In Need of a Coat

He needed a coat. The interior of the Roman jail cell offered few conveniences to the seasoned apostle. His basic needs were provided only when the soldier on duty felt compelled to do so. Many nights he had trouble sleeping. A growling stomach tends to make rest almost impossible. The air smelled musty and chilled his body to the bone after the sun went down.

Now winter was coming and the situation would get worse. Paul was not one to complain, but the cloak he left behind in Troas with Carpus would sure make the days, and especially the nights, much easier to endure. So he asked Timothy to bring the coat with him when he came to visit. 

Paul-the apostle. Paul-the author of at least thirteen books in the New Testament. Paul-the great missionary and evangelist. Paul-the scholar. Spending his final days on earth incarcerated by wicked people. And he didn’t even have a coat.

Quite the contrast, don’t you think, with those religious leaders of today who tell us that if we just have enough faith and get the sin out of our lives all will go well for us physically and financially. Apparently these modern day leaders have more insight and integrity than Paul had. Or maybe they just don’t know what they’re talking about.

Sometimes God’s choice people suffer hardship on earth. Paul not only died homeless, he died coatless. It didn’t bother Paul, though. He knew the Lord would bring him safely to His heavenly kingdom. He wouldn’t need a coat there.

I love you,   Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God Shows No Partiality” Acts 10:24-48
  • This Sunday, September 27 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Smiling Every Day

I am thrilled we are meeting together in person as a church. We are able to encourage each other and glorify God as we gather together. We are able to offer both Sunday morning worship services, as well as LifeGroups for all. On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. we have activities for all children and the Gathering service for youth, university students, and adults. CDO happens on Mondays and Thursdays. We have come a long way since the pandemic began.

We are not offering everything we once did. There are no homemade snacks in the commons area between services on Sunday morning. There is no Wednesday night meal. There is no adult choir. There are no over-55 activities. We remain vigilant to provide ourselves the safest opportunity to continue meeting as a church. Our goal is not to do everything we once did. Our goal is to remain open every week.

Our goal is also to remain united as a church. We cannot allow the devil to divide us over masks and politics. How tragic it would be for any church to major on minor issues and therefore hinder itself from making disciples for Jesus. During a pandemic, people still spend eternity separated from God if they die without a relationship with Christ.

My personal plan is to continue smiling while withholding judgment on anyone. I have been your pastor for over nineteen years. I love all of you and want God’s best for you. If someone does not feel comfortable in a crowd, I am still their pastor. If someone rolls their eyes and speaks of conspiracies, I am still their pastor. If someone wears a mask in public, I am still their pastor. If someone tests positive for covid-19, I am still their pastor. Ministry does not stop during a pandemic. So far, I have done fifteen funerals this year.

I cannot please everyone. I am wearing a mask more often, not because I am certain about the benefits of doing so. I am wearing a mask more often because I do not want to quarantine for two weeks if I am around someone who tests positive. I don’t want to be sidelined at this time. I continue to thank God that I get to be your pastor – even during such a time as this.

Smiling every day, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Going To The Gentiles” Acts 10:1-23
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Guest Speaker Wednesday: Stephen Myers. Topic: How to pray without using big words.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Jackson Yount

Remaining Steadfast

If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to catch a balance in the way that you live. Keith Wiginton used to refer to the ABC’s of ministry as the CAB’s – “catch a balance!” What is true for ministers is true for everyone. There needs to be a balance between work and play, church and family, rest and exercise, study and fellowship…you get the idea.

An older pastor advised me, early in ministry, that I should not do ministry as he had done it. He had become obsessive in how many visits he could make and how much service he could provide. He could not let himself stop, and eventually he paid a major emotional price. Living wired up all the time tends to short us out.

Stress causes multiplied physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. Jesus taught us, and modeled for us, the art of trusting God in the midst of the storm. It is OK to accept your limitations and leave issues with the Lord. Only He can remedy them anyway. You are neither unconcerned nor faithless when you don’t pray about the same issue every day from now on. You are maintaining a balanced perspective on prayer, as you continue to live life for the long haul. I personally focus on different areas as I pray each day throughout the week. 

And God is good with that. He does not look for a reason to deny my requests. He delights in me as I wait on His timing and His will. It is called trust. We are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, if we acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.

Many automobile accidents occur when drivers overcorrect. The driver realizes that they are drifting off one side of the road and then jerks the steering wheel toward the other side of the road. This often results in a rollover that can prove tragic. Far better to drift back toward the center of the road rather than head for the other ditch!

Routine, like the center of the road, can be your friend. Under the leadership of God, develop a balanced pattern of living that avoids extremes. You can accomplish a lot in life by remaining steadfast. Remember the tortoise who defeated the hare?

Proverbs 3:5-6, Earl 


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God’s Power Displayed” Acts 9:32-43
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper – this Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” this Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

A New Coffee Maker

We began the hunt for a new coffee maker. Nancy checked prices locally before she ventured online. During the process she discovered one that was priced at a heavily discounted rate. By the time she went to pick it up, the deal was cancelled. She came home frustrated and without a new coffee pot.

I am so glad she struck out in her search. Let me explain. On a couple of mornings during a short span, the counter surrounding the coffee maker had been covered with coffee. We concluded that something was leaking. Our conclusion was dead on. Coffee would not cover the counter instead of filling the pot if all was well.

We had used the pot for a few years. It makes great coffee in a hurry. I can pour fresh water in when I get up and be drinking a cup in less than five minutes. I have actually cut back on my coffee consumption but still enjoy some every morning. Nancy and I were not going to do without coffee due to a pot malfunction. Also, Nancy did not appreciate her counter being covered with coffee. We are at a stage in life where we can afford a new coffee maker when one is needed.

Which gets me to the point of this article. We did not need a new coffee maker. I thought through the situation. If something was leaking inside the appliance, it would be coming from the reservoir and that would be clear water. Coffee would have to be coming from a cracked pot or…my mind was working systematically through the scenario. Or, I was not setting the pot directly under the drip as the coffee was made.

Problem solved. I don’t know how I was doing it, but I had sloppily been placing the pot on the burner in such a way that much of the coffee ran off the side instead of into the pot. When I took my time and centered the pot, no coffee spilled over onto the counter. Nothing was broken. I had just gotten careless.

The same thing happens in some marriages. Nothing breaks. Husband and wife just get careless with their actions and their words. When they slow down and give attention to detail, they realize that what they have is not only functional but wonderful.

Pay attention, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The People God Uses” Acts 9:23-31
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Church Office will be closed this Monday, September 7 for Labor Day
  • The Gathering, this Wednesday September 9 at 6:30 p.m. (Childcare for Babies-3’s)
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper, next Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” next Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Mark Kennedy, Dean & Marsha Tucker, Kendrick Swearingen, Lakyn Smith, Lizben Meigs, Aiden Foust, Olivia Roper, Kambree Bates, and Candace Lopez

Sign Up To Serve

I have never known of a time when it was more appropriate and necessary to pray without ceasing and serve without reluctance. The answer for the multiplied divisive issues that swirl around us is nothing less than God Himself. God works through His people in the church. Now is the time, as at no other time, for the church to be the church. We must push back against the tactics of Satan with prayer and service. We remain engaged in a Spiritual battle that God can and will win. We must do our part.

We must pray. I remain unable to explain just how prayer works. I just know that it does work. God moves with power in response to the unselfish prayers of His people. We are asking Him to heal our land and expand His kingdom. As He changes the lives of people, those people will contribute to the welfare of our land and His kingdom. The issues in front of us are far greater than we can handle. Nothing is too hard for God. Pray without ceasing!

We must serve. The local church has been designed by God so that all of the members work together like the parts of a human body. We are needed in the local church, and we need the local church. As we uniquely serve with zeal, the local church remains healthy and effective. We are in the midst of a time when volunteers are needed to serve in specific areas. Everyone’s responsibility is no one’s responsibility.

You will be given the opportunity to sign up to serve this Sunday in the fellowship hall. We are all different, and we are all necessary. You can sign up to provide a birthday cake and gifts for a foster child in Custer County. You can sign up to provide a meal at the HIA house or help with Branch 15. You can sign up to serve in the children’s area on Sunday or Wednesday nights. You can sign up to join a D-Group or attend Women of the Word events. You can sign up to help with greeting, technology, or security. You can sign up to bring snacks to Celebrate Recovery or dishes to funeral meals.  You can even sign up to order a “Pray Without Ceasing” T-shirt. 

We need to be the church. We all can and should do our part. Thanks for all you do.

I love you,                              Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “From Persecutor to Preacher” Acts 9:1-22
  • Membership Matters Class – this Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Sign up to Serve – this Sunday, August 30 in the Fellowship Hall
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – this Sunday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

The Sky is Not Falling!

The sky is not falling! As we live through a pandemic and multiple staff vacancies, rest assured that God remains on His throne. The same God who watched over us when we squeezed into crowds at ball games and church is the same God who watches over us today. We have not been left as orphans. We remain greatly loved and graciously cared for by the One who has miraculously created us and graciously saved us. From God’s perspective, nothing has changed.

His expectation of us remains the same. He expects us to faithfully serve Him where He has placed us with the gifts He has given us. We have never been able to change people or produce results. We still can’t. We are merely doing our jobs for the glory of God. At times, when we do our jobs, God causes the waves to rise, and we are able to ride them as they surge. At other times the tide goes out as we continue to do our jobs with the same pursuit of excellence. God doesn’t love us less when the measurable results don’t appear to be so robust.

As a church, we have never taken credit for what God has done in increasing attendance and producing disciples. In the same way, we will not take the blame when numbers decline. We cannot credit ourselves, and we must not blame ourselves. We must continue to remain faithful to God’s call on our lives. Circumstances change in major ways. God’s expectations of us remain constant.

During this season, Allison Kendall is serving as the interim university minister. Mikylin York is serving as the university intern. Tamra Misak is serving along with Deborah Fulton as interim coordinators of all things related to preschool and children. Thanks for your prayerful support of them and of the church. This is no time to sit back and wait for someone else to act. If the Holy Spirit nudges you to jump, just ask “how far” and do it!

This is the time to pray and seek God’s mercy and guidance. This is the time to volunteer and get involved. We are not going to rush out and hire a lot of people. We are going to wait on God’s timing in what to do and when to do it. Ministry has never been more challenging. Ministry has never been more rewarding.

How blessed I am to be your pastor! Earl

FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Sharing The Good News” Acts 8:26-40
  • Membership Matters Class – Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Sign up to Serve – Sunday, August 30 in the Fellowship Hall
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – Sunday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Farewell to the Townleys

This coming Sunday, August 16, we will host a farewell fellowship for the Scott Townley family in the Family Life Center at 2:00 p.m. It seems appropriate that the fellowship will take place on the first Sunday that students are back at SWOSU. Scott and his wife Katy excelled in reaching university students. Many university students are saved and walking with Christ because of the ministry of Scott and Katy.

I first met them when they were students at SWOSU. Katy worked for a time in the office. I became aware of what a kind-hearted person she is. She even helped me when I asked her for recommendations on books for couples planning to marry. She and Scott were themselves preparing to marry at the time. Scott was always fun to visit with after church or while eating on Wednesday nights. Even as students, they showed themselves to be outstanding followers of Jesus.

They returned to Weatherford a little over three years ago with Livy and Harrison. It was such a joy to know how God had used them as well as to anticipate similar results at FBC Weatherford. They did not disappoint. With precision and zeal, they partnered in reaching out to students and building a ministry that continues to reach more and more university students. Even as they move on, the ministry will continue, because of the manner in which they led. We will miss their presence and their leadership.

Scott remained a great help to me personally with articles he shared and books he recommended. I have been greatly helped by the way he passed on to me what God was teaching him. We had many good conversations about life and ministry which enriched me personally.  

While it is obviously true that God’s plan for any church is larger than any one minister, it is also true that God’s plan for any minister is larger than any one church. We will continue to pray for the Townley family as they leave Weatherford to follow God’s lead. We will always be grateful for the way God used them to strengthen His church in this place.

Be sure to stop by Sunday and let them know how much you appreciate them.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Farewell Reception for Scott and Katy Townley this Sunday, August 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • This Sundays Sermon “The Scattered Church” Acts 8:1-25
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Farewell Savannah and Chelsey

“You build a church from the children’s department up.”

I was visiting with a friend from college days. He has served as co-pastor of The Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California, for over thirty years. The church has experienced consistent, healthy growth to the point that it now has three campuses. He knows what he is talking about. He has seen first-hand how to reach people through a local church. He went on to explain that if you reach children you reach their parents. Young families add life to the church. Churches must heed Jesus’ command to let the children come to Him.

As a church, we will continue to prioritize children. I am sad that we will be doing so without Savannah Schones and Chelsey Powers leading us. Savannah has served as the Children’s Coordinator since April of 2017. During that time, she has advanced the children’s ministry with an attention to detail and an abundance of Christ’s love. She has devoted her whole self to the impacting of children with the good news of God’s Word. She has spent countless hours making sure that leaders are in place to teach and love on children.

Unless they move, she and her family will remain an active part of First Baptist Church. She has plenty on her plate as a wife and mother who home schools. I applaud her decision to prioritize her family. I will miss serving with her on staff but look forward to serving Jesus with her family in the church.

Chelsey is also stepping aside in order to prioritize her family. Ministry requires so much that family can end up with the leftovers. I am thankful that Chelsey has recognized the toll being taken on her children and is intentionally making changes to improve the situation. She has creatively led out with our children by developing relationships and providing opportunities for their spiritual well-being. She will also remain in the church serving Jesus with us.

A farewell fellowship for both Savannah and Chelsey will be held this Sunday, August 9, at 5:00 p.m. in the South Commons. Make a point to come and encourage these wonderful women and thank them for all they have done in building the church from the children’s department up. A basket will be available for cards of encouragement.

Joyfully your shepherd, Earl  


FBC Happenings

  • Farewell Reception for Savannah Schones & Chelsey Powers this Sunday, August 9 at 5:00 p.m. in the South Commons
  • Farewell Reception for Scott and Katy Townley next Sunday, August 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • This Sundays Sermon “God Buried Moses” Deuteronomy 34:1-12
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Joyfully Your Shepherd

It seems appropriate that I am beginning my twentieth year as your pastor in 2020. What a year it has been and continues to be. We are living through a pandemic, social unrest, and political polarization to degrees I have never seen during my 64 years. Still, God has given me an abiding peace that He remains in control of the world and His church.

Know that Nancy and I love you very much. For 19 years you have been kind and supportive of us and our families. It has been, and continues to be, a great joy to serve the Lord Jesus with you in this place. We count it a joy to be your friends. Our lives are enriched by knowing you.

Thank you for being genuine. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace and continue to mature in our relationship with Christ. This means that we occasionally sin and fall short of expectations – both God’s and our own. Still, we continue on in our quest to remain faithful followers of Jesus. As we have been accepted in Christ, we accept one another. The authenticity with which you live your lives refreshes my soul.

Thanks for stepping up and serving with the gifts God has given you. I realize that we seem to always be seeking additional servants in multiple areas. However, that is because you do such a good job reaching out. So many of you faithfully serve in multiple ways. Thank you for placing Jesus at the top of your list and serving Him with zeal and integrity.

Thanks for pushing through pain, disappointment, and injustice to continue living for Jesus. Life has handed many of you more than your share of hurt, yet you remain devoted to Jesus. I asked a friend recently how things were going. He responded candidly, “I don’t have it as bad as Job did.” He was smiling. His smile made me smile. Smiling during the storms of life is not hypocritical. Smiling during the storms of life testifies of faith in Jesus.

You are a wonderful church, and I am greatly blessed to be your pastor. The passing of the years has only increased my love for you. These challenging days have allowed us to show our love for one another as at no other time. Thank you. As Jesus shepherds me, it is my joy to shepherd you.

The best is yet to come, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God Answered Moses” Exodus 33:7-17
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Bear Good Fruit!

We are individually responsible to God for the actions we take, the attitudes we maintain, and the words we speak. Our heart reveals itself to others and to God in each of these ways. Who we are evidences itself in what we do. Jesus compared it to a tree and its fruit in Luke 6:43:

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.”

I have read these words of Jesus hundreds of times. Recently I noticed the beginning of verse 44 in a way I had never seen it before. That is why we need to consistently read the Bible as we grow, and as life changes.

“for each tree is known by its own fruit.”

Did you see what I saw? “Its own fruit.” Not the fruit of others who may be in the same family or the same profession or the same race. When it comes to our relationship with God, we cannot be lumped together with others in order to be applauded or condemned. This world tends to paint with a very broad brush. God deals with individuals. I am glad that He does.

During the years I have been in ministry, many pastors and priests have been in the national spotlight for stealing money, abusing children, and committing adultery. I have done none of those things. However, some people who do not know me might think poorly of me, until they get to know me, because of my profession instead of my character

“for each tree is known by its own fruit.”

In recent days, the same thing has happened nationally to our police officers. They have been condemned by masses of people because of the actions taken by those who share their profession but not their integrity. Such condemnation contradicts the M.O. of God

“for each tree is known by its own fruit.”

Integrity invites investigation as it evidences itself in all professions. Integrity does not deserve guilt by association. Any of you teachers want to be lumped in with other teachers whose mug shots have appeared on the nightly news? Of course not. We all long to be valued for the content of our character, not the color of our skin, or the criminals in our profession.

Bear good fruit! Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Idols In Our Lives” Exodus 32:1-6
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. No Nursery or Childcare at this time.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote