April 25, 2014
April has been a phenomenal month at GRIBT as the Lord has blessed in so many ways. At our New England Baptist Fellowship, hosted by Central Baptist Church in Southington, Connecticut, we were privileged to hear from four church planters who came to New England in the 1970s. One of the speakers was our founding pastor, Thomas G. Crichton III. Dr. Crichton preached a powerful message on the threshing floor that was purchased by David – the very site that later became the location of the Temple. Dr. Crichton encouraged us to relinquish our businesses to the hand of God and we will be surprised at what God can do. It was a great message.
My heart was warmed, not only by “the old guard” that delivered the messages but by “the new guard” that was in attendance. A new wave of church planters is entering New England to start churches all over this needy part of our country. It was my privilege to spend time this month with Adam Riveiro who is planting a church in Easton, Massachusetts. I preached several nights of revival for Lighthouse Baptist Church. The Lord is blessing this young congregation. Things are off and running.
Dr. and Mrs. Crichton were with us at GRIBT for anniversary Sunday on April 13. Dr. Crichton preached during the 10:00 hour and highlighted some of the beginning days of our ministry. Our featured speaker was Dr. David Teis, who planted the Liberty Baptist Church of Las Vegas, Nevada in the 1970s and has served as its only pastor. Dr. Teis was honored with the Crichton Award for his many years of faithfulness as a founding pastor of one of America’s great churches.
During Anniversary Sunday, I was reminded of how smooth the transition has been between Dr. Crichton and me. This is largely due to his gracious spirit. The transition has gone so smooth that I was invited by Dr. Clarence Sexton to give several lectures on church transition at the Baptist Friends meeting this month. The sessions were well attended, and I was privileged to spend valuable time with two of our college students who attend Crown – Holy DuBois and Matt Dillon.
Easter Sunday was virtually standing room only as we had 417 in the morning worship. This is our highest Sunday morning attendance since I arrived on campus in September 2012. We praise the Lord for continued growth and discipleship.
A new deaf man to our church was baptized on Easter Sunday, marking our 15th baptism of this church. Praise the Lord! We praise the Lord for John and Darlene Dillon, our deaf leaders who are deaf themselves proving that the deaf can do anything that the hearing can do in serving the Lord. They are doing a “bang up” job.
Karen and I hosted our new believers at the house on the 19th and it was exciting to see all the faces of those who have trusted Christ as a result of this ministry. These new members were hosted to a special “Founder’s Reception” on the Sunday night of Anniversary Sunday.
Church softball season opened this past week, and several new members are on the team. We won the opener and are currently undefeated. Please pray for several men who are ministry opportunities on the team.
Our spring Sunday School campaign concludes this Sunday with a look at the nursery department. The nursery has grown so much we are dividing out the toddlers into their own department. Painting has been done in the toddler room and carpet should be down within the next few weeks. We are thankful for the new workers who have risen to the occasion to make this transition possible. The division provides more space, enhances safety, and gives us an opportunity to teach the toddlers rather than just babysit them.
I had the privilege to speak at both the Brooklyn and Stony Brook campuses of International Baptist Church this month. Dr. Cazis is doing a wonderful job. As I spoke at the Brooklyn campus, I was impressed with the cultural diversity of this ministry. I had the privilege while at Crown College to take a workshop on starting TESOL classes to reach those of other languages. Next month I will be interviewing a student at Heartland Baptist Bible College about coming to Rhode Island to help us launch a Hispanic ministry. Be in prayer about that.
Also, while at Crown, I had the privilege of interviewing Chuck Meade, who will be serving as our summer intern this year. So many things are coming together. We are thankful for the Lord’s hand upon this work. Pray that we will continue to have His anointing.
Our house in Georgia finally received an offer that was acceptable. Lord willing, we will be going to closing on May 15. Pray that nothing will impede the sale of this house.
Pray for Pastor Tom who is away this week preaching in Alabama. Reports from this teen conference are greatly encouraging. We praise the Lord for this magnificent opportunity for our associate pastor.
Don’t forget about our first Men’s Conference on May 30-31. Dr. Rand Hummel, Dr. Jim Schettler, and Dr. Clarence Sexton will be our featured speakers. Check out our website for more details.
Also, and most importantly, pray for the lost who have attended our services in recent weeks. Two particular men are especially heavy on my heart, and I am praying that God will use me to lead them to the Savior. Will you pray with me? Thank you for your interest in this ministry. Your friendship means much.