Faith Community Church Welcomes Pastor Matt Dunavant and Family

Pastor Matt Dunavant and Family

Pastor Matt Dunavant and Family

A brief family bio…

Matt began his ministry at Faith Community Church in Barre on March 3.  Matt and Stacey Dunavant have been married for 21 years.  They have three children; Meredith, 16, Madison 10 and Matthew Ray 9.  Matt and Stacey met in an Arkansas high school and became high school sweethearts in 1986. Both attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas and married while sophomores. They have been in the ministry since the beginning of their life together. Matt served as pastor of several churches throughout college and seminary.  After completion of seminary at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary they moved to Pensacola, Florida, where Matt pastored Calvary Baptist Church for 7 years.  The Dunavant family has spent the last 6 ½ years serving as International Mission Board missionaries in Cairo, Egypt.  Through a series of God ordained events, He has brought them back to the United States.  Faith Community Church is thrilled that God has placed them here.

Christmas Season Giving Generates Positive Conversations In Burlington, VT!

Greetings from the Streets!

We had a great time of ministry over the Christmas season. Quite a few of the homeless folks we have been ministering to had a chance to go home and be with family, many of them for the first time in years. Nine of our folks have been clean and sober for over a year, and have given God the glory for this.

We gave out 400 Bibles
We gave out 812 $10.00 Bruegger Bagels gift Cards and over 500 McDonald’s gift cards.
We also gave out 202 bags of groceries.
100 pairs of new underwear, 200 pairs of gloves, 300 pairs of new socks.

Some of the most exciting thing for me was to see the amazing Bible discussions regarding the birth of Christ, why Jesus had to come and what God means to us. Quite a few expressed gratitude that they experienced God’s love and guidance this past year.

We are coming into the coldest and worst part of winter, and we will continue to be available to those who call the streets home. I want to thank everyone who has supported us this past year, we can’t do this without you.

Your Missionary to the streets,

Dave

Rev. David Russell, Pastor/Director
Burlington Street Ministries
112 Northgate, Burlington, VT 05408
http://www.bsmvt.org

New NAMB Position for Lyandon Warren

Lyandon Warren has been appointed by NAMB to fill the newly created position of Church Planting Catalyst for the state of Vermont. Lyandon continues to serve as lead pastor / elder of the new church plant in Poultney.  Lyandon is a graduate of North Greenville University and is currently completing his Masters at Southern Seminary.
Lyandon has been serving in Vermont since 2007 and initially planted a new church in West Pawlet, VT and has assisted in church plants in Arlington and East Hubbardton.
Pray for Lyandon and Kim as they adjust to this new position and move to their new home in Poultney, VT where their latest church plant is located (1232 Eat Main St Poultney, VT 05764). Visit vermontchurchplanting.com for more info about church planting in Vermont!

Update from New Life Community Church, Northfield, VT

Greetings  from Vermont in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!This  summer has moved at a frantic pace, and we are delighted to be able to take a  pause and share all that has transpired in Northfield, Vermont!A GRAND OPENING!Many  changes have been made to the storefront property in the past three months. We  were delighted to welcome Ebenezer Baptist Church from Toccoa, GA, who came to  help with major renovations. They created new spaces for a foyer, handicapped  bathroom, and kitchen. They put sheet rock and insulation in a back room that we  use for our Kids Church ministry. All of these essential changes were completed  in less than five days. We also had a volunteer team from Immanuel Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC complete the majority of our painting as well as prayerwalking and surveying in our town. Much more work is still ahead of us, but we are so  thankful for the foundational work they took on. Please see the end of this  newsletter for how you can be involved in the completion of this work!

We  started meeting in our new storefront space in mid-June, but we had our Grand  Opening on August 5. We invited the community to join us for this time of  celebration through word-of-mouth, hanging signs around town, and making  personal visits to homes in town. Our efforts were shown through the fact that  we had 66 people attend this service! Many of these families are still attending  with us.

Our  numbers have continued to grow as our college students are back in town. With a  new year comes a new influx of freshmen students. Our current students have  spread the word on campus about our church. Many new students are attending, so  much so that our attendance has reached as high as 86 in the last few weeks! We  have had to put out all the new chairs we ordered in order to make room for  this growth!

LABOR DAY OUTREACH A  SUCCESS!

The  members of our church were joined by Shades Mountain Baptist Church of  Birmingham, Alabama, who sent a high-energy team of senior adults up to help us  with our Labor Day outreach. The 3-day Labor Day Festival is the largest  gathering of people Northfield has throughout the year. This year, they  estimated as many as 10,000 people attended the festivities at some point  during the weekend (and for a town of 7,000 when the college classes are in  session, that’s really something!).

We  set up a booth during the festival, and handed out 500 free goodie bags for  children and we asked people to sign up for free giveaways on the last day of  the festival including a 42 inch Flat screen TV donated by our guest mission  team. We received over 120 forms from this effort. Many also people requested  information about our church. We also used Solarium by Campus Crusade and other  street witnessing tools to share the Gospel with people visiting our booth. At  least two people prayed to receive Christ and we have already seen a few  families and individuals check out our church as a result of this weekend. Pray  that we will be able to make contact with those who requested prayer and  personal visits.

UPWARD SOCCER AND  CHEERLEADING CAMP AT ALL-TIME HIGH

When  Ebenezer Baptist Church came, they not only brought a renovation team, they  also brought a group of teens to help us run our annual Soccer Camp. This year  we decided to add a cheerleading camp as well. We had 54 children registered  for the camp. Many families from the surrounding areas were represented. We had  many parents report that their children had so much fun that they wanted us to  have the camp for two weeks instead of one! Other parents communicated their  joy over seeing their children grow in self-confidence. We were able to share  the gospel with the children and a few expressed a desire to know more about  God. One child came back and said that she had invited Jesus into her heart the  night before!

TEENS EXPERIENCE  REVIVAL

The  Ebenezer team from Georgia really outdid themselves as the very teens who  worked with our camps in the mornings came back in the afternoons and evenings  to work with our teenagers. The relationships they developed with them were  essential as many of the teenagers in our area have very little in the way of  examples of Godly lives.

Our  teens followed up that week with another week of Bible study and fellowship at  a sister church in Barre. This event, Youth Explosion, has been held for five  years now. They had almost 120 teens in attendance. Our teens came back heavily  impacted by both events.

The  teens took over the service the next Sunday and led out in worship and  testimonies. All of us in attendance were dramatically affected by the stories  they had to share. The teens spoke of lives impacted by divorce, drug use, a  parent in prison, suicide attempts, and bullying. These stories are not unique  to our area, but we are looking for ways to help these teens navigate through  their specific set of circumstances. Please be in prayer for our teenagers, and  pray for us as we minister to them.

Street Ministry Report from David Russell

Greetings, We are ending our summer outreach and preparing to move indoors for the winter. a lot of changes for us this year. We had a good year, a lot of need, and we met so many fine people we were able to minister to.

 

1. We gave out 1,620 bibles.
2. We gave out 2,433 $5.00 gift cards to McDonald”s and Brueger Bagels to the homeless and needy families.
3. We gave out 1,661 bags of groceries.
4. We gave out 1,620 brand new pairs of socks to the homeless.
5. We gave out 114 new pairs of shoes to the homeless.
6. We gave out 975 pkg. of new underwear to the homeless.
7. We had 555 personal contacts with people to share about Faith in Christ on a deep level, with 14 people coming to faith.
We had a good year, but we also experienced some very severe problems. Several times this summer some other religious groups were out and brought a very different message. One group came down with signs blaming the shooting in Colorado on “liberals.” Another group blamed all the problems of the world on evolution. Besides these two groups, there were many more people who came down and took similar stances, which caused a lot of problems. We are seeing an increase of this over the past few years.
Another issue we faced this summer is that the homeless are being pushed out of downtown, creating a hostile environment for them, pushing them to the waterfront and other places. So we have made the decision that next summer we will relocate from downtown to the Waterfront, Battery Park, and possibly downtown Winooski.
We will be staying downtown over the winter, but as long as the weather is still nice, we may venture into these new areas for the fall.
Thank you all for your support, really we could not do this without your financial support.  God is moving in a powerful way among the homeless, and I count it a privilege to be a part of What He is doing.
Your Missionary to the streets,
Dave Russell

Faith Community Baptizes Eleven

Faith Community Church of Barre, VT, held their annual church picnic and outdoor baptism on August 5. Chris and Pat Beltrami, who have been active in the Barre church since it met in the basement of a local motel, invited the entire church to their home for the picnic. The baptism was held in their pond.

Terry Dorsett, pastor of the church, baptized ten of the eleven candidates. Many of the baptism candidates were teenagers, including two 14 year old twin boys, as well as the two teenage sisters of the very first person ever baptized by the church back in 2004.

Three adults were baptized, including an 80 year old great grandmother, who had to sit in a chair and have it tipped backwards in order to be fully immersed. In explaining her spiritual transformation, the great grandmother said, “When I lost my husband, I realized I needed Jesus and I also needed all of you people. You have changed my life.”

One of the candidates, an 18 year old young woman who was leaving for college just a few days later, was baptized by her grandfather, Albert Collins. Pastor Collins served a nearby church for nearly 50 years as pastor before his recent retirement. Many consider him the “father of evangelical faith” in the Central Vermont area, and it was a real honor to have him participate in the baptism service. His granddaughter testified, “Though I came to know the Lord as a child, I wandered a bit in my faith during high school, but now I’m completely dedicated to Jesus and happy to proclaim that faith to all who know me.”

The church, which is rapidly growing, already has a list of additional people who want to be baptized.

Mettowee Valley Church and Foundation Church Hold Joint Baptism

Sunday, August 12, marked a special day in the hearts of many in Southern Vermont as Mettowee Valley Church and its first daughter plant, Foundation Church, celebrated a joint baptismal service at Lake St. Catherine. Eight people in all were baptized, two of which came from Foundation Church, who will begin their regular Sunday services on September 9, 2012. After the baptismal service, the two groups fellowshiped and reminisced about the emotionally challenging, but joyous process of church planting. One person at the celebration reportedly said, “It sure was difficult to see my pastor of five years transition to a new church plant, but who can complain, when we see people coming to Christ as a result.” Indeed, church planting may be a challenging endeavor, but may we continue to see new churches planted in our state, so that more lives may be transformed by the Gospel. Please pray for Foundation Church and the town of Poultney, as church planter Lyandon Warren and his ministry team faithfully labor in the harvest.

Mountain View Baptizes New Believers

On Sunday August 12, 2012, two new believers were baptized at Mountain View Baptist Church in Lancaster, NH, by Roy Palmer, Assistant Pastor.  Roy works at the same place as the young man and had been witnessing to him for the last several months. During Roy’s ordination service, the young man realized his need for Christ. Soon after that, his fiance followed the spiritual example he set and also came to Christ. The young couple are planning a wedding and are excited to start a marriage on a spiritual foundation.

Barre Baptist Paints Building and Hosts Sidewalk Bash

On Monday, July 16, Barre Baptist Fellowship, with the assistance of South Elm St. Baptist Church from Greensboro, NC, held their first Sidewalk Bash.  Forty-seven people from the neighborhood enjoyed the games, crafts, face painting, balloon animals, hamburgers and hotdogs.  There were 6 professions of faith.  Pastor Greg King, from Kingdom Ministries, held everyone captive with his illusions, all of which were a presentation of the Gospel. This is the beginning of a new outreach to the children in the community.  The church has plans to start Team Kid in September and will begin working toward an after school program. The team also helped pain the church building.