Sunday evening August 21, I had the pleasure of visiting our sending church (Harvester Baptist Church Ellicott City Maryland), and I was given the opportunity to present our ministry.
The evening was a blessing, with a musical special featuring talent of all ages, from 2 years old through professional adults.
Harvester Baptist Church is the church where Maureen and I were led to the Lord, and were married. Harvester is also where I was licensed to preach back in 1991.
Harvester Baptist Church is the first ministry we put online back in 1985 back in the Bulletin Board days. They have since migrated to a regular professional website on one of the first domain names we registered (harvester,org)
It was truly great being able to come home and share the ministry with our roots.
I had the opportunity to visit and present our ministry to Bethel Baptist Church in La Plata Maryland this morning. We have been hosting their website for several years now. It was a blessing to finally meet the pastor and webmaster after all these years.
WordPress 4.6 was released on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Wednesday morning was the day that Maureen and I left Dallas for Nashville Tennessee, I make it a priority to try and upgrade our hosted WordPress websites as soon as possible, but there did not seem to be any urgency in getting this upgrade accomplished.
This morning I received an email from my notification service stating that the previous version of WordPress (4.53) was vulnerable to Denial of Service (DOS) attacks. This reprioritized my day.
I have finished upgrading all 100 of our WordPress hosted website to WordPress 4.6. This is yet another serve we provide at no cost to Independent Baptist ministries!
Wednesday Evening Maureen and I had the pleasure of visiting Whitley Memorial Baptist Church in Nashville Tennessee.
We have been hosting the website (whitleymemorial.com) for this church since 2008, and Pastor Scott Gillon had told me if I was ever passing through Nashville, to let him know. Since we were going to be going through Nashville on the way to Virginia and Maryland I let him know we would be coming (especially since I knew we could make the Wednesday evening service if we left Dallas early enough).
I told pastor Gillon we would be coming through and he offered me the Wednesday evening service to present the ministry and bring a message.
The church has been a blessing to Maureen and I over the years, and it was very special to meet Pastor Gillon and his congregation, and have the opportunity to present our ministry in person.
Please pray for this ministry, the Lord is starting to move, Pastor Gillon is stepping out in faith and going full time in the ministry. The Lord is building the congregation as many ministries around Nashville seem to be shrinking.
"When you go on the internet, please pray for the Hoffman Family – your missionaries to Cyberspace."
Volume 29 Issue 3 (August/2016)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The Latest News:
Maureen and I had the pleasure of attending the East Texas Baptist Camp Meeting this year. We had our display set up and I was able to help out a missionary with some technical expertise, set up some meetings and get one missionary online.
We are getting ready to leave on a two week trip. We will be visiting 6 churches in five states. Please keep us in prayer for safe travel.
Church Website Ministry:
I received a copy of Sewickley Lighthouse Baptist Church calendar (Sewickley PA). Pastor Gelfand asked me to put it up on their website s-lbc.com. I put their 2016 Calendar (pdf file) up on the website and added the events to the WordPress calendar. Updating websites is a service we do for a number of ministries that can’t update their websites on their own due to a variety of reasons.
Set up WordPress website (gracebaptistchurchlaporte.org) for Grace Baptist Church in La Porte Texas. Church had lost access to their current hosting provider and wanted to get a new page set up for upcoming VBS.
Visited Sandy Lane Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas, met new pastor. Converted website over to WordPress, updated website (sandylane.org) and turned website over to new pastor.
Set up a website for First Navajo Baptist Church in Crownpoint New Mexico (firstnavajo.com).
Set up a website (missionnola.com) for church planters Terry and Karla Rodgers, missionaries to New Orleans. We met this couple at the Texas Baptist Camp Meeting.
Returned two "rescued" domains (rescued over four years ago). These are domains that had expired that we registered to keep them from being turned into porn sites. These churches wanted to get them back on online, we are continuing to provide hosting for these ministries. Comment from one of the church members that took over the website: Morning! Wish you could have seen how excited the pastor was last night at church when I told him that our church website was up and running again and was ready for whatever content he wished to have on there! Called an impromptu deacon's mtg after church so I could tell them about it! :O).
Bible Correspondence Courses: We want to thank Katherine Feguer, Lydia Henrici, J.L. & Florence Smith for helping with the Bible Correspondence courses over the last quarter.
Second Quarter Stats: Praise the Lord, we had 4 salvation decisions – 3 in Nigeria and one in MS. We sent out 836 lessons and issued 24 certificates to 116 students (7 are incarcerated and 55 are international). We had students in Australia, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and USA.
Here are some comments we received from people that are taking the correspondence courses:
From a student in VA… This course is very important because it gives an insight to God and all of his promises. It surely is a gift of God. May the grace and love of God be with you, now and forever and God bless all of you brothers and sisters. May God bless is my prayer.
From a Pastor in LA who takes our Bible lessons… The course God's Great Salvation, lessons 13 & 14, God's Great Plan and God's Blessed Hope, he wrote, Every bit of this is important. This whole book is my favorite out of all them so far, awesome.
From a student in North Carolina… What is of most importance to me in this course is the teaching of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It blesses my heart to know that Jesus loved me enough to leave Heaven for me & He loved me enough to DIE for me, & He loves me enough to make intercession on my behalf before God the Father. What is of great importance than God's love for you and I?
From a student in Nigeria… I gained a lot in all the lessons, Praise God! I am thrilled and have been wonderfully schooled, on how I can live my Christian and ministerial life and achieve all that the Lord has in plan for me. Thank you very much and remain blessed.
Tract Ministry: We have "given out" over 78,000 Bible Tracts online.
Social Networking Outreach:I get new requests on my evangelistic Facebook account regularly. I now have 2695 "friends" in my evangelistic Facebook account. This is a valuable tool to reach the unsaved.
Support: We have two new churches taking us on for support! We are currently at 70% of support for our ministry expenses.
Help in raising support for the ministry.
Please keep us in prayer for our personal financial needs in addition to the ministry's financial needs.
We still have got to figure out how to travel with Goose the cat. Please keep in prayer what the Lord will have us to do in reference to travel.
Specific Financial Needs:
The basic financial needs for the ministry have been met.
We have about $1500 in travel expense for July, August and September.
Please consider a donation. FamilyNet is a 501 (C)(3) charity. Donations are tax deductible in the US – You can donate via PayPal (Donate button is on http://www.cyber-missions.com) or mail a check:
FamilyNet International Inc
P.O. Box 451951
Garland, TX 75045
I received the following message from one of our hosted churches this morning – it is a blessing to help ministries out:
Morning! Wish you could have seen how excited the pastor was last night at church when I told him that our church website was up and running again and was ready for whatever content he wished to have on there! Called an impromptu deacon's mtg after church so I could tell them about it! :O)
Yes, I think we will want to keep the Google MAPS app; that is great! Thanks for continuing to 'hold our hands' with this. You are a blessing, for sure!
Back in 2010 I rescued a domain (joybaptist.net) for Joy Baptist Tabernacle in Chattanooga Tennessee. As with all rescued domains, I check to see if the ministry was still in operation each year as the domain came up for renewal, and if it looked like the ministry was still around, I renewed the domain for another year and just went on about the doing the ministry.
The rescued domains have Basic Church information (name of ministry, pastor’s name, address, service times if I could get them, local weather, links to the Baptist Ministry Database, a Bible Tract for a salvation message, some Christian banners and basic contact information so the ministry can update the information, or get the domain back if they desire to do so).
I received an email yesterday from a church member of Joy Baptist Tabernacle, asking if I could change the phone number for the church, add an email link, have the website say that the church was "Independent, fundamental, KJV Bible based services. We are missionary minded and we also STILL sing the old hymns in our song service."
He also asked me to add some service times and wanted me to include a google map. Sounded like a regular website to me. He said he didn’t want anything fancy, but I decided to just go ahead and build a WordPress website for them.
Built the WordPress website last night and they provided me a picture of the church to put up on it.
They don’t really want to maintain it, just want a static website so people can find the church. “We really want this for travelers and new people to the area. We are one of the few remaining churches in the Bible Belt sticking with the old principles it seems.”
He said they really appreciate our ministry, and thanked us for “keeping their website” for them.
Back in 2008, I rescued a domain for North Hazelwood Missionary Baptist Church in Waynesville North Carolina (northhazelwoodbaptist.org).
Our “rescue” program kept viable domains that had links to them from other ministries from being taken over by advertisers or worse, porn sites.
Two weeks ago I was contacted by a church member that was tasked with the chore of trying to determine the best course of action for the church to get the domain back and put content back on the website.
We talked, she thought they wanted a simple website (at least at first) and might want to develop it going forward. I brought her to my demo website at churchdemo.us, and showed her the back end of WordPress, and she thought she could work on it herself relatively easily. Churchdemo.us is setup to allow people to feel free to try things out in WordPress without having to worry about destroying their ministry websites.
I told her I could build her a simple website, she could update it a bit and then go to the staff and see if that is what they wanted. We could then make changes going forward, or she could go in a different direction if that was what was needed.
I built the website and turned it over to her yesterday, she has made some changes and updates to it.
It is great to see the Lord using our ministry to protect and return these rescued assets to the churches when they are ready to use them again….
We ran into Pastor Duane Crane of Bethel Baptist Church in Rockwall Texas last week at the East Texas Baptist Camp Meeting. We have been hosting their website (bbcrockwall.com) since 2009 when we met Pastor Crane at the 2009 East Texas Baptist Camp Meeting.
Pastor Crane and Bethel Baptist Church in Rockwall Texas have provided love offerings to our ministry over the years, and we have visited the church several times before.
Pastor Crane is doing live streaming of their services on the internet and wanted to discuss how they might be able to share some of their archived services online.
Pastor Duane Crane
On Friday evening (the last night of the Camp Meeting) Pastor Crane asked when we were going to come visit Bethel Baptist Church. I told him we would come out and visit today. He said he would give me some time to present our work to his church.
Maureen and I went to Bethel Baptist Church in Rockwall Texas this morning for Sunday School and the morning service, and I was able to present our work during the morning service. We were warmly greeted by the members and staff of the church.
The Sunday school had good solid Bible teaching and there was an excellent message provided by Pastor Crane during the morning service. Maureen and I then had a wonderful time of fellowship with Pastor and Mrs. Crane.
We discussed how we could provide a venue for making sermons available on their website, allowing Pastor Crane to rotate the sermons in and out as he saw fit.
If you are looking for a good solid, friendly KJV church in the Rockwall Texas area, give Bethel Baptist Church a visit!