Some lessons are difficult to learn. We often need to hear something many times before the lesson sinks into our skull (or heart). In this way, the twelve apostles are just like us and we are like them. In our study of Mark’s Gospel, we have seen the Lord Jesus repeatedly instruct his followers on the simplest and most important truth and they continue to miss the point. They understand somewhat but even when they begin to see a little more clearly, they end up missing the primary point. Sadly, there are many in churches all across the country who do the same thing. When it comes to who Jesus is and what he came to do, there are many wrong answers and only one right answer. How do you answer those questions? Please join us this Sunday as we look at the correct answer to the two most important questions you will ever be asked.
Dear church family,
We want to make you aware of plans for upcoming Sunday services as we transition into fall. It has been 30 weeks of near-constant change since March 8. We thank you for your flexibility as we continue to figure out the best and safest ways to continue meeting together.
Here’s the plan for the next few weeks:
October 11 & 18 – We will keep our current schedule with worship inside at 8:30am and 11:00am and outside at 6:00pm.
October 25 – We will worship inside at 8:30am and then hold a large outdoor worship service at 11:00am. The 8:30am service will be livestreamed at 11:00am. There will be no evening outdoor service.
November 1 – Everything – including the time – changes! The time change and falling temperatures will make it difficult to continue meeting outdoors. On November 1, we will meet at 8:30am and 11:00am indoors, with childcare (preschool only) provided only at the 11:00am service. We will also meet at 6:00pm indoors. Masks will be required throughout this evening service (which will feature the same music and sermon as the morning service). It is still strongly encouraged that people wear masks at the morning services. We will continue to livestream the 11:00am service on our website, YouTube and Facebook.
We are still in discussions about all the details involved with starting Sunday School for all ages; more information to come on this soon. We appreciate your survey responses as we get feedback in the best way to move forward.
We thank you for your continued support and encouragement as we seek God’s direction.
**ATTN Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers!!**
Here is a much anticipated update on Fall Retreat 2020. After deliberation, surveying, praying, thinking, talking, mulling, and thinking and praying some more, we have come to a conclusion. Fall Retreat this year will look different than it has in many years. But, this does not mean we are not pursuing every possible means to making this a memorable Fall Retreat.
Here is the breakdown for Fall Retreat 2020:
October 23-25 (October 23-24 for Middle School, October 24-25 for High School)
Carrie and Russell Allen's Home (2452 S Chipley Ford Rd)
All Events will take place outside
Fill out the form below to pre-register for Fall Retreat 2020. You will not be a full registration until you have paid $20 for the weekend.
Contact Mark Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text/call (704-880-8794) with any questions.
We all have opinions. Some believe everyone should know them. Our opinions sometimes get us in trouble. In our culture today, you can get in serious trouble if you do not share a certain opinion. Standing against culture can be scary and even dangerous. How is a Christian to live? How is a Christian to respond against our culture’s demand to abandon biblical thinking for its competing worldview? Peter’s first letter is a gift to believers living in a non-Christian world. This Sunday, Peter’s words will help us examine how Christians can remain faithful to God against great pressure from our society.
**Note time change to 6:00pm for evening service**
It’s finally time.
Our Church Picnic is this Saturday. Here is what you need to do.
There is no sign-up this year. You just show up and bring your own picnic. You can make it at your house or pick it up at a restaurant. We just want you to bring your meal out to the church yard and have a meal together with the church. Bring your own paper towels, napkins, cups, drinks, and utensils. Trash cans will be available, and the church will be open so you can use the restroom.
You can began to gather in the back yard where the squares are at 6:00pm. If you have been to the back of the church lately for the evening service, we will be in this field. If you have not come to the evening service, you can come around to the back parking lot. There will be a flatbed trailer in the big field in the back. Bring your own chairs or blanket. Pick a square and enjoy.
The WABC’s Got Talent Variety Show will begin around 6:45pm. We will feature music, comedy, games, and maybe a few more surprises. We had a great time doing this last year, we think this year will be as much fun, if not more.
We hope you and your family can make it out to a fun evening. We hope to see you there.
On Saturday, September 26, we invite you to join us for a physically distant picnic and variety show. “Western Avenue’s Got Talent” will once again be joining our family picnic. The picnic will be held behind the church where we hold our evening worship service. Please bring food for your family, grab a square and enjoy the evening with us. The picnic starts at 6:00pm and the talent show at 6:45pm. If you are interested in performing at the talent show, here’s a Google Form to fill out with your information: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LH3__Ti3lbovzX1OBiWuJ9huElbJvlA63cPuTR5y6dQ/edit
We can’t wait to see all your great talents!!
We are planning a men’s golf trip to Springdale Country Club, located in the mountains west of Asheville. This trip will be a wonderful time of fun and fellowship. Andy Lackey will also be leading a time of Bible study and prayer. Space is very limited. If you are interested in attending, please contact Andy at 704-872-4139 or email@example.com
We're excited to announce Avenue Kids is back!
1st - 5th graders
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Back field of the church
Bring your own chair
Spirit Walk: Presented by Brian P.
Though we know the Bible says to walk in the Spirit, the majority of Christians are illiterate (and even nervous) about how to practically live in His power. The result is lives marred by continued brokenness and ministries plagued by fruitlessness. In contrast, believers from Acts understood the ancient path of the Spirit Walk. That extraordinary power was not just for them, but also for us. Join us Wednesday at 6:30 PM in the WABC sanctuary for this 4-week study led by Brian P. based upon the book Spirit Walkby Steve Smith. The audio, along with PowerPoint, will also be presented on Facebook Live and Youtube.
This Friday, 8/28, is our Family Movie Night! This event is for Avenue Kids and all youth plus their families. The movie we are watching is Meet the Robinsons. We will be on the back lawn (where we normally have Sunday evening services). You may either bring your lawn chairs and sit on the lawn (following our regular social distancing rules) or you may sit in your car and listen through your radio station.
Due to the fact the Statesville movie theatre has closed, we will not be able to offer popcorn that night, however, when you drive in, you will have a choice of 1 candy, 1 salty treat, and 1 drink per person. In order to keep social distancing, we are asking that you grab these items when you drive in vs creating a line at the tables. We will have all the treats at both entrances to the parking lot, so feel free to enter either way. We will be ready to accept watchers at 7:45 PM and the movie will start promptly at 8:15 PM. It will finish by 10:00.
The COVID-19 Vaccine and the Mark of the Beast: Presented by Jeff Spry
With all of the unusual things taking place in the world right now, many people have begun to speculate what relationship these events might have to the end times. One current controversy working its way around social media concerns the COVID-19 vaccination and the Mark of the Beast referred to in Revelation 13:16-18. What if any connection might there be?
Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as Dr. Jeff Spry will address this very question and help us to better understand what the Bible actually says about this topic. This Wednesday, August 26, we will start having one EU class each week in-person in the sanctuary with social distancing like Sunday morning services. For those of you unable to attend, the class will be live-streamed on Facebook Live and also recorded to watch later on Facebook or our website.
Praying in the Spirit: Presented by Dr. Andy White
Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as Dr. Andy White will be speaking about how we can be praying in the spirit. The need for prayer in our world has never been greater. Yet often our prayer life feels inadequate and at times dry. What we all need is prayer with divine help. Praying in the spirit is trusting in faith and relying on God to hear, understand, and act. We hope to see you Wednesday at 6:30 on either Facebook live or YouTube for this very important presentation.
C.S. Lewis famously wrote that believers usually make one of two equal and opposite errors when it comes to Satan and demons: “One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” As others have noted, these are not exactly equal errors. To disbelieve in the existence of demons is to disbelieve the Bible and the accounts and words of Jesus.
There is a reality beyond what we can see and the passage we will study this Sunday is one of the clearest and most vivid accounts in the Bible on the subject. Jesus purposefully crossed to the other side, calming the storm in the process, to enter into a storm of another kind. We can learn much about demons and even more about Jesus from this encounter in Mark 5.
Join us at either 8:30 am or 11:00 am for indoor services (11:00 am will be live-streamed) or at 7:30 pm for an outdoor service on the back lawn.
In reading and teaching the Bible, it is easy to make the Bible all about us. We place ourselves in the stories and anxiously await God to help us defeat the giants in our lives with our own five smooth stones. What if the Bible is not all about us? What if God never promised he would do such things in the first place? What if God told us of these events so we would refuse to put our faith in hoped-for outcomes but put all our faith only in HIM? This Sunday, as we continue through Mark’s Gospel, we will look at one the most misunderstood events in Jesus’ life and learn the true point of the amazing story of Jesus calming the raging storm.
This Sunday, June 28, we will follow the same schedule as last Sunday with two indoor services at 8:30 am and 11:00 am (11:00 am service will be live-streamed) and the outdoor worship service at 7:30 pm.
Dear Church Family,
Last Sunday, we held our first worship service in our sanctuary since March 8. With all the distancing protocols in place, we estimated a capacity of 300 people in the Worship Center, with overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall and Multi-Purpose Room as needed. We had 290 people in the worship center and sixteen more in the Fellowship Hall. It was wonderful to be back in that room with so many of our congregation.
Of course, we also had many worship online and at the 7:30 PM service on the grass lawn. We were worried about an approaching rain storm but I never felt the first drop of rain until a few second before the end of the message. God is good! He has given us nice weather for each of our outdoor services and this Sunday evening looks like another beautiful day to worship God in his creation.
To continue to offer the most opportunities to the most people to gather as the body of Christ to worship, we will also hold a worship service at 8:30 AM this Sunday along with our 11:00 AM and 7:30 PM services. We will livestream the 11:00 service. Some are ready to gather indoors. Others greatly enjoy worshiping outside. Others prefer to worship as a family or small group in their homes. We hope all who call Western Avenue Baptist Church home will take full advantage of all these opportunities to grow in their walk with Jesus as we worship him and study his word.
Finally, your staff and deacons meet online last week for our monthly deacons’ meeting. We have a few medical professionals serving as deacons and they wanted to reinforce their appreciation for the impact wearing a mask can have on an individual and those around him or her. We are not requiring masks be worn for the indoor services but are thankful for anyone who chooses to do so. We also join with our medical professionals in asking you to please stay home if you notice any symptoms of illness at all, especially a high temperature. If you are not sure, one of the doctors in our church membership will be in the foyer before both services to quickly take your temperature by scanning your forehead with a non-invasive infrared thermometer. Our cleaning company will thoroughly clean and disinfect the worship center between services.
We are doing what we can to provide you with the opportunity to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope you will be able to join us at one of these services.
Jesus’ Response to Social Injustice
Presented by Jeff Durham
What is social injustice? Should Christians advocate for social justice? Is it even a term that Christians should use? And most importantly, what did Jesus say about this topic?
We invite you to join us this Wednesday (6/17) at 6:30 PM on Facebook or YouTube as Jeff Durham will address this timely and relevant topic.
WABC Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers -
We are excited to announce Middle School and High School at Western Avenue will have camp this year. It won’t be over night and it won’t be far away, but it will certainly be fun.
Middle School dates: Tuesday, June 23 - Friday, June 26
High School dates: Tuesday June 30 - Friday, July 3
We will meet at church each morning of camp. Each day will consist of teaching, worship, and activities. Our day will look like this:
9:00 am to 10:00 am - Worship and Bible Study
10:00 am to 10:30 am - Snack and Activity Prep
10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Activity
Activities will include group games, scavenger hunts, competitions, and messy games. You will need to bring a change of clothes on Friday for our Messy Games Competition. We will meet outside under the canopy.
Want to attend?
We need you to have filled out:
· 2020 Student Release
· COVID Release
You can find those forms online here:
Middle School link to register (if you just completed 6th - 8th grade): https://forms.gle/5XaRkvhAKtYkNnrn9
Middle School please register by June 21
High School link to register (if you just completed 9th - 12th grade): https://forms.gle/RFcvpz9XPBD6BvdW9
High School please register by June 28
Questions? Call Mark Collins at 704-872-4139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good morning! We have a couple quick updates for our Virtual Bible School construction crew! If you have registered for VBS, you can pick up your toolkit behind the church on Friday, 6/12, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. or on Sunday, 6/14, before the 11:00 service and after until 1:00 p.m.
While the deadline to receive a toolkit with snacks and crafts has passed, we want to give everyone the opportunity to watch the daily VBS videos. They can also be shared with family or friends who may not live in Statesville. Fill out this short form (https://forms.gle/cQDLMYoxxC5c6mPm9) to receive the link and password to access.
We worshiped online for the first time on March 15. We gathered in this manner for eight weeks. Then, on Mothers’ Day, May 10, we met outside on the back lawn and in our cars at 11:00 AM. We gathered in this manner for four weeks. Last Sunday, in an attempt to beat the heat, we gathered outside at 9:00 AM. It looks like we will only do this for one Sunday.
As we consider our next options, it is good to repeat what we have said multiple times over the last several weeks. Our goal is not simply to be able to worship indoors. Our goal all along has been to worship together. This is something the world does not seem to understand. Some do not understand our desire is not centered on a building to be in but a people to be with. This will remain our goal and will continue to guide our plans, as far as that is possible. We realize moving inside will reduce our ability to gather as one body but we have reached that time, knowing the heat is only going to increase as we move further into the summer months.
This Sunday, June 14, we will have two services. The first service will be indoors at 11:00 AM. We will meet in the Worship Center with overflow options in the Fellowship Hall and the Multi-Purpose Room. This service will also be livestreamed on our website, Facebook, YouTube, and broadcast live on local radio (1400 AM; 100.7 FM). We will observe distancing guidelines in all three locations, which are as follows (and will be explained in a video later in the week):
1)To ensure a distance of six feet between all family units, we will mark off every other row and ensure there are four empty seats between family units.
2)As you arrive, please wait to be seated by one of our ushers. He will find a row with enough seats for you or your family to sit together and then mark off four seats between you and the next worshiper(s). The balcony is also open.
3)When the sanctuary reaches capacity, you may participate in the worship service in the Fellowship Hall or in the Multi-Purpose Room. Chairs will be arranged to meet social distancing requirements.
4)We will dismiss by rows. You may place your offerings in the brown buckets as you depart through the foyer. We ask you not to congregate in the foyer but to continue outside to fellowship.
We will also hold a second worship service at 7:30 PM on Sunday on the back lawn (as we have the last few weeks). As long as it does not rain, the late evening is a wonderful time to meet outdoors. If it does rain, we will not meet at 7:30 PM (indoors or outdoors). This service will not be livestreamed. If it does rain, the morning service will be available online.
Worship at Western Avenue has been very different these past thirteen weeks. It appears it will continue to be different for at least the next three weeks. At the same time, the worship services have been wonderful with a beautiful unity among the body as we gathered in God’s glorious creation. As your pastor, I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to make wise decisions for the good of this church body and our community. May God continue to bless us as we work and plan to honor him in how we worship and live our lives to his glory alone.
We have met outside to worship the last few weeks. I have heard so many positive comments during this time as you have enjoyed these services outdoors. It has been a wonderful experience - with the exception of slowly increasing temperatures and maybe a few slight sunburns. I am thankful for the moderate weather we’ve experienced these past Sunday mornings but it’s starting to get a little hotter. I know the rising temperatures bring more distractions and possibly keep some at home.
We will meet outdoors once again this Sunday morning, June 7, starting at 9:00 AM.
We will also livestream this service on our website, Facebook, and YouTube at 9:00 AM.
We are working with the radio station to carry this service at 11:00 AM but we are not sure at this point what will work with WSIC (100.7 FM; 1400 AM).
We have plans to meet indoors and will do so soon (even quicker than expected if the weather is not as nice). However, our goal has never been to merely be indoors (as nice as that will be). Our goal has been to gather together so we can all worship together. This goal is best met at this time by worshiping outside. If we move indoors at this point, we will have to break into two services and spread across three rooms (sanctuary, fellowship hall, multipurpose room) to accommodate everyone. That is not optimal but may be necessary in the near future.
I greatly appreciate your patience and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
The recent deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are reminders that the sin of racism is still alive in America. And while we see instances of peaceful protests against such heinous crimes, we are also witnessing on our televisions exhibitions of violence and destruction, which include riots, looting, and the destruction of property. So how does this affect our church here in Statesville, NC? What can we, as a body of believers who hold firmly and dearly to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, do in such times? How can WABC be a beacon of light in a dark and chaotic world, as well as a refuge for sinners and a source of racial unity? And what does God say about such issues of racism and violence? Join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as we address these important and critical issues.
We know it was disappointing for many of you to not be able to worship with your church family in person or online this past Sunday. We only had a few short days after the governor's news conference and did not feel we could do all that was needed to livestream from outside without potentially eliminating our ability to livestream anything at all.
We are meeting outside again this Sunday morning (May 17) and are working hard so those at home can participate online in the outside service. We now feel we have what we need to allow you to join us as we worship live outdoors. If it proves more difficult than we imagine, we will record the service later in the week for you to view on Sunday morning. We hope that will not be needed. We want to be together - either online or in person!
DUE TO WEATHER, THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED
We will hold a special outdoor service on Friday night, May 8, at 6:30pm, in the big grassy field behind the church building. (see diagram) You are encouraged to bring your chairs or blankets to sit as a family while we worship in song and open God’s Word for a brief time of reflection on his continued goodness to us. We are working to provide the ability to listen to the service on the radio in your car. Families are also encouraged to bring a picnic meal to enjoy as a family, staying as long as you want. If the weather does not allow us to meet, we will let you know as soon as possible via social media.
The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived. On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina would enter into Phase 1 of the plan to return to normalcy. Phase 1, which officially begins Friday, May 8 at 5:00 PM, allows churches of any size to gather as long as they meet outside and practice good social distancing standards. It has been eight long weeks since we last gathered together. We are all ready to meet and we plan to do so as soon as possible. We will hold a special service on Friday night at 6:30 PM in the big grassy field in the back of the church building. You are encouraged to bring your chairs or blankets to sit as a family as we worship in song and open God’s Word for a brief time of reflection on his continued goodness to us. We are working to provide the ability to listen to the service on the radio in your car. Families are also encouraged to bring a picnic meal to enjoy as a family, staying as long as you want. If the weather does not allow us to meet, we will let you know as soon as possible via social media.
On Sunday morning, we will return to the grassy field for our worship service at 11:00 AM. You can bring a chair or a blanket to sit in the grass or listen from within your parked cars (we ask those who will be sitting in the grassy area to please park in spaces farther away so those in their cars can be closer). If you cannot or do not wish to attend in person, we will continue to broadcast the service over our normal social media platforms and the radio. I look forward to seeing you face to face very soon.
The Lord’s Prayer
While we are living in a world of uncertainty and unrest, there has perhaps never been a time more critical for the church to be engaged in prayer. But how do we pray? What do we pray? Thankfully for us, the disciples had these same questions, questions which they asked our Lord Jesus. His answer was given during the Sermon on the Mount, and this prayer has become known as the Lord’s Prayer.
This Wednesday, we will begin a new study on this great prayer. While it is a prayer in which we know the words, it is one we desperately need to relearn of its power and practice. So join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/wabcstv/) as we study the most powerful prayer in the Bible, the prayer taught by our Lord Jesus to those closest to him.
Dear WABC Family,
I wanted to invite you to a special evening of worship, prayer, and fasting this Wednesday at 6:30 PM. This will be a Facebook Live event that will be in place of our regular Equipping University class. In Acts 13, we read where the Apostles were engaged in worship, prayer, and fasting as they prepared to launch from Antioch to take the gospel out to the world. This marked a point where we see the spread of the gospel explode as churches were planted and lives changed.
As we talked about Sunday, I think we are all longing for God to do a great work in our church, our community, and our nation. We have a deep desire for revival to be unleashed throughout the world. Yet it has often felt like the church is facing the headwinds of a culture that offers competing idols for our attention, whether it be entertainment, professional sports, shopping, or socializing in nightclubs. Might it be that God has used this pandemic to remove, for a time, some of the things that compete for our affections in order to create space and margin in our lives so we can focus on Him, and to restore our hunger for God.
This hunger for revival is the spirit within which we are inviting our entire church family as well as any of your friends and family to join us Wednesday evening. To prepare for this time, we are making the following recommendations:
If you have specific prayer requests, please send them to me via email at email@example.com. I and others on staff will be praying for these throughout the day on Wednesday.
We hope to see all of you Wednesday!
We began a study of Mark’s Gospel in January. We recently took a five week break to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter as we took a deep dive into Isaiah 53. This Sunday, we will return to the second gospel as Andy Lackey leads us in the study of Mark 2:18-22. In this text, Jesus answers the question of fasting in the presence of our Savior and King.
Join us online at:
or on the radio starting back this week on:
WSIC Radio - 1400AM, 100.7FM, 105.9FM
Easter Sunday is two days away. This day is a day we all look forward to every year – for many different reasons. On one level, we look forward to seeing family, enjoying a wonderful meal, and seeing our children dressed up in all their frilly lace and fancy bow ties. On a much deeper level, we enjoy sitting in church with our brothers and sisters, worshiping our risen Savior in song and in word.
This Easter, though everything is different, we can still realize most of these wonderfully happy desires. We may not all be able to gather together at Western Avenue in one of the three previously planned services but I encourage you to make the most of this Sunday morning. Wake up early. Enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast. Make the effort to get dressed. Gather together to tune in to the worship service at 11:00 on the website/Facebook/YouTube and let’s worship Christ. Try to be there at 11:00 or before as we will begin the service with a special video. Rodney and the praise team will lead us in singing some of our favorite songs. Sarah Claire King will also be with us to lead us in worship through song. I will complete our five week study of Isaiah 53 as we look at the concluding stanza, which tells us of the resurrection and its great impact on God, Jesus, and each of us.
Yes, this Easter will be very different from every other Easter you’ve ever experienced. In some ways, it just may be the one you remember the longest and, I pray, with the fondest of memories.
We would love to see those memories. Share some pictures of you or your family’s Easter worship with us on the church’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wabcstv/). If you took the challenge and made an Easter bonnet, we would especially like to see that!
In the past week, I have tried to help you prepare for our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Each day this week, we have walked with Jesus as he made his way to the cross. You can watch these videos (about 12 minutes in length) here:
On a lighter note, I spent some time the last two weeks interviewing a few of our pastoral staff. You can watch these videos to learn a little bit more of the people who love to serve you:
On an even lighter note than that, I took advantage of an empty church building to show you parts of the church you probably never get to see. You can see those here:
May God bless each of you as we use this technology to worship our risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
What a better way to spend some of your free time during quarantine than memorizing scripture. Andy Lackey has challenged us to memorize Philippians! While this may seem like a daunting task, taking it one day at a time (10 minutes a day, 5 days a week), it can be done!
If you are on Facebook, you can access Andy's Facebook group with videos and posts here.
If you are not on Facebook, you can access all of Andy's videos for this Bible Memory Group on the WABC YouTube page.
Western Avenue at Home
Make plans to join us Sunday morning, April 5 for worship service livestream at 11am. We've added a livesteam option through our YouTube channel, offering another way to watch this week.