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Showing posts from August, 2008

New State Evangelist Named

Today, I am announcing the appointment of a new State Evangelist for Tennessee. Pastor Tim and Kimberly Farmer have been serving as senior pastor at the Lawrence Chapel Church of God of Prophecy since leaving their post as Regional Evangelists/Youth Directors for the Ohio and West Virginia region. With a burden to see the lost saved and the people of God revived, Tim and Kimberly are launching out into ministry in our churches, to help all of our congregations (no matter what size) to experience revival. Their energetic approach to ministry will be a real asset to our congregations, and with excellent musical and preaching ministry, there is no doubt you will be blessed. Based in Spring Hill, Tennessee (just outside Nashville), they will be traveling the state all but two weeks each year. I am encouraging our pastors to schedule a revival as soon as you possibly can, and plan on a move of God in your church. This appointment will be effective October 1, 2008, and it would be gre…

New Men's Retreat Date Set

We are pleased to announce the date for the 2008/2009 Men's Retreat has been confirmed. The retreat is set for April 17th & 18th at Camp Hickory Hills near Dickson, Tennessee. There are three special guest speakers confirmed for the retreat and we are sure you will be blessed by the anointed, inspirational and visionary ministry presented on this special weekend. Confirmed guests are:

Bishop Sam Clements, North American General Presbyter
Bishop E.C. McKinley, Tennessee State Overseer
Bishop Tim Coalter, Pastor of the Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, Tennessee
More information will become available, and a special mailing will be sent to all pastors. We look forward to seeing you there!

Choices...we all make them

Choice consists of the mental process of thinking involved with the process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them for action. Some simple examples include deciding whether to get up in the morning or go back to sleep, or selecting a given route for a journey. More complex examples (often decisions that affect what a person thinks or their core beliefs) include choosing a lifestyle, religious affiliation, or political position.

This morning I met a man who was working what most would consider a dead-end job. While I see this man on a regular basis (on my way to the office) for the first time I wondered what was it that brought him to this place. Now while I don't usually "jump to conclusions" the obvious truth was staring me in the face. This man came to this point in life because of the choices he made along the way. We all make choices, and those choices lead to behavior, and behavior has consequences.

As I sat there, watching this man wo…

Men's Retreat Date Change

Today we learned that due to scheduling conflicts of our campground and our special guest speakers, the Men's Retreat will be rescheduled. Please check back here for updates, forthcoming within the next week. We are look forward to a Spring Date, possibly in April, and then firming up a date to permanently move the retreat to the fall of the year. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

New Website is Now Online

We hope you will stop by and check out our new state website today. You will notice right away that this is a much-needed improvement, and will find new features. The biggest change you will find is a "flash" feature added to the site, as well as a "find a church" feature. We hope you will check it out today. CLICK HERE

Back to School Bash

Children's Ministries Presents: Back to School Bashes is coming to an area near you:

August 30th: Paris Church of God of Prophecy: 3pm
September 6th: Ridgely Church of God of Prophecy: 10am
September 13th: Family Worship Center in Gordonsville: 3pm
I believe we do a great job in preparing our children to return to school. We buy them the school supplies they will need and ensure they look their very best. God placed on my heart several years ago the importance of preparing our children spiritually to return to school. Our school system has our children for more hours per day than their parents and definitely more than our churches. I believe it is important to ensure they have a firm foundation in order to have what it takes to STAND and be IMMOVABLE when the times come to make a choice.

I hope to see you at one the events listed above. If you need further information, please contact Kim Batson at 615-604-7484 or kim.batson@comcast.net.

New Website on the way...

I am happy to announce that a long-overdue update to the State Website is about to be unveiled. There may be some interruptions to the website for 24-72 hours as the new site is propagated on the servers around the world.

I do believe you will find the new site more "user-friendly" and it will have a wealth of resources on it for your use. You will also notice new "flash" embedded and the following:

1. Local church contact info
2. Upcoming events
3. Video/audio files
4. Numerous other upgrades

Please remember, that I will continue using this blogsite for a while until all of the upgrades are finished. So, please check in often. The new site is at the same link: www.tncogop.org

God bless.

Focus!

As we continue our thoughts on the future direction of the Church of God of Prophecy in Tennessee, I felt it appropriate to make mention of the importance of proper focus. As one who needs eyeglasses to see anything up close, I am reminded daily of the importance of proper focus. For instance, it would be easy to overdose on medications, misread balance sheets or even read the newspaper without the eyeglasses bringing everything into focus.

It is my firm conviction that in the past, our church has lost focus. We have paid attention to some things so closely that we lost focus on what mattered the most. We've found it necessary to bring our focus back around to the things that are at the heart of God. While many feel like success is building larger churches or gymnasiums, the truth is that if these facilities are not used to win lost people to the Lord or to develop leaders, then we are only building our pride. Or perhaps there has been the quest to earn the degree in a give…

Sidetracked....

The last three posts have been my attempt to "lay down the gauntlet" for our churches and ministries in the State of Tennessee. We must die out to the "status quo" and move forward with a fervor to see the work of the Lord done.

Far-too-long, we have settled for mediocre when great achievement was just around the corner. In ministry for the past 25 years, I've observed countless ministers (both lay and licensed) drop by the wayside, lose interest, lose hope, and just give in to the struggle of making it in the earthly world, forgetting the eternal struggle we are all in. This post is intended to be a rallying cry to do spiritual battle for the Lord. No longer will it be acceptable to be sidetracked by issues and opinions of men. No longer will it be acceptable to give a minimal amount of time, talent and treasure to the work of the Lord. Our willingness to be satisfied with the "good" keeps us from obtaining the "great!" No one should …

Core Value #3 - Ministry Development

In the past two posts, I've shared with you the first two of our three core values that will drive everything we do. The third value is ministry development. In recent years, the term "Leadership Development" has been applied to just about anything and everything, however, the truth is, there must be real focus on what development is.

First of all, I am talking about more than preachers, but preachers are NOT excluded in process. In each of our churches there is an "army" of volunteers. They do everything from scrubbing the toilets to teaching Sunday School classes. The list is endless of the people who needs to share in the developmental process.

It would be simple enough to have a series of classes aimed at the pastors, however, the truth is that ALL of us need development, and ALL of us are to be in the ministry in some way, shape or fashion. One-hundred-years-ago we were a missionary movement, punctuated by the cry "every member a worker and a work…

Core Value #2 - Evangelization

I have now been in full-time ministry for twenty-five-years. There have been a lot of lessons along the way, most of them learned by experience. On more than one occasions, I have heard ministers, experts and commentators pronounce the death of evangelism. I've even heard some say that the "grace dispensation" has ended and no one will be saved in the near future. What is so sad is that usually this means the pronouncements become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the individual minister's life...they become unproductive, and instead of accepting the need to return to their prayer closet and altar of repentance, they blame their lack of spiritual productivity on the Lord Himself.

You might notice that while I am commenting on evangelism, the word evangelization may be more appropriate. We've felt like there are only a few methods of reaching lost people, predominantly mass evangelism or personal evangelism, or revival-meetings. Isn't it interesting that even…

Core Value #1 - Prayer

Earlier today I posted a video that mentioned the core values that drive the Church of God of Prophecy in Tennessee. For far-too-long, there has been (in some quarters) a lackadaisical attitude toward prayer in many of the churches in North America. There is an old axiom that goes something like this, "if you have a dinner the church will be full, but if you call a prayer meeting only a few will show up." It has been my misfortune to see this axiom fulfilled.

When I was the Overseer of the Northwest Region, it was my privilege to meet and become acquainted with Sister Edith James. She was a Godly older woman who knew the value of prayer. One of our local churches had been closed and sitting vacant for a long time. Sister James took a pillow and a blanket and went to the local church for a season of prayer. Her prayer time was more than minutes or hours....actually she stayed there for days, with no food, praying and fasting on behalf of the ministry of our church in th…

Looking forward...Awake!

By now, most of you from Tennessee are already home, but many of our brethren and their families are on their way back home. What a powerful International Assembly! It was punctuated by worship, fellowship and a renewed sense of vigor and vitality for the Church of God of Prophecy.

Now as many of our church family are traveling home, we need to pray for them and ask for God's grace on their journeys. While we have glanced backward, we must now face forward and awake with a focus on prayer, harvesting and discipleship.

As you may now know, I have been reappointed to serve the wonderful people of Tennessee. You have been so good to my family and I, and we will forever be grateful. We look to working alongside you to see the work of God done, and the Kingdom of God to rule in our hearts and our churches.

A special thanks to everyone who assisted in the General Assembly from Tennessee, and if I were to begin to call names I might leave some out....but suffice it to say, whether you…

International Assembly Concludes

Well, its over. The International Assembly of the Church of God of Prophecy came to a conclusion with a consecration service of the International Leadership of our movement. I have heard it said that this has been our greatest International Assembly in years, and I have to agree. I do not remember at time when there was more freedom of worship, and even in our business sessions a good spirit seemed to prevail.

I do believe that our General Overseer, Bishop Randall Howard proved himself to be a strong leader to the constituency of our movement. I was so proud of him and the plurality of leaders that we call the General Presbytery. Please join me in prayer for him and his family as they try to recover from their hard work.

I am also extremely proud of all of the people of Tennessee who made the International Assembly a success. Space does not provide for me to thank everyone by name, but suffice it to say that God knows the names and He has a special blessing for the servant leaders…

Fourth Night of General Assembly

Last night was another great night of celebration at the International Assembly of the Church of God of Prophecy. The Bahama Praise Team lifted us to new heights of worship, and with the special singing and giving the night was just beginning.

Dr. Jerry Macklin, Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings Church of God of Christ in Hayword, California preached the word with power and anointing. The altar call as one of the most powerful I've ever witnessed, as pastors and State/National Bishops responded to the altar call with a fervor seldom witnessed.

This will go on record as one of the greatest International Assemblies of a generation, and will not doubt set a high bar for future gatherings. Bishop Randall Howard, our General Overseer has done a marvelous job of moderating the Assembly, and the excitement level of our delegates seems to be treendously elevated.

Third Night of General Assembly

This evening's service was a powerful one. Again the Bahama Praise Team led the congregation into worship, there was special singing, and an emphasis on ministry in Africa.

Bishop Sherman Allen, General Presbyter of Africa preached a great message and the altar response was powerful.

Tonight's service was shown on DAYSTAR network. If your system does not carry DAYSTAR you can watch it live starting at 6:45 Central Time at www.daystar.com, and it will be rebroadcast at midnight (also Central Time)

Second Night of International Assembly

Last night, the evening was kicked off with the Bahama Brass Band and the Bahama National Worship Team. People danced and rejoiced as the Spirit of the Lord lifted us to new heights.

We were blessed to have the General Overseers of the International Pentecostal Churches of Christ and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church address the movements.

Bishop Vitally Vozsnuk the overseer of Ukraine preached a powerful message, assisted by translator Jerry Chalk. Everyone got a taste of what I experienced at the Ukraine Leadership Conference last October in the City of Kiev. We received a powerful word from the Lord and a great altar service.

To God be the Glory!!!

Opening night of General Assembly

Yesterday was filled with business, fellowship, worship and the Word. The General Overseer gave a report to the International Assembly of his work in the past two years, which preceded the business sessions of the day. The reports of the Financial director was followed by representatives of the outside audit firm, Capin and Crouse, then the Administrative Committee. These three reports were separate, but blended in that the three entities have worked together for the past two years.

For the first time, we are able to report that our International and Domestic funds were audited with a qualified opinion, which means that the auditors found our financials to be in order. The Tomlinson Center Board gave their report, and the afternoon was filled with business of the BDP report. Everything presented was acceptec by the General Assembly.

The evening service was kicked off by the World-famous Bahama Brass Band. I was priviliged to greet the delegates and present a gavel the General Ove…

Business Session

Today begins the business sessions for the International Assembly. This evening will kick off with presentations, and I will have an opportunity to welcome the delegation to Tennessee. We are so happy that the Assembly is in Tennessee, and this may be the last time it is in our state for many, many years. I do hope many of you will be able to attend and take part.

Please join us in prayer for the business sessions, this is the first time we will have the new proxy system fully implemented and we ask for your prayers.

God bless.

Proxy Registration/Mission Clothes Closet

I have already seen people from around the world at the convention center this morning. Proxy registration has began, and Londa and the ladies of Tennessee have been hard at work helping in the setup of the mission clothes closet. I dropped in earlier today and found them working hard at making a nice present available to the folks.

Please continue in prayer with us for a glorious International Assembly.

Pre-General Assembly Meetings

For the past two days, we've been involved in meetings leading up to the General Assembly of the Churches of God of Prophecy. I've been blessed to sit among the great leaders of our church world-wide. We've had times of prayer, teaching, sharing and business.

Many have already began their travels that will lead to Nashville, where we will sit together and worship. Please join me in prayer for the masses who are now on their way to Nashville this week.

I will do my best to post daily the events of the General Assembly. God bless you!

Continued Prayer Needed

For all of this week, General Assembly preparations have kept us totally occupied. As I write, we are in International Presbytery meetings, but I wanted to share a prayer request.

Wilma Massengale, spouse of retired minister Luther Massengale was rushed to the hospital last night, and then transferred to the Oakridge Hospital with stroke-like symptoms. I will post updates as I get them.

2008/2009 Tennessee State Calendar

A printed version of this list of events, and updated pastoral/staff appointment contact information will be released after the General Assembly to the churches in Tennessee. In an effort to help you plan your events, the following dates are posted:

August 2008

August 12-17, General Assembly
August 30, Back to School Bash at Paris, Tennessee (begins at 3:00 p.m.)

September 2008

September 6, Back to School Bash at Ridgely, Tennessee (begins at 10:00 a.m.)
September 13, Back to School Bash at Gordonsville, Tennessee (begins at 3:00 p.m.)

October 2008

October 3-4, State Men's Retreat at Camp Hickory Hills
October 4, reFRESH Women's Conference at Tullahoma, Tennessee (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
October 11, reFRESH Women's Conference at Curtis Hill, Tennessee (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)

November 2008

November 1, reFRESH Women's Conference at Elizabethton, Tennessee (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
November 14-16, Regional Ladies Retreat at Lake Barkley, Kentucky
November 21-23, PowerHouse Youth R…

Update from the Tag Family - Indonesia

Dear friends and family,

Thank you so much for your prayers and emails. You all have been such a huge encouragement to us. We took Alaiyah to the local children’s hospital on Sunday morning and they admitted her into the hospital and started her on a IV with strong doses of antibiotics. She will be in the hospital until Friday and is doing so much better. Praise God for your prayers. Praise God for a great children’s hospital here in Pontianak. Her fever broke Sunday night and is now normal. Her leg continues to heal well with the antibiotics and she is eating. Please continue to pray for her recovery. Tomorrow the Doctor said they will take her off the IV and start giving her antibiotics orally. Pray that as we take her off the iv that her stomach will be able to handle the antibiotics orally. Pray that the incision in her leg will keep healing. Pray for a complete recovery before we go to Salatiga to start language training. We won’t leave until we know she has recovered…

Pastor Sammy Allen's father

Please join with me in prayer for the father of our pastor at Wrigley, Pastor Sammy Allen. Here is a portion of an email message I received from him earlier:

"Thank you for all your prayers for my dad. We went home to North Carolina early Friday morning and got back to Dickson Sunday night. He was moved Friday night to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC. The doctor was to let him know today when surgery was planned and I was suppose to get a call so that I could be there, but I found out tonight that my dad had surgery today. The surgeon was able to remove the shunt clean out the area and place a new shunt in. No part of his lung was removed. I talked to my dad tonight and he sounded pretty good. I'm not sure at this time when he will be going home. Thank you for praying.

Sammy"

Prayer Request

Yesterday and today have been filled with non-stop preparations and meetings for the General Assembly. The State/National Overseers will be traveling to begin meeting this week in Nashville. Will you please join me in prayer for travel mercies for all of those on their way to Nashville?

Also, Sister Wilma Massengale is still in Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. This precious lady and her family need our prayer support, and I hope you will join me in prayer for them, believing the Lord is able to meet their need.

Prayer Request - Wilma Massengale

Debra and I spent most of the evening at the Vanderbilt Hospital Emergency Room with Sister Wilma Massengale. Many of you in Tennessee know that she is the wife of Pastor Luther Massengale, who just retired from the Crab Orchard church.

The doctors are still performing diagnostic tests and there is no word (as of 10:45 p.m.) on what treatment plans are for her.

Please join with m in prayer for Sister Massengale and the family tonight.

Prayer Request - Mildred Davis

Please join me in prayer for Sister Mildred Davis, the mother of our state treasurer and specialized ministries director Londa Richardson. She was injured in a fall earlier today, but she has been released from the hospital this evening.

Most of you know that Londa's father is Bishop Allen Davis, retired overseer and general headquarters worker.

We are trusting the Lord to touch the entire Davis family tonight.