A Gift That Keeps On Giving!

What kind of gift can you give that keeps on giving even way beyond your lifetime? In our Association of Churches, we have many dear saints that are departing this earth for their eternal reward that have lived a missional lifestyle. Perhaps you may be encouraged by this story to follow this example and donate in honor or memory of someone you love to our New Work Foundation. 
Ralph Lewis Hull, a layman with a heart for missions went home to be with our Lord June 17,2019. As I attended his Celebration of Life service at First Baptist Church Conyers, where he was a member, I was overwhelmed by emotion as I heard about this man’s love for his Lord, family and for missions in the Stone Mountain Baptist Association of Churches and literally around the world.
Lewis, and his wife Helen, labored in the Church and in our mission field. They accompanied our Bold Mission Builders on countless trips through the years. In addition, they were sent as missionaries from the Rockdale Baptist Church to start the Hope Baptist Church back in 1990.   Lewis and Helen also hosted summer missionaries for our Association in their home.
Lewis not only made plans to meet our Lord by receiving Christ as His savior, but he made specific plans for his Celebration of life service. Below is an excerpt of his thoughts about death in his own handwriting!
Lewis’ children have exhibited a missional lifestyle as well. Their daughter Patsy and her family hosted one of the very first Bible studies I led in starting new churches back in the 80’s. Their son, Eddie and his family are active at First Baptist Conyers.
Eddie called me to let me know of his father’s home going and that in lieu of flowers, the family wanted donations to go our New Work Foundation. Over $1,000 dollars has been received by our Foundation because of this family’s thoughtfulness.
Have you or one of your loved ones considered making a gift that keeps on giving? There are numerous options, a memorial or “in honor” gift, life insurance or your will or estate. Contact Bobby Gilstrap, Executive Director of our New Work Foundation to assist you at 770-483-2776 or bgilstrap@NewWorkFoundation.com.
CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” (Matt 16:18) Our New Work Foundation continues to help build the Kingdom by “resourcing new churches for healthy beginnings.”


Game Time

We have been “keeping score” and when this vision was adopted, we consisted of 39 churches in two languages. Currently our Association has a membership of 98 churches reaching 25 languages. In addition, we have a network partnership with 54 churches for a total of 152 churches that we currently serve! This number does not count the countless church planters who are out there that we are working with that are in the process of starting new churches. So, What’s Next? I’m glad you asked! We have a Strategic Focus Team that has been meeting for several months to address this question. Our next meeting is Thursday, May 16 from 8 am until noon at the Associational office. You are welcome to join us! While we have much to celebrate, the work is not complete! One Fifth of the population of metro Atlanta lives around our churches. With the booming economic growth of East Metro Atlanta which includes the largest movie studio in the state and a Facebook plant, we must take a look and determine what God wants us to do? Where do we go from here? We are working on a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that can only be accomplished if God is right in the middle of it all! What we do know is that what we have done in the past won’t be sufficient for the future. Our conversations have moved to continuing to start and strengthen churches with a focus on discipleship that will allow us to raise up leaders in our context that we can deploy to our mission field. Our future is greater than our past! Share with me your thoughts, your input is needed. Call me or email me at lcheek@stonemountianbaptistassociation.org.
SMBA Pastor Gives away his shoes on a Sunday
Ken Magness, Pastor of First Baptist Stone Mountain went home from church on a Sunday morning without his shoes, he had given them away! As we met recently, he told me this intriguing story of how God was working in his life and the Church. A young couple with a baby came in late for worship at First Baptist a Sunday morning in June. At the close of the service the father approached the Pastor and asked him if the church could help him with a pair of dress shoes and pants that were required for the new job, he was starting Monday morning. Pastor Magness replied and said, “Well we have a lady in our church with a burden to begin a ministry to help people  know how to dress and interview for employment, but we just started and we aren’t  ready to help yet.” Upon saying that to the young father the Holy Spirit reminded Pastor Magness of the words of Peter  to the man at the temple gate, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give to you….” (Acts 3: 5 HSCB) The Pastor asked the man, “What size shoes do you wear?” He stated, “A size 9”. Pastor Magness responded, “Here, try these dress shoes on, they are a 9 ½.” And he took off his shoes and gave them to the young father. The Pastor turned to a Deacon standing nearby for some money for the dress pants. The deacon gladly responded, and along with a $20.00 bill the Pastor had in his pocket, they supplied the need for dress pants and a shirt. The Pastor asked another member to pray with the young couple and they both received Jesus Christ as their Savior that day! This young couple went home with the Pastor’s shoes, a new change of clothes, and a changed life! Friends, God is at work every day! He wants to use share Jesus with others and give what we have.