Two experiences during the month of April renewed two relationships and gave confirmation to the ministry in which I am now engaged.
I was with two pastors who introduced me by saying that their training at Frazer changed and shaped their ministry. They referred complimentarily of my mentoring them.
Jim Blue is Lead Pastor at SunRise United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri. It is growing rapidly and is one of the leading churches of that Annual Conference. He and his wife came and spent a week at Frazer in the early 1990’s. He showed me pictures of that visit and notes that he took. I spent 4 days in his church and I could see the things I believe in stamped all over that ministry.
Stuart Greene is the Lead Pastor at Sugarloaf United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Stuart worked for a year at Frazer when he was a student at Huntingdon. He married a Frazer girl – Becky Tucker. His church is rapidly becoming one of the leading churches in North Georgia. He also talked of my mentoring him and the impact the ministry at Frazer has had on his ministry.
Both of these were rich experiences for me. It made me more excited about the ministry in which I am now engaged as I am having the opportunity to teach/train young pastors.
Here is a recap of the last month.
– April 1 – Had Holy Week worship service for the lower school (grades – kindergarten-5th grade) at Trinity Presbyterian School. That age group is a tough challenge to speak to. I do have 5 grandchildren who attend there.
– April 1 – Preached at the Lenten Luncheon worship at First United Methodist Church Prattville.
– April 1 – Led the Bible Study for the Alabama State University football team and helped Coach Reggie Barlow during their scrimmage. I think I offered him more suggestions than he was looking for!
– April 4 – Preached at the Easter Service at Children’s Harbor. It was an interesting experience as they had the worship in their new Conference Center and had about twice as many people show up as they expected. I was invited back next year. It probably will be at the Church in the Pines.
– April 5 & 6 – Left early to go to Universal City, Los Angeles to speak at an event honoring Derric Johnson. It was my kind of group – musicians and entertainers. Derric has had a great career as a writer, composer, arranger and speaker at Disney World, Miami Dolphins, ReGeneration, and many churches. He also started the Singles’ Ministry at Frazer.
– April 6 – Got back to Montgomery in time to participate in a charity event to raise money for Family Promise. I served as a waiter and the tips went to Family Promise. I have decided to keep my day job.
– April 7 – Spoke at the men’s breakfast at Frazer at 6:30 am. The Men’s Ministry is really growing.
– April 7 & 8 – Went to Augusta, Georgia with my son Si. I had been at Trinity on the Hill UMC twice in the last two years. They provided us tickets for the opening round of the Masters. What an experience!
– April 9 – Attended reunion of basketball players from Huntingdon College.
– April 10- 13 – Went to St. Louis for a preaching/teaching event at SunRise. It began with Saturday night worship, 3 Sunday morning worship services, Sunday evening and Monday and Tuesday evenings.
– April 12 – Led a seminar for the pastors of that District in St. Louis.
– April 14 – Led the Wednesday night Bible Study at Frazer. Rick Holston is an excellent teacher who shared this teaching opportunity with me.
– April 15 – Seminar for pastors at the Legends Conference Center in Prattville. I wrote about this in one of the blogs. About 60 pastors from North Alabama and Alabama-West Florida Annual Conferences were invited to participate in this initial session of training that will last throughout the next year. I am partnering with Stewardship Resources from North Alabama. I am very excited about the possibilities of this initiative. It is designed for pastors who want to move to the next level for ministry.
– April 15 – Spoke at the special program of the Frazer men. It was low-country boil cookout. That event had about 160 men present. Methodist men always come when there is good food!
– April 17-21 – Went to Danville, Virginia, to the Trinity United Methodist Church. That church had made more preparations than any place that I have been. They had signs all over town. Their District Superintendent commented on Monday night that, “It is great to be in a Methodist Church that needs an overflow room on Monday night.” The pastor Charles Wickham is extremely energetic and effective. The two lay people Dr. Albert Payne and Richard Jones gave super leadership. We had worship services Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday night.
– April 19 – Had a seminar for pastors of the Danville District on Monday morning. Met with the District Superintendent and a smaller group of pastors on Monday afternoon.
– April 25 – Preached at Sugarloaf United Methodist Church. Stuart Greene is the pastor. His church is involved in studying the book I wrote, Treasures of the Transformed Life. I had one unique experience as they gave me a hotel room at the Holiday Inn in the Gwinnett Center. Another Alabama boy – Hank Williams, Jr. – was there in concert at the Gwinnett Center. I was the only person staying in the hotel who was not going to the concert and the only person over 30. Hank, Jr. sings about his rowdy friends – I met them! I didn’t realize that young people in Georgia didn’t travel with suitcases. I guess they put their clothes in all of the coolers they brought in.
So many of you give financial support to this ministry, I genuinely thank you for that. It enables us to offer more seminars and teaching opportunities for young pastors.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Please continue.
For the Cause of causes,
John Ed Mathison