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You won’t find catfish in our chafing dishes, but you’ll get more than your fill of striped bass!

It's Pronounced Chowdah

by Bill Reynolds


We are thankful for the privilege God has given us to build a Free Will Baptist church in Rhode Island. Spreading the gospel in the Ocean State requires a real commitment to building relationships. Most folks around here won’t even talk about God with someone they know, never mind a stranger. We have been most successful reaching those with whom we have nurtured relationships of trust and respect. Ninety percent of those who visit our church are friends or relatives of church attendees who invite them. I encourage our church people to look for others with whom they can build a witnessing relationship.

Rhode Islanders can be very discerning as they listen to a sermon. When they have an issue with something I say, they question me. This is a good thing. It tells me they really pay attention. As long as I have a biblical answer, their questions are not a problem. When I don’t have a biblical answer, I apologize and say something like, “My brain wasn’t working when I said that.” They accept that. They understand we are not perfect. Of course, I do try to find answers to their questions when possible.

Anywhere you minister, you must be willing to serve people. In the North, that may mean shoveling snow from a driveway. People appreciate a pastor who will help them in the small things as well as the big things.

Each month, we host a fellowship meal at our church. The real difference between our fellowship meals in Rhode Island and in other places in the country is the food. Instead of a “pig-pickin,” we enjoy clam cakes and chowder. (It’s pronounced chow-dah.) Rather than fried chicken, we have lasagna.

You won’t find catfish in our chafing dishes, but you’ll get more than your fill of striped bass! Northerners sometimes get a bad rap about being unfriendly, but if you came to one of our fellowship meals (and we’d love to have you), you would learn quickly that this is not true.

We appreciate all the generosity with prayers, cards, and support. With your continued help and God’s continued blessing, Beacon Free Will Baptist Church will be a light for the Lord for years to come.


About the Writer: Bill Reynolds is a home missionary to North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Read more about the church at


©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists