Episode 522

Start Of Fiscal Year For Churches, Sermon Paintings By Artist & Congregation May Tune Out Your Sermon

Jan 12, 2024

Some of the most encouraging news we hear has roots in tragedy. This week, Carter McNeese and his wife, Audrey, were awaiting their possessions to be delivered to their new home in Shalimar, Florida when the phone rang. And, Williamstown, Missouri is a small town with a population of only 60 souls. There only one church left in the small community and on January 4, Pastor James Leezer of Providence Church received the call no one wants – the church and the parsonage are on fire.

Transcript

Some of the most encouraging news we hear has roots in tragedy.

This week, Carter McNeese and his wife, Audrey, were awaiting their possessions to be delivered to their new home in Shalimar, Florida when the phone rang. McNeese has recently completed a pastoral assignment in North Carolina and his family was relocating. On the other end of the phone was a North Carolina State Trooper informing him that the truck transporting their possessions had been involved in a head on accident. The driver of the other vehicle was killed in the accident and the truck carrying their belongings were destroyed in a fire that resulted from the crash.

As you can imagine, McNeese and his family was devastated. They were brokenhearted to hear of the loss of life and very disappointed to hear of the fire.

News of the crash began to spread across Shalimar and believers started bring replacement items for the family…including toys for their children. While some of the lost items could never be replaced…many could.

The news made it onto social media where an online group set up a Go Fund Me account to assist the family. So far, nearly all the $10,000 goal has been reached. “Tonight, we hug the boys and each other more tightly and know that in God’s providence all things work together for the good of those who love him,” McNeese wrote in the social media group this week.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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Williamstown, Missouri is a small town with a population of only 60 souls. There only one church left in the small community and on January 4, Pastor James Leezer of Providence Church received the call no one wants – the church and the parsonage are on fire.

Despite efforts by firefighters, both structures were completely destroyed by the blaze. The state Fire Marshall’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE) have started an investigation regarding the cause of the fire and to determine whether a hate crime was involved.

The church building and the parsonage were one-quarter mile from one another.

The evening of January 4, more than 50 people gathered in the Williamstown Fire Station, including fire crews and community members, as well as church members. They gathered to pray and pour out their hearts to God.

The church also held its first Sunday service of 2024 in the Williamstown fire station on Jan. 7. At least 60 people were present – exceeding the usual attendance of 30-40.
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