Monday, June 27, 2011

BWC Gospel Sing at Warrick 4-H Fair Saturday

Boonville Wesleyan Church will be singing again Saturday July 16th at the Warrick County 4-H fair in Boonville from 7:00pm-8:00pm under the open pavilion by the lake. Free bottled water for those who stop and see us.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Turning Bad into Good!

Taking Advantage of Hidden Opportunities in Controversy

By Jennifer Armitage -Wesleyan Life Magazine Online| Released: Jun. 24, 2011 |

Did you know that Christians are not perfect? Okay, so maybe you didn’t fall over in shock, but it’s something Christians regularly have to have conversations about. There is regularly some controversy in the news about Christians, typically having to do with a pastor’s scandal, political lobbying, or the end of the world.

We are called to witness to non-Christians in our daily lives, but there aren't clear guidelines on how to handle those conversations.

With a group of people so broad and diverse in beliefs, theology, interpretations of the Bible, meaning of religion, and even what Jesus’s teachings mean, it’s understandable that there will be Christians with whom you will not agree.

So the question becomes, how do we deal with the public controversy?

We first need to look at it as an opportunity. When conversations about Christian controversy arise at the water cooler, family reunion, or at the bus stop, it’s an opening for you to tell the truth. One of the big problems is that there are a lot of false beliefs about Christians. Through these conversations, we can start to write these wrongs.

The key to utilizing these opportunities is to bring it back to your church and your beliefs. Instead of focusing on the negative, you can guide the conversation to the truth.

When Harold Camping set a date for when he thought the world would end, it caused quite a stir. Everyone was talking about the world ending. They were, in a round-about way, talking about the Bible. What an amazing opportunity this could be to inform them what the Bible does say!

If the conversation is about Christians hating a sinner, it’s an opportunity to explain what sin really is, that God hates the sin and not the sinner, that Christianity is so much about forgiveness, and that even Christians may sin. A big, secular misconception is that Christians don’t consider themselves sinners or struggle with issues of sin.

If the conversation is about another church’s negative actions, then bring it back to what your church does. Try something like, “I really like my church because they don’t do protests. It’s cool because every Saturday my church goes out and feeds the homeless.”

By moving the conversation to positive examples from your own church, you could change minds and hearts. At the very least, you are showing that not all Christians are alike, nor do they always agree with each other’s actions.

I do want to point out that Jesus calls us to be kind and loving . . . and that means to other Christians who are doing things with which we disagree. Bashing and attacking others is not what we are called to do. No matter how frustrated we get.

None of this means that you can’t have a sense of humor about ridiculous things other Christians are doing, or that you have to talk about your church all the time. I especially don’t want people to feel that they need to be “preachy.”

My point is, we don’t have to be scared when Christian controversy comes up. We can turn tough conversations into opportunities to do our job—to introduce people to Christ.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Simos Family Ministry Update-June 2011

Praise God for all He has done!
Here's a short update just to let everyone know that we arrived safely in the DR and we're working on settling in.
Last Tuesday night we arrived in the DR! We were greeted by the Hilgeman family and then spent the rest of the week setting up our apartment. Things move slowly here so please continue to pray for patience. We do have internet and so email or facebook is the best way to reach us right now. We also have a home phone that actually has a US number (so it is a free call) 317.789.8986, feel free to try it. Just remember, we're in and out alot right now.

We were told that some people had trouble accessing the messages from our commissioning service, so here it is again.

Click here to listen to Commissioning Sermons

Thank you all for your prayers!
We couln't do this without you!
Josh, Toni, Kinsey, Elle & Gabe
317 789 8986
Prayer Requests
  • Transition - that we adjust well to a new culture & home. We attended church for the first time in San Pedro, all in Spanish! We couldn't understand much of what was said but definitely felt welcomed by our Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Patience - that we continue to wait upon the Lord as we settle into our new home and as we learn Spanish.

Mail Support to:
Freedom International Ministries
2905 E 46th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205

note “Simos Family” on check

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers-June 2011

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Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers
June 2011
memorial stone - Kunsho cemetary

On the edge of the small village of Kunsho in northern Sierra Leone stands a silent testimony to the dedication of the first Wesleyan missionaries to serve in Africa. It is a cemetery with ten graves of missionaries and their children who lives were given in the early effort to reach Sierra Leone with the gospel.

During the war years in Sierra Leone the grave site became overgrown and neglected. However, recently the Sierra Leonean church gave direction to its restoration as a continuing memorial to the price paid so the church could be planted in Sierra Leonean soil. On May 22, 2011 members of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone gathered at Kunsho to remember the sacrifice of the early missionary pioneer and to rededicate the cemetery.

In his comments at the dedication service, National Superintendent Rev. Usman Fornah stated: Indeed, these people are true friends for us Sierra Leoneans. They have done their part in the ministry - the rest we have to do. Friends, let us continue to demonstrate
greater sacrifice and commitment than this so that people will come to know the Lord and be saved from eternal death.

Kunsho gravesThese pioneer missionaries certainly "did their best" (Mark 14:8) and gave their best without realizing the return on the investment of their lives. Today the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone is a powerful church with some 190 churches, more than 115 schools, 4 clinics, a Bible College, a 96 bed hospital and more than 30,000 members. The sacrifices they made were the seeds that have grown into a flourishing church making an impact on the lives of thousands.


Bob spent the last two weeks of May in Sierra Leone visiting our work there and participating in a number of events. For most of the trip he was accompanied by Dr. H. C. Wilson, General Director of Global Partners. High points during his visit included the following:

  • One day was spent in an inter-faith consultation with key Muslim and Christian leaders hosted by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Their aim is to address public health issues (in this case malaria) through religious leaders in their communities. (Rev. Usman Fornah, National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, is a key leader in the Inter Religious Council, which co-sponsored the consultation with the TBFF.)nursing care - KWH
  • Director of Health Ministries, Brimah Samura, gave a tour of the facilities of Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital during which Bob was also able to spend time with our missionaries there, Drs. Tom & Karen Asher and nurse Bethany Morse. Located in a remote area of the country, KWH is making a very positive impact on the area in the name of Christ.
  • Visits were made to both Gbendembu Wesleyan Bible School and The Evangelical College of Theology. The facilities at both institutions are showing the ravages of the war but are working hard at restoring the institutions. staff & students - GbendembuRev. Maurice Bangura, Principal of GWBS, and Rev. Abu Conteh, Principal of TECT, are highly competent and dedicated leaders giving solid leadership to these institutions.
  • A number of visits were made to secondary and primary schools operated by the church. Adequacy of facilities varied considerably from place to place but the schools are providing a much need ministry in their communities.
  • Many churches were also visited. A significant amount of construction was underway to accommodate the growing church. Dr. Wilson and Bob were privileged to attend the Sunday worship service at Rogbane Wesleyan Church in Makeni.
  • On Saturday May 21st they participated in the rededication of the national church headquarters in Makeni. During the war the property was damaged significantly and the headquarters was moved to Freetown to escape rebel activity. However, Makeni is geographically more central to our work in Sierra Leone church so the church undertook a restoration project to reestablish the headquarters in Makeni. The President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, a Wesleyan church member, was scheduled to bring the dedicatory address, but due to national responsibilities was unable to be present and was represented instead by Hon. Alimamy P. Koroma, Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure.
  • The dedication of the historic missionary cemetery at Kunsho took place on Sunday afternoon, May 22nd. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation included a lengthy report on the cemetery and headquarters dedications in both their radio and TV news broadcasts. The TV report included a sizeable section of Bob's remarks at the headquarters dedication.
  • We enjoyed a brief visit with President Koroma's mother at her home in Makeni. Mrs. Koroma is known throughout the church as a true saint and prayer warrior.
  • We participated in a day long seminar for District Superintendents and pastors from the Freetown District focusing on the subject of "Maintaining Ministerial Integrity." Bob's assigned topic was "Maintaining Ministerial Integrity in the Home."Wilson, Fornah, Bagley - farewell dinner
  • Dr. Wilson and Bob were honored at a farewell dinner in Freetown and were presented with Sierra Leonean garb that proclaimed them as being honorary paramount chiefs. (They are pictured here with Rev. Usman Fornah, National Superintendent.)
  • A slideshow made of photos Bob took during his visit can be seen by clicking on the following link: Sierra Leone slideshow


Being Bob's first visit to Sierra Leone, he developed a number of lasting impressions of the country and our church there. The country is working hard to reverse the ravages caused by the civil war that ended just nine years go. Flags were flying all over the country and it mosque by Kissy Dockyardwas evident that things had been spruced up for the recent celebration of their 50th anniversary of independence from colonial rule. Public works projects were underway both in the capital of Freetown as well as up country in what appears to still be an overwhelming task of rebuilding infrastructure. Private enterprise and investment was also evident, particularly in the mining sector. A spirit of optimism seemed clear despite the fact that many still live in poverty and need. Muslims make up over 60% of the population, but Islam & Christianity seem to coexist without the tensions experienced in many other African countries.

There is good reason to be righteously proud of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone. The church is blessed with a strong corps of capable, dynamic, and hard-working national and district leaders. The health ministries and educational ministries of the church are making an important contribution to the welfare of the nation. Aggressive evangelistic and church planting efforts are underway under the direction of the National Director of Evangelism,
worship - Rokgbane Wesleyan Church, Makeni
Rev. Warren Fornah. Extensive church construction and restoration projects are ongoing across the country. The impact of World Hope International and World Hope Canada was seen frequently be in in the form of community wells, school buildings, or the new free enterprise zone. Wesleyans, raised in the church and educated in our institutions, are having a powerful influence for good throughout society, from the President's office throughout all levels of government, educational and health sectors, and business sectors. The Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone is a vivid example of what it means for the church to be salt and light within society (Matt. 5:13-16).


A prayer calendar with requests for every day for July - September, 2011 is now available by clicking the following link: Africa Area Prayer Calendar Feel free to share it with others who are interested in praying for God's work in Africa.


  1. Praise God for a very positive visit to Sierra Leone and for the evidence of God's blessing on the church there.
  2. Praise God that Szmaras have secured residence permits for Mozambique. Efforts to secure our permits have gone smoothly and promises are that they will be issued within a couple of weeks.
  3. Thank God for reports that the Liberian church has recently planted the first Wesleyan church in Ganta, Nimba Province.
  4. Rejoice with Jim & Karen Pickett that their support has been raised and they have received clearance to return to the field. They expect to travel back to Mozambique in July.


  1. Pray for stability and peace in African countries suffering unrest following contested elections - Uganda, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Sudan.
  2. Please pray for Rev. Bill Niemack, District Superintendent of Transkei District, South Africa and Dr. Abraham Katwebe, National Superintendent of the Congo, both of whom are facing serious health issues.
  3. Pray for God's help as the Wesleyan Church of Liberia tries to retrieve or repurchase church land in Virginia, Todee, and Sinoe that have been under dispute.
  4. Please pray that our residence permits are issued as promised.
  5. Please pray that God will give us wisdom and discernment as we work daily with national leaders and missionaries about critical issues affecting the work of the church and Global Partners across Africa.

Thank you so much to all of you who continue faithfully to stand behind us financially. Your faithfulness and generosity is amazing!
Donations or monthly commitments can be made online here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Wesleyan Heritage

By Edward Coleson

When John Wesley began his ministry in 1738, morality and religion had collapsed in England. In May of that year, Wesley had his Aldersgate experience and went out to minister to the multitudes in the open fields. A century later, the social and moral climate of England had changed dramatically. Queen Victoria was on the throne and "Victorian" became a synonym for piety and morality. Conditions can change for the better.

It has happened.
The Fight Begins Of the many moral and social reforms resulting from the spiritual awakening of the eighteenth century, perhaps the abolition of slavery was the most conspicuous. In 1772 England freed her slaves. This was partly the work of Granville Sharp, who pressed the "King's Bench" (England's Supreme Court) to make the decision that liberated slaves in England--but not in British colonies. His Lordship Judge Mansfield noted that the court did so because slavery is contrary to God's law. Great Strides in England A couple of years later, Wesley wrote his famous essay on slavery, in which he said: "Notwithstanding ten thousand laws, right is right and wrong is wrong still."

Soon thereafter, a gifted young Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, took up the abolitionist cause. Just a few days before he died in 1791, Wesley wrote his last letter to this Christian statesman, urging him to continue the fight. It was an almost impossible assignment, but in 1807, Wilberforce did get the government to forbid British ships to engage in the lucrative slave trade. Wilberforce died in 1833, one month before Parliament passed the law liberating all slaves in the British Empire.
In his book Saints and Society, Dr. Earle E. Cairns wrote that English evangelicals accomplished more for good than any reform movement in history.

That is a precious part of our heritage. Why do so few Christians today know about these great achievements? The Cause in America The American Wesleyan Church came into being in 1843 because the mainline denominations refused to take a stand on the issue of slavery.

Presidents Washington and Jefferson had been apologetic for the ancient evil and wished it to go away. Indeed, another Virginia slave holder, Colonel George Mason, urged the Founding Fathers to abolish slavery when they were drafting the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and he warned them that God would judge the nation if they failed to do so.
By the 1830s, the South had begun to justify its "peculiar institution."

Defenders of slavery claimed that the Bible actually approved of that practice, and it was not expedient to disagree with them. The situation was not much better in the North. In 1837, Elijah P. Lovejoy, who published an antislavery newspaper, was killed in Illinois. William Lloyd Garrison, the publisher of
The Liberator, was dragged down the street in Boston with a rope around his body and would probably have been hanged if he had not been rescued and lodged in jail for his own safety. Our Great Heritage This was the atmosphere in which a few courageous Christians, including Orange Scott and Luther Lee, founded our church.

Their purpose was both to spread "scriptural holiness over these lands" and to secure justice for their fellow human beings. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ," Paul wrote (Romans 1:16). In the same way, let us be thankful for our Wesleyan heritage.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weekly News and Prayer Updates...

  • Pictured on the right are those who traveled to Paoli Indiana Tuesday as delegates voting in District Conference. We also enjoyed a great meal together at Spring Mill State Park just north of Paoli. I hear that media guy talks a lot...
  • Please continue to keep Jim & Teresa Walker in your prayers this week...
  • A Praise! Robynn Yoder got a good report on her medical tests and Benjamin is missing some baby teeth...