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news around the nation

For more information about the FWB Home Missions Department (now North American Ministries), please visit

Heritage fwb church reaches self-supporting status

LACONIA, NH “Thank you, Brother Joel. It is my distinct privilege and pleasure to be with you on this momentous occasion of your mission going self-supporting.” With those words, we launched the organizational service for Heritage Free Will Baptist Church of Laconia, New Hampshire, August 21, 2005.

We are grateful for Joel and Hope Nason and their children and for the excellent work they have accomplished in Laconia. It was my joy to express appreciation to the 100 people gathered in a beautiful facility across from the high school in downtown Laconia.

Visiting pastor, Rev. Jim Nason, acted as moderator and led the group to adopt
their constitution and by-laws and extended the invitation for charter membership to the church. After the official signing of the charter, Bro. Nason stated, “As an
ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, I declare this
body of God’s people be duly recognized as a true Bible-believing church, with
the Lord Jesus Christ as its official and exclusive Head.” The church called Dr.
Joel Nason to be the first pastor, and Dr. Nason accepted. Joel and Hope are
making plans to parent another work in New Hampshire. Information on the
project will be forthcoming.

Larry A. Powell, general director
Home Missions Department

To learn more about the Heritage FWB Church, visit their website at


ALTAMIRA, MX The Home Missions Department congratulates the Mexico Association of Free Will Baptists for beginning construction of a convention center on the campus of their seminary in Altamira, Mexico. When completed, the center will seat approximately 1,000 and will serve as the site of the annual Mexico National Convention (and other large meetings). Under the able leadership of Rev. Inocente Pacheco, moderator of the association, member churches in the association are raising the money for construction and doing the work themselves. If you can help with this project or would like more information, contact the Home Missions Department toll-free (877) 767-7674.


FEDERAL, MX On June 1, 2005, Moderator Luis Felipe Tijerina traveled to the Federal District and met with Mexico’s secretary of religious affairs. He received the official document of registration for the Association of Free Will Baptists in Mexico. This culminates two and a half years of work by the leaders of the association. Registration will protect Free Will Baptist assets within Mexico and will allow pastors to receive social security benefits and medical coverage.

If you would like more information on missions in Mexico and the Seminary of the Cross, contact the Home Missions Department, P.O. Box 5002, Antioch, 37011-5002.



Rev. Freddy and Katherine Gillentine have been recently appointed as missionaries to Abilene, TX.  Their work will be a joint/associate project with the Texas Mission Board and the National Home Missions Department. Freddy and Katherine have two sons, Timothy (10) and Jeremy (8). Freddy has been an ordained FWB minister for 17 years. The Gillentines are already in Abilene, and have launched their mission work. Eight adults and two young people were present for the first meeting in a rented, store-front facility.


ROCHESTER, NY The Home Missions Office announces the appointment of Dana and Betty Booth as national home missionaries to Rochester, NY. The Booths come from Freedom FWB Church in Plain City, Ohio. A veteran church planter, he will bring valuable  experience to this new project. The state of New York has been untapped for Free Will Baptists until recently. The Booths are excited about the prospect of developing a FWB presence in this area.













CHICAGO, IL Home Missionary David Potete decided to run in the 2005 Chicago Marathon to raise funds for the church mortgage. After the race, he found the event difficult to describe. “I cannot put into words how cool it was to run in this marathon. This is one of those life experiences that really has an impact on a person; at least it did on me. The crowd was unbelievable! I felt so affirmed by over a million strangers cheering us on! And running through the neighborhoods of Chicago—WOW! I never thought I could love this city more, and yet now I do. Without exaggeration, this is definitely one of the top ten events in my life. What an experience!”

Potete ran the marathon in 4:34:06—19,664 out of about 40,000 entrants. Unlike many runners, he ran without injury. “I really could feel a lot of people praying for me. My first goal was to finish. My second goal was to break five hours and, according to my training times, it should have been close. It turned out to be a great day where everything came together just right.” David went on to explain that the last few miles were rough. Nearly 7,000 people quit the race, but for David quitting was not an option.

Donors pledged $23,000.00 for the run. And since the marathon campaign began in May, the church mortgage has dropped from $91,000.00 to $52,000.00. The net effect will reduce the principal on the church mortgage by $62,000.00!

David says, “I want to thank so many who support our urban mission work in Chicago, both my mission account, as well as the debt-reduction campaign. After buying a building in September of 2000 for $445,000.00, and spending around $100,000.00 for professional fees and remodeling, being this close to debt-free is nothing less than miraculous. I express gratitude to many Free Will Baptists around the country, and to God be the glory!”


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO The Home Missions Department applauds Bob and Brenda Lewis for their work as home missionaries.

Bob came to the department with the burden on his heart to plant Free Will Baptist churches. God led Bob and Brenda to Williamsburg, VA where they established their first Home Missions church. Following the Lord’s leading, they moved to Colorado Springs, CO and established a Free Will Baptist Church there.

When Bob felt his work in Colorado Springs was finished, he and Brenda moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where he planted the Westgate Free Will Baptist Church.

Not only has this couple been dedicated in working for the Lord, their three sons have followed in their footsteps. Tim Lewis and his family are home missionaries to Ogden, UT; Brian and his family serve in Oak Lawn, TN, and Jonathan and his family minister in Erwin, TN.

Bob and Brenda are leaving the Grand Junction church in the capable hands of Chad and Paula Kivette and moving to minister at a church in Tennessee.

Thank you, Bob and Brenda, for your dedication to the Lord’s work and church planting in our nation.  








©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists