Sunday, March 27, 2011

Children of the World Choir at Urbancrest ~ April 2nd & 3rd

The Children of the World Choir will be appearing at Urbancrest Baptist Church on Saturday, April 2nd at 6:00pm and Sunday, April 3rd at 9:30 and 11:00am.

The Saturday concert is a partnership with A Child’s Hope Intl. and The Children of the World Choir to benefit Kid’s Against Hunger.

The Choir will participate in a packing session on Saturday morning at the Kids Against Hunger Factory and then appear in concert at 6pm at Urbancrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, OH. Special reserved seating is available. Go to to learn more about the Saturday packing session and reserved seating. The doors at Urbancrest will open at 5:30pm for the Saturday evening concert. A love offering will be taken during the Saturday concert to benefit A Child's Hope International.

The Sunday morning concerts will be during the regular service times at 9:30 and 11:00am. Do NOT miss these beautiful children of the world!

Friday, March 25, 2011

GIC Update #3

Urbancrest’s 2011 Global Impact Celebration finished with three great services! Saturday evening we enjoyed the Taste of the World where the Sunday School classes went all out to prepare international foods for those attending to sample. Immediately following, Saturday's evening service was focused on our local missions and our commitment to prayer. Travis Ogle, Teaching Pastor for Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada was our featured speaker. I have never heard a more challenging message on prayer! If you were not there, please listen to the podcast at Many responded and prayer teams were raised for missionaries as they return to their mission fields all over the world.

On Sunday morning, the missionaries once again spent time getting to know their Sunday school class members and the services were powerful!  Pastor Travis once again preached a challenging message on the Church and her mission. We collected our Faith Promise Offering for the coming year and many responded to the challenge. By Monday morning, over $241,000.00 had been promised for the Lord’s work through Urbancrest ministries. This is less than last year by about $26,000.00, but is an amazing amount of funds to be promised in faith. God honors faith, and we feel certain that He will allow us to accomplish His will with the funds He provides. If you were unable to turn in your Faith Promise Commitment Card on Sunday, it is not too late. We will receive them for the next few weeks, after which we will begin to build our budget for next year on the promises given. Pray that we will not have to reduce or terminate missionary support due to the lack of funds. Remember, the question is not, “Do you have the money?” This is not about money. The question is, “Do we have faith and are we going to be obedient?” Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Sunday evening was our Life Commitment Service with Pastor Steven from Israel bringing the message. As our local ministry leaders and short-term mission trip team leaders lined the alter and invited people to join them in ministry locally, nationally, and to the ends of the earth, I was reminded of what a great church God has raised up for Himself at Urbancrest. The sun does not set on her ministries. Many people made commitments to short and long-term missions. Eight people came forward and committed to give their lives in service to the Kingdom. Pray for them as they seek God’s will for their lives.

I am truly sad to send the missionaries back to their work. Getting to know them is a great blessing in my life. My prayer is that they leave refreshed after having been here and encouraged to do the work they are called to. God was glorified, our vision was enlarged, hearts were touched, lives were transformed and finances were committed. All of our goals were reached! God is an awesome God!

If you have a story or a testimony about the GIC this year, please email it to me at Now it is time for each of us to go to work! We need to be connected and committed to the place and people each of us have been called to. Do not be silent. Tell the Good News that “Jesus saves.” Remember that “the night is coming when no one can work.”

Saturday, March 19, 2011

GIC Update # 2

The GIC week has moved like a whirlwind to those of us that are closely associated with it. There is little time to talk about what has been going on because we are so busy getting ready for the next event. But here is a brief update about what has happened these last couple of days and a quick look forward.
Thursday evening we experienced what our brothers and sister who do not have the freedom to worship Jesus openly experience, at least in a small way. Our UBC youth allowed us to worship in the underground church with persecuted Christians. We were led through a maze with guards roaming the areas looking for lawbreakers and dissidents that may be guilty of nothing more than worshipping Jesus. Steven Khoury led us as we whispered the words to “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” in worship and then preached in hush tones from Acts 16 of Paul and Silas in prison and in chains. His experiences as a pastor in Jerusalem and his own experiences growing up as a Palestinian Christian brought the reality to us that this is real and happening today all over the world.   Those that attended will not easily forget to pray for the persecuted church and to thank God for the freedoms that we often take for granted.
Friday evening our classes gathered in one of their homes with their adopted missionaries for a home briefing. It is one of the best times that we have during the GIC. Our missionaries are so encouraged to be able to get connected with the classes. And the classes really get to hear the inside scoop of the work of the missionaries. Those connections are long lasting and bless both the missionary and the folks who attend. The reports out of each class were great!
This Morning, (Saturday) we have had an incredible breakfast with our missionaries and GIC Leadership team, host families and Staff. Eric Stapleton, Wycliffe Missionary to Vanuatu, led our devotion from Proverbs 4:23. The food, prepared by DeWayne Jeffers and his team was wonderful. We then left the building to do missions distributing information about our new church plant in Lebanon We had 95 UBC folks  and missionaries from all over the world walking the streets of Lebanon distributing flyers to 2000 homes inviting residents to the preview service of Living Word Bible Church Palm Sunday evening, April 17th.
This evening we will enjoy the great food at our Taste of the World at 5:30 pm. Then our children and preschool will have their own version of GIC while the rest of us gather to worship and hear God’s word presented by Travis Ogle, Teaching Pastor of Hope Baptist in Las Vegas NV. This is our prayer Commitment Service and possible the most important of the week of events.
On Sunday Morning, our missionaries will be in the Sunday School Classes. This is when we receive our Faith promise offering. Our Goal is $300000.00, so please pray with us for the Lords blessing. Only he can do that. Pastor Travis will be preaching again and the flags of the world will be presented. Please come and meet our missionary both Sunday morning and Sunday night. One of the reasons they have come is to meet and get to know you.
Sunday Evening at 6:00 pm is our Life Commitment service. Pastor Steven will bring our message. Please come to this very special service. I believe God is going to do something very special in this service as we worship Jesus. He is rising up his army to go into all the world. This commitment service is about our obedience to Him and being part of expanding His Kingdom. You will not want to miss it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flood Victims Lose Property, but Gain Christ

Ohio volunteers spent several days last week preparing to work alongside Disaster Relief Mud Out teams from Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. The towns of Wapakoneta and St. Marys, located 90 minutes north of Lebanon on I-75, endured flooding after heavy snow and rains. Numerous lives have now been reached with the gospel because of the almost 50 volunteers who traveled to meet the needs of these victims.

I am always glad to be a small part of a disaster response. The benefits of being part of a team that seeks to bring the hope of Christ to hurting people has great personal rewards. But even greater is the knowledge that the destiny of souls will be altered forever because of the sacrifices made.

Take a moment to read the National Disaster Relief Update article that can be found at the following link: . The "Ohio Flooding" segment gives a synopsis of the deployment. The Activity Report (at the bottom) includes in part the Professions of Faith, Ministry Contacts, Gospel Presentations, Mud Out jobs, Showers, and Laundry. A percentage of these statistics were the result of this Ohio deployment. I will add that the total professions of faith for this week was 7. The individual who had the joy of leading these 7 to salvation was Larry Randolph, who, until moving to nearby Bellefontaine, was a member of Urbancrest. Larry and his wife Sylvia (who leads Ohio Child Care) have been sowing seeds in Bellefontaine and other places since they moved. Wapakoneta is one of those towns. It has not been easy and they have given up comfort to be obedient to God.

But seeing the gift of evangelism bear such fruit this week was simply beautiful. I can't help but rejoice with those who reap a harvest where they have sown. Nonetheless, Larry would be the first to say it was possible only because of the coordinated efforts of a team. In the ministry of Disaster Relief, the Lord takes many workers and makes them one. And when we choose to give ourselves to the helpless, the result is the glory of God through the body of Christ.

Mick & Wanda Lovely
Urbancrest Disaster Relief

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Urbancrest GIC - DAY ONE

We are now one full day into our Global Impact Celebration at Urbancrest. WOW! How God has blessed us! Our Kick-Off Celebration last night was a tremendous worship experience. I always get a little misty-eyed when the flags come into the sanctuary. With missionaries present from all over the world, I am reminded that those flags represent people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. They will all be represented around the throne according to Revelation 7:9. The "black flag" that was brought into the room first will remain by the speaker’s podium throughout the event. It represents the lostness that remains in the world. 5.5 billion people are lost! 1.6 billion of them live in Unreached People Groups (UPG). Most have never heard the name of Jesus!
The Kids for Christ Choir and Preschool Choir were so good! They reminded us to live for Jesus “Everyday.” The adult choir and praise team were awesome in leading worship. Pastor Steven from Jerusalem, Israel brought one of the most dynamic messages I have ever heard. It always stirs my heart when I hear of believers in Jesus that are being persecuted and beaten for their beliefs, but when one stands before you that has endured such beatings and persecution and testifies that Jesus is worth it, you will never be the same!
We have this freedom to worship in this great land. Many throughout the world cannot even conceive of such freedom. They secretly hide to worship lest they are beaten, imprisoned, or worse. That is why we celebrate the work of God at our GIC each year. He is at work even in places that are hostile to Christianity, and the believers living there hold fast to their profession of faith because Jesus is worth it. Eternal life is worth it!
Pastor Steven will speak again tonight at the underground church experience. Be at the church at 6:30 pm. Follow the instructions of your guide and you will be admitted to hear him.
You will not want to miss any of this GIC. We are hearing holy instructions for the future.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Global Impact Celebration~March 16-20

The 2011 Global Impact Celebration (GIC) is now upon us! If you are new to Urbancrest, or you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you may not realize that this is the most important and exciting event we have each year. Our GIC Coordinators have spent hundreds of hours preparing and working through every detail of the event with all the different Team Leaders. Next week, 37 missionary units will descend on us for our Kick-Off Celebration on Wednesday, March 16, at 6:30pm. These missionaries come from Vanuatu, Israel, Florida, Ukraine, Lebanon and all points in between. They come for two reasons: to proclaim the mighty works of God to those that will listen, and to meet and get to know YOU!

More than just another meeting or event, the Global Impact Celebration is a mission conference on steroids! Like the Church in Acts 14, we will hear the mission reports of those who have taken the Gospel to the world. We will worship and celebrate the work of God as His renown has been made known to the ends of the earth! We will pray together for the lostness that still exists in over 5.5 billion lives, of which over 1.3 billion have never had the name JESUS even whispered in their ear.

Visit the GIC page of our UBC mission website for an overview of the Schedule of Events:

Please make a special effort to attend our Wednesday night Kick-off Service at 6:30pm. This is the time that God will kindle the fire in your heart with His love for the world. These missionaries are coming to meet YOU! The more time you spend with them, the more likely it is that God will use you to encourage them, and use them to bless your life as you hear “the mighty works of God.” Steven Khoury, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Jerusalem, Israel, will be bringing the message of the evening. You will not want to miss his story and the challenges he faced growing up as a Palestinian Christian youth in the City of David, Bethlehem.

Thursday night will be a new experience for Urbancrest. Because so many of our brothers and sisters around the world are facing persecution and meeting in secret, our UBC youth are inviting us to experience a worship service in the “underground” church just the way the persecuted Christians around the world do. You will gain a new appreciation for the faith and commitment of those who worship the King in spite of threat and bodily harm. They have much to teach us. Because we want you to experience this as a family just like they do in the underground church, there will be no childcare for this event. Your faith will grow and you will have a new appreciation for “counting the cost.”

Friday night will be our Global Home Briefings. Each of the Sunday school classes will host missionaries in the home of one of their class members. You are invited to choose a Home Briefing that is close to your home and join us in fellowship with a couple of the missionaries. You will have the opportunity to talk with them, and really get to know them. There are maps prepared and available to you this Sunday in the foyer of the church for these very special meetings. Please be sure you attend and participate in this great time of learning and fellowship.

An Urbancrest favorite, the Taste of the World on Saturday at 5:00pm is an international banquet where our Sunday school classes prepare the favorite dishes of the missionaries. Visit each booth and sample foods such as alligator or borscht! Fried chicken will be available for the squeamish. Immediately following the Taste of the World, the 6:30pm Prayer Commitment Service will draw us to the throne of God to pray for the nations. We will also recognize our local missionaries and hear a challenge from Travis Ogle, the Teaching Pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Our Celebration continues on Sunday morning at both 9:30am and 11:00am during our Faith Promise Commitment Service as we hear once again from Travis Ogle and missionaries who will be in most Sunday school classes!

Our closing service Sunday night is the Life Commitment Service. Pastor Khoury will once again bring the charge and our church will be challenged as we commit to go into all the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our local, regional, and international mission team leaders will be at the front to receive the commitments from our members. The total of our Faith Promise offering will be announced and we will celebrate and bless our missionaries as we send them once again to the places God has called them.

On both Wednesday and Saturday evenings, our children will have their own GIC special activities at the same time the adults are meeting. Our preschoolers will be visited by different missionaries each night as well as enjoy special activities that focus on missions. Children’s Mission Specialist, Selena Newton, and our own Mindy Howell have planned special age-appropriate activities for children K-6 that will teach them about the persecuted church and how Jesus loves us even when we face adversity. On Wednesday, your child will learn about the coliseum and a drama about Christian persecution in Roman times. They will also learn about the current persecution that believers are facing in Chinese house churches while enjoying snacks from China. Saturday, the children will experience a “catacomb” where persecuted Christians used to have church. They will get to do mission work as they put together Voice of the Martyrs Action Packs that will be sent to Pakistan. We have a highly experiential GIC planned for your children! Don’t let them miss it!
This Sunday morning, Pastor Tom will introduce our theme in his message as we begin our journey together: “The Night is Coming” from John 9:4 “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

Please join us in Room 207 during the GIC to pray for the missionaries, workers, and the lives that will be touched. GIC Prayer Points:
  • Pray for our missionaries as they travel and are among us.
  • Pray that God will be glorified and choose to come to us in all His power and might.
  • Pray that souls will be saved and lives transformed this week.
  • Pray that lives and finances will be committed to enable us to extend our role in His global mission during the next year.
  • Pray that prayer warriors will commit to pray for each missionary and project to defeat the enemy and bring glory to the King!
 Come join us and “be part of the journey!”