The months of September-October are the official end of summer in early to mid September and the full range of fall weather in October. This is my favorite season of the year as we experience the cooler nights and warm days, the beauty of the multi-color display we will see as the leaves change, the first frost of the season, and a very comfortable season to enjoy God's creation in its vast splendor. There is a return to something of normalcy in our family lives as our children and youth return to school, colleges and universities are in full operation, and we settle into a new season of church-related ministries and activities. Again, fall is an exciting and enjoyable time - at least in my life, I have always considered it my favorite season of the year and a time to meditate upon the majesty of God's creation.
Fall 2018 brings some important upcoming activities for our church and community. From September 9-12 at Campbellsville University's Tiger Stadium, 7:00 p.m. nightly, the "Heart of Kentucky Go Tell Crusade" will be held. Evangelist Rick Gage and others will be preaching each evening, and there will be uplifting worship services each evening. We express a word of appreciation to the local crusade committee who have been working for almost a year to prepare for the crusade. There are several members of Saloma Baptist Church who are involved in different crusade committees. We budgeted a generous donation in our annual budget to help defray the costs. Several individuals in SBC have made generous donations to the crusade. And we have been active in praying for the crusade for several months. And we are asking that our church members invite others - especially those who are unchurched and without Jesus Christ in their lives - to attend. There are many in the community and region who will not come through the doors of a local church at this point, but they may be willing to come to a football stadium on a September evening to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ being proclaimed. There have been two other community crusades - one in the 1990's and one in 2008 - that resulted in literally hundreds of people coming to first time decisions for Jesus Christ - and hundreds of others who renewed their walk with the Lord. During the weeks following the crusade, there will be great need for follow-up and discipleship of new believers in Christ - so pray for that phase of the ministry and may be ready to do our part.
These months also bring other points of emphasis to Saloma Baptist Church. We have finished our summer mission project which raised funds to purchase two donkeys for a village in Zambia and to provide 100 chairs for a pastor there to use in his church. From September 9-30, we have our Season of Prayer State Missions and the annual Eliza Broadus State Mission Offering. Then in October we will observe Global Hunger Sunday on October 14 and raise funds during the rest of October for the Global Hunger Fund.
We are again sponsoring the Campbellsville University Bass Fishing Team and will host them in our October 7 Worship Service followed by a meal and fellowship hour with them. Coach Pete Hedgepath, one of our own, is doing a great job with the team - as evidenced by the recent national championship by Nick Ratliff. We are called to pray for these college students on a regular basis, to let them know of our love and our support, to support Coach Pete and pray for him, and to approach this as another outreach ministry opportunity for Saloma Baptist Church.
In closing, let me acknowledge another successful year of Sunday morning outreach at Saloma Baptist Church. This was our 22nd year, as best I recall, for coordinating the ministry - we took it over when a local ministry organization announced they could no longer do it. A special word of thanks once again to Deacon Mike Forbis and Associate Pastor Jason England for their help with this ministry. The services are held each Sunday morning, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, at 9:00 a.m. at the Green River Lake State Park campgrounds. We had excellent participation by several other churches and groups this year. We are thankful for this ministry and the thousands of people who have heard the Gospel proclaimed and shared through music, praise, prayer, preaching, creative ministries, etc. over the years. We look forward to another great year in 2019.