Tuesday, September 20, 2016

1 John Series - Illuminated 1 John 1:5-2:2

The Root Issue of Sin
1 John 1:5-2:2
 preached on 9-18-2016

I.  The Comparative Perspective of Fellowship 1:5-7

A. The Contrast of Dark and Light vs 5
B. The Practice of True Fellowship vs 6-7

II. The Conditional Perspective of Sin and Forgiveness 1:7-9

A. If we say we have no sin vs 8
B. If we confess our sins vs 9
C. If we say we have not sinned vs 10

III. The Conclusion to our Personal Dilemma 2:1-2

A. The Hope for Personal Improvement 2:1
B. The Advocate for our Perpetual Problem 2:1

C. The Savior Who is the Propitiation for our Sin 2:2

1 John Series - Illuminated 1 John 1:1-4

Sermon Text 1 John 1:1-4
Preached on 9-18-2016

I.  In the Beginning vs 1

II. In the Personal Knowledge of Jesus vs 1

A. The Affirmative Statements
1. What we have heard - AKOUO
2. What we have seen - HORAO
3. What we have observed - THEAOMAI
4. What we have touched - PSELAPHAO

B. The Father's Revelation vs 2
1. Seen it - HORAO
2. Testify - MARTUREO
3. Declare - AGGELLO

C. For the Purpose of Fellowship  vs 3
Fellowship - KOINONIA 

D. For the Result Of Joy vs 4

III. The Personal Nature of Faith in Jesus

A. He is a Real Person
B. He is Really God
C. He Desires Real Fellowship with Us

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Calvary and a New Youth Pastor

The Leadership Team is pleased to announce that Tyler Clem has accepted the call to serve as the Youth Pastor for Calvary Baptist. 

There will be more details in the next few days regarding his arrival, but we want to welcome Tyler and Andi, their son Liam who is two, and their newborn son, Harper, who was born this past Sunday.

Tyler has been serving as the full-time youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Williamston, SC, for the last five years and has a wealth of proven experience, spiritual depth, and enthusiasm which he brings to our ministry.  We have appreciated your feedback regarding each of the candidates and we weighed carefully the qualifications and experience with what we saw and what you shared.  We clearly sensed that Tyler is the person who has the right mix of ministry gifts and experience for our ministry.  

Thank you for your prayers as we have walked through this process.  
The Leadership Team

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Preaching in Parramos

The day started early at 6 am with a quick gathering for breakfast, then we left the capital city to travel to Chimaltenango where our team preached in four different churches. My assignment was actually outside Chimaltenango in a smaller community called Parramos.

Interestingly, the church where I preached was celebrating their 68th anniversary and I was able to congratulate them on their legacy and encourage them in their hopes for their future.  This is the church where we may have the possibility of developing a partnership.  There's a significant need for construction of classrooms for their school in order to not lose their accreditation.  We will return there on Thursday to talk further with pastor Samuel.

Preaching at Parramos

The pastor's conference starts tomorrow and I'll be preaching the first of the conference sermons.  Please be in prayer for me as I finish preparing for the sermon this evening and tomorrow.

I will share more tomorrow night and try to add a few pics.

Also, be sure and check Jan's blog site for additional pictures.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Guatemala Updates and Links

I'm posting here as well as in a couple of other different places the link to Jan's Photo blog where you'll be able to see picture updates and comments of the Guatemala Mission Trip.  I'll also post on this blog site as well.

Jan's Photo Blog Site

We hope you enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Master's Design of Discipleship Part 1 and 2

Sermon Series: The Master's Design of Discipleship
Sermon Title: The Call of the  Disciple
Sermon Text: Matthew 4:18-22

I. The Call of the Disciple

GREEK: 1. DEUTE, DEURO - come now, follow urgently
            2. MANTHETES, MANTHANO - learner, pupil, to increase in knowledge by practice and use

A. To Follow  Matthew 4:1
B. To Learn  Matthew 5:1-2
C. To Know  John 10:14, 14:9       

10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

14:9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

II. The Characteristics of the Disciple

The Disciple:
A.  Settles the Matter of Lordship  Luke 9:23, Romans 10:9

23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

B.  Desires to be Obedient Luke 6:46

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

C.  Commits to Persist/Endure   Matthew 10:22, Rev 2:26

22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

D.  Adopts the Posture of a Learner  Matthew 11:29

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

E.  Practices the Habits of the Master 
- prays to the Father - Luke 5:16  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
- studies and loves the word - Matthew 4:4 Man does not live on bread alone...
- desires the will of the Father - Luke 22:42  "Not my will but thine."
- has compassion for the crowds and the lost - Matt 9:36, 14:14
9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

- embraces the necessity of Servanthood  Matthew 20:26-28

26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MidTown Building Information from Leadership Team

 An Important Update
from the
    Leadership Team

The Leadership Team would like to share some very recent developments that provide a unique opportunity for Calvary. 

A Quick Synopsis

A local ministry has expressed interest in purchasing our MidTown building to use as their administrative and resource center. Due to their interest and the possibility of using the proceeds to further our building expansion plans, we have tentatively reached an agreement that is pending church approval and the City's approval of their projected use. Below you'll find a more detailed narrative of how this developed and the potential benefit to Calvary.  Please note there will be informational meetings on April 3rd, and 6th, followed by a business meeting on April 10th after the morning worship service.

The Opportunity

In January of this year, a local ministry group named Stepping Stones inquired about using our MidTown building for working with homeless women and children.  Over the years that we have owned the facility, we have allowed a number of different ministries to have access to it, so this wasn't an unusual request for our consideration. 

However, with the closing of Franklin Heights we had been unsure of whether our ministry would continue, and in fact it has - but more on that later.  Interestingly, several weeks ago a conversation began with some of our current members who were a part of Westgate Baptist Church who graciously gave the Midtown facility to Calvary in March of 2011.  In the discussion, they expressed an appreciation of our MidTown ministry and yet also wondered about the possibility of their former church building being used to benefit Calvary's need for expansion here on DeJarnette Lane. They affirmed their desire and excitement about this possibility. So, in the process of thinking about the building utilization, a conversation began concerning the possibility of selling the property and using the proceeds to work toward the construction of the Children's Promise expansion.

With this thought in mind, we tentatively shared with Stepping Stones that the building might be available for sale. Stepping Stones visited the building and immediately expressed an interest in purchasing it. After an initial evaluation by two realtors in our church, we were able to suggest a potential sales price of $250,000.  We indicated that for Calvary there would be procedural steps which included the Leadership Team's processing this with the church for approval. From their perspective there would also need to be a discussion with the City concerning rezoning or permission to use the building for their purposes.

After a joint meeting with the City Planning office, it appears that there is a possibility through the Board of Zoning Appeals for Stepping Stones to use the building once they have brought the building up to code. They affirmed their desire to purchase the building at the price mentioned above, which has set into motion the presentation of this letter and subsequent material.

The Process

Thus, the Leadership Team now felt it important and appropriate to inform the church and to provide a process of approval that would accommodate the potential sale of the property.

On Sunday April 3rd, at 5 pm in the youth room, the Leadership Team will conduct a presentation of the process and any other current information regarding the sale and subsequent building expansion. This time will also include a question and answer portion.

On Wednesday April 6th, the Leadership Team will be available from 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm in the conference room for members to drop by and ask questions.  We will continue to update materials as the process develops.

On Sunday April 10th, immediately following the morning worship service, we will hold a business meeting for the purpose of considering the approval of the sale and the future expansion of Calvary's facility. The proposal for approval will include authorization for the Leadership Team to execute documents for the sale of the building and will also authorize the Leadership Team to initiate and complete a construction process for building expansion. It is expected that the potential completion of any expansion would be into the 2017 calendar year. Please see the attached sample diagrams of the projected construction project.

If the sale of the building is approved, the process will continue with Calvary and Stepping Stones submitting a proposal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) by April 11th.

On April 27th, the BZA would consider and hopefully approve the special use permit for Stepping Stones.  In the event that the BZA does not approve the building for Stepping Stones, then they would no longer be a viable purchaser and the sale will not be completed.  However, the Leadership Team believes that there is still benefit in moving forward with the sale of the building as commercial property for the purpose of using the funds for our building expansion.  We would list the building for sale through a commercial agent.

Pending approvals as mentioned above, sometime in mid-May the sale of the building will be completed. The Leadership Team will then begin coordinating and planning for eventual construction.

Additional Questions

What will happen to the current MidTown Ministry?  As we reported to you at our annual business meeting, the MidTown ministry is still going strong, but in a different way since Franklin Heights has closed.  We are now running the vans and the bus to pick up children "on the way."  Last Tuesday we had 39 kids in attendance, so obviously the Lord is not done with us there yet.  Our thoughts are to continue through May as normal at the downtown building.  Then with the start up of next year in August, we will pick up the children and return to Calvary and use classroom space here.  We believe this is a viable plan and allows us to continue working with the families and children.  The ministry is concluding its fifth year and the number of Calvary volunteers has remained strong.  As long as the Lord leads us, we will maintain this work.

Will the money be enough to complete the expansion project? The estimates we secured when we began the Children's Promise campaign in 2010 put the project in the $350,000 - $400,000 range.  With about $155,000 currently in the Children's Promise fund and adding to the $250,000 from the proceeds of the sale, we are in the "ballpark" of projected building costs.  As the plans are developed, the projected cost will be re-estimated and, if feasible, consideration will be given to the secondary project which could include conversion of the youth area into adult education space and  the construction of a youth addition.  These were parts of a secondary phases of the initial campaign.

When would construction begin on the children's wing, and other potential additions?  There are several factors, one of which is the estimated costs of construction now as compared to several years ago.  One scenario would put the planning and development phase ending sometime by the end of the year and construction beginning after the first of the year, possibly by the end of the first quarter.  The timeline could move quicker if all the resources are in place to accomplish the project.  At this time we cannot provide an estimate of "how long" the construction will take, but our hopes would be to have the work completed by the start up of the fall 2017.

What will expansion look like?  The initial floor plan design provided for additional classrooms, a large assembly area for Salvation Station (and other children's gatherings), an additional office and storage area, and also a projected footprint for the second phase of the youth room conversion and expansion.  These drawings are included below for your viewing.  These designs are not final and we expect there to be considerable thought and planning going into the layout and look of the project.  So, the following pictures are conceptual examples.

Conceptual View of Children's Wing

Conceptual Floor Plan

 What is our current debt (mortgage) situation?  We have been consistently paying down the mortgage with current monthly payments of $18,164, which has allowed us to reduce the overall debt from 3.5 million to our current level of $2,571,688.  We refinance the loan approximately every five years which the banks require as a part of the commercial lending process, and the next time to refinance will be in June of 2017. The building expansion that is projected does not add to our current debt since it is anticipated that we will be paying for the construction with cash on hand. 

Concluding Remarks

While the information above is very detailed, we felt it was important to provide as much written material as possible. Yet we know that we have not covered every angle and you may have questions that we have not considered.  Thus we ask our church members to do a few things: 

First, review the material carefully.
Second, please plan to attend the informational meetings as described above.
Third, prayerfully consider what the Lord may be doing in providing this direction for us.
Last, come prepared on April 10th to vote as the Lord leads you.

The Leadership Team will do its best to answer every question.  Do not hesitate to contact us  and pray also for us as we walk through this opportunity.

The Leadership Team of Calvary Baptist Church

Mark W. Gregory
Danny McConnell
Casey Barlow
Mark Whitt
Mike Sandman
Randy Ball
Keith Young