Hands to the plow - Winter 2002
A Note From The Pastor...
Preaching at "Little Five
Points" in Atlanta, GA
As always, we pray that you are walking closely to our risen Lord and daily receiving His divine provision and grace. Much has transpired since our last newsletter:
On December 21st, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of our seventh child, Joshua Caleb�glory to God! With this new addition, the Williams� posterity has grown to five boys and two girls. My wife and I are ever humbled by God�s marvelous outpouring of grace upon our expanding household. Truly, we have found Him faithful to always grant bountiful strength and wisdom in the challenge and privilege of establishing a godly seed.
As this newsletter will reveal, we�ve recently felt compelled to travel to several different locations to preach open-air. Whereas the LSU students were on semester break, we decided to focus our evangelistic efforts on major events. The LSU football team played in the SEC Championship Game on December 8th and again in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st, 2002. We concluded that since we preached to the LSU student body on a regular basis a �gospel field-trip� to Atlanta and New Orleans was in order. We reasoned that preaching at these events was a rare opportunity to make a profound impression upon the students who attended the games. We were right! Many LSU students, after recognizing us, exclaimed, �I can�t believe it, there�s the crazy preachers from the Union!� Or, �Amazing! They followed us here from Baton Rouge!� We not only preached the gospel to our familiar LSU crowd but also to potentially thousands of University of Tennessee and University of Illinois fans as well (LSU�s opponents in the two games). Remember, these two events occurred in cities with a combined population of over five million people. However, to our surprise, we found no other Christians attempting to confront sinners with the gospel. What a sad commentary on the apathetic spiritual condition of today�s church. May God the Father once again baptize us, the Body of Christ, with a burning passion and holy zeal for souls! Also, enclosed with this newsletter is a new tract I authored with a September 11th theme. As you might expect, this particular tract has been extremely popular recently. We feel very confident that when distributed, this tract is most assuredly read. Please feel free to copy and circulate this tract as it is not copyrighted. If needed, we can also provide this tract in color.
Finally, the selected sermon for this quarter is entitled, �The Confessions Of A Faithful Minister.� This message explores the ministry of the Apostle Paul, a prototype of the devoted N.T. preacher. We pray this message will bless you!
SEC Championship Preaching Team
- Top (left to right): Matt Bourgault, Bob Brumfield, James Van
Valkenburg, Britt Williams. Bottom (left to right): John Duncan, Charlie
Kennon, Zach Baxter and Scott Lewis (not shown) - Atlanta, GA
New Year�s Eve on Bourbon Street
- New Orleans, Louisiana
On New Year�s Eve, four brethren and I ventured to Bourbon Street to preach the everlasting gospel and stand for righteousness against the workers of iniquity. As the year which witnessed the greatest natural catastrophe on U.S. soil came to a close, the shallow resolutions and reform of selfish, humanistic Americans following the September 11th tragedy proved to be merely a worldly sorrow with no lasting change. The short-lived sobriety seems to have dissipated, and America has only been hardened in her refusal to ponder the possibility of God�s displeasure and chastening for her wicked ways. Drunkenness, blasphemy, nakedness, violence, and many other manifestations of mankind�s wicked and perverted heart were unashamedly flaunted. The revelers gloried in their shame and trampled under foot the message of hope and deliverance. Many would perhaps question the wisdom or success of such a venture. But we must take Christ as our wisdom and rightly define the term �success.� During the short time of my Christian life, I have come to see that success in God�s eyes is nothing more than obedience no matter the natural results. As Christians, our primary ministry is unto God and not man. Paul said�
�Now thanks be unto God, which al- ways causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.� 2 Cor. 2:14-16 As long as we are obedient, we are triumphing, and our obedience becomes as a savor of Christ in the earth. To a few it will be a savor of life, but to most it will be a savor of death. However, to God our obedience is a wonderful savor of Christ, and we are always successful because God is well pleased. As the church, we may or may not see men converted, but we must not grow weary and believe the lie that our work is in vain. Many times we will be called to merely stand for Christ against the wickedness of our day, upholding God�s honor alone. May God give us all strength to stand for His holy name. May He look down from heaven and smell a sweet savor of Christ in this rotten and perverse land as His people are content to minister to Him, through obedience to His Word regardless of the natural results.
"Remember! You will be rewarded according to your labor, not according to your success." ~John Wesley
~Brother Charlie Kennon
Street Preaching in Atlanta, Georgia
SEC Championship Game LSU vs. Tenn.
Praise God for this glorious gospel which has been revealed and entrusted to us that we may manifest and declare Christ in the earth. Truly, there is no greater thrill or privilege than to be a preacher of this great gospel. On December 8th, the men from CFF drove to Atlanta, GA to preach at the SEC championship game between LSU and Tennessee, and it proved to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. As we approached the Georgia dome clad with sandwich signs and gospel banners, my heart was burning with anticipation and excitement as I surveyed this massive ocean of humanity in need of the gospel.
Our main purpose for going was to preach to the LSU students that we have encountered in our efforts to reach that campus with the gospel. And praise be to God who allowed us to be seen and recognized by many of them. We rejoice that God, in His infinite mercy, gave us another opportunity to reason with them of righteousness, temperance and judgment. During the course of that soul stirring night, I was challenged like never before with the awesome task that faces the church in this late and dark hour. At the same time, I was also wonderfully encouraged as I beheld the glorious foolishness of our message and method, which truly is the power of God. Paul said that we are debtors and we must somehow reach this generation for Christ. If only the church would lay aside her impotent philosophies and programs, break loose from her man-pleasing shackles, and return once again to the old path of those who turned their world upside down by going everywhere preaching Christ, she could indeed fulfill her task. The way and preaching of the cross, which is implicit obedience to truth for the glory of God, appears as a failure to the carnal mind of those who are perishing. But to us who are saved and walk by faith and not sight, it is the power of God. Eternity will never recognize or remember the visible and natural power of the 2001 SEC champion, nor the shouts of the eighty thousand fans. The one thing that eternity will reveal is the true power that was demonstrated that night; Wisdom cried aloud exalting the Lamb of God slain from the earth�s foundation who sits upon the throne.
~Bro. Charlie Kennon
Little Five Points. . . . .Atlanta, Georgia
Wow! What a place: Homeless people lying everywhere, strange folks with earrings in strange places, and demon possessed men who greatly opposed the preaching of God's Word. Sodomites, whose vile passions were stirred by the gospel light coming forth. Licentious women (one who even felt compelled to expose herself in public as she heard God's Word). And to add to the bizarre scene, we were ministering right in front of a store called, "The Lucky Devil".
Several men from various churches and ministries gathered together to herald and proclaim the Word of God to this small dark section of town called, "Little Five Points." There were giant banners held up, one which read, "God hates Sin!". Some wore sandwich boards which displayed all those en route to hell unless they repent- Fornicators/Sodomites/Liars....etc. Many were passing out gospel tracts. I walked around with my guitar and sang some evangelistic songs that dealt with sin, repentance and being born again. Each member of the team spread out in a different direction-some preaching, others talking to various sinners, but each person playing a vital role. It was a very profitable day. Some were irate, some were offended, and some were convicted. Yet still others were all of the above, but few seemed indifferent. I know that in the midst of all the action, (people screaming and hollering at the preacher, cursing, threatening) there was some seed sown that will bring forth fruit.
Only God knows which ground was good and ready for the planting of God's Word. I thank God that I was able to Go and be a part of the ministry that God commissioned us to when he said "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
~Bro. James Van Valkenburg