Being a Bridge Over Troubled Waters

by Rev Robert Wendel

The worst word in the English language is hopeless.   It certainly is a negative adjective.  Hearing of the unexpected, sudden, premature death of actor/comedian Robin Williams who, reportedly, took his own life, I couldn’t help but wonder what might have prevented such a tragedy.

In my fifth year as pastor of Fredonia Baptist Church in New York, I had the sad duty of conducting the funeral service for a second semester freshman at the State University of New York in Fredonia.  Academically, he was doing fine.  But, to solve a temporary personal problem, he chose a solution that was final.

This young man was much loved.  The sanctuary was filled to overflowing with family, friends, classmates, teachers and college staff.  They all had lost a son, brother, nephew, grandson, friend and a good student who felt isolated and unable to see past the dark hole of his own pain.

During the service, I asked for a show of hands from those who would not mind a telephone call in the wee hours of the morning from a depressed friend who needed to talk.  Every hand was raised, without hesitation.  Literally, they all would have helped this guy had he only called.  Suicide is not a solution.

As one of only a handful of ABC endorsed institutional chaplains and pastoral counselors in West Virginia, one of my favorite Bible verses has become when Saint Paul advised the Galatians “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (6:2, NRSV).

Heartaches bring people together. Christian friendships have an immense power to mend a broken spirit.  A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.  We never forget those with whom we have cried.  Healing happens from the inside out, felt but unseen.

Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, whose own son committed suicide, turned to what Paul wrote to the young Christians in Rome saying “I mean I want us to help each other with the faith we have.  Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you” (1:12, NCV).

Rev. Warren explains “In authentic Christian fellowship people should experience a mutual dependency.   This mutuality is the art of giving and receiving: it’s depending on each other.  All of us are more consistent in our faith when others walk with us and encourage us.”  Be a bridge for someone !

The next Men’s Prayer Breakfast is Saturday, September 13th.   Mike White will be doing a presentation on his recent trip to the Holy Land.    This is something you won’t want to miss !!!

Real Children!

by Joyce Mills

Real children!  Children attending Beckley Elementary School!  They live very near to us and they are hungry.  How can that be?  Most of these children have parents who work, maybe even two jobs, but they don’t make enough to pay their bills and buy enough food for their families.

Hunger is one of the many faces of poverty.  Hunger weakens children.  Hunger also keeps a child from learning.  Hunger increases the reason for children being absent from school.  There are many things that can be caused by hunger but it is good to know that we might be making a difference for some children.  AND, we do know that attendance is better on Friday when the food backpacks are picked up by the children for the weekend. The backpacks packed by FBC are filled with very nutritious food.

Each item of food has to be child friendly.  There can be no glass in the backpack.  Only food that needs no refrigeration can be put in the backpack. Here is a sample for one child for one weekend:

Breakfast                                                   Lunch                                             Dinner                                             Snacks

2 Oatmeal packets                              1 jar Peanut Butter                     1 Pasta/with Meat                         1 Cereal Bar

2 Hot Chocolate packets                  1 Ramen Noodle packet          1 can Green Beans                          2 Pudding Cups

1 loaf Bread                                            1 Cheese/Crackers                    1 Chili with Beans                           2 Fruit Cups

The cost for one child for each weekend is between $6.00 – $7.00.  Each time you provide any amount of money you are helping to make a difference for a child.  We appreciate any amount of money that you give. THANKS to you who have kept your contributions coming all summer AND also, for the food that you have kept bringing.

It is great to welcome some parents and their children who will be learning more about hungry children as they help pack the backpacks. This mission field is right here in Beckley.

In Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus says “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…….” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry?”  The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  The real evidence of our belief is the way we act. What we do for others really demonstrates what we think of Jesus’ words to us-feed the hungry!

For the month of September you are asked to bring Beanie Weenies. (Any size)  Just put the cans on the back counter in the kitchen. Thanks for your help!

This is why we do what we do

This is why we do what we do.

“After one distribution event in Lithuania, one young woman came up to us and told us that she had received a shoebox in the same place ten years ago. She hardly could hold her tears back because the event and the shoebox she received at that time made a great impact in her life. Her parents would not allow her to go to church, but she would read the booklet ‘The Greatest Gift of All’ and pray to Jesus. This year she came to the OCC event with her child and decided to join the local church.”

We will be collecting school supplies and personal items such as soap, washcloths, toothbrush & toothpaste during the month of  September.

We will use these donations to create 75 extra shoeboxes.

Last year you stepped up when you were challenged and we did 50 plus.  I know we can meet and surpass this goal.   There are large Samaritan’s Purse cartons in the sanctuary and in Fellowship Hall for your donations.

So let’s start shopping and help change a child’s life.

God’s Portrait

by Doc Adkins

My favorite season of the year is the fall.  Football, hunting, the crispness of the season are just a few things that comes to mind when I think of the Fall.  Of course, the grandest of all is the change Fall brings. Colors that only an artist could ever imagine.

Immediately it makes us think of royalty and the greatest Painter of all–the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Master Painter. Just look at His creation–the trees, the sky, and the red and gold fall season that is soon upon us.

I can picture the Lord with His golden brush painting each individual leaf on those massive trees that line the mountainsides. Red, green, brown, orange, and gold colors, so vivid that our minds and hearts swell with praise.

Venturing into the crisp, cool air of the morning is usually a welcome change from the intense summer heat.  Yet for us in our area it seemed like we had a short summer and lack of hot temperatures.

Even here the Lord has it all under control. It may be shorter or longer than what we think we’d like. Sometimes summer seems to never end and, at other times, winter seems too long. But winter, spring, summer, and fall, God wants and will have them all.

He takes His golden brush and paints up the world. He also adds His golden touch to our lives if we let Him.

He is painting our lives in His special way, so that we might add color to this dark world. What if this was a land without color? It would be boring, dull, and gloomy. One of the reasons God created the seasons was to add His golden touch.

We are to be a light to the world we live in. Hopefully, we’re bringing life to our surroundings. Let us give the Lord permission to change us, to add that splash of gold. Then we can be a welcome change in this life filled with people who need a dab of paint upon their minds and hearts. Their lives can be changed when they realize that they too are a work of art so that the Master of their soul can say; “Now you are My child, and I can display you for all the world to see.”

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.”(Genesis 1:14, NIV)  “The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.” (Proverbs 13:9, NIV)

Calling all ringers, singers, speakers, actors, actresses, and people that just enjoy life!

by Cathy Broughman

The First Baptist Church Choir are looking for disciples who would like to learn how to play tone chimes and be a part of our dinner theatre production “No Vacancy”.  If interested please send your name, contact information, and what you would like to be a part of to  I would like to begin tone chime practice in August.  Thanks for giving back to the Lord!

Beckley Day of Hope



10:00 am.

YMCA Soccer Complex

A variety of healthcare services will be available as well as a prayer tent.

Hope Starts here in your city, your community, your neighborhood. The Convoy of Hope event is just the beginning of a long-lasting movement that has the power to transform people’s lives, inspire compassion and service and bring people and organizations together like never before. This is a collaborative effort to bring hope to a city through free groceries, health screenings, job fairs, family portraits, haircuts, prayer, activities for children and more.

Volunteers are needed to help in the event. 

Call 304-252-0717 or contact Rev. Wendel if you can help.

FBC Kids & Youth Summer Activites

What an exciting start to our summer!  We loved VBS–all the great crafts, snacks, games and story times that strengthen our friendships and help us to grow in His word.  A special thanks to all who volunteered to help make our VBS such a success!

What activities are coming up for our kids?

June 29th: We will be packing bags for our school backpack ministry.  Please try to attend this very special event. I promise you will be blessed!

July 6th:  We will be sending our kids to Camp Cowen.  Are you curious about the camp?  Would you like to visit when we take our kids?  You’re invited.  We want to use this opportunity to introduce Camp Cowen to future campers.  Please contact Debbie Vaught or Pastor Doc for details.

July 24th-26th:  Pastor Doc is hosting a fishing & camping trip.  Please contact Doc if you are interested in participating.

August 2nd-3rd: Bobby Neal and Cliff McGlothlin are planning an overnight backpacking trip at Mt. Rogers National Recreational Area.  Please contact Bobby or Cliff for more information.

August will be busy, too! A back to school party and a trip to a WV Power baseball game are planned.

Stay connected with our kids for lots of exciting times.  Follow us on Twitter (@beckleyfbc) and Instagram (beckleyfirstbaptist).

ABW Mission and Service

by Norma Gunter

In the June issue of the BEAM I mentioned that 10 women from Beckley FBC were going to the AB Women’s Ministries Conference, Women & Girls Weekend June 6-7 at Parchment Valley Conference Center.  The theme for this years conference was “A Time to Serve & Make a Difference”.  The scripture verse was “To equip His people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up.”  Ephesians 4:12.

My sister and I started our trip on Friday June 6 by stopping at CAMC in Charleston to see my aunt Nell Jean Smith, my mother’s sister, the last of a family of 12.  She was alert and seemed to enjoy our visit.  She had fought a two year battle with ovarian cancer and was losing.

Registration started at 3pm on Friday at the Conference Building followed by dinner at 5:30pm in the Barn.  We returned to the Conference Building for the 7pm session.  After the singing we were welcomed by Janey Carrico, Conference Coordinator.  The speakers for the evening was Debbie & Baillie Myers our International Ministries Missionaries serving in Puebla, Mexico.  Debbie works with the leaders and women of 32 indigenous churches within their region.  Baillie is a 14 year old freshman at the Puebla Christian School.

The other 8 women from FBC arrived Saturday morning.  They became a part of the 157 women and girls from around West Virginia.  During the morning session we were introduced to the State Officers, our 7 Scholarship Girls, Mission Outreach Project (MOP), Special Project and the Million Women Movement. (more about  these next month).  Debbie and Baillie spoke again during the morning session.  Training for the ABW officers was held in different locations and the 5 Kaleidoscope of Kindness groups met again before lunch.

After lunch the group gathered in front of Santrock Education Center for the dedication of the Dorothy Tree in memory of Dorothy Santrock.  Before the afternoon session we again chose a Kaleidoscope of Kindness group to attend.

Debbie spoke again before the closing and Baillie sang.  Almost $527 was raised for the MOP project and $350 for the Special Project.  Another offering was taken for a special project chosen by Debbie to be used in Mexico. (More later). The Conference ended with a closing celebration.

I got to see four of the women who were with me at Deborah’s House in Mexico last year and made new friends, especially with the women from the Parchment Valley Baptist Church who knew my aunt and taught the Kaleidoscope of Kindness group on “Whisper Prayer Pillows.”

Before we left for Beckley, my sister and I stopped at my aunt’s home there in Ripley (at her request) to see her flowers and visit with the family.  Little did we know then that a little over a week later we would be back at the Parchment Valley Baptist Church for my aunt’s funeral.

After the funeral and the delicious meal at the Parchment Valley Baptist Church we drove through the Parchment Valley Conference Center grounds to show some of our relatives our Baptist treasure.  If you haven’t been to your Parchment Valley Conference Center make plans to attend the next scheduled event.

Summertime Backpack Thoughts

by Joyce Mills

As I write this, classrooms packed, desks emptied, another school year complete.  It’s officially summertime, and for kids, that means a few precious weeks of sweet, sticky freedom.

When kids from low-income families leave school for the summer the outlook isn’t always as sunny.  While their more affluent peers may be visiting libraries, having picnics, going on vacations, visiting grandparents, attending summer camps and  reading favorite stories every night,  kids in need often spend their summer weeks without even enough food, much less enjoying all the enrichment activities mentioned.

Over the years, things add up – by the end of 5th grade, some kids from low-income  families are often nearly three grades behind their peers in reading levels, have low self-esteem, have lost their desire to learn, and have poor attendance at school.  Add being hungry to the list and it makes us wonder what chance some children even have.

As you read this, it is time to begin thinking about who will be working in the Backpack Ministry this school year?  It takes about 24 people to keep the program moving smoothly for a month.  It also takes about $6.00 to fill one backpack for a week or around $30.00 for a month.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that giving a child a backpack full of food each week just might be one of the keys to a brighter future.  AND, it takes us all working together to do this!   COME!  Be a part of this very special mission project!

Did I mention that those packing the backpacks each Wednesday have such fun working together as a team?  You get to know other church members, as well as doing something very worthy with your time.  YOU are needed!

Don’t forget – we’re stocking up on cans of pasta with meat or 18 oz. plastic jars of Peanut Butter this summer. Just put your contribution on the back counter in the kitchen.    If you have questions or wonders, please call Joyce at 304.252.0534.

Summer Missions Update

by Phil Parvin

Our new missions committee is working very hard to assimilate all the missions works within out church to give us a comprehensive approach to our missionaries, their ministries, and the outreach works we have locally.  This will allow us to allocate funds in specific areas of need and also to get better acquainted with each family and their prayer requests.

We have great things going on through the ABW group who have reached out to many of our missionaries and have raised money and helped in more ways than I could list in this short article.  We have included an ABW member on our missions committee, which will allow us to better assist them in their programs and they can help us know the ministry works that they have been supporting for many years.

I have so appreciated the comments and notes I have received from attendees of our church regarding the missions moments I have been presenting the second Sunday of each month.  It has been great to get to know better the missionaries and to present them to the church along with current prayer and physical needs.  I sense a real hunger from our church to know what we are doing in missions and how we can pray more specifically for our missions works and get to know them better.

There are some changes going on within our missionaries, some are changing jobs, some moving, and others are retraining for different areas of work, as the times, religious and political landscape, and the fields change.  We need to continue to pray earnestly for wisdom, and safety in this ever changing world, that the work of the Lord will continue to be fruitful.

reed The Reed family was our highlight for this month and we are excited to see what the Lord is doing there as they train lay ministers to preach and teach back in their home towns and villages.  How better to minister in a region than to disciple, train, and mentor locals to then take the Gospel to their communities. We support the Reeds and are also sending a special gift to help purchase tablets for the ministerial students in Bolivia.