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Opinion: Why your single moms ministry won’t grow

By Jennifer Maggio
Special to Inside The Pew

The Life of a Single Mom Ministriesexists so that no single mom walks alone, regardless of race, socio-economic status, or story. Our passion is to see single mothers connected to the house of God, thriving and flourishing to live the life He intended. One way we do that is by helping churches establish long-term, healthy single moms support groups or ministries.
I consider it an honor and privilege to work beside some of largest churches and nonprofits in the world. In doing so, I have found some things that may hinder your single moms’ ministry from growing and I wanted to share them with you (and hope we have your permission to be brutally honest):
  1. Ministering only to single moms within your church will prohibit your ministry from growing. Sixty-seven percent of single moms are outside your church walls, so be sure to welcome in the community.
  2. Failing to provide a free meal and free childcare will hinder growth within your ministry. Single moms are busy and often do not have the time or money to provide childcare themselves for a Bible study. In addition, providing a meal is a great way to bless the moms and their children. (Read the book, The Church and the Single Mom by Jennifer Maggio, for ways to provide this at little to no cost.)
  3. Your meetings drone on and on. We suggest meetings to last only 90 mintues. Single moms are busy and need to be able to plan their schedule for themselves and their children.
  4. You are trying to integrate a single mom’s group on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning service. Weekday meetings are extremely hard for single parents who are juggling full-time jobs, soccer practice, second jobs, homework, and night classes. Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights are, by far, the best nights for single moms to get out. (No homework for kids, no night-time classes, no work the next day, etc).
  5. You are afraid to change. I once heard a dynamic speaker say, “When women’s ministries turn into women’s miseries, it is time for a change.” The same is true for single moms ministries. Your church may have been doing the same thing for single moms, the same way, for 15 years. It may be time to shake it up a bit. Have some fun. Have some giggles. Give your ministry a face lift.
  6. You need to plan an “event” to get the single moms in your church and community excited. There is no better way to attract some new faces (and regain some old ones) than to have a single moms’ conference, night of beauty, night of worship, game night, or something similar.
  7. Your leadership isn’t diversified. In order to reach all single moms from all backgrounds and stories, it is important that the key leaders and volunteers within the ministry are diversified. For example, if you have exclusively 40-something divorcees in leadership positions, do not be surprised if teen moms aren’t interested. We all want to know that someone understands our story. And when a new single mom walks into your ministry, she wants to see someone in the room who looks like her. It is a simple, but true statement.
  8. The ministry leader for your single moms ministry needs equipping. Maybe she’s tired and needs some more volunteers. Maybe she was never properly trained on how to lead women. Maybe there is a wonderful teacher waiting to “bud”, but she hasn’t found her voice yet and needs some encouragement on how to do that. Or … .maybe the wrong leader is leading within the ministry. Maybe her time has drawn to a close and God is moving her into a new season of life. This last fact cannot be determined without great prayer, but it is crucial in the survival and thriving of your single moms’ ministry. Sometimes as ministry leaders who are desperate for workers (the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…), we don’t diligently seek God about who the right person is for the job. Consequently, we have some misplaced leaders within single moms’ ministries who really need to be replaced. When done properly, this is beautiful for all involved, as it frees the current leader to fulfill the role God called her to, and it allows the new leader to also fulfill her role.
Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parent issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who travels the country sharing her own riveting story. She has been featured on countless radio and television programs, and founded The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, to equip the body of Christ on how to best meet the needs of single parent families. For more information on running an effective single moms ministry, please visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.
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Christian songstress gets personal on forthcoming release

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By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew

Two minutes, 6 seconds.

That is the climactic point in the song “Even Me” by up-and-coming Gospel sensation Anita Jarrell-Robertson. Though virtue springs forth from the very beginning of the song, the second minute and sixth second of that track sets the tone for a soon-to-be-released album that is certain to command rave reviews.

Jarrell-Robertson said what the listener hears at that point in the song is her pouring out her soul before the Lord. The intensity of that moment was birthed from her deliverance from a dark place in her heart.

“That’s the part where I accepted His healing and deliverance,” said Jarrell-Robertson, who is a Dallas native but now lives in Baton Rouge, La., with her family.

“I was literally sitting in my closet; that’s where I pray. I was in my master bedroom walk-in closet. I don’t want anybody to freak out about that,” a tickled Jarrell-Robertson said about her prayer closet being as much literal as it is metaphoric. “It is a walk-in closet, and I had my Bible, my journal, a pen and my ‘Steps’ book, a book that walks you through reconciliation with Christ.”

What Jarrell-Robertson said next is quite revealing.

“I was wrestling with a decision to cheat on my husband, and I wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off,” she said as she explains further how “Even Me” came about.

“I just wanted to make him mad. It wasn’t that he was cheating or anything. It was trivial things,” she said, adding that she had those thoughts even though there was never another man in the picture. “He didn’t wash the dishes enough; he didn’t help me enough with the kids; he didn’t date me enough; he didn’t talk to me the way that I wanted him to talk to me all the time. But he’s actually the most faithful man I’ve ever been with.

“So, out of anger and hatred, I was going to cheat,” Jarrell-Robertson said. “What slowed my progress was I thought about my children and I didn’t know how to look them in the eye and tell them that I had cheated on their father. I really didn’t have a good reason. I knew that if I’d have made that choice to do that, I knew that I could potentially damage their destiny. I grew up with that kind of dysfunction as a preacher’s kid: Hearing one thing said and seeing something else done.”

At that point, Jarrell-Robertson began to see that her inner-being had become as a land ravaged by drought. What was going on within her was much bigger than the “little things” that she didn’t like about her husband, Jesse.

“After about 20 minutes or so of just weeping in despair, just frustrated about the condition of my soul, I just asked God to help me,” she said. “And He gave me this song. I believe His answer to my prayer was this song. This was the first time that I really internalized the message of the cross for myself verses making sure that everyone else on the planet got the Gospel, literally.”

Jarrell-Robertson said she was so inspired by Isaiah 44:3 that the passage of scripture became a verse in “Even Me.”

The scripture, as does a stanza in the song, said, For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring …

“I was just done; I was broken; I was finished,” a humbled Jarrell-Robertson said. “That was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Little did I know, the song would end up on a CD somewhere.”

And “Even Me” is by no means the only song on the Maxi single worth listening to. There are three other tracks, including “Future Generations,” “Never Forget Your Maker” and “On My Way,” that are phenomenal.

Jarrell-Robertson wrote, arranged, and performed every song on the project.

“Future Generations” and “Never Forget Your Maker” were written when the couple’s daughter Jessica, 6, was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. She is now healed.

“On My Way” was written when Jarrell-Robertson’s father was dying in the hospital. The Lord Jesus let her know her father was on his way to heaven.

The album, which is also titled “Even Me,” will be released in September, and will include six additional tracks.

Donald Lee is an author and freelance journalist. He can be reached at donaldj_lee@yahoo.com. To book Anita Jarrell-Robertson, call (866) 486-5810 or visit her website at http://www.anitaworships.com.

You’ve come too far, don’t give up now!

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Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not reflect the thoughts of Inside The Pew staff.

By Phyllis Jenkins
Special to Inside The Pew

You’ve Come Too Far- Don’t Give Up, Now! This was the theme for our 2012 Powerful Journey Women’s Conference held on June 23 in Shreveport, La.

During my time of sharing, I encouraged the attendees to see their situations through the I’s of Christ and not through the I’s of others.

Why? Because when you see your situation through the I’s of others, you can easily lose your focus and direction. For example, God has given you a dream or an assignment and you can’t wait to get started. So you begin sharing your assignment or your dreams with others. But one by one, they make statements such as: Girl, I don’t see you doing that are you sure you heard from God? Or another might say, “The last time I tried to do something like that I fell flat on my face.” I, I, I…Before you know it, you find yourself asking the question, “God am I to move forward with this dream, with this assignment that You gave to me? The answer is a resounding, “YES.” If God gave it to you, He is more than able to fulfill it. Read I Thessalonians 5:24 – “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” Remember: The One Who gave you the dream or assignment is the Great I AM. See your dreams through His I’s.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for not following the dream that You gave to me. I’m Re-claiming it! I’ve Re-focused! and today I will make steps toward fulfilling it.  In the Powerful Name of Jesus, I Pray. Amen.

If you were blessed, inspired, encouraged & motivated by this ‘PowerLifts For The Soul’ Moment; please send your comments to phyllis@phyllisjenkins.com.

Over-comer, Believer, Dreamer, & Encourager are just a few words that describe Phyllis Jenkins. She is the founder and president of the Powerful Journey Organization, where she empowers women to live a balanced life by helping them: Find their Passion- Focus on What Matters Most and Flourish in their Calling. Phyllis is also the publisher of the Powerful Journey, an online magazine.  She inspires, equips and enlightens audiences of all ages through her practical and powerful presentations. With her captivating energy, she offers strategies which will fuel your Journey with Purpose, Preparation and Perseverance. Phyllis is confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6 (NIV).

A fourth of Ju-lye I’ll never forget

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By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service

Swartz Creek, Mich. – A number of years ago I was working on a book, a three-part biography of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, and country music superstar Mickey Gilley, who all are first cousins to each other. A friend offered me his unused condo in Montgomery, Texas, to get away for research and writing one summer. Since Lewis lived in Mississippi, Swaggart in Louisiana, and Gilley in nearby Pasadena, Texas, it made geographical sense.

Once settled, I took out the Yellow Pages to chart the location of Assembly of God churches for all the weeks ahead, intent on visiting as many as I could. East Texas was in every way new to me, and I wanted to experience everything I could. I was born in New York City… you get the picture.

Well, the first church I visited was in Cut and Shoot, Texas. That’s the town’s name; you can look it up. A small, white frame AG church was my first stop that summer… and I never visited another. For one thing — coincidence? — I learned that a member of the tiny congregation was the widow of a man who had pastored the AG church in Ferriday, La., the small town FOUR HOURS AWAY where, and when, those three cousins grew up in its pews. She knew them all, and their families, and had great stories. Beyond that, the pastor of the church in Cut and Shoot, Charles Wigley, had gone to Bible College in Waxahachie, Texas, with Jerry Lee Lewis and played in a band with him, until Jerry Lee got kicked out. Some more great stories.

But there was more than that kept me there for that summer. In that white-frame church and that tiny congregation, it was, um, obvious in three minutes that I was not from East Texas. Yet I was treated like family as if they all had known me three decades. It was the Sunday before July 4, and a fellow named Dave Gilbert asked me if I’d like to go to his farm for the Fourth where a bunch of people were just going to get together and “do some visitin’.”

On the Fourth I bought the biggest watermelon I could find as my contribution to the get-together. Well, there were dozens and dozens of folks. I couldn’t tell which was family and who were friends, because everybody acted like family. When folks from East Texas ask, “How ARE you?” they really mean it. There were several monstrous barbecue smokers with chimneys, all slow-cooking beef brisket. (Every region brags about its barbecue traditions, but I’ll still fight anyone who doesn’t claim low-heat, slow-smoked, no sauce, East-Texas BBQ as the best) There was visitin,’ after all; there were delicious side dishes; there was softball and volleyball and kids dirt-biking; and breaks for sweet tea and spontaneous singing of patriotic songs.

I sat back in a folding chair, and I thought, “THIS is America.”

As the sun set, the same food came out again — smoked brisket galore; all the side dishes; and desserts of all sorts. Better than the first time. Then the Gilberts cleared the porch of their house. People brought instruments out of their cars and trucks. Folks tuned their guitars; some microphones and amps were set up; chairs and blankets dotted the lawn. Dave Gilbert and his brothers, I learned, sang gospel music semi-professionally in the area. Pastor Wigley and his saxophone, later in the summer, opened for Gold City Quartet at a local concert. But everyone else sang, too. In some churches, in some parts of America, you’re just expected to sing solo every once in a while. You’re not only expected to — you WANT to. So into the evening, as the sun went down and the moon came up over those farms and fields, everyone at that picnic sang, together or solo or in duets or quartets. Spontaneously, mostly. Far into the night, exuberantly with smiles, or heartfelt with tears, singing unto the Lord.

I sat back in a folding chair, and I thought, “THIS is Heaven.”

Recently I came across a video that very closely captures the music, and the feeling — the fellowship — of that evening. A wooden ranch house, a barbecue picnic just ended, a campfire, and singers spontaneously worshiping, joining in, clapping, and “taking choruses.” There were cameras at this one, this video, but it took this city boy back to that Fourth of Ju-lye, finding himself amongst a brand-new family, the greatest barbecue I ever tasted before or since… and the sweetest songs I know.

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture. He is recipient of the 2008 “Christian Writer of the Year” award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, “Monday Morning Music Ministry.” His e-mail address is: RickMarschall@gmail.com.


The old man is gone. A new man appears.

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

Going to church on Sunday as a kid was always interesting. My family and I used to attend an old wooden church which sat on the hill in Amite, La. We did not have central air to keep us cool, only a box fan. Service got going at 11 a.m. and the time we shared with the Lord and in fellowship with each other was priceless. The only heat that went on at our church was the fire the congregation showed for the Lord.

The old saints would rejoice and all we had was one big drum and a few tambourines to work with. We clapped our hands and sang praises to the Lord such as Payday is Coming After While and It’s Gonna Rain. Then, the spirit of God encompassed us. The young people had to get up and testify as well. We were so happy to do so and tell how good God had been to us that week. I could feel the power moving all around me and others in the room. As a teenager, I didn’t understand everything that was going on, but I knew it was the anointing that destroyed the yoke, and, at that time, the anointing had broken down the strong holds of the enemy. We were so enthralled with the spirit the physical conditions of the church were no longer a concern.

Now I can appreciate what was happening within my congregation. The Bible says we all were born into sin. The experience of falling in love with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost and being born again in the spirit separates us from sin. Once we allow the Holy Spirit to enter our minds and heart, we can live the life Jesus lived. At this point we are free, and we graciously allow the Holy Ghost to come into our lives. This is why you see adults and teenagers crying like babies because there is no more sin in their lives; they are new creatures in Jesus Christ. We are babes in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:1, KJV).

My experience reminds me of the story in Acts 2:1-4 when the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (KJV).

The old man is gone, and a new man is here. The scripture shows the importance of letting the new spirit come in. I can see God working even as I write this column. I encourage those who have allowed the eternal flame to fizzle out to rekindle it. I pray the Holy Ghost will move in your life once again and bring you closer to the One who loves dearly loves you.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew (@pewnews) and Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries . Email responses to this column to pewnews@aol.com. Follow Pastor Muse on Twitter @gremuse.

 

Joint ministry conferences planned in Shreveport

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Shreveport, Louisiana: Powerful Journey Organization will host the 2012 Powerful Journey Women’s Conference and the One Word Away Men’s Conference from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5971 Financial Plaza in Shreveport, La. Receive an inspiring word from Plano residents Phyllis Byrd Jenkins, founder of Powerful Journey Organization, and Pastor Dave Jenkins, founder of One Word Away. Cassandra Robertson will serve as worship leader. The event costs $30 per person or 2 for $50. Click here to register.

In Port Arthur, Texas: The Port Arthur Christian Women will hold its luncheon “It’s Always Tea Time” on June 15 beginning at 11:45 a.m.at the Pompano Club LeChambre Room, 330 Twin City Highway, Port Neches.  The cost of lunch is $15 per person. Vicki Beard from Airport Travels, who will share some helpful travel tips. Kaylee Dickens from Port Neches will bring our special music. The slated inspirational speaker will be Betty Anderson from Montgomery, Texas. Reservations are essential for the luncheon and for the nursery, if needed, and may be made by calling Donna at 722-0951 or Mary at 962-5571 by Tuesday, June 12.

In Abilene, Texas: Citing personal and family reasons, Hardin-Simmons softball coach Dan Sheppard has resigned his position effective June 15.

“This was not an easy decision,” said Sheppard. “I have thought about this for a while and believe there is a need for me to give more attention to my family. I had to consider if I could continue to give HSU all the job deserves and still fulfill family commitments. I appreciate HSU giving me this opportunity.”

Sheppard spent two seasons as the Cowgirls’ head man and had a record of 47-36. His teams finished second in the American Southwest Conference West Division in both seasons.

A full search for his replacement will begin immediately.

In Euless, Texas: CareerSolutions will sponsor a free seminar by Terry Sullivan, social media maven, LinkedIn coach, and marketing executive, on “Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile” on Wednesday, May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church Euless, 1000 W. Airport Freeway, in Euless room 115. The event is FREE, but will be first-come, first-served and seating is limited. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a copy of their LinkedIn profile to the event.

Submit calendar items to pewnews@aol.com

Through workshops, Kathy Burrell mentors gospel artists

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Kathy Burrell has been involved with music since she was a little girl growing up in Houston. Along with her siblings, who includes younger sister and gospel megastar Kim Burrell, the quartet learned to spread the gospel through their melodic voices.

Now, Kathy Burrell, an award-winning songwriter, is taking her years of experience in the gospel music circuit and teaching it

Lake Charles mayor Randy Roach, left, and Kathy Burrell during the announcement that Burrell's "The Sound of a New Music Workshop" is coming to Lake Charles, La., in April.

to others who desire to break into the business.

Through her own production company – YourWeh Music – Kathy is touring the southwest and south to stage “The Sound of a New Music” workshops.  The two-day event allows Kathy to provide one-on-one mentoring to aspiring gospel artists. The first day includes a musician showcase, where individuals perform before Kathy and a group of highly regarded clinicians in gospel music. On the second day, a business forum is held where Kathy and the clinicians teach music; provide answers to burning questions; and teach participant how to conduct business in the gospel industry.

Kathy Burrell – The Sound of a New Music Workshop in Port Arthur, Texas

“It is my passion for the kingdom of God that allows me to do this,” Kathy Burrell shared with Inside The Pew. “Nobody grabbed me and my sister and told us anything. I had to learn the hard way.

“I am able to give them those tools before they bump their head. It is an honor and a privilege to do this.”

In 2009, Kathy joined the songwriting ranks with “Yes To Your Will,” a ballad sung by Kim Burrell. The song was nominated

Kathy Burrell is accomplished singer and songwriter.

for a Grammy Award.  Kathy also penned several songs for Kim’s revered “The Love Album;” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2011. Kim took home the Stellar Award’s female vocalist of the year and contemporary female of the year honors in January. Kim mentioned in her acceptance speech that her sister, Kathy, was the power behind the success of “The Love Album” because Kathy wrote most of the songs on the release.

In addition, in February, “Sweeter,” written by Kathy and recorded by Kim earned a Dove Award nomination.

The workshops will make stops in Louisiana later in April and in June. The workshop is slated for 7:30 p.m. on April 20 and April 21 in Leesville and 7:30 p.m. on April 27 and 10 a.m. on April 28 in Lake Charles; June 1 and June 2 in Baton Rouge, and June 15 and 16 in New Orleans. According to Burrell’s website, the locations for these events will be determined.

Kathy Burrell said “The Sound of a New Music” workshops are coordinated through her company, YourWeh Music Productions.

Burrell’s slate also includes the “Woman Be Thou Empowered” conference on May 17 to May 19 at Solid Rock Baptist Church, 1337 East Fifth St., in Port Arthur. The theme of the women’s event is women behind the front line.

Mary Motley, a gospel singer who performs in southeast Texas, attended the Port Arthur workshop on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25.  She said Kathy Burrell made her feel appreciated. By attending the workshop, Motley said she can perfect her talent.

“Kathy is real, and a down-to-earth artist; she is just like me,” said Motley, who has been singing since she was 4 years old. “She has never had the attitude that she is up there and I am down there. I feel she will be instrumental in my career and others who want to get into gospel music. Kathy respected me and my craft.”

Motley said the greatest asset Kathy can provide to up-and-coming artist is the truth about what the recording entails because Kathy Burrell has been around professional gospel music for quite some time.

“Go experience it because I feel I have found a friend for life. Don’t get offended, because she is tough. Come with an open mind and don’t come with your heart on your sleeve.”

To register for a “The Sound of a New Music” workshop or the “Woman Be Thou Empowered” conference, visit www.kathyburrell.com.

Muse: Color me white

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – When I was a little boy growing up in Amite, La., I can remember the first time I went to school. From day one, it was hard for me. The black kids had to sit at the back of the bus and in the back of the class room. As a kid, I didn’t know what was going on, but I do know that we were treated very badly in and out of the classroom.

The white kids would laugh at us. The black kids were last at everything in school. Sitting in that classroom was one of the

Grelan Muse Sr.

hardest things we had to endure. Fear was a reality for the black kids, for we never knew what was going to happen from day to day. It was difficult to learn in that environment. For some of us, our grades began to suffer, and so we were placed in special education studies. We were looked at as the unlearned kids.

I can recall my siblings and me tell our mother how bad we were being treated. I still recall the pain I felt sitting at the table as I cried to my mother about what was happening at school. As a 6 year old, it was hard to understand why. Day in and day out we went to school feeling this way, being called the “N-word” all the time. I just didn’t understand.

When I got home from school one day, I asked my mother if we had some white paint. She wanted to know why I needed the paint. I told her I wanted to make my skin white so I would not endure the pain of being ridiculed. There were days when I cried because I felt worthless. Sadly, I was starting to hate myself for being black.

At this point, my mother sat me down. She picked up the Bible on the coffee table, and we read scriptures, specifically Matthew 5:44 and John 13:34-35. In Matthew, Christ said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (KJV). He echoes this in John: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another./By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (KJV).

My mother asked us to do what Jesus said to love your enemies’ and she gave us a song to sing. The name of the song was, “I’ve Got The Love of Jesus.” When my siblings and I went back to school, we prayed and the song reined my heart and mind. I was able to overcome this situation in the name of Jesus; I still hear that song in my heart. In any situation you might experience, God will empower you to overcome. He will give you joy to overcome.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew (@pewtalk) and founder of Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries (@EMM4Christ). To respond to this column, email him at pewnews@aol.com.

Williams helps Beaumont flock realize its role

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: An upcoming gospel meeting has allowed us to reconnect with Robert Williams, pulpit minister of Eleventh Street church of Christ in Beaumont. In April 2009, Williams sat down with Tonya Whitaker to discuss his new church, and how important is it speak to believers and to nonbelievers.

BEAUMONT, Texas – Robert Williams has been preaching the Gospel since he was 19 years old.

After years of preaching at churches in Port Arthur, Williams has come full circle as senior minister and elder at Eleventh

Robert Williams, pulpit minister for Eleventh Street church of Christ in Beaumont.

Street church of Christ in Beaumont.

Although no two days are the same in his ministry tenure, the end result is the most gratifying.

“I am overjoyed when I am able to convince someone to give their life to the Lord,” the Port Arthur native said.

Prior to becoming a full-time minister, Williams worked for 24 years with Port Arthur ISD as a clerk and bus aide for the Hughen Center, which provides services to disabled adults and children.

The 80-member congregation is in the process of developing its outreach ministry, he said. There are four areas of concentration for the church: teaching ministry, youth ministry, member ministry and evangelist ministry.

“To be effective in ministry, congregations must be stronger in the word,” he said. “That is why we are implementing various ministries and Bible study opportunities.”

Williams, who’s family includes wife, Diana, and two stepchildren, said the greatest asset of taking on the role as minister full time is being able to meet the needs of the church members.

“Getting everyone to realize that they have a role to play in the Lord’s church is important,” he said. “There is a lot of work to be done. As a congregation, we are doing more than we used to.”

Church services times on Sunday are 9:30 a.m. for Sunday school, 10:30 morning worship; and 5 p.m. evening worship. Monday night at 6:30, a special class is held to allow church members and people from the community to ask for prayer and ask biblical questions. Wednesday night at 7 is Bible study.

The church is located at 3710 Eleventh St. in Beaumont. For more information, contact Williams at (409) 842-9228 or (409) 344-3154.

Fast forward to 2012: Gospel meeting scheduled for March 25-March 28

Eleventh Street church of Christ will host a gospel meeting with several guest speakers from Sunday, March 25 to Wednesday, March 28.

On March 25, Sunday school starts at 9:30 a.m. Afterward, at 10:30 a.m., Ricky Hadnot, of church of Christ of Hillister, Texas, will deliver the morning worship message. At noon, lunch will be served to guests. Afternoon worship will begin at 2 p.m. with LeVal Tukes of Westside church of Christ of Jasper as the slated speaker. A congregational and group singing will follow Tukes’ inspirational word.

Additional guest speakers include Ron Young of Lakeside Park church of Christ in Port Arthur on March 26; Cory Shaw of the church of Christ in Hankemer on March 27, and Carl Gains of Mills Street church of Christ in Lake Charles, La., on March 28. These nightly talks are slated to begin at 7 p.m.