From the Pastor's Heart

Pastor Dalton 9/23/2021

Church Family, 

2 Corinthians 5:4 says, "For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life." As a church we have had a long prayer list that just seems to get longer. We have been praying for Cindy Wilson as she get stronger. We have prayed for Dre and praise the Lord, he is doing so much better. We have been praying for Mike Carpenter as he has just hit bump after bump in his road to healing. We have been praying for Lauren Hayes as she has been diagnosed with Crohns Disease. We have been praying for Jimmy and Dot Whit as he is struggling in the hospital, and now she is not feeling well. There are many more connected to our church family that we could list. Now I don't mean to be negative. We also have ample reason to praise as we have seen God work in many of these issues, and we know He will continue to work. I simply share these examples with this verse from 2 Corinthians because it reminds me that we live in a broken world. There will always be sickness and things in us that don't quite work right. While we pray for healing, we are also reminded of the great hope we have in Christ and that all of our groanings this side of eternity are groanings that make sense. They are longing for the something better that is sure to come for those who have faith in Christ. 

As for announcements, don't forget that we will have our regular quarterly business meeting this Sunday immediately following the morning service. You will receive a finance report and an update on some property items. Beyond that, I don't know of any pressing business. 

Second, the youth ministry is signed up to go to Xtreme Winter in Gatlinburg again this year! The deadline to sign up is October 10 and a $50 deposit is required. The total cost of the trip will be $125 and the dates are December 27-29. So sign up ASAP! 

Finally, the Saluda Baptist Association Annual meeting is October 3 at Concord Baptist Church. We will not have Sunday night service that night as I want to encourage you to attend the meeting. At 4pm they will have ministry booths open so that you can gain information about many awesome ministries in our area. Then the service will begin at 5:30pm and we will hear a message from Rev. Willie McLaurin, who is a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. It should be a great night!

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday! Last Sunday was such a celebration with the baptisms and having Cindy join our church family! I'm excited to see what God does in the days to come. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 9/16/2021

Church Family,

1 Corinthians 14:19 says, "Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue." Now in this chapter Paul talks about the gift of speaking in tongues. Thus, when he says speak with his mind, he means speak in an intelligible way so that all can hear it and understand. I won't go into the topic of tongues, but rather, I want you to notice the wisdom behind this verse. Forget about tongues, and replace that last part of the verse with something else. I would rather speak five words in order to instruct others rather than ________. The point is that we often times find ourselves wasting so much time on things that don't matter. For example, if our church has full calendar, but never shares the gospel, then why does it matter? We must be intentional with our lives and make them count. 

 As for announcements, don't forget about Homecoming this coming Sunday! I am so excited about this celebration! First, we will be kicking off the service with Baptism as we have 2 to baptize! Also, we will have some special music and a message from God's Word from Rev. David Nalley. David has served as a Missions Pastor and Next Gen Pastor at Northside Church in Greenwood. We are very excited to have him with us. Finally, we will have our homecoming meal immediately following the service. So join us! 

 

Second, don't forget that our regularly quarterly business meeting was moved from last Sunday to September 26. We will have a finance report and some property updates. 

Finally, the new handicap ramp should be fully operational for Sunday! It will very likely still need to be painted and grip may need to be added to the bottom. But besides that, it will be ready to go and it is looking great! 

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday. See you then! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 9/9/2021

Church Family,

Isaiah 37:18-19 says, "Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore, they were destroyed." This is part of King Hezekiah's prayer as he faced Sennacherib, King of Assyria, and immediately following this prayer God will answer via the prophet Isaiah. God actually sends a death angel in the night and kills 185,000 Assyrians, causing Sennacherib to flee. I love how Hezekiah approaches the threats. Sure the other nations and their gods fell, but that is because they only worshipped idols. Sennacherib hadn't encountered a real god yet, and when he came against Hezekiah, he came against THE God! Hezekiah prayed and God brought the victory. Our God is real and able and there is no circumstance that is hopeless when you have Him!

As for announcements, do not forget that we will have a church work day on Saturday from 8am-11am. Mulch is being delivered Friday evening and we will be spreading it on Saturday morning. Also, I know the FLC needs some deep cleaning done and there are various other projects that we can do. We don't have these work days too often, so I'll hope you'll make plans to join us. 

Second, when you come on Saturday you will very likely see the new handicap ramp! The frame is up now and Gary hopes to have the flat metal (the floor) down before this weekend. Now please note, it looks great, but it will not be a 100% finished. It is primed, but it will need to be painted and there will not yet be any texture or anti-slip grip on it yet. But that will be finished up soon. It looks great y'all! 

Third, this Sunday is "Fill the Tank" Sunday! We will be celebrating with two baptisms, and if you have been saved, but have never been scripturally baptized, then you still have time to be a part of that service! Just reach out to me and we will set up a time to talk prior to Sunday. It's going to be a great service. 

Finally, we do have a regularly scheduled business meeting this coming Sunday immediately following the service. We don't have any new business that I know of, but you will hear a finance report and some final details about the new ramp.

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 9/2/2021

Church Family, 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." This is somewhat of a summary or exposition/explanation of the beautiful poem that goes from Eccl. 3:1-8. The poem says that there is a time for everything and that is certainly true. God has made a time for everything in the ebb and flow of life. However, the reality is that those verse are meant to be rather negative. While everything has its time, God has put eternity in man's heart! That means that while life does seem to go in seasons, we are actually made for so much more. God has eternal plans for us and we have the ability to participate in eternal work today! Serve the Lord and invest in your future!

As for announcements, we will have a church workday on September 11 from 8am to 11am. We will need help spreading mulch, cleaning the FLC, and much more! The more help we have, then the more we will be able to accomplish, so make plans to come and join us that morning! 

Then on September 12 we will have a quarterly business meeting immediately following the morning service. Right now I don't know of any major items on the agenda, but we will be providing a finance report and hearing about some property updates. 

Finally, on September 19 we will be celebrating Homecoming! This marks 218 years for the church and we are excited to worship together! We will have some special music and we will be having a guest preacher for that service! Also, Lord willing, we are planning to have lunch immediately afterwards. So mark your calendar and join us on this special Sunday!

I can't wait to see you and worship this coming Sunday! We will have the back half of the sanctuary separated by every other pew. I know that very few places are doing anything preventative right now, but Covid numbers, as expected, are on the rise right now. So we are going to implement some of the same things we did last year just to try and keep any spread coming from our church. Hopefully the experts are right and this thing will peak soon and begin to decline. Until then, just be wise and please, if you have any symptoms, stay home and watch us via Facebook Live. Love you church!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 8/26/2021

Church Family,

Matthew 28:19-20 says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Let's break this verse down. First, we are to "Go," meaning that our mission has to be intentional and outward focused. Second, we are to "make disciples." Now this is the command of the verse and really encompasses all of the next two instructions. Disciples are those that are saved and trained. So we go to "all nations," meaning that no one is excluded from hearing the truth and we have a responsibility to spread it far and wide. We are supposed to go "baptizing them in the name," of the blessed Trinity! That means we are to share and see people saved, which is followed by baptism, the outward expression of an inward reality. Then we are to teach them all we know of the faith. Thus, we have saved and trained people of all nations, and we have made disciples. Finally, there is the great comfort that our Lord is with us through it all!

As for announcements, this Sunday we will be observing the Lord's Supper. I want to encourage you to use the time between now and then to make sure you pray in preparation and make right any wrongs that you may with God or another believer. This will be a very special time of worship! Also, please note that we will have the pew spaced so that the deacons are able to administer the elements with the utmost caution due to ongoing pandemic.

Second, this coming Saturday is the Back-to-School Bash for the Children's Ministry! The event will be from 10am to 12pm and will include inflatables, games, snow cones, and more! Make sure to bring your kids and invite others to come be a part. 

Third, on September 11, from 8am-11am we will be hosting a Hopewell Work Day. We have a lot of special projects we would like to get done around the church both inside and out, and this is a special day we are planning and asking for help. Make plans to join us and lend a helping hand. 

Finally, this Sunday is our last Sunday with Debbie playing the piano. She will be following her fiancé to his church where he serves as a deacon. We are saddened to see Debbie go, but we wish her the best in this next stage of her life! She plans to also sing a special for us this Sunday, so make sure you come and support her on her final Sunday. 

I can't wait for Sunday! I'll see you all then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 8/19/2021

Church Family,

Isaiah 6:8 says, "And a I heard the voice of the Lord saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here I am! Send me.'" This verse comes right after Isaiah has a vision of the Lord in the temple, and he declares that he, Isaiah, is a man of unclean lips. One of the angels flies down, takes up a burning coal, and purifies the lips of Isaiah. After being cleansed, Isaiah says he is ready to be sent! Believer, we have been cleansed from sin because of the precious blood of Christ, and from that point we are saved to serve the Lord. The Lord asks the same question today: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" I pray you would respond with a willingness and eagerness. Don't say, "maybe next time," but rather say, "Send me!"

As for announcements, the company that will be resealing our parking lot has already made one trip out here to spray the grass in all of the cracks. We don't know exactly for sure when he is coming to doing the resealing and all, but I would assume he is waiting for some better weather. I just wanted you to know that it is in the process of being completed. The same is true for our handicap ramp as well. We want to make sure we have all the research done so that we can make the best decision when we are ready to install it. 

Also, keep in mind that on August 28 we will be having a Back-to-School Bash with all kinds of fun activities for the kids. This event will be an outreach for those with young children so please invite any that you know!

Finally, we will have our regular quarterly business meeting on September 12, immediately following the morning service. So make sure to mark that on your calendars. 

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday. See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 8/12/2021

Church Family,

Acts 2:46 says, "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts," This verse takes place right after the day of Pentecost and that sermon by Peter after which 3,000 people got saved! Verses 44-47 are a description of the first church community and quote verse 46 because of its focus on fellowship. 2 Sundays ago we had our first potluck meal since Covid, and it was phenomenal! There was such a spirit of fellowship that reminds me once again of how important having church family is!

As for announcements, I'm a week behind, but August 1 was a big day! First, the Love Him Love Them Haitian Girls Choir came it was great night of worship. We also raised $3,860 so far in a love offering, and we raised had 3 families donate $1,500 each to help send 3 of the boys back in Haiti to a trade school! Now we trust God to use our gifts for the spread of the gospel and His glory!

Also, on that Sunday we had a special called business meeting. First, we voted to hire Sarah Spencer, a sophomore at AU, as a youth ministry intern. Second, we voted to have our parking lot resurfaced and re-striped. Finally, we voted to have an ADA ramp installed in place of our current handicap ramp. Besides being able to get all of this done, another great thing was the spirit of cooperation and trust in the meeting. We had good discussion and every vote was unanimous! Praise the Lord!

As for the days to come, be sure to look at your church bulletin to see all of the playground fundraisers that are upcoming. Also, don't forget to grab some school supplies before our deadline of August 15. I look forwarded to worshipping with you on Sunday! See you then. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 7/29/2021

Church Family,

Psalm 49:13 says, "This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts." In the entirety of psalm 49, the psalmist is talking about how those who have confidence in their money will take none of it with them. Rather, he is making the point that such confidence is folly, and rather, true hope and confidence is only found in the Lord. However, I love what verse 13 says. Those who have foolish confidence are those who trust in their own resources. They are boastful of their own sufficiency and their end will not be good. However, the people approve of their boasts. The reason is because the crowd is fickle! Remember that culture is not and never will be the true judge. God is the only one who will ultimately judge us, and it is His approval we seek. Who cares what the people approve?

As for announcements, we will be hosting the Love Him Love Them Haitian Girls Choir this coming Sunday evening! We will have a fellowship meal at 5:30pm and the concert will begin at 6:30pm. Bring a dish and join us for the meal and then be prepared to give during the love offering at the concert, as all funds raised will go to the work Love Him Love Them is doing in Haiti for the glory of the Lord. 

Also, we are in the midst of our back-to-school drive! Don't forget to grab some supplies as we show love to our community through giving to those in need. The deadline for that drive is August 15. 

Finally, we will have a special called business meeting this coming Sunday immediately following the morning service. Make plans to be there. 

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 7/22/2021

Church Family, 

For a devotion today, I want to give you part of an entry from Oswald Chambers famous work, 

My Utmost for His Highest. After referencing "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." (Matt. 5:3), Oswald says,

"The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matt. 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work."

As for announcements, we had a special called business meeting this coming Sunday immediately following the morning service. However, it has come to my attention that we have a lot of people that will be out of town this Sunday, and I don't want us to vote on anything without a good representation of the church present. So we will be postponing that meeting until August 1.We will be talking about starting a paid internship for one of our college students to help with the youth ministry and hopefully we will be voting to have our parking lot fixed as well. Both of these things are certainly needed, and I hope you'll come so that you can be informed about it all. 

Second, on August 1 we will have our first fellowship meal since COVID! We will also be hosting the Love Him Love Them Haitian Girls Choir, and they will be joining us for dinner! The meal will start at 5:30pm, so make sure you make plans to come and bring a dish! The concert will start at 6:30pm. Invite others to be a part of this great night!

Finally, we are doing our Back-to-School Drive now! There are bins in the front of the church and the education building where you can drop off your supplies. The deadline for this collection is August 15. 

I know we have many people traveling for vacation this week, and so we are praying for traveling mercies. However, if you're in town, I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday! See you there!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 7/8/2021

Church Family,

Psalm 125:1 says, "Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever." Do you trust in the Lord? Then you are like a mountain! Now you may not believe that because you don't find yourself to be so stable, but the reality is that your stability is founded up the object of you faith, namely, the LORD. He is the one who abides forever and is unshaken, so when you place your faith in Him, you are placing your faith in an unshakable foundation. So take rest when you are trusting in God. However, if you find yourself trusting in something else, don't be surprised when things start shaking. Nothing can hold our lives better than the good hands of our God! 

As for announcements, we will be going back to a regular schedule for our Sunday evening services this coming Sunday. The children and youth will be meeting from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, and I hope you'll bring your kids and teens to be a part! We will be starting back the adults on Sunday nights on July 18. 

Second, we have a number of exciting things in the works for our church and you will be hearing about them all very soon. We will be having a special called business meeting shortly as we are in the process of doing our due diligence on some planned properties projects. Just stay connected and stay tuned! 

Finally, The Love Him Love Them Haitian Girls Choir will be joining us for a concert on August 1 at 6:30pm. They always do a wonderful job and we will be taking up a special offering for them during that service. We support the IMB and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but beyond that, this group is the primary group we support that is doing the work of international missions. So make plans to join us for that service! 

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 6/30/2021

Church Family,

1 Kings 8:27 says, "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!" In this chapter King Solomon is dedicating the awesome temple that he had built for the Lord to dwell in. Now Solomon's temple was great, and it would be remembered long after it was destroyed. However, even though it was great, Solomon knew that God couldn't be contained in it! This is especially important for the people when they are judged and carried into Babylon. It was a great comfort for them to know that God was not contained by a house or a country, but rather, that God was with them at all times. That is still true for us today that God is with us at all times. However, have you ever tried to contain God in something? Now I'm not saying that you've built a temple, but you may have built an idea about God or his purpose for you that unnecessarily limits Him. We so often underestimate God's power, God's presence, and/or God's concern for our lives. Don't put God in a box, but rather, rejoice that you have  a relationship with One who can do the unimaginable! 

As for announcements, today is the final day of teaching for VBS! We have had an awesome turn-out this week with many visitors, and they have been learning the truth about Jesus Christ! The week has been great, but it has also been long and tiresome. I want to say thank you to all the volunteers this week who have given up there evenings for these children. Your service is truly to the Lord and He will honor those who have served Him! Please continue to pray as we wrap up the week with the last session tonight and the family night on Friday. 

Second, this Sunday is July 4. We will not have any Sunday evening services this Sunday, but children and youth will continue to meet on July 11. Then on July 18 we will start back our Sunday night services for adults! We have had many asking about when this service would be back and so I want to encourage you to make plans to join us on that first night back! 

Finally, the Love Him Love Them Haitian Girls Choir will be coming to perform for us on August 1 during our evening service. This is always a great event and we are excited to host them. We will be taking up an offering during that service to send to that mission down in Haiti, so make plans for that. Also, we have fliers that would be great for a store front if you would be willing to pass some out. They will be in the vestibule on Sunday. 

I look forward to worshipping with you all this Sunday and celebrating all the events of this past week! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 6/24/2021

Church Family,

2 Thessalonians 1:3 says, "We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing." I want you to notice from these verses that faith and love go hand-in-hand. One of the ways we judge our spiritual progress or maturity is how we love one another. That is true for an individual and for a church as a whole! We ought to be a people who are growing in our faith, and if we are, then we will love one another all the more! The reason for this is quite simple I believe. If you grow in your faith, then that means your vision of God gets bigger while your esteem for yourself gets smaller (John 3:30). The more we realize how much we have been forgiven, and the more we are willing to forgive and love one another!

As for announcements, this Saturday is the Rummage sale! We will need some help that morning setting up tables for the sellers. After that, simply plan to come and support the event! On top of the sale, there will also be lunch and a bake sale happening and everything raised will go towards the new playground equipment. 

Then on Saturday immediately following the sale there will be some final vbs decorating being done. If you can help with that then plan to stick around for a short while after. 

With that, this Sunday is jam packed! For the morning service we will be hearing from the Gideons and taking up a special offering for their ministry. Then that evening we kick off VBS 2021 Destination Dig! We already have a good number of kids pre-registered, but if you know some who haven't yet, then get the signed up! Invite your neighborhood kids as well! We are praying God will use next week greatly! 

It's a busy time of year for our church family and that is a good thing. You'll be hearing about more and more in the weeks to come. Until then, see you Saturday and then on Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 6/10/2021

Church Family, 

In Revelation 2:18-29, God evaluates the church in Thyatira. The church had good works and was marked by love, but like most all of the churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3, they have issues. What was the issue in Thyatira? Well verse 20 says, "But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols." Of course, this woman's name was probably not Jezebel, but that name is meant to remind us of that famous wicked queen in the Old Testament. Now we could go into detail about the specific sins mentioned here, but I simply want to note that the church was reprimanded for what it tolerated. Toleration may sound nice, but tolerating or affirming is not loving. Now toleration and affirmation are not synonyms, but I use them as such here because in Rev. 2, the point of toleration is that the church's actions of not speaking against the false teaching actually did affirm the sin. We must stand up for truth, regardless of what the world says!

As for announcements, I will be leaving for the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, TN, this Sunday immediately following the morning service. This year is a crucial year for our convention and the numbers are proving it as there are already over 16,000 messengers pre-registered for the convention. I will be giving you a report of all that I learn from the week once I come back. 

Second, we will not have Wednesday Night Service this coming Wednesday, June 16. The reason is simply because I will still be in Nashville! So we will continue our study on the 23rd of June. 

Finally, June 27 is our kick-off for VBS and it will be a Gideon Sunday! We will take up a special offering for the Gideons during the morning service and then we will be cranking up VBS that evening! So, make sure to invite any kids you know and get them to pre-register! 

I will see you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 6/3/2021

Church Family, 

Acts 6:7 says, "And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith." I give that verse because while it contains many reasons to rejoice, the context is absolutely awesome! This verse comes after the first deacons are chosen, and this verse is a direct result of the service of these seven men. Today, June 3, marks 3 years for me at Hopewell Baptist Church. While I reflect on that this morning, first, I am overwhelmed by how much God has done in the life of our church over such a short time. I count myself blessed to be your pastor. However, I am also reminded that much of the joy over these last 3 years has been because of the awesome deacons that have supported me. Hopewell's deacons have been true servants and I have always been greatly encouraged by them! To all the past and current deacons....Thank you! I love and appreciate you!

With that, I do want to tell you about some upcoming events in the life of the church. First, this Sunday we will be recognizing our Graduates at the beginning of our church service. Be sure to attend and show your support as we celebrate and pray over them!

Second, on June 26 the youth will be having a movie night at my house! Make sure to mark your calendar and all students are welcome. Please feel welcome to invite a friend!

Finally, VBS is June 27 through July 2. We still need people that would be willing to provide a meal/snacks for a day of the week, and I think there is still a need for a group guide. Regardless, if you can't serve, you can invite! Make sure to invite all the children you know as we are excited to finally have an in-person VBS!

I can't wait for Sunday! See you there. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 5/27/2021

Church Family,

Romans 2:29 says, "But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God." In this section Paul is trying to tell the Jews that have yet to believe in Christ that their physical circumcision means nothing without this circumcision of the heart. Ultimately, this is what the Gentiles need to experience too, but here Paul is specifically addressing the Jews and correcting their theology. It's important to realize that even with all of the Old Testament laws that were often very external and visible, God still cared about the hearts of men. Going through the motions of the law, but forsaking mercy, brought God's judgement. The same is true for us today. We can go through the motions of church all we want. However, God knows our heart, and He knows were our allegiance really lies. He knows when we are living in rebellion. We have to make sure we have our heart right! 

As for announcements, this Sunday we will be partaking the Lord's Supper. When you enter the sanctuary you will notice that all of the pew ropes are back up blocking off every other pew. The reason for this is because the deacons wanted a pew to pass through in order to pass out the elements, so those ropes will only be back up for this Sunday. Make plans to join us for this special worship service! 

Next, on June 6 during the morning service we will be honoring our graduates! There is still time if you are or you know of a graduate that would like to be a part of that service. Please just reach out to me and let me know as soon as possible. Make sure to come and support the graduates on that Sunday!

Finally, VBS is right around the corner! We are excited as we gear up for Destination Dig! Make sure to begin inviting any children that you may know of to come and be a part of this awesome week. VBS will be June 27-July 2 from 6-8:30pm every night! 

See you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

 

 

Pastor Dalton 5/20/2021

Church Family,

Psalm 32:3-4 says, "For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning  all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer." One of the most common concerns I hear is about people who are sure of their salvation, but all to often they feel defeated and maybe even "lost." Now feeling defeated can be because a believer is trying to rely on their own strength too much. However, another reason for feeling this way is when one has unrepentant sin in their lives. David talks in the psalm about the feeling of having unconfessed sin in his life, and his description is clear. It was like his bones were wasting away! That is how it is in the life of a believer today as well. Don't stay silent about your sin. Confess it and enjoy the forgiveness that the Lord gives!

As for announcements, we will be observing the Lord's Supper on Sunday, May 30. That is about a week and a half away. Make plans to join us for that special service!

Second, we do plan to have a graduate recognition service on June 6 during our morning service. If you are or you know of a 2021 graduate that would like to be a part of this service, please let me know as soon as possible. We only have a few weeks to get the service planned, and it is important for me to know who is going to be a part so that I can plan well. Congrats to our 2021 graduates!

Finally, make plans to support the children's ministry this coming Sunday as they have a lemonade/bake sale immediately following the morning service. You don't have to hang around long, but rather, you can pick up a dessert before you head to lunch! I know they will greatly appreciate your support. 

I look forward to worshipping with you again this Sunday! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 5/13/2021

Church Family,

Psalm 121:1-2 says, "I lift up my eye to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." When I read that verse, I like to ask the question of myself. Where does my help come from? Now the second part of the verse makes it clear that the help comes from the LORD, but that's the conclusion that we are supposed to draw. The reality is that while we know our help comes from the LORD, we don't always believe it or act like we believe it. We look for help in our own strength or in other people However, if we lift our eyes and see anybody besides God as a help, then we are in a dire need of help! Whatever you may be facing, your help is found in the LORD. Yes other people can help you out as well, but make sure you confidence is found in God. Furthermore, the psalmist gives us the reason for that confidence. The help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth! The creator of everything seems to be a more than sufficient source of help. Praise the LORD that when we need God, He is always there!

As for announcements, tomorrow is the Youth Lock-In! Pray for our group as we have about 17 that are signed up, and it should be a great time. Pray especially for the leaders because while Lock-In's are fun, they are also brutal for those whose bedtime is normally 10pm! But seriously, do pray for the many guests that will be joining us as we will have a time of bible study and a sharing of the gospel.

Also, this Saturday from 8:30am-12:30pm, the Blood Connection will be at Hopewell Baptist. If you would like to schedule an appointment time for donation you can click this link:  ttps://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/170998 . Every Donor will receive a $20 gift card!

Finally, this Sunday following the morning service we will have our quarterly business meeting. Sunday you will receive a finance report and copy of the by-law revisions if you have not yet gotten a copy. If you have any questions between now and then, please just let me know!

I can't wait to worship with you on Sunday! We will be beginning a new book study in Ezra-Nehemiah on Sunday mornings, and I'm praying God will use it greatly!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 5/6/2021

Church Family,

In our bible reading this week we read Psalm 52 and verse 3 & 4 says, "You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue." Of course the beginning of this Psalm give us the setting, and it is referencing Doeg the Edomite (1 Sam. 22) and the horrible tragedy that Saul commanded and Doeg performed when the priests who helped David were slaughtered. Thus, the evil referenced here is rather extreme, but I would warn you that while this evil is extreme, the spirit behind it is widespread. We may not always see things played out into tragedies like Doeg performed, but the reality is that the lost world still loves evil more than good. We see that fact by simply looking at how the world call sin a good thing and morals are now evil. Therefore, believers, we have to love the good openly and strongly, and we have to be adamant in speaking what is right. We know the world will spread lies, but we cannot just quietly disagree with them. We have to share the truth!

As for announcements, this Sunday is Mother's Day and we are excited to celebrate Moms! Also, during that service we will be having a baby dedication, so I hope that you'll be there to worship with us! 

Second, we have a blood drive on May 15 from 8:30am to 12:30pm, and they are in a dire need for donors. So make plans to come and donate that Saturday, and all those that donate will receive a $20 gift card. 

Finally, I want to encourage you that if you have not yet started back to Sunday School or if you never were plugged into a class, then now would be a great time to do it! We currently have an adult class (taught by Harry Jordan),  a college/adult class (taught by Roxanne Rollins), a youth class (taught by Pastor Dalton), and a children's class (taught by Susan Dorsey). I know we have had great attendance so far, but I know there are many more who have yet to plug in!

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 4/29/2021

Church Family,

In Acts 10 there is the awesome story of Peter preaching the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile. Now I am not going to quote any particular verse, but I want to encourage you to read the chapter and I want you to notice how Peter is rather surprised as the chapter progresses. He has it thrust on him that Gentiles will be part of the people of God and rather than being opposed to it, Peter is more in awe at what God is doing in the Gentiles' lives. Now let me be clear, God never contradicts His Word and, unlike Peter's time, we have a closed scripture. I say that to say that you should never think that God has changed His mind on something in His word. However, I do think we can be like Peter, in that we sell God short. We need to live expectantly and recognize that sometimes God is doing things in our lives that we did not expect! Be prepared to be in awe of what God is doing and don't put Him in a small box. 

As for announcements, May 9 is Mother's Day and during our worship service that morning we will be doing have a child dedication. We already have 4 signed up, but if you have yet to sign up there is still time. You can simply email me and let me know that you would like your child to be a part of that service. 

Then on May 14-15 the youth have a Lock-In/Out scheduled. That sign-up has gone great as well, but there is still time if you have  student that would like to go. We will meet at the church at 7pm on the 14th and we will be finished at 7am on the 15th. The costs is $25 and they will be doing an escape room and late night bowling! 

After that, from 9am-12pm on May 15th we will be hosting the Blood Connection. They are in a great need for donors, so if you're able to come and donate, please do!

Finally, VBS is sneaking up on us. We are hoping to have a more traditional VBS this year, but in doing that we need help. If you are willing to help and serve during that week, please reach out to Nicole Fowler as she is doing the planning. 

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 4/23/2021

Church Family,

Acts 4:13 says, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus." I love this verse in the book of Acts. Peter had just stood up to the preach in the power of the Holy Spirit, and this was the response of the leaders. Now there are some questions I have about the verse. I understand how they saw the boldness of Peter as he stood up to preach, but I would like to know how exactly they perceived that Peter and John were uneducated men. We can guess at reasons, but I think its interesting. I don't think Peter said anything that was "uneducated," because it is through the Spirit that he spoke and it was his boldness and his words that astonished the leaders. So my best guess is that Peter and John's appearance gave them away. So these leaders thought the men looked uneducated, but more importantly, they knew the men had been with Jesus! Don't worry about how people perceive you as far as education and eloquence go. Those superficial judgements don't really matter. However, if you are walking with Jesus and in the power of the Spirit, people will know you have been with Jesus, and that matters immensely! 

As for announcements, May 9 is Mother's Day and during that service we will be doing a child dedication. We already have a few that have responded, but there is still time to let me know if you want your child to be a part of that service. 

Second, on May 14-15 the youth will be having a Lock-In (/Lock-Out!). They will be meeting at 7pm going to Spare Time in Greenville for some fun including an escape room and late night bowling! Dinner and breakfast the following day will be provided and the cost is only $25 per student! A permission slip for the event is attached to this email, and space is limited due to limited space for the escape room. So I encourage any students to sign up as soon as possible. 

Finally, on May 15 from 9am -12pm the Blood Connection will be at Hopewell. Walk-ins are welcome and they are in a dire need for donors, so plan to come and donate and help save lives. 

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 4/15/2021

Church Family, 

1 Peter 3:15 says, "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." Now this verse is one that is often used to support apologetics, which is the defense of the faith. Apologetics will be when people talk about science and everything supporting Christianity. Now don't get me wrong, apologetics are good and accurate. However, I want you to note that the scripture says to give a reason for the hope that is in you. I talked about this with youth this past week. If I asked you what the gospel is what would you say? If you had to explain it to someone else, could you? Those are very important questions to which you need to know the answer. The gospel is the reason for the hope that is in you! Let's be a people that can communicate that message clearly! 

As for announcements, you will be receiving another email shortly after this one that has an attachment to a section of edited By-Laws. We are still in the process of working through our By-Laws and tomorrow marks 1 month until our next business meeting. So feel free to take a look at the changes as we will be voting on them in May. There will be physical copies available on Sunday. 

Second, on Mother's Day we will be having a baby dedication as part of the service. If you would like your child to be a part of that service please just let me know so that we can plan it out. 

Finally, VBS is coming up! We have yet to nail down specific dates, but I do know that we will need  a lot of help in pulling everything off. Soon you will be hearing about positions that need to be filled, and I pray that you are willing and will be a part of this awesome outreach! 

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday. Have a blessed weekend and I'll see you then! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 4/8/2021

Church Family, 

In our bible reading this week we read Joshua 24:15 which says, "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Of course this is a famous scripture, but I want you to notice something. After saying this, the people affirmed that they chose the Lord as well,  however, it would not be long before they turn their backs on God. We need to realize that while we may say along with Joshua that we will serve the Lord, it is something we have to renew daily. Joshua says to choose this day. Each day we wake up we have the opportunity to serve God or to serve self and Satan. Make sure you make a conscious decision to serve God today! 

As for announcements, this Saturday we get to celebrate Ms. Dot's birthday! There will be a drive-thru opportunity for you to say hey to her this Saturday at the church from 12pm to 1pm. The family asks that no gifts be given, but I know Ms. Dot would just love to see you. So come and say hey and happy birthday! 

Also, last night we had our first in-person Wednesday night service. That service will begin at 6:30pm like it use to, and there will be a time of fellowship during that first 30 minutes. Then the bible study will start at 7pm and Zoom will still be available as an option as well! It will be a little different, but we are excited!

Finally, Mother's Day is next month and we will be doing a baby dedication as part of that service. If you or someone you know may be interested in having your/their child be a part of that service, make sure they know about it and please get in contact with us as we plan that service. 

I look forward to worshipping with you again this Sunday! See you at Sunday School at 10 am and then service at 11am! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 3/25/2021

Church Family,

Psalm 115:4-8 says, "There idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not fell; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them." Of course here the psalmist is talking about physical idols or carved images, which isn't something we deal with as much today. However, the reality is that and idol is an idol. We may not carve little figures that have eyes and mouths, but nonetheless, our idols of politics, consumerism, or public approval are equally powerless at actually speaking or seeing truth. The fact is that our fallen flesh makes us great idol makers and unfortunately, those who make them, become like them. That means that the more you devote yourself to a false idol or a false hope, the more useless you become in the Kingdom of God. You will find yourself speaking passionately about nothing because your goals have shifted from what really matters. The challenge? Keep a check on your heart and crush those idols!

As for announcements, Easter is upon us! I'm so excited because this time last year, our President was saying he hoped churches would be back in person to celebrate this special day. However, we know that 2 weeks to flatten the curve turned into one year, and though we still celebrated last year, this year's Easter just seems a little more special. First, we will have an outdoor (weather permitting) Sunrise Service at 7am. Then, immediately following that service, the deacons will be providing breakfast and the best food is....free food! Following that we will have our regular services of Sunday School at 10 am and Worship at 11 am. Make plans to join us now!

Also, on April 7 we will start back our in-person Wednesday night bible studies. Now if you have joined us on Zoom, don't worry! We will be doing both! We will meet at 6:30pm on April 7 in the FLC and the Zoom and bible study will still start at 7pm. So if you'd like to come join us in person you can or you can continue to join us online and it will still be interactive. We will still be able to see you and hear you via Zoom. 

I'm excited to worship with you all this coming Sunday! See you there!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 3/18/2021

Church Family,

Luke 5:30-31 says, "And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?' And Jesus answered them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'" Now this verse takes place as Jesus calls Matthew to be one of his disciples and he eats at his home. The interesting thing is that Jesus' says He hasn't come for the righteous, but the reality is that there are none that are righteous. No not one. Rather, Jesus was speaking to the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. Now don't misapply this. Jesus came for the self-righteous too. The only issue is that there has to be a point where the self-righteous see that they aren't righteous. One cannot understand the good news of the gospel without understanding the bad news of the fall that says we are all sinners in need of repentance. I'm for one, very grateful, that Jesus came to save me. He came to save us all! But if you have been saved, don't revert back to being a self-righteous Pharisee. Rather than telling others how great we are, we should tell them about grace and how great God is!

As for announcements, this Saturday we have the 2021 Easter Egg Hunt. Make sure to invite any children that you may know to the event and if you have eggs that are filled, be sure to drop them off around 9:30am on Saturday. The event will take place from 11am to 1pm, and so far the weather is looking good. Pray the weather does hold out and that many will hear the message of the gospel through this event. 

Second, the carpet should be down this Sunday! Unless they end up changing our date for some reason, the company is coming to install the carpet today. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see it be finished up!

Finally, don't forget about the Annie Armstrong Missions Offering. We will be taking up that offering through Easter Sunday. 

I look forward to seeing and worshipping with you all on Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 3/11/2021

Church Family, 

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 73. I won't go through all of it here, but I do want to give you just the last verse. Psalm 73:28 says, "But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." Throughout the Psalm the writer is struggling with the ways of the world, and the how the evil prosper. However, once he gets back to God he regains a healthy perspective, which is that following God is worth it and those who do are truly the only ones on solid ground. That leads him to verse 28. I love when it says, "But for me it is good to be near God." Amen. It is good to be near God. That nearness is what you should seek after every morning and what you should desire to walk in throughout the day. When you know you're near God, the day is just better, no matter what you may walk through. 

As for announcements, we are in the Easter season and so that means it is time for the Annie Armstrong Mission Offering. This offering goes to support the North American Mission Board as they work in disaster relief, church planting, and college campus outreach all across the US and Canada. Everything that you give goes 100% to NAMB and they use all of this offering for their mission endeavors. None of this offering is used for administrative costs on their end. So begin to pray about what God may have you give. 

With that, we also have an Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for March 20, 2021, from 11am to 1pm. Everything will be taking place outside and there will be no large gathering of everyone at one time, like there was in years past. All of this is in an effort to continue to be safe, in hopes that our state's COVID numbers continue to drop. If you can fill some eggs with candy, that would be a great help, and the eggs are available in the sanctuary. If you have already taken some, then you can return them on Sunday as we will have a designated place for you to drop them off. We are excited about this outreach opportunity!

Finally, as for the carpet, the wood trim has come in and should be down by this Sunday. The hopes are that the carpet will be able to be laid the following week, meaning it would be ready by March 21. Of course, this is all up to when the company can schedule us, and they have not yet given us a date. I just wanted to keep you all in the loop.

I look forward to worshipping with you again this Sunday in the sanctuary! Don't forget that Harry Jordan will be leading the adult Sunday School at 10am, and I know he would love the support if you're able to attend. I mentioned that the class would meet in the sanctuary, but in order to not be interrupted, the class will take place in the front room of the FLC. Have a blessed weekend!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 3/4/2021

Church Family,

1 Corinthians 16:17-18 says, "I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people." Now at the end of most of Paul's letters, he has some section like this one where he gives personal instructions and tells about specific people going to specific places. I think that we normally just jump over these texts. However, I want you to notice that often Paul either sends somebody to be an encouragement, or he receives someone who has encouraged him. That may seem common place, but I say that is God! You likely know exactly what I am talking about. God sends people to us at just the right times and they can encourage us when we need it most. Coincidence or an act of grace by a mighty God? Well I'll let you say coincidence if you like, but I know that it is an act of grace by our mighty God! Thank you to all who have given a word of encouragement right when it was needed. God used you!

As for announcements, we will have an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 20, from 11am to 1pm. We are doing everything outside in order to distance and stay safe, and we are changing some of the details up a bit. We do need help with candy and eggs though! This Sunday, in one of the pews that is roped off, there will be a bunch of bags full of eggs. Each bag has 25 eggs in it. If you can fill some, then grab a bag or two and help us out. We would greatly appreciate it!

Second, the carpet company has been called and the order has been placed. I can't speak for the company, but based on what they have told me, it seems that March 14 may be the first day we have the carpet, but it will more than likely be in place March 21st. The reason for the delay is that the wood trim has to be stained and covered so that it will hold up well. Once that is ready, the carpet can be put down. Just wanted to keep you updated!

Finally, since Easter is a month away, that means it is time for the Annie Armstrong Easter offering! This offering goes 100% to supporting the North American Mission Board (NAMB) as they reach out to college campuses, plant churches, and work in the areas of disaster relief. If you would like to give, there will be a drop-down box available on tithely by Sunday or you can give in person by marking it clearly on your check and offering envelope that it is for the Annie Armstrong offering. 

I look forward to worshipping with you all again this Sunday. See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 2/25/2021

Church Family,

Hebrews 6:19-20 says, "We have this as a sure  and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Now of course, if you remember our study through the book of Hebrews, Melchizedek is an interesting character. But rather than focus on him, I want you to notice the first parts of these verses. The inner place behind the curtain is a reference to the tabernacle (and later the temple) where God was, and we weren't allowed back there in the presence of God! Only the high priest was, and that was only once a year after an extensive sacrificial procedure (Lev. 16). However, this verse says that the anchor of our soul is behind the curtain. What is it talking about? Well just before these verses in Hebrews, the writer tells us that God's promise of salvation was a promise by which He swore upon Himself, meaning that He would definitely keep His promise! If that's confusing, here is the simplified statement: God promises you salvation, and if you have repented of yours sins and called upon the name of the Lord, then you can be sure that you will one day stand in the very presence of God! 

As for announcements, we are back in the sanctuary this Sunday! No, the carpet isn't done yet, but the hope is that you'll get a better understanding of the exact need as we vote on the carpet on Sunday. Also, moving to the sanctuary makes a lot of our technology needs a lot easier as well. Just so you know what to expect, we will still be practicing social distancing and masks are strongly encouraged. Every other pew will be blocked off, and we plan to have chairs in the wings for those who really want to separate a little more. Please keep in mind as well, that along with the carpet, there are other details in the building that have yet to be completed. Like many things, the list of details is long, but it's a lot of small things. So please be patient as the work continues. 

Also, we are taking up a special love offering this Sunday to go toward the church renovations. As far as the designated account, we will not quite have enough to get the carpet done, and our hope is that this love offering will take care of that. However, we also have many other projects that need to be done, and anything donated will go towards those projects. If  you would like to give online, just click this link and make sure to choose church renovations in the drop-down box: https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/?fbclid=IwAR27ReF18wXQQvpEjI2wi3hFSc4GIBh2dHpVMGI7YDIrLRlbMsw5_8w80n4#/tithely/give-one-time/1302026

Finally, we are in need of candy for the Easter Egg hunt on March 20. If you have candy to donate, just bring it with you on Sunday!

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday, and I can't wait to see what its like being back in the sanctuary! See you all then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 2/18/2021

Church Family,

In Exodus 33, God tells Moses to leave Sinai and to take the people to the land of Canaan; the promised land. However, I love what the scripture says in verses 14 and 15. In verse 14 God tells Moses that His presence will go with the people and He (God) will give them rest. Moses' response is great as he says, "If your presence will not go with me, do no bring us up from here." Amen! I don't know about you, but that is my prayer request as well. I don't want to go anywhere if God isn't going with me. Now yes, I know that the bible says Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, and that is true. God will always be with us. However, I do believe it is possible for us to move forward outside of God's will for our lives, and when we do, we lose the active presence of God. Rather, God is still there, and He watches us fail as we try to do things on our own, patiently waiting until we turn back to Him. So pray that you will stay in a place where you recognize your dependence upon God!

As for announcements, if the weather continues to look good, the pews will be moved this coming Saturday at 8:30am. We will need some strong backs to help us with this, and I don't think it will take too long if we have the help. It will be hard work, but it should only be a few hours. 

Also, Sunday we will be putting out an email that has the details of the motion being made on February 28th at our special called business meeting. Of course, this business meeting is to finalize some of sanctuary renovations and we are finally at the point where we are looking to cover the stage and the front of the church. On Sunday, you'll receive the written motion, a picture of the flooring choice, and a link to cast your vote before the 28th. Let me know if you have any questions. 

I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 2/11/2021

Church Family,

2 Peter 3:15-16 says, "And count the patience of the Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." Now of course this text is warning the believers about the false teachers who twist the scripture. However, I love how Peter says that some of the things Paul wrote were hard to understand. I don't know about you, but I'm glad he feels that way! There are certainly areas of the scripture that are hard to understand, but that was even true for many of our church leaders throughout history. So, I guess my encouragement would be, as you do your bible reading, don't let a tough passage cause you to stop and lose momentum. Just keep on keeping on!

As for announcements, we will be moving the pews back into the sanctuary this Saturday at 8:30am. It should only take a few hours, but we need as many strong backs as we can get. If you can help please come join us, and let others know. The more hands we have the easier it will be. 

Second, believe it or not, Easter is coming and coming fast! Soon we will put out eggs to be filled for an Easter egg hunt. We are still not exactly sure what that will look like this year, but we know we will need eggs with candy in them! So be on the lookout for more information, and if you see some discounted candy, buy it!

Finally, I have attached a pdf version of the deacon families for this coming year. We re-organized the list around family units rather than just individual names, so the groups may be split a little different than years past. However, if you look at the form, it goes by last names and it will tell you who your deacon is and it will give you a contact number for them if you need anything or have any concerns. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Well, I'm excited for Sunday! I love to worship with my church family, and I'm hopeful that we are just a few weeks out from meeting back in our sanctuary as well! I hope you'll join us Sunday in person, online, or in the parking lot! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 2/4/2021

Church Family, 

We are good at grudges aren't we? I mean someone can offend us in the slightest way and we can hold onto it for a lifetime. However, sometimes the offences aren't that petty, and yet, God still tells us to forgive. I think the story of Joseph in Genesis is fascinating as it relates to this. He was sold into slavery and proclaimed as dead by his brothers. I doubt anyone has ever treated us that way. And yet, in Gen. 50:20 Joseph says, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Of course, Joseph is saying that had he not been sold into slavery he would have never made it to Egypt and foretold the coming famine that would surely kill many, were they not prepared. God uses the events in our lives, whether good or evil, to bring about his goals. Joseph recognized that and forgave his brothers. We should be willing to do the same, as we rest in the fact that our good God is still in control! 

As for announcements, the drawing for our Secret Sister ministry has been postponed, which means sign-ups have been extended! If you have yet to sign-up and you would like to be a part, then you simply have to click this link and sign up!: https://forms.gle/URLdd2F8cVBrEXeS8

Also the sanctuary work is continuing to progress. We are currently getting quotes for carpet that will be used to cover the stage and vestibule area. All of the base boards are back up except for the areas where the carpet is going and the pews are fixed up and ready to be moved back! We will be meeting at 8:30 am on Saturday, February 13, to move the the pews back. We will need all the help we can get. It shouldn't take more than a few hours, but the pews are heavy. Please make plans to join us if you are able. 

I hope to see you Sunday! We will still have our services in person, online, and in the parking lot via 95.7 fm. Masks are encouraged for our in-person services as we continue trying to stay safe during this time. God has been good!

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 1/28/2021

Church Family, 

Yesterday's bible reading plan had us reading Galatians 2. I also quoted Galatians 2 this past Sunday, specifically, Galatians 2:20. The verse says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Paul found his identity in Christ, and he realized that his salvation entailed a crucifixion with Christ. When we are saved, we die and yet, we are raised to life! The life we now live we live by faith in the Son of God. That means that we need His power to live this resurrected life, and we can be so identified with Him because He took all of our sin!

 

As for announcements, we will be taking the Lord's Supper this Sunday during our 11 am service. We will be using the prepackaged juice and wafers, and the deacon distributing the elements will be masked and gloved. The reason for this is to be extra careful in dispensing the elements. I hope you'll join us for this special time of worship. 

Second, we had our first deacon's meeting this past Sunday, and I just wanted to say that I was greatly encouraged by these awesome men! We had a good time of fellowship and we talked about how the church has been and where we are going. You will be hearing in early February about who will be your deacon, as we are in the process of cleaning up our family lists and making them a little clearer. I am also happy to announce that Bro. Gary Bolton will be serving as the Chairman of Deacons for this year. 

Finally, we are doing the Heart for Anderson Outreach this Sunday, January 31. If you have any coats or blankets, please bring them during the morning service. We will be passing them out later that evening. 

I hope to see you all Sunday and I hope you have a blessed weekend!

 Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 1/21/2021

Church Family

In Genesis 15, there is an odd story about Abraham and God. In the chapter, God repeats the promise to Abraham that He had previously given in chapter 12. However, in chapter 15 something neat happens. God asks Abraham to sacrifice animals and split them in half. Then Abraham was to lay the animals out in a path of blood so that one could walk through it. This sounds gross I know, but it was used to ratify the covenant and the point was that if one broke the covenant or promise, then they should face the same fate as those animals. It was a major sign. However, once Abraham gets it ready, God puts Him to sleep. Then verse 17 says, "When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces." What was going on here? Well God Himself passed through the sacrifice. What does this mean for us? Well just think how blessed by grace we are that we have a promise keeping God who loves us enough to take the blood sacrifice Himself. He knows we are good promise breakers, so He takes matters into His own hands and seals the deal! 

As for announcements, we are back in person this Sunday and we have the exciting privilege to ordain Bro. Ed Dorsey into our deacon ministry. I know many still need to stay away for health purposes, but if you're able, I want to encourage you to be here for this service to show your support for Bro. Ed. I'm excited about how God is going to continue to use him and his sweet family at Hopewell Baptist!

Also, I know I talked about how our budget year ended last year a lot, but I just got word that we also met our goal for Lottie Moon! We had the highest Lottie Moon goal that we have had since I've been here and we met it! I'm hoping that the IMB met their goal of 175 million dollars, as everyone of those dollars helps to spread the gospel to the nations! Thank you for being faithful to give!

Finally, don't forget to sign up for our new contact system. It will send a call or a text to you should we have any urgent news we need to get out to our church family. To sign up, you can click this link: https://forms.gle/h9d38K6Jyp92WEMW8

I hope to see you all Sunday! Have a great rest of the week. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 1/14/2021

Church Family,

If you have been taking part in the bible reading plan, then you recently read Mark 6. In Mark 6:45-47 it says, "Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land." Now this is something we see happen a few different times in the life of Jesus, as he withdraws to pray. He had just got finished feeding the five thousand and then immediately after these verse he will be walking on the water and calming the sea for his disciples. So Jesus had some big jobs to do! However, in the middle of it all, he still found time to withdraw by himself and pray! As we have dealt with sickness this past week in my house, I've been reminded of how little isolation we actually practice. It can be hard with busy schedules and especially little ones who want constant attention. However, it is still possible and important to have those quiet times! So make it a priority and get alone with the Lord daily! 

As for announcements, the sanctuary floors are done! They look absolutely fantastic! The company also came in slightly under budget, which is great as well! This Sunday we will open the doors after service for any who would like to take a look at them. Beyond that, the next steps that are left to be done is that the windows have to be painted, the pews have to be cleaned and put back, and the vestibule and stage have to be covered! So there is still work to do, but it is coming together well!

Second, we are planning to ordain Brother Ed Dorsey into the Deacon ministry on Sunday, January 24! This will be a special service, and I hope that if you're able, you'll be able to attend and show support for our new deacon! 

Finally, for those wondering about the COVID-19 in our house, we are doing well. As I've mentioned, last week I had symptoms of sinus infection that turned out to be COVID. I was sick for about 3 days and after that I have been doing good. That being said, barring anything crazy changing, my quarantine is officially up tomorrow, Friday, January 15. So unless something changes, we will be back in person this coming Sunday! Of course, the best place to hear if that changes is by paying attention to emails or keeping a watch on our Facebook page. 

So I look forward to seeing you Sunday! Remember we also have Sunday School for all ages at 10am. And as always, if you can't be with us in person, you can watch us online or listen to us in the parking lot.  See you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 1/7/2021

Church Family,

1 Peter 2:1-3 says, "So put away all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." I love how this texts calls the believers to act like newborn infants longing for pure spiritual milk. What is the spiritual milk? Well we know that elsewhere (1 Cor. 3) Paul refers to milk and meat as God's truth or, in other words, God's Word. Peter here may be talking about more than God's Word, however, God's Word is definitely part of it. We should long for that close relationship with the Lord, and we often find that fellowship when we are in His Word.

With that, we are approaching the end of the first week in our bible reading plan for 2021. I have attached the plan again, just in case you didn't get it last week. I pray you are working through the plan and that you will find the disciplined reading as a fruitful experience. 

Also, the sanctuary floors started to get refinished this past Monday and they are looking great! Hopefully this Sunday, if anyone would like, you'll be able to walk through and see what it looks like. Just to give you a roadmap for where we are headed next, the stage and vestibule need to be covered (likely will have a carpet pattern and quote coming soon) and then the pews will need to be moved back and installed. So there is still work to do, but so much has been completed and it is looking great!

Finally, we are collecting blankets, coats and pretty much anything that will keep you warm, as we will be passing those out to those in need in downtown Anderson. The days are cold, and this is an easy way for us to minister to those in need. 

I hope to see you all this Sunday as we gather to worship! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 12/31/2020

Church Family,

This is the last day of 2020! Tomorrow you have to eat your collard greens and black eyed peas, not because we believe in luck or superstition, but because they're delicious (if you have no clue what I'm talking about it, it's a southern thing!). With that, I want to encourage you and challenge you for this new year. I heard a story of a pastor one time who stood up before the congregation and talked about how much he like red bibles. He asked everyone who had a red bible to hold it up in the air, and of course, if someone had a red leather bible they all held it up. However, then he said, well I hope you all have READ bible! Haha. 

Now I know that is just a cheesy joke, but the truth is, our bibles are only beneficial to us if we read them. I'm sure the vast majority of Christians don't have a bible reading plan nor have they read through the entire bible. So, I want us as church to do a bible reading plan! I have attached a plan that I think is simple enough, and if you'd like, you can print it out and keep it with your bible to help you plan. This bible reading plan is made for 1 reading a day for 5 days a week. The weekends are open in case you miss a day and need to catch up. It will start on January 4, 2021 and if you keep up with it, you'll have read through the bible in a year! I think it's a great resolution to make, and I pray you'll join me in that challenge. 

Next, I have already announced and will probably announce one last time this Sunday, that we as a church actually exceeded our budget for the year 2020 in tithes and offerings! I think that is something worth celebrating because it demonstrates the faithfulness of you all to give! To be clear, this means that if we had a regular year, and we had spent as much as we budgeted (which we didn't come close to doing), then we would have still been well off! And none of that includes designated giving. In fact, we are also only $92 away from meeting our goal for Lottie Moon! So I just wanted to inform you of that and give you the opportunity to praise the Lord with me!

I hope to see you Sunday! We will have Sunday School for youth, children, and adults at 10am, and service will be at 11. We will be starting our way through 2 Timothy, and I think starting the first Sunday of the New Year worshipping with church family is an awesome thing to do! I hope to see you there! Of course, you can continue to watch us on Facebook or listen in the parking lot if you need to! Have a blessed day!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 12/24/2020

Merry Christmas! 

I hope that you are all doing well during this Christmas time! I just want to briefly remind you that we will have our Christmas Eve service in person, this evening at 5:30pm. If you are unable to join us in person, we will be live-streaming the service on Facebook. 

Also, we are back in person this coming Sunday, December 27. Let's finish out 2020 strong, as we take a look a text that I think offers great wisdom for the coming year. 

Have a great day! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 12/17/2020

Church Family, 

John 1:1 says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God , and the Word was God." That is as short, yet profound statement. See the theology of Christmas is not that God's Son was born on Christmas. Rather, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are eternally distinct and yet they are eternally one. They have always existed, and there was never a time that God the Father was without a Son. So, when we look at Christmas we are seeing the beginning and the birth of the man Jesus. However, this is the eternal God the Son taking on flesh and becoming a man. Our God went to great lengths to save us, and when we celebrate Jesus, we celebrate the God who became man to redeem us! He is the only one who could! 

As for announcements, the biggest one is the one you received yesterday about our services this coming Sunday. As of now, we don't know of anyone that has caught COVID from the exposure this past weekend. Now to be clear, the exposure was mainly due to activities beyond our regular Sunday service, and in those activities we had most of those responsible for "running" our service exposed. So, to be cautious we are taking the Sunday off, just so we can keep everyone healthy in the Christmas season. Please make plans to join us live at 11am on Facebook! We will be looking at the topic of love, and it will be the final segment of our Advent series as we think about the Christmas story.  

Next, I want to be a broken record and again encourage you to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. I can't stress this offering enough. We have a goal of $1500, which should be relatively easy for us to meet if everyone gives. This offering goes to support international missionaries all across the world. To put this in perspective, the IMB is hope to raise $175 Million. Now that seems like a lot, but if you divide it by the fact that we fund nearly 4,000 full-time missionaries, then it is just over $40,000 per family. Now they don't nearly all receive that. Some of the money goes to other mission efforts and supplies and the cost of living in some countries is much less. However, you can see why so much is needed, and we want to take care of our missionaries. This is one of the main ways we as a church can take part in the Great Commission of taking the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. So, you can give by check, just make it clear on the envelope and check that it is for Lottie Moon. If you give on Tithely like I did, you just need to make sure that you click on the designated Lottie Moon fund in the drop down box. Please consider giving.  

Finally, unless something changes, we have two special services coming up. On Christmas Eve at 5:30 pm, we plan to have our regular Candlelight service. We will also be taking the Lord's Supper during that service, and the candles, the communion packets, and everything you need will be administered in such a way that you won't have to worry about breaking any of our social distance precautions. 

Then on December 27, we are excited to be ordaining Brother Ed Dorsey into the Deacon ministry! Make plans to join us for that special service as well as we close out 2020. This will take during our regular 11 am service. 

Of course, as always, we make plans, but God is in control. If anything changes, I will let you know as soon as possible. Otherwise, see you Sunday on Facebook Live! 

Serving Him, 
Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 12/10/2020

Church Family, 

Matthew 1:18-25 tells us about the birth of Jesus, but it primarily tells us about the perspective from Joseph. I want to briefly comment on that story. Remember that Joseph found out Mary was pregnant before they got married, and he wanted to divorce (betrothal then was like marriage without consummation, so divorce here is an appropriate word for the seriousness of this commitment)her quietly. He was being an honorable man in the way that he was handling things, but then he got a word from God through a dream. He was told not to divorce Mary, but rather, to take her as his wife because the child being born was the Savior of the world! Then what does Joseph do? Well he obeys. I think its important to point out that Joseph trusted the word of God. Don't take your bible for granted. God's Word is just that...God's Word. In it we have truth worthy of being trusted. Sometimes I think we are unwilling to take some of the simplest steps of faith because we don't trust His Word. However, Joseph here gives us one of many examples of what it means to live by faith and knowing that God is up to something in our lives. 

As for announcements, the Holiday Bazaar is this coming Saturday from 10 am to 2pm. They now have 15 vendors signed up to sell items and it looks like they'll have a lot of great items. There will also be a visit by Santa Claus and there will be food truck present. So come out and support the vendors and buy lunch from the food truck! 

Then, this coming Sunday night we will be going caroling and to see Christmas lights. If you would like to go, just contact Lynn Greer and she will have the details about where we will be going and when. I'm excited to be able to minister to some of our seniors who, due to this pandemic, we haven't been able to see much this year. We will of course be staying outside and singing so if the weather holds up, it will be a great time!

Also, we are planning on having a Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 5:30pm on, you guessed it, Christmas Eve! We will also be taking the Lord's Supper during that service. Make plans to join us for that special holiday service. 

Finally, don't forget that the Christmas season is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering time. Make sure to give to the Lottie Moon offering and make sure to mark it clearly on your offering envelope. Remember, every dollar for Lottie Moon goes directly to international missions! We are called to share Christ with the world, and this is one major way we support that mission. 

See you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 12/3/2020

Church Family, 

I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for December and now that it is December, it doesn't feel like it. I also thought that 2020 was dragging by and now that its December I look back and it feels like it flew by! I guess what I realized is that our perceptions of things, rather past, present, or future, are often obscured by our wants and feelings. We can't really plan in anyway that is sure, nor can we trust what a day, a week, or a year will hold. Thus, I'm reminded of James 4:13-15 which says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" God has gifted us today. Make plans, but don't dwell on them. Cherish today and use it wisely. We don't know how many we have left. 

As for announcements, the biggest one is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering! The IMB has a goal of $175 Million this year to celebrate 175 years of missions! Every dollar given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes 100% to funding missionaries all across the world. You can give on Sundays by marking it clearly on your envelopes or you can give on Tithely (just makes sure to choose the Lottie Moon designated fund). 

Also, keep in mind that the angel tree presents are due by December 9th, meaning that this Sunday will be the last Sunday you can turn them in. 

Finally, not this Saturday, but next (Dec. 12), don't forget to come to our Holiday Bazaar! Show your support by shopping with all of the vendors. 

Love y'all and see you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 11/26/2020

Church Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! Psalm 107:1 says, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." (I think I remember something about His steadfast love enduring forever, from this past Sunday...) Anyways! I don't think I have to say much about that verse! We have so much to be thankful, and regardless of how you're celebrating today, I pray that you full of thanks! Rejoice and be glad because you have a relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

The biggest announcement is that this coming Sunday we will begin our observance of Advent, and that means that we will begin promoting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering! You hear me talk about missions a lot, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this is one of the most important offerings we collect because it goes 100% to making disciples across the world! Everything you give to Lottie Moon goes to our International Mission Board for the funding of missionaries all across the globe. To give, you can make any checks payable to Hopewell Baptist, but just mark clearly on the envelope and/or check that it is for Lottie Moon. At the end of the season, we will write one check to the IMB. You can give on Tithely as well, just make sure you say that it is designated to Lottie Moon.

With that, we are beginning Advent, but you may notice we aren't having a "Hanging of the Greens" service. The main reason for that is that it would be hard to do in the FLC, since our greens are not going to be quite the same. However, we do hope to have a Christmas Eve service like usual, so stay tuned for details about that!

Keep in mind the Holiday Bazaar is December 12. That is coming up quickly and should be a good opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done. We are also hopeful that we will have a food truck present there as well!

Finally, don't forget that the angel tree presents are due in early December, so if you're like me, we have to stop procrastinating and get that shopping done soon!

I hope you have a bless Thanksgiving and I'll see you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 11/19/2020

Church Family,

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." This is a clear, succinct, and powerful statement! What are we to do as believers? Well first, we are to always be rejoicing because we have something to joy over, namely, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second, we are to pray without ceasing because we always have needs to pray and the mercy and grace of God is ever necessary. Finally, give thanks in all circumstances. Now that's a hard one. Next week is Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving mainly because of the time with family. However, as you think back over this year, being thankful may be hard. 2020 has been rough, and yet, even in this, we are to give thanks! We have so much to be thankful for!

As for announcements, this Sunday is the last day that we are collecting for the Good Neighbor Cupboard, so please don't forget to bring your non-perishables. Then on November 23 we will be meeting at the Good Neighbor Cupboard to help them pack the boxes they will be handing out for Thanksgiving, so come join us if you can!

Second, we have the Holiday Bazaar on December 12. If you would like to be a vendor please let Lynn know via lynn@hbcanderson.com, or if you aren't a vendor, just make plans to join us! It costs $15 for a vendor to rent a spot and that all goes to help the Children's ministry. 

Finally, we will have business meetings coming up soon. First, we will have  special called one that you will be receiving more information about on Sunday. Then, in December, we will have our normal meeting where we approve the budget and all that we need for next year. Just stay connected so that you'll stay in the know, and if you have any questions along the way always feel free to reach out to me.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 11/12/2020

Church Family,

Psalm 118:24 says, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." AMEN! Hey do you know which day the Lord made? Today! And guess what (SPOILER ALERT), He makes tomorrow too! So if you've been having a rough day, just pause for a minute, consider this point, and praise the LORD! Praise the Lord that He has given us another day of life, and regardless of your day, God has got you and He has your tomorrows as well!

As for announcements, we are taking donations for the Good Neighbor Cupboard for Thanksgiving dinners. They weren't sure they were going to be able to do anything this year, but it turns out that they are and we want to help in anyway that we can. We may not be able to do a traditional Thanksgiving fellowship meal, but we can still work to serve our community and those who are less fortunate. They are accepting non-perishable items, such as canned and boxed foods. Basically, think of what you would eat at Thanksgiving, and bring that! So canned green beans, boxed mac&cheese, bagged rice, etc. Lynn also mentioned that if you wait until the last day we are accepting donations, November 22, then you can bring sweet potatoes, which would be a fresh food option. Then on November 23, if you're willing and able, we will be meeting at the Good Neighbor Cupboard to help them pack the boxes that will be handed out to those in need. This is an awesome opportunity to serve!

Next, we do have a Christmas Bazaar planned for December 12. Like I mentioned Sunday, I don't know what a Bazaar is, but if you do then I know you'll want to come! There will be vendors selling items that may help you wrap up some Christmas shopping, and all of the vendors are "buying there spot" as a fundraiser for our Children's ministry. So make plans to support this event either by attending or by selling something if you have something to sell! Just reach out to Lynn at lynn@hbcanderson.com if you have any questions. 

Finally, as for an update, the pews are gone from the sanctuary and they are in the FLC! Progress is being made on our sanctuary renovations, and you will be hearing sooner than later about a business meeting so that we can make a decision about painting and move forward there. But it looks great so far, and a lot of the prep work is already done. Things are moving forward well right not!

 Love you all and see you Sunday! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 11/5/2020

Church Family,

Romans 13:1 says, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." As I write this devotional thought, it is election day. Now you are receiving this two days later so let's hope we know who the President is by now, and if we do, then you are either happy or bothered by the results. Regardless, I want you to recall Romans 13. Whether or not we agree, as members of society, we are called to subject to governing authorities. The entire "not my president" movement is dumb and childish. If you're American, then the American president is your president! Don't continue that foolishness. Second, remember that regardless if you are happy or bothered, God is still the one in control. You may think God gave us a leader for our good or for our judgment, but regardless, God knew who the president was going to be. Make sure your speech is faith-filled because our hope is in Christ. Anything less is sinful, because it demonstrates a lack of faith and trust in our good God!

As for announcements, we don't have many! First, we will be participating the in the Angel Tree Christmas Tree, and we hope to have that information soon. Yes, it does seem early, but if you recall, DSS needs the presents  few weeks before Christmas so that they can get them to the children. So, be on the look out for more on that service opportunity. 

Also, I just wanted to update you on the sanctuary renovations. We are currently in the demolitions stage, however things are moving forward. The carpet is completely gone, and the pews are ready to be moved. Once we get the pews moved, we will be coming before the church to make a decision on painting. Once that is finished, the floor guy will be ready to go! After that, we will just have to make decisions about the choir loft/stage and the vestibule. If you have any questions about any of this just let me know! I'm excited about the progress. Huge shoutout to Gary Bolton, Sarah Spencer, Shelby Spencer, and Jerry Roberts for coming out on Monday to pull up all the staples in the floor!

See y'all Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 10/29/2020

Church Family,

Philippians 1:3-5 says, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." The book of Philippians is one of Paul's most positive letters, because he doesn't have much to critique them over. He loved Philippi! He loved all the churches, but Philippi had a special place in his heart because they were so supportive of him and the mission of Christ. In fact, the book of Philippi is mainly a big thank you letter to the church for helping him out in the mission. 

I make that point to say that I was blown away by the love and support that I and my family were shown this past Sunday. It was a great blessing to us, and I thank everyone of you who gave in any way. It wasn't something you had to do, but it sure was meaningful to me, and I have been thinking on it all week. I am so blessed and honored to be your pastor, and I love my church. I also love that my family loves my church! Janie absolutely loves it when we tell her where we are going on Sundays. So, I pray that God will allow me to continue to serve for years to come, and I am hopeful of the future we have at Hopewell! 

Also (this email is all celebration!), Trunk-or-Treat this past Sunday was a huge success! We think that we had somewhere around 300 people in attendance. It lasted only an hour, but people showed up early and it was a non-stop crowd for almost that entire hour! Every kid that came through received a gospel tract and they got to walk through the story of the gospel as told by the trunks. Pray that God will use this to plant seeds and that He would draw the people to Himself! Thank you for everyone who hosted a trunk and for all who donated candy! It was an awesome (and tiring) night! 

I'm looking forward to this Sunday as well. We have some special music and special musician that are going to be joining us, so don't miss it! See you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 10/22/2020

Church Family,

One of my favorite sections of scripture is in the beginning of Revelation 5. John sees in the hand of Him on the throne a scroll with seven seals. And an angel begins to ask if anyone is worthy to open the scrolls, and the bible says that "no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll. Revelation 5:4-5 says, "and I (John) began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look into it. And one of the elders said to me, 'Weep no more; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." This is an awesome picture! John is weeping because it seems like no one is able to fix this mess, and yet, there is One who is worthy! Amen! Don't forget that, especially during election season. Please do your civic duty and go vote and I would encourage you to vote your conscience. However, remember that no matter whose name you circle (or push), only Jesus is worthy! Our King has already won and the end is sure!

As for announcements,  we did have a positive COVID case in the church, but upon talking with other local pastors and the leadership at Hopewell, it was decided to simply follow the CDC guidelines of cleaning and communicating to any who may have been in close contact. I will say that we have been blessed in the midst of all this. After talking with some other churches, we are one of the few that have not had a case in the church until now. Of course, we had some members who were positive early on, but each time those members had not currently been attending in-person yet. I think God has been very gracious to us! 

With that, we do have Trunk-or-Treat planned for this coming Sunday at 6:30pm. This event is scheduled to continue and we simply ask that if you have symptoms or were in close contact with somebody who was COVID positive then please don't feel the need to participate. We have had an abundance of trunks volunteer, and we don't want to put out any unnecessary risk. Furthermore, given that the event is outside, trunks are spaced out, and the line is constantly moving, there is not a large worry about air transmission. However, in an abundance of caution, we are going to ask those who are passing out candy to wear gloves (which will be provided) since that is the main source of contact that we will have. 

That being said, we have had a lot of interest about our Trunk-or-Treat on our Facebook page, and I'm excited about this community service and outreach opportunity. I'm also excited about our attempt to share the gospel through trunks, and I'm praying that God will use it! Please pray along with me!

I love you all and I hope to see you Sunday! If you have any questions about anything just reach out to me.

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 10/15/2020

Church Family,

I'll be brief this week, since I have sent some longer emails already this week. I just want to remind you of some of the major announcements. Remember that this Sunday, October 18, we will be having a business meeting to decide on the route we want to go with our floors in the sanctuary. If you have yet to respond to that email, and need to or you have questions, just let me know. 

Second, if you have a teenager or know someone who does, invite them to join us this coming Sunday night! Of course, we have restarted children's and youth ministry on Sunday nights, but this coming Sunday we have special treat. Sarah and Shelby Spencer, two freshmen from AU who have been visiting with us for a while now, are going to be delivering the lesson! So send your teens and show them some support!

Finally, we have 17 trunks signed up for Trunk-or-Treat on October 25th! Begin sharing the event on Facebook and letting others know! We have a plan to share the gospel with all those who come through our event, and we are excited about it! Also, this far out it's impossible to know, but lets go ahead a pray for good weather too.

I hope you are having a good week! See you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 10/9/2020

Church Family, 

Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice." Are you having a hard week? I hope not, but the chances are pretty high that if you're reading this you just went through something hard or stressful, you're in the middle of something hard or stressful, or your hard and stressful time is just around the corner. Either way, I think Paul's words here are encouraging, because we have to recognize that when he says to rejoice, he is writing while he is imprisoned! In fact, Philippians is one of Paul's most up-beat letters, and he writes the whole thing while being imprisoned. So that should tell us, despite your circumstances, rejoice today! If you have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you have been highly blessed beyond measure! Also, in your rejoicing, you're likely to find your outlook on things changing as well! 

As for announcements, don't forget about the business meeting we have immediately following the service this Sunday. We will be taking deacon nominations and discussing the land that is for sale right beside the church. Remember, if you're not attending in person, you can send your two nominations for deacon to me by responding to this email (be sure to put reply to sender only if you don't want it to go to everyone). Nominations must be in by the end of the business meeting Sunday, as we will be tallying them up. Remember, we are asking for 2 nominations!

Finally, I wanted to thank you all for the overwhelming response to Trunk-or-Treat! We are planning on having this event on October 25 starting at 6:30pm. We ended up having almost 15 trunks sign up, so it should be a great event! If you can't host a trunk, you can help by donating candy between now and then! The donated candy always helps to replenish those who run out during the event. 

I hope you all have a blessed weekend, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 10/1/2020

Church Family, 

Well Tuesday night was disaster. I don't know about you, but #Debate2020 firmly reminded me that our hope is in Christ and Christ alone! As Paul approached the end of his life, he said in 2 Timothy 4:8, "Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." Amen! I can't wait for that day! It's a simple point and, thus, a simple devotion. Yet, I want you to remember where your hope lies! November is going to be crazy, but our God has never lost control, and He never will. Don't let temporal things cause you to spiral when your hope is eternal!

As for announcements, we do have deacon nominations coming up on October 11. Immediately following the service on the 11th we will have slips of paper passed out and we will collect your nominations in that way. We are asking everyone to write down 2 names as we have 2 deacons rolling off this year. Bob Ayers and Bob Cathey are both finishing up their terms this year, and we are going to miss them! They have been awesome servants over the past 3 years, and I have personally been very grateful for the wisdom they offer. Remember, that if you are not attending the in-person services, you can still send in your 2 nominees by either responding to this email or sending me a text.

Finally, October is here and that means Fall Festival is coming up! Now of course, we won't be doing nearly as much as we normally do for Fall Festival. However, we are still hoping to do at least a trunk-or-treat event and maybe a few other things. I am very grateful for all of those who responded earlier this week and were willing to sponsor a trunk. So far, our plan is to host the trunk-or-treat on October 25th, the Sunday evening before Halloween. Mark it on your calendars and make plans to help out if you're able!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 9/24/2020

Church Family,

Micah 6:8 says, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Given the recent headlines, I want to talk about what it means to do justice. First, we me be clear that this year has been full of evil and sadness. As believers, we mourn the loss of humans made in the image of God, and our hope is that all that pass would know Jesus as their Savior. In that we must be clear. That being said, the question is what does it mean to do justice? Unfortunately in our world today, the media and the culture at large seem to have more influence than facts. We live in a fallen world, and we must realize that perfect justice will never be possible until the return of the Lord. However, that doesn't mean we don't do our absolute best to pursue justice. We have to always be critical of our justice system because we know it's not perfect, but that does not mean that every ruling is imperfect. Facts matter. As believers, we have to stand on a set of rules that determine justice rather than allowing ourselves to change those rules as the wind blows. This morning on Al Mohler (President of The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY) said something that I think is worth repeating. He said there is no such thing as mob justice, because in the end you only have a mob and no justice. I don't think it could be said any clearer. For us, to do justice means to rely on facts and set standards in an attempt to do our best in mimicking the perfect justice of our Lord, whose standards never change!

As for announcements, I want to remind you that this Sunday is Promotion Sunday. I want to say congrats to Emily Sentell and Lily Culbertson as they move up into the youth program! 

Also, this coming Sunday we will start back our nursery and our Sunday evening children's and youth  programs. The kids will be starting a serious called Cold-Case Christianity, in which they will serve as cadets in helping to prove the truths of Jesus! The children's ministry will start at 6:30pm and the youth will begin at 7pm

Finally, it is time to begin the process of Deacon Nominations! I told Bob Ayers that with the way 2020 was went, I'm not sure that it counts as a year, and so he will just have to continue serving. He didn't have the same idea haha! Anyways, we are going to try to handle this just like we have handled other business in the midst of this pandemic. On October 11, during the in-person service we will hand out pieces of paper for nominations to be made. However, from now until October 11, those who have not yet returned to in-person services can make their nominations by sending my an email or a text message with your choices. This year, since we have two deacons rolling off, we will be asking everybody to make two nominations. Just reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sorry for the longer message today. I hope you all have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday!  

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton Fowler

Pastor Dalton 9/17/2020

Church Family,

For a devotional thought, I want you to consider this scripture in John 17:14-19. "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; you word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." 

That is Jesus' prayer for you. We are to be in the world and not of the world. We are to be focused on the truth of God's Word. We have been sent into the world just as Jesus was sent. Interestingly, when Jesus talks of consecrating himself that we may be sanctified in truth, that sanctification and consecration both means set apart. I believe that Jesus is saying that He is setting Himself apart to die on a cross on our behalf so that we can be set apart to follow Him in all truth. Then in the very next chapter, Jesus is betrayed and arrested. So what do we take from all this? Well besides the obvious things we have already mentioned, we should have a sense of peace in knowing that Jesus prayed for us, and He still prays for us today! We should take seriously our identity in Christ and we need  to get to work sharing the gospel. We have been sent!

As for announcements, this Sunday is Homecoming! If you can join us in person, then I want to encourage you to join us for lunch afterwards! We will have tables outside so that you can eat safely and the food will be prepared by gloved and masked individuals who will also be serving the plates. Our intent is for this to be as safe as possible so that those who are unsure will join us for a time of socially distanced fellowship! Also, we will have some of our members singing solos this Sunday. If you have been watching the services on Facebook, please know that there is a possibility the sound will go out or the video will be cut off. This will not be a tech issue, but rather, it might happen due to the music we have to play for our soloists. Sometimes Facebook doesn't like pre-recorded music, and it decides that it's a copyright issue. If that happens, don't panic! We will start a new stream as soon as we possibly can! But I'm hopeful and praying we don't have any issues!

Remember that if you have a teen or your teen has a friend, that sign-ups are happening for Xtreme Winter 2020. The dates are December 28-30 and the cost is $150. A $50 deposit is due by October 1! 

See y'all Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 9/10/2020

Church Family,

James 4:14 says, "yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." I don't know about you, but I have a busy week! You know, it seems like deadlines sneak up on you and every appointment that you have to make shows up on the same week. As I was running around in a craze, I remembered this verse. Now don't get me wrong. I believe we are to plan for the future because its not up to us to know the time or day when the Lord returns or we will breathe our last. However, I do think its worth remembering that our life is a vapor. That reminds me to slow down and enjoy life. That encourages me for eternity, but it also helps me refocus on what I'm doing with the little time I have on this earth. Never take time for granted! 

Please be in prayer for this Sunday. We will be praying for all of the school supplies that were donated, and we will be praying for the Back to School Bash. Of course, it will take place this Sunday evening as well, so please be in prayer for all of those who work it and all of those who attend. We are hoping this will be a safe, yet successful outreach for our children's ministry. Also, thank you in advance to all of those who are planning to help out!

Next, on September 20, we will celebrate Homecoming! Now I realize that its not going to be anything like it was in years past. However, our plan is to make the emphasis of the service on Homecoming, and we plan to still have food afterwards. If that makes you uncomfortable, please know that we will have outdoor seating, and those preparing the food will be masked and gloved. Also, it will not be buffet style, but rather, those who want to stay for lunch will simply grab their food and have a seat. We are hoping that this will be at time for safe fellowship during this time. We will also have carryout plates available! 

Finally, Xtreme Winter is still planned for December 28-30. Of course, it may be canceled due to COVID, but if it is then all the money will be reimbursed. Until then, we need to register just like its going to happen. So sign-ups are open! The price is $150 and a $50 deposit is due by October 1 to secure your spot. Be sure to sign you teen up and let them know to invite friends if they would like. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 9/3/2020

Church Family, 

I want to remind you of the words in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 which says, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." Never forget those words. When this life get's crazy, remember the great hope that we have before us! Our biggest problems will one day be seen as light momentary afflictions! Make sure you find your hope and rest in Christ alone, and don't let this world shake you!

As we enter the Fall season, we do have some events to look forward to. First, we have the Back to School Bash on September 13 at 3pm. We have been talking about trying to start back some form of children's ministry now that schools are starting back, and this event is designed to kick that off! Everything will take place outside in order to help encourage social distancing, and there are plans to make sure kids aren't all over one another. With those precautions, we are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to reach some visitors, as we have had a handful reach out to us via social media, waiting for events like these to start back. Pray for this event and if you are willing to help in any capacity, please speak to Lynn Greer. 

Second, right after this event on September 13, we have Homecoming on September 20! Hopewell Baptist Church will be celebrating 217 years! Of course, we wont be having a potluck after and the service itself will look different. However, we are still hoping to celebrate, and you'll hear more about that next week. 

Finally, the Xtreme Winter conference in Gatlinburg, TN is scheduled to happen! The dates will be December 28-30 and the cost is $150 per person. The main headliners this year are Lecrae and Crowder. A $50 deposit is due by October 1st, which will seal your spot, so parents, make sure to ask your youth about the event. Of course, I have no clue right now what their COVID-19 plan is, and like everything in 2020, there is a likely chance this event could be canceled. However, they are moving forward with registration, so if you'd like to go, I would encourage you not to "wait and see" what they do. If they cancel, they will have to issue refunds just like summer camp did. Furthermore, many of our students have balances leftover from Summer camp being canceled, which can be used for this event. Just let me know that you'd like to go and that you want to use those funds. 

I know that's a lot, but it's a busy time. Let me know if you have any questions. See y'all Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

 

 

 

Pastor Dalton 8/27/2020

Church Family, 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable fro teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." This verse is often quoted to support the the fact that the bible is inerrant and inspired, and rightfully so! Here we see that God's Word is breathed out out by Him. That is, this Word contains the means of life, because when God breathes He gives life. We must always remember this truth and hold firmly to the Word of God. We don't want to be a people who call ourselves Christians, when in reality we just have some kind of vague Christian ideas that apply here and there. No! We need the Word of God to be the authority in all of our lives. That means when we read tough verses, our response shouldn't be revolt, but submit. Our response shouldn't be immediate anger or suspect of God's Word, but rather a posture that seeks better understanding. This coming Sunday we will be looking at some tough verses. Our response will need to be one that seeks to understand what God desires and why it's for our good. Constantly remember that the Word of God is the Word of God, not man. If we ever deny that, then the denial of all scripture is right around the corner. 

As for announcements, we are looking to start back some of our children and youth ministry events in conjunction with school starting back. Of course, we are talking about all of the ways to make sure that this stays as safe as possible, but we do think its time to start some of these things back. Pray for us as we plan and be sure to continue to pray for schools as they are starting back. 

This Fall will look much like this past Winter and Spring. Covid-19, and while some have jokingly stated that it will disappear after Election day, the reality is that the virus is going to be with us for a while longer unless the Lord brings healing. So, that means many of our regular Fall events will likely be canceled or look different. Our hope is that we can continue to be creative in ministry during this time, and that we will keep moving forward despite the obstacles. Pray for wisdom, and if you have any ideas for ministry opportunities, be sure to let us know!  

I love you all, and look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 8/20/2020

Church Family,

I hope this email finds you well! I just wanted to give you a reminder of some of our announcements. First, I hope you've been participating in our week of prayer! Second, don't forget that tomorrow from 9-12 the blood connection will be at the church. They are in need of units so if you're able make plans to come donate.

Finally, don't forget the back to school supplies are due on September 6! 

I hope you all have a good weekend and I look forward to seeing you Sunday! 

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 8/13/2020

Church Family, 

My week has been crazy, but it's been great! I'm praising the Lord for a healthy baby & mother, I can't wait for Janie to meet her brother soon. That being said, I still want to keep you up-to-date on the upcoming events that you need to be aware of.

First, starting on Sunday, we will start our week of prayer. This week of prayer will be focused on all of the craziness of this year, and the goal is for us as a church to have concentrated time of crying out to the Lord for his healing on this mess of a year. On Sunday we will have bookmarks available that can easily fit in your bible and be used as a reminder of the prayer focus for each day. Also, each day on Facebook, we will post a prayer reminder. Whether you pray in the morning or the evening, the main thing is to pray. Actually pray and let'ty bmws flood God with our requests!

Second, the Tuesday night theology class was postponed until this coming Tuesday, August 18. Sorry for having to push it back, but we really weren't expecting this early delivery. However, I'm excited about it, and I hope you'll make plans to join us on zoom this coming Tuesday at 7pm. 

Finally, we do have the blood drive coming up on August 22 from 9am-12pm. You can make an appointment online at the blood connection website, but walk-ins are welcome. Come out and support if you can, and all who donate will receive $10 dollar visa gift cards. 

I look forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday! See you then!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 8/6/2020

Church Family,

Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Now in that section Paul is teaching the church members to be there for one another and to hold one another accountable. I want to use this point to encourage you to stay connected in this trying season. Lone ranger Christianity doesn't work out well. We need one another. Pray for your church and your church family. Also, be sure to let us know when needs come up that we can aid you with. None of us are in this alone. We are family, and family bears one another's burdens.

As for announcements, please note that this coming Sunday, the service will begin at 11 am, not 10 am. We are moving the service back to the regular time in an effort to restore some normalcy, and to make the transition easier when things do go fully back to normal one day. So if you show up at 10 am or try to find our live stream at 10 am, you won't find it. Both the online and the in-person service will be at 11 am. As for the live stream, its our hope that now that we have a better connection and more churches are meeting in person, the 11 am hour shouldn't cause us any issues.

Second, I want to remind you that this coming Tuesday, August 11, at 7pm on Zoom we will have Tuesday Night Theology! This first session will be very introductory, as I try to give a lay of the land of some of the topics that come up. I'll be sending a link for that on Tuesday.

Finally, don't forget the Blood Connection will be collecting blood on August 22, from 9am to 12pm. They are giving out $10 gift cards to all who donate. They need 14 units, but they are hoping for more. So if you're able, come out and show support!

I hope you all have a blessed weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you Sunday!

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 7/30/2020

Church Family, 

Ephesians 5:15-16 says to, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Well when Paul wrote that he was certainly talking about the world he lived in, but I think we would all certainly agree with him that even today, the days are evil. I don't know about you, but this entire year doesn't seem real almost. It seems like there is a new national news story every week, and things are absolutely crazy! I know that none of it caught God by surprise, but it certainly caught me by surprise. However, even when things are crazy, scripture guides us. What does Paul tell us to do? Be even more careful in your walk with the Lord than you were before. This may be a time where you have even quarantined your relationship with God. I want to encourage you to not do that! When things get hard is when our walk needs to get even stronger! Walk carefully today!

As for announcements, we were wrong about the Blood Connection Blood Drive date. We said on Sunday that it would be August 8, but it will actually be on August 22 from 9am-12pm. Make plans to join us for that time of service.

Also, I want to let you know that on Tuesday, August 11, at 7pm, I am planning to do a short theology lesson on Zoom. I mentioned to the bible study last night that the main reason for this is I need to record myself and send it to my professor for a PhD requirement, but I wanted to make it interesting and useful as well. So, unless it changes, my plan is to give you a taste of some early church theology, and it may be something we like and continue! So make plans to join us Tuesday, August 11 for Tuesday Night Theology or TNT! :) 

I hope that you all have a good day and weekend, and I look forward to seeing many of you Sunday!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 7/23/2020

Church Family, 

If you read Acts 16:6-10, you will see the story of the famous Macedonian Call for Paul. Just as an overview and for a little context, Paul and his missionary group are working to spread the gospel. However, he was forbidden by the Spirit to preach the gospel in Asia and Bithynia. Ultimately he was looking for direction from God because his plans kept failing. So Paul has a dream and in it there is a man from Macedonia urging Paul to come there and help them. When Paul wakes up, he immediately makes his move! What can we take away from this? Well first, its interesting that often times when God closes doors in our lives, its because his plans are much greater! When Paul would go to Macedonia he would reach the churches of Thessalonica, Corinth, Philippi, and eventually Rome! Second, its important for us to be in step with the Spirit, because He is leading us. When we live in such a way that we follow our own plans and we don't have ears to hear, I fully believe that we miss out on some awesome plans of God. Finally, in this text we see that Paul and the church is on the move because God is moving. The good news? God is still moving today! God is still there trying to guide us and lead us! Don't let this weird 2020 cause you to simply count the year out. We are all still blessed with another day of life, and that means God has something for us! Are you listening and following?

As for news in the church, the pandemic is obviously still impacting our plans. However, I want to give a your a quick recap of some great things we have been able to do in the midst of all this mess! First, we had our drive-in movie series early in the pandemic, which proved to be a great time of fellowship and outreach as many visitors joined us. The same was true of our fireworks show as well! Second, we had our At-Home-VBS, which admittedly was sad due to missing the normal VBS. However, we got the opportunity to reach a number of new guests during that! Finally, we have worked to reach out to the Anderson County Sheriff's Department to show them support during this tough time for law enforcement in America. We initially wanted to raise $1350, and we raised that in about 2 days after announcing the outreach. Now that it is completed we have raised $2000 and will be getting those delivered soon! So, the Fall may certainly look different, but I'm confident we will keep working to make the best of it! 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 7/16/2020

Church Family, 

Normally this email is used to give updated announcements. However, today it will be mainly a devotional thought and challenge for you. When COVID-19 first started and the shut-downs began taking place, there was an argument that was happening among church leaders on social media. The argument had to do with the live streaming of services that everyone went to. There were voices that warned church leaders and members to not see a video screen the same as church, while others claimed that those warnings were unnecessary because watching online is perfectly fine. Well, personally, I thought the warnings were needed, which is why our first study on ZOOM right after COVID hit was all about the church, and what makes the church a true church. One of the main verses that speak to this issue is Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." What does that verse mean? Well its rather simple: don't stop meeting together! So scripture commands believers to gather together because we need one another! 

So what does this mean and what am I trying to say? Well let me be clear, I don't think those who are extra-vulnerable to COVID-19 should feel guilty for not attending church. In fact, I don't mean to make anyone feel guilty for not attending if they are genuinely fearful. That's not the point of this. I am so encouraged by many of the seniors that go out of their comfort zones to stay connected online! But I'll say this too, I don't know any of our seniors that are happy with it! They can't wait to get back to church, and I can't wait to see them. But prudence says to wait, and so they wait.

However, as an overseer, I'd be amiss to not warn you if I see an area of concern, but know that its from a place of love and not judgement.Therefore, the point of this is to examine yourself, and make sure that you aren't letting the pandemic cause more spiritual harm than it is physical harm. I want to challenge you to ask yourself a few questions: 

1. Since the reopening, is church one of the only things you have yet to return to? If so, you may have good reasons, but make sure your reason isn't simply an excuse, because sin loves to creep in. 

2. If you're watching services online, are you taking it as serious as you did the first week or has the newness worn off? The fear is that the time of worship and growth can easily be just another thing on the screen on Sundays. This is easy to fall in to, and must be avoided.  

3. Are you staying connected? Even if you aren't comfortable attending yet, are you praying for the church? Are you making calls or writing cards or messaging on Facebook? Are you keeping up with you secret sister or your Sunday School class? 

With that, I must say that I have been blown away by the faithfulness of Hopewell during this time. I am encouraged by so many who have gone above and beyond to stay connected! I love you all and I hope that you have a great weekend and don't forget to join us at 10 am in the FLC, in the parking lot, or online! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 7/9/2020

Church Family,

I am excited to worship with you this Sunday! I know we have many that are on vacation during these times, but if you're able, please join us either in person, in the parking lot (via 95.7 fm), or on Facebook this Sunday at 10! 

Also, do not forget that we will be having a short business meeting immediately following the service this Sunday. There will be a motion to paint the trim bright white and a motion to pull up the old carpet. If you arent able to be present but would still like to vote, please just make sure you let me know by Sunday before the meeting. Many have already voted this way, but if you haven't, make sure you do. 

See you all Sunday!

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 7/2/2020

Church Family, 

Independence Day is Saturday! I'm very grateful that God allowed me to born into this great country. No, God is not only the God of America. In fact, God is doing awesome things all across our globe. However, I do believe that we still live in the greatest country in the world, despite all of our problems. We still have tremendous freedom in our country and that's true for individuals and for churches. In other countries, the Christian church is under persecution and is truly suppressed. What that means is that we in the American church need to be persistent in spreading the gospel, because we have no excuse not to. Let's use our freedoms for the cause of Christ and global missions! 

Also, as I said earlier in the week, we have already met our goal for the Anderson County Sheriff's Department. However, any extra money that is received will still go to Sheriff''s Department and they will be distributed to other officers that may not be patrol deputies. We will be accepting donations for a few more weeks. 

Finally, just wanted to note that this Sunday we will be announcing a business meeting for the week of July 12. The reason for this meeting will be to vote about getting some work done in our sanctuary while we are currently not meeting over there. For those who don't attend in person right now, I will send the minutes/motion to you on Sunday after church. Also, we will be accepting absentee votes during this time. Normally that is not allowed, but I know we have so many faithful members who don't need to get out, and it would be wrong to vote without them having a say. So, I'll repeat this on Sunday, but you can vote be emailing me or calling/texting me. 

I hope you all have a great day and safe weekend! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 6/18/2020

Church Family, 

I hope this email finds you all well! This is actually VBS week which feels really weird doesnt it? I must say that it doesn't feel like Summer has started without a traditional VBS. However, the VBS At Home is going well! We have a had number of guests reach out to us this week for help as they lead through the VBS with their children, and we have actually had some that have asked for a bag as late as today! I hope you have been praying for this week, and if you have little ones doing VBS, I hope that you all are enjoying it!

As a celebration of VBS, we are having a drive in movie tomorrow night. We are saying 8:30, but the movie may have to actually start a little later than that due to the late sunsets. The movie is going to be Lego Movie 2, and everyone is welcome! The VBS families have been invited, and we are hoping to have some guests join us for this celebration. So invite others that may enjoy it and come join us in the parking lot! 

Finally, I want to brag on you all. I have been greatly encouraged by the church's faithfulness in all areas during this time. Whether its been on livestream or in person or in the parking lot via the radio, we have had a steady attendance. I know that when it comes to livestream on Sundays, you could actually watch many different churches and that is a good thing, but thank you for worshiping with us at 10am. I can't wait for the day when we can all get back together. I know that it will be a while a longer, but I still long for that day. Until then, continue serving the Lord, and please let me know if you need anything!

Serving Him,

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton 611/2020

Church Family, 

This coming Sunday is the start of our VBS At Home. It has certainly been a rather weird time as we recorded the teaching lessons and have thought about how to minister to the children during this time. So, I want to ask you to pray for this coming week. The reality is that God's Word is powerful and He is the one who brings about change. The program may not be the traditional vbs, but I believe God can and will still use it! Pray for the children who signed up and pray for their parents, as they will be having the primary role of ministering to their children. 

 

On another note, I want to give you an update on what we are thinking as far as the church reopening other ministries. I know that Covid-19 numbers are still adding up in our state, and that is expected as more testing takes place and restrictions are lifted. Because of this, we are not in a hurry to change too much of what we are already doing. Currently we are meeting online or in the FLC because the FLC makes it easier to spread out and it is easier to clean. Eventually we will be back in our sanctuary, but that is not anything we are rushing towards, especially since Mr. David Clardy has worked so hard to make our FLC tech savvy! As for Sunday School, Nursery, Children/Youth Ministry, and Evening services, each of these has its own challenges and they will likely make a return at different times when it is deemed safer. 

We are trying to err on the side of caution, but I will say that I have loved gathering with you on Sunday mornings these past few weeks! I look forward to seeing many of you this Sunday! Have a blessed day!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 5/28/2020

Church Family,

As a short devotional thought, I want to encourage you to go read Philippians 1:19-26. It is a beautiful passage, where you find Paul wrestling with death, but in a good way! Paul talks about the fact that he will glorify God in his life or his death. Then he begins tell the Philippians that he is hard pressed between the options of life and death. He knows that if he lives, then Christ has more work for him to do. However, he states that his real desire is to die and be with Christ. Now that's not morbid, that's faith! He states it clearly in this passage that for him, to live is Christ, and to die is gain! So what does that mean for us? Well, first remember that death for a believer isn't necessarily something we seek, but it isn't something we fear either. Death has lost its sting! Second, if you're reading this, that means God has given you another day of life, which means He has work for you to do! We need to use our days wisely.

As for announcements, there is one more week to register for VBS-AT-HOME. The registration closes on June 4, so that we will have time to place the order and assemble the boxes that need to be passed out. Make sure to spread the word and let others know! I know this isn't the same as VBS, but we are still prayerful that God is going to use it!

Also, for this Sunday, we will still be gathering inside the FLC at 10am, and we will still be offering the live stream on Facebook. However, some have asked if the "drive-in" method could still be used as well. So, this Sunday, barring any unforeseen technical issues, we will have the FM transmitter hooked up so that the message will be available over the radio in the parking lot. Now, just to clarify, service will still be taking place in the FLC, so you won't be able to see me, but you will be able to hear me! Either way you worship, whether in the parking lot, in the FLC, or on Facebook Live, make plans to join us this Sunday at 10am!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

Pastor Dalton 5/21/2020

Church Family, 

I want to start by celebrating a little. We had an awesome time of worship this past Sunday in the FLC and we are looking forward to it again this Sunday! At our blood drive last weekend we had 23 donate, which is a great number for us, and at our movie night we had a good size group with a good number of guests as well! So, all-in-all, last weekend was a great weekend and we are excited about this coming one as well! We will have another movie on Friday at 8:30. These events have turned into a great form of outreach. Then we will have service on Sunday at 10am in the FLC again. We are also hopeful that our internet will work much better for those who will be joining us online. We have worked hard this week in getting that ready to go. 

One big announcement that many may have been wondering about is VBS. VBS is such an awesome outreach, and it is such an integral part of the children's ministry. However, given the current state of the pandemic, after much counsel the decision has been made that we will not be able to host traditional VBS this year. This is due to an abundance of caution for the children and the workers. Also, VBS requires so many resources that may be wasted, should things not be better when the time for VBS comes.

 

However, we are still doing VBS! Following the pattern of many churches across the country, we will be offering VBS At Home! Those who register will receive a kit full of snacks, crafts, activities, and more! We plan to have the teaching lessons recorded so that families can watch with their children at home. We also plan to have a great celebration at the end of the week that will certainly be safe! Stay tuned for details on that!

So make sure if you have kids or know some kids/parents that would like to take part, to tell them about this opportunity. We will have 2 weeks for registrations starting today. All they have to do is register by June 4 by visiting myvbs.org/hbcanderson . We know that this is not the same as VBS, but we do believe that it will be fun and fruitful! Pray for us and spread the word! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 5/14/2020

Church Family,

I am excited to announce that we are planning on regathering this Sunday, May 17th! Now, the first thing to remember is that if you're considered at-risk or are just uncomfortable, then please don't feel like you need to attend. Rather, we will still be live streaming the service on Facebook at 10 am. We want to keep everyone safe and healthy, so we certainly want those who need to, to stay home for just a little while longer and worship from home with us. 

However, if you plan on attending, I want you to know what to expect. We will still be starting at 10 am so that our live stream connection is reliable. We will be meeting in the FLC, and there will be alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer available. We will also have masks available for any who would like to wear one. Obviously, there will be no time of handshaking or hugs and no passing of the offering plate. Rather, when you enter the FLC you will notice that the chairs are very spread out. If you are a family, feel free to pull your chairs together more, but we are leaving it this way so that those who want to keep their distance will be able to. We will have the projector hooked up so that you will not have to handle hymnals as well. 

Also, this will just be a worship service. At this point, we will not have Sunday School, children's church, or nursery available.

I hope to see some of you this Sunday! I do want to encourage you to continue to practice social distancing. You may not be worried about anything, but there are others who are, and its our goal to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable. 

I'm excited about Sunday! A lot of work has gone into getting it ready to go, so I'll see you there or online at 10am! 

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

Pastor Dalton 5/7/2020

Church Family, 

I miss you! I know that many of you are probably wondering what the process of regathering is going to look like and when it will take place. First, let me just say that I know there are wide range of opinions about the pandemic and that many have opinions about how and when church should "reopen," (not that we ever closed, but you know what I mean). I want you to know that our goal is to get back as soon as possible, but also to stay as safe as possible. I understand that many churches have started back already or will be starting back this coming Sunday. However, every congregation is different and has different concerns. So I want to encourage you to pray for us and to bear with us. I have been in contact with our deacons, who are awesome by the way, and they are giving suggestions. When we decide to return, it will be based on wise counsel and not rash decisions. If it seems slow to some or too fast for others, I pray you'll give us the benefit of the doubt. We love you all and care for you all, and these are strange times that none of us have ever experienced. 

That being said, I will say that unless something drastic changes, we will be back this month! When we do return, we will very likely be meeting in the Family Life Center so that we have a little more space, and we won't initially have Sunday School or nursery. It will just be a worship service, and I am looking forward to that day! Furthermore, we will continue to be doing Facebook Live, so that those who are vulnerable or uncomfortable can still watch the service.

However, until then, we keep on doing what we have been doing. We have some special plans for this Sunday for Mother's Day. We also have the blood drive coming up May 16, so if you have not yet set a time to give blood, make sure you do it. You can simply let me know and I'll get you on the schedule. Finally, we have a movie tomorrow night! It may rain, so be on the lookout for an email, but if it doesn't, it will start at 8:30pm. Check out the event on our Facebook page for more details! 

Love y'all and I look forward to seeing you soon. 

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

Pastor Dalton 5/2/2020

Church Family, 

The email is a little late this week, but I wanted to wait until after our movie night. We had a great time last night at the drive-in movie at Hopewell! We are super thankful for David and Joseph Clardy, who worked hard in creating a "stage" for our big screen and getting it all to work. Also, a huge thanks is due to Anna Punales, Jamie Culbertson, and Lynn Greer for showing up early to get the popcorn and waters ready to go. It was a great time of fellowship and it felt just like the movies! We hope to do it again real soon and I hope you'll join us!

As for news, we do have the blood drive coming to Hopewell on May 16 from 8:30-12:30. To keep social distancing at a maximum, they really want you to make an appointment so just let me know if you have  a time you'd like to come and I'll get you signed up. They need our blood right now so I hope you'll consider donating during this time.

Finally, I know many things are beginning to open up in our state. I am grateful for Gov. McMaster, because unlike other states, he never put any restrictions on churches and stated that he never would. We altered our services because it was the right thing to do, and we are going to be listening to the numbers, the government, and the health officials as we plan to regather. We do not have a date in mind yet, as we will be taking it week to week, but I am optimistic that we will be able to gather sometime this month. However, remember that at first it will still be very different as we will be working hard to stay safe.

Thank you all for being so flexible during this crazy time. I'm thankful for the many leaders in the church that offer such great council, and I know I don't always make the best decisions. However, I'm grateful to have a church like Hopewell for support and prayers. Love y'all and see y'all soon!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

Pastor Dalton 4/23/2020

Church Family,

I am actually sending this email on Thursday again! A mixture of pandemic procrastination and not knowing what day it is, has caused me to send this email later and later, but this week we are back on track! I want to start by telling you how proud I am to be your pastor. During this time, most of our fellowship has not missed a beat! We were forced to be flexible pretty quickly, and yet, so many quickly adjusted and offered encouragement. Between live stream and drive-in services, we have had great "attendance," and giving has kept up very well! I have been greatly encouraged by the faithfulness of so many, and it is a good sign of spiritual maturity. Y'all, it makes me excited about what God could do through us, sooner rather than later, because I know He honors faithfulness!

That being said, I know many businesses are beginning to reopen in our state. Of course, there are concerns that the COVID-19 numbers will rise, but I think that is generally expected. So, don't stop being cautious, but don't be surprised either. As for our services, this week we will keep doing what we have been doing. We will have a drive-in and Facebook live service at 10am. Following the message this Sunday, we will have the Lord's Supper for those at the drive-in. I know some churches have led the ordinance online, and while I don't think that's necessarily wrong, I don't think its best. Every time you see the Lord's Supper in the scriptures, it is when the church is gathered. So, the Facebook Live will end and then we will partake of the ordinance in the parking lot! If you want to come to the drive in, but don't want to partake because of precautions, then we certainly don't want you to feel pressured, so don't worry about that.

Going forward, it looks like we will be opening back up before too long, however, we will take it week by week. I will be sure to communicate to you our plans when we do decide its safe to come back together. There is not particular date set, but we will be listening to our health officials and the Saluda Baptist Association for guidance.

Finally, one concern I have, because I see it in myself, is that we are getting use to a new normal in this pandemic. I know church has looked different over this past month, but don't let your relationship with God begin to drift. It can be easy to get spiritually lazy just looking at a computer screen. Keep yourself close to the Lord and be ready to serve Him when the opportunity arises!

Serving Him,

Dalton Fowler

Pastor Dalton 4/17/2020

Church Family,

I hope you all had a restful and worshipful Easter! I thoroughly enjoyed both of our services and I know we had a good number of guests that tuned into our livestream and attended our drive-in service. 

Also, thank you to those who have been joining us on zoom on Wednesday nights. It's great to be able to see one another a talk. It looks like we still have some weeks of "social distancing" ahead of us. So there are two ways to look at that....1 more week of restrictions or 1 WEEK CLOSER TO WHEN WE CAN GATHER TOGETHER AGAIN! 

But until then, I hope you'll continue to join us. We will be doing livestream and drive in services at 10am for now on until this is over. So join us online or in the parking lot tomorrow! The rain should hold off until lunchtime...hopefully! See you then.

Serving Him,

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 4/10/2020

Church Family, 

First, I just want to thank you all for the support this past Sunday! Our first drive-in service went great and, even though we had problems at the beginning with our live stream, the video still reached a large number of people! On top of that, I want to thank you all for continuing to honor God through your giving. It is obviously a concern that many have had during this pandemic, but I was just blown away by the generosity this past week. It was a great encouragement. Y'all this pandemic may slow some things down, but it doesn't stop Christ from building His kingdom! 

Continue to pray for the church during this time. Many think that this has caused churches to essentially stop working for the time being. However,  I believe the opposite could be true. You know that God can bring good out of the bad, and I believe He is doing that. I obviously wish that we could meet like normal, but there is no doubt that the message of the gospel is reaching many more during this time that may not ever step foot in the church! So pray because there are lost that need to be found! 

Finally, for Sunday, I know the weather forecast is not looking great. However, I still want to offer both type of services: Facebook live and Drive-In. Of course, for the drive in the signal will go over the radio so it may mean you just sit in your car with the windows up, but besides that it should work fine. I will do both services this way, so you can stay in and watch us live or you can join us in the parking lot! We will have a short sunrise service at 7 am and then our "regular" service at 10am! It's Easter ya'll! He is Risen!!!! AMEN!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 4/3/2020

Church Family, 

I have an exciting announcement....we are doing Drive-In Church! Now of course this is not a perfect substitute for actually gathering, but I still think it will be great! The awesome David Clardy has worked hard to set us up an antenna and a FM transmitter. So, on Sunday, you park in our lot and tune your radio to 95.7! We will have service at 10 am still because we will still be using Facebook live, and I think the chance of the livestream working is better at 10 rather than 11. 

Since we are using the FM transmitter, you don't have to roll your windows down or worry about the elements. So make plans to come join us at 10 am. It will be good to see your faces, even if it is through a car window!

With that, I want to encourage you to have an eye open for ministry opportunities. I am not entirely sure how long these restrictions will last, but I know that God is good, and that He is still working! The ministry of Hopewell and its members doesn't stop during this time, but it does change. So I want to challenge you to think of creative and safe ways you can minister to others during this time! 

As always, if y'all have any questions, simply reach out. Love you all and see you Sunday in the parking lot!

Serving Him,

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 3/27/2020

Church Family, 

     I just realized I forgot this email yesterday! My days are running together. I wanted to give you all an update on everything and let you know about some awesome free resources. 

     First, I want to thank you all for tuning in on Sunday. It was a great encouragement to see everybody tuned in and I hope you'll join us live again this Sunday at 10 am. I have once again attached a simple fill-in-the-blank outline of the message for you to follow along with if you'd like. (see Note Sheet at the end of the message)  I certainly can't wait until we can gather again, but one positive is that we have had many people that don't go to our church connecting with us. 

     Second, I want to thank you for continuing to be faithful in your giving. I have already had a few ask for me to come and pick up their offering, which is an option for sure. Another thing that people have done is they are dropping off their offering in the small black mailbox that is right beside the education building door. If you put an offering there and let me know, Gary Bolton has offered to make sure it gets inside quickly if no one is there. So you don't have to worry about it sitting there over night. 

     Finally, Lifeway has recently put out an awesome list of free resources. I want to draw your attention to two of them that I think are great, but feel free to check them all out. First, they are giving a free digital pass to all their Sunday school curriculums. If you follow the links, you can download the lessons digitally, and you can have a time of family Sunday school before or after the message on Sunday! Second, they are giving  a free pass for their Lifeway Kids resources. In this, they have kids bible studies and activity sheets all for free! So if you have some stir crazy little ones, you should take advantage of these free offers! Just follow this link for all those resources: 

https://www.lifeway.com/coronavirus

    I am praying for you all and miss you all dearly! I hope to see you soon!

Serving Him ,

Dalton Fowler

The Upper Room

Matthew 26:17-30 

I.    The _____________ to  Save Us (17-19)

 II.   The ___________ that Defines Us (20-25)

 III.  The _____________  that Bind Us (26-30)

 original

Pastor Dalton 3/19/2020

 
 
 
 
 original

Pastor Dalton 3/12/2020

Church Family, 

 1 Timothy 1:12-13a says, "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent." What a verse! Of course, Paul is talking about his service as an Apostle to the Gentiles, but this verse can be applied to us. Look at the first part. Christ Jesus is our master and he is the one who strengthens us. You aren't strong enough, but He is! Second, he judges us faithful. I don't know about you, but I don't feel worthy of that judgement, yet God declares us faithful despite our failures. Third, He appoints us to His service. It is crazy to think that God has a plan for you, and it isn't just about you. Rather, He wants to use us to build His kingdom, and He lets us make eternal differences! Finally, we were all insolent opponents and blasphemers. Yet, when Jesus saves us, He looks beyond all that, and by His grace He has makes us His own! Are you trusting His strength? Are you serving Him? Are your thanking Him for His grace? 

 

As for our announcements, this Saturday is the BBQ and Auction. Thank you to all that have offered to bring food. We would like it to be there by 10:30 am at the latest, but you can bring it earlier if you need to. Also, thank you to everyone who has worked to get us auction items. The response this week has been great! Now just make sure to invite friends and family to attend! We have some awesome auction items, so it should be a time of great food and great fun with some great prices. 

 

Finally, I know that the Coronavirus has many in a panic. Of course, we know that panic is never the right response, but we are taking preventative measures at Hopewell. As of this time, there are no cases in Anderson and even the suspected case in Clemson can back as negative. Nonetheless, we are being diligent about our cleaning and there is specific focus on disinfecting everything. Second, we have hand sanitizers and tissues stationed at the back and the front of the church. We will continue to suspend the time of handshakes and hugs during this time, and the deacons are meeting soon to discuss a plan for our church, should we need to respond with more drastic measures. Until then, we pray and worship! 

 I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

 Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 3/5/2020

Church Family,

The second half of Isaiah 56:7 says, "...for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." For the past few weeks, prayer and evangelism have been constantly on my mind, and I hope it stays that way! I am convinced that God blesses the prayers of His people and, contrarily, withholds blessings due to the apathy of His people. Furthermore, I believe the Kingdom will grow when we share our faith. I can only imagine what the church would look like in America if it was a place of prayer and place of evangelism. So I want to challenge you. First, I challenge you to pray and pray earnestly. Make sure your prayers are more than a wish list. Pray for the lost and pray for the church. If you would like to join us, we will be praying for our service at 9am on Sunday mornings in the prayer room. Second, share your faith with one person in the upcoming week. Pray for God to give you those opportunities and seize the opportunity! Fight the feelings of awkwardness and all the excuses you can come up with, and share your faith! May our church be called a house of prayer and place that spreads the gospel! 

 Two big upcoming announcements are the work day and the BBQ/Auction. This Saturday at 8am we will be meeting for the workday. I know there is a lot of work to be done outside and inside of the church. If you can help in any way, then come join us! Second, the BBQ/Auction is next Saturday! I do know that we are still in dire need of items for the auction. If you or a business you know may have something to donate, please let us know ASAP! We are hoping this fundraiser will help knock out the majority of students' remaining balances for camp. 

 I hope you all have a blessed day!

 Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

 original

Pastor Dalton 2/27/2020

Church Family, 

I don't know about you, but I am still excited from last Sunday! Baptism Sundays are the best, and I pray and hope for many more to come! The gospel still has the power to save, and the Spirit is still moving today! I know that our two baptism candidates had been saved earlier, and those were both moments of celebration and joy. When they trusted Christ, they passed from death into life. However, baptism is just an extremely special next step. I love that the church is able to celebrate those salvations, as they publicly told all of us Sunday, they wanted to live for Christ! Yet, we know that walk isn't always an easy one, so I do hope that you will commit to pray for those who were baptized. We know the evil one is still at work today, but we serve One who is greater! Pray they will stay close and grow in their walk with Christ. 

Also, this week the Lord has really been working on me. He has convicted me about evangelism and about prayer. Colosians 4:2 says, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." Now that is just one instance, but anytime you read one of Paul's letters he is telling the churches to pray. We know this, that when we pray, God hears. We know that prayer can change things. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is often talked about, however, I'm not convinced that prayers are frequently prayed. We need to be a church that is founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we also need to be a church that is bathed in prayer. So, we are going to be doing something a little new this Sunday. In the back of our sanctuary, the two rooms do have some construction and clean-up that needs to be done. However, we are going to get the prayer room a little cleaned up, and we are going to meet to pray. I know that I plan on being their from 9 to 9:30am, but you can come anytime. We aren't going to be doing a lot of talking about prayer. We are going to be praying. We will be praying for the service, praying for the lost, and praying for God's Spirit to move in miraculous ways. I hope you join us in prayer. If you can't make it by then, you can pray anywhere, but be intentional about your prayers and continue steadfastly. Y'all, I'm excited at what God could do!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 2/20/2020

Church Family,

I had a blast last Sunday night! I want to once again thank all of the couples that participated in our Newly Wed Game. They all did a great job and for me it was a highlight of the night. That being said, I also want to once again thank everyone who came out to support the youth for the fundraiser. They ended up making over $400, which made it where each of the students that served got over $50! These fundraisers have really helped with the overall cost of camp, and I know they are grateful. Thank you church. 

On Wednesday mornings, our bible study is going through the small Thom Rainer book, I Will. The purpose of the book is to address wrong attitudes in the church and to call the members to action! This past week in our study we looked at Hebrews 10:24-25 which says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Those verses tells us a few things. First, when we gather together, we should be thinking about how we can encourage one another and stir one another up. You come to church to worship God, but you also come to grow in your faith, and that takes place in part when we sharpen each other. Second, the verses teach us a very a simple point: your presence matters. Many may think that no one will miss them if they don't show up, but that's not true. You are truly missed because we are a body! We notice when we are missing a part. So thank you for being faithful to attend! 

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler

 original

Pastor Dalton 2/13/2020

Church Family,

This past Wednesday morning our bible study talked about unity. We specifically read Ephesians 4:1-3 which says, "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." I love how it says "eager to maintain the unity." We live in a world that does the exact opposite of that. The only thing the world tell us to be eager about is getting ahead and getting what is yours. However, scripture reminds us that we serve a King that is above all Kings and yet He was a servant. Scripture reminds us that He came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. So, contrary to the world, we need to make sure we actually look out for the needs of others. Sometimes personal sacrifice is worth it for peace. I have experienced that, and I am sure many of you all have as well. 

Well, its finally here. This Sunday evening is the Valentines Dinner fundraiser! We are excited for a good meal and some good entertainment. I know I have been talking about it a lot, but I really am looking forward to our (Not So) Newlywed Game! Mainly, I'm just glad that I won't have to get in any trouble for answering the questions poorly! Anyways, it should be fun and, once again, it is for a great cause! The youth ministry is so grateful for the support of the church. So, if you haven't already, make plans to join us for dinner on Sunday night at 6:30pm. 

 I hope you all have a blessed day and rest of the week!

Serving Him, 

Pastor Dalton 

 original

Pastor Dalton 2/6/2020

Church Family, 

This week I have been studying Titus, just for my own personal devotion. In the book of Titus, the issue is that the church is being led astray by false teaching, and Titus has the responsibility of bringing order and sound doctrine. In verses 10-16, Paul specifically instructs Titus to watch out for these false teachers because they are bringing harm to the church. Their teaching was harboring division and leading people away from the truth of the gospel. This was so important to Paul that he said in verse 16 concerning the false teachers, "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work." In your own physical diet, its important to watch what you eat, because unhealthy stuff will eventually kill you. The same is true for your spiritual health. Be careful what you eat and use discernment. False teaching is still everywhere! Be on the watch and stay in the Word!

As for announcements, we are a little over a week away from our Valentines Dinner. The entertainment is coming together great and we are excited about it! As I have announced earlier, we will have singing, a skit, and the Newly Wed Game! I won't tell you who the contestants are yet, but just know that it should be a blast! Make plans to come out and support the students on February 16, and get ready for a good time. I hope you all have a blessed week!

Serving Him, 

Dalton Fowler 

 original

Pastor Dalton 1/30/2020

Church Family,

All I can say is WOW! I was blown away by the amount of support we had for our fundraiser for the students this past Sunday, and I think its something worth celebrating. For one thing, the students raised close to $500 and it helped knock a significant amount off the cost for some of our students. However, I was also just blessed because of how much the church worked to support the teenagers. I know it takes time and money to make those soups and desserts and on top of that many were more than generous about buying food as well. One of our students who was taking the payment told me that many people were just "rounding-up" when they paid for their food. That's a blessing to the students and it blessed me. Thank you church for your support! We hope to always make the fundraisers a great value and  a great time, but the fact remains that it still takes sacrifice. So thank you for supporting the youth!

That being said, its just a few weeks before our Valentines Dinner on February 16th. It's once again going to be great food at a great value for a great cause! However, at this dinner, the service is meant to feel more like a restaurant. Students will be waiting on the tables and your food will be brought to you. Also, there is going to be great entertainment! We have music planned, skits planned, and, of course, the newly wed game, which is sure to be a time of fun! I hope to see you all there!

As for a devotional thought, I want to direct you to Philippians 4:8-9 which says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." You probably don't need one more negative thing to think about this week. And I'm not going to give you one! The fact is that we aren't meant to dwell on those things anyways. We are to think about excellent things! Take a moment from your worries and just dwell on God's grace for you. It's amazing how it changes your perspective!

Serving Him,                                           

Pastor Dalton  

 original

Pastor Dalton 1/23/2020

 

 original

Pastor Dalton 1/16/2020

Church Family,

It has been another good week at the Well! I want to thank all of you that attended for our midweek services! We will eventually be having some special studies and classes that will be advertised and held during those times, so stay tuned! However, until then we will still have our times of fellowship and teaching. I mentioned this last week, but I love the fellowship time! On Wednesday morning we had to start late (10:30), so I thought we wouldn't have as much time to fellowship, but rather, we just had a late lunch, which I think is great! Then on Wednesday night, we had our usual fellowship time, but then almost everyone who attended stuck around afterwards and we got to fellowship until almost 8:30! That may not sound like anything special, but it makes me think of Acts 2. Acts 2:42 says, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breading of bread and the prayers." The early church spent time together. It's absolutely crucial that we enjoy some family time!

As for announcements, please keep in mind that on January 26 we have a youth ministry fundraiser to help students go to summer camp. We are in need of people to help by making soups and desserts, and we need everyone to help by attending and spreading the word! It will be a cheap lunch for a good cause, so make plans to join us. 

Finally, about two weeks ago you received an email addressing the need for volunteers to help with the cleaning of the church. We had a few so far that have volunteered and we will soon try to set up a rotation, but we still need more help. If you can help in any way, please let me know. That being said, Romans 13:7 says to give, "honor to whom honor is owed." If you haven't yet, be sure to thank Diane for all she has done these past few years. I know she will say that she did it for the Lord, and I know she did. However, she also cleaned because she loved her church family. Her willing heart and service has been a blessing to Hopewell, and she was sad when she had to take a step back. Thank you Diane! 

Serving Him,

Dalton Fowler 

 original

Pastor Dalton 1/9/2020

Church Family, 

I hope this email finds you all well. I would like to send a weekly email to let you know what the Lord has laid on my heart, and to highlight things in the life of our church. I hope these weekly words will be encouraging and informative. I miss my church family between services, so I want this to be one way I can stay in touch.

As for this week, I have been reading and praying, thinking about what the Lord has for us in 2020! We, of course, are continuing in our study of 1 Samuel on Sunday mornings, and we are digging deeper into those messages on Wednesday night! As I have been studying and preparing, the Lord has really been working on me. He always does to an extent, but last week's and this coming week's messages really hit me. Last weeks convicted me while this weeks has lifted me up! I love to ponder the wonder of God and allow it to work! Hebrews 4:12-13 says, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account." God's Word is meant to work on us! Have you submitted to the sanctifying surgery of God, as he lets his Word confront us? 

I want to thank you all for a great start to our New Year as well! We just had our first Wednesday services (10am and 6:30pm) for 2020, and I had great time during both! If you haven't been attending for a mid-week fuel up at The Well, then you need to make plans to join us! 

Serving Him,

Dalton Fowler