Praying that this letter finds you all doing well in your places of service for our Lord Jesus Christ.
This month, we were able to celebrate being here in Brunswick at Open Bible Baptist Church for a whole year. A lot has happened this last year, and many opportunities have been made available to preach the gospel. Our church has also grown this last year with folks coming to join up with us in the work for the Lord. It seems as if this last year has flown by, but the Lord has guided us through the entire year.
In September, we have been able to continue to preach at the Salvation Army on Friday evenings. We have noticed that quite a few folks have been taking their food and going to sit outside at the picnic tables instead of staying inside where we normally preach. So this month, while I preached to the folks that stay inside, Bro Mike Alford has been going out on the patio and preaching to those folks out there. Many of the folks that go outside have made it clear to us that they were going outside to “escape” the preaching. But some of them did make it a point to let us know that they appreciate the faithfulness to keep coming down there. So, we intend to continue to go to the Salvation Army to try to win souls to Christ. In fact, this month, we have had some tremendous witnesses with some of the folks there and have noticed that some of the regulars seem to be attentive to the preaching more than normal. Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom to know how to reach these people with gospel.
The street preaching ministry has been going very well this month as well. At St Simons we have been able to freely preach to many folks and have been able to pass out quite a few tracts. On the first Friday, while we were preaching in Brunswick, we had a group of teenagers come up and heckle us. Initially, we thought we would get nowhere with this foolishness (most times they are simply trying to impress their friends). But, as we continued on with our preaching, the teenagers trickled away, with the exception of one guy about the age of 20 named Tristen. Once his “friends” were gone, we were able to reason with him about his soul and the need for him to be saved. We witnessed to him for about 45 minutes and saw him be dramatically convicted by the conversation. Although he did not get saved that night, we were able to give him a Bible and have prayer with him before he left. Please pray for him to be saved.
In Nahunta, at the jail this month, we were able to preach to a group of guys. I was able to preach, then Bro Mike Alford, and finally Bro Darnell Robinson. After the preaching, a guy came forward to get saved. After having the gospel explained to him, he bowed his head and asked the Lord to save him. A few days after we were there, he called and let us know that he had shared the gospel with his wife, and that she had gotten saved. Please pray for David and his wife Kenya to grow in the Lord and that we will be able to be a help to them in their spiritual growth.
Also, we were able to get some work done on our church building this month as well. We are going to be continuing the work as we are able to. Unfortunately, between our other church ministries and the rain, we have been limited to find time to get these repairs completed. But, slowly but surely, we are getting the repairs addressed.
Thank you all for your prayers
Kenneth Seremak Jr
This last Sunday(9/13/15) was the one year anniversary of being the pastor of Open Bible Baptist church. It sure does not feel like it has been a whole year. Alot of things have happened in this year, both good and bad. We have had trials and victories both. This year, if there is one thing I learned above all other things, is that I am not capable of being a good pastor by myself, but God is capable of using the most incapable of folks to get His plan done.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I believe, without apology, that the most important element of a Christians life is to preach the gospel to every creature. Since arriving in Brunswick, the Lord has given many opportunities to do that very thing. He opened the door for us to preach regularly at the Salvation Army homeless shelter, Gracemore nursing home,and The Brantley county jail. Also we are able to preach on the streets in both Brunswick, and St Simon’s Island(the adjacent town) without opposition at all. We have been able to knock doors in our community and have even seen folks come out and be a part of our church as a result of this. We have also been able to put brochures containing the gospel and information about our church in the welcome centers in the area. Now don’t misunderstand, I am in no way bragging in my ability or accomplishments, every one of these ministries has been 100% God’s doing.
In the last year, we have had the pleasure to preach, pass out tracts, and hold signs and banners at a few festivals and parades as well. We were able to go to the St Patrick’s parade in Savannh, the Blessing of the Fleet in Darien GA, the Blessing of the Fleet in Brunswick, The Memorial day Parade in Beaufort SC, the Crawfish Festival in Woodbine GA, the Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach FL, and the Labor Day Parade in Kingsland GA. We have stood out front of the rodeo when in came into town and handed out tracts as well as outside the theater downtown to distribute tracts to folks as they exited the facility. Some may think that I am try to boast, but nothing is further from the truth. I am simply looking back on the year and praising God for all of the labor that he has allowed us to do for His Glory.
This year has brought some folks by the church as well. In January, the Alford family came to be a part of our little church, and they have been a blessing to us as well. Bro Alford is faithful in our song-leading duties at the church services as well as a faithful participant in our Salvation Army, Jail, and Street Preaching ministries. In the month of March, the Lord brought us Mr and Mrs Page as well. Great people, that are such a blessing to the church. Mrs Page is faithful to be a part of our song service by playing the keyboard, as well as being the one behind the songs at Grace more Nursing home. Mr Page is a great help with church repairs and maintenance as well. We thank the Lord for bringing us these 2 families and the help that they are to the church and it’s ministries.
Now, this year, has also had some trials. This last year, we had a fellow trying to destroy the work by backbiting and railing and trying to sow discord among the brethren. It broke our hearts to have to institute church discipline but many of the actions were detrimental to the church. The issue really hurt the church and has caused some folks to leave unfortunately. In fact, at this time, we are still dealing with the hurt and problems that came from this sin in the church. This year, we have had some folks get sick, lose jobs, have family issues, and more. Now some would say that this stuff is “normal” to church, but it still is a struggle to get through. Thank the Lord for His goodness to us to guide us in the right way.
So, as we finish our first year here, we don’t intend to look back on the last year for too long, but instead we look forward to another year anxious to see what great things the Lord will do here in Brunswick. We are excited to see how the Lord intends to use a small group of incapable, sinners to accomplish His purpose here in order to allow Him to get the glory.
It seems like this month has simply gone by so quickly. But, I am reminded of the old saying that “Time flies when you are having fun.” And indeed we have been having a blast laboring here in Brunswick GA.
As I mentioned in my last letter, this month we began going to the Gracemore Nursing Home here in Brunswick. We have been having a great time singing hymns with the residents and then sharing the gospel with them out of God’s Word. The residents really seem to enjoy the services and have requested that we come every week, instead of every other week like we have been doing. So starting in September, we will be going every Monday evening to try to encourage these folks.
I mentioned previously as well, this month we had a 3 day special meeting at the church. It was such a blessing to have Bro Karl Baker and Mrs. Pam Baker with us for that time. We were able to hear the preaching of God’s Word from Bro Baker and get encouraged to apply it to our lives. We also had a great time to fellowship with them and catch up in regards to the things in the ministry. We had quite a few visitors come out for the meeting and they also expressed the Lord’s working in their lives by the meeting.
This month, at the jail in Nahunta, we had a tremendous service. This month, we were able to preach to the female inmates. A few men were able to preach the Gospel, and Bro Mike Alford was able to preach via a “chalk talk.” Bro Darnell Robinson was the first to preach, and when he was finished 3 girls came forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior. One of the 3 girls claimed to be saved, and wanted to get back to where she should be spiritually. The other 2 ladies, asked the Lord to save them and seemed to go away rejoicing. One of the 2 girls to be saved is supposed to be released on the 1st of September, and she lives in Brunswick. Please pray for her that nothing will hinder her from coming to church and allowing us to help her to grow in Jesus Christ.
The rain has continued to cause us to be hindered in some of our outreach as well as some of the things that are needed in regards to church building maintenance. In the next few months, we are going to have to change out the roof on our building (it has begun leaking) and redo the exterior trim as well. Please pray that all will go well with these projects, and that we will be able to accomplish them speedily and properly. I praise the Lord for the men and women who are willing to give up their time to help with these repairs.
Also, lately, Daniel Holton (our sound man) has been making an effort to advertise our church more heavily via the internet. Considering that this is the way that our culture is headed, we figured it would be worth a try. He has just started doing this in the last month, and so far we have already seen some visitors. Please pray the Lord will use this means to continue to reach folks as well.
We ask your prayers this month as well for a few things: 1) Please pray for Mrs. Georgia Reddick. She is an older member of our church who has been battling with her blood pressure. It will randomly drop and skyrocket and cause her issues. A few weeks ago, it fell to the point that she got so weak that she fell and ended up breaking a bone in her ankle. She is in a rehabilitation facility right now doing therapy, and the doctors think she will be there at least another 2 weeks. Please pray for her recovery and her spirits to stay encouraged. 2) Also, another member of the church, Jack Hannah, had to have surgery on the 31st in regards to cancer that he has in his colon. The surgery went well, but when they awoke him from surgery, he had a violent reaction and they were forced to sedate him. Please pray for him as he is in his early 90’s, as well as the salvation of some of his family members. 3) Lastly, we ask your prayers for us this fall. In this part of the country, it seems that every weekend there is a gathering of people for a festival, fair, or football game. We are going to make every effort possible to try to be at most if not all of these events to preach the gospel and distribute gospel tracts. Please pray that the Lord will bless these endeavors, as well send us laborers to help us with these opportunities.
God Bless you all,
We are a week away from Labor Day here in the USA and summer is almost over(although here is South Georgia it doesn’t feel like it.) Most kids are going back to school and people are preparing for the adventures that comes with that. Others are anticipating the relief from the heat, only to begin complaining about the cold and the abundance of leaves we have to rake. (We are indeed funny creatures). Some look forward to Autumn for other reasons such as hunting season, or football season. There is alot of stuff that starts up in the next month or so that people look forward to in this great country of our’s, but let me point out one more thing. What you will find all across this land as the weather cools off, is the same thing you see in the Spring, an abundance of fairs, festivals, parades, etc will be happening. Now, this may not be the case everywhere, but it is here in the Southeast. Also, down here, every Friday night high school football is the most populated event, and Saturday’s is college football.
You might wonder why I point this out. Well, I would like to encourage everyone reading this to make an effort to attend these events, not as participants, but instead as a representative of Jesus Christ preaching the gospel. Honestly, Brethren, I believe that we sin against, not just the Lord, but our fellow man, when such an opportunity is given to go and preach the gospel to folks when they are already congregated, and we chose instead to stay home. I think, if we go and make an effort to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if anything, we please the Lord by our obedience.
Now, I don’t know what is scheduled in your town, county, or region, but I encourage you to look it up. (Welcome to Google) Look, I understand that you have plans, we all do, but are your plans really more important than telling sinners how to be saved? Doubt it. Some may think that another will go in their place and the job will get done, but that is not the case. The one who goes, goes in their own place, not your’s. Your place is still missing. Have we joined the Lord’s Army to sit at the house, or have we not received our marching orders?
Let me ask you a question? If a missionary was to come to your church, and presented his calling to preach the gospel in an area depleted of God’s Word, plant churches, and train men for the ministry, would you be in agreement that what was desiring to do was honorable and necessary? Sure you would. Now, what if at the the end of the presentation, the missionary announced that he was coming to your town? Would you still be in agreement with his calling, or would you think to yourself that there already is a good church there(the one you are sitting in)? Would you think that this guy is confused, and would you try to straighten him out? Sure you would. So then the fellow apologizes, and packs up and heads out. Now what? You go home and and still claim that preaching the gospel is not your thing, while you sit on your couch? What a shame. God put you in a location, not to take up space, but so you could preach the gospel to those people there.
Now some may say, that I should stop writing posts like this to encourage folks to get busy for Christ, because there was a time in my own life that I was not obedient to the orders of my Lord myself. While I agree that in times past, I myself was slothful in my business for my saviour, I do not intend to stop trying my hardest to encourage others in this great work. I realized myself(much to my shame) that my idleness in the preaching of the gospel was sinful and I repented of that SIN and now try to be as faithful as I can to tell others about the saving grace of Christ Jesus our Lord, and to provoke my brethren to love and good works(which is inclusive of preaching the gospel)
The reason, festivals, fairs, football games, etc, are such a great place to preach is because the people are already assembled. Why not Preach to them? It is a no-brainer. So this fall, get on Google and find out where the people are, get some tracts, and get busy. Encourage those around you to also get busy, and maybe, like the apostles, we can turn the world upside down.
As many of you know, I was previously a guest on the Save the Youth Radio Program for Diana Reed. In order to be on the show, I had called in. Mrs Diana Reed asked me again to be on the show, this time she wanted me to come to the studio to do it in person. for some reason, she has taken a real liking to me and our church. I have attached the recording for your pleasure.
I thought this was a pretty good read when someone gave it to me. Thought everyone may enjoy it.
A. W. Tozer, “There has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before. The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually. The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better. The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public. The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more. The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die. Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ. To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power. (A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966)