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December Spare Change

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Detroit: One Year Later

We have now been in our Detroit partnership for one year.  We took our first trip in August of 2014.  Since then we have taken two other trips to help various church plants and ministries.  The first time I went I was shocked and overwhelmed.  This continued for me and the people that joined me on these trips.  The utter despair of the city, disorganization of the government, the violence, the drugs, and the gangs left me with little hope; however, I joined in praying for the city along with many other Southern Baptists across the country.  We have been lifting up the city, the church planters, and the violence. 

One year later the tide is beginning to turn.  There is still much to do, there are still many problems, but there is a different energy in the government, in the church planters, and even in the city.  The last trip we went on was in Dearborn, working with Redeemer Community Church (a new church plant that is officially launching Easter 2016).  Dearborn is a much different area than the rest of Detroit.  It is fairing rather well in spite of the city’s woes.  It is the headquarters of Ford Motor Company and home to the Henry Ford estate.  There is hope in the eyes of the people of Dearborn.  There is also a huge ethnic population there, people coming from all over the world, which gives the church planters there unique challenges.  Redeemer Community Church is a great church led by a spirit-filled pastor, Jeremy Roth.  Their church is poised to make a great impact in the city.

Another reason I feel positive about the city is the partnership that NAMB and the Great Detroit Baptist Association have had with the city.  NAMB has been given an abandoned school to use.  The disaster relief folks have transformed it into a place for groups to stay.  They have bunk rooms, showers, and a full kitchen facility.  This is very exciting because often the hardest part of a mission trip is working out these logistics.  GDBA has also forged a partnership with the local government.  They are starting a program that will bring mission teams in to help board up houses, identify unsafe houses, clean up trash, mow yards, and do general cleaning of the neighborhoods.  This program will have a profound effect on the morale of the residents.  This will help engender neighborhood pride and safety.  I was able to attend a meeting at the GDBA office along with several community officials, council persons, police representatives, etc.  They were all on board to provide whatever services and resources they could to help this program.  All the GDBA needs now is mission teams to help.

All of these things have given me a much more positive outlook.  We still need to pray and lift up the city and the church planters.  We also need to join in with helping hands.  I am hoping to take three trips to Detroit in 2016.  Please consider going!  They are not expensive and will make a huge impact.  We will be announcing our dates on Missions Sunday on December 6th.  Make sure to attend our special evening service at 5:30 p.m. with special guest speakers.  There will be a reception to follow.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about trips in 2016.

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

November Pastor's Points

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Dear Church Family,

I first want to thank those who expressed words of encouragement and gifts of generosity during the month of October for Pastor Appreciation Month.  It is almost hard to believe that this coming May I will have been pastor at Oakhill for ten years!  I can honestly say that even in the middle of the ups and downs of ministry, these have been the best years of the ministry that God has blessed me with!  And for that, I thank God and you all as well.  It is a joy to serve together for His glory!!

It is also hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here as well.  What a great time to reflect on God’s faithfulness.  This past year we baptized more than we have in the last 3 to 4 years!  God also blessed us financially which has allowed us to exceed our operating budget and to give more to missions than we had planned!  God truly is so good to us!  I am very excited to look into 2016 to see all that God is going to do for His glory!!  Thank you God for who you are and for all you have done!

Along this same theme I want to encourage you to make plans to be at our Thanksgiving Banquet this year.  We are going to have a blessed night of fellowship.  The food will be outstanding, the fellowship will be sweet, and our children are going to bless us this year with a special musical performance!  Please bring your family, friends, and neighbors for a great evening together!!

Finally, I want to ask you to continue to pray for our Worship Pastor search.  I know God is going to bring to us the man that he has prepared for this position at this time. Believe me I am as anxious as anyone to find the man that God has for us, but I also want to do all of this in God’s timing and not my own.  God is leading, we are searching, and soon we will all be worshiping with the one that He has prepared to lead us in corporate worship!

I am excited about the days ahead and I know that God desires to use us in greater measure for the sake of the Gospel!  2016 holds awesome possibilities for us as we look to be on mission for the one true and living God!!  He is going to speak to us personally, strengthen us corporately, and send us out intentionally like never before in 2016!   I cannot wait!!!!

 I love you and I love being your pastor!

 

Posted by Alan Scott with

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