Ministry Report – April 28, 2017

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you so much for your prayers and support for this ministry.  I like to try to keep you informed about the results of your efforts.

In the past quarter, I had major hip surgery for the third time.  I blocked out some extra time not knowing how long I would be out.  I mentioned that God really showed me favor in leading me to a great doctor – Dr. Todd Sheils.  It is a fascinating story about how all that happened that I might share in the future.  As a result, I have done far better than expected.  I am actually walking about a mile and a half, 3 or 4 times a week.  I am walking without a limp and have no pain.  I’m not on any antibiotics.  I feel great!

Because of limiting my travel, I concentrated the last quarter on a lot of things mostly within the state of Alabama.  Below are some of the ministry opportunities in which I was involved this last quarter:

  • I spoke at a state baseball coaches conference in Birmingham with 450 coaches attending.
  • I spoke at Troy University to the capstone leadership class, which is comprised of 45 outstanding seniors.
  • I spoke at a prayer conference at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, TN.
  • I spoke at the Female Factor at Troy with about 200 women attending.
  • I participated in the River Region Sports Commission meetings and planning for events in Montgomery, including the Camellia Bowl, all-star games, etc. 
  • I met to help plan a summer conference for high school baseball coaches and their wives.
  • I officiated at four funerals and one wedding.
  • I preached at the Maundy Thursday communion service at Wesley Gardens UMC Retirement Home.
  • I stayed current with 60 daily radio and Facebook audio devotions.
  • I wrote 13 weekly blogs for newspapers and social media publication.
  • I was able to participate in a monthly telephone prayer time with some leaders of large para-church organizations in the United States.
  • I continued writing the fund-raising letters for The Confessing Movement.
  • I met with pastors from Georgia and prepared a podcast for ministers concerning the ways in which churches must respond to change.
  • I’ve participated in video segments of Unsung Heroes to be used in many venues in the near future.
  • I did short-term coaching for 3 pastors.  I did leadership consulting with 4 churches.
  • I met with the coordinator of a National Civility Leadership Congress to plan a national program.

Thank you so much for your support.  I have a lot of great opportunities this summer and fall.  Please pray that I will always be focused to see God’s doors open and courageous to walk through them.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed Mathison

 

 

 

 

March – May 2015 Recap

Dear Friends,

You form the base of people who support this ministry financially and prayerfully.  I want to share with you how your resources have been used during the last three months – March, April, and May.  Here is a brief recap.

  • Preached in 9 different churches in 4 states including Methodists, Baptists, and Assembly of God.  Each church is unique.  I preached at the largest attended Methodist Church in our Annual Conference – Frazer and at my brother George’s church in Auburn on two different Sundays.  I preached in the Hardaway Baptist Church for the 170th anniversary.  The church only has worship once a year for homecoming, but they over 150 people present.  I preached in one church that was celebrating the reworking of its stain glass windows, and I preached at a homecoming at my Dad’s former church in Panama City.
  • Spent two weeks in India training pastors.  India Christianity cannot be described by additions to the church, but by multiplication!  I spent a week in Delhi and a week in Chennai.  There were hundreds of pastors present, many of whom have started multiple churches and won hundreds of people to Christ since I last was with them last September.  I again preached in Chennai at a church that had over 43,000 people present on Sunday in seven different worship services.
  • Officiated at five weddings.
  • Officiated at four funerals.
  • Had unique experiences to speak at the Troy Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting Awards Banquet and at the National Day of Prayer Mayor’s Conference for the Mayors of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and the Gulf Coast, and a Men’s Rally in Andalusia.
  • Consulted with two churches and served as a coach for two pastors.
  • Prepared and published 13 devotional blogs for newspapers and email lists.
  • Recorded and aired 60 radio devotionals and also posted them on Facebook.
  • Spoke at 11 different business events.
  • Participated in conference calls with pastors and lay leaders who are developing a strategy for the United Methodist General Conference which meets in 2016.
  • Consulted with 3 different non-profit ministries.
  • Spent 4 days in New York City with 3 grandsons who have turned 13 in the past year.  This may have been the most exhausting days trying to keep up with them, but also the most enjoyable, productive, and meaningful days.

I have some great opportunities coming up this summer.  Please thank God for the opportunities that He is providing, and pray that our ministry will be responsive and faithful in meeting these opportunities.

Thank you so much for your support.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed Mathison

2014 Recap – Thank You for Your Support

 

As 2014 comes to a close I wanted to give a brief recap of the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries for 2014 to those of you who are so supportive through your prayers and finances.  Here are some of the highlights of preaching/teaching:

· 4-day Pastors Conference in Bogota, Columbia                                                    · 5-day Pastors Conference in New Delhi, India                                                     · 5-day Pastors Conference in Chennai, India                                                   · Coaches Conference for High School and College Coaches in Alabama-West Florida · Memphis Theological Seminary                                                                                   · E. Stanley Jones Ashram in West Monroe, LA                                                   · Synergy Conference for International Pastors in Orlando                                   · African American Episcopal Pastors and Lay Leaders of Alabama                         · Creativity Conference at Disney in Orlando                                                        · African-American History month on leadership at Troy University                        · United Methodists Foundation Directors for the Southeast                                     · Holy Spirit Conference at Blue Lake                                                              · President’s weekend in Florida for Oakland City University                            · Preached twice at Vaughn Forest Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL                   · 3-day Preaching Mission at First United Methodist Church, Manchester, TN        · 3-day Preaching Mission at First Baptist Church, Eufaula, AL                               · 3-day Preaching Mission at First United Methodist Church, Florence, AL              · 3-day Preaching Mission at Danville, VA                                                                · 3-day Preaching Mission at First United Methodist Church, Stuttgart, AR              · 3-day Preaching Mission at First United Methodist Church, Monroe, LA               · 3-day Preaching Mission at Walnut Creek United Methodist Church, Clanton, AL · Bethlehem Camp Meeting in Bonifay, FL                                                               · Shiloh Camp Meeting in Brandon, MS                                                                  · Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church , Montgomery, AL                                  · Millbrook United Methodist Church                                                                          · New Prospect United Methodist Church, Dadeville, AL                                      · Eclectic United Methodist Church                                                                                 · 4 Sundays at Auburn United Methodist Church                                                       · First United Methodist Church, Dalton, GA                                                         · Church in the Pines at Lake Martin                                                                       · Ramer United Methodist Church                                                                       · Camden United Methodist Church                                                                             · Mt. Gillard Missionary Baptist in Montgomery                                                                · Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington, SC                                              · First United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, GA                                              · Eclectic Baptist Church                                                                                  · Graduation address at Oakland City University in Indiana                                       · Officiated at 6 weddings and 5 funerals                                                         · Opportunities to speak in several civic clubs, athletic teams, Sunday School classes,  etc.                                                                                                                            · Each week day 1-minute audio devotional thought which is placed on my Facebook page and is carried by four radio stations                                                                       · A weekly blog which most of you receive and is carried in a couple of newspapers · Individual coaching for some Pastors

God has opened a lot of doors in 2014.  Your support has made it possible to walk through those doors.  Thank you!

Please pray for us in 2015.

John Ed Mathison

 

Ministry Recap September – October 2014

During the past two months our ministry has been blessed with some of our greatest opportunities.  God is continually surprising us with the doors that He is opening.  Here is a brief recap.

September 1-11 – I spent these 11 days in New Delhi, India and Chennai, India.  I wrote three blogs about the ministry and training over 2,000 pastors, preaching at a Missions’ Conference, and preaching at two of the twelve worship services in Chennai, in a church that had over 42,000 people present that Sunday.  They average between 4,000 and 7,000 people at each of the twelve services.  They are in the process of moving to the outskirts of the city and have bought land to build a 55,000 seat sanctuary!  The training of the pastors was very meaningful and exciting.  Many of these pastors will go out and start several churches and baptize hundreds of people.  The pastors come twice a year for four sessions.  I will be going back in March and then again in September.  There are websites that contain the actual teachings that we are doing, the strategy, etc.

September 13-16 – I went to Danville, Virginia to preach and train leaders at the Trinity United Methodist Church.  Charles Wickham is the pastor.  I was there four years ago.  I was excited to see many of the things they have incorporated and the tremendous growth that has taken place.

September 19 – I recorded radio messages which are heard each morning on WLWI.  We  have added a radio station in Wetumpka.  These messages also appear on my  Facebook page in audio form each day.

September 21– I preached at Mt. Gillard Missionary Baptist Church here in Montgomery.   Coach Payne, one of the football coaches at Alabama State University, is a leader  there.  The Alabama-West Florida Conference business office has a wonderful lady  Belinda Carnegie who handles all of the insurance, etc. for the pastors in our  Conference.  She is a leader there.   Her husband is the pastor.

September 24 – Had an opportunity to be a part of the Troy University Golf Outing to raise money for various ministries at Troy.  Dr. Jack Hawkins gives great support to this.  We raised a lot of money.  I also prayed that Dr. Hawkins wouldn’t hit anybody with some of his stray golf shots!

September 26-28 – I traveled to Lexington, SC to the Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church.   Jeff Kirsey has been there about 23 years.  There were 80 people attending when he  arrived.  Today they run several thousand each Sunday.  I had the opportunity to meet  with their staff on Saturday.  The worship services on Saturday night and three on  Sunday morning were extremely meaningful.  They are in the process of a huge building  project.

September 30-October 2 – Went to Dallas, Texas to speak at the Christian Men’s Network Summit.  A part of this was to launch a great initiative that deals with child abuse and the problem of fatherlessness.  There were men there from around the world who have great men’s ministries.  Paul Cole is the president of this group and gives great leadership.  As sometimes happens, weather delayed my Thursday evening flight.  I finally got out of Dallas at midnight and arrived in Atlanta at 2:30.  I was able to rent a car and drive on to Montgomery as I had a commitment to speak at 8:00 on Friday morning.  I was just ahead of all of the Ebola scare in Dallas.

October 4-5 – I went to Stuttgart, AR.  David Bush is the pastor.  That church has been one of the biggest supporters of our ministry and has given me a lot of opportunities in the last six years.  Stuttgart is the Duck Hunting Capitol of the World and also the Rice Capitol of the World.  The church there has many tremendous leaders.

October 6 – I went to Little Rock, AR to speak at a wonderful occasion honoring the retired ministers and their spouses from Louisiana.  David Bush raises the money to pay for this meaningful event.

October 10-13 – I traveled to Monroe, LA to the First United Methodist Church.  Rev. Lynn Malone is the senior pastor.  On Saturday morning I met with all of his church leaders.  I preached 3 times on Sunday morning.  I had an opportunity to meet with the staff on Monday.  First Methodist Church is one of the leading churches in Louisiana and I have always heard it referred to as the “flagship church” of the Annual Conference.  Just as I was finishing with the staff on Monday afternoon, a tornado came through.  It took down trees all around us.  I was getting ready to drive back to Montgomery.  I waited for about 2 hours because the storm was going to Montgomery.  I trailed it by about an hour and a half.  It was pouring rain all the way.

October 16 – I went down to Ramer with Doctors Grady Price, Tim Trulove, and Buddy Foy  for the “Good Ole Boys” fish fry.  They invite a couple of hundred men to come  together and fellowship.  They give me an opportunity to say a few words and to thank  God for our country and for our friends.  There is probably more catfish consumed per  person that night than any other place in the South!

As you can see it has been a busy, but very productive time.  I had the opportunity to meet with several different pastors on a one-on-one basis.  I do some coaching by telephone each month with some pastors.  The writing of the weekly blog and the audio devotions don’t come easy for me – they take a lot of preparation.

I am looking forward in November to being with Rev. Tony Hughes up in Chilton County, speaking at a leadership banquet at First United Methodist Prattville, preaching at my brother George’s church in Auburn on November 9, going to Panama City for a church consultation, preaching in Atlanta, speaking to the Montgomery YMCA staff, participating in a missions event at New Water located at Lake Martin, participating in planning for the Billion Soul Initiative and teaching for 3 days at First Baptist Church Tyler, Texas, and preaching at Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church here in Montgomery.

Thank you so much for your support.

John Ed Mathison

June – July Recap

June and July have been very productive months.  I preached 27 times in a variety of settings.  Below is a recap of some of the major events in which I participated:

  •  Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference – Our ministry was given a display booth during the Conference.
  •  Spent 3 days speaking 4 times to a lot of coaches and their families at a conference.  I posted a couple of blogs about this.  I love working with coaches.
  •  Preached 3 days in Bonifay, Florida, at a Camp Meeting.
  •  Preached at the Church in the Pines at Lake Martin.  This was the 38th year that I have been privileged to preach there.
  •  Preached at the Auburn United Methodist Church – my brother George is the pastor there and it is one of the most exciting churches in our Conference.
  •  Preached at the 163rd Homecoming for the Ramer United Methodist Church.
  •  Preached for 8 days at the Shiloh Camp Meeting in Pelahatchie, Mississippi – Great experience!
  •  Posted blogs each week.
  •  Posted a daily 2-minute audio devotional on Facebook.
  •  Continued coaching a couple of pastors and worked with one church in Birmingham.
  •  I enjoy serving on the River Region Sports Commission.  This group has really brought a lot of sporting events to Montgomery.  You will be hearing more about the College Bowl Game in December.
  •  I enjoy participating with the PSIF which provides life insurance for all of our law enforcement people.
  •  Spoke at and participated in the S.T.E.P. Foundation fundraiser.
  •  Made recordings for daily radio devotionals on WLWI.

Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support for this ministry.  A huge responsibility will be coming up on the first two weeks in September as I go to teach and train pastors in India as a part of the vision to plant 5 million churches and win 1 billion people to Christ.  I didn’t know it would take so much time just to secure a visa for India.  I wound up making two trips to Atlanta involving qualifying for the Global Entry with the TSA and getting the visa.  I’m grateful that several folks helped with both of those.

Thanks for your support.

John Ed

January – February 2014 Recap

The first two months of 2014 offered more opportunities than any other two months in the history of this ministry. It required an awful lot of travel, but also offered the opportunity of some of the most significant and productive ministry. I really had the opportunity to be in a multitude of different venues.

Here is a brief synopsis.

January 8 – Officiated at the funeral of my good friend Wiley Poundstone. Wiley and I had breakfast together many Thursday mornings at the Farmers’ Market. He was largely responsible for starting the Poundstone Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church – a class that had over 100 men in average attendance.

January 8 & 9 – Spoke at the Memphis Theological Seminary and taught in a seminar, along with Bishop Gary Mueller from Arkansas. David Bush was teaching this course. Memphis is one of the approved seminaries for United Methodist students to attend.

January 11 – Spoke at a celebration event for African Methodist Episcopal Church pastors and leaders. The A.M.E. Bishop is James Davis. His name is James. My name is John. So they advertised the event as James and John – the Sons of Thunder. The Murdoch Chapel was one of the basic sponsors of this event.

January 12 – Taught a Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Rocky and Amelia Barnes are members of that class.

January 13 & 14 – Went to Atlanta, Georgia. About 110 pastors and lay people gathered to look at forming a Wesley Covenant Network which would serve as support and encouragement for pastors and lay persons across our denomination.

January 15 – I spend one day a month as a coach to a few pastors across the country. We do this by telephone. They send me a list of about 5 or 6 questions they would like to discuss. I figure if I can be helpful to some very key pastors, it can have long-range effects.

January 16-19 – I traveled to West Monroe, Louisiana to speak at the E. Stanley Jones Ashram for Northern Louisiana. An ashram has an evangelist and also has a Bible teacher. Dr. Billy Abraham from Perkins School of Theology was Bible teacher. He and I served together in the Confessing Movement. I also preached at the Central United Methodist Church in West Monroe on Sunday morning.

January 19-23 – I left Sunday afternoon for Orlando, Florida, for the Synergy IV Billion Soul Conference. We had about 1,700 pastors, representing some 60 countries, at this meeting. We were able to finalize some of the work of the hubs designed to train pastors to start 5 million churches and win 1 billion people to Christ. There were three days of outstanding times of worship and seminars for these pastors. It was an inspiring and learning time for me. As I had mentioned I am committed to go this fall to teach 4 sessions in Delhi, India and 4 sessions in Chennai, India in 2014 and 2015. I am also going to Bogota, Columbia this spring.

January 24-26 – I went to the First United Methodist Church in Dalton, Georgia. I had a chance to meet with leaders of the church for about five hours on Saturday and talk about how a church goes to the next level. I also met with some other key leaders in the District. I preached at all of their worship services on Sunday morning.

January 27-29 – I left early Monday morning to go back to Orlando to speak at a Creativity Conference sponsored by Leadership Nexus and Disney. We spent one day with some of the Disney staff persons and then we spent one full day on the grounds at Disney. We had pastors and church leaders from across the country. It is exciting to be a part of a group of people who want to become more creative – and where can you find a more creative group of people than at Disney!

January 30-February 2 – I drove from Orlando down to Marco Island to participate in the President’s Weekend for Oakland City University. I preached on Friday and Saturday. This is the University for the General Baptist denomination. I have had an opportunity to speak at several General Baptist Pastors’ Schools. I enjoyed being with my good friend Dennis Swanberg, who is quite an entertainer, comedian, impressionist, etc. Dennis had a program on Frazer Christian Television called “The Swan.”

February 8 – I spoke at the Leadership Conference at Troy University celebrating African-American history. They had about 500 people registered. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter was a speaker, along with an outstanding lawyer/judge who also is a minister and is seen on television as one of the courtroom judges. Dr. John Kline teaches leadership at Troy. His students speak so highly of him. Another of the speakers was our Probate Judge Steven Reed.

February 9 – I preached at the worship service at Vaughn Forest Church here in Montgomery. Vaughn Forest is without a pastor. Please pray for that church as they move forward with the selection and call of a pastor. I will be preaching there again on March 9.

February 12 – This was again the day of the month that I spent in coaching pastors by telephone.

February 15 – I did several devotionals for the Upward Basketball program at Frazer. The Upward program draws so many people who are unchurched. Joe Overton had the vision for starting that program. Craig McKissick and his staff do a super job. It is one of the largest Upward Basketball programs in our country. It came at a time when we were watching the Sochi Olympics. I was thinking – Frazer has Upward Basketball, Sonshine Soccer, Upward Flag Football – I wonder how Upward Curling would go in Montgomery.

February 18 – Si and I went to Atlanta to attend a basketball game between Georgia Tech and Duke with Phillip and Julie Cook. The Cook’s are strong encouragers and supporters of our ministry. Phillip is also a trustee at Shingleroof Camp Meeting where I have preached every third year for the past 18 years. In 2015, my brother George and I will be the preachers for that weeklong camp meeting.

February 20 – I attended and had the invocation for the Blue-Gray Tennis Banquet. This tournament draws some of the best college tennis teams in the US. It is something that Montgomery is proud of.

February 22-25 – I went to Eufaula, Alabama and I preached a revival at the First Baptist Church. Dr. Ken Bush is the senior minister. He has been there over 30 years. You have to be pretty secure as pastor of a large Baptist church to invite a Methodist to preach. This was actually about the fifth time that I have preached those revival services. I love it because my Dad went there for nine consecutive years to preach on the Sunday that Southern Baptist designate as Older Adult Sunday.

February 27 – I went to Destin, Florida to speak at the annual meeting of the Southeastern United Methodist Foundation Directors. Terri Turner is Executive Director of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Foundation, Inc.

I will remind you that I do have a two-minute audio devotional thought on Facebook each day. I also post a blog each week. Let me suggest you invite someone to sign up for the blog and to connect to the daily devotional on Facebook.

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement and support.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed

September – November 2013 Recap

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the support you give to this ministry. We have a strong Board to whom I am accountable, but I also want to share with you the investment of my time, energy, and talent over the last quarter. Here is a brief recap.

September 1 – Preached Sunday afternoon at the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery. Several churches have an annual meeting together. Rev. Myron Smoke is the Pastor at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist. I always enjoy the worship experience with African-American churches.

September 6 – Drove to Lake Martin to speak in a conference at the META-CAMP at Lake Martin. This is a training facility for missionary and evangelism events. Dr. Chris Harmon from Birmingham is one of the strong leaders in this movement. The program that Friday and Saturday was interesting as I got to meet a lot of people that I have read about in missionary and evangelism training. You can learn more through their website.

September 7-11 – I drove to Mocksville, NC to preach at the Sprinkle Preaching Mission. This is the second time that I have participated in this mission. Dr. Glenn Meyers is the Pastor. I had an opportunity to meet with pastors of that area on Monday and to meet with church leaders from Mocksville on Wednesday night. We had worship services Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

September 12-15 – Drove over to Greenville, SC to be a part of the ministry of the Covenant United Methodist Church. Rev. Darin Hook is the Senior Minister. The Executive Pastor is Ken Himes who was a great leader at St. James United Methodist in Montgomery and Trinity United Methodist in Opelika.

This is a church that has recently experienced tremendous growth, and has a great future. I had an opportunity to meet with about 20 of their staff people on Friday. We spent several hours talking about staff function and priorities. This church is blessed with an outstanding staff. On Saturday I met for three hours with about 45 leaders of the church. We talked about vision and the importance of planning. Several of the leaders really listened and decided to act on a couple of things that I had pointed out regarding additional property. Raising the awareness of the need of contiguous property, the church leaders noticed some property that could be available. Within two weeks the church had added about 10 acres! The leaders quoted a couple of terms I had used – “the shoe should never determine the size of the foot, and when the door opens you better walk through it quickly.”

They have three morning worship services on Sunday. They have just completed a wonderful sanctuary. The problem is that they have almost outgrown it. The church is looking at creative ways to reach more people.

September 21 – Had an opportunity to participate with the Alabama State Football team and to give the prayer at the game where the Hornets played Grambling. I visit quite often with Coach Barlow and Coach Payne and pray and speak with the team and the coaches.

September 22-25 – Drove to South Carolina to be a part of an exciting ministry at the Pond Branch United Methodist Church. This is located just south of Columbia. Many people say that small churches don’t grow – Pond Branch is an exception. The Pastor Michael Bingham has a great vision for the church and it was exiting to participate in baptizing people who had just made a commitment to Christ.

September 26 – Drove over to Chapin, SC to speak at a great Leadership Conference sponsored by the Chapin United Methodist Church. Rev. Jody Flowers is having a tremendous ministry in one of the most rapidly growing churches in South Carolina. He shared about his experiences of coming to Frazer for Church Growth Conferences. His church is a great story and they spent some $25,000 to invite people throughout the state to come and be exposed to leadership. Bishop Jonathan Holston was one of the speakers along with Steve Taneyhill, one of the most successful High School football coaches in South Carolina. I gave the concluding sermon to the event. Jody Flowers has a great vision for the church. Pastors were invited to come without a registration fee, receive a free meal, and receive continuing education credit. Those are three things that Methodist pastors always respond to! I will share some stories in the future about Jody and that church.

September 28 – I had an opportunity to speak at the Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame induction on behalf of my good friend Tom Ragsdale who died this past year. I also prayed several times as I met with the Huntingdon Alumni Advisory Board and Huntingdon Hawks football team and game.

September 29-October 1 – Preached in revival services at the Epworth United Methodist Church with Rev. Grant Parker. This church is growing rapidly. They have just made a decision to engage in another building project for a large family life center, etc. One of the great laypersons there is Susan Wiggins who showed me around the Bradley Company in Columbus where she has been a leader for the past 30 years. This is a strong company who has a profound influence in Georgia and is based on foundational Christian principles. It was inspiring to experience that.

October 4 – Had an opportunity to offer a prayer of dedication for the 50th wedding anniversary for Jim and Betty Jane Young in Atlanta, Georgia. They have been dear friends to my family and were active members of Frazer for several years.

October 5-9 – Preached in revival at the McDonough United Methodist Church. Rev. Darris Baker is the Senior Pastor. He has also served as the Senior Minister at Young Harris in North Georgia where my brother George and I both went to Junior College. We had noon and evening worship services. I had a great experience staying with the William Stricklands. He is a Chevrolet dealer and he and his family are great leaders in that church.

October 10 – Attended the Good Ole Boys meeting down at the farm of Grady Price. This is an event that I look forward to each year. Dr. Price and his partners Dr. Trulove and Dr. Foy provide this event for about 200+ men who spend an afternoon visiting and enjoy a great seafood meal. The purpose is to spend a few minutes thanking God for our great country and I have the opportunity to give a prayer asking for God’s guidance in the lives of all the people present.

October 13-18 – I flew to Zurich, Switzerland and met with the Billion Soul Initiative leadership team. There were twelve of us present. It was here that we put together a plan to start 5 million churches and win 1 billion people to Christ by 2020. The details for this specific plan are included in an earlier blog on November 6. This is one way that I will spend some of my time during the next six years. My vision is always expanded when I am with people around the world who think so big. I was sitting between two men – one is from the Philippines who has some 40,000+ people in worship each Sunday and on my left was a medical doctor who has planted hundreds of churches in India, and most of them average well over 1,000 people. The possibilities of this God-sized vision are huge.

October 19-23 – Returned from Switzerland and drove out to Jonesboro, AR to preach at the First United Methodist Church. Rev. John Miles is the Senior Minister. This church just completed a huge building which contains an auditorium for contemporary worship. I preached several times Sunday morning, then had evening worship services. John asked me to go with him to visit a couple of older people who had watched our worship service every Sunday on television when I was at Frazer. It was interesting to hear their stories of the Television Ministry.

October 27 – Preached at the Consecration Sunday for Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Rev. Glen Pugh is the pastor. I had an opportunity to be there for their stewardship emphasis.

November 5-6 – Spent most of these days involving phone calls and conference calls. I have the opportunity to serve as a coach to some pastors in other states and to give some counsel to other local churches.

November 6 – Spoke at the men’s breakfast at Frazer United Methodist Church.

November 9-11 – Went to Winston-Salem, NC to preach at the Centenary United Methodist Church. This is one of the largest Methodist churches in North Carolina. They have several different style worship services. On Sunday morning I preached 4 times. Two of the services were traditional, one was a service featuring jazz music, and the other was a contemporary worship. I went that afternoon to meet with a group of folks who had watched our worship services faithfully on television. It was great to hear their stories. I also met with two different groups of leaders from the church. Jim Holmes, III is a leader there. We had met at Lake Junaluska some time ago. He is my kind of a man as he loves sports (was at one time a sports writer) and has a great vision for his local church in his community.

November 12 – Spoke at the One Nation Under God Community Breakfast sponsored by the Exchange Club of Florence, AL. Steve Chennault is a member of that club. He had formerly attended Frazer when he was in Montgomery.

November 13 – Drove to Troy to speak at the Female Factor event. This is obviously for women and is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Troy University, the bank, and the hospital. I was there last December. I was invited back to speak about the meaning of Thanksgiving. They had 152 women for the luncheon.

November 14 – Attended the PSIF (Public Safety Insurance Fund) meeting honoring all of our people who protect us and giving a huge check to pay for insurance for all of our first responders. I have attended and supported this endeavor since its inception. Grant Sullivan, Buddy Hardwich and Jerry Wills direct this project.

November 17 – Drove to Graceville, FL to preach the stewardship sermon at the First United Methodist Church. This had just completed studying the book I wrote “Treasures of the Transformed Life.” Dr. Jason Thrower is giving tremendous leadership there.

November 19-20 – Met with some different pastors and church groups. I went to Birmingham to officiate at the wedding of Hayden Hamrick the daughter of Bill and Gail who are active members at Frazer. Their son Hunter is a professional golfer and I try to give him some lessons all along!

December 1 – Preached at the Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. G. W. C. Richardson is the pastor. This was my fifth year to speak on their Race Relations Sunday. It is an experience to which I always look forward. Dr. Richardson (his initials stand for George Washington Carver) has been a good partner in ministry for a lot of years. They gave special awards to the Montgomery Police Department and to the Y.M.C.A. for their work in improving race relations in the Montgomery area.

I’m excited about 2014. Please pray that this ministry will see when doors are opening, and move quickly to walk through them.

Have a blessed Christmas. Please don’t get so caught up in what the world has to sell that you miss what God has to give!

For the Cause of causes,                                                                                                 John Ed Mathison

July – August 2013 Recap

Thank you for your support through your prayers, finances, and encouragement. This recap is a report to you of your investment.

July and August offered a variety of opportunities for witness. I had an opportunity to lead a couple of Pastors’ Conferences, speak to 2 football teams, preach a lake worship service, preach seven days at a campmeeting, preach in a revival sponsored by three different denominations, preach at one of the ten most famous bars in the world, speak to all the teachers in the Tallassee School System, speak six times at a retreat for the Francis Asbury Society, lead worship for the firemen at Auburn, officiate at two weddings, and two funerals. That was a pretty good variety. I also had the opportunity to meet with some young pastors, have some one-on-one sessions with pastors, and other opportunities. Here is a brief breakdown.

July 7 – Preached at the Church in the Pines at Kowaliga. I have been doing that for over 35 years. Because it was raining, more people came in cars and there were less boats.

July 13 – I was reminded again of how pastors have to officiate and participate in events at the opposite ends of emotions. At 1:00, I officiated at a funeral for a lady in her fifties. At 2:30, I had a counseling session with a young couple who would be getting married. At 3:30, I had a session with a couple undergoing a serious family challenge. Then at 5:00 I officiated at a marvelous wedding. Those four events run the gamut in emotions. I am glad I don’t have to do that often. Please pray for pastors who have to do it continually.

July 19 – Taught a five hour seminar for pastors in Mississippi.

July 20-25 – Preached at the Felders Campmeeting, which is located near Brookhaven and McComb. This campground has 66 cabins. There were so many young people and boys and girls present. One of the traditions is to bring bicycles. They had over 200 bicycles at the campground. There were kids everywhere. One other tradition was late night volleyball. They played well after midnight. This campground also has a creek that is ideal for swimming. They have a zip-line and a swing that will carry you out over the creek and you drop into the water. I set the record for being the oldest pastor they had ever had to go off that swing! The tabernacle was filled morning and night for the worship services. I preached 12 times.

July 28-30 – Preached at a revival in Benton, Alabama sponsored by the Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. Joe Pat Cox led the singing. This was probably the tenth time that Joe Pat and I have done that revival together. They actually invite him back every year!

August 4 – Preached at the Flora-Bama. I posted a couple of blogs about this. Check out this unique ministry in my blog of August 14, 2013.

August 10 – Officiated at a wedding at First United Methodist Church here in Montgomery.

August 15 – Spoke to all of the teachers in the Tallassee School System as they prepared to begin the new school year. I enjoy these occasions of meeting with teachers. I don’t know of anyone that has a bigger influence on our young people than coaches and teachers.

August 17 – Officiated at the funeral of one of God’s real saints – Mrs. Bettye Brantley.

August 18 – Spoke at 7:00 in the morning to all of the firefighters in the Auburn area and then preached three times at my brother’s church, Auburn United Methodist

August 19-22 – Preached at a retreat at the Hemlock Inn in Bryson City, North Carolina for the Francis Asbury Society. They brought in a group of people on Sunday night through Tuesday morning, then another group Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. I spoke 6 times at this event. You can go online at the Francis Asbury Society and see the marvelous work of this organization.

September and October will be two of my busiest months. In October I will be going to Switzerland to be a part of a group of global leaders who will be planning many strategic, significant, events for training pastors. During this two months span I will have opportunities in two preaching missions in North Carolina, two in South Carolina, one in Arkansas, one in Georgia, and a couple in Alabama.

We have a 4-minute video on our website that describes this ministry. Please direct people to our website www.johnedmathison.org.

Thanks for your support.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed Mathison

www.johnedmathison.org

 

May – June 2013 Recap

The last two months provided some very meaningful opportunities for me. I had the opportunity to preach at a homecoming worship service in Baldwin County at Rosinton United Methodist Church, which was one of the first churches my Dad served back in the late 1930’s. That was the beginning of his ministry. On June 30th I preached at homecoming worship service at First United Methodist Church Panama City, Florida, where my Dad had served for about 15 years when he reached the mandatory retirement of 70. To preach in churches at the beginning and end of his “official ministry” was very meaningful. My granddad John Wesley Mathison was also the minister at First Methodist Panama City for a few years beginning in 1911.

I had the opportunity to speak at two large youth events honoring outstanding high school seniors in Butler County and Elmore County. It was impressive to see the achievements of these young people.

Also the book When God Redefines the Possible became available on iPad, Nook, and Kindle. I am grateful to Donnie Claxton with Claxton Creative Enterprises in Dallas, Texas and all the people who worked with that – Linda Poole, Matt Gamble, Will Adams, Si Mathison, and others. It will really be a good resource for individuals and organizations.

Here are a few of the larger events in which I participated the last two months.

May 2 – Spoke at the Achiever Awards in Greenville, AL that honored the top high school seniors from six high schools.

May 4 – Was a guest on Mobile Sports Radio Station with Coach Rick Cleveland. We spent 30 minutes talking about sports and faith. Rick was an All-American Tennis player at Huntingdon College, and an outstanding high school coach. I enjoyed that event.

May 5 – Preached at Cain’s Chapel United Methodist Church. Rev. Susie Beeson is the pastor there. She went into the ministry from Frazer. She is having a bout with breast cancer. I was able to fill in one of the Sunday’s while she is taking her chemo. Please pray for Susie. The people there really love her.

May 7 – Spoke at the Joe Sewell Awards in Wetumpka, AL, which honored high school seniors from seven high schools in Elmore County. It was extra special for me because I attended the second through the sixth grades in elementary school in Wetumpka.

May 11 – Officiated at the baptism for a special family, Dan and Bobbie Cooper. Their grandchild Cooper was baptized. He is the son of Kelly and Mark. I also baptized Kelly. The Coopers have been extremely active leaders at Frazer.

May 12 – I went back to Chandler School of Theology at Emory University for the 50th reunion of our seminary class. I was amazed at how much so many of the people there had aged! I saw people that I have not seen since graduating from Candler.

May 16 – Spoke at the Men’s Ministry Supper at Frazer United Methodist Church.

May 18 – On Saturday morning attended the 100th anniversary of the opening of Hall’s Store in Cecil, AL. My first church to serve was the Woodland United Church, which technically is in Cecil. I was a senior in college at Huntingdon. The Halls were active members of Woodland. Tim Thompson lives in that area and frequents Hall’s Store. Connie Mac Darnell has written a little book about the history of Cecil. It brought back a lot of memoires to have a copy of his book. I was there for the 100th celebration – I was not there when it opened!

I had the opportunity of officiating at the wedding for Katie Copeland and Randall Hunt at the Faulkner University Chapel. I then left to drive to south Alabama.

May 19 – I preached at the Rosinton United Methodist Church, which was one of four churches on a charge that my Dad, Si Mathison, served when he first entered the ministry. Rosinton is in Baldwin County, just below Loxley, AL. I lived in the parsonage at Loxley. Rosinton United Methodist Church is rapidly changing as it is located between Mobile and Pensacola. The new highway from Interstate 65 to Orange Beach will go right in front of the Rosinton United Methodist Church. It has an exciting future. My son, Si and my grandson Si both went with me. The people enjoyed meeting two more Si’s.

May 21 – The Board of John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries met. This Board is an active group of men and women. We meet quarterly. You can go to the website and read the resumes of the Board members. It will give you great confidence in the accountability of this ministry.

May 23 – I was invited to dress up like Ryan Segrest and emcee a skit for the annual music ministry banquet at Frazer United Methodist Church. The skit is as close as I have ever been allowed to come to the music ministry! I am glad to say that I can sing a touch better than Tim Thompson – which isn’t really saying much!

May 25 – Officiated at the wedding for Ben Nanney and Hali Hunter at the First United Methodist Church in Prattville. Ben’s grandparents, Walter and Donna Nanney, had just joined Frazer when I became pastor in 1972.

May 26 – I preached at the three Frazer sanctuary worship services for Memorial Day. I told them that being Pastor Emeritus means that I am called in on holidays!

May 29 – Had an opportunity to speak to Alabama High School Coaches meeting in Panama City, FL. I love being around coaches and having an opportunity to speak to them.

June 2 – I preached at the South Brookley United Methodist Church in Mobile, AL. After finishing seminary I served for two years as an Associate at Capitol Heights United Methodist Church in Montgomery. I was then appointed to the South Brookley United Methodist Church in Mobile. Those people did a lot to shape my ministry in the four years I served there. It brought back a lot of good memories to be there.

June 2-5 – Attended and participated in the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference meeting at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile.

June 8 – Helped officiate at the wedding of my great-niece Hannah Stockman. I had officiated at the weddings of several of her family members, including her Mom and Dad. She was the flower girl in Si’s wedding.

June 9 – Preached at the First Presbyterian Church in Selma, AL. They are without a pastor. I inquired about putting in an application, but after the sermon they said that wouldn’t go anywhere! Lynn is from Selma and at one time was a member of that church.

June 10 – Drove down to Georgiana to the First Baptist Church of Georgiana, AL. I got there thirty minutes early. The church was already filled. Baptists come to church early – Methodists usually try to wait until after the offering. So many of the people in the Georgiana area regularly worshipped with Frazer through television. Rev. Allen Stephenson is a wonderful leader.

June 15 – Frazer Men sponsored a Father’s Day Run. We had about 500 people participate. I enjoyed passing out the medals for the winners in each of the categories. It was especially exciting to see so many fathers running with their kids.

June 16 – Preached at the three Frazer Contemporary Worship services. It was Father’s Day so they gave the “Emeritus” another chance. Frazer is blessed to have such wonderful music in both the three sanctuary and three contemporary worship settings.

June 20 – Drove down to Park Memorial United Methodist Church in Troy, AL for the Men’s Club Ladies Night. This is an exciting, growing church.

June 23-25 – Drove up to Hartselle, AL to preach in the Hartselle Campmeeting. This encampment was occurring for the 114th consecutive year. The tabernacle is right near the high school football stadium. It is just off Interstate 65. They built a big, new dining hall and a new dormitory for youth which will sleep about 50 people.

June 24 – Conducted a seminar on Developing Lay Led Evangelism in the Local Church for the pastors of the North Alabama Conference at the Campmeeting site.

June 30 – Drove down to Panama City, FL to preach at homecoming service at the First United Methodist Church. My Dad served there for 15 years until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. He and my Mom continued to live in Panama City. My son Si went with me. Again it was a great opportunity for them to meet another Si. My granddad and I got the name John and my Dad, son and grandson got the name Si.

I get a lot of response from the two minute audio devotional each day which appears on my Ministry Facebook. If you miss the blogs, go back to Father’s Day and read the one about my Dad. Also the blog about the Flora-Bama has really been shared and circulated. I will be preaching at the Flora-Bama on August 4.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support for this ministry!

John Ed Mathison

March – April 2013 Recap

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries. The following is a brief report of some of the larger events in which I have been engaged during the months of March and April.

March 5 – Spoke at Lenten service at the Millbrook United Methodist Church. Nathan Atwood is the pastor. They are in the process of building a new sanctuary.

March 9 – Spoke at Young Meadows Presbyterian Church in Montgomery.

March 12 – Drove to Andalusia to Blue Lake to participate in a Wesley Heirs gathering.

March 13 – Drove over to Graceville, Florida to speak at a Lenten Worship Service. Jason Thrower is the pastor there.

March 14 – Participated on the Sports Radio Program from an Opelika station. Joe Wilson was a teammate of mine in football and basketball at Opelika and was formerly head football coach at Opelika. He appears on Thursday mornings on the Sports Talk station and invited me to reminisce with him. We remembered all the games we had won, and had forgotten all of the losses!

March 14 – Attended a great celebration where Mike Turk was named Athletic Director and would continue as head football coach at Huntingdon College. I used to meet each week with the football team at Jeff Davis High School when Mike was quarterback and led them to some state titles. He then became an All-American at Troy. He now has done a tremendous job in establishing a great football program at Huntingdon.

March 17-19 – Went to Gautier, Mississippi, to preach at the First United Methodist Church. Rev. James Watson is the pastor. I had a seminar for pastors on Monday.

March 20 – I am a member of the River Region Sports Commission. This is a great group of people who are bringing sports events to the city of Montgomery. If you haven’t seen the new additions at Cramton Bowl and the Multiplex and the Soccer Complex at AUM, you need to visit those.

March 21 – Gave a dedication prayer for the new building at AUM named for Mr. Robbins Taylor. I met Robbins Taylor several years ago through tennis. He then played a major part in helping us get financing through Union Bank for a new sanctuary.

March 21 – Officiated at the funeral for Brent Camp.

March 23 – Participated as a partner to Kim Hendrix in a cooking contest called “Iron Chef” to raise money for a very worthy charity. I told Kim I would be her partner if she would carry 90% of the load. Actually she carried 95%. The judges included the Mayor and some outstanding chefs of the region. My best contribution was when we presented our “dish” to the judges. I slipped on my clerical robe to try to give us a little extra influence. I also told the judges that I was on the way to interview for the chef’s job with Pope Francis.

March 24 – Officiated at the funeral of John Jackson.

March 27 – Preached at the Lenten worship service at Trinity Presbyterian Church here in Montgomery. Claude McRoberts has been a good friend and fellow colleague for several years.

April 3 – Attended a function honoring the General Counsel to Haiti. Several non-profit organizations that do ministry in Haiti were a part of that event. I learned a lot.

April 5 – Officiated at the funeral of Henry North.

April 6 – Drove to Birmingham and officiated at the wedding of Holly Howell. Her parents Judy and Ken Howell were tremendous members at Frazer for several years before moving to Birmingham. My family and their family have interconnected in a lot of ways.

April 11 – Had the opportunity to do an interview for a magazine article that will appear during the summer.

April 13 – Served on the alumni advisory board at Huntingdon College and then drove to Memphis.

April 14 – Preached at three worship services at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis. Shane Stafford is the senior minister there now. He and Maxie Dunnam and I recorded some programs for T.V.

April 16 – Again this year I waited tables at Mr. Gus’ Italian Restaurant on the Atlanta Highway to raise money for Family Promise, a wonderful charity. All of the tips we received went to Family Promise. If people didn’t tip well, I just stayed there and waited for a bigger tip.

April 18 – I did a seminar for 40 ministers who are in a year long program called ACE – Academy for Congregational Development. My topic was How to Create and Communicate a Vision. These pastors meet together one day a month for four hours of continuing education credit.

April 20 – Officiated at the wedding of Dr. Wright Mathews and Rebecca Simon. I had the opportunity to baptize Wright when he was a baby. I have been good friends with that family for a long time.

April 24 – Spoke at the Community Unity Breakfast which was sponsored by the Leadership Montgomery and Chamber of Commerce. This is a tremendous organization that is dedicated to bringing Unity in our community. There were four visionary laypeople in Montgomery who 30 years ago formed Leadership Montgomery. Today there are over a thousand people who have been through the program. It is one of the reasons that we have made the progress that we have in Montgomery. Dr. Cheryl Carter is the Executive Director of this program.

April 25 – I serve on the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Homes for the Aging in the State of Alabama and Northwest Florida. This group meets quarterly.

April 25 – Had an opportunity to hear Dr. Kevin Elko, a tremendous motivational speaker who works with sports teams and businesses. One of our Board members, Dr. Stephen Davidson was instrumental in bringing him to Montgomery.

April 27 – I was invited to serve as an honorary coach in the Alabama State Black and Gold game indicating the end of spring training. It was a great experience. I will post a blog tomorrow about that.

April 27 – I participated with the Sunrise Rotary Club in raising money for three very worthwhile charities. It was a roast and recognition of me. Anthony Leigh served as the Master of Ceremonies. The roasters selected were Coach Charles Lee, former Attorney General Troy King, and Dr. Tim Thompson, senior pastor at Frazer. It was a fun night and raised over $20,000.

April 28 – I drove over to Leary, Georgia, which is just south of Albany. Several churches throughout that area went together for a one night revival rally. While the weather was bad, the church was packed. It is great to be in a Methodist church where folks have to stand up on Sunday evening.

April 29 – Had an opportunity to serve as a guest host on Sports Talk Radio program, The Round Table. I enjoyed that kind of thing. I could only stay one hour as I had an appointment to have my eyes checked with Dr. Roy Hager. I told the radio audience that I had been doing a little umpiring and several of the parents and spectators had taken up an offering to get me an eye exam. While that was a joke, I have seen some umpires who need to get an eye exam!

I have continued to meet on a one-on-one basis with a lot of pastors.

I remind you that on Facebook I offer a 2-minute audio devotional each day. I encourage you to access that. I also continue to post a blog each week.

The new IPad, Nook, Kindle version of When God Redefines the Possible should be ready soon. I will send out an email with instructions of how to get it. I am told it is one of the first religious books that will be interactive. I have seen the largest portion of the book and it has a lot of videos, pictures, puzzles, questions, etc. I am excited about that.

Thank you so much for your prayers, your interest, and your support of this ministry.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed Mathison