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Empasizing Matter of the Heartcomment (0)

February 19, 2004

By Johnie Sentell

Are you an organ donor? Recently Gilgal Baptist Church, where Bro. Bart Latner is pastor, made the following appeal on its message board on Highway 69 south of Tusca-loosa: “Be an organ donor; give your heart to Jesus.”

Valentine’s Day offered churches a fresh opportunity to empha-size matters of the heart. Members at First Baptist Church, Springville (St. Clair Assoc.), gladdened the hearts of people unable to come to church by taking flowers to them.

Another congregation that took notice of Valentine’s Day was Pleasant Plains Baptist Church in Barbour Association. The church held its annual Valentine Banquet recently, with the children and young people serving the adults.

“We always have an emphasis on the home and family values,” Pastor Randall Peacock said. He noted proceeds from the banquet will benefit the RA and GA summer camps and the youth fellowship.

Eva Nell Hunter, a member of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, has a heart for helping people improve their education. A former mathematics teacher, she has been serving with the church library for more than 40 years. She is an expert in organizing libraries and has been called upon to help denominational workers and seminaries across the country. Central’s new pastor, Rob Jackson, noted the church shares its library facilities with members of other denominations and with home schoolers as well.

Jack Redfearn, pastor of West Hartselle Baptist Church, has a soft spot in his heart for our nation’s armed forces. It was while he was serving as a Marine years ago that he became a Christian. Even now his son Daniel is serving as a Marine in Iraq. He has had a number of brushes with death.

Last week Bro. Redfearn’s daughter Kim observed her first Valen-tine’s Day without her husband. Josh Byers died last summer while serving as an Army officer in Iraq. He was not only an outstanding soldier but also a caring and committed Christian witness.

Saturday afternoon, Feb. 7, Chris Crain, new pastor of South Roebuck Baptist Church, Birming-ham, and his wife Carol returned from Taiwan with joy in their hearts and their new baby, Lauren.

A crowd of some 50 people welcomed them at the airport. Among them were Bro. Crain’s parents, William and Sue Crain, overjoyed to see their first grandchild. His father, who suffers from congestive heart failure, had not known for sure that he would be able to be there.

“Let Jesus into your heart, and He will let you into heaven,” reads the sign in front of Steele Baptist Church in St. Clair Asso-ciation. The church’s pastor, Bro. Damon Olson, has been serving the church for seven months. He grew up in a military family and gave his heart to Jesus as a teenager as the direct result of a church’s bus ministry to families at Redstone Arsenal.

Brother J.J. Stanbridge is the new pastor at Riverside Baptist Church in Shelby Association. He and his wife Paula have just welcomed their second child, Ann Marie, who joins her brother Joshua, 4.

Brother Stanbridge previously served on the staff of Canaan Baptist Church, Bessemer. While he was there, his sister became a member and met her future husband there. Still at Canaan, the two are very much involved in missions.

When he came as pastor of Riverside, Bro. Stanbridge joined their other sibling, his brother, who was already a member there.

Last year Bro. Stanbridge was privileged to lead his father to become a Christian. “I have seen a great change in his life,” he said.

As the sign in front of Concord Baptist Church, Clanton (Doug Powell, pastor), read last week, “Jesus warms the heart.”

And remember, providing The Ala-bama Baptist for your church members helps to strengthen their heart for missions.
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