Whitelaw Avenue Baptist Church
Friday, December 14, 2018
Glorifying God...Expanding His Kingdom


December 2018 Newsletter


A Word from the Pastor…

Looking Back Over the Years

Since I will be retiring at the end of this month, I want to share with you some things I am thankful for as I look back over these many years of ministry. 

First, I thank the Lord that He blessed me with a wonderful and talented wife who has served at my side and been my greatest supporter.  I also am thankful for the support of my children and family.  The Lord has been so good to me and has blessed me in every way.

Second, I am thankful that the Lord called me to preach the gospel 43 years ago and has allowed me to be a pastor now for 39 years.  In this time as a pastor He has allowed me to preach at least 3,000 messages, baptize 509 people, perform 110 weddings, and conduct 246 funerals.  The Lord has also allowed me the opportunity to minister to many families in their times of joy, sorrow and hurt.  All of this has not been just a job but a ministry of love and I give ALL the credit and glory to the Lord for what He has done!

Third, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to serve as pastor of three churches. The first was the First Baptist Church of Blum, Texas for 2 years, while I was in seminary. The second was the Steeleville Baptist Church of Steeleville, Illinois for 17 years.  The third has been here at Whitelaw Avenue Baptist Church for 19 years. I am so thankful for two long pastorates because it has allowed stability for our family, when many pastors have had to move so often to different churches. These long tenures have also allowed us to develop some deep, lasting and cherished friendships and relationships with people in these churches.  This is such a blessing!

I am so thankful that the Lord called us to this church on April 11, 1999.  It was the Lord who led us here and He has allowed us to stay here for these many years.  I am thankful for all the Lord has allowed us to do and accomplish together.  I am thankful for all the people here at this church that the Lord has allowed us to work with and serve alongside of during these years, such as staff members, church leaders, deacons, teachers, workers and members.  This church has been such a blessing to us and has treated us so well and we are so thankful!

Finally, I am thankful for all the good memories we have of all these years together.  I pray that the Lord has found us faithful to His call and in His service.

In His Love,

Bro. Richard


Hope Center Toy Drive…

We are collecting toys for the Hope Center’s 2018 Christmas Toy Giveaway.  Put your toy in the collection barrel in the foyer by Sunday, December 9.  They will be picking up the toy barrel on December 10.  They say their most urgent need is for larger toys for boys and girls ages 1-12.  They like to give every child 1 large gift rather than several small stocking stuffers.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering…

In December we will be receiving our special offering, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.  One half of the budget of the International Missions Board comes from this offering.  You may give your offering any Sunday in December by placing it in a special envelope or a regular envelope marked “Lottie Moon Offering.”

Church Council…

The Church Council will meet Wednesday, December 5 at 5:30 pm.  We will be planning the church calendar dates for January – June 2019.

Church Christmas Card Delivery…

We will deliver Christmas Cards to regular attending church members and attenders again this year.  Put your cards in the box in the foyer before Sunday, December 23.  Please place your $0.25 per card into the donation box.  Check the delivery box regularly for cards given to you.

Co-ed Volleyball…

If you want to play on the church Co-ed Volleyball Team sign up on the bulletin board.  Games are on Thursday nights at the Roxana City Hall Gym.  You must be age 16 and up to play.  Games started November 29.  Call Cindi Martin for details.

Church Adult Christmas Fellowship…

We will have a Christmas Fellowship for anyone college age and up on Saturday, December 8 at 5:00 pm in our church fellowship hall.  It will be a potluck meal so bring a covered dish or dessert.  Bring a wrapped $5 gift for a game we will play.  Child care will be provided by our youth here at the church.  For questions about child care, contact Donna Gaines.

Choir Christmas Cantata…

The Adult Choir will present the Christmas Cantata on Sunday morning, December 16 at 10:45 am in the morning worship service.


Family Christmas Caroling…

On Sunday evening December 16 at 4:00 pm the entire family is welcome to join us as we go Christmas Caroling for some of our senior adults.  We will have a soup and sandwich meal when we return.  Please bring a dish for the meal.


The seniors will not be meeting during the month of December.

Retirement Celebration…

Please join us as we honor and thank Brother Richard and Lana Newcom for their many years of dedicated service Sunday, December 30 from 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm at the Wood River Round House, 633 North Wood River Ave.  A buffet lunch will be served.  Please RSVP Sue Keener kskeener4@charter.net or 618-741-3139.

December Calendar of Events…

Sunday, December 2                             Regular Sunday Activities

                                        1:00 p.m.      Fellowship Hall Reserved

Wednesday, December 5  5:30 p.m.      Church Council Meeting

Regular Wednesday Activities

Saturday, December 8       5:00 p.m.      Adult Christmas Party in Fellowship Hall

Sunday, December 9                             Regular Sunday Activities

                                        2:30 p.m.      VIP Nursing Home Service

Wednesday, December 12                     Regular Wednesday Activities

Sunday, December 16                           Regular Sunday Activities

                                        10:45 a.m.    Adult Choir Christmas Cantata

                                                            No Nursery, Preschool or Children’s Church

                                        4:00 p.m.      Family Christmas Caroling

Wednesday, December 19                     Regular Wednesday Activities

                                                            Youth Christmas Party

Sunday, December 23                           Regular Sunday Activities

Monday, December 24                          Church Offices Closed

                                        10:00 p.m.    Christmas Eve Service

Tuesday, December 25                         Christmas Day

                                                            Church Offices Closed

Wednesday, December 26                     No Children or Youth Activities

Friday, December 28                             Youth Lock-In

Sunday, December 30                           Regular Sunday Activities

                              12:30 – 3:00 pm.     Retirement Celebration for Lana & Richard                                                                     Newcom

Thank You…

To our church family, we want to say thanks for every act of kindness shown during Denny’s recent surgery and stroke.  He is recovering nicely thanks to all the prayers!  God is good.  Thanks Bro. Richard for all your visits.  Cards are so uplifting and the food tastes so good.  We love you all,

Denny & Jean Gaines


We want to thank the church for extending our health insurance benefit for 2 months after Richard retires.  This is a wonderful and very generous expression of Christian love and kindness.  We are so grateful.

Richard & Lana Newcom



Our Volunteers say that serving has made a difference in their lives and their relationship with God.  Each month we are going to Spotlight a few of our volunteers. You can read their favorite volunteer memories and Bible Verses on the upstairs Bulletin Board in the Education Building.

Every volunteer has a story.  We love to hear how God is working in the lives of our volunteers.

"I serve because it is a command from God.  'You shall fear the Lord your God.  You shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.'  (Deut. 10:20)

One way we serve Him is by serving people."  - Lana Newcom 

"I serve because God tells us to!  We are the hands and feet of the Church.  He works through us when we are willing." - Amanda Oliger

"I serve because I have always loved doing things for others.  Sometimes people don't know what I do for them, which I love the best! - Mary Miller

Take a look below at our volunteer needs for this month!

If you have an interest in serving in any of these areas, please contact the person listed for that ministry or you can call the church office at 254-3848.




You can provide drinks and snacks for Youth Wednesday night Bible study.  Contact our Wednesday Night Youth Leaders: SUE KEENER or STEPHANIE STUPPERICH.


You can provide drinks and snacks for Youth Wednesday night Bible Study.  Contact our Wednesday Night Youth Leaders: SUE KEENER or STEPHANIE STUPPERICH.


If you have technology and/or social media experience you can help with our Technology Ministry.  Contact our Web Page Administrator: DENNIS EMMONS.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!  Your willingness to use your gifts and abilities has strengthened the ministry of our Church.