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Vo l u m e 7 , Is s u e 1 S u m m e r 2 0 1 2 Something New from Something Old Compiled by John Bailes and Bob Larson In March 2011 an all too common event took place in Summerville, Georgia. A church voted to end their ministry— to close the doors forever. The church facility and grounds included five acres of land, a beautiful ten year old auditorium with seating for over 200, as well as a detached fellowship hall. There was no indebtedness. Fortunately, the pastor and the few remaining members had the vision to turn the property over to Baptist International Missions, Inc. The gift came with the condition that a new church would be established there. Summerville is a small, rural community nestled in the Chattooga River Valley. It is a picturesque region filled with a natural beauty and numerous churches, but unfortunately, the majority of the county remains unchurched. Pastor Threlkeld and Dr. Jeff Amsbough As soon as the property was turned over to BIMI, the Reseeding America Ministry under the direction of Dr. John Bailes began planning and praying about a man to be pastor of this new church. The Todd Threlkeld family, members of South Haven Baptist Church, Springfield, Tennessee (Dr. Frank Gagliano pastor), had recently surrendered to plant a church somewhere in America. They were in the process of seeking God's direction as they began raising support through the Reseeding America Ministry after being approved by the BIMI Board of Trustees. Dr. Bailes presented Todd Threlkeld with the opportunity of starting a church in an existing facility. After much prayer the Threlkeld family was convinced that God was directing them to Summerville, Georgia, to start a church. Pastor Gagliano and the congregation of South Haven Baptist in Springfield then voted to form the New Haven Baptist Church in Summerville with Todd Threlkeld as the pastor. They also voted to provide the funds needed to build Todd and his family an apartment in the fellowship building of the vacated property. Volunteer construction workers came from South Haven and labored to build a small but comfortable apartment. When BIMI took possession of the Summerville facility in the spring of 2011, the decision was made to open the doors of this new church asking God to build a foundation group for starting the new work. While the Trelkeld family raised needed support, Dr. Bailes put a team of volunteer preachers together to fill the pulpit. Bob and Jennifer Larson with Reseeding America came in June and parked their RV on the property for four months to fill the pulpit and assist in the infancy stage for this new church. Todd came in October of 2011 and began to work toward a launch for April 2012. Together, with the small group God assembled during the summer, they worshiped and reached out to the community. Visitors came to services, people accepted Christ, and they saw folks follow the Lord in baptism. During the month of April in preparation for the Grand Opening Sunday, 12,000 flyers were mailed and 6,500 John and Romans Scripture portions with an invitation to Grand Opening services were hung on doors in the community through several distribution efforts. Sister churches from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia came to help in these events. A special thanks is due Pastor Brent Baughman and the Stanley Heights Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for generously providing the funds to replace the lighted church sign. Stanley Heights Baptist Church as well as the Talking Rock Road Baptist Church, Branson, Missouri, and Rev. Wayne Holder, Beckley, West Virginia, provided custom printed Scripture books to use in the distributions. Prior to the Grand Opening Keith Dunsmore from Stanley Heights Baptist set up a booth at a local flea market. With the assistance of Pastor Threlkeld and Bob Larson, they used this opportunity to share the Gospel and invite hundreds of people to the church. Praise the Lord for many decisions, including two people who trusted Christ as their Savior. continued on page 6 RESEEDING AMERICA is a ministry of Baptist International Missions, Inc. Contact: USA Director John Bailes 423–605–4020 USA Assistant Director Bob Larson 423–605–6098 Dr. John Bailes, Editor Rev. Bob Larson, Co-editor