First Baptist Church
Past Articles

First Baptist Church Weaverville

1 2 3 8
rev. July 2014

1)   Assembled In the Upper Room

2)   Tongues As of Fire

3)   A Gate Called Beautiful

4)   Before Jerusalem’s Leaders

5)   Lies and Jealousy

6)   Growing Pains

7)   Mortality Swallows Up By Life

8)   Scattered Throughout the Regions

9)   The Road to Damascus

10)  God Has Cleansed – No Longer Considered Unholy

11)  Two Fathers – Part 1

12)  Two Fathers – Part 2

13)  First Called Christians

14)  A Feast For the Worms

1.    If this is about Joseph, why study Abraham?

2.    Haran – Pt. 1

3.    Haran – Pt. 2

4.    Leaving Laban

5.    When Joseph saw Esau

6.    From here to Hebron

7.    Here comes this dreamer!

8.    What’s Next?

9.    Cup bearer & Baker

10.  Called before Pharoah

11.  OK, break’s over; Back to work!

12.  How the family fared in the famine

13.  Go back and buy us a little food

14.  The cup

15.  I am Joseph

16.  Egypt or bust!

17.  Goshen

18.  Geneology, birthright and blessing

19.  A coffin in Egypt

Resurrection Sunday Greetings!


The resurrected Lord “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24.45-47


Hallelujah!  He has risen!


We pray that this wonderful resurrection Sunday morning will bless your hearts as you glorify God, and that the repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached around the world!


It is a wonderful time of the year.  Opportunities to share what Christ has done are plentiful.  We had a special Good Friday evening sing-along in our new church replant.  We invited so many people, but we only had one visitor from the community come.  We have been praying for by name for several weeks.  It was a blessing to see her actually come.  We also had a couple come from sister churches that we had invited to come join us in the outreach.  It will help them to know better how to pray for the ministry here.


Resurrection Sunday morning was low in attendance as we had many away on holiday (vacation) with extended family.  We did however have a sporadic visitor back and Joy (who came to Friday night’s sing-along) came and brought her single adult daughter.  Three visitors from the community in one service – not bad!  The message was from the Romans 6 and how Christ was raised to the glory of the Father and we too, as pictured in baptism, are dead to sin and alive to God.  It was received well – maybe because it was the shortest message I have preached in months at just about 33 minutes.


We would like to spend some family time together for the next couple of days.  Australian’s have a 5 day weekend with Good Friday through ANZAC day all off.  While the ministry necessitates work during that time we are going to take a couple of “comp” days and enjoy being a family before Luke has to get back to school.


We pray that your weekend of celebration is wonderful and your worship of our Risen Saviour is “lifechangingly” sweet.


In His service,

Matt, Barb, Amy, & Luke Douglas


ABWE – Australia


Wow!  Does time ever pass quickly when you are over-busy.  We have seen many blessings of God over the last month.  We would like to update you on a few.

The church is making forward momentum.  We have solidified our group and have been seeing 12 locals plus our family most every week. (Remember we had just 3 members who called us here to do this replant.)  We have also made great progress in the focus and plans for the church.  We have enjoyed our Sunday afternoon planning sessions.  Our new purpose statement reads: Living in the assurance of Christ’s salvation, we glorify God by sharing the truth of God’s Word and serving one another with hope and compassion.  It is one thing to state it, but they are beginning to see how life changes as they live it out. Our Sunday morning services have been focusing on the “One Another” passages of the Bible and we are now moving back to our exegetical study of Romans picking up where we left off in chapter five.

Our church has also seen forward momentum around the property.  We have been blessed with a visit from a couple from SW Michigan who has helped tremendously.  In the last month we have fixed and restored the manse (parsonage) roof, replaced the bad parts of the church building roof, Painted the entry, fellowship area and sanctuary part of our church building, pressure washed the drive, ground out ten stumps that stuck up around the property, sanded some of the wood floors in the cottage building, built a sign frame to hold the posters under our church sign out front, and more!  With each thing that we do to restore our church property we make the place more inviting for visitors and more enjoyable for ourselves.  We have no intentions of having a Solomon’s temple style building, but to be dumpy dishonours God.  The church has saved up a good bit of money for these projects, but we are going through it faster than any of us would like.  If you are interested in helping the church with a gift to repaint the outside of our building, refurbish the fellowship hall to a usable level or any other project you can send a gift to ABWE or contact us for details of how to make a tax deductable gift really count in this local ministry.

Some of you received our video report in recent weeks.  For everyone else we would like to offer you the opportunity to see what God is doing in this place.  You can view it online at:   Feel free to make copies and have everyone interested see it.  We are willing to send supporters a disk.  Please email if you need one.

The family is doing well.  Amy is working at a camp and making pizza on the side.  While she would rather have a good paying job she is willing to work two jobs if that is what it takes.  Luke is very interested in getting a job for extra spending money.  Pray that in the Easter school holidays he will be able to find a good one.  He is making friends faster than the rest of us as school is giving him an added advantage.  He is also reminding us that he turns 16 next month.  You can guess what that all means!

Barb and I have been busy in both ministry here and finishing off all the lingering details of selling our last house and looking for the next place God would bless us with.  Pray with us that the sale of our home in Blacktown would soon be completed so that we can focus down here.  It has been a pain to have to travel 1.5 hours each way to check the property, mow the lawn, and do maintenance each week.

Thanks once again for your prayers and support!  We appreciate it more than we can ever express in words!!

Matt & Barb Douglas

Dear Friends:


During the last three months we have seen so many unusual things happen around the world: popular uprisings in the Middle East and horrific natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan. In times like these, where do we turn? The person who wrote Psalm 46 had the right idea:


“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble . . .

. . . the Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalm 46


As we focus on the Lord and His faithfulness to us in these difficult times, we also

recognize that He works through the prayers of His people. Peggy and I want to thank

you for faithfully praying for us. Our ministry here in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia is

ongoing. We have a daily routine of teaching, preaching, and other ministry to do. I

must say that in recent months, I have often sensed a special enablement from the Lord as

I’ve shared the word with people over here. And we have seen other wonderful answers

to prayer as well:


• Tin Yue Baptist Church, which we helped start back in 1991, celebrated 20 years

of God’s faithfulness on February 20th. It was wonderful to reflect on how lives

have been touched by the Lord through the ministry of this body of believers.


• China Baptist Theological College had its annual recruitment camp on March 11th

and 12th. I understand that fourteen sincere prospects attended the camp. Three

of them have already expressed an interest in coming to our college next year.


• I have received positive reviews from Chinese believers who have read my book,

The Frog in the Pot. I am presently discerning the Lord’s will about writing a



• I am very grateful to the Rolling Hills church in Danville CA for flying me out for

their Global Impact Celebration in March. I was able to get to know many of the

church’s members better during the five days of activities and was able to lay the

groundwork for possible short-term ministry partnerships with them here in Hong



With respect to family, we’re very grateful for:


• The birth of Naomi Rose Sonnichsen on January 17th, 2011. She is our

grandchild #5 and granddaughter #4. Peggy was able to go to central Washington

to meet Naomi and be with our daughter Amy, her husband Aaron, and the family

in February.


We also have some exciting things to look forward to in the coming months:


• The commissioning of CBTC graduate Billy Cheung on May 1st. He and his wife

Jo and their son Boaz are going to Ghana to do missionary work among the

Muslims in the northern part of the country.


• Nine people from Harmony Baptist Church (our intercultural church here in Hong

Kong) will be making their first short-term mission trip to Laos in June. There

are very few believers in that Communist country. (Less than 2% are Christians

of any kind.)


• I will be going to Myanmar (Burma) to teach a course in world religions July 11-



Thank you for your prayers and support.


Yours in Christ,


Dave & Peggy Pardini


Mission Address:


PO Box 8585

Harrisburg PA 17105-8585

Dear friends,

Whew!  Yesterday was the first time we spent 24 hours at home since Feb. 24.  The sequence was 2 days at the Aratu Church, 4 days ministering at First Baptist of Feira de Santana (an hour northwest), particles of 2 days back here, then 4 days at camp for a family, Carnaval retreat.
Tiring?  To be sure.  In fact, as far as the retreat was concerned, exhausting would be a more-accurate word.  (More later.)
The couple days in Aratu provided a special treat.  Due to a schedule change in Feira, we were able to attend Aratu’s Sunday-morning service.  Hadn’t expected to be there, so had arranged for a substitute preacher.  That man had been saved as a teenager in the early years of the Aratu ministry.  He was an outstanding Bible-college student, then pastored one of the Church’s congregations several years.  For reasons we never understood, he resigned, and never more was active in ministry.  
When God called us back to Aratu in 2009, John began attending services occasionally. Dick saw him as a reclamation project.  He asked, “John, if I need you to preach here sometime, would you be willing to do so?” “Sure,” John replied.  He’s lived up to that each time he’s been asked over more than a year.  And, as we discovered that Sunday morning, John still knows how to preach well.  He misses being in fulltime ministry, and we trust that God might take him back someday.
After that service, off we went to Feira.  What a difference!  Nine days earlier, we’d made that trip on a Friday afternopn.  For reasons not discovered, it took 2 1/2 hours!  This time, just one.  As a certain commercial used to say, “Oh, what a relief that was.”  Four evening services took place to celebrate First Baptist Church’s 64th anniversary.  God blessed as Dick preached about “The Foundation of Sanctification,” “Sanctification of the Life, the Home and the Church.”  To God be the glory, many testified of having been blessed.
There was an extra dimension to the Feira visit.  We enjoyed precious moments of fellowship with a pioneer family from the Aratu Church–that included countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Then another day, we rejoiced in renewed fellowship with a family from another Church we’d started.  This contact brought the delightful information that the 20-year-old son was dating a young lady whose mother we knew as the daughter of a pioneering pastor in Bahia.  Beyond that, we enjoyed frequent contact with the Pastor and longtime friend, Jamir, his wife and year-old daughter.  Thank you so much, Lord.
After a 24-hour stopover in Salvador, we were on our way out of town again–for camp.  What a happy surprise awaited us on the northbound highway there.  The road was in the best conditions we’d ever seen.  In recent times, it was so bad we’d had to take an alternate route involving an hour of extra driving.  Thank you again, Lord.
Speaking of surprises.  Wow!  Aratu and 2 other churches had planned for 120 to 150 people.  By 10 p.m. Friday, our numbers were 180!  That increase caused a momentary lodging crisis.  We had to do some juggling which wasn’t happily accepted by some of those involved.  But things were settled after some tense moments.  From there on, things went smoothly in all areas.  Due to some switches, we ended up with 5 preachers, each speaking once.  Dick was among those.  
The messages and other aspects of the programming went a long way toward satisfying the retreat’s theme, “Restoring Broken Fellowship”.  A main phase of that brokenness was the fact that the Aratu and Faith churches, less than 2 miles apart, long had been far from one another in their relationships.  There was enough blame to go around.  Dick was uncomfortable with this situation from the time we assumed Aratu ministries in 2009.  He chatted with Faith Baptist’s incoming Pastor in October of last year.  Pastor Gilvan was highly sympathetic to the idea. Other steps have been taken–and will be taken–to heal this rift totally.
As for the 3rd Church, it’s farther away, and had been isolated because of geography.  It soon will receive a new Pastor.  We trust that he quickly will become a part of this new togetherness.
There’ll be new excitement in Aratu near the end of March.  That’s when the Church will receive its 2nd–and hopefully final–candidate in seeking to fill its pastoral vacancy.  Sinfrônio, his wife and teenage daughter arrive March 29 for 4 days of ministry and fellowship.  Please pray with us that God will confirm them as His choice.
Thank you for all your prayers that enabled us to do our best during these hectic days.  After arrival from camp late Tuesday afternoon, Dick was in bed by 7:15.  He slept till 8:15 Wednesday.  Mavis did slightly less.  We both napped that day.  By now, praise the Lord, we’re feeling back to normal.
May you rejoice in all He has done here, and in all He is doing for you.
Joyfully serving Christ,
Dick & Mavis 



All is well in our part of Australia.  You may have heard of the devastating floods up north.  That is over a day’s drive away and can’t affect us.  We do however truly pray for the churches and people of that area!


The church replant is going well so far.  Christmas was a bit of a wash with the move and getting settled in.  We tried to invite people from the area to the Christmas services, but most already had plans.  Most people need more than a week’s notice.  We had an enjoyable time in our new house all morning and then drove out of the area to be with other ABWE missionaries for Christmas dinner.  It was a very good day.


We have had a high of 13 in a service.  Considering we came with only 3 members that sounds good.  That’s what – 400% growth plus. However, then consider 4 are from our family 3 had attended before and the reality looks more normal.


Sunday the 16th we start talking about strategic planning.  The church has had no idea about its purpose or a plan to grow for some time.  They figured if they kept doing what they had done, God might bring someone their way.  Well that is a possibility, but that is not what we do as church planters.  We work to plans that are based on Scripture and carefully prayed over.  We desire to be a part of what God is doing in this world as we actively reach out to the people around us all the while bringing/giving glory to God.  We are sure to learn much about how the ministry here will look as we meet with the congregation each Sunday at 4pm for the foreseeable future. We covet your prayers!


We have also restarted prayer meeting.  If you have known us long you know we are passionate about prayer.  We want to see this church become a place of prayer.


In His service,

Matt & Barb Douglas

1 2 3 8
January 2018
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