Thank you so much for your interest in and support of the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries. The following is a brief recap of some of the major aspects of the ministry for the first two months of 2012.
1 – Preached at 3 worship services at Frazer. I am Pastor Emeritus. I jokingly say that I have discovered that Emeritus means that I am to be available to serve during holiday periods.
4-6 – Traveled to Wilmington, NC, where I serve as chair of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy. We have the responsibility for overseeing the election of 5 Bishops this summer at the Southeaster Jurisdictional Conference. We also would have responsibility for making Episcopal assignments for the next quadrennium. These days were spent meeting with Bishops, transacting business, etc.
13-14 – Traveled to Memphis, TN, to lead an evangelism conference at the Memphis Theological Seminary. This conference was for pastors in the Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi area.
15 – Drove over to Stuttgart, AR, where I preached at the morning worship services at the First United Methodist Church. I then drove from Stuttgart back to Montgomery on Sunday evening.
16-19 – Left early Monday morning to be in Orlando, FL, for a major pastors’ conference that began at 2:00 Monday afternoon. We had pastors from over 60 different countries attending. I serve as the co-chair for North America for the Billion Soul Initiative. I participated in speaking at the conference and also doing some recordings for materials to be used to train pastors in third world countries. The conference was very inspirational. So many pastors from overseas have churches that are growing exponentially. One pastor from Russia has a large internet ministry and had signed up 100,000 people in Russia to participate in our 3-day conference. Many of the pastors teaching have worship attendance that averages more than 4 times as many as any United Methodist Church here in the United States. It was a great learning experience for all of us.
29 – Led a seminar for pastors and laity from the Methodist Churches in the Montgomery-Opelika District. This was the training session to kick off the new year in our District.
1 – Began a four part men’s Bible study at Frazer on Transformed Living in Troubled Times, a book that I wrote a couple of years ago for our Methodist Publishing House.
5 – Preached at Trinity United Methodist Church in Prattville, AL, where Matt Mobley is the pastor. It was a special occasion of burning the mortgage. It was an exciting thing to be a part of the worship service and watch the church leadership set fire to several pages of a mortgage. They did have a fireman present for safety reasons. The smoke filled the whole room – it was a holy smell!
5 in the evening – participated in the “Real Halftime” of the Super Bowl. Tim Thompson, John Gibbons, who is the State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I hosted the program. We had a great witness from Barrett Jones, who is the Outland Trophy winner from the University of Alabama National Championship Team. Barrett received the top award for all linemen in college football. He has a great Christian witness
8 – Officiated at the funeral for Mrs. Ann Cochran, the mother of my good friend Greg Cochran.
8 – Led the second session of the Bible study for the men at Frazer.
9-12 – Went down to Marco Island, FL, to speak at a Presidents’ weekend for Oakland City University. This was an event where the University brings in a lot of their key people who are donors and potential donors. I was so impressed with the work of this university, which is in the General Baptist denomination. It was an inspiring event.
13 – Officiated at the funeral for a long time friend Bill Snider. Bill was one of the first people I met when I came out of seminary and served as Associate Pastor at Capitol Heights United Methodist Church. He and Julia Anne have been active members at Frazer.
15 – Taught the third session of the men’s Bible study at Frazer.
16 – Spoke at the monthly dinner for men at Frazer. They meet together on the third Thursday night and have well over a hundred men in attendance.
18 – Officiated at the wedding for Grace Bartlett and Wilson Shoulders. The Bartlett’s have been active members of Frazer. I had the privilege of both baptizing Grace and officiating at her wedding.
19 – Preached at the Pintlala Baptist Church. This church will be using the study Treasures of the Transformed Life during Lent. A Baptist Church who is willing to use Methodist materials and invite a Methodist preacher to preach has to be a church that is doing ministry “outside of the box.” I posted a blog a few weeks ago about their Pastor Dr. Gary Burton.
21 – Spoke at the wrap-up celebration event for the River Region United Way. We celebrated $5.5 million given, thousands of volunteers who served, and over 150 thousand recipients of United Way services from 47 agencies in the River Region. The Frazer staff has always been the leader among churches in financial support for United Way.
23 – Attended a legislative prayer breakfast, met with some pastors from out of state, and gave the prayer at the Blue-Gray Tennis banquet.
24 – Participated in the Confessing Movement conference call as we prepare for General Conference.
25 – Officiated at a service of the renewal of vows for Larry and Connie Loosier. They are celebrating 50 years of matrimony. I love these occasions. I then drove down to Eufaula, AL.
26-29 – Preached at revival services at the First Baptist Church of Eufaula. Dr. Ken Bush leads this dynamic congregation and is a great partner in ministry. This is the fourth revival that I have preached at the First Baptist Church in Eufaula.
29 – Lead the concluding Bible study for Methodist men at Frazer.
In addition to the events listed above, I had the opportunity to give devotionals at 11 different venues, do a 2-minute radio program every morning of WLWI, write a blog each week, and serve as a coach and counselor for several pastors.
Thanks for your prayers.
For the Cause of causes,
John Ed Mathison