October 2009 Recap
Thank you for your prayers and support during the month of October. It was a busy month, yet one that was extremely productive.
On October 3, I flew out to Jackson, Missouri, to preach three times and lead a workshop for church leaders. I was with a wonderful General Baptist Pastor, Luther Rhodes. He has been at that church for a lot of years and is truly a visionary pastor.
On Tuesday, October 6, I led Governor Bob Riley’s Bible Study on a Biblical view of leadership. I have certainly enjoyed the sessions with his cabinet. After the Bible Study presentation, he opens it up for discussion. He then walks through prayer requests that any of his cabinet members have. He is a real pastor to his cabinet members.
On October 8, I went down to the farm of Dr. Grady Price who has an annual event called “the Good Ole Boys.” He has about 250 men come down for a time on fellowship and fish fry. I look forward to that occasion each year. He calls on me for a “few words,” but knowing that everybody is waiting to eat fish, the words are very, very few.
October 10, I drove to Mobile, Alabama, to preach at the South Brookley United Methodist Church on Sunday October 11. That was my first appointment following my service time as an associate pastor. I served four years in that wonderful church. I learned some of the most basic things that have carried me through my ministry. The most important lesson learned from the people at South Brookley was the love they had for each other and the spirit of unity in that church.
Part of the reason for the unity was the fact that Brookley Air Force Base had just closed and the church lost about seventy percent of its members. The people left made every effort to work together. It was there that I learned the importance of a church truly working together.
On October 13 and 14, I was a part of the retired ministers meeting at Blue Lake in Andalusia, Alabama.
On Wednesday, October 14, I drove to First Methodist Church – Opelika to speak at their Wednesday evening gathering. They are using Treasures of the Transformed Life in their stewardship program. Tim Thompson invited me to speak as a part of that emphasis.
First Methodist Opelika is really my home church. My dad was the pastor there and I went there in the seventh grade and my dad stayed until I finished seminary. I had an opportunity to kneel at that altar where I had knelt when I first received Christ as my personal savior and also where I had received God’s call to the ministry. It was a moving time for me.
On Thursday, October 15, I drove to Augusta, Georgia to speak at Trinity on the Hill for their kick off of their capital funds campaign. It was an exciting experience as they had large tents set up in the parking lot featuring dinner with different kinds of music. We had a big revival service rally in the sanctuary. It was exciting to see a church with so many people looking to the future.
On Friday, October 16, I drove back to Atlanta and flew to Flint, Michigan to speak to a Summit Conference with the General Baptist on Friday night and Saturday morning. Dr. Franklin Dumond is their denominational person who gives leadership to the churches and the pastors. He is one of those walking visionaries who is always inspiring to me.
Sunday, October 18, I drove to Clanton, Alabama, to preach at the three morning worship services. I then preached on Sunday night, twice on Monday, and twice on Tuesday. On next week’s blog I am going to share a witness of a young man whose life was truly changed through the ministry of Frazer and First United Methodist Church in Clanton and is now a leader in the Clanton UMC.
The Clanton church was filled with young couples. At Sunday night worship, the youth came in and some of them had to stand at the back of the sanctuary because all the seats in the balcony, choir and main floor were filled. Larry Anderson has given great leadership in that church.
On Wednesday, October 21, Stephanie Hicks with WAKA TV had asked Lynn and me to do an interview about the power of prayer and how God works through doctors. My family has always been so blessed to have such wonderful doctors.
On Sunday, October 25, Lynn and I attended the Elmore United Methodist Church for a baptism of a special friend, Stephanie Conner. Stephanie works with Lynn at Mathison Interiors. She is a wonderful young adult whose public profession of her faith was a joy for us to celebrate.
Monday, October 26, I drove to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the 3-day meeting of the United Methodist Publishing House Board meeting. We meet biannually. I serve as the chairman of the Investments Committee. That is an intimidating position except that serving on the committee is a former member of the Federal Reserve Board and a bank president from a Texas bank. We have a strong, competent committee.
In addition I:
- Delivered 23 radio spots
- Had 7 one on one sessions with young pastors
- Got behind on my office work and correspondence
God continues to open a lot of doors of opportunity. You might want to check my website as I am trying to post some pictures from different places where I go. I have also written a couple of individual blogs about some of the events.
October was a big birthday month in my family as I had two grandchildren, a son, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, and my wife celebrate birthdays. I may have stumbled on some of the presents, but I hit the jackpot on my son, Si’s present. During my visit to Trinity on the Hill in Augusta, a man said he thought he could get a couple of passes to the Masters at Augusta National next April. On faith, that was my present to Si for him and me to see the Masters in person!
Thank you for your prayers and support.
For the Cause of causes,
John Ed Mathison