dropped enrollment to 100 this last school year. There are some risks that come with this expansion, but God has clearly opened the doors, and we are continuing on our “faith walk” at OAKS.  Thank you for your continued prayers for OAKS. More information will be provided as details emerge. For now….tell your friends and neighbors….”the school of the prophets is expanding…..come and join us!”


On Tuesday night the Building committee met to review modified plans for the church building project. We had a thorough discussion. Lots of details were reviewed by the committee members. The modified version of the expansion helped to reduce the construction costs by a considerable amount. The committee voted to recommend these plans to the church Board. A special church Board meeting is scheduled for April 12, @ 7 PM. There will be only one item for discussion: church building plans. All church members are invited to attend. This will be a good time to hear the building committee report and to ask questions. Please keep this big project in your prayers.


William Dean Hall, is being dedicated tomorrow during the 11:30 AM service. William Dean is the youngest baby in Aaron and Alisa Hall’s family. Aaron’s father, pastor Richard Hall, will officiate the ceremony. Praise God for this sweet family.

Hall Family


Next Sabbath, April 17 is the opening night of the Light of Hope satellite evangelistic meetings in the Russian language to Eastern Europe and Asia. I feel humbled by this huge responsibility. It Is Written provided assistance with the prerecorded portion of this event. The “live” portion will be uplinked from my office daily at 12 noon, (7 PM local time in Moscow). In the next few days my office will be converted into a broadcasting studio. The program will continue daily from April 17 to April 24. Please pray for the people who will be watching and learning about the hope in Jesus on the other side of this planet.

Here is a promotional video in the Russian language 🙂

Happy Sabbath,

pastor Peter

From Death to Life



Christ had to die to set me free from the condemnation of sin. He chose this path because of His great love for His children. His resurrection became the guarantee of my victory over the darkness of sin and death. Stop hanging on to your own ways of victory. Our weapons will fail. Our recipes for happiness will prove to be wrong. Jesus is standing at the opening of His grave and offering us the joy of a new life. Give up your pride. Die to your selfish ambitions. Experience the joy of your own resurrection by the power of the same Spirit that brought Jesus back to life. “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)


Last night we had the second session of the Reversing Diabetes seminar. Here is an update from Sylvia Hyde: “The program went really well with the content.  People who wanted to just see what it was about decided to come back and buy the materials!  We’re still trying to figure out how many came because some walked in and didn’t sign in and then decided to get materials and come. We had about 65-70 people including the volunteers.  31 participants as I can tell at this point.  The lentil soup was delicious and the people really seemed to enjoy it.” 

I wish I had some photos to share from the seminar. I will definitely try to take some pictures next week.


Lupina Haney has been supporting the ladies from the Season of Change Ministry in many wonderful ways since they stopped their in-person monthly gatherings. This is the latest update from Lupina: “Tinker Fairies Cottage in Ooltewah created 150 cards for Season of Change. This is our Spring mail out for the widows since we have suspended our in person gatherings.” How thoughtful and sweet! Thank you, Lupina. 

I invite you to pray for OAKS. The enrollment this year is so high that the school board will meet for a special planning session next week. I am glad that our school leadership team is united in the vision of serving to the needs of the kids in our community. Let God’s will be done.

The Building committee will meet on April 6 to review the modified version of the church expansion plans and budgets. The committee’s recommendation will be taken to the Special meeting of the Church Board on April 12. This meeting will be dedicated to just one item: church expansion plans review and recommendations. I invite all church members to attend this meeting at 7 PM. We will have a discussion and time for prayer before the final recommendation is voted for the church business meeting later this month.


Read an encouraging message shared by Edymar Penagos, the Men’s Ministry leader:

“There were over 65 men who showed up to the Rock-Solid men’s retreat last weekend. The storms did not keep them from seeking fellowship with God and each other. I personally left reinvigorated, focused, and empowered to serve God with all of my being. 
Men, God has won the war! Praise Him! But there are still battles to be fought. “For our struggle is not about flesh and blood but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12. These battles are about salvation. He is not asking us to take lives, He is asking us to lay down our own lives for others. His justice is about saving lives, not destroying them. That is why God sent His only son to die for sins He did not commit. We must follow His example and do the same for others. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others” Philippians 2:3-4. “


Tomorrow is the Samaritan Center volunteer Sabbath night. I seek your help and support. Unfortunately both of your pastors will not be able to come tomorrow night. We need additional volunteers to step in and take our spots. Thank you in advance. For the last several months we have been having a steady group of those who are willing to help. Please plan to come at 8:30 PM. 

Singspiration with Ron Maloch will take place this Sabbath in the Sanctuary at 7 PM. The Fellowship Hall is reserved by the Southern Adventist University students who attend our church. Their parents are coming to spend this weekend here in Ooltewah. The students are planning to have the afternoon and the evening program together with their parents.


More info and helpful resources are available on our church website:

See you tomorrow! Praise God for the Living Savior!

pastor Peter