Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WELCOME FRANKIE GILMORE

For the past year and a half Frankie Gilmore has been serving as our Youth Ministry Intern/Student Campus Ministry Director. During this time Pastor Sean trained and mentored Frankie as an intern. Under Sean’s supervision, much of the youth ministry had been turned over to Frankie’s leadership. Frankie has also been serving as Pastor Marty’s assistant in the Worship ministry. Therefore, it was easy to fully recommend Frankie to take on the new position as full time Youth Pastor. It worked out as if it was the perfect timing of God: we already had in place a qualified servant ready to step in.

Let me tell you a little about Frankie. He is a graduate of Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Worship Leadership. He has a very strong background in bands and ensembles. Frankie’s peers recognize him as a leader, extremely organized, Gospel centered, artistic and creative. Since 2012 he has worked at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Summerville. The last three years he worked there as Shift Manager. Frankie is engaged to Jen Colburn. They make a most beautiful and wonderfully talented couple. You see Jen playing and singing in the praise band each Sunday. She also serves with Frankie and Marty in the Youth “Surge” ministry. Frankie and Jen have already been a blessing to our church family and the ministry here at JIBC. I look forward to working with Frankie and seeing how our Father will use him to equip JIBC to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken generation.

Two caveats to my introduction. First, Frankie is not Sean. God already has a Sean. Frankie is Frankie: saved by grace, blessed by God, talented in more ways than we can count. Sean brought almost 25 years of experience to the table. Frankie is just beginning his full time journey. Frankie learned from one of the best, so he has a great start. Second, Frankie is primarily focused on Youth Ministry. While he may deal with those infamous “other duties as assigned”, his primary mission is to lead JIBC to join God’s work to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken generation of youth. He is not the Connection Pastor or All Star Pastor. He is the Youth Pastor who will, as all of us do, help out when appropriate. Susan Warren will supervise Joanne Brown in Children’s Ministry and Marie Smith in Awana. It is our plan that Frankie will continue as our Full Time Youth Pastor even when, Lord willing, we fill Pastor Sean’s position as “Family Pastor/Associate Pastor”. The new position and title has yet to be determined. To God be the glory, great things He is doing!

Pastor Tom

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Farewell

Pastor Sean came to me a few weeks ago to announce that he felt led to start a new church on Johns Island. When he came to share his decision I had mixed emotions. First, Sean has been a good friend and faithful servant during his five years here at JIBC. He is creative and highly energetic. Second, it had been our hope that Pastor Sean would be at my retirement, the next successor here at James Island Baptist. I had developed a four part, four year plan of succession believing Sean would help provide a smooth transition when the time came for my retirement.

Sean shared that he and Audra had prayed extensively about this new adventure. He felt like the Lord was leading him in a different direction. After hearing his plans, I agree with his decision. I very much appreciate his honest assessment, insight and concern for the ministry and mission of JIBC.
We have enjoyed and benefited from Sean’s ministry here at JIBC. He is gifted in so many ways and his sweet family has been a joy to us all. We will certainly miss them all. The good news is they are staying right here on James Island and ministering just across the bridge.

The Elders and I put together a plan that would recognize Sean’s years of service at JIBC and bless the new work he feels called to start. We are trying to be more in the sending business and less in the ending business. We believe James Island Baptist should affirm Sean’s calling with our prayer and our support. To that end, our leadership team has committed to pray and has approved supporting Sean with four full month’s salary as he begins his new church plant. In addition, when the new work is up and running, we have a $5,000 support check to donate. We believe this generous parting gift will help Sean and his family as they transition out of James Island Baptist into the work where God has called them.

Although Sean’s new work will be officially independent of JIBC, our friendship will continue and we hope there might be opportunities to partner in the future for the sake of God’s Kingdom. I have every confidence that God will continue to lead and bless JIBC just as He will Sean and his family. This may be a surprise to us but I do not believe it was a surprise to our Heavenly Father. To God be the glory.

Imagine how the Church at Antioch, Acts 13, must have felt when they commissioned and sent out the Apostle Paul AND Barnabas as missionaries. They were sending out the greatest theologian the church had known, the man God used to write half of the New Testament and his good buddy Barnabas, the most encouraging guy many of them had ever known. The end result…the Gospel continued to go around the world! May it be so again, in Jesus Name.

Pastor Tom

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

EXPERIENCING GOD

I am so enjoying teaching Experiencing God on Wednesday evenings. It is one of the major influencers in my growth as a follower of Jesus. When the opportunity comes around to take Experiencing God, I hope you will give serious consideration. It is a commitment and you reap the reward of making such a big commitment. One of the teachings I would share today concerns doing God’s will. It always costs to do God’s will. Sometimes it costs you and sometimes it costs those around you. When Jesus went to the cross it obviously cost him. It also cost his mother as she watched her son die such a cruel death. It cost his followers who felt like their dreams just died on the cross with Jesus. In Acts 13 the church at Antioch were led by the Holy Spirit to send out Barnabas and Saul (the Apostle Paul as he is called later). Imagine giving up the man God chose to write half of the New Testament. In addition, they gave up the man known as the Encourager. It cost to send out/give up two of the greatest leaders the church had ever known. It did not just cost Barnabas and Saul…it also cost the church. Someone else would pick up their responsibilities; others would feel like they were abandoned when they needed Barnabas and Saul the most. It always costs to do God’s will…it just costs more not to. Paul went on to be perhaps the greatest missionary who ever lived.

I could go on and on about the wonderful principles taught in Experiencing God. If you have taken it before, you know what I am talking about. If you have not…I hope you will sign up for the next course!

A LITTLE BIT OF AFTERGLOW

Praise the Lord for a wonderful Holy Week “This Changes Everything”. The Children’s musical was precious and wonderfully attended. Blessings were received all around. Marty and the Praise Team were outstanding at the Good Friday Worship service. It was a very meaningful worship experience. And then of course…Resurrection Sunday. The Worship Center was packed from top to bottom. Many of our members gave up their seats so others could sit. You make a pastor so happy. Thank you all. We baptized three adults and had inspiring music. What a day of rejoicing.

See you Sunday, another Sunday when we celebrate His resurrection! Every day we worship on the Lord’s Day/Sunday, we are recognizing the resurrection!

Pastor Tom

Friday, March 30, 2018

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

This year’s Holy Week theme is “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING”. When we think of the empty tomb and the resurrected Lord Jesus, it really does change everything. Sins are forgiven, guilt can be removed, death is defeated and the grave is not the end. It changes everything. We are looking forward to a wonderful Resurrection Sunday Celebration. We will be celebrating baptism on Easter Sunday morning. It is another wonderful symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Amen and hallelujah.

FLOWERING THE CROSS 

For those who are new to JIBC, we have an Easter tradition of flowering the cross. We will have a special cross in the worship center and a team to take flowers and place them on the cross. Everyone is invited to bring flowers from your yard (or a neighbor’s with permission) and bring them to worship Sunday. Try to get them to the cross at least 15 minutes before the service begins at 11. It transforms the old rugged cross into a beautiful reminder…This Changes Everything!

GOOD FRIDAY 

If you receive your Messenger before Friday, remember we have the Good Friday service at 7 pm. It is a reflective time to hear the Gospel story. The focus is on the suffering of Christ and the great sacrifice of our Father in Heaven. We will observe the Lord’s Supper together as we worship or Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am hoping you and your family will have a wonderful Holy Week. Try to spend some time reading again the stories of what happened the last week of our Lord Jesus’ life. It is an amazing story, the greatest story ever told… and it really did change everything!

Pastor Tom


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING


PRAYERS FOR JAMES ISLAND OUTREACH 

Cal Worthington has served faithfully at JIO over the years. Due to family health problems, he is stepping down as the Director of James Island Outreach. My understanding is that he will still stay around for the completion of the relocation and renovation of the new James Island Outreach facilities located on Camp Road. The Outreach will be looking to fill the position and I know their search team would greatly appreciate our prayers. They will begin taking resumes and applications after Easter. The JIO Director will serve as an important link between JIO, Churches, Schools and area businesses. What an exciting time. Pray for our own Judy Knapp who serves as the Administrative Officer of the ministry, Susan Warren who serves on the Board of Directors and David Miller serving as Chairman Emeritus. Thank you to all who volunteer hours to serve and to all who bring, literally 1 ton of jelly over the year!

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: HOLY WEEK CELEBRATION 

This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday. We will be remembering the last week of Jesus’ ministry here on earth before his death, burial and resurrection. This was a week that changed everything.

Joanne Brown, her crew and a host of talented children will be performing a Children’s Easter Musical on Wednesday night, March 28. This fits in nicely to the “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING” Holy Week Celebrations. Entitled “Were You There”, the musical will start at 6:30 on Wednesday night, March 28. The Christmas Musical they put together was extremely well done and heartfelt. Come on out for dinner and stay for a wonderful Gospel presentation.

Our Good Friday Worship Service will be Friday night, March 30 at 7:00 pm. It is a more reflective worship experience built around the amazing love of God and the obedience of His Son, our Lord Jesus. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper together.

And then, no fooling, we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday/Easter on Sunday morning, April 1. I know it seems so weird to celebrate Easter on April fools. I can hear the heavenly conversations now: “So, you finally killed the Son of God and have Him securely placed in a guarded tomb? Looks like the devil won..APRIL FOOL, HE IS NOT THERE HE IS RISEN! Reality…the resurrection changes everything! Join us at 9:45 am for Sunday Bible Study and 11:00 am for Resurrection Sunday Celebration!

Pastor Tom


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

IT COMES SO NATURAL TO YOU

I am so grateful for a church family that is growing to be more and more outwardly focused. It is the temptation of every believer and every church of local believers to become inwardly focused. It is a slow drift and before we know it we start asking “What about us?” or “What about me?” I think of what God has been able to do at JIBC without too much effort…because God was at work. Think of launching a Chinese church of 100 adults. Pretty cool, right? When the Chinese Church was here at JIBC they flourished because you gave freely. You opened your hearts and the church. We did not charge them a penny and we ended up being the ones blessed beyond measure. How about the Hispanic Church, Luz Y Verdad? They are averaging right around 100 including youth and children. They have grown from a small group to becoming, perhaps the strongest (not the biggest) Hispanic Church in Charleston. Their praise band just played for a gathering of churches hosted by the North American Mission Board. They have their own youth and children’s program and their praise band has made their own praise CD. They feed over 60 families every week with food from the Low Country Food Bank. You sponsor them by providing their worship, mission and educational space….at no charge. And that comes so very natural to you. How about the Transition House? Over 30 women have come through that ministry. It seems so natural to you but remember it is, according to our partners at the Charleston Center, the only one in Charleston that does what we do. I know…it comes so natural to you to take on the giants. A conservative estimate would be $250,000 worth of support you give to just those three ministries. You do it at basically at no charge and you do it so naturally. I could go on and on talking about Celebrate Recovery, the 17 who went with Susan to the Lowcountry Orphan Relief, the 2,000 pounds of jelly you give each year to James Island Outreach and the hours of volunteer labor and leadership, JIBC members who go around the globe serving Him, Connection Groups taking on the great needs of Youth in our community, The WMU building bridges of love to local schools with prayer, and on and on. To God be the Glory. You do it and it seems to come so naturally I think some might believe all churches are doing these things. I wish they were but I am afraid that is not the reality. You are a blessed people and have experienced the grace and presence of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. You experience Him on such a regular basis it seems to come naturally. The truth is it is SUPER-NATURAL. Thank you for being so generous with your blessings. You can see, in more ways that I can show, how it is making a difference. Glory to God Alone!

Pastor Tom


Thursday, March 8, 2018

A TIME OF BIRTH AND RE-BIRTH

JIBC has a series of exciting missions and ministry opportunities just around the corner. We celebrate the grace of God that brings birth and rebirth!

First, let’s celebrate re-birth. We have two dates for baptism planned. The first one is this Sunday, March 11. Baptism is the obedient action of making a public profession identifying you as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a symbolic picture of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether we baptize one or a dozen, we celebrate the re-birth, those who have been born again. We celebrate with family and friends, Sunday School teachers and Awana workers; everyone who has participated in seeing someone accept God’s invitation to follow after the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time to celebrate re-birth. By the way, we also have a baptism celebration planned for April 1, Resurrection Sunday, the ultimate story of birth and rebirth. If you would like to participate in the Easter baptism and have not had contact with the church office, please let us know by calling Neale at 843-762-0244.

Second, is the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center Banquet to be held on Thursday, March 15. Tony Evans is the guest speaker. This is a ministry we support. It is the celebration and recognition that life is sacred and every life is important. This ministry provides counseling, medical services and ongoing support to those who have to make choices concerning pregnancy and sexual health choices. We have had members who served as volunteers as well as members who serve as advocates for this premier ministry. Remember the banquet in your prayers. This is truly a time to celebrate birth!

Third, Pastor Sean and Susan will roll out the “Egg The City” mission this Sunday. I will be teaching on faith and they will be leading us in a major faith mission project. Imagine 3,000 acts of kindness between now and Resurrection Sunday/Easter! Hear the final details this Sunday and let’s get our hearts ready to “Egg The City”.

It is a season of birth and re-birth. By God’s grace, we are born and by His grace we are born again. Let’s celebrate His goodness in a way that makes a difference and leaves an impression!

See you this Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom