May 2019 Communion Meeting

Bethany was indeed blessed with a wonderful Spirit filled May Communion meeting. We had a large congregation on Friday night with great visitation from sister churches and message by Elder Michael Gowens. We had another large congregation on Saturday night and the preceding fish upper was attended by the largest we have had in a few years. Once again the singing was excellent and the preaching very up lifting as we awaited Sunday’s final service. We had several missing on Sunday but had a good singing before the message by Bro. Gowens. His message was followed by the Lord’s Supper with the taking of the unleavened bread and wine and the washing of the saint’s feet. We had lunch and fellowship to follow.

The Friday night message from Elder Michael Gowens was from Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” on “Paul the Christian.” Paul’s life was now dedicated to serving the Lord and that is his goal; to be the Christian that would always honor the Lord. He wrote Philippinas while in a Roman prison but the Lord can visit his children wherever they are. Whatever situation we are in, we can have the Lord come and visit us and give us strength to press on and forget those things which are behind.

Elder Gowens message on Saturday night was entitled “One legitimate fear” using as the subject the wild Gararenen Mark 5 that met Jesus who had his dwelling among the tombs. His was possessed with unclean spirits and no man could tame him. Jesus could cast them out by just speaking to them as He did for the disciples who were so fearful in the storm and awoke Jesus asking if He cared that they perish. He rebuked the wind and there was once again a calm. They had forgotten Jesus had told them “Let us pass to the other side of the lake.” Whatever demon that may have us possessed, Jesus is able to solve the problem and cast the problem aside or give us the strength to overcome. We need not fear if Jesus is near and in the ship with us.

The Sunday message from Elder Gowens was from Psalm 95 on a “Call to Worship.” WE need to come and worship the king. We need to come and sing praises unto Him. We need to come and be thankful. We need to come and worship the great God of our salvation. We need to gather in the assembly of the saints . We need to come boldly and enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus who is our high priest. We need not a high priest as the Israelites of old. There isn’t a god as Great as our God because He is the God of gods.

Here are a few scenes from the services on Friday night through Sunday morning and more on the May Communion Page.

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Sister Dorothy Clayton–Update

UPDATE 2-20-2019: Sister Clayton didn’t lay in bathroom as long as reported, She was there in bathroom from early Sunday night until about 4:00 pm Monday which is plenty long enough. She was dehydrated which caused thoughts of heart but tests so far doesn’t indicate this. She has had an ECHO and also has a UTI infection. Plans are to get her in a Rehab facility for some physical therapy.

Sister Dorothy Clayton evidently fell in her bathroom and spent two days and nights before anyone found her yesterday, February 18, 2019. A window had to be removed to get into the house. She was first taken to New Albany and then transferred to Tupelo. Obviously she was in bad condition just because of lying there two days without drink or nourishment but it is thought it may be her heart again that is causing trouble.

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Red Skies At Night


When Lot was given a choice of pastures, he felt that fortune had come to him. And it may have seemed so great to the Israelites when they got their long-asked-for quails. And likewise to Jonah when he found a ship going to Tarshish–but they were all mistaken. The watered plains looked pleasant but they were right next to Sodom. The quails gave the Jews a horrible belly-ache. The ship threw Jonah into the deep where he gave a whale a horrible belly-ache. It’s not whether things are going our way, but rather, are they going God’s way. Coincidence is not always providence. The dice may roll favorably but the result may be a disaster. A storm may be lurking beyond blue skies but think on this: the storm just may be heaven-sent. That fierce wind may be blowing you the right direction. How can we know? Ask the Provider…ask the Disposer…and keep asking until you get an answer. If you do not have patience to keep asking then ask for patience. Better to know what’s right than to experience what went wrong.–Elder David Montgomery-Feb. 7, 2019

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Excellency of Patience


The Lord will always execute the right judgment at the right time and in the right fashion. There is contentment in that, and if we are patient, even satisfaction. The problem is the waiting for it and who likes to do that? The late, great philosopher Thomas Petty wrote, “The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you see one more card. You take on faith, you take it to the heart but the waaaaiiiating is the hardest part.” When we are wronged, we want to lash out and get even but we really never do get even. The memories of the thing done against us linger and continue to cause us pain. Some wounds never heal and some scars get reopened time and again. That is the time to move forward and commend it to God. Vengeance belongs to Him and not to us. Let it go but let it go to Him…that is the only way you can let it go. Soon, you will see the evidence of God’s involvement, but if you’re wrapped up in retribution, you won’t see it. No contentment in that. A bitter you is the worst version of yourself.–By Elder David Montgomery–January 18, 2019

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For Whom Did Christ Die

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Joy Mixed With Pain


It is sometimes the will of God that we should let ourselves be the object of kindness instead of the author of it. There are times when we need to let others bear our burdens and minister to us in our times of weakness. Let it happen so you can get to where you can minister and bear the burdens of others. When we see our aged parents who have toiled for us for so long, count it all joy to toil for them now for there will come a time when you will give anything to hear your mother’s voice one more time or to feel your father’s loving embrace again. But did you feel the love of cherished friends and family yesterday? Then be thankful. You may have spent yesterday at a hospital or a nursing home, but was there love amidst the pain? Then be thankful. Was there missing places at the dinner table? Then call to mind that those who have gone on had a better Christmas than any of us. Empty seats here below are occupied seats in Heaven. Soon we shall join them in the greatest gathering ever known. Unmingled joy is something we’ve never experienced but we will know it some wonderful day.–Elder David Montgomery–December 26, 2018

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who may be reading this little post. There would be nothing to celebrate without Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate this time of year. Of course we should celebrate and remember it (rather Him) every day of the year. The Lord always remembers us as His people, but we often fail to reciprocate. Many will be with family and friends this Christmas season and give and receive many gifts. The greatest gift of all of course is the unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ whom God gave for the sins of His people. Then we have the wonderful gift of eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) We ourselves are the gift of God in that God gave the church (all His elect) to His only begotten Son as a bride and placed their welfare in His hands. What a great thought that we are a gift to the only begotten Son of God.

Many children of God are sufferings in many ways this season and it will be more difficult for them to have a Merry Christmas. Many have lost loved ones recently and there is that void that cannot be filled but the presence of the Lord helps make it bearable as His grace is sufficient. As a precious sister told me just the other day, “Time does help relieve some of the hurt” but the trauma and sadness still becomes overwhelming from time to time and it is then we need to be led to a higher source. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. ” (Psalm 61:2) We have a high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and able to make intercession for us as His people. Millions of God’s people have died and didn’t know about the birth and death of Christ but that didn’t effect their destiny to be with the Lord in heaven. How much greater are we blessed to have the knowledge of the birth and death of Christ and what it accomplished; this knowledge comes through the gospel.

The gospel comforts the people of God who have lost loved ones and those who are trying to cope with the problems of life. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. ” (Isa. 40:1-2) Comfort makes the heart a little merrier because it transfers our focus from the temporal to the eternal. If we focus of that which we can see with our natural eyes, we will not be merry but will always be troubled. It is when we focus on the unseen, eternal things and then only that we enjoy an eternal weight of glory as Paul clearly tells us. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18)

We can be merry, (joyful) even in the midst of tribulation and able to give thanks to the Lord because without Him we would not make it through. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians brethren, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thess. 5:18) We are not to give thanks FOR our tribulations and troubles; we are to give thanks IN our troubles as we remember the Lord. We just consider Jesus when our hearts are about to faint. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Heb. 12:3) Some people think it is because of some particular sin they have done that is causing their sickness or affliction. Most likely this is not the case because people questioned Jesus as to what sin the blind man had done that had caused him to be blind. “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3)

May the Lord bless each of us to be as merry as possible this Christmas amidst all the hoopla and commercialism of the season and try to focus past the material things to the things that really matter. Material gifts can be replaced but people cannot so minister to others as ye have opportunity and it will brighten your day. Love and God bless!–Elder Larry Wise–December 24, 2018


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Prayer-Submission to God’s Will

Prayer: Conformity and Submission to God’s Will PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Wise
Monday, 26 November 2018 11:38
I have spent my last few Sunday morning messages considering different prayers and aspects of prayer. One theme that has really stood out to me throughout those studies and messages is this: one of the chief purposes (if not the main purpose) of prayer is to more fully conform ourselves to submission to the will of God in our lives.


People often say “what is the purpose of prayer?” Can my prayers really change anything? The short and long answer is a resounding “Yes!” We are petitioning the God with all power in heaven and earth, with no limitations on his ability, to intercede on our behalf. Oftentimes, God might see fit to powerfully display his ability and answer our petition in a mighty way. However, sometimes (in my experience maybe even the majority of the time), God might seem to be silent and not actively intercede in the way we want as we pray unto him.


This leads to an important question: what is our purpose in prayer? Do we view God like an all-powerful clean-up man? I mess things up, and then I pray and want my sovereign God to come and clean up my mess. Then for some reason we are disappointed when God does not seem to answer that prayer and he forces me to actually lie in the bed I have made for myself and reap the just consequences of my actions. That is a negative example, but let’s think about a more positive example. When I pray for a loved one to be healed of a dreaded disease, do I view God the same way? Maybe I’m just petitioning God to fix the situation because I know he’s the only one that truly can heal them (which many times is true). Do I just view God as my last alternative, who I pray to only once I have exhausted all other options and then I just want to use my all-powerful dynamite stick to get my intended outcome that I couldn’t accomplish on my own?


If that is the case, that I simply use God to get done the things I have finally resolved in myself that I cannot do, then how do you respond when God’s answer to your petition is “No”? I believe God answers every prayer we pray in one of three ways: yes, no, or not now. If we just view God as our last call effort to fix every situation, what do we do when the answers are “No” or “Not Now”? That’s why so many people reach a state of distrust in the power of God or question God’s care for them when they don’t get their intended outcome. They view the Lord as their own personal lottery ticket to give them whatever they want at the drop of a hat, and if he doesn’t give them that, then either he’s not really God or he doesn’t really love me.


This goes back to our prior question: what is our real purpose in prayer? Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Do I just view God as an all-powerful deity who is at my beck and call to give me whatever I desire (even if that is a good and honorable thing that I am praying for)? Or do I pray to beseech the unmerited favor of a sovereign God with a humble submission to God’s will, even if the outcome of my prayers is not what I originally wanted.


I saw a quote recently that really cuts to the heart of the matter: “Prayer is not an exercise to get man’s will done in heaven; prayer is the way for God’s will to be done on the earth.” The purpose of prayer is not to conform God to our standards and to obligate him to do our will and what we want; prayer is to conform us to God’s will and God’s standards, to understand and accept that God’s will is best for us, even if it’s contradictory to what we have asked for.

Jesus emphasizes this purpose in prayer in his Model Prayer to his disciples in Matt. 6:9-13. The 3rd line in the Model Prayer (after glorifying God’s name and praying for the advancement of his kingdom) is “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) God’s will is always done perfectly in heaven, but that’s not always the case on the earth. The angels in heaven don’t question or object to the will of God; they just obediently carry out God’s will immediately after they have received their marching orders. Our prayer should be for God’s will to be just as perfectly obeyed and submitted to here on earth as it is in heaven.


Jesus concludes that Model Prayer by denoting the proper closing to all of our prayers unto the Lord: “Amen.” (Matt. 6:13) When we say “Amen” to close a prayer, we are not just following a church or family tradition to say that, we are following the command of Jesus Christ. Let’s not miss the significance of what we are saying when we close our prayers by “Amen” though. Amen means “so let it be”. We should have already prayed for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Then, as we close our petition unto God, our final thought is us letting go of the rope and telling the Lord, “so let it be” according to your will.


I was recently looking at the angel Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary in Luke 1:26-38. Mary is told that she, even as a virgin, will give birth to a son, which is naturally a very confounding statement to her seeing she was still a virgin. In spite of her initial doubt and hesitancy, Mary concludes that interaction with Gabriel by saying, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) No doubt, Mary still did not fully understand the full significance of what she was being told or how it was going to happen, but she did display total submission to the will of God. She gave us a great practical definition of what “Amen” should mean to us as we close our prayers: “be it unto me according to thy word.” Just like Mary, we might not understand the “what” of everything that is going on around us, and we certainly might not understand the “why” of many events, but in spite of that we should display that same submission to God’s will in our lives – “be it unto me according to thy word”.


Why then do we pray if it’s not guaranteed for the Lord to give us what we want? One of the important aspects of prayer is allowing the process of making our petitions made known unto God to slowly more conform us to God’s will. Just as the potter with each revolution of the clay more conforms the pot to his intended image; in like manner, with each prayer we are being more conformed as a vessel more fit for the Master’s use, working towards total submission to God’s will. Our purpose in prayer is to allow God as that potter to slowly mold us more accurately into his image – into servants that are fully submissive to the will of God, regardless of what route or outcome that might ultimately lead us to in our lives.


If you have a mind to listen to any of the sermon messages on prayer, you can find them by clicking the link here.


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September 2018 Meeting

  The Lord blessed Bethany during the September 2018 annul meeting with His gracious presence in all four services.  We were blessed with excellent attendance with all our sister churches supporting the meeting with their physical presence and also their finances. Elder Josh Winslett was blessed to preach three messages from the book of Habakkuk with each sermon surrounding each chapter. Friday night he preached from chapter one of Habakkuk with a sermon entitled “Frustration to faith” as Habakkuk mourns why the Lord allows the wickedness to go on without intervening as he wonders “How long” Lord is this going to go on.

Saturday we were blessed with a good congregation with it being a Saturday with good singing and preaching by Elder Winslett from the second chapter of Habakkuk with a sermon entitled “An appointed time for faith”. The Lord answers Habakkuk from the first chapter but not in the way Habakkuk thought. He will send the Chaldeans to punish the wickedness of Israel itself and this is not what Habakkuk expects and doesn’t quite understand. The sermon was followed by an excellent lunch and fellowship around the table.

Saturday night we had an excellent fish supper and other goodies with the fish catered by Gene York. We had an excellent congregation with good singing and preaching by Elder Winslett from the 3rd chapter of Habakkuk. Habakkuk begins the chapter with a prayer and ends it with praise in spite of the calamities that have ensued. He finally comes to grips with the sovereignty of God in knowing that everything God does is good and right as we see in a linear fashion while God sees the end from the beginning.

Sunday Bro. Larry Wise preached from the Isaiah 53:1 about a good report and who believes the good report of the gospel and how reports are mentioned in scripture of both an evil report and a good report. It takes faith to believe the good report and then individuals need a good report of their peers that is accomplished by their obedience to the good report of the truth of the gospel.

Sisterly fellowship at the table

Here are some scenes from the meeting:

Sister Dorothy Clayton: Bro. Larry Visited her Sunday afternoon Sept. 8 she was as jovial as ever and doing fairly well but hasn’t been able to be in church in years.

Elder Josh Winslett

Bro. Boyce Grisham, Elder James Hall and Elder Josh Winslett discussing the situation.

Fellowship visiting after church Saturday morning Sept. 8

Good food and fellowship

Three deacons chewing the fat: Terry Wise, Phillip Wise and Jerry Coleman

Food and fellowship

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An Exhortation

An exhortation to young Primitive Baptists PDF Print E-mail
Written by Josh Winslett
Friday, 17 August 2018 11:24
Though I still consider myself young, I am no longer considered to be a young adult in the modern sense of the term. I have passed into full adulthood with a wife, children, and some gray receding hair. With that said, I am still not very far removed from my adolescence and beginnings of adult life. Over the past couple of months, I have noticed a very strong body of young Primitive Baptist. For that I am thankful. But I do wish to engage this body of people with certain exhortations. Before reading, know that this is said in love and from experience.


First, put your phone down for others. We live in an age that is overwhelmed with social media outlets. I know this because I am on most of them. We are overly flooded with ways of self-promotion. Take time at this point of your life to put down your phones and find ways to serve others. Instead of taking the best picture of a cup of coffee or the outdoors, find a way to privately visit the nursing homes and hospitals. This is pure religion (James 1:27).

Second, visit the small churches. It is easy to only go to the bigger events and larger churches. It is easy to simply go where it seems exciting, or sensational. This may also not be your fault. You may only know of certain events or churches. Whereas that is true, branch out. Learn about these small communities of believers. If you move to an area because of college, do not immediately gravitate towards the largest, seemingly most exciting assembly. Obviously, if you are weak in the faith then you want to go where there is some type of foundation. But find a place where you can be most beneficial. These small, overlooked congregations need you. Do not throw off on them as being older, unzealous, small, or even dying. They are God’s bride just as much as the more exciting congregations. Visit them. Encourage them. Never underestimate how much you can benefit these churches. Be an Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 1:16).

Third, know that others see your example. When you click “like” on something unbecoming of a believer, know that other people can see it. Other young believers (and older) are watching your example. If you react to vulgar pictures that are sexually explicit, know that you are setting a bad example and being a possible stumbling stone before a weaker brother (1 Corinthians 8:9). Be conscientious of those that are following you.

Fourth, do not be a clique. Start viewing your life objectively. Do you always sit with the same people at lunch? Do you always only talk to the same people at every church event? Look around and see if there are other people your age sitting by themselves. They may be too scared to talk to you, or they may even feel neglected by your group. Step out of your comfort zone and see how you can minister and mentor them. Cliques have always been a problem among God’s people (Acts 6:1-2, 1 Corinthians 1:12). Do not let it be so among you.

Fifth, stop judging your peers. You may be somebody that is outside of the clique. Do not judge them. Simply pray for them. You may see other believers that are living ungodly lives or maybe they are not as far along in their sanctification as you are. Do not judge them. Exhort them, yes. But remember that God is charitable to you. Be charitable to others (1 Corinthians 13).

Sixth, do not gossip. It is easy to talk about people. This is a problem that exists in all ages. God has nothing good to say about gossiping tongue (Proverbs 6:16-17). Speak well of your brothers and sisters. Speak well of your ministers. Speak well of your church.

Seventh, forgive. At this age you have not fully come to be able to control your tongue. You will say a lot of things you regret. Likewise, so will your friends and peers. It is easy to simply hold grudges against one another. It is easy to remember everything said and done in youth. Be thankful that God is a forgiving God. Be thankful that he overlooks your personal sins through Christ (Colossians 3:13). Now forgive your peers that have wronged you. The kingdom and cause of Christ is too important to hold grudges.

Eighth, be a Primitive Baptist on purpose. Do not just go along to get along. Understand what we believe about salvation, that it is solely by the sovereign purpose and grace of God. Understand that our worship is not just a preference but it is a biblical conviction of the soul. Be here because you want to be here and because you would not wish to be anywhere else (Psalms 27:4).

Ninth, remember that this is not about you. At this point of your life you will be choosing careers, spouses, where to live, and focusing on how the rest of your life might transpire. It is easy to get caught up in the flood of life and lose track of where you should be standing. In the end, your life is about Christ and his glory (Galatians 2:20). Every decision you make is ultimately about God. Yes, they are your decisions, but remember that we are not the Alpha and Omega. That title alone rests on our God.

Tenth, do not think that you are smarter than your forefathers.  They were only human. Before criticizing them try to understand them within their time period. Learn from their example, both good and bad. But always remember to be charitable concerning them. Always admit where they might have been wrong, but likewise, never tear-down their fence until you realize why it was built (Proverbs 23:20). They made mistakes, so will you.

Eleventh, love Christ above all. Everything that you do should be because you love your savior. Every action you take should be done as if it was in the presence of your God. All that you partake in should be to the glory of his name. Love his word and study it. Worship so that you would see him. Repent because your sins offend him and he died for you. Pray to him often because his presence is more precious to you than your next meal. Remember to now cultivate a proper relationship with him. That way when the excite of youth has faded, the love of Christ will continue to sustain you (2 Corinthians 5:14).

Finally, know that I love you. This exhortation is not out of malice, nor is it to put you down. Remember, where you are I once was and where I am you soon shall be. I remember many friends from my youth that are no longer a Primitive Baptist, many do not even attend a church. Much of the problem that existed with their experience can be attributed to some of the issues mentioned above. My hope is that you, your children, and your children’s children, will all have flourishing lives in the church of our God. But that life starts now while you remember your creator in the days of your youth.

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” Ecclesiastes 12:1

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