BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
Over five years ago God granted me one of my wildest dreams. He allowed me to come to Sweetwater and pastor the greatest church on earth, Broadway Baptist Church. Throughout its history Broadway Baptist, formerly known as Fundamental Baptist, has had some amazingly awesome pastors. Pastors who loved and led the church, building a foundation of people that has lasted over 85 years, and this Sunday I will have the privilege of celebrating my fifth anniversary as pastor of this wonderful group of people.
While as I was on visitation and discussed this to some folks a couple of questions arisen: First, “Has it been easy?” and second, “Are you going to stay?” The first is rather difficult to answer, because although it has not been perfect and I have made some mistakes, it has been easy. You see, when you love people and people love you, things aren’t always a bed of roses, but they are easy, because of the common goal of loving God and loving people. The second is much easier to answer: YES, YES, YES!
I remember a family singing group, called the Mullins that sang a song which said, “Run, if you’re going to, run, if you will, but I came here to stay.” That’s how Mrs. Robin and I feel about Broadway. God sent us here, God is using us here and we plan on staying until He moves us. God has placed in our hearts: A love for Sweetwater and the community, a love for this church and a passion for reaching our area for Christ.
With all that said, let me give you a personal invitation to come help us celebrate our fifth anniversary this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. There will be lots of special music, a message from my dear friend, Dr. Jerry Thorpe and an old fashioned dinner on the ground. Hope to see you there!
We will have Vacation Bible School for ages five through finishing fifth grade on Aug. 5-9. It will be from 6-8 p.m. on those nights. Our theme is “Movin’ On Up!” If you would like to sign up your child early, you will find a registration form on our website: bbcsweetwater.com. Just click on the apple that you will see on our home page. If you have any questions, you may call the church office at 235-2730.
Don’t forget that our morning service for this Sunday only (the 28th) will begin at 10:30 a.m. and we will not have Sunday school or our evening service.
EMMANUEL FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
We invite you to join us this Sunday at Emmanuel Fellowship Church. Our Sunday morning services are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Both morning services are filled with the same warm fellowship, dynamic worship and life-giving messages, as well as top-notch children’s ministry and nursery care for children up to fifth grade.
This week, we will continue our July sermon series, “Box a Fox,” as we take a look at some of the “foxes” that sneak their way into our lives. God desires to show us how to knock out the things that can destroy us, so join us Sunday as we invite Him to do just that by studying His word together.
Lifegroups are on a summer break, but the Celebrate Recovery group is still meeting in the Sweetwater Prayer Center on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Our youth continue to meet as well on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Salvage Yard youth center.
We also invite you to step into The Growth Central Bookstore when you visit EFC. It’s stocked with Bibles, study aids, devotionals, marriage and parenting resources, worship music, inspirational gifts, original art and fiction books — there’s something for everyone! The bookstore is open between Sunday morning services, from 10:30-11 a.m. and 12:30-1 p.m.
For more information about the ministry of EFC, log onto the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com .
FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH
Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1607 Josephine Street, across from the Sweetwater Healthcare Center. Each Sunday at 9 a.m. we share favorite hymns and prayers with the residents. You are invited to attend this devotion with your loved ones.
Sunday is our “fellowship day” with a meal following the worship service. Rev. Chester McCown will lead us in worship at 10:45 a.m. Dawn Cummings, RN will take blood pressures and give dietary tips following our meal. You are welcome to attend a warm, friendly congregation.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
First Baptist Church invites you and your family to join us on this Sunday, July 28, for Bible study, beginning at 9:15 a.m. for all ages, followed by the Sunday morning service, which begins at 10:30 a.m. First Baptist Church is located at 213 East Third Street, next door to the Post Office. We warmly greet you. Your presence will enhance our worship experience and our fellowship together.
Koinonia coffee is held at The Welcome Center before Bible study each Sunday morning. Coffee is the perfect complement to meeting old friends and new. It is an invitation to sit and talk for a while, to share stories, to get to know one another better. You are invited to join friends each Sunday morning as we all share a warm cup of Koinonia Coffee.
There are many opportunities for service. If you have not received a church participation form, please pick one up in the church office. As members of the Body of Christ at First Baptist Church, we are all called to serve in one way or another. We have many areas of service available to you. Children’s Church facilitators are always welcome. Camp volunteers are still needed.
Sign up today for summer camp. There is a camp for every age group! Missions Camp will be July 30-Aug. 2 for grades 3-5. Lad and Lassie Camp will be Aug. 2 and 3 for grades 1 and 2. Day Camp for Pre-K and Kindergarten will be Aug. 3. These camps are at Lueders with the Big Country Baptist Assembly. P3 at Hillcrest Apartments will be Aug. 5-8. All the summer camps are tied together under one church theme: “Refuge: Who Is Your Strength?” with a theme verse of Psalm 46:1.
For our summer Bible study series, we will be going through The Purpose Driven Life. This study will continue July 28, at 6 p.m. and continue through Aug. 18. The Purpose Driven Life will help you understand why you are alive and reveal God’s amazing plan for you-both here and now and for eternity.
It’s time to play coed softball! Each church participating plays against each other for a time of fun and fellowship. Please contact Tique by e-mail or text if interested in playing. The cost of $20 covers the T-shirt. We will play in August and September.
Aug. 14 is our regularly scheduled church conference. The agenda includes election of committee members for 2013-2014. Also, returning veterans and rookies are welcome at choir rehearsal which resumes Aug. 14 and continues at 7 p.m. every Wednesday.
Once a month our volunteers go to Nolan Nursing and Rehab and hold a birthday party for the residents who have celebrated a birthday that month. You can join us! Our next birthday party is on Aug. 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Our ministry focus this month will be the Prison Ministry and the Hospital Ministry. The Prison Ministry has supplied our local prisons with Experiencing God and Downpour literature to teach and share with the local prisoners. Our worship choir has had the privilege to sing and share their testimonies with the prisoners as well. The Hospital Ministry is for newborn infants born in Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital. Each newborn infant will receive a gift bag with a fleece baby blanket and bottle along with a letter of congratulations to the new parents from First Baptist Church.
For in depth information on First Baptist Church Sweetwater, find us on Facebook or at www.fbcsweetwater.org .
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
First Presbyterian Church of Sweetwater welcomes all to join us for worship. Our church is a warm and loving church, and we want you to feel comfortable and at liberty to call on us for anything you need pastorally. We would love to have you be our guest.
This Sunday we will be using a contemporary service to praise God. Philip Brock, Stephanie Weile, Alex Weile, Richard Smola and Lacey LeBleu will be leading worship. Greeters are Sarah Cumbie and Buck Cason.
During the worship service, the reserve and noisy offerings will be collected. The reserve offering goes to support the Nolan County Food Pantry and the noisy offering goes to support the missions of the Ministerial Alliance.
The mission of First Presbyterian Church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by being an oasis of God’s love. Worship services are each Sunday at 10:45 a.m. We are located at the corner of 14th Street and McCaulley, across from the high school. Find out more information about our ministry by calling 235-5491 or visit the church’s website www.fpcsweetwater.org .
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Sweetwater First United Methodist Church wants to invite you to join us on Sunday mornings to worship and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The United Methodist Church is open to all persons and is a place where all are welcome and encouraged to “come as you are” with the expectation that by the grace of God you will leave different. The change that a relationship with Christ brings about is a life-changing encounter and we believe that while God accepts us as we are, He loves us enough not to leave us in our sins. We believe that Scripture informs all aspects of our lives and should be our rule and authority.
The first service begins at 8:45 a.m. and is built around a traditional model with great hymns of the church. This service uses a more liturgical framework and often employs a wonderful choir. Immediately following the first service we have Sunday school classes for all ages and stages of life. We invite you to try one of our many opportunities to come together and seek God in small groups that emphasize God’s Word and proclaim His glory. At 10:50 a.m. we have a second worship service that has a decidedly contemporary flavor and incorporates more of progressive style and pace. This second service also has a Children’s Church for kids in preschool through third grade. The children stay through our time of praise and then go to their own worship service.
Sweetwater FUMC also has youth activities on Sundays beginning at 6 p.m. with a prayer and praise time that we call Adoratio. Every Tuesday and Wednesday FUMC hosts the Gaylord’s Pantry and a clothes closet from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Please enter through the North (4th Street) entrance if you would like to receive God’s blessing through either of these ministries.
News this week: We are wrapping up Music Camp today and will celebrate with a music showcase tonight at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall (use the north entrance on 4th Street).
This Sunday we will continue our look at social issues and where the United Methodist Church stands on those important cultural issues. This Sunday we will discuss God’s plan for sexuality in creation.
Activities this week:
Today at 7 p.m. — Music Camp Showcase.
Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. — Worship.
Tuesday at 9 a.m. — UMK and 456 — $1 movie in Abilene (Rio).
Wednesday at 8 p.m. — Community all youth pool party.
Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — UMK and 456 Big Spring water park.
Friday from 1-8 p.m. — Youth paintball in San Angelo.
Saturday at noon — Outreach to Jack Lambert community.
Fun activities are offered at different times during the month for fourth through sixth graders (Club 456) and first through third graders (UMKids). If you have any questions, call Linda at our church office (325-236-6617) or email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you need prayer or have the need to contact our pastor you can call the same number or email him at email@example.com .
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Our Church’s Mission Statement: “To glorify Christ in all that we do by bringing People to Christ and equipping them to serve Christ.”
Join us for Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45 a.m., with Pastor Claude bringing the message entitled, “Ask, seek and knock: God is never far away.” Worship assistants are Lisa Peterson serving as worship leader, Brenda Alexander leads the congregational hymns and plays the keyboard, pianist is Eugenia Hill and our greeter for the month of July is Betty Merrell. This is “noisy money” Sunday. Bring your coins and/or folding money for the outreach ministry, “No More Malaria.” In addition to the goal of eradicating malaria in Africa, the ministry furnishes bed nets for families, supports new medical research and assists hospitals in their ability to provide quality care for malaria patients.
On Sunday, Aug. 4, the school ministry articles for needy students in the second and third grades at the East Ridge Elementary campus will be consecrated during the morning worship. If you have not made your purchases, a list of suggested items is available at the back of the sanctuary. Please bring your selections to the church on or before the 4th, and they will be delivered the following Monday to the school campus.
As school begins in August, there are financial limitations for some families in purchasing school supplies and other items that are required. With our school outreach ministry our desire is to help alleviate the burden that is placed on families in providing for their children’s needs. Bless This House is calling upon prayer for these children and their families as they begin the school year. Pray that our contribution of articles that will be delivered on Monday, the 5th of August, will be distributed wisely to the benefit of needy students, giving each one an opportunity and desire to give their utmost in their studies. Pray a wholesome atmosphere at all school campuses produces both students and teachers performing at their highest level. May the parents also assist their children at home by reiterating their education, being helpful with their homework, participating and being involved in their extracurricular activities.
You are always invited to join us at 1801 Lamar Street, sharing in our vision of making Disciples of Jesus Christ, growing spiritually, fulfilling our God-given gifts, witnessing to others and ministering to ones in need.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS (THE MORMONS)
“He Spake Many Things unto Them in Parables”
Jesus the Christ
Throughout the period of Christ’s ministry with which we have thus far dealt, His fame had continuously increased, because of the authority with which He spoke and of the many mighty works He did. His popularity had become such that whenever He moved abroad great multitudes followed Him. At times the people so thronged as to impede His movements, some with a desire to hear more of the new doctrine, others to plead at His feet for relief from physical or other ills; and many there were who had faith that could they but reach Him, or even touch the border of His robe, they would be healed. One effect of the people’s eagerness, which led them to press and crowd around Him, was to render difficult if not impossible at times the effective delivery of any discourse. His usual place for open-air teaching while He tarried in the vicinity of the sea, or lake, of Galilee was the shore; and thither flocked the crowds to hear Him. At His request the disciples had provided a “small ship,” which was kept in readiness on the beach; and it was usual with Him to sit in the boat a short distance off shore, and preach to the people, as He had done when in the earlier days He called the chosen fishermen to leave their nets and follow Him.
On one such occasion He employed a means of instruction, which, prior to that time, had not been characteristic of His teaching; this consisted in the use of parables, or simple stories to illustrate His doctrines. Some of these we shall here consider briefly, in the order most advantageous for treatment and as best we know, in what may have been the sequence in which they were given.
“A Sower Went Forth to Sow”
First in the order of delivery is the Parable of the Sower. It is a splendid type of our Lord’s parables in general, and is particularly valuable for its great intrinsic worth and because we possess a comprehensive interpretation of it by the divine Author. This is the story:
“Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: but other fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
This new way of teaching, this departure from the Master’s earlier method of doctrinal exposition, caused even the most devoted of the disciples to marvel. The Twelve and a few others came to Jesus when He was apart from the multitude, and asked why He had spoken to the people in this manner, and what was the meaning of this particular parable. Our Lord’s reply to the first part of the inquiry we shall consider presently; concerning the second He asked “Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” Thus did He indicate the simplicity of this the first of His parables, together with its typical and fundamental character, and at the same time intimate that other parables would follow in the course of His teaching. Then He gave the interpretation:
“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that receive seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Further exposition may appear superfluous; some suggestion as to the individual application of the contained lessons may be in place, however. Observe that the prominent feature of the story is that of the prepared or unprepared condition of the soil. The seed was the same, whether it fell on good ground or bad, on mellow mold or among stones and thistles. The primitive method of sowing, still followed in many countries, consisted in the sower throwing the grain by handfuls against the wind, thus securing a widespread scattering. Running through the Galilean fields were pathways, hard trodden by feet of men and beasts. Though seed should fall on such tracts, it could not grow; birds would pick up the living kernels lying unrooted and uncovered and some of the grains would be crushed and trodden down. So with the seed of truth falling upon the hardened heart; ordinarily it cannot take root, and Satan, as a marauding crow, steals it away, lest a grain of it perchance find a crack in the trampled ground, send down its rootlet, and possibly develop.
Seed falling in shallow soil, underlain by a floor of unbroken stone or hard-pan, may strike root and flourish for a brief season; but as the descending rootlets reach the impenetrable stratum they shrivel, and the plant withers and dies, for the nutritive juices are insufficient where there is no depth of earth. So with the man whose earnestness is but superficial, whose energy ceases when obstacles are encountered or opposition met; though he manifest enthusiasm for a time persecution deters him; he is offended, and endures not. Grain sown where thorns and thistles abound is soon killed out by their smothering growth; even so with a human heart set on riches and the allurements of pleasure — though it receive the living seed of the gospel it will produce no harvest of good grain, but instead, a rank tangle of noxious weeds. The abundant yield of thorny thistles demonstrates the fitness of the soil for a better crop, were it only free from the cumbering weeds. The seed that falls in good deep soil, free from weeds and prepared for the sowing, strikes root and grows; the sun’s heat scorches it not, but gives it thrift; it matures and yields to the harvester according to the richness of the soil, some fields producing thirty, others sixty, and a few even a hundred times as much grain as was sown.
July 28 — Sunday church service at 9 a.m. Visitors welcome.
July 29 — Monday home evening.
July 31 — Young women’s and Scouts 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 10 — Youth Lubbock Temple trip.
Aug. 24-25 — Stake conference.
We are located at 910 Elm Street in Sweetwater. If you would like to talk to representatives of the church about the Saviors teachings, call 1-800-622-5595. Missionaries serving in this area are Elder Rios and Elder Thorpe. Their number is 325-864-2999.
LAMAR STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
We invite you to join us Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school, followed by our 10:40 a.m. service including children sermon, hymnals and praise songs and Bro. Billy Oliver will bring a message from the Bible. Our evening service starts at 6 p.m.
On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., we offer activities for children in first through sixth grade, “Soldiers for Christ;” activities for preschool age; youth activities for 7th-12th graders; and Bible study and prayer for adults led by Bro. Billy Oliver.
Our children first through sixth grade will be leaving for camp on Tuesday, July 30 through Friday, Aug. 2. Sunday is the last day to help the kids collect the following items for mission project: coloring books, sticker books, crayons, word search books and fuzzy socks (age 3-12). There is a box in the foyer to put items. Day Camp for Kindergarten through third grade is Saturday, Aug. 3.
We are excited to be celebrating our 100th year. The celebration is set for Sunday, Oct. 13. Our next committee meeting will be Sunday, Aug. 4, at 5 p.m. in the fellowship hall.
To learn more about Lamar Street Baptist Church, visit us at 513 Lamar, find us on Facebook or call the church at 235-1779 and leave a message and someone will return your call.