By Karjor A. Caldwell
For the past year I have been preaching in Sturgis, Mississippi. I am the only black preacher here in Oktibbeho County who is opposed to institutionalism. My purpose for being in Sturgis is to use every possible opportunity to preach the gospel of Christ as God’s power to save the lost and to edify the saved (Rom. 1:16-17). The church in Sturgis is small in number but has manifested great faith in the face of many trials. After their meeting house was taken from them by a liberal church, sound brethren in many places rallied to their need. Through the sacrifices of the saints here and the help of beloved brethren in other places, the church at Sturgis has a new building to meet in (see Guardian of Truth, Dec. 3, 1992, pp. 712-715). We are united, at peace, and pressing forward in the work of the Lord. I would like to summarize our work during the last year.
I started out by teaching classes for the church using Roy Cogdill’s books on The New Testament Church and Walking by Faith. Now we are studying the book of Matthew. It has been my desire to confirm the faith of the saints first, and then when they are well grounded, to turn our attention to reaching the lost. The prospects for growth are good but it will take a lot of sacrifices and hard work, as we learn from the book of Acts. We are already having visitors.
I am preaching twice each Sunday, and having Bible classes at the building twice a week. We have started a 30 minute radio program which is broadcast over a 50,000 watt station. This sermon is preached each Saturday. We got a very reasonable rate and I will help pay for it out of my own pocket as needed. Home Bible studies are set up as we have opportunity. A correspondence course is offered through the radio, and by personal invitation. Several copies of Lesson One have been used as we are getting started. We are using Gene Tope’s course. Our Sunday attendance normally runs about 20, with 12 who are faithful members. Except for one high school boy, all members of the church are women. These good sisters are appreciated, but we look forward to the conversion of some men. In the meantime, it is necessary for me to do all of the preaching, song leading, praying, and waiting on the table. When I am occasionally out of town, brethren from Starkville drive over to Sturgis to preach and help in my absence.
In May I went to Montego Bay, Jamaica for 10 days. The time was spent in preaching at the meeting house, and in teaching in private homes. Since I am single, I try to live-in a frugal way to save some money to put into such efforts. If I can save enough money, I plan to return to Jamaica in early 1994. Churches in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi invited me to speak for them at times during 1993. I held three gospel meetings this year. It was a pleasure to be with brethren in Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee in these meetings.
You can be a help in spreading the gospel in this part of the world by helping in my support. I need $2,500 a month, but my income is reduced to only $1,400 a month, which means I must raise $1,100 by January I. (The loss of support I am suffering does not reflect any problems in my work. A brother made a generous special commitment for one year to help us get started, and the year is about past.) I pay my own utilities, office expenses, and car expenses out of my monthly income. My trips to Jamaica are paid for out of my own funds. In addition, I will have to pay a part of the $60 a week for the radio program, if it is to be kept going. I feel the $2,500 is a reasonable request. Your consideration of my needs is appreciated.
If you have any questions about me or my work, please write, come for a visit, or give me a call at (601) 323-0435. The following men know of my work: Roosevelt Johnson at Columbus, MS (601) 327-0171; Clark Buzbee in nearby Starkville, MS (601) 324-0278; Bobby Holmes at Duncanville, TX (214) 298-4466; Ron Halbrook at West Columbia, TX (409) 345-2501; Bob Bunting at Memphis, TN (901) 373-9250.
Thank you for all your prayers and help in this work here at Sturgis. May the God of heaven richly bless all. Thank you.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 24, p. 8
December 16, 1993