Bringing People to Jesus

It’s one thing to teach people about Jesus, but it is not the same as bringing someone to Jesus. People will want to come Jesus if my attitude, my life and my actions are saturated with the love and grace of Christ. They will want to have the same life changing experience as they see in my life. This is not a Bible study or theology class. This is changing everything in the way I relate to every human being around me. Christ was not dealing with perfect people. Most of the time He was in the company of broken, sinful souls. They wanted to be around Jesus because He was accepting them the way they were. He was treating them with love and respect. We are called to bring others to Christ.


On May 15 our church ladies had a great time together. Summer Bradford shared with me that it was “a beautiful day with beautiful flowers and fellowship.” Here are a few photos from their breakfast.


On Monday and Tuesday OAKS had two graduations. I was absolutely impressed with both programs. We have a wonderful school and great teachers. Here are a couple of photos from the graduation events:


I hope you remember camp meeting is starting next Wednesday on the campus of Southern Adventist University. Both of your pastors will be there the whole week. If you click on this link you can open the camp meeting website with the full schedule of presentations and seminars:


Next Sabbath, June 5, we’ll have both services at the regular times. There will be potluck after the second service. Everyone is invited.


Help for Ukraine continues to flow through the Light of Hope Ministry. I am so glad that we can help so many suffering people seeking food and safety. Last week we added one more region to the list of the refugee support areas. Hundreds of packets with food and hygiene items were distributed among the relocating families.

With your support we helped one of the orphanages with over 350 refugee children to acquire a commercial washing machine.

Next week my daughter Barby and one other Light of Hope ministry volunteer, Dana Ursulenko, will travel to Ukraine to work out the logistics for helping the orphans needing urgent medical treatment. Please remember Barby and Dana in your prayers. I’ll keep you posted as they travel through the war torn regions of Ukraine.

This Sabbath afternoon, May 28, you are invited to attend a musical concert prepared by Nataliya, who is from Ukraine herself. All donations received after the concert will be sent to the Dnepro region. If you write a check please make it payable to Ooltewah Church with a note “Light of Hope”.

Here is a link to the latest Light of Hope Newsletter.


Our June Bible seminar is starting on June 22 @ 6:30 PM. Here is the flyer


Happy Sabbath. See you in the morning.

pastor Peter

Learning to Trust God

My three year old granddaughter Mila loves to jump into my arms, especially when it seems risky. She does that with with laughs and giggles. The height does not terrify her because she trusts me. That trust is in her heart because she knows me. She knows how much I love her and care about her. As we grow we also need to learn how to take some risky leaps of faith. Learn to trust your Heavenly Father by spending time with Him. Get to know Him by talking to Him. Plan some spiritual adventures with Him. Your trust is not complete without taking a breath, looking straight into God’s eyes and jumping into His arms. That leap may be about embarking on some new ministry involvement, allocating more time for your Bible study, moving to a new area of mission work, or something else … something that you felt terrified to do because you didn’t know Him well enough.


Last Sabbath I experienced great joy baptizing Jesse Cruz. Below are a few photos taken by Michael Haughee:


That same morning we welcomed several other new members. Rachel Thomas, on the profession of faith,

Debbie Bee after her baptism at Cohutta Springs,

Elizabeth and John Belensky

Miriam May

Laura, Craig, Grace and (Abigail missing in the photo) Perez


David Reynolds and Matt Geraghty shared the following photos with me from the recent Pathfinder Investiture service.


From Shelly Caswell: “On Wednesday, May 11 the OAKS students spent an hour participating in their annual “Walk-a-thon” to raise money for a new playground. Students ranging in age from 6-14 years old spent an hour walking or running around the church and school, with sponsors pledging donations for each lap. Some students ran up to 5 miles during the hour. The day provided perfect weather and the students laughed and raced each other as they literally “stepped up”  to the challenge of raising the most money, or completing the most laps. 

Students have until May 20 to collect their donations. Prizes for the highest earners and the class with the most participation will be given on May 24.

We want to thank our parents and community for supporting our fundraising efforts. The students are excited to soon have an upgraded playground.


From Summer Bradford:

“Hi Pastor, here are some pictures from our widow’s brunch this morning! We had 14 attend and everything went wonderful!! A huge thank you to all those who helped make this a beautiful spread!! It was nice to serve these wonderful ladies.”


Your support for the people of Ukraine is absolutely overwhelming. In the last two months the Light of Hope ministry has already sent about $100,000 US. The contributions are also coming from donors across the Unites States. In the last two weeks we were able to provide food for the hundreds of orphans in various camps across Ukraine. Some of those orphanages are really close to the active war zones. Additional support was provided to the refugees in the Eastern Ukrainian conference. Bread delivery continues for the regions with limited food access. Just a couple of days ago we were able to buy a commercial washer and dryer for an orphanage camp with over 300 children. God bless you for your caring hearts and gifts.


Mark you calendars, the June Bible seminar dates are June 22-25.


This week I’d like to express my special appreciation to Bonnie Hicks, our Head Deaconess. She is always willing to go the extra mile in her service to our church. Thank you, Bonnie! We see your hard work and we all appreciate you very much.


Additional helpful resources and the church weekly bulletin are available here:

Both services this Sabbath will be led by our Youth and Earliteen. Exciting!

See you in the morning.


Pastor Peter