January 2010 Recap

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

The first month of the new year provided some excellent opportunities for our ministry.

  • January 4-7 – Spoke at the Congress on Evangelism held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is an event sponsored by the Foundation of Evangelism for the United Methodist Church. The picture here captured one of the opportunities I had for teaching about 300 pastors and laity on the topic of “Evangelism in the 21st Century.”

Congress on Evangelism






One of the speakers at the Congress on Evangelism was William Young, who is the author of the bestselling book, The Shack. He was a delightful person to know and gave such a winsome witness.

Author of The Shack 






  • January 7 – Got home just in time to watch Alabama win the National Championship. The FCA Chaplain for the University of Alabama football team is Gary Cramer. I have spoken for him at the FCA meeting at the University. He will be here on February 7, to participate in “The Real Halftime” during the Super Bowl.
  • January 9 and 10 – Lynn and I went to Shalimar, Florida, which is just outside Fort Walton Beach. It was a great weekend to go to the beach because the temperature was about 18 degrees.  Shalimar United Methodist Church is a growing church where I preached at four morning worship services. It was an inspiration for me to be with Larry Bryars and his staff. One person on his staff was David Hoppenjan, who served as an intern at Frazer.
  • January 13-15 – The College of Bishops consists of the United Methodist Bishops in the Southeast. We met in Birmingham for their annual meeting. I am the chairman of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy and met with them. Part of the responsibility of our committee is to make assignments of the Bishops, to develop and implement the evaluation process, and design the format for electing Bishops, etc.
  • January 16 – I went to Auburn to participate with my brother George in officiating at the wedding of Catherine Alley and Will Pollard.
  • January 18 – I spoke at their annual meeting for their employees of the Berney Corporation, the organization that sells copiers throughout the state of Alabama and the panhandle of Florida.
  • January 19-22 – I participated in the leadership at the Synergize 2 conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. I had the opportunity to speak on Wednesday afternoon, lead a seminar at lunch on “Leadership for Pastors,” video tape a thirty minute teaching on “Empowering the Laity for Ministry,” which will be used in churches around the world. I also did a brief video for a special event.

The Billion Soul Initiative had about 60 organizations and denominations in 2005. Today there are over 760 networking organizations, para church groups, denominations, etc. The goal is to see 1billion people come to Christ and to start 5 million churches.

I want to introduce you to some of the people participating.

 Ben Lerner






This is Ben Lerner who is the author of a lot of books on health and nutrition. His book Body by God has been on the New York Times bestseller list. He has a network of doctors throughout the country who utilize their practice as a platform for ministry. I had the privilege of doing a five minute video taping for one of his projects which will be used by churches around the world. My focus was on how good health enhances the opportunity for ministry and the best use of our time.

Lazarus & Wife 





This is a picture of Lazarus Yeghnaz from Iran. I wrote about him in my last blog.

India - Op Rescue






This is a picture of David Grant who heads up Operation Rescue in India. His beautiful smile and contagious spirit are an inspiration.

 Eddie Leo







This picture is of Eddie Leo and his wife. His ministry is so effective with men throughout the countries around Indonesia that military persons and police departments are asking him to give leadership in developing the kind of men who can be real leaders. He is an exceptional witness.

 Bishop Dale Bronner & Bishop Ken Ulmer







This picture has two wonderful leaders. The person in the middle is Bishop Dale Bronner. He has a huge church in Atlanta. He spoke on the subject of giving godly wisdom. The person on the right is Bishop Ken Ulmer from California. His church bought the Forum where the Los Angeles Lakers played. That is their church building. He is a tremendous preacher. Once I have had to speak following him, and I felt like a valium sedative compared to the energy that he preached in his typical African-American style.

Shiasi Kurulo (Fiji) 









This is Shliasi Kurulo from Fiji. He is one of the real leaders in that part of the world. He has personally been involved in starting thousands of churches during his ministry.

Lee University (Murray)






This is a picture of Danny Murray. He is director of the Lee University Singers. They provided the music during the conference. It would be hard to find any group in the United States who would be better than the sixteen singers from Lee University. He gave me five of their CD’s. I have been driving all over Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee listening to their music and singing along with them.

 Len Sweet






This is picture of Dr. Len Sweet. He is one of the most prolific writers of our day. He focuses on making the church relevant to the 21st century. He is a futuristic thinker. He has had a tremendous impact on seminary education.

James Davis gives the basic leadership to the Billion Soul Initiative. He is like an energized bunny. I don’t know when he ever has time to sleep. He is a great leader!

  • January 22 – I flew home from Orlando in time to drive to Guntersville, Alabama, and meet with a delegation of laypeople and their pastor from Dalton, Georgia, on Friday evening. I am going to visit their church to work with their leadership in a couple of months.
  • January 23 – I had an opportunity to teach for three hours to about 150 people from several churches in the Guntersville area. The topic concerned “Empowering Laity for Ministry in the 21st Century.”

This picture basically captures the group attending the conference.

John Ed Mathison Large group Guntersville








This picture was taken as I met with about 30 of the key leaders from the Guntersville First United Methodist Church. They are utilizing the Every Member in Ministry concept and I had the opportunity to work with some of the challenges they are facing in implementing it.

 Guntersville - Small group







  • January 24 – On Saturday night I drove up to Huntsville to spend the night. On Sunday morning I met with the Saint Paul Triana United Methodist Church where Dr. Paul Hilliard is the pastor. It is an African-American church. I taught a seminar on evangelism at 8:15, Sunday morning. I then had the privilege of preaching at the 10:45 worship service. His church is positioned in a growing area. They desire to reach people effectively as they move to that area.
  • January 24 – I left Huntsville at 12:00 noon following the worship service to drive back to Montgomery for a large seminar at the First United Methodist Church in Montgomery at 4:00 p.m. The seminar involved churches in Montgomery/Prattville District. I focused on stewardship. It was a little bit of a challenge to make a three and a half hour drive in four hours because we had tornado warnings and huge rain storms. I made it on time.
  • January 26 – I spent the afternoon with our campus minister at Alabama State University. Stephen Redmond is the first fulltime United Methodist Campus Minister at ASU. We visited with a lot of the professors. I had an opportunity to introduce him to several of the coaches. He has been well received and I am excited about the possibilities for his ministry there.
  • January 30-31 – My father served the First United Methodist Church of Panama City for 14 years. They have just completed a new family life center and named it “Si Mathison Community Life Center.” Lynn and I went down to participate with my brother George and his wife Monteigne in the worship services on Sunday morning and the dedication of the new building. God really blessed me when he placed me in the family of Si and Mary Mathison. I still am amazed at how blessed I am to have had them as parents.

John Ed & George PC





  • During the month I spent about 14 hours in one-on-one time with pastors in individual mentoring, etc. I am finding this to be very helpful. I also spent some time with four different local church leadership groups.

January presented a variety of different ministry opportunities. I am constantly amazed at the doors that God continues to open. I want to thank you for your support through your prayers and finances that make this ministry possible.

For the Cause of causes,

John Ed Mathison

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