From the pastor
Greetings in the name or our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing this newsletter from our new study!!!! It is a beautiful addition to our facility and looks as though it was always a part of the building. A lot of work went into this project and I want to thank everyone who contributed their time, labor and expenses to further this project along.
As the church and friends began to give, we discovered we not only had the funds to complete the project, but to furnish it as well with desk, chairs, book cases and a copy machine. I have enjoyed this space and I am using the equipment to send this little letter your way. I pray that I will use it to the honor and glory of our Lord. For the record, my first ministerial call in the new study was from Elder Edward Cagle. What a wonderful surprise and blessing.
Since January, we have added new front doors to the meeting house, new doors to the sanctuary, new windows, resurfaced the front steps and sidewalk, put on a new roof, and added the study. What a wonderful testimony. To all I say "Thanks" on behalf of Harmony Church.
What is happening at donaldson
We are having a wonderful season of revival at Harmony. It seems to me that when people labor and sacrifice, God pours out His blessings. On Sunday, September 2nd, the church rejoiced to receive Brother Mitchell Burnett and Sister Christian Burnett upon confession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Their baptism was September 9th. The following Sunday, September, 16th, our rejoicing continued as Sister Helen Burnett and Sister Courtney Burnett came forward requesting a home in the church. Their baptisms were September, 23rd. For those who might think there is little benefit to baptism they should see the happy faces of our new members. Peter and the apostles said, "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him"-Acts 5:32. Even though baptism is a believers ordinance, an extra measure of God's Spirit is given when we obey. We give the Lord all the honor and praise for our new members and pray that we will be to them as brothers and sisters in Christ should be.
Harmony Church hosted the South Arkansas Association over the weekend of September 13th-16th and felt the meeting was very blessed. Tapes of each service are available upon request.
We are working on a phone tree for our membership to use to contact one another with news and information. Brother Doyle Loy is currently working on a rough draft that we hope to have before the membership in the next few Sundays. Please feel free to make any suggestions as to the placement of your name. We hope this will be a blessing for our church.
Since the time of our last newsletter we have been saddened by the loss of three precious members: Brother Bob Huskey, Sister Ved Cox and Sister Addye Jacobs. As the songwriter has so aptly expressed, "Mixtures of Joy and Sorrow I daily do pass through". We are all saddened by our loss and will miss them greatly. The Church received the following letter from the family of Sister Ved. It was read at the church and I share it with you at this time:
Dear Brethren & Sisters of Harmony Primitive Baptist Church:
For the last twenty years people have been asking us, "Why do you go to that little Primitive Baptist Church? Don't you know we have churches in Arkadelphia?" We have tried to give a good answer to that question, but I guess our answers were not good enough because the same old question would surface again in a different form like, "Why do you drive so far to church, when there are big churches in Arkadelphia?"
Well, thank you for answering that question once and for all by the demonstration of your honest, caring nature and loving spirit during the death of Sister Ved. Our non-Primitive Baptist friends have noticed that there was a different feel and spirit about the funeral service.
We have received a lot of interesting and positive comments about the service and Primitive Baptist behavior in general. Let us share a little sampling of these comments with you. They would go something like this: "I loved the music; it wasn't the same old canned organ funeral music. Where did you find those professional singers on such short notice? I bet they cost a pretty penny. The music was so beautiful that it had two effects on people. It either brought a tear to their eye or caused cold chills to go up and down their spine. You know, I wish our church music put you in a spiritual mood like that at Ved's funeral.
Now the funeral message was a little different, why, no one got preached to hell. You know they even used some passages from the bible, the King James Version no less. That message was comforting; it made you feel at peace. Your young preacher sure has a lot of liberty; wish I could hear him preach a whole sermon. By the way, from which seminary did he graduate?
You know there was just a different feel about that service. Why some people observed that those Primitive Baptist seemed to genuinely care for one another. You know those Old Baptists seemed almost HAPPY at a funeral."
My response to that comment was "When you leave the graveside of a loved one with a tear in your eye, a smile on your face, and a song in your heart, you know you have been to a Primitive Baptist Funeral."
It says over in 1 Corinthains 13:13, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" Thank you for being so GREAT in the expression of your love during the time of our loss.
Love, Contented sheep,
Brother Joe & Sister Elaine Cox.
Thank you, Sister Elaine, for sharing your feelings with us.
When we were receiving memorials in remembrance of Sister Addye Jacobs, this letter was received:
Dear Pastor Phelan,
I am five years old and my brother Seth is to years old. When we were born I spent 3 months in the hospital and when my brother was born he spent 10 days there as well. Both times, Mrs. Attsy Jacobs took a great deal of interest in our well-being. She always inquired about our health and constantly kept us in her prayers. This meant a great deal to our parents and us. For the past year we have prayed for Mrs. Jacobs every night at bedtime that she might not be sick anymore. We understand she is in heaven now and although we are sad that we will not see her at Dick and Penni's house, we know she is feeling much better. With my parents help, my brother and I are enclosing a donation for your church in her honor. We will miss her shining face!
Zachary Schultze and Seth Schultze
What a wonderful testimony to one of our members and the Lord Jesus Christ. By the way, the signature was precious.
On Thursday night, November 15th, we have a special appointment at our church. Elder Gus Harter and four ministers from the Phillipinnes are scheduled to be at Harmony Church. They will be with Point Remove Church, at Russellville, on Wednesday night. Elder Harter has been a special blessing to our church over the years. I can still remember the first time I head him preach at Harmony. I am looking forward to seeing brother Gus and meeting our brethren from another country who share "Like precious faith". We will have supper at 5:30 and singing will begin around 7pm. I hope you will make a special effort to welcome these men as they travel many miles to be with us.
I am scheduled to be with Zion Rest Church, in Jasper, Alabama on November 17th and 18th following the appointment with Elder Harter. Elder Charles Kitchens is their pastor and I am looking forward to being with them at this special meeting.
We are receiving a good response from our tape ministry. It has been a blessing to many people. Each service of the South Arkansas Association was taped. Please let us know if you would like a copy of any of the messages. This is just one of the ways that we endeavor to spread the gospel and fulfill the joy of evangelism. You can be a part of this. If you know of anyone who is interested in our church, we will be happy to place them on our tape mailing list.
Our last outing was at the home of Brother Leon and Sister Patty Burris. It seems that every outing gets better. We enjoyed home-made ice cream brought by several of the members and watermelons from Brother Leon's garden. Brother Leon and Sister Patty did a wonderful job as hosts. Everything was well organized. Some of the activities included sack races, egg toss, a softball game and a basketball shootout. I am already looking forward to this again next year! The attendance was great and the fellowship blessed. Thanks Brother Leon and Sister Patty.
In our library you will find a little book entitled, "The Remarkable Record of Job". It is written by Henry Morris. This book focuses on a portion of the book of Job and the eye witness accounts of the great land animals "Behemoth" and "Leviathan" which we know today to be the dinosaur and the dragon. Yes, just as CNN has their reporters on the scene, God had His in that day who give us eyewitness reports, not by satellites, but by inspiration of the great animals that once roamed the earth, not 1 million or 1 billion years ago, but rather about 5,000 years ago. This gives us the wonderful opportunity to teach our children about these great animals that once roamed the earth, not from inaccurate dinosaur books written by nonbelievers, but from the word of God. As a parent, you can share God's word with your child with a subject that will certainly interest them.
From the news
As you all know, our country is presently engaged in a war against terrorism. It seems almost an impossibility that a country so great as America could be plagued with such catastrophic events. On September 23rd, I spoke to our church on the subject of "Perspective" as I endeavored to put in perspective the events surrounding our families. I encouraged the church to remember the words of the beloved apostle Paul to Timothy, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness an honesty." – 1 Timothy 2:1,2. Certainly, a quiet and peaceable life is something that many of us have taken for granted. It has been good to see people calling upon God during this time and I pray that it will turn this nation back to a people who will once again say, "In God we trust".
REMEMBER IN PRAYER
The families who have lost loved ones.
Sister Velma Cothern possible heart blockage. If you know of others who need our prayers, please let us know.