OUR THANKS TO YOU ALL!!!

THANK YOU!!!!! It is the season of Thanksgiving. To all of you individuals, classes, youth groups, and churches I want to personally say how much I appreciate your prayerful and financial support for Central throughout 2014! It has been a huge blessing and I pray that God will exponentially bless you all for contributing to the cause of Christ here in Southaven, MS.

It takes a lot of people and money to get a new church off the ground. Without all of you involved so many things would not have happened, from sound equipment, tables, chairs, media equipment, nursery furniture, even a lot of our outreach and advertisements. My heart has been so encouraged and blessed seeing it all come together.

I join with all of the people at Central to say again THANK YOU for being such a blessing!!!!! In this Thanksgiving season we surely cannot help but resound our gratitude to you! You are part of what is happening here because of how you have given to this ministry. Over the past year we have grown from the Core Group to twenty three families. We rejoice at what God has done and give Him all the praise!

I am very thankful that our people are giving and making a significant impact on the needs and ministry here. This group by no means has been totally dependent upon outside support. It is a healthy indicator that things are headed in the right direction. THANK YOU to everyone at Central for doing their part!

As with any church plant, the work has just begun. There are many other things that we yet need to do and provide for. In lieu of this we are attempting to raise $5,000 by the end of 2014. These additional funds will help make up for our short fall in raising funds earlier in the year.

I will be blogging more soon about this need and goal. Until then…

TIME TO TOIL
Colossians 1:28, 29

Most 2014 Goals Achieved

Over the past year we have seen God move and we have experienced His grace in our lives and in this ministry. I give all of the credit and honor to Him! None of what has happened could have been accomplished without Him… no doubt! As one of our theme verses clearly states, we “toil” in “his energy” not ours! I am so thankful for all He has done… so when you read this blog… please don’t think we are bragging… we can only brag on Him!

On January 5, 2014, I met with all of our group before we began holding worship officially at our home. That night I laid out the goals for 2014. Here they are and how they have turned out so far in 2014.

Goal #1: To Hold Four Major Connection Events: We ended up having more than four by September and God used each one to connect with certain families that are now in our midst at Central!

Goal #2: To Initiate Discovery Bible Studies for Adults on Wednesday nights and expand to two meetings: We have done Discovery throughout the year but we have not yet expanded to two separate meetings. We hope to reach this goal soon with the availability of new leaders.

Goal #3: To hold Two Preview Services before we launched: On April 20th for Easter we held a service at Desoto Central High School and had 153 in attendance! We were blown away at the response to this first service. On August 10th we held our second preview at a pool house in a nearby subdivision and literally crammed 157 people into a 140 seat room. WOW! Both services I will never forget!

Goal #4: To Secure a Facility by August 1st: On July 28th we shook hands with the owner of the building we are now in on Getwell Road! That building was exactly what we had been looking for at the right price!

Goal #5: To purchase a total of 150 chairs by September for the new facility: God provided every penny for them to be purchased right on time! We now have 165 chairs to use!

Goal #6: To have 15 couples go through Tracks One & Two of our Discipleship Tracks: We currently have had 16 couples and 5 individuals go through or are currently going through these Tracks. So this goal will be met by mid-December!

Goal #7: To raise $18,000 for our Launch and Outreach Budget by October 1st: We fell short of this amount. We did however raise a little over $14,000 from the Mt Calvary Association and various churches and individuals. We have been using that over the last month as we have already launched and begun outreach. It would still help to have the other $4000 needed in that original figure.

Goal #8: To have 50 members by 2015: At this writing we now officially have 66 members!

Goal #9: To have 75 in service on average by 2015: We currently for the year are averaging 81. Although since July we have averaged 89 with our low attendance being 76 and our high being 154. In the last three weeks since we have been in the building we have averaged 133!

Goal #10: To have our members give $40,000 for the year to the general fund with 10% of it going to missions. We have already exceeded this and currently have had over $56,000 come in from OUR members!

Throughout the year we have had several saved! That’s what it’s all about! We are thrilled to see all that God has done and yet there is sooooo much more to be done, so many lives to touch!

Keep praying for us, as I know so many of you do! THANK YOU for that! It means so much to all of us! Thank you for your financial support as well! The Lord will reward your gifts for His Kingdom!

Time to Toil!
Colossians 1:28, 29
Anders

Central Update

Let me begin by saying; “My Apologies!” It’s been a while since I have had the time to blog and share about things going on here at Central! As you all know I am Bi-vocational. When school started it amped up my business! I roll on the bus twice a day and mow in between routes. So it has cut back on my time during the week for non-essentials… like blogging. Here are a couple of major things that have happened.
Over the summer we saw some teens and kids saved and 11 of them follow the Lord in Baptism. It was an exciting day as 157 people gathered for our first baptismal service to celebrate what God did in our midst!

Anders Preaching

In all my years of ministry I haven’t had a more exciting day in ministry like that! Especially since I got to baptize my daughter in the same service! Here is a picture of the candidates.

Baptism
The other big news is we have finally found a building. We literally looked at 19 different buildings hoping to nail down our future location. That all started in early May. We had settled on a building that did not have the room we needed over time. It was the only one that we could rent when it came down to it in late July. The day our Oversight Team convened to see it for one last time and vote to rent it, we receive a phone call that a building had opened up at the exact location/corner in the vicinity where I had prayed to be near. We went immediately to see the building and with all 7 of our Oversight Team there, we voted to rent it on the spot. It was more square footage than we ever dreamed of having. We were thrilled and have been praising the Lord about it since then. After working out a few details and agreeing to foot the price to add restrooms, we will be able to be in it for our launch service on October 26th!

Front Pic
God has put several people in our church that have been so key in getting things done in this building process. Through Carl Sookraj we got the connection to the building. With Allan Cunningham, a Southaven fireman, we got the inside track to get ourselves up to code with the Fire Departments requirements. Mike Hoskins is a builder and he is the man guy working on our redesign inside, framing up walls and sheet rocking. Mike Smart is going to do our cabinets and counter tops, since he does this for a living every day of his life. And… me well I’m the Chairman of the Planning Commission in Southaven and I knew who to see to get our project through city hall in three days. Phewww… God is AWESOME! He put this church together! I have to mention, we have had some key donations in time to get every chair we need to go in the new building! I sure am thankful for everyone within the church and without that has made this thing come together!
We started work on the building this week. The plumber, my good friend Don South, came and got the new bathrooms rolling. Carl Sookraj and Mike Hoskins got the first wall up too! Here are some pictures of their work! We all appreciate the work they are doing!

Ren 4Ren 2
We will keep you updated as things move forward. Mowing is about to slow down and I should be able to share more and keep you better informed as we move into the Fall.
TIME TO TOIL…
Colossians 1: 28, 29

God Adds To Our Staff

I am so pleased to announce that God has opened the door for Central to add a Children’s Pastor. We welcome to our Staff, David Hatton!!!

10377010_10154345932370076_6561473531263152147_n

God brought David Hatton (39), his wife Natalie and family to us earlier in the year! We were thrilled to have them join Central and become a part of what God is doing here. I knew at the time that David had been involved in ministry in some levels. Come to find out he had been involved in children’s and youth ministry for some time. God sent us a jewel! They are a wonderful couple with great passion for Christ and love for people. They have been married since September of 1996 and have four children, Blake, Madison, Brett, and Zack.

Over the past few weeks discussions have been held behind the scenes. After praying over this matter an engaging in necessary question and answers, the Oversight Team met with David this week and voted unanimously to make him the Children’s Pastor. He will be assuming his role before the time of our public launch which will be announced later.

Over the next few weeks, the staff will be meeting to plan out our complete approach for launch with David on board now. Our launch will be much smoother with his help!

I appreciate him stepping up to serve. He will not be a paid staff member. As you know, our staff functions without pay for the most part. It benefits the church plant enormously to have them on board! I pray that as time moves along, the church will continue to grow spiritually, financially and numerically so that staff can be compensated part time. Pray that this happens!

We are excited to have David added to our ranks! WELCOME ABOARD DAVID!

Time To Toil…
Colossians 1: 28, 29

God’s Up To Something… #2

I am very thankful to be able to share this blog. It’s more personal than others, so bear with me.

Boys and I

On Wednesday night at camp, both of my older boys surrendered to ministry. I guess I never imagined that happening on the same night. But it did! I saw Reagan (Roo) go out with our youth pastor Justin and I knew that Zac had tried to move during the invitation as well. As a parent, I wanted to just leave and go out and find them to see what was going on. I knew “God was up to something”! But several had responded to the invitation that night and there were literally 7 people waiting to talk to me. That was awesome too! So I just prayed for the boys while I talked to others. Afterwards they both made their way back to me when the dust had settled and shared how God had dealt with their hearts. To say I was thrilled is an understatement of course….

As a preacher, I have never made it my quest or agenda to talk with them about this. You can be “Daddy Called” or you can be God called. Huge difference! This isn’t a family business! Carla and I have always wanted our boys to do whatever it is that God has for them. However, along the line both of them in their own ways and own time have discussed this with me. What’s funny is I’ve never told the one that I had also heard from the other about this in their life. I just kept it to myself and prayed for them along the line that God would make it plain to them if indeed it was His call.

ROO LEE

Roo spoke with me first about this on our way home from Ramsey Heights Baptist Church. I had spoken there at a youth rally on a Saturday night. I had preached “How to know if you are madly in love with Jesus!” Honestly, I kind of had one of those flops… every preacher has them here and there… I thought to myself “Nothing good will come from that mess!” and “Boy, I just laid an egg!” You preachers know what I mean. But, sure enough, Roo had been drawn in the service and felt he was being called. I was stunned! The conversation was long but my basic advice was keep praying and walking with the Lord and He will show you and confirm this through time. Through time, other such conversations took place. One with Keith Lewis and others with me… “God was up to something”… but it all came to fruition at camp when God made it clear to him. I know he is only 14, but you know what, I felt and knew the call of God when I was 11.

ZAC LEE

Zac is a very sincere and committed young man. He wants to serve the Lord and he does by helping with various things at Central. I have sensed that God was working in his life, and at times he has mentioned it in passing. My boys are different. Roo is more open while Zac is less on the details. Yet it has been clear that God was doing a work. For him it first started at SOAR in 2013. He had gone to SOAR with Charity and Bro Keith Lewis. Donny Parrish stated something to the effect that it was time for young men to step up and follow the Lord in ministry. God used that because … “He was up to something!” That one statement captured his attention and grew in his heart through the year. At camp God laid on my heart to preach on Tuesday night from I Samuel 3. I dealt with the calling of God in our lives. Never actually got to the call of God to ministry during the message. Yet the message was clear that night to Zac. He was in a scripture skit playing the role of Samuel. I didn’t choose him to pin point him, I just did that because I knew he would do it for the camp. Through that message and skit… God worked in his heart and made it clear what He was asking him to do! He is only 17, but in time God will prove to Him how this should play out in his life.

Zac would say maybe the Lord wants him to work with youth while Roo says God has called him to preach. “God’s up to something!” Only time will tell what specifically they will each do for Him. The agenda now is to further deepen their walk with Him and to teach them more to listen to His voice. I know through this they will see the steps in front of them more clearly. So pray for them…. Pray for Carla and I as we stir them and teach them and guide them through this process. We are going to take it just one step at a time.

Zac is a senior this fall, we are praying now about college for him… pray with us that we will know and do the will of God for his life in this regard. Now he would love to go to CBC in Conway, AR. and I would love that too…but my heart aches thinking he would be that far from home… he’s my boy you know…. we shall see….

It is an exciting time in our lives… a time I will treasure forever! I often wondered if God would call one of my boys to ministry… its kind of amazing to me that on the same night… neither one knowing that the other was making that decision, that they both surrendered to ministry… I’m so overwhelmed and deeply moved…

WOW… that’s all I can say is WOW!

Time To Toil…
Colossians 1: 28, 29

“God’s Up To Something!”

Back in the day when I was the Youth Pastor at Calvary in Horn Lake, my Pastor, Dr. Kevin Clayton, was always saying; “God’s up to Something!” I loved that saying, because God is always at work!
GROUP PHOTO CAMP 2014

The last two weeks God has been working in lives here at Central! There were 7 saved at camp! That was so awesome! We had been praying for these kids and teens by name in the days and weeks leading up to camp… in fact, since back in January! It was so awesome to see them each on separate occasions come and talk things over either with myself or our youth pastor Justin. Praise the Lord! Man it was so great!

CAMP CAMP CAMP
I wish I could tell you about all of them! But let me share about two of them… Shayla Hillard is one of the teens God brought to camp with us. She had not been attending Central, but she had been to Prom with one of the young men that does attend Central. She got invited to camp and she signed up. Just a day or two before we left she was about to bail out and not come. Which happens with most camps… kids get the jitters and such… she didn’t know anyone in our group except Blake either. Somehow she ended up coming. I’m so glad she did! On the first night of camp, I saw her go to two of our sponsors… I feared she was wanting to go home…. Next thing I know… she was in the altar making a decision to follow Christ! As we say at Camp… WHOOP WHOOP! Lit my fires! Aren’t you glad she didn’t back out!!!!????!!! I sure was! Guess what, her family has been coming to Central! Man, God is up to something!

Cullen

Cullen Jackson is the other I’ll share about. My son Zac invited Cullen to a youth activity to Putt Putt Golf-n-Games back in May. He came. Since then he has showed up on most Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. Cullen, well he is a rapper! When he first started coming, I talked to his Mom and trying to strike up some common ground, I stated that I knew he was rappin. Her reply was less than favorable. She said we want him in college not wasting his time with that. Well I got nosey. He had become my friend on Facebook. Turns out Mom was right. His rappin wasn’t much to listen to… Oh now don’t get me wrong he’s good at it… it was just flavored with many things that I don’t want people listening to. Fast forward to camp… He signed up to go and I was glad! On Monday night, I preached from Titus 2: 11&12. Sure wasn’t aiming at Cullen because I had planned to preach from that passage long before I knew he was going. But it was clear… students need to turn from this present world and run to the Savior! Well…. Cullen did! On Wednesday night… he moved during the invitation and gave his heart to Christ! WAIT WAIT… there’s more…. When we got home…. He deleted all of his songs…. Oh I failed to tell you that this kids had CD’s that had been produced. He erased them all… announced he would no longer be doing music like that. I watched and am still watching on Facebook as he has publicly proclaimed the Savior and done a 180 with his rappin. He’s sharing Christ with His songs now and I am PUMPED. Here’s just one of the Facebook Statuses he has posted lately… “You may think I fell off, but I’m cooking up a storm for u guys, with a new outlook and new sound. Everything till now was trash no matter how many plays or downloads it had…” When he came back he also did his own video of his POSTER BOARD TESTIMONY… he got saved the night we did them at camp! Yeah, guess what, DONNY PARRISH… he came to SOAR! Got to listen to Andy Mineo right up by the stage. Talk about an impact for him! He got it! That’s all we heard since we got back from SOAR is Mr. Mineo! Now I don’t much understand Mr. Mineo… but Cullen does! Man, God is up to something! Whoop Whoop!

In the last three weeks, we have had over 80 show up on Sundays at Central! There is more to share but I don’t have room on this Blog! Keep praying for Central because… God is up to something… something BIG!

Time to Toil….
Colossians 1: 28, 29

“Dad, next year when we go to camp, we can bring the teens from Central.”

My heart is excited and I am really blessed all at the same time! Let me explain….

Image

Last year my boys and I, along with Carl Sookraj and son went to camp with the Mt Calvary Association. I got to preach to preach at the camp and we had a blast together! At that time we were just beginning to share the vision of Central with churches there in that Association. My son Zac said to ma at the camp, “Dad, next year when we go to camp we can bring the teens from Central.” I quickly agreed and thought yeah it would be nice to be at the point where would could bring a group.

Not knowing the future or what the beginning of church planting life would be like, I told him not to get his hopes too high. I kinda played the Fatherly role… protecting him from disappointment… right? I was thinking at the beginning, we would have a few kids and some teens.

Well, what my son hoped for has become reality. I’m blessed to get to go back and preach again at camp next week (which I love doing – camp ministry is awesome)! But what I’m really thrilled about is the group from Central that is going! In my wildest dreams I never thought that we would have so many families with soooooo many kids! It’s really a God thing!

Next Monday, the Lord willing, we will be taking 39 to camp. It’s definitely a milestone for Central! For the very first time we will show up at the Mt Calvary Camp. IM PUMPED UP MAN! FOR REAL! It’s exciting! We have several going that have NEVER been to a camp. Some who are not saved! So pray for them with me that God will do a work in their heart while we are there!

Right after that we are turning around and going to SOAR! Back to back weeks of youth events… and it will be the first time for all of these teens to go to SOAR! 24 teens!!! Look out DALLAS… here we come! Gonna be great! Did I say I AM PUMPED???? WHOOOP!
That’s all I got to say about that, Jack!

TIME TO TOIL… and minister to TEENS AND KIDS
Colossians 1: 28, 29

Meet all the Family!

Someone was asking me just the other day on a trip into Arkansas how many families we have at Central now. So I thought I would show you all of our families in the order that they came to us.
We are so blessed and God has added faithfully to our ranks! Embedded in each family are people that God is and has worked in their lives! We are especially blessed to have a lot of kids and teens!
It started with the Lee’s in February, 2013. You don’t need a picture of us… you know who we are….
Then came the Burdick bunch who committed in March of 2013. They didn’t actually all arrive until December 28, 2013 but they were on board. Justin serves as our Student Pastor.
Image
The Ross Family Committed in May of 2013.
Image
The Chunn’s also committed to in May of 2013.
Image
The Sookraj’s committed in June, 2013.
Image
The Kinnision’s committed in July of 2013.
Image
The Clayton’s committed in August of 2013.
Image
Tank & Hannah Tuck committed in September of 2013.
Image
Don York committed in December of 2013.
Image
Aaron & Chelsea Tuck committed in January of 2014.
Image
Joel Richardson committed in January of 2014.
Image
The Hopkins committed in February of 2014.
Image
Hunter & Summer are engaged to be married, they committed in March of 2014.
Image
The Hatton’s committed in March of 2014.
Image
The Smarts committed in April of 2014.
Image
The Cowgill’s committed in May of 2014.
Image
The Cunningham’s committed in May of 2014.
Image
The Whitley’s committed in June of 2014.
Image
We have several others who are visiting and praying about committing to Central and following Christ with us. Just keep praying that God will open doors to unchurched families and families needing a church home. We have three that will soon follow the Lord in baptism. We are also praying for God to work in the hearts of our teens at camp and save souls at this event in just one week.
So… you now have pictures of the faces you are supporting and praying for!
Time To Toil…
Colossians 1: 28, 29

Funds Edging Upward!

AAAA Money

As many of you know, funds are being raised for our launch that is slated for August! Our goal is that $18,000 will come in by July 31, 2014 These funds will help us get off to a great start this fall!

Currently, $10,500 has been raised. So we need $7,500 more obviously! We appreciate our Sponsoring Church for housing this money for us until it comes time for the launch. We are so thankful for many who have given and will give! Especially all of our friends in the Mt Calvary Association who have financially helped us since last September.

These funds will help us be effective in outreach and advertising at the time of our launch. Jump in with us and help us be strategic and excellent in presenting this new BMAA plant to Desoto County!

Funds can be sent to Charity Baptist Church P.O Box 286 Ward, AR 72176. Write checks to Charity and on the “memo line” simply write “CENTRAL OUTREACH FUND”. They will make sure it is ear marked for the plant!

We will update you on our progress in July as the deadline comes closer! Pray with us that all the needed funds will be provided. Thanks so much for your prayers!

Time To Toil …
Colossians 1: 28, 29

SO THANKFUL FOR CHARITY!!!

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil 1: 3-5

Image

A year ago this month, May 19th specifically, Charity Baptist in Ward, AR voted to become the Mother Church to Central and to officially start the work. I am so glad that they are the sponsoring church! Praise the Lord for this awesome church! Thank you all for leading us and helping us through the start of this work of the Lord!
God put us on the same path back in 2009 when I preached the youth camp for the Mt Calvary Association. Keith Lewis was the director of the camp and then Church Planter in Ward, AR. First time I met Keith I knew the two of us (as my Mom would say) “gee-hawed”. God meshed our hearts together and we have been friends ever since.
When we came back from Texas, Keith was a friend to me and it meant the world to Carla and me. I knew he was praying for us and he had me there to preach a couple times. It was a great encouragement to us! His wife Kelley is a “hoot” and we all cut up and joke together a lot. Carla and I love spending time with them!
We had supported Charity as a mission. We could have never dreamed that one day we would end up feeling lead to join the church. But … we did… it really was the Lord’s will for us after visiting around for a while. It’s just what God led us to do.
Charity organized into a church in August of 2012. I was blessed to be able to see that happen. It was a thrill to hear that Keith wanted to plant a church or at least help do so as soon as possible. When we joined Charity… we didn’t have a plan to start a church at the time… but within four months the church voted to do so. It was really a plan of the Lord that we rejoiced in!
They have supported us prayerfully and financially! Keith stays in contact with us and some of their members are very encouraging as well! It means a lot to us! They also provide leadership and wisdom. It had been an incredible blessing working with them and as the passage I shared above states they truly have been our partners in the gospel from the very first day!
THANK YOU CHARITY FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE & YET WILL DO!!! It’s been a great year!!!!!
I must say that this church, who just organized, and isn’t a Big Mega church inspires me! They should inspire other churches as well! Any church could take their example, and answer the call to be a Sponsoring church to new church plants in the BMA!!! Pray about it! There are so many who could do it… Let’s keep planting new churches to the glory of God!
Time To Toil
Colossian 1: 28, 29