This has been a busy and wonderful fall for us. We had a small growth in the college enrollment, and it seems as though the student body is a good group of young people. Dave Mallinak, a 1993 graduate of Fairhaven Baptist College, preached the opening week in chapel as well as our annual Stewardship Banquet. August is our Stewardship month. I preach on giving and ask the people to pray about what God would have them do financially for the next year. He has blessed us financially, especially the last 15 years. Our church members have almost full employment and are good stewards.
Even though the news media has been attacking us for about a year, God has been very good to our church. Attendance is strong with growth in the group of twenty- to forty-year-olds. The more we are lied about, the stronger our people become. I hate the internet, and we have been attacked there in an unbelievable way; yet good people seem to be discerning and not affected by it. Of course, our bus ministry was affected the most since the majority of the children’s parents are not saved yet; however, we averaged 1,827 on the buses during our fall campaign.
Sunday, October 7, we had “I Love America” Day, and Dr. John Stormer preached. I was first made aware of him by reading None Dare Call It Treason in the late 1960’s. He was used of God to wake up people to the need of true conservatism with this best-selling book. Later he was saved and became a Baptist pastor in Missouri. Brother Stormer is always a blessing. Senator-elect Richard Mourdock was among dozens of dignitaries who were in attendance. I’m sure you are praying, as I am, at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.
I am in the last year of my 43 years of pastoring Fairhaven Baptist Church, and I am excited about its future. Retirement is not in God’s Word; however, I will soon be 70 years old and am slowing down. The last thing I want to do is drag the church down with me; so I have been planning to step aside for years.
People ask what my title will be, and my answer is Assistant Pastor. Pastor Steve Damron has been voted in as our future leader, and I look forward to just being a help to him. I’ll continue to teach in the college and help the church and schools move along smoothly. Much of what I do now will continue, such as working with the missionaries who are sent out by Fairhaven Baptist Church and preaching out for the college.