CALENDAR, NEWS, EVENTS
HBA NEWS ARTICLE - BEACON
We have officially sprung into spring and summer is quickly approaching here at First Baptist Church of Bethany. Since we last wrote God has done many wonderful things in the life of our community. I can sense that God has drawn our fellowship into a closer relationship with each other. Here are some of the things we have experienced together since our last article. Our church attended the movie “God’s Not Dead”, had our Easter Cantata called “Songs of Redemption”, had a visit from the First Baptist Church of Kearney Choir, Youth ministry attended Winter Jam, Children’s ministry went to Adventureland, and we had our first Sunday Night Live (SNL) event. Other exciting things that have happened include 3 baby dedications, 2 baptisms (2 more ahead this month), and our AWANA closer.
There is a great deal of exciting news ahead. One that I am particularly excited about is our 4th of July outreach. After brainstorming in a deacon’s meeting and later presented at our last business meeting, our church has purchased 1,000 New Testaments and hopes to hand all of them out at the Independence Day parade. Other events coming up for the summer include our Vacation Bible School which will be a detective based theme called Agency D3. The students will learn to discover, decide, and defend their faith – the theme coming from 1 Peter 3:15. In addition, our Youth ministry will be on mission trip in Golden, MO from June 8th – 14th. Also, our Children’s Camp will be from July 14th – 18th in a new location this year at Southwest Baptist University called Centrikids in Bolivar, MO. Finally, the Youth ministry will also be attending a new camp called Super Summer at the Webster Conference Center in Salina, KS from July 27th – August 1st.
Please pray for us as we seek to ‘Celebrate Christ By Making His Disciples Everywhere.’ Would you ask God to give us wisdom and open doors – even more so for us to have boldness of speech? We will need a great deal of prayer for our 4th of July outreach. We are pleading before the throne of God to save souls and give a hunger for the word of God in Bethany, would you join us in this? As we seek to make disciples of our children & youth ministry please pray for the impact we make on their hearts through our summer ministries. May the parents of these students’ hearts also turn to the Lord through the transformed lives of their children. Also please be in prayer for a high impact youth mission trip taking place in Golden, MO. My heart grieves to see souls repent and believe on the gospel of our Lord Jesus. May His Spirit move. O come Lord Jesus.
By His Grace And For His Glory,
So many blessings where shall I begin. First, the Spirit of God is moving in our congregation. I continuously pray for the winds of revival to sweep across our church and our Bethany community. I am certain others in our congregation pray for this as well. We give God the praise because He seems to be answering our prayers in the affirmative. Not only has our Sunday School attendance gone up since the previous year but so has our baptisms. Just in these last couple of months there have been 5 baptized and another 3 seeking to be. May God continue to bless our church and provide the increase.
Second, we are blessed because our youth ministry is taking off. Since Pastor Stephen Chichester answered the call last year to oversee and direct our youth ministry, I have witnessed the youth ministry more than double in its attendance. For the past month Wednesday nights have been averaging more than 30 teenagers in attendance. They are such an exciting bunch to be around, not to mention their passion for God is captivating. If you have a youth who is interested in checking out our ministry, what better than to join them in going to WinterJam, a Christian concert, on March 28th. Be sure to call the church office for details.
Third, we are blessed to have a church that speaks for those who have no voice. A couple months ago the sanctity of life Sunday fell on January 19th and we had guest speaker, Amber Kunce, share with us her ministry in Kentucky. Her stories were remarkable and the testimonies powerful. Hearing how so many woman have changed their minds brought tears to my eyes. There are many ways we can provide help and get involved. It is my prayer that our churches have the spiritual fortitude to speak for those who otherwise can not. Would you be in prayer for our nation, our church families, and for woman in crisis situations contemplating abortion.
Finally, last week was our revival and we had Brother Ron Ratliff from 10th Street Baptist and Worship Leader Ted Yoder from Gashland Baptist join us. It's wonderful to see God move in the life of our congregation. We witnessed people come forward in surrender to Jesus Christ for salvation. The Lord spoke through both men and said many things that we needed to hear. To see so many of our people respond with prayers of repentance and in prayer for their loved ones is astonishing. Please pray for our church, that the Lord will continue to work upon us.
May God Receive All the Glory,
Pastor Ryan Kunce
I love the cold air this time of year. Why? Because it is a sign that Christmas is coming. I admit, as a child it was just a time to get presents and hang out with family. That all changed the year I was saved. I remember singing my first Christmas song, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." For the first time in my life that song made sense to me. I found myself often weeping with joy at the knowledge of just how much my savior, Jesus, loved me. To this day Christmas is most certainly my favorite time of year. Let us not forget that the baby in the manger was born to take nails in his hands and feet, a crown of thorns upon his head, violent beatings, and a spear stabbed in his side. All of this was done to save us from our sins.
This past Sunday our church had a vision cast Sunday. First Baptist is on a mission. Our new mission is "Celebrating Christ by making His disciples everywhere." In Matthew 28:19-20 Christ commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. We bring honor to Jesus when we obey his commands. At First Baptist Church of Bethany we will obey and therefore "celebrate Christ by making His disciples everywhere."
We have several events coming this season and we welcome you to come and join us. For the women, we are hosting a Ladies Christmas Tea on December 9th at 6:00pm. There will be tea, food, and a guest speaker. Be sure to bring your favorite tea cup or simply borrow one of ours. On December 15th during our morning worship service we will have our Christmas Cantata sang by the First Baptist Celebration Choir. For those unable to attend, we will also have it a second time on December 19th, Thursday, at 6:30pm with cookies and a cider reception afterward. On December 24th at 8:00pm we will have a Christmas Eve service. Similar to last last year there will be a special guest visitor who witnessed the events first hand. Be sure to join us and hear his story. Finally, on December 31st both our Children's ministry and Youth ministry will be having a New Years Eve party going into the New Year. The youth will have it at the Community Gym and the children will have it in the basement of our church. Feel free to contact the church for any further details regarding these events. We look forward to seeing you there.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
Pastor Ryan Kunce
God is truly moving in the life of our Church at First Baptist. Over the past few months we have seen a steady growth in the life of our church since the previous year. Even more exciting is to step back and watch how God has been moving in our congregants lives. From weddings to our Fourth of July outreach, God is truly good.
Just this last month I had the joy of catching up with Brother Ned Nugent, the former pastor of First Baptist, to hear how God is working in his new ministry. Even more exciting was to attend the Bowman wedding as they entered into the joy of a holy covenant of marriage before God, a truly pleasing promise to our Heavenly Father.
Recently, we had our Fourth of July outreach. It was a true blessing to see our community here in Bethany gather and celebrate our Nation's Independence Day. First Baptist had the joy of serving Hot Dogs, Lemonade, Snow Cones, and Popcorn at the parade. It is so exciting to see our community pull together and celebrate our county's birth. Especially one that grants the church the blessing to practice her faith with Religious Freedom.
Other thrilling news is that two of our children accepted Christ this summer when they attended our Harrison Baptist Association's Children Camp. May God bless their newly founded lives in Christ and those who ministered to them throughout the week. I had the joy of attending and seen just how much the children loved the camp. None of them were ready to go home. I couldn't help but think about the young Samuel who slept near the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament. Oh, how dear it is to be near to God. May we see a new generation rise up. One that is passionate about God's written word and firm defender's of His truth.
Other exciting news is that First Baptist will soon be calling a candidate to come and preach in view of a call for our Associate Pastor position. Would you please pray for us as to the leading of the Holy Spirit in this matter.
Finally, would you pray for my family. Soon my wife will be moving into the Ronald McDonald House near Children's Mercy Medical Hospital - the move is less than 2 weeks away. Our baby has been diagnosed with Transposition of the Greater Arteries and will need open heart surgery. The surgeon had a chance to speak with us, the baby may be in the hospital as many as 1-2 months. I covet your prayers. May God Bless you, your family, your church, and your community.
By His Grace & For His Glory,
Easter is just around the corner and that means chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts in the backyard. My fear...my fear is that this is where it will end - candies, bunnies, and baskets. Recently I seen a church sign that I could not help but laugh at, it read "The Easter bunny did not die for you, God did." What a wonderful proclamation to those lost and in desperate need of a savior. Its an even better reminder when you consider that Easter Sunday is usually the highest attended service for nominal Christians.
The truth is, we do a great disservice to God when a holiday intended to celebrate the resurrection is jettisoned for jelly beans and marshmallow peeps. This is not meant to be a rant against fun family traditions, but rather a complaint against those who fail to recognize Christ at all. Let us, therefore, be in the habit this Resurrection Sunday of reminding our congregants of God's ultimate sacrifice of His son and His victory over death. The Bible records an important fact about Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8, namely, His deity. Its incredible when you think of Christ's humility. He left his throne above for this fallen corrupt world and God in flesh died for us. May we share in His example as we seek to reach the lost this Easter Holiday.
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)"
Soli Deo Gloria,
Many things have come and passed since this last Christmas and God is completely faithful. I trust that He is moving in your personal life this new year and pray He is even more so in the life of your church. Being a new pastor I absolutely love getting to meet everyone. It is especially wonderful that God has blessed such a wonderful association we have in Harrison County whereby I can meet other pastors of like minded faith, committed to the noble work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just this last week we celebrated the Sanctity of Life Sunday and additionally I reflected upon a battle that I am proud to say the church fought for and won. It is the battle that all men are created equal in the eyes of God. I am grateful for great preachers such as the late Martin Luther King Jr. who stood for civil rights because the Word of God compelled him to.
Yet despite all of these things, I am even more grateful this month because this month Julie and I discovered that we are expecting our second child. I was excited to both hear and see the heartbeat of new life in the womb of my beautiful wife during a sonogram. Please be in prayer for the life of our new child as he/she matures in the womb.
After this paper is already published we will have had our children's movie night, and will be anticipating our Daddy Daughter date night on February 9th. Guest speakers for the event will include Dr. Rustin Umstattd, Professor of Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his wife Dr. Leslie Umstattd the director of the Ladies WISDOM classes at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We will also be kicking off our monthly men's breakfast as well on February 8th at the Country Kitchen. It is my prayer that God uses you mightily this winter season. To Him alone be all glory, power, and wisdom.
By His Grace & For His Glory
Merry Christmas! I know... I can’t believe it either but I absolutely love it. Yes Christmas has arrived already. The time of eggnog, candy-canes, and amazing presents under the tree (fingers crossed) – not to mention some of those sweet sale prices right. Yet this is only part of the festivities isn’t it? The true reason for our celebration is in the Holiday’s name itself – Christ’s Mass hence Christmas. December 25th is that one special day we set aside to remember the birthing of our savior prophesied so long ago in Isaiah 9:6. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
At First Baptist we are excited to announce several upcoming events where as a community we will have an opportunity to fellowship and worship the King in this Christmas season. You are welcome to join us at any of these events should you desire and be available. Activities begin December 3rd, Monday, at 10:00 am with the Ladies' Christmas Tea - make sure you bring your favorite tea cup and join in for a time of fun fellowship and a special Bible devotion. On December 16th, Sunday, the day will be full of fun charming festivities. We will start our worship service with a beautiful Christmas Cantata at 10:30a.m. followed by the Lord's Supper and preaching. After the service, at 2:00p.m., we will join in Christmas caroling around local nursing homes. Later in the evening we will have our traditional Christmas Fellowship Supper held at 6:30p.m., all are welcome please contact the office for more information. On December 19th, Wednesday, our children (AWANA) and youth Department will be having their Christmas celebrations from 6:30p.m. - 8:00p.m. Finally, on December 24th at 8:00 p.m., Monday, we will have our Christmas Eve candle light service with a special guest visitor. I am praying the Lord's will be done in all of these events but most of all that The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be glorified this Christmas season.
By His Grace & For His Glory,