After graduating in 2000, we spent the next seven years continuing to work in First Baptist Church of Amboy, IL as youth pastor and Christian school teacher. We also had opportunities to operate the Junior Church for a while and run the Reformers Unanimous ministry.
In 2007, God led the church to send us to Princeton, IL to take over a Bible study with the intention of eventually forming a church with me as the pastor. We moved the Bible study to Sunday mornings in July of that year and by September 30 had 12 charter members as we officially organized the church. Soon thereafter, we were approached concerning a church building that was for sale. To make a long story short, we were able to purchase the building and held our first service in the building the first week of December.
Over the course of the first two years, progress was slow. Then around the 2nd Anniversary, we had three key families leave. This was a very difficult time for us, but we knew that God had called us, so we pressed on. By our 3rd Anniversary we began to see fruit from our efforts as we saw several saved. This fall harvest was followed by a very exciting year in 2011. In the first few months, we had the privilege of baptizing more than we had baptized in the first three years put together. During the summer, we held our first Vacation Bible School. We had prayed and were hoping for 20 kids, but we also decided to borrow a bus from our home church. The result? We had 20 the first night! By the end of the week, we had 45 kids! The church in Amboy eventually donated the bus to us and our bus ministry was born. (This year, during our Spring campaign, we averaged 33 on the bus and and 15-passenger van.) A few weeks after that first Bible School, we held a special celebration Sunday to burn the mortgage on the church building. A $47,000 donation had paid it off! We went on to purchase the small home next door to the church to use for classrooms and office space. More recently, the next house down was donated to the
church and is now our parsonage.
God has richly blessed us here. We continue to be a small church (73 the last day of our Spring campaign, probably average around 40) with a very tight budget, but we have the joy of regularly seeing people saved, baptized and discipled. This Spring, we had the joy of seeing five teens and adults saved and baptized around Easter. We continue to keep very busy. Early this year, I completely redid our website and we try to have an active web presence. We have a small ACE school that keeps us busy much of the year and we are looking forward to taking a group of 10-15 kids to camp next week.
We appreciate your prayers and investments in our ministry. Please continue to pray for us. My wife’s health is doing much better, but she has her bad days and late fall and winter are always hard on her.
Heritage Baptist Church, Princeton, IL
Download the PDF of their update here.