news around the nation
The Home Missions Department exists to communicate the gospel,
make disciples, and plant new churches in the United States,
Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Find out more at www.homemissions.net.
Home Missions Welcomes New Missionaries
Brian and Melissa Lewis are moving to North Dallas, Texas, to join Randall and Collette Wright in planting a Free Will Baptist church. Brian graduated from Free Will Baptist Bible College in 1999 with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. He earned a degree in Elementary Education in 2005. Melissa graduated in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration. The couple has served for the past eight years at Oaklawn FWB Church in Chapmansboro, Tennessee. Brian and Melissa have two children: Camden (age 7) and Rory (age 4).
The North Dallas/Fort Worth population has grown approximately 1.3 million since 2000. It is the largest metropolitan area in Texas, the largest in the South, and the fourth largest in the nation. Please pray for this family as they begin the work of reaching the lost for Christ in North Texas. Side note: Melissa was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is undergoing treatment. Please pray for the Lewis family during this difficult time.
Missionary Boot Camp 2011
Antioch, TN—Six newly approved home missionaries descended upon the Home Missions office for Missionary Boot Camp, a training session for all new Free Will Baptist church planters. The missionaries had been raising support for individual projects and were anxious to get started with the basics of finding a place to meet and beginning outreach in their chosen areas. Although going through the church-planting process is the only way to fully understand the logistics involved, boot camp prepares missionaries for what they will face when they begin their work.
Photo, from left to right: David Crowe, Richard Atwood, Mark McCraney, Daryl Gaimes, Randall Wright, Timothy York, Heath Webb, Darin Alvis, Larry A. Powell
The groups spent time discussing tools and methods for evangelism, how to organize and conduct worship services, and general leadership strategies for their new churches. Lead missionaries—those going out alone or leading a team—were asked to submit a strategy for their first year along with a first-year budget.
Six men attended the boot camp: Daryl Grimes, Erie, Pennsylvania (lead missionary); Heath Webb, Boise, Idaho (lead missionary); Darin Alvis, Buffalo, NY (team missionary); Mark McCraney, Castle Rock, Colorado (team missionary), Randall Wright, Dallas, Texas (lead missionary); and Tim York, Buffalo, NY (team missionary).
Current home missionaries David Sexton and Marc Neppl (Suffolk, VA), Tim Riggs (Mobile, AL), and Jeff Goodman and Josh Bennett (Marana, AZ) spoke to the new missionaries via webcam. It is helpful for new missionaries to interact with those already on the field and at various stages in their church plants. The session led to a lengthy exchange of questions and answers.
The team-missionary concept has proven extremely helpful in planting churches. It provides someone to help shoulder the responsibility in many areas, provide Christian fellowship, and help with the tremendous amount of leg work. It helps to prevent the missionary from feeling alone and readily provides those who can help with the music and teaching.
Lay workers also provide great assistance in church planting. There are home missionaries who have been joined by families moving to the area, getting jobs, and will be working in the church plant.
If you could spend time with these missionaries, you would see men who have a real burden to see people saved and to start new Free Will Baptist churches. Be on the lookout for these men as they travel and tell others about their new ministry. They may be coming to an area near you for services.
George Lemelin, Ogema, Minnesota. Narrow Path Christian Academy is doing well, with a total of 10 students. Your prayers and support are making this school a reality.
Jeff Cates, Canyon, Texas. God is blessing the work. A young couple who recently moved from Oklahoma has agreed to work with the teen program. The church has started a preschool class, which means more rooms are needed for children.
Tim Osborn, Oakland, Tennessee. The past few months have been extremely challenging for the Osborn family. Tim was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer and continues to undergo therapy. Please pray for the Osborn family during this time. Also, remember their church in Oakland.
Chaplain (MAJ) David Spears, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Chaplain Spears was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and is undergoing treatment. Please pray for his family and his ministry during this time.
Tim Hodges, York, Pennsylvania. Tim and Jessica Hodges have relocated to York, Pennsylvania, to work with home missionaries Allen and Jenny Hall. They enjoyed a tremendous time during their work in Colorado and are following the Lord’s leading to York. They thank the Lord for allowing them to be part of yet another great ministry.