September 28, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I’m finally at the place where I can report I’m ready to begin a new ministry. I’ve informed you that I have had the desire and leading of the Lord to try and start a new church in Kitale and to pastor that church myself until it is ready to be on its own. “Does Kitale really need another church”, I’ve asked a thousand times? Yes, it needs a church that teaches the Word of God and worships God in Spirit and in truth. So, I’ve been planning and preparing for a long time. I rented a place to start in, worked on and prepared the room, and have been spreading the word about it for months. And now as we are about to close out September, I am able to say that we will be starting worship services in October, ready or not.
The name of the ministry for now will be called Upper Room Baptist Chapel. I would like to explain exactly why I am giving the ministry this name, so please bear with me as I give you the reasons for each part. First, Upper Room. Julie and I sat down and brain-stormed about the first part of this name. I wanted a simple name that kind of represented a significant meaning for the ministry. Nothing was sounding good until the Upper Room popped into my head. The reason this popped into my head is because the room I’ve rented is on the top floor of a four-story building in town. Get it? We’ll be meeting in the upper room of the building. But as I thought about it the name Upper Room seemed significant. I want to focus on the resurrection of Jesus, on following Jesus, and on knowing and having a relationship with God through Jesus – on fellowship with God. The Upper Room was a place where all of these things became a reality for the disciples of Jesus. So, the name seemed fitting for more than one reason. And, I thought we had come up with a unique name, that is until I started doing a few searches on the internet and found that there seem to be a number of churches with that name (In America, at least. There are none here with that name). Anyway, Julie and I still think it is a good and fitting name.
Second, Baptist. Is it old-fashioned and out-dated to call a church Baptist? Maybe to many it is, but not to me. Why? Let me tell you: Because I am a Baptist; Because I am sent out by a Baptist church and a Baptist organization; Because I believe in the Biblical doctrines of Baptist churches; Because I believe the history of Baptist churches is special and unique; Because the Baptist name represents who we are and what we will do and teach. For these reasons and more I will call the ministry Baptist.
Third, Chapel. I struggled a lot with this name too. It seemed like this part of the name should be easy, but it wasn’t. The word church made sense but the ministry won’t be a church yet. I hope and pray that someday, as God brings people into the ministry, as people are saved and baptized, that we will organize into a church. But at first, we will not yet be a church. So I ruled out that word. The word mission could also be used. However, in Kitale the word mission means a place where people can come and get things that they want, i.e., money and other material stuff. So I ruled out that word. I also, just personally, don’t care for Tabernacle or Temple because those words indicate Old Testament physical places where the Lord would meet with His people and I just don’t care for those terms for New Testament people. Worship Center sounds clunky. Training Center wasn’t fitting either. So, until a church is organized, I decided on Chapel – “a small building or room used for Christian worship in a school, prison, hospital or large private house”. That word seemed fitting and appropriate.
End result – Upper Room Baptist Chapel.
I am both excited and nervous about the start of this new ministry. I’m excited because I want to minister the Word of God and see the Spirit of God reaching into the lives of people, bringing them to salvation and fellowship with God. I’m nervous because I don’t know how things will go. If everyone attends who have said they will attend we will fill that upper room about five times over when our worship services start in October. Then again, maybe nobody will come. I just don’t know how God will initially work. So, how can you pray? Pray that God’s will be done and that He will bless this new work with fruit that will be pleasing to Him.
Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in Kenya,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.