Four Winds Church

On Sunday, Dec. 9, Four Winds Church, located at 2005 Dave Ward Dr., dedicated its new Outreach Center during a lunchtime potluck. The original structure, which housed Soul Food Café Mission, burned in the fall of 2011. The newly rebuilt structure, positioned behind the sanctuary, houses a gym, kitchen, and several classrooms. It will serve as a ministry and teaching center, as well as an area of fellowship. Several weekly Bible studies meet in the Outreach Center, as do the middle school and high school youth groups. With the addition of new classrooms in the Outreach Center, the church has been able to update the children’s wing of the sanctuary building, including the Children’s Church (Sonlight Kids) area.

During the rebuilding of the Outreach Center, Randy Lewis was named ministering pastor of the church. Randy was born and raised in Iowa. He graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a degree in business administration and with minors in both pre-law and Bible. Randy’s wife Judy is the director of the Conway Christian School Learning Academy and is also a preschool teacher there. Randy and Judy have two daughters, Madison, who is in graduate school at the University of Central Arkansas, and Maci, a freshman at Ouachita Baptist University.

Prior to his appointment as ministering pastor at Four Winds, Randy was the pastor of several churches in Oklahoma in the 1990s and then helped plan and start up Four Winds Church in 2002. In 2004, Randy left his position as general manager at Cintas Corporation and was installed as administration and youth pastor at Four Winds. Randy’s heart for service is summed up in James 1:27: "Pure and undefiled religion before God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Additionally, Ethan Walsh has been named youth and worship minister at Four Winds Church. Ethan spent his teen years at Four Winds, where he was involved in the youth group, worship service, mission work and Kaleo drama. He interned as youth minister under the direction of Randy Lewis. Currently, Ethan attends UCA and will graduate from there in 2013 with a degree in general science. Ethan’s wife Brandy attends William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.

As youth minister, Ethan wants to encourage kids to become good leaders within the church’s youth groups. In leading the Four Winds worship team, he incorporates both traditional and contemporary music while providing many opportunities for the congregation to become involved in the worship service. Ethan’s heart for service can be summed up in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." He says, "This church is a place to build relationships with others. That is where my heart is."

Sunday School classes begin at 9 a.m. and are followed by worship service at 10 a.m. However, on Sunday, Dec. 23, Four Winds will hold a special candlelight Christmas service at 6 p.m., with no morning services or Sunday School classes that day. All are welcome.

Holland Baptist Church

David Garrett blessed us with special music Sunday morning followed by a message delivered by Brother John Evans Jr. on the symbolism found in the Christmas message. There was no room for Jesus in the inn. The world today, including Christians, has no room for Him. Lowly shepherds came announcing His birth. He came for everyone no matter how lowly we feel we are. The wisemen came to find and worship Him and bring gifts. The greatest wisdom we have in life is seeking and finding Christ.

There is the symbolism of light and darkness. It was dark, night, when Jesus was born. He was sent into the world at the darkest hour. The star shone brightly where He was born. No matter how dark life may be Jesus brings light. He came to do what no one else could do. He came as the cure for our sin. In a world of darkness, whatever yours may be, Christ can bring light to you. Jesus came to bring light, hope, and lighten your way.

His will is for me to follow the light to Jesus. He wants me to make a manger of my heart and receive the Lord. What darkness am I enduring? What struggles, hardships, or difficulties has come my way? The Light of the world is Jesus.

Following the morning service several ladies of the church enjoyed a time of fellowship, food, and fun during the progressive luncheon. We began at my home for salad, next to Kelli Martin’s for soup, and finally to Carol Evan’s for dessert and ornament exchange.

Wednesday the children and youth enjoyed a Happy Birthday Jesus party joined by the church. We began with games for the children and youth followed by music presented by the children. Then the youth sung and presented the Christmas story. Next the children and youth opened gifts purchased for them from the church Angel Tree. Lastly everyone enjoyed an abundance of food and fellowship. We appreciate everyone who had a part in making this a special time.

Youth and children will not meet the next two Wednesday nights. May we be blessed as we remember the real Gift of Christmas, Jesus.