Teen and Youth Camp -- 2014
Nashville Disciples Give Record Amount
The Greater Nashville Church took up the annual Special Missions Contribution on
Sunday, June 1, and additional giving took place throughout the month. The final total
was a record amount for the last 10 years. A total $146,183 was given. This included
the amount to support Diane Brown in Argentina, the amount contributed by those who
went to Bogota for the mission trip and the money raised at the golf tournament.
We give thanks to God for this grace of giving which will be used for missions both in South America and here in the Southeast.
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Brothers' Story is Read throughout Tennessee
After seven years of dialysis, three times a week, Steve Williams, a long-time member of the Greater Nashville Church, thought his wait was almost over. Mark Heitman, a brother in Christ from the Minneapolis Church, arrived in Nashville on June 30 to begin a final round of tests before donating a kidney to Steve.
Mark learned of Steve’s need as he visited in Nashville some time ago. He quickly stepped forward to see if he qualified as a donor. He missed a considerable amount of work time to undergo testing in his home state and then drove to Nashville for the final phase of what he described as a great journey.
Testing here in Nashville revealed that he would not be able to go through with the donation. However, in the face of this news, Steve continued to be an example of faith, reminding us all that good things have already come out of this process and that God will bless it and see it through. Mark and Steve continued to deepen their friendship.
Some how Nashville’s leading newspaper, the Tennessean, got wind of this story and ran a great feature on both brothers. If you have not read it, follow the link below, but bear in mind that the writer got one fact wrong: Mark did not find the Nashville church randomly. When he was in Nashville on his original trip, he purposely sought us out as his brothers and sisters.
Read the story here, and keep praying for Steve and Mark. God is continuing to work.
News from the Andean Churches in South America
FLAVIO URIBE - BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
For us, God is blessing us with a good year. We have seen several people come to faith, and we have been encouraged by the return to the church of a brother known by some, Dagoberto Munoz, who was an intern in the past. Our present interns are doing well, and I am seeing special growth in each one. Personally I have been very inspired in my walk with God by studying the Old Testament.
Jorge Rodriguez, who trains under Douglas Jacoby through the AIM program, has taught some impressive classes. In fact, all the brothers who participated in the Miami School of Missions have influenced the whole church.
We just had our annual church administrative meeting, and we thank God that we have been self-sustaining as a country for another year.
Finally, in our family life, our daughter, Franchesca, decided to go to college in North Carolina, God willing. There is a very good chance that the entire cost, including room and board, will be covered by a special grant.
ORLANDO ROCHA – MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA
The church in Medellin is having an impact through our Web page. One has already become a Christian and a second is very close to making Jesus Lord. Another contact that plans to be united with Christ soon came through a family member in Canada.
There is very exciting news from the little group in Barranquilla. The three disciples, all women, have been meeting faithfully twice a month, where Luis, or I lead on Friday nights. We took our family to visit them for a weekend. They had 22 out on Friday night and around 50 at the Sunday service! Rubby’s husband, who was once a disciple is considering being restored. It was a great weekend for all involved.
Orlando and family in Barranquilla for the Friday Bible study
CESAR HERRERA - PERU
Unlike the last two years, in Lima we have gotten off to a slow start, but we were encouraged by two baptisms last week. One was a 15-year-old who has come out with the teen and campus group. The other is a great story. We have a group of married women in the church whose husbands are not disciples, called the “The Eunices”. One woman has a husband who worked as a sailor. He was often away from home and when around was very negative about the church. A few weeks ago, he came with his wife to a marrieds’ event. Something about it moved his heart, and he quickly studied the Bible and was baptized into Christ. His wife plans to continue with the Eunice group to help her sisters as much as they helped her.
Two other situations have affected the Lima church this year. We have been dealing with several cases of sin and also a number of our members suddenly lost their jobs, causing problems for several families and impacting the church budget. But God will provide.
The groups in Chincha and Arequipa are doing well. The church in Trujillo has been blessed with the presence of Paolo y Cynthia (some in Nashville may remember them) visiting family for two months. Once the leaders in Trujillo they decided to move to Canada (Cynthia’s home) so that Paulo could finish his education. Their visit has proven to be a great encouragement.
Trujillo church with Paolo and Cynthia
EDILBERTO RAMIREZ – CARACAS, VENEZUELA
In the country things continue to worsen, as long lines are forming every day at the grocery stores to be able to buy necessary household items before they run out. Nayibe and I had to get up very early and wait in line two days straight for two to three hours before we were able to purchase the needed items. This kind of experience is repeated throughout the church. Pray for Venezuela!
In spite of everything going on in the country, God continues to open doors in different cities. The celebration of the 15th anniversary of the church in Caracas is now going to take place on April 26.
The teens and university students have organized “Project Christ,” a series of mini debates to attract other students. These events have proved very successful in getting people interested in the Bible.
“Proyecto Cristo” – Student outreach in Caracas
South America: A New Partnership and a New Initiative
Steve and Diane Brown have been committed to the spread of the gospel in the Spanish-speaking world for almost 40 years. In April they will begin an exciting two-year initiative to strengthen connections among the Spanish-speaking churches in South America as well as their sister churches in the United States.
This plan is a joint effort between the Florida and Mid-South churches. The Florida Mission Council (FMC) has been allied with churches in Brazil and the southern part of South America, affectionately known as “The Southern Cone.” The Southeastern Mission Alliance (SEMA), representing churches in the Mid-South, has been allied with the churches in Northern South America--Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru--known as “The Andean Group.” We are thankful for and excited about this new partnership among U.S. churches.
The effort will begin with nine months in Buenos Aires, Argentina--part of the Southern Cone--at the invitation of Sebastian and Sarai Serra, leaders of the church there. Steve and Diane were part of two separate mission teams to Buenos Aires, and hope to connect with past members, build bridges in that city as well as provide added support to the Serras. In 2015 the plan involves the Browns returning to Nashville for three months before going again to South America to work with the churches in the Andean Group. In this phase, they will focus on training leaders, with a special emphasis on working with mature disciples with a goal of seeing elders appointed. To this point there are no elders in any of the churches in South America.
We are grateful for their inspiring example, with Steve dealing with MS and Diane giving up her work as a nurse practitioner. We are confident that the churches in South America will be helped by this new faith chapter in their lives.
25 Years and Counting...
The Greater Nashville Church celebrated it's 25th Anniversary this past year and we continue to strive to help God grow his kingdom. We hope you will join us as God reveals new friends and a clear vision for the future.
What to expect at our services:
Please join us every Sunday and the last Tuesday of the month for a great All Church service. We also have small group churches during the week so please contact us to see who is meeting near you. We'd love to study God's word with you!
In the fall of 1987 Terry and Sue Folker spent three months working with a small church in Hartsville, Tennessee that was connecting with a growing movement, mostly on college campuses, to return to Jesus’ message to make disciples. In that short time, bonds were formed with Tennesseans Barry and Debbie Holt and others.
Twenty six years later, the Holts are with the Greater Nashville Church, where Barry serves as an elder, and the Folkers are finishing two exciting years with the Berlin Church in Germany. By September 1, Terry and Sue will be returning to Tennessee to renew those bonds formed earlier and begin to build new bonds. This is because the elders and leadership team of the Greater Nashville Church have announced that Terry will be serving as the lead evangelist and Sue the women’s ministry leader for the congregation.
Terry became a disciple in 1981 in Tampa, Florida, and Sue in 1979 in Tallahassee. They were married in 1985 and have one son James, who now lives in Tallahassee. The Folkers primarily served churches in Florida for 24 years before moving to Boston in 2008 to lead the large singles ministry in the Boston Church. This led to Terry serving as the chairman of the ICOC Singles Service Team giving guidance to singles ministries in all our churches.
When the need arose for stronger leadership in the Berlin Church, the Folkers accepted the opportunity, though they spoke no German. In two years with the church they have seen God bring renewal and change. They were only open to leaving Berlin if the right couple could be found to replace them, and God surprisingly provided Scott and Lynn Green who pioneered the amazing work in Hong Kong and China in the late ‘80s and ‘90s and have led the Seattle church during the last seventeen years.
For many years the Greater Nashville Church has been a leader in reaching out to the four northern countries of South America. With plans now being discussed to combine our Southeast Missions Alliance and the Florida Missions Council (FMC) that supports the other countries in South America, it is significant that for four years Terry served as the president of the FMC and has great familiarity with the work in South America. In addition to her work as a women’s ministry leader, Sue is also a licensed counselor.Terry and Sue are known for their spirituality, wisdom, evangelistic hearts, and love for people. They have many ties and close relationships with leaders and others throughout our family of churches. They come to us with the highest commendation and support of the leaders of the Boston Church. The Folkers’ decision to lead the Nashville team is an answer to many prayers and one we are all convinced will lead to great impact in Tennessee, the Mid-South, the Southeast and on into South America. Once before, they made an impact here in the Mid-State in just three months. What God does this time will no doubt be even more exciting. Please keep the Folkers, the Berlin church and, of course, the Nashville church in your prayers in this time of transition.