Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Hunter & Vicki Brewer: Church Planting in Madison, Mississippi

Hunter is from Gadsden, which is located in northeast Alabama. He met his wife, Vicki while in college at Samford University. Hunter and Vicki have one daughter, Avery Carter (3 months).

When Hunter was in law school at Alabama, two people in his study group would constantly debate whether Christianity was true or not. He had never heard anyone argue effectively against the existence of God or the reliability of the Bible. Needless to say, Hunter was deeply troubled. It was during this time that he began to question his faith and his calling in life. Over the next two years, God answered some very difficult questions for him and helped him realize that he was being called to the ministry.

Over time, Hunter discovered that he really enjoy talking to people who have reservations about God and/or the Church. He likes explaining the hard truths of Christianity to those with questions and reassuring people who doubt about the love of Christ. At Reformed Theological Seminary, where Hunter earned a Master’s Degree, he learned that new churches typically afford the most opportunities to do this. So, there was no doubt in his mind that he would help start a new church one day.

Currently, Hunter is the founder of a church plant in Madison, Mississippi called Madison Heights Church. He and his wife, Vicki, have served at Madison Heights since January 2005. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Samford University, Hunter was led to serve with Rev. Bill Whitwer at his home church in Gadsden, Alabama. He also served as the Young Adults Director at Orangewood Presbyterian Church and as Assistant Minister of Lakeland Presbyterian Church.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Missionary Spotlight ~ Rick & Terri Herr, North Carolina

Rick and Terri have been with Wycliffe for over 27 years. They are currently both directors with Wycliffe in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Rick manages the JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Services) Facilities Maintenance Department, and Terri directs the MK Station (morning preschool for missionary kids). Rick and Terri have two teenagers, Ben (17) and Maria (14).
They were in Colombia, South America before returning to the United States. Rick and Terri are currently waiting on the Lord for their next overseas assignment. Until then, Terri and Rick are both fulfilled in their current assignments and feel the important part they have in Bible translation here in America.

Last year, JAARS Center hosted a Dedication Celebration for the Gullah People of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah People are a group of African Americans who are from slave ancestry from West Africa and who have developed their own Creole dialect and culture. God’s Word speaks to them more clearly in the Gullah language. Wycliffe has teamed with believers from that group and has finished translation work on the Gullah New Testament.

Prayer Requests:
For wisdom in parenting two teenagers.
For more who would partner with them in prayer and giving.
Pray for daily strength and endurance.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Change the World -- Donate Your Used Laptop to African Bible College

Request from Dr. Sam Larsen, RTS Missions Department:

Six used laptops in good working condition, primarily to be used for word processing and CD ROM course lesson playback, are needed for African Bible College alumni now enrolled in the RTS (Reformed Theological Seminary) Virtual Campus M.A.R. degree program in Malawi. If you have a laptop you would be willing to donate, or know of someone who does, please contact Ed Williford or Mary Courtney in the African Bible College office on the RTS campus (phone# 601-922-1962).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stephane and Kelly-Jane Jeanrenaud are leaving for RTS Charlotte

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of our Discipleship Associate, Stephane Jeanrenaud. Stephane, who has been Career Coordinator here at First Presbyterian Church for the past five years, has recently accepted a job in Charlotte, NC as the Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations at the Charlotte branch of Reformed Theological Seminary.

During his time of service here at FPC, Stephane has been an enthusiastic, faithful, diligent and loyal servant of the church. Having graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary – Jackson, I am confident he will do an excellent job of assisting both potential students and graduates, as he labors in the Charlotte wing of the RTS family of seminaries. Stephane’s genuine warmth, kindness, and energy will serve RTS well.

He and his wife, Kelly-Jane, will continue their ministry here in Jackson until departing for Charlotte in early June. We had a little staff luncheon for them here at the church today, and we'll have a reception for them after the Sunday evening service this coming Sunday night. So be here to thank and encourage them!

Thank you for your faithful labors here at FPC, Stephane and Kelly-Jane, and congratulations on this new and exciting opportunity! May our gracious God encourage your hearts and grant you strength as you enter into this season of transition and embark on these new challenges as you seek to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Charlotte. You will be missed.

The FPC Rose Window - Restored and Up-close

Hubert Worley provides this beautiful shot of the only stained glass in the sanctuary.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Sanctuary Pics

Folks here at First Presbyterian are getting exciting about moving into the new sanctuary on June 24, 2007 - just a month and a half away! Here are some pictures to whet your appetite


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Missionary Spotlight: Jim & Mary Alice Patterson ~ Philippines

Jim and Mary Alice Patterson went to Colombia in 1977 under a joint agreement with Mission to the World and Wycliffe Bible Translators and served there for 18 years. Returning to the US in 1995, they served with Wycliffe JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) Center in North Carolina where they continued to be involved in Bible translation.

In 2004 Jim and Mary Alice moved to the Philippines to work with Wycliffe and Mission to the World. Jim works in the Maintenance Department and Mary Alice works in the Accounting Office at the Nasuli Translation Center in Nasuli, Philippines.

In September 2006, Mary Alice and Jim celebrated 31 years with Mission to the World and Wycliffe Bible Translators/Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Jim and Mary Alice have two daughters Betsy and Jeannie. The Pattersons' home church is First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi.

· Pray for their translation work and the challenges in their language learning.
· Pray for continued good health and strength.
· Pray for the four translation teams that have gone out with their assigned language groups in remote locations.
· Pray for Jim and Mary Alice as they continue to adjust to being away from their two daughters and other family members.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Missionary Spotlight: Paul & Laura Chinchen ~ African Bible Colleges (Malawi & Uganda)

Paul and Laura Chinchen have been missionaries with African Bible College in Malawi and Uganda for 17 years. Paul is the Director of the college in Lilongwe (Malawi) and oversees the operations of the mission's four support ministries--the ABC Community Clinic, the ABC Christian Academy, Radio ABC with stations in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, and the college's Evangelistic Outreach Program, which mobilizes students and faculty into ministry teams that reach out to local hospitals, orphanages, villages and schools. Laura is the college's Dean of Admissions and also teaches typing to incoming Freshmen students.

Paul and Laura have 5 children--Ashley (17), Annabelle (15), Levi (7), Bess (4), Vanndel (2)--the last three children were born in Malawi.

The Chinchens met at Biola University in Southern California. Laura is from San Diego, and Paul grew up in Liberia, West Africa, where his parents were missionaries.

After ministering with African Bible College in Malawi for 15 years the Chinchens moved to Kampala, Uganda, in August, 2004, where ABC was in the process of opening its third Christian college. Paul's job was to oversee construction of the 12 buildings needed to open the college in September of 2005.

The purpose of African Bible College is to train Christian leaders for the evangelical missions and churches of Africa. The unique vision of ABC is to train Christian leaders at the university level on the African continent and in the African context -- offering African church leaders quality Christian education in their own countries.

Laura earned a BA in Speech Pathology from Biola University, while Paul did his undergraduate work in Intercultural Communication. Paul completed a Masters in Missions at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1992, and later earned a Th.M in Missiology and a Th.D in Theology from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa.

During the Chinchens' home assignment in Jackson, Paul is putting in place an Office of Planned Giving and Development for African Bible Colleges. The mission's partnership with churches and Christian friends in America is an important part of making the vision of African Bible Colleges fruitful in Africa -- equipping African leaders to train their own pastors and church leaders -- II Timothy 2:2.