June 2024

Have you ever heard of “the butterfly effect?” This theory or idea was the basis for a movie by the same name that came out years ago. I never saw the movie, but the theory in its simplest form goes something like this: a butterfly in South America flaps its wings and the air currents produced from that flapping trigger a chain of events in the atmosphere that eventually produce a hurricane. I’m sure the theory breaks down somewhere, but in all honesty it reminds me of an important biblical principal; the mustard seed principle. Jesus said though the mustard seed is the smallest of the seeds that one would plant in their garden, it will in time produce a tree fit for the birds to nest in. His point was that small acts of faith done repeatedly can produce significant Kingdom growth and impact over time. Just remember that Jesus invested Himself and His message in 12 ordinary men and it started something that has literally changed the world.

I’m diverging from my usual post this month to share with you something that is on my heart. If you’re a regular reader you may remember that back in 2021 I wrote an article about the First Baptist Church of Watertown, MA. I think I even included a picture. If you remember, the church is no longer in existence. All that remains is a lovely building that has been converted into a condominium. It was my first trip ever to Boston, but seeing that really made an impact on me.

New England, and Boston in particular, was the Bible Belt of our country from the early 1600’s to the mid 1800’s. It was the place where the First and Second Great Awakenings originated, works of God that set the tone for our Nation for years to follow. Unfortunately, Boston and the New England area is also the birthplace of the Christian Science movement along with Unitarianism and Universalism, movements which infected the churches and robbed them of their passion for Christ and His mission. That’s what happened to FBC Watertown and so many other churches and why currently only two percent of the population of New England is considered to be evangelical Christians.

But God is doing a work in Boston and throughout the New England area. It’s the only region in the country where Southern Baptist churches as a whole have experienced net growth in membership. Every other region in the country saw declines in church membership, even the current Bible Belt. While I was on that first vision trip to Boston I had the privilege of meeting two young church planters, Dave Comeau and Jonathan Moseley.

Dave has planted Immanuel Church in Weymouth which is in what is known as the South Shore of the Boston metro area, right up the road from Plymouth Rock. The church has grown from about 25 original members to a little over 50 with a Sunday attendance of 75-80. Currently they’re meeting in a school gym and looking for a more permanent location. We’ve had the privilege of serving Immanuel Church the past two years by helping them with some building projects that have provided some extra meeting space and given them favor with the school where they meet.

Jonathan has planted Kings Hill Church in the Mission Hill district near downtown Boston. In that district, which is about ¾ of a mile square, there are ten universities. The church currently meets in a conference room of one of the downtown hotels and this past year they have had to expand to two services because of their growth. Each year they invite churches from all over the country to join them in what they call  “The Big Move.” On Sept. 1 around 70% of the leases in Boston expire and students and their parents are scrambling to move in or out of their apartments (did I mention that there are 80 universities in the Boston Metro area?) Volunteers in bright blue King’s Hill t-shirts go throughout the Mission Hill district and help students move in and out and give out info about the church. The church is reaching many students from all over the world with the Good News of Jesus and for the past three years teams from Moultrie have had a small part in helping them do that by helping with “The Big Move.”

On top of that, last year Dave introduced us to Stephen McDonald, a young man from Mississippi, who is pastoring a church replant at the First Baptist Church of Scituate. They meet in a classic style New England white frame building that is 175 years old which is in need of some upgrades. We’re currently having conversations with Stephen and the congregation about doing upgrades to their church auditorium in the areas of lighting and flooring. Plans are currently underway for two teams to go to Scituate in mid to late August to do the work, one week working on electrical and lighting the next on the flooring.

Because of all the universities, Boston is in many ways the cultural center of our nation. My desire is for the CCBA to be a part of a “mustard seed effect” in the greater Boston area. My hope is that we will get behind these three churches and these three pastors to support the work they are doing in building strong, healthy, vibrant churches and in planting new churches throughout that area. Who knows? In time we could see another Great Awakening sweep through that area and across the country.

So here’s what I want to ask of you. First, please join me in praying for these three pastor and the three churches that they pastor. They are truly on the front lines and need our prayer support. Second, consider going. We have two groups currently planning to participate in “The Big Move” on Sept. 1, one from FBC Moultrie and one from Mt. Olive. It’ll be a short weekend trip but could make a huge impact. Then we have the two teams planning to go out of Mt. Olive to FBC Scituate for the work there if you’d like to join in. Third, would you consider giving. Perhaps you know someone who would like to be involved with the Big Move but could use some help getting there. I can put you in touch with the young men who are heading up the trip so you could get the details. Or you could consider a gift for the work at FBC Scituate. It’s a fairly extensive job and Mt. Olive has set up a designated fund to help them offset the costs. You could send a check to Mt. Olive designated “FBC Scituate” if the Lord leads.

I’m truly blessed to be a part of this great association of churches and grateful to serve you and our Lord in this capacity. Thank you for your prayers and support. May we truly see a “mustard seed effect” taking place through our work in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth!