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Pastor's Paragraph -- March 1, 2018

Several years ago, our ministerial staff engaged in a project called "Praying Through the Church Roll."  The purpose of this ministry project was to pray specifically for every Calvary member (and household).  We prayed for approximately twenty households each week until we had prayed through the entire church roll.

During the season of Lent as we approach Holy Week and Easter Sunday, our ministerial staff feels led to pray through our church roll once again.  Our format will be slightly different this time.  Instead of praying through the church roll alphabetically, we will be praying for the members of a particular Sunday School class each week.  We will also systematically pray for all church members who are not currently enrolled in a Sunday School class.

You will be notified by email several days before the Tuesday staff meeting during which our ministerial staff will be praying for you.  Prior to the staff meeting, you will be contacted by one of our ministers to see if you have any particular prayer requests.  These requests (which will be held confidentially) will assist us as we pray for you (and/or your family) specifically.  In addition, you may email any prayer requests you have to

At our staff meeting on Tuesday, March 13, we will begin this prayer project as we pray for members of the Ecton and the Keystone Sunday School classes.  The members of these classes will be contacted prior to March 13 to learn of any particular prayer requests that they might have.

While we will be praying through the church roll approximately twenty households per week, please know that anytime you have a prayer request (whether it is the week that we are praying for your class/group or not), you can email that request to me or call me at the church office. 

James 5:16 declares that we are "to pray for one another."  May we follow this scriptural practice as we seek to be a praying church.

Blessings from your pastor,

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“School’s out! But church is not!” I trust that you will keep this slogan in mind throughout the summer. Enjoy your summer break. Get some much needed rest and relaxation. Take a vacation or trip with your family if you can. Celebrate God’s good gift of summer.

Do remember, however, that the work of the church continues during the summer months. So let me encourage you to remain faithful to the ministry of the church in several ways:

1. Participate in Sunday School and Sunday worship each week (at Calvary when you are not traveling).

2. Support the work of the church through the giving of your tithes and offerings (even when you are away on vacation).

3. Pray regularly for our church, for our ministerial staff, and for our ongoing ministries.

4. Volunteer your time in a worthwhile mission/ministry project such as: Vacation Bible School; the church wide mission trip to Hanover, New Hampshire; the daily ministry of the Recreation Outreach Center; chaperoning one of our many youth activities, etc.

5. Have a time of personal devotions each day – spend some intentional time with God!

6. Invite a friend, neighbor, or family member to participate in a church worship service or activity with you!

 May we enjoy the good gift of summer as we continue to celebrate the good gift of church. “School’s out! But church is still very much in session!”

In Christ,  Bob

P.S. I continue to be amazed at the commitment of our church to our “Above&Beyond” capital campaign. As of this writing, total commitments to the “A&B” campaign are $2,021,149.43.  Total contributions to the “A&B” campaign already total $414,825.15!We have designated June 5 as “First Fruits” Sunday when we are encouraging everyone to give something (even if it as small amount) to the “A&B” campaign as an official way to kick off the “giving phase” of “A&B.” Special “A&B” envelopes are available in the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and church office. An “A&B” offering envelope will be included in the packet of giving envelopes that you receive each month. Again, Calvary Family, thank you for your generous support of the Lord’s work through our church. 


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This coming Sunday, May 1st, is the day our congregation will gather in worship for the Commitment Sunday of our Above & Beyond capital campaign.  There will be one combined worship service this Sunday beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Please make every effort to be in attendance as our church family gathers to worship our generous God through our presence and participation.

 You should have received in the mail this week your Above & Beyond” commitment card and privacy envelope. Please bring this with you this coming Sunday (May 1st). There will be a time during this very special worship service when your “Above & Beyond”  commitment cards will be received. For those of you who have already turned in your commitments and made early commitments, please feel free to use a commitment card and mark it “already pledged” so that you can participate in the corporate act of worship this Sunday with the rest of the congregation.

 I am grateful and so excited to share with you that as the result of early commitments whichseveral church leaders have made to “Above and Beyond,” our church has already received more than $1.1 Million in gifts and commitments toward our over-all $2 MILLION campaign goal. May the generous lead gifts of these servant leaders in our church encourage and inspire all of us to make prayerful, generous, and sacrificial commitments so that our $2 MILLION “Above & Beyond” capital campaign goal can be reached and surpassed!

 Over the past several weeks, you have heard much about this important moment in the life of our church through sermons, Bible Study lessons, testimonies, brochures which were mailed to the church family, and through our prayerful preparation. Our hope and vision in this campaign is to engage everyone in our church family in a prayerful, faith-filled, heart-enlarging journey before God, and to respond as our Lord leads each of us.  At this “defining moment” time in the life of our congregation, we are encouraging each other to share generously and sacrificially the abundance God has entrusted to each of us, so that part of those resources might be channeled through this Above & Beyond campaign to provide for future ministry, reaching and growing disciples not yet part of our church, perhaps not yet born.

 So during these final days of spiritual preparation, let me encourage you to spend some extended time in prayer as you consider what God is leading you to commit to our “Above & Beyond” campaign. Then, having prayerfully discerned what God is calling you to do, come and worship with your Calvary church family this Sunday when we – as an expression of our worship of God – will offer to God our confidential “Above & Beyond” commitments.

 This coming Sunday’s 11:00 a.m. worship service promises to be a pivotal, “defining moment” in the life of our congregation. May it be a service which not only pleases God in the present but which also honors God through gifts and commitments that will enable us to serve Christ even more effectively in the future!

 I look forward to seeing you for 9:45 a.m. Sunday School and for combined worship at 11:00 a.m. this Sunday. Blessings on you, church family, for continuing to seek God’s guidance in being an “Above & Beyond” church! I really do “thank God for your partnership in the gospel” (Phillipians 1:3-5)

 Your pastor,


P.S. If for some reason you cannot attend this coming Sunday’s Commitment Day service, you are encouraged to bring or mail your“Above & Beyond” Commitment Cards to the church office.


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Our Calvary Baptist Church family has prayerfully decided to engage in a Capital Campaign for the purpose of providing the financial resources that will be needed for our congregation to continue to be the church that God is calling us to be.  The theme for this campaign is “Above and Beyond” which is taken from Ephesians 3:20 : “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” 

 As we “look above” for God’s guidance, we believe that we are being challenged to “move beyond” our regular giving in order to provide a strong financial foundation which will not only enable us to continue effective present ministries but which will also make it possible for Calvary to carry out future ministry and mission endeavors that God has in store for our church.

 Specifically, through our “Above and Beyond” campaign, we aim to raise $2 million “above and beyond” our regular “tithes and offerings” in order to:

· Pay off the remaining debt on the Mission Lexington Building so that medical, dental, and social work missions can continue to grow and thrive;

· Replace the nearly 60 year old heating and cooling system in our sanctuary building including our Youth Ministry area;

· Improve the worship experience in the sanctuary through a new sound system, new lighting, new audio/visual capabilities (including hearing assistance), improved handicap accessibility, and new flooring;

· Enhance the worship in the fellowship hall through upgrades to the sound, lights, and audio-visual equipment;

· Utilize any additional funds to pay of the remaining debt on the Recreational Outreach Center.

 Between now and May 1st (which is Commitment Sunday), everyone in our Calvary Church family will be encouraged to prayerfully consider what type of confidential commitment God is leading us to make toward the “Above and Beyond” campaign. Over the new four Sundays, our Sunday School lessons and worship services will encourage and challenge us to be good stewards of the resources that the Lord has entrusted to us. Our newsletters and other mailings will focus on “Above and Beyond.” There will be a time during the May 1st worship service when confidential commitments to our “Above and Beyond” campaign will be received.

 For now, let me encourage you to plan to be present for Sunday School and worship over the next four Sundays. Reflect upon the ways that our church has blessed your life and the lives of others. Consider the opportunities that Calvary has to share the love of Christ with our community and our world. Ask God to provide you with His guidance as you give prayerful thought to your participation in our “Above and Beyond” campaign.

 I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we begin to be an “Above and Beyond” church.





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This Sunday (February 14) is not only Valentine’s Day; it is also the first Sunday in Lent. The Lenten Season is a time when Christ’s followers prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the observance of the highest festival of the church year, Easter (March 27th in 2016). The season of Lent extends over a forty-six day period beginning Ash Wednesday (February 10, 2016) and ending on the eve of Easter (March 26, 2016). This represents the forty days Christ fasted in the wilderness (fast days) plus the six Sundays in Lent (feast days). Holy Week is the last week in Lent beginning with Palm Sunday (March 20, 2016). Special attention is given to Holy Week because of its significance as a review of the events of the passion of Christ.

In the early church, Lent was a time of intense preparation of baptismal candidates who would then be baptized on Easter. Each church member was expected to approach Lent each year as he or she had done when solemnly preparing for his or her baptism. Lent became, then, a time for each Christian to reflect upon his/her relationship with Christ. This time of inward reflection might include the abstention of certain activities (“giving up” something for Lent) or it might entail devoting more time than usual to religious exercises such as prayer, scripturereading or some type of mission project (“doing something” for Lent).  

As part of my own Lenten preparation, I often read or reread a devotional book such as An Inner Journey to Easter by Anne Killinger. Perhaps there is a devotional book or guide that you have been meaning to read or use. The Lenten season would be a good time to do so. (You might want to visit the web site  Maybe you will join the many other Christians who will “give up” something as part of your spiritual preparation (a negative attitude, a critical spirit, a tendency to gossip, etc.). Perhaps you will resolve to “do something” during Lent such as: offering more words of encouragement to others; reading through one of the four gospels; reading the Passion Narratives (Matt. 26:14 – 27:66; Mark 14:1-15:47; Luke 22:14 – 23:56; John 18:1-19:42); writing letters of appreciation to folks who have blessed your life; visiting a shut-in or homebound person; volunteering in a mission or ministry endeavor (such as at the Mission Lexington Dental or Medical Clinic or at the ROC);  participating in our Winter Mission Blitz day on March 5; or resolving to participate faithfully in Sunday Bible study and worship.

Between now and Easter, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting and working on your relationship with Christ. May the next several weeks be a meaningful time of spiritual growth and reflection for our church family as we prepare to celebrate Easter.

Your Pastor, 






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He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”            Matthew 17:20

As our Calvary team was preparing to board our plane to serve in Haiti 5 years ago I remember Donna Chaffin handing the verse to every Calvary team member.  This verse continues to be a constant theme as we serve in Grand Goave, Haiti.

 Wow, it is hard to believe we have been serving in Grand Goave for 5 years.  We have been to Haiti 13 times during that time span.  There has been 143 Calvary members join us in this mission effort.  We started building homes for those who lost everything in the earthquake of January 2010 and providing medical care.  Through our rebuilding efforts, we found a school, Extole Mixte, that needed a new building.  With the generosity of Calvary Baptist and with much sweat and sore backs we were able to complete the school.  Now we continue to work with the school as we train teachers and work with Pastor Evans (Headmaster of Extole Mixte), as well as Benita King taking medical teamsto provide women's clinics.

 Our Haiti mission trips are more than numbers and projects, it is building relationships andsharing in God's love with this small community.  It is seeing how God can use these relationships to further His Kingdom in Grand Goave.  It is growing in faith to see God at work in our lives and the lives of the Haitians.  It is partnering with families to see the school, church, and children grow and develop.  It is praying for God's leadership and discernment as we continue to serve in Grand Goave.

 I would like to invite you to join us for prayer at 9:30 on Sunday mornings (beginning February 14) in the prayer room behind the Sanctuary.  I would also like for you to pray about joining us as we continue to serve.





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 Here are 5 Things you need to know about CBC this week:

1. Rev. Brian Varble has been on our ministerial staff for fifteen years. For the first nine years of his ministry with us, Brian served as our Minister of Youth. For the last six years, Brian has provided (and continues to provide) excellent leadership as our Minister of Missions and Recreation. God has certainly blessed our congregation through Brian’s love for people, his relationship building skills, his passion for missions, and his love for the local church. As an expression of our gratitude to Brian, there will be a reception (including a light lunch and some presentations) in his honor in the Fireside Room immediately following the 11:00 a.m. worship service this coming Sunday (January 31). I look forward to gathering with our church family as we honor Brian and his family (Tammy, Brandon, and Andrew).

2. Rev. Justin Sizemore and his wife Abby will be moving to Lexington this week and will be in our worship services this Sunday. Our church recently called Justin to be our next Minister of Youth, and we are excited about welcoming Justin and Abby into our Calvary family. Justin officially begins his ministry with us on Monday, February 1. Welcome, Justin and Abby.

3. For the past six months, Ryan and Maria Harrington have been serving as our Interim Ministers of Youth. Loved by youth, children, and adults alike, the Harringtons have not only “held our youth program together” during a time of transition, but their leadership has also resulted in youth ministry program growth. So thank you, Ryan and Maria (and Mia and Maggie), for loving our youth and for allowing God to work through your lives to make a positive difference in the life of our church in general and in the life of our young people in particular.

4. The recent winter storm resulted in us having an altered scheduled this past Sunday. Your flexibility and commitment are to be commended. We had approximately 300 folks who made it to our “11:00 a.m.” only worship service. Several other persons listened to our service on our live radio broadcast over WVLK 590 AM radio. Still others “live streamed” our service on their lap top computers, i pads, and i phones. So thank you, Calvary family, for continuing to be faithful as a church even during inclement and challenging weather.

5. In the coming weeks, you will begin to hear information about our spring capital campaign which is to provide the financial resources that will be needed to:  1) pay off the debt on the Mission Lexington Building ($500,000); 2) replace the fifty- five year old heating and air system in the Sanctuary Building ($606,000); and 3) improve and enhance the worship experience - including sound, lighting, audio/visual, hearing assistance, handicap accessibility, and Sanctuary/Fellowship Hall renovations ($889,536).  For now, please begin praying that God will work through this campaign to equip us to be the congregation that He is calling us to be both now and in the future. Pray especially for those who have agreed to serve on the Executive Leadership Team for our campaign: Jimmy and Sally Adams (co-chairs), Mira Ball, David and Sue Shaw, Jay Blanton, Neil and Gloria Reed, Sherry Johnson and Susan Scott.

I continued to be blessed by the privilege that I have to serve as your pastor. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.







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“Hi Dr. Robert!” “Why Hello, Bob Baker!” I don’t know how many times over the years in various locations inside and outside of our church that I have heard those “greetings” emanating from the smiling face and joyful voice of one of the mostcaring and enthusiastic Christians that I have ever known. That smiling, joyful, enthusiastic “constantly- caring-about- others- including- his- pastor” Christian was Louie Stotz.

Louie died unexpectedly at his home last Friday morning (January 8). His sudden death has caused a wave of congregational grief to wash over our church family. We already miss him immensely. Because of his life and his Christian witness, there is so much to miss.

In many and various ways, Louie was constantly sharing the love of Christ with others: 1) while chaperoning our college students on mission trips; 2)while accompanying our youth group to beach camp; 3)while working with and encouraging our children during Children’s Bible Drill; 4) while teaching youth and college Sunday School; 5)whileministering to the homeless each Sunday night through “Room in the Inn”;  5)while singing in the sanctuary choir; 6)while participating in Bible Study Fellowship; 7)whiletaking time for those (young and not-so-young alike) who needed someone to just “listen” to them and to “be there” for them; 8) while conversing with and drinking McDonald’s coffee with his pastor – which provided that pastor (me) with encouragement, support, and a much needed “dose” of laughter and good cheer; and 9) while doing what- according to his wife and children - brought him the most joy and happiness in this life which was to always be ready to help others “at the drop of a hat.”

Robin Prichard, our Minister to College Students, told me that Louie would always try to be available to help out college students whether that help meant teaching a Bible study, setting up for a student worship service, serving as a “grandfather” figure to them as they adjusted to being away from home, or taking them to the airport (even when they had a 6:00 am flight). And often when Robin or someone else in the church asked Louie what he had been doing or what he was planning to do, his response would most always be the same: “ Working for the Kingdom,” he would answer with his contagious smile.

As our church family starts to move through the grief process of continuing the work of the church without the physical presence of Louie Stotz, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians at Philippi  - words which serve to express something of how we (both individually and congregationally) feel about our friend Louie Stotz:

We thank our God every time we remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of our prayers for you {and your family} because of your “partnership” in the gospel from the first day (that we met you) until now.

Thanks, Louie, for your “partnership” in the gospel. Thanks for the joyful and enthusiastic way that you served Christ. Thanks for “working in the Kingdom.” THANKS.


A grateful pastor,

Bob (aka “Dr.  Robert!)

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Happy New Year! I hope that each of you had a joyful Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with family and friends. (I finally made it to Salisbury, Maryland, where I got to hold and hug my newest grandchild, Will, who is one month old!) What made Christmas 2015 especially meaningful for Deborah and me were the opportunities that we had to worship, serve, and fellowship with you, our beloved Calvary Church family. Christmas just would not be Christmas for us without the Calvary Christmas Project (where our church was able to share the good news of Christ with 169 families and 507 children), the music led worship service by our Sanctuary (and Children’s) choir, and our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service (where a “packed downstairs- sanctuary-and-overflow–into- the-balcony” congregation gathered to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). Christmas time at Calvary is one of the most meaningful times in the lives of the Baker family. Thank you, Calvary Church family, for being such an integral part of our Christmas celebrations!

 Those of us who were present for the 11:00 am worship service this past Sunday received an incredible blessing from the leadership of three talented and gifted young adults. The Rev. Dominique Robinson, who was in Lexington as part of the Academy of Preacher’s National Festival of Young Preachers, challenged our minds and stirred our souls with her New Year’s sermon “Full Steam Ahead.” Our   congregation was literally mesmerized by the singing of Gabby Barker and Jordan Lindsey whose duet “The Prayer” was in and of itself a spiritual experience. How blessed and encouraged I was by that service led by amazingly gifted young people who are using their God-given talents in our Lord’s service.

 This coming Sunday, I will be preaching on the subject “God’s People – Covenant People” as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in both worship services and as we celebrate the ordinance of baptism in the 11:00 am service.

 I want to thank you for your faithfulness during 2015. In so many ways, you – both congregationally and individually – shared the good news of Christ with our community and our world. You served with your time, with your talents, and with your financial resources. We have just learned that our church surpassed our budget giving financial goal for 2015! This accomplishment helped make it possible for us to minister for Christ in 2015 and provides us with a strong financial foundation as we enter into 2016 where among other mission and ministry endeavors we will engage in a major capital campaign designed to enhance our worship space, to “pay off” the loan on the Mission Lexington building, and to prepare our church for serving our Lord in the future.

 I am blessed by the opportunity to be your pastor. I look forward to serving Christ with you in the New Year ahead.





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Psalm 100:4 declares: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name”. This coming Sunday, November 22nd, is Thanksgiving Sunday at Calvary. In the spirit of Psalm 100:4, every Calvary member is asked to demonstrate his/her thanksgiving to God in the following ways:

 1)     By being present. Our presence at Bible study and worship (“our entering into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”) is a tangible way to demonstrate that the Lord God is certainly worthy of our worship. So plan to be present for Sunday School and worship this coming Sunday (and invite a friend to come with you). Those members who cannot attend are encouraged to listen to our morning worship service as it is broadcast over the radio (WVLK/590) or to watch/live stream our service by going to our website ( and accessing the link on the opening page.

2)     By bringing a generous offering to support the Lord’s work through our church in 2015.  Giving to the current 2015 church budget/ministry action plan provides the financial support that is needed if CBC is to carry out the day-to-day ministries that the Lord has led us to undertake. I am grateful to our church family as a whole for our congregation’s strong financial giving thus far in 2015. As you bring an offering this Sunday as an expression of your thanksgiving to God (and as you give throughout the remaining days of 2015), dare to ask yourself: Am I really pleased with my giving record? Is God?

3)     By making a confidential commitment to the 2016 church budget.  A commitment card for 2016  has been mailed to our church family. Commitment cards will also be available in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall as well as in the church office. There will be a designated time during the morning worship services this Sunday November 22nd  when the commitment cards will be received. If you cannot be present this Sunday, please mail or bring your commitment card to the church office prior to that day. I want to encourage every CBC member to make a commitment to and to be supportive of our 2016 church budget/ministry plan   - a $2,149,500  ministry plan/budget that was unanimously adopted at our church business meeting last Sunday. The 2016 budget /ministry plan is only a 1.98 % increase (only a $809 per week) increase over the 2015 church budget which we are in “good shape” to meet.

4)     By coming to our Family Thanksgiving Feast on Sunday evening November 22nd.  Our annual FTF is one of the highlights of our church year. Tickets may be purchased by calling or coming by the church office or after the worship services next Sunday morning.

During this Thanksgiving season, may our church truly give to God the type of worship and honor that our Lord deserves. May we – in the best biblical sense of the word – “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” I look forward to seeing you for worship and thanksgiving this Sunday, November 22nd.

 Blessings from your pastor,


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Here are Five Things You Need To Know About CBC THIS WEEK:

1.    Please remember in prayer the members of our CBC Haiti Mission Team who will be leaving this Saturday October 31 to do mission work in Grand Goave, Haiti. This Mission Team, which will return home on Saturday, November 7, will be providing medical care and working with Extol Mixte (our CBC adopted Haitian school).  The members of our Haiti Mission Team are: Roxie Allison, Donna Chafin, Neal Chafin, Ryan Chafin, Elizabeth Coleman (medical), Tatum Dale, Kristy Hayes (medical), Molly Gadd (medical), Benita King (medical), and Christine Romani (medical).

2.    There will be a called church business immediately after the 11:00 am worship service on Sunday November 8 to receive and take action on a unanimous recommendation from our Minister of Youth Search Committee that Justin Sizemore be called as our church’s Minister of Youth. Justin is currently serving as the Associate to Minister of Families at the Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He is a native of Somerset, Kentucky, a graduate of Georgetown College (religion major and double minor in psychology and philosophy), and is currently finishing his Master of Divinity degree at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. Justin and his wife Abby (also a Georgetown College graduate) will be with our church family (to be introduced to our youth, youth parents, staff, and church family) on the weekend of November 6-8. You can find more detailed information about Justin on our church web site at

3.    This coming Sunday (November 1) is All Saints Day. During the morning worship services we will remember deceased CBC church members, especially those whose deaths occurred from January 1, 2014 to the present. We will give thanks to God for these departed brothers and sisters in Christwho blessed our church through their lives and whose legacy of faith continues to enrich and inspire our congregation.  We will also focus on the biblical mandate that all of us who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are “called to be saints” (I Cor. 1:2).

4.    Tickets for our annual Family Thanksgiving Feast will be available for purchase beginning this coming Sunday. This year’s FTF (which will feature a delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal, Thanksgiving hymns and songs, and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper around the tables) will be held on Sunday evening November 22 beginning at 6:00 pm in the Church Fellowship Hall.

5.    This coming Sunday is TIME CHANGE SUNDAY. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday evening. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep and rest!

 In addition to these 5 Things You Need to Know This Week, also know (above all) that God loves you and that our Lord calls each of us to share His Love.





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The electronic edition of the newspaper USA Today  has a daily featurethat appears underthe headingFive Things You Need to Know _____.  If it’s Monday, then the heading is 5 Things You Need to Know Monday. If it’s Tuesday, then the heading is 5 Things You Need to Know Tuesday.  This continues throughout the week. And while there are certainly more than 5 news items or stories that appear each day in USA TODAY, the editors select 5 items every day about which they believe their readers should at least be somewhat aware.

 So here are Five Things You Need to Know (about CBC) This Week:

1. We are continuing our sermon series on the “(Be) Attitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12). We have challenged each other to learn the 8 Beatitudes by heart (and even more importantly to incorporate them into our lives). This coming Sunday’s beatitude is “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

2. Our Minister of Youth Search Committee continues to meet regularly as we prayerfully seek God’s guidance in calling a new Minister of Youth. We have conducted “SKYPE” interviews with 4 candidates and have “brought in” 3 candidates for face to face interviews with our committee. We have been extremely impressed with the talented and committed candidates that we have met through our search process. Continue to pray for our Search Committee as we continue with this important search. And continue to pray for Ryan and Maria Herrington who are doing tremendous work and ministry as our interim Ministers of Youth!

3. Remember our 16 newly installed/ordained deacons who are beginning a three year term of deacon service. The 10 recently ordained deacons are: Mona Carpenter, Jeanne Carr, Hunter Ledbetter, Joanna Lile, Barbara Martin, Rebecca Miller, Dorie Raybuck, Kathy Ritter, Jeanne Robinson, and Brad Scroggin. The recently nstalled deacons (who have previously served CBC as deacons) are: Buck Brennan, Phyllis Combs, Clark Hale, Tom Kelly, H.K. Kingkade, and Joye Smith.

4. These 16 servant leaders join 32 others who are continuing deacon service. Our deacon officers for the coming church year are Jerome Browne (Chair);  Fran Rohlfing (Vice-Chair);  and Dianne Crouch (Secretary).

5.   Mark Sunday September 27 on your calendar. The 11:00 o’clock worship service that day will be a “Service of Psalms, Songs, and Spiritual Songs” and will feature music from our Sanctuary Choir as well as our Children’s Choirs.  Sunday October 4th is WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY. We will have one combined worship service that day at 11:00 o’clock in the sanctuary as we observe the Lord’s Supper.

Well, there you have it: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week. Above all, know that God loves you and that our Lord calls each of us to share His Love.





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As I write this column, I am wrapping up my Sabbatical/Study leave which you - my church family - have so graciously made possible. THANK YOU so much for this "time away" for a period of rest, renewal, and reflection. Deb and I have spent extended time with our family, especially our two grandsons Baxter and Oliver (whose mom, our daughter Katy, has been ill but who is now much better). The days that we spent at the beach on Hilton Head Island (a week with Katy, Iain, Baxter and Oliver; a week by ourselves) were especially enjoyable. 

While on sabbatical, I have been "working my way" through two intriguing, insightful, and very helpful books by Dr. Harvey Cox, the well-known professor (with Baptist roots) at Harvard Divinity School. These books, which have been beneficial to me (and to Deb who has been reading them also) are: "How to Read the Bible" and "The Future of Faith."  I plan to use both of these  works (especially "How to Read the Bible") for a Wednesday night Bible study this fall.

I will be back in the CBC pulpit this Sunday and will be starting a sermon series on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). The series is entitled: " (Be)Attitudes for Being Blessed." This Sunday's message is "Poor in Spirit: Humbly Depending on God." Other sermons in this series will be:

"Good Mourning: Receiving God's Comfort"

"Meek as a _____ ?: Being God-Controlled"

"Bon Appetite: Being Hungry (and Thirsty) for God"

"Lord, Have Mercy! : Receiving and Giving Forgiveness"

"Cardiac Health: Loving God with all Your Heart"

"Peacemakers: Following the Prince of Peace"

"Hassled and Hounded: Championing Justice; Suffering for Christ's Sake"

I have missed my church family and look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Again, many thanks for the sabbatical. 



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Dear Calvary Church Family:
Every third year, our church grants me a sabbatical. Thank you so much for this "time away" from my day to day responsibilities as your pastor  - a time for rest, renewal, reflection, and study. I always come back from sabbaticals not only rested and renewed but also better equipped to carry out God's calling for me - to be the pastor of our church.

I will be on sabbatical during the month of July. During my sabbatical, our excellent and dedicated church staff led by our associate pastor Hank Ellington will continue to provide leadership in the ongoing ministries of the church. I have asked the following ministers to preach at Calvary during the four July Sundays that I will be away:
        July 5     Rev. Hank Ellington
        July 12   Dr. Greg Earwood, President of the Baptist Seminary                             of  Kentucky
        July 19    Rev. Hank Ellington
        July 26    Dr. Dwight Moody, President of the Academy                                            of Preachers

I will return to the Calvary pulpit on August 2. Thank you again for the  sabbatical. And thank you in advance for continuing to support Christ's work through our church during my absence.

At a called church business meeting this past Sunday (June 28), our church voted to embark on a Capital Campaign to raise the funds needed to address the following issues:

1. Pay off Debt on Mission Lexington Building                    $500,000
2.Replace 55 year old Heating and Air System                     $606,000
    in the Sanctuary
3.Improve Sound and Lighting in Sanctuary                        $409,000
   (Includes flooring & Audio Visual)
4.Improve Handicap Accessibility in Sanctuary                   $  22,600
5.Improve Sound/Lighting and Audio Visual                       $128,000
   in Fellowship Hall
6. Design/Overhead and Contingencies                                  $329,936

TOTAL ML Debt & Construction Costs                                  $1,995.536

*Any Funds received above this will be used to pay off existing
   debt on ROC Building and to add to our maintenance reserve.

More specifics about our Capital Campaign will be shared with the church in the near future. For now, join me in praying that this church wide campaign will be used by God to enable our congregation to be the church that God is calling us to be both now and in the years to come.

As I go on sabbatical, please know how grateful I am to be your pastor. What a privilege it is for me to be part of our wonderful Calvary family!



Pastor's Paragraph

Dear Calvary Family:

Let me encourage you to be present this coming Sunday (June 28) for a called church business meeting. This meeting, which has been previously announced in accordance with our church constitution and by-laws, will take place in the church fellowship hall immediately after the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Lunch as well as child care will be provided.  

The purpose of this called meeting will be to hear a presentation from the Capital Projects Steering Committee to consider a recommendation from our Deacons and our Finance Committee that our church embark on a capital campaign to raise adequate funds to address the following issues:

1. Paying off the debt on the Mission Lex-  ington Building ($500,000);

2. Replacing the fifty- five year old heating and air system in the Sanctuary Building ($606,000);

3. Improving and enhancing the worship experience - including sound, lighting, audio/visual, hearing assistance, handicap accessibility, and Sanctuary renovations ($889,536). 

Our church currently finds herself in one of the strongest financial positions that we have had in recent years. We certainly have the potential (and the responsibility) to carry out this proposed $1,995,536 capital campaign which will enable us to make much needed and long overdue improvements to our sanctuary and fellowship hall and to eliminate the $500,000 debt on the Mission Lexington Building (where Christ-oriented medical and dental services are given to the poor and marginalized in our community).  Not only will this proposed capital campaign enable us to become a more effective church now, but it will also position us to be an even more effective servant church on mission for Christ for years to come.

So come and join your church family at the called business meeting this Sunday as we consider and discuss this opportunity to be the church that Christ is calling us to be!

Your pastor,





Pastor's Paragraph

Dr. J. Dan Cooper, the pastor of our Calvary Baptist Church family from 1980-1990, died this past Thursday evening (June 4). As many of you know, the last several years of  Dr. Cooper’s life were quite challenging for him and his family as he lived with ongoing health issues related to a stroke which he suffered in March of 1988. As many of you also know, Dr. Cooper provided our Calvary family with dedicated, visionary, and Christ-like leadership during his tenure as Calvary’s pastor.


I am personally indebted to and grateful for Dan Cooper. When I was a very young pastor at the Lexington Avenue Baptist Church in Danville, Kentucky, I called Dr. Cooper (whom I had never met at that time) and asked him if he would meet with me and share with me some advice about carrying out the responsibilities of  being a pastor.   Dan not only graciously agreed to meet with me, but he bought me lunch and told me that he would be more than glad to meet with me again. In short, Dan became a mentor to me. And while I was the pastor of the LABC in Danville, Dan was the guest preacher for a spring revival that we held at the church. Little did I know at that time, that one day I would be called to be the pastor of Calvary following Dan’s pastorate (which was cut much too short because of his stroke). But what I did already know at that time was that Dan Cooper was the type of Christian leader and pastor who would encourage and mentor young pastors. To this day, I am grateful to God for Dan Cooper’s ministry to me.


In coming days, there will be a memorial service for Dr. Cooper at Calvary – a service at which we will celebrate Dan’s life and give thanks to our gracious God for the gift of Dan’s life. For now, I know that you will join me in keeping Dan’s family – his wife Marilyn, his son John and his family, and his daughter Dana and her family – in your thoughts and prayers.


May God bless the Coopers and our Calvary family as we grieve the loss of a beloved pastor and friend.





Pastor's Paragraph

We are now just past the midpoint of our church wide Transformed campaign. This past Sunday we focused on being transformed in our emotional health. I am grateful to Dr. Rick Landon, director of our Interfaith Counseling Center, for “tag team” preaching the sermon with me. Rick provided us with insightful answers to several “interview” – type questions such as:

1)    When should people get counseling?

2)    Why should people get counseling?

3)    Why do people hesitate (or even refuse) to get counseling?

4)    What can we do (as a church as well as individuals) to encourage people to seek counseling?

Dr. Landon also shared some of the resources that are available to our church and community through the ministry and counseling services of the Interfaith Counseling Center. You can find more information about Interfaith Counseling Center by going to the center’s website ( Last Sunday’s “tag team” sermon can be accessed by going to our church website (

We will continue our Transformed campaign this Sunday when we will examine what it means to be transformed in our relational health. Let me encourage you to be present for both Sunday School and worship as we consider biblical principles which will enable us to have healthy relationships (with God and with others).  Let me also encourage you to read the daily devotions in our Transformed Workbook/Journals which I have found to be extremely helpful.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday.




Pastor's Paragraph-Minister of Youth

This Sunday is Youth Sunday.  A special worship service, led by our youth, will take place at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary. Just about everything in this service, from prayers and special music to leading congregation hymns and preaching, will be led by youth of our congregation. I am confident that this will be a wonderful and meaningful time of worship, just as it has been in years past.

But I've been asked on more than one occasion, "But Jason, why don't you preach on Youth Sunday?" Though I have been known to preach before, I prefer to give time and space for our own youth, children who have been nourished in the faith of our congregation, to respond to God's leading in their hearts to preach, pray, or perform a sacred piece of music. At Calvary, we worship a God who calls out men and women to serve, minister, and preach in a wide variety of situations and places. And this same God, who called Deborah as a judge over the ancient Israelites, also called the prophet Samuel as a young boy. This same God, who gave the Holy Spirit to Peter at Pentecost, called out Mary, a young woman, to birth our Savior Jesus. God uses men and women, boys and girls, the young and the old in God's own purposes. And how can we allow our youth to boldly respond to God's calling unto them without giving them the opportunity to respond? 

Youth-led worship services also provide the opportunity for our youth to stretch themselves, to do something outside of their comfort zone, and to equip them to participate in a life of faith throughout their lives. Whether leading a call to worship, playing the trumpet, or collecting the offering, every youth has the opportunity to serve and lead in this service. It is important to me that Calvary be a church where youth are stretched and asked to do this. Services where youth prepare and lead worship provide a context and foundation for our youth, who will grow into adults, to participate and contribute in a significant way in the worship of God as adults. Hopefully, when our youth are grown and in churches with their own families, they will remember their experiences of leading worship and answer "Yes" when they are asked to pray, serve, or lead future worship services.

So come this Sunday. Let us be together as a church family. Be led by our youth, who will be our future church leaders, deacons, and maybe even a preacher or two, and let us worship the God who calls every child to repentance and faith. 

Jason Matlack, Minister to Youth



Pastor's Paragraph Jan. 9

Several people have asked me for a copy of the "Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year" that I quoted in last Sunday's sermon. These questions, which appeared in a recent article by author and professor Don Whitney, are as follows:

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year? 
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it? 
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, Don Whitney encourages us to ask some additional "evaluation" questions including:

-What's the most important decision you need to make this year?
-Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?
-What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
-If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it? 

I hope that you will join me in taking some time to evaluate your life, especially as you reflect on the past year of 2013. With God's guidance and direction, may we be resolved to live more fully and faithfully in the time that God gives us in 2014. I look forward to seeing you Sunday when we will focus on the metaphor, "You are the light of the world," (Matthew 5:14-16).