The ARP Times




                                           ARP Times

                                          August 2020


Dear Friends,

     There is a wonderful Old Testament promise that is a blessing for us.  It’s Deuteronomy 31:8,
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

     The first promise is that He (God) goes before us.  When trials and difficulties come into our lives, we become concerned, but God knows what we are going through, and He has prepared for the time long before it happens.  He always goes before us in His divine wisdom and understanding.  We are surprised when difficulty and tragedy strike.  God is never surprised.  Nothing has ever “occurred” to God!  He has already gone to work on our behalf, long before the trouble comes.

     Secondly, not only does God go before us to prepare the way, He is with us in the hour of trial.  Sometimes it seems as though God has left us, but it only seems that way.  God never leaves His own.  There is never a time when He is not with us.  The Lord is with us to watch over us and protect us, whatever the circumstances.  There is no reason to fear.

     Thirdly, God tells us in Deuteronomy 31:8 that “He will never leave you or forsake you.”  Most of us know that God is with us as we walk through the deep valley of grief.  But we are tempted on occasion, because of the circumstances, to feel as though He is failing us.  God has never failed any of His people in any age or generation.  Be sure, He will not fail you.  God promises He will not fail us.  Why not trust Him?

He will not forsake you.

     Fourthly, God says, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  There is no reason to be discouraged for we are assured that the Lord goes before us, He is with us, and He will not fail us.  We can always be confident of God’s care.

     Christians ought to be the happiest people in the world.  We should not be sorrowful and morbid.  But how often we are guilty of failing to rejoice in the Lord.

     Even in these days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unrest in our country, and our struggles as a church.  We must realize that God goes before us, knowing what we face.  We can also be assured that God is with us in this time of trial.  We also know that God will never fail us nor forsake us.  We should not be afraid or discouraged…… we place our trust in Him!

                                                                                                In His Service,








On July 12, the Diaconate, representatives of Women’s Ministries and the Session met with Rev. Wayne Frazier to discuss the future of our church at this point in its history.  Rev. Frazier is on the staff of Outreach North America, an agency of the General Synod, where he serves as a church coach. Rev. Frazier began the meeting with a thoughtful devotional from the Book of Nehemiah, reminding those present of the challenges that Nehemiah faced as he contemplated rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem and how he addressed those challenges.  Rev. Frazier then led the group in a three-part discussion beginning with the group’s hopes and aspirations for our church, followed by the challenges faced in achieving those hopes and aspirations and finally some possible solutions to the challenges.   At the conclusion of the meeting, Rev. Frazier offered to continue dialogue with the group should we believe that to be beneficial.  At a special meeting of the Session on July 26, the Session voted to ask Rev. Frazier to continue meeting with the group.  


Also, at the July 26 meeting, the Session approved Rev. McCoy preaching at Elk Shoals ARP church, Stony Point, NC twice monthly through the end of August to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of Rev. Walter Fleming.  Rev. Linderman leads Elk Shoals service the other two Sundays. Since the Elk Shoals service is at 9:30, Rev. McCoy does not believe that his service there will interfere with his responsibilities at our church.


The Session asks for your prayers that the upcoming meetings with Rev. Frazier will be fruitful.  


Please remember the Capital Campaign in progress to raise funds to pay for the sanctuary air conditioning unit.




Dear First ARP Church Family,

I want to give everyone an update on the Sanctuary A/C replacement. After the Elders and Deacons met jointly, the contract for the A/C was approved and sent to the contractor the next day. I have not had a recent update, but I would guess that we are about three weeks away from the installation. When the unit is installed, I have been told that we will resume worship in the Sanctuary, adhering to the safe practices that we adopted prior to closing. We not only will have A/C but also the protection of the air handling feature that will safely turn over the air.

On the behalf of the Elders and Deacons of the First ARP Church, we would like to thank all our members who have submitted their pledges to our capital campaign to replace our A/C unit. Thus far the response has been positive, and we are nearing our goal. 

Our campaign has been targeted to end on August 7th.  As a friendly reminder, if you wish to participate in this endeavor and have not yet returned your pledge form or contribution, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. So that we can make sure that we have not missed anyone, if you are unable to contribute at this time, we would ask that you return your pledge form and commit to prayer for the project and our church. We understand that this is a difficult time for many members, so not participating is quite all right. All pledge forms are kept with strict confidentiality. 

Hopefully, in the coming weeks we will be returning to worship in the Sanctuary with our original safety plans in place.

Your Friend in Christ,

Ben Garrison

Deacon Co-Chair


                                                  Memorial Contributions


When memorial contributions and honor gifts are received by the church, both donors and recipients are sent letters of appreciation and notifications by mail.


Please continue to financially support our church by mailing your tithes and offerings to the church’s P.O. Box 1607, Statesville, NC  28687 and also by recognizing and blessing your fellow church members by making memorial and honorary contributions.


                                      Thank you,

                                      Mary Johnson

Call for Prayer from the Moderator Leslie Holmes 


Sun, Mar 22




 My Dear Friends,

Your response to the coronavirus pandemic inspires me in new ways each day as I hear of how our pastors and congregations are maximizing electronic and other means that make it possible for their people to worship and be served in many other ways. With the apostle, I can honestly say, "I thank my God every time I remember you." (Philippians 1:3). I am more convinced with each passing day that God, who has all this under His ultimate control, will turn this time into something good for Himself and for His church. Time will tell us what that will be, but I am convinced that Romans 8:28 holds true for each of us in such a time as this.

Each passing day brings news of the growing seriousness of this global viral crisis. For that reason, I write to you now asking that you join me in a season of prayer that God will quickly bring a positive end to this worldwide pandemic. As your Moderator, I am asking that we each would stop whatever we may be doing at 10 o'clock Eastern time each morning and pause in united prayer not only for an end to the pandemic but for a time of national and international revival. We are assured by God's word that, "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). Let us claim this promise now!

Being conscious that many of you deal daily with health issues that make fasting medically inadvisable, I will not ask all of you to fast with me. However, where you are able and feel so inclined, perhaps you would join me in a time of fasting for a worldwide revival.

Pastors, by means of this letter, I am asking you to call your people to join us in prayer at 10 o'clock each morning. Please also call your non-ARP pastor friends and invite them and their congregations to join us also. Let's get God's people praying!

As always, you will be in my prayers each day. Keep up the good work for Jesus' sake.

Yours for building healthy churches and birthing healthy Christians,

Leslie Holmes
Philippians 1:9-11