Cornerstone Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, recently celebrated its 8th Anniversary. Courtney Lewis ('00) is the pastor of Cornerstone. Click on the video below for an encouraging recap.
Since college graduation, various FBC groups and representatives have traveled across the nation and even to foreign countries. Included below are some pictures from one of the ensemble trips as well as Todd and SongSu Wright's trip to Europe.
In August 1981, I became the oldest student to have enrolled as a Fairhaven Baptist College student. I had come from a business career in Marketing and Sales for an international hotel corporation. Needless to say, I was old enough to be the father of most of the enrolling freshmen. I was marked as the ‘old man‘.
On April 29, 2016, I turned 72 years old. I was saved at the age of 27 and was called to preach ten years later. You could say I was a late bloomer. Ever since then we have striven to do what the Fairhaven Baptist College verse says in Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” I submitted to God’s Call in living according to Psalm 90:12 and other life verses such as Psalm 91:2; Proverbs 3:5,6; Galatians 2:20 and Jude 22. Each verse has had a major impact upon my life walk with GOD. Much of that life walk was founded on the Biblical precepts taught under the pastoral leadership of Dr. Roger Voegtlin and many others who were brought across our life path over these forty+ years. Certainly Dr. Frank Bumpus, Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, IL, Dr. Gary Coleman, Lavon Drive Baptist Church, Garland, TX, and Dr. Wayne Williams, Liberty Baptist Tabernacle, Rapid City, SD, come to mind; where these dear men of God pastored Shelley and I as well.
We have enjoyed our lives under HIS watchful care, where I was allowed to pastor; to serve as a prison chaplain within the USA as well as the former Soviet Union; and now for almost 20 years, serving as Evangelist/Director of the Lighthouse Baptist Press Ministry. From its inception many years ago, LBPM has been printing the WORD of GOD at NO cost to multitudes of Independent Baptist missionaries and their mission works worldwide!
As mentioned above, this past April, I turned 72 years of age and that is when I officially stepped down as the Director of the Lighthouse Baptist Press Ministry. In my retirement years, I am now preaching out as God opens doors of opportunity to do so both stateside and overseas.
Both Shelley and I feel fulfilled with the life God has given us in heeding His call and will in our lives. We have been blessed with two dedicated Christian children, both of whom also graduated from FHBC; our son Matt, who is a church planter [pastor of Mountainview Baptist Church, Custer, SD] and our daughter, Laurie [who serves as a missionary’s wife to her husband, Raymond Jones near Guadalajara, Mexico]…and now a third generation [our six grandchildren] are being raised up to serve HIM as well!
Psalms 78:5-7 says: “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-78-7/That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:” AMEN!
College students enjoyed a fun day at the Turkey Run State Park near Rockville, Indiana.
Time just flies! I graduated from Fairhaven in 1997. In 1998 a young man, named Arturo Munoz, visited my church; he was a missionary to Mexico, a place where God had called me to go while I was a student at Fairhaven. The following year, in 1999, we got married, and six months later we started deputation. Praise the Lord, God allowed us to visit over one hundred churches in a little over a year, and over 40 of them took us on for support. We came to Puebla, Mexico in June of 2001, a city that now I call home. Since then, we have had seven kids; we established our first church; started a Bible institute; started our second church, which is a mission of the first; started a church in the mountains and another church outside of the city limits of Puebla. God has been so good!
This is the first group that we had 15 years ago in 2001:
Then we moved to a larger place:
And then we bought our first property:
We Found a New Property For The Church
We have been praying now for about two years for God to give us a bigger place for our church. Two weeks ago we found one property that is about 15 blocks from our church and in the same main street where we are. The place is three times as big as our current place. We have 250 sq. meters and the new property is 800 sq. meters (about 8,500 sq. ft.).
Our church has been saving money for the last five years, so we were able to give the initial deposit. We now need to sell our current property in the next 3 months to make the second and final payment. Please, help us to pray for this need! We can easily fit over 500 people in the new property.
We continue with our vision to reach Puebla with the Gospel. This is our soul-winning group that went out two weeks ago to knock on doors and tell people about salvation. My husband and I were able to lead four people to the Lord. Just so you can understand why it is a little more difficult to lead people to the Lord here in Puebla, I would like to give you an example. On our trip to Cuajinicuilapa, ten of us went soul-winning and 30 people got saved. Here in Puebla, over 30 people went out soul-winning, and only seven people got saved. And it was a good day! Normally we see three or four people saved, during our soul-winning time on Saturdays. Please pray for Puebla, we love the people, and we want to reach them before it is too late. That is why we are constantly praying for God to let us start 20 churches within 20 years here in the city.
Taking On More Mexican Missionaries
We know that one of the reasons that God is blessing us with a new property for our church, is because this year we are giving more to missions than any other year. In the last four months we have taken an additional 10 missionaries for $500 pesos a month. Our church now supports 49 missionaries all over the world. All of the missionaries that we support are Mexican missionaries, with the exception of one, who is a national pastor in Egypt. Right now there is a surge of Mexican missionaries on deputation here in Mexico. I would say that there are close to 100 missionaries visiting churches, trying to raise their financial support, ready to go to the mission field. The Bible says that the fields are white, ready to be harvested! And these missionaries are ready for that challenge.
If you would like to be added to our monthly update, you can visit our website: www.ReachingPuebla.com
Thank you for your prayers!
Arturo & Nicole Munoz
Japheth, Rachel, Sarah, David, Hannah, Ashley and Caitlyn
Here is an update from the Newmans. Both Ben and April graduated college in 2004, Ben with his Master's in 2005. We were married in June of 2005, more than 10 years ago – kind of hard to believe. After we were married, we remained in Chesterton for almost three years. Ben drove a truck, and April worked for a mortgage company. During these first years, we were part of the ministry of the inner-city church that April's dad started in Chicago. We worked on the bus, taught Jr. Church, Ben preached at times, and April played the piano for services.
In 2008, the Lord moved us to Broadview Hts. Baptist Church in Ohio, the church that Ben was a part of before college. This move was clearly God's plan for us, but one that had never even crossed our minds. We are involved in various ministries of the church. For a number of years now, Ben has been captain of a bus route which goes into inner-city Cleveland. It can be challenging at times, but there has been real fruit from this ministry. Ben is grateful for the preparation he gained with the bus ministry while in college. We have enjoyed being involved with the Teen Choir and nursing home ministry as well.
Since college, God has allowed many things in our lives that we hadn't expected, but were for our good and part of His best. One of these things was the recent diagnosis of our youngest daughter with a severe mental disability called Angelman Syndrome. This disorder is characterized by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, jerky movements and balance issues, but also comes with a happy demeanor and frequent laughter. Elise is a joy! April homeschools our other daughters – Grace (7), Leah (5), and Anne (3). Grace is in 2nd grade, Leah is in kindergarten, and Anne is doing preschool work. The Lord blessed us last June and put us in a nice home with plenty of room after living in a 2-bedroom condominium for 7 years. Ben drives a truck for a chemical distribution company.
We are definitely grateful for the part Fairhaven has played in both of our lives and for those who invested in us. We learned many things while in college – academically, practically, and spiritually. We also found out that there were many more lessons for us to learn after college – things like discerning God's will, surrender, personal integrity, and humility. God has taken good care of us, and continues to do so as we endeavor to live for Him.
Ben and April Newman
A few pictures of College Days.
This year's Preaching Conference was a very special time of Biblical preaching and sincere fellowship among many pastors, missionaries, and laymen. Traditional, powerful music complimented the convicting messages brought by Herb Hutchinson, Ron Royalty, Ernest Gambrell, Courtney Lewis, and Randy Starr.
It was wonderful to see many alumni here. For more pictures of the Alumni Breakfast click here. We are already making plans for next year, which will be the 40th anniversary of Fairhaven Baptist College. Please make plans to join us April 23-27, 2017.
What a blessing to see so many alumni and hear of how God is working in their lives and ministries.