Dear Church Family:
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your pastor this past year. I can say with confidence that the Lord was undeniably at work in our congregation. Let me run through a few highlights from this past year and then look forward to some of the upcoming challenges this next year.
In 2014, Missionary Alliance Church (MAC) welcomed ten new members into our congregation in addition to baptizing three here in our sanctuary. These are good numbers that we can build upon, and I hope to see both of these trends continue in an upward direction.
In 2014, MAC hosted two Global Focus Weekends, one in February and one in October. These missionaries – one from Senegal, West Africa and a couple from South America – gave our church a great perspective on what the Lord is doing through the Alliance around the world. In addition to our two Global Focus weekends, we also hosted Rick Byham, a National Office Representative; Kurt Mueller, an Army Chaplain and Alliance church planter in Hawaii; and Seby DeVroome, a CAMA services missionary serving in Senegal. God certainly blessed us with wonderful men and women of God who are literally doing His work all over the globe.
In 2014, we also took a group of youth and adults on a short-term missions trip to Clarkston, GA. The group shared testimonies the following Sunday morning and it was a wonderful encouragement to see the Lord working in their lives.
In 2014, we conducted a four-week marriage seminar on a series of Sunday nights. The class was well attended and the feedback has been positive.
Perhaps our largest logistical project in 2014 was the consolidation of Columbus Christian Academy (CCA) and MAC into one campus. While it certainly presented challenges, it has also already produced great rewards. It has been a joy for me, as the pastor, to be able to interact with staff and students on a daily basis. The staff of both the elementary and high school have been able to work together for the first time in many years, and this has proved to be beneficial.
So, where are we headed now? In 2015, I hope to build on each of these accomplishments. I fully expect the Lord to add more members to our congregation, and my prayer is that
He would add fifteen to twenty. I fully expect to baptize 5-10 people right here in our beautiful sanctuary this year. I fully expect to have a variety of speakers come in from all over the world to share with us about the work that the Lord is doing.
What are some challenges for us going into 2015? The greatest and most obvious challenge for us is financial. We still have two commercial properties for sale and, until they are sold, our operating costs continue to be very high for a congregation our size. We need to spend time in prayer that the Lord would give us wisdom in either selling or leasing these properties or, perhaps, utilizing them redemptively for His purposes. These financial challenges provide a measure of constraint for us, and will continue to do so until they are sold.
Another challenge is the continuing decline in enrollment at CCA. Enrollment has been declining for several years, and this obviously adversely effects our financial situation due to the decrease in tuition received. Pray that the Lord would give our church and school boards wisdom and discernment in addressing this problem.
As we head into 2015, I am fully convinced that the Lord is our work in our midst. I know it from my own experiences with Him and from talking with you! As we continue to submit ourselves to His Word and will, we will continue to see Him bless our church and use us in powerful ways for His glory. My level of enthusiasm for what God is doing here has not diminished since my installation as pastor 15 months ago. As John Stumbo once said, “God is in this journey, and God is good. God is in this journey and God can only be good.” My prayer for 2015 is that our church would continue to be submissive to Him and His will and, in doing so, our unity would increase and our impact in Columbus County would increase as well.
I pray for you often, and I look forward to serving you and serving with you this year.
Pastor Justin DuBose
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence