At the beginning of January, we started a new semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary with 17 students, 2 of them new. Our Saturday-only Temple Baptist Institute classes also resumed with 16 students after a holiday break. On the last weekend of January, we welcomed two dear friends and veteran national missionaries, Dr. David Jacobs and Pastor Paul Lawal, to preach our graduation services and also the Sunday services at both churches where our family is involved.
During the first week of February in Ogbomoso (in the southeast region of Nigeria), our ministry embarked upon its fifth venue for hosting Soul Winning & Leadership Conferences. A three-day Pastors’ and Workers’ Meeting was conducted at Faith Baptist Church (in conjunction with their 13th Anniversary Celebration) with Missionary Evangelist Donald Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries. I was privileged to preach alongside Bro. Don each evening, as well as have some time for teaching sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from nearly 50 churches. Back in our area on Friday, Bro. Wattenbarger traveled with some of our men to see two areas where we are planting churches with our graduates.
Over a span of three years, Grace & Glory Baptist Church has grown from a small Sunday evening Bible study in the living room of one of our founding members, to a thriving congregation of 13 families and 3 staff members. For the last 30 months, the church has paid to hold Sunday services in a nice meeting hall of a secure area hotel. This has been a blessing in one way and a challenge in another, as the location has been great, but the cost has kept us from being able to hold regular midweek services and other meetings at the venue. Even with the restricted schedule, we have found ways to integrate youth activities, Lord’s Supper services, a discipleship series, men’s meetings, and “singspirations” (a service filled with song specials and a Bible study) into the regular Sunday program. Grace & Glory is now in the process of securing a 10-year lease for a place that would be more conducive to three weekly services and outreach meetings; please pray that we can reach an agreement with the owners soon. Likewise, continue to pray for Truth Baptist Church, as we’ve dedicated ourselves to also grow this first church plant that will celebrate its 12th Anniversary in May.
Mark Holmes, written 5 March 2018