Tuesday, August 26, 2014

JIBC Happenings


This past Monday was the first day of the Weekday Preschool Ministry at JIBC.  If the only goal was to have people from Riverland Terrace walk onto our campus for the first time, it was a big success.  We met many young families that actually walk their children to our Weekday Ministry.  Shelley and her team have started off with success and blessing.  Let’s keep them in our prayers as they lead us to minister to these children and their families.  Susan Warren, her welcome team and the staff were present to welcome all the families to Sunday’s Open House and to their first day of preschool!  Way to go TEAM JIBC.  You represent well!


This fall, on Wednesday evenings, I will be hosting a drop in called “Coffee with Pastor Tom”.  I am planning to be in my office, every Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30, for casual drop-in conversations.  This is not a class that you sign up for and attend weekly.  That would be Marty’s class on Ephesians, Tom McConnell’s class on finance, Janie’s class First Place 4 Health or AWANA listeners.  My class will be more casual, no curriculum or study course.  Just good coffee or hot tea and me!  I only have 4 chairs, so, it will be limited to the first four…maybe five if I can borrow a chair. I am looking forward to spending some extended time just getting to know more of your story.  If no one shows up, I will still have coffee, tea and me!  Then it will be an hour of quiet meditation, LOL.


Many of you remember Marsha.  She lived with me and Janie for a short time while she helped us open the Transition House.  We were kind of stuck until Marsha came and took the lead in getting the ball rolling. She and her husband, Scott, are in town for the week.  We are hoping they will be able to be with us for at least one of our worship services.  We are continually grateful for her hard work in helping us start this much needed ministry.  To God be the glory!

See you Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



Many people are familiar with the phrase “put your John Hancock right here”.  He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  His signature was big and bold and left little doubt that he had signed it and supported it.   His signature, John Hancock, became a synonym for a person’s signature.
What is the “signature” of James Island Baptist.  When you think of the document of our lives together as James Island Baptist, what signature event, quality, characteristic stands out?  What are we doing in the Kingdom of God that leaves no doubt…we signed the document, this is who we are as James Island Baptist.  Another way to ask the same question is what are we doing that we should always keep doing?  Where do we make the biggest impact in “making disciples that make disciples that change the world”?  What are we, as the church family known as JIBC, doing that makes a difference?

I would be interested to know your response.  If you are on FACEBOOK, this will be my question of the week.  If you are not on FACEBOOK, jot down your thoughts and drop them in the offering plate Sunday.  I will look forward to reading the responses.


Monday, August 25 starts another new community outreach ministry at JIBC.  We welcome Shelley Cannon and her team as they begin a Monday-Friday, 9-12, Weekday Preschool Ministry.  They will be using the WEE material, an age appropriate, Bible based curriculum that fits in perfectly with what we teach every Sunday.  Shelley is the director of the Weekday Preschool Ministry as well as on our staff as church-wide Director of Preschool Ministries.  Our staff is looking forward to working with her.  Many of our preschool workers have already met her and are happily anxious to have her on our preschool team.  Shelley has already completed Class 101: Discovering Membership at JIBC and is an official member!  Welcome to a loving and supportive church, Shelley.  We are glad you are here.


I have so enjoyed repackaging and presenting James Bryan Smith’s book, “The Good and Beautiful Life”.  This week’s message will be: The Good and Beautiful Life…Living without Judging Others.

See you then, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Pray for Iraq as persecution increases
100,000 Christians flee from Qaraqosh

Remember has contact with pastors in Northern and Central Iraq, and is learning that the already dire situation for Christians in Iraq is worsening. The Islamic State (IS) is on a quest for dominance, brutally killing those in their path, unparalleled since the mid-600's A.D.

Early Friday morning one of our pastor contacts in Northern Iraq sent us this message:

"The situation is very bad. Not only because of IS, but also because of sleeper cells in the down town areas. Many people are supporting IS in their violence against Christians."

Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing their homes, facing the choice to convert or die, and consequently are lacking in many necessities, such as food, water, clothes and shelter. Pastor M. has turned his church into housing for over 45 families, but cannot continue to meet the needs of the growing number of displaced Believers.

Will you join with us in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq? Would you also consider donating any amount which you feel led to give, in order to aid our brethren in their basic needs during this tumultuous time? Remember is also prayerfully considering sending a medical team to Erbil and the surrounding area. Please pray for those persecuted, for strength and basic needs to be met, as well as for the Remember team as we seek God in how to best aid these brothers and sisters.

If you feel led to give, please send donations to the address listed below.. Most of all we must pray. The situations in the Middle East continue to escalate, and Christian men, women and children are martyred daily for their Faith. We will continue to update on this situation.

Thank you for your prayers and support.
The Remember Team
info@rememberthose.org    843-571-2525
834 Wappoo Road, Charleston, SC 29407

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


  For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
 Isaiah 43:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

Let’s talk about what’s new.  What new things is the LORD doing that will create rivers of blessings in our lives, our church and community?  Let’s talk about three.

First, we have already launched THE DISCIPLESHIP COUNSELING CENTER @ JAMES ISLAND.  Our counselor’s name is Blaine Vinson.  We have already learned to love him and enjoy seeing him when he comes by.  The counseling office is located in the atrium just behind the welcome center.  On Sunday mornings, it is the same space used for mothers and infants for quiet time and nursing.  It is a wonderfully decorated room that feels so warm and inviting.  Our thanks to Susan Warren, Brian and Paula Garrett for the donation of furniture and decorating talent.  To make an appointment with Blain or one of the centers counselors, you call their office at 300.0440.   He is already seeing clients.  The LORD is providing a pathway through the wilderness.

Second, we will begin a new Leadership Training for Celebrate Recovery.  Darryl Young will be leading this training on Sunday evenings from August 17 through November 16.  It will be an intensive working of the 12 Steps and training for CR.  Emphasis on intensive training.  This is not an introduction to 12 Steps.  This is an intense working of the 12 Steps and a training for leadership in CR.  The Lord is creating rivers in the dry wasteland!  Recovery is the work of God.  We join Him in His work to reach, redeem and restore a lost and broken world. 

Third,  we begin again the Wednesday Family Night.  Great food, awesome sauce Awana Ministry and three great growth opportunity for adults.  First, Janie Brown is teaching First Place 4 Health.  The focus is on healthy eating, exercise and Bible study.  A new group and new year and new promise.  The second group is led by Tom McConnell on budgeting and finances.  This personal finance class is a great opportunity to learn or refresh skills that can make a difference for life.  Financial scholarship is available.  See Susan or Pastor Tom for details.  The third class is a Bible Study on Paul’s book of Ephesians.  Marty Clark will be leading this Bible study.  What a great way to get to know Marty and to enjoy studying the Word of God together.   By the way, we are so excited about this new beginning we are throwing a party on Wednesday, August 27 to celebrate.  Come and get your party on!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.    Isaiah 43:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

See you Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Starting Monday, August 25, James Island Baptist will begin a new Weekday Preschool Ministry. Some of you may know or remember Shelly Cannon who helped us during our preschool building renovation years ago. We hired her as a temporary worker to assist us during the construction and reconstruction time. We loved her so much, we tried to hire her on the spot to start a ministry way back then. The timing has finally worked out.

Shelly and her entire team will be coming to join the JIBC Mission and Ministry. This will be a Monday through Friday, 9-12, Weekday Preschool Program. It is open to the community as well as our church family. We believe we will probably max out at around 40 to 45 children. We will use the Bible centered WEE curriculum that we used years ago in our Mothers Morning Out Ministry. It is a Bible based curriculum that helps prepare preschoolers for school as well as teaching Biblical values.

Shelly will be the director of the Weekday Preschool and will also serve as our staff preschool director. So she will be providing leadership to our excellent preschool Sunday School and Extended Session workers. At a recent introduction dinner, all the JIBC preschool workers were thrilled to have Shelly coming as a resource person. Her job is not to be “in the nursery” each week. Her job is to help coordinate and train our workers. She will be a leader of leaders. I really believe it will be a good fit.

So what can you do? One, let’s begin to pray. Pray for Shelly and her team. They love the JIBC preschool facilities and rooms. Pray for the children and families that will come to our campus. We will pray that these children will get for the first time, or to reinforce, the wonderful message of the love of God and His people. Spread the word. If you know of families with preschool children looking for a morning preschool ministry, tell them about Shelly and the JIBC Weekday Preschool Ministry. Nothing beats word of mouth advertisement.

I am looking forward to this exciting new ministry. Add this to the Discipleship Counseling Center, and you can see quite an effort to help families come to Christ and to get healthy.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Tom

Shelley was born and raised on James Island. She and her husband, Bryan, have been together since high school. They have two children: Ann-Marie who is 14 and will be attending James Island High in the Fall and Bryan who graduated this year from James Island High and will be doing the bridge program starting at Tech in the Fall. Shelley has been working in Preschool Ministry for over 10 years and will bring a wealth of experience to our team

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Word from Pastor Sean

Special Guest Post from Pastor Sean, Pastor of Family Ministries at JIBC

A year ago I stepped into our Children’s worship service we call All Stars. It was fun, but lacked vision. It had energy, but lacked control. I spent the first few months tweaking the program. I had a vision for a children’s worship service that was truly a worship experience. All Stars would be a place where children were engaged with God’s word and worship. I am so pleased to say after a year that vision is accomplished. I sat in on the All Stars program last week and instead of video games and dodge ball, the students got a team building game, a great lesson on friendship and the children led in worship. Let me say that again…some of our kids are leading in worship. I have to admit I was a little overcome to see what God has put together. We have a great team. Martha Miller, Candy Oliver, Erin Wilkins, Marie Smith and Katyrina Russell. Each week they pour into these young children and watch them develop into the future of the church. I am writing this as I get ready to take 20 children to camp. This camp will immerse them in the gospel of Christ. They will come back changed and challenged. Awana begins in just a few weeks. Marie Smith and her Awana army lead this program for K4 - 5th grade that encourages children to memorize and apply scripture in their lives. We at JIBC believe in Reaching young people before we have to Rescue them. I am proud of our Children’s Ministry team and I ask that you join me in this great endeavor. How? 1) Pray…pray for our children and pray for our leaders. 2) Join…be an Awana volunteer, get on an All Stars rotation or volunteer for Celebration Station the children ministry of Celebrate Recovery that meets on Sunday nights. God is up to great things…let’s join him!

In His Grip


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Happening at JIBC

A Million Thanks

I tried to say it all Sunday, but let me repeat myself. Thank you to everyone who made the 67th Anniversary Celebration a wonderful day. I start with the Kitchen Krew and all their volunteers. They took the storming weather problems and handled it like professionals. At the last minute, moving the event from outside to the inside and doing it seamlessly. You guys did an amazing job. The staff made the right call and worked in high gear to “get ‘er done” before anyone showed up for Sunday Connection Groups. Marty and the Worship team led an excellent worship service. Remember, he had quite a change in the worship lineup when the Chinese Fellowship could not join us. (They had a tragedy in their church family and did not feel it was appropriate to celebrate in their time of loss. Our prayers continue to be with them all.) The fellowship hall was packed for our inside picnic with very few spaces to spare. Great job everyone…glory to God.

The property purchase did not work out

There is an old saying: “The devil is in the details”. We have tried to say that the purchase of the adjacent property was not a “done deal”. We needed the church’s approval, as we have on all projects that would put the church in debt, to be able to proceed. For those who did not understand how JIBC works, it may have seemed like it was just a formality to have the church vote to proceed. Really, there would be no reason to move forward without the agreement of the church family. And originally, we were working with just over a three week deadline.

As it stands, as of today, Monday, July14, the deal is off and at this time we are no longer pursuing the purchase of the property. We hit a snag in the process that gave us cause to pause. Marvin and Julie Sineath were very gracious in even giving us the opportunity to purchase the property. The timing of the sale and working out the details made it difficult for both sides to reach an agreement. The decision was agreeable by both parties. Our thanks to Marvin and Julie for thinking about us.

When teaching about prayer we say God always answers prayer: sometimes He says “yes”; sometimes He says “no”; and sometimes He says “not now”. We have faith and confidence in those who are leading us and claim Romans 8:28 as a guiding principle. Job 1:21 says “He gives and takes away, blessed be the Name of the LORD.” Our prayer is that this is the absolute best decision for the Sineaths as well as for JIBC. Perhaps this is the Lord saying “Not now”.

Children’s Camp Next Week

I don’t know how many years I have been going to Children’s Camps. It is measured by decades, not years. On Monday, July 21, I will log in another wonderful week with 20 of our church kids. We have 20 kids and 5 chaperones going. This year’s camp is at Anderson University. I will drive the bus and be able to spend some quality time with our kids. They get to see me in another role besides the one in “big church”. Join us in prayer for decisions that will be made and discipleship that will be deepened. Ok, and pray that we will have lots of fun and the old guy won’t get hurt.

See you Sunday, Lord willing,

Pastor Tom