New Pastor – Donnie Sixt

To our members and those that faithfully serve in all our ministries at Grace Baptist Church, I come with some exciting news. On Sunday, November 26th the membership of Grace Baptist Church voted overwhelmingly to appoint Donnie Sixt as the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church. Donnie has been a missionary to Sweden over the past […] READ MORE

Who Are You Trusting?

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Recently, a church member handed me a March 6th article from the Middletown Journal titled “Future of Religion Will Always Be Part Sociology, Part Supernatural,” by Ross Douthat. The title caught my attention, and I am not sure why the church member handed it to me; but the article is a […] READ MORE

A Message for Our Seasoned Saints

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Preparing for the Second Coming of our High Priest Leviticus 14:1-20 has the law concerning the restoration of a leper to the community and the presence of God. The restoration process took two weeks and involved several sacrifices with a waiting period between week one and week two. The priest would […] READ MORE

Unclear No More

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   “Abortions dropped 65% in Ohio following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.” A casual glance at this title evokes a certain degree of rejoicing among those who believe in the sanctity of life. Unfortunately, the article is written to elicit a different sentiment. The article’s author Jessie Balmert laments the reduction […] READ MORE

The Manger of Christmas

BY VICTORINA HOLDING   The Manger of Christmas Began with God above, Past an innkeeper’s business And a busy, selfish crowd. This Manger held our Savior – Emmanuel, His name. The angels knew it well The shepherds told the same. This one Manger revealed A loving Father’s plan Down the Path of Suffering I could […] READ MORE

The Apple of My Father’s Eye

BY VICTORINA HOLDING   January 25, 1967 was one of the milder days in the Philippines. It was also my fifth birthday. Fragmented memories of neighbors who came to celebrate over some food and ice cream still dance in my mind; but one vivid image always comes into focus: my father with a plate of […] READ MORE

Stations and Witnesses

BY VICTORINA HOLDING   Bro. Jake Taube’s analogy of help stations for marathon runners to those “stations” God has provided along life’s race steered my thoughts back to an adventure in which my husband and I took part on August 19, 2000. Donned in layers of light clothing and a pair of hiking boots, I […] READ MORE

Fathers and the Son

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   My Father It had been at least 22 years since both Carlos and I had seen our father. We arrived in Spain, met new family, drove to a strange city, and staked out where we thought we might find our father. We waited for a day and a half, and finally, […] READ MORE

Our Heavenly Father

BY JIM TAUBE   Father’s Day is always a special day for me—thankful for being a father and for the children God has blessed me with. I think back to how my life changed when our first son was born. Our home changed because I had a new life for whom I was responsible. Life […] READ MORE

God’s Peace Through the Fog of Fatherhood

BY GARY LEWIS   As I think about Father’s Day and the stage that I’m at now, it’s much easier to look back with some clarity and yes, pick out all of the many mistakes, but also by God’s graciousness, see growth in my role as a husband/father. I’m reminded that countless numbers of men have […] READ MORE

What’s in the Name “Father”?

BY JIM WINTERS   It has been close to 50 years ago that I became a father. Now in our present day, there are numerous opinions as to when this event actually takes place. I, however, can remember the moment as if it were yesterday, when my wife uttered these immortal words: “Congratulations, Daddy.” I […] READ MORE


BY MARK ALLEN   I was married at a young age and became a father when only 20 years old. I was a raised in a religious home but didn’t know Christ as my Savior. I was working hard, as taught by my Dad, to provide for my wife. When I came home from work […] READ MORE

A Mother’s Rest

BY LAURA WAREING   “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is […] READ MORE

How the Gospel Changed My View of Motherhood

BY KRISTA BARNETT   Being a mother was something I had longed for many years before the Lord blessed us with children. It truly was one of the greatest longings of my heart. But becoming a mother was more difficult than I had expected. With all the joys that motherhood would bring, it also brought moments […] READ MORE

Easily Missed

BY MARGARET SEMENOV   Have you ever read a passage of scripture and skimmed over profound words because they are written with seeming nonchalance?   It’s easy to do.  For example, in Acts 7 when Luke is giving a dynamic yet succinct history of the Hebrew people, he talks about how Moses was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter […] READ MORE

All Mothers Are Bad

BY BARBARA HARVILLE   I know, I know. Some of you are already up in arms after reading my title. You are preparing your defense for disagreement. You are thinking: she’s crazy, she knows my mom and my mom is a saint and I may not be perfect, but I am really trying to be the […] READ MORE

The Veil Is Torn! Draw Near to Him!

BY JACQUELINE WILLIAMS   To me, Easter is equally joyful and solemn, celebrating that we can now draw near to God, yet remembering that this is only possible through the incomparable suffering of Jesus during His life and death. I love that Easter comes around springtime, when the Earth is experiencing new life just as Christ […] READ MORE

Just One Hour

BY VICTORINA HOLDING   Having read historical accounts of the Roman crucifixion, I cry every time I think of Jesus’ dying on the cross; yet each year I purposely recount the events leading up to His death. Perhaps it’s my own way of keeping the wonder of His sacrificial death fresh in my mind. Recently, however, […] READ MORE

A Seasoned Observation

BY BARBARA HARVILLE   We use seasons as a metaphor for our lives because they elegantly illustrate the transitions we go through and how those transitions affect both our mindset and our faith. My philosophy of Easter has changed since I came to know the Lord sixty-seven years ago in the spring season of my life. […] READ MORE

Different Kinds of Theology / Sermons

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Church Family, As we study through the book of Hebrews, you will hear a variety of sermons. All of them will be expositional (exposing the message of the text), but of different kinds. Below are the distinctions among the different types of sermons. I hope this helps. Pastor Max Biblical Theology Biblical […] READ MORE

The Christian Doctrine of Marriage

BY TOM DEPEW   The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines marriage as, “The sacred, covenantal union of one man and one woman formed when the two swear before God an oath of lifelong loyalty and love to one another” [1082]. Those who are a part of Western culture today can understand how this definition of marriage […] READ MORE

The Joy of Christmas

BY VICTORINA HOLDING   It’s December once again; Excitement fills the air. Folks have started reading The Christmas story to replay. I see Joseph and Mary Trudge through the busy paths; In order to be counted In Caesar’s figures and facts. Soon Mary was to be delivered Of that Baby foretold. Emmanuel, His name; They were […] READ MORE

What Christmas Means to Me

BY JACQUELINE WILLIAMS   When I asked my four-year-old what Christmas meant to him, he said, “Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus!” He’s certainly starting to get the idea! To me, Christmas means remembering and celebrating that God is faithful to fulfill His promises in unexpected, perfect ways. I like that Christmas comes at the end of […] READ MORE

The Mission-Hearted and Gospel-Driven Church

BY MARK ALLEN   Mathew 28:18-20 “The Great Commission” I started attending Grace Baptist Church in 1990. Our Pastor, Dr. Roger Green, had just returned from a mission trip. He preached that one of the things he ran into on his trip was young preachers who were without the complete Word of God.  Some had just […] READ MORE

Preaching and Mission Mobilization

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Is the church’s mission connected to the church’s conviction about preaching? I say, “Yes!” The following piece was originally written as a position paper to expose the biblical connection between expository preaching and the mission of the church. The mission of the church is to make disciples as we go throughout all […] READ MORE

Member Care

BY JIM WINTERS   Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t know, and I don’t care”? Perhaps you have uttered that phrase yourself (I know I have). There may have been what we’d consider a justifiable reason or some circumstances that prompted this outburst. Years ago, there was a popular secular song that contained the […] READ MORE

Christ-Centered Preaching Apologetic

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   This piece was originally written as an apologetic for expositional preaching — a kind of preaching that has been both misrepresented and consequently misunderstood. In this paper, I will argue that expositional preaching is the soundest means of effectively communicating God’s Word. The support for this thesis statement will be presented in the […] READ MORE

1 John – Review and Resources

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Theory, Critical Theory, Standpoint Theory, Expressive Individualism, and Cancel Culture are all phrases that we continue to hear through news outlets and pop culture media. These terms are also being used within church congregations. Last year at Grace Baptist Church, we completed the epistle of 1 John; and there were several […] READ MORE

Resources for the Church

FROM THE GBC PASTORAL STAFF   Spiritual growth is a key marker in the Christian life. The ministry here at Grace is about enabling and encouraging our people in that growth. As you personally grow, below is a list of resources that may help you in seeing the history behind local church ministry here in […] READ MORE

1 John – The Root of All Uncertainty

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Let’s imagine that we were interviewing the Apostle John, and he had just finished speaking to us the entire letter of 1 John. If we were to ask John to summarize the entire letter in one sentence, what do you think […] READ MORE

1 John – Keep the Crucifixion

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   If there were one part of Christianity that we would be tempted to remove, humanly speaking, it would be the crucifixion. It is gruesome, barbaric, and counterintuitive. The crucifixion is the death of the One we call God in the flesh. […] READ MORE

1 John – Evidences of Victorious Faith

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Everyone believes something, and even Christians need to assess their faith and the Object of their faith. The question is whether the faith you are actively exercising is in Someone or something that has guaranteed true, ultimate success or not. THE FAITH […] READ MORE

Loving Jesus Above All Else

BY LAURA JACKSON   If someone asked your child what their parents love most, what would your child say? Maybe they cannot articulate it yet, but where would they see you finding your joy? Where do your children see their mom and dad turning when trials enter the home? Or what about their teachers and those they look up […] READ MORE

1 John – Secure Identity, Sacred Duty

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   For people to feel secure, they need to have an identity that they are sure of. They need to know who they are. The problem is that most people look to themselves to find out who they are. The real issue […] READ MORE

1 John – Arriving at Reliable Knowledge

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   One of the earliest threats to early Christianity was Gnosticism. This teaching featured the “need for additional knowledge” or to “be in the know” in order to communicate with or know God. The teachings included: “men of God” who were uniquely […] READ MORE

1 John – A Perfected Love

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Often on Mother’s Day, there is much talk of “a mother’s love.” Sometimes we hear or make the statement that “there is nothing like a mother’s love.” John is going to present a truth that will confront our idea of a […] READ MORE

Biblical Education Amid Cultural Revolution

A Response to “Dismantling Racism in the Classroom” BY VICTORINA HOLDING   The current melee in our country over irreversible past colliding with unresolved passion is a testimony to our love for life itself and to the validity of the phrase “to form a more perfect union” expressed in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. These […] READ MORE

Gospel Centrality

BY TOM DEPEW   If you were to ask one hundred Americans what the gospel is, you would no doubt hear many different answers. If you were to ask that same question to the same number of professing Christians, you might hear something more related to Jesus’ salvific work on the cross. However, if you were […] READ MORE

1 John – Confessing Christians in a Confused Culture

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Part of the frustration with Christian churches (generic term) is that you may find their messages to be quite different. When someone is looking for the true, authentic Christian message, these differences can be confusing. Then there is the confusion that […] READ MORE

1 John – God Is Greater Than Our Heart

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   John is exposing a problem that is common to all mankind: our hearts can mislead us. In the context of John’s hearers, they had witnessed some hurtful words and actions from those who had left the body. In experiencing this, they […] READ MORE

1 John – Expressive Individualism vs. Gospel Love

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Who am I, and how am I sure that’s who I am? Carl Trueman has put together a wonderful book entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution. In […] READ MORE

God Speaks. We Listen.

BY JARED BERRY   As a child, there were two things that always grabbed my attention and solicited a response. One was my dad’s whistle, which meant it was either time to leave the house or dinner was ready. The second was when my dad would simply say the word “booooyyyy” with a slight tilt of the […] READ MORE

1 John – Avoiding Religiopolitical Deception

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Religiopolitical is a word that combines religious and political deception. The problem with this kind of deception is that it is difficult to catch. For Pluckrose and Lindsay, the answer to Critical Theory is Secularism – separation of church and state (Cynical […] READ MORE

1 John – Visible Birthmarks

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Any truth claim must be examined to determine if belief in that truth claim will cause me to not believe in the fullness of who Jesus Christ is. For example, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: […] READ MORE

1 John – Truth, Trump, or Theory: Believe in This Jesus Above All Else

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   There are Christians who are attempting to find assurance in what they think is Jesus pure and simple, but they keep having these experiences that seem to jolt their confidence. I believe one of the reasons this happens is because of the […] READ MORE

1 John – What the Gospel Provides That ‘Cancel Culture’ or Political Conservatism Cannot

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We all have to find a way to deal with the reality of the past, the temptations of the present, and the planning for the future. One way that this is being dealt with in our society is by what has […] READ MORE

Be a Barnabas

BY RODNEY HEDGE   Think of the feeling you get when you walk into a church for the first time. Facility cleanliness, smiling faces at the front door, and clearly marked signage is what we and many would call a good first impression. But in reality, a good first impression is more than a great looking […] READ MORE

Ten Reasons You Need to Read “Revival and Revivalism”

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Murray, Iain H. Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994. Who should read this? If you are a member of Grace Baptist Church and value the truth of independent, fundamental Christianity, then you should read this book. If you are […] READ MORE

1 John – Evident Love or Secret Knowledge

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   In the time of John, there was a group of people, later termed Gnostics, who taught that our souls were pure and like a prisoner trapped inside the body. For them, it was inconceivable to think that God would have a […] READ MORE

1 John – Evidence Proves Identity, NOT Identity Creates Truth

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We must be able to give clear, objective truth. In our culture, it is becoming increasingly accepted that a person’s oppressed identity is the better source of truth rather than reason and evidence: “Social Justice scholarship takes umbrage with anything that […] READ MORE

1 John – Standpoint Theory and Its Impact on the Sufficiency of Jesus Christ

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Everyone has a standpoint. How do you think of your experiences? One of the alternative ways of thinking within the Critical Theory worldview is called Standpoint Theory: “the belief that knowledge comes from the lived experience of different identity groups, who […] READ MORE

Ministry and Education – Part 3

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe that we should be a ministry committed to the highest level of Christian education possible. Since Middletown Christian Schools is a ministry, spirituality is the most fundamental value and really the only value that matters. This means that we can let academic excellence and physical development take a back seat […] READ MORE

Book Review: Stop Trying by Cary Schmidt

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Stop Trying: How to Receive—Not Achieve—Your Real Identity, by Cary Schmidt. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2021. Cary Schmidt presently serves as the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newington, Connecticut. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Schmidt served in a fruitful ministry for twenty years in Lancaster, California. Schmidt’s extensive ministry experience, along with his […] READ MORE

1 John – An Unchanging Message in the Midst of Postcolonial Revision

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Who God is has never changed. Our security is attached to what we believe to be true. If we believe that ultimate security is attached to education, money, or happiness, then any time our belief about those things is shaken, we […] READ MORE

1 John – Something Critical Theory Can Never Offer You

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   As Christians, we are not only students of the Word of God, but we are also students of the culture around us. The changes in culture seem to have accelerated with the propagation of what has been called Critical Theory. “Theory” […] READ MORE

1 John – An Introduction to 1 John and Critical Theory of Our Society

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   1 John 1:4 “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” Our joy is incomplete without assurance about the complete truth about Jesus. There is no complete jubilation without God’s self-revelation, fellowship with God in Jesus Christ, […] READ MORE

Ministry and Education – Part 2

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe that Christian education is one form of ministry where we (the school) support the parent’s pursuit of the spiritual, academic, and physical maturity of children. The mystery that was hidden in the Old Testament of the scriptures was the church. The church is the place where the Lord brings about […] READ MORE

Ministry and Education – Part 1

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe ministry is Christlike service in every sphere of the believer’s life. The greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the one who humbly serves. There is no greater example of this than Jesus Christ, who humbly washed his own disciples’ feet on the eve of his Passion. So, without argument, the ultimate service […] READ MORE

Remembering Christ in My Bible Reading

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   A few years ago, I gave several lessons regarding scripture study and interpretation. As part of those lessons there were questions which I encouraged the church family to ask each time they read the Bible. Here is a sample that may be of help to you.   TEXT: ISAIAH 43:1–13 What is […] READ MORE

What Is One Good Reason Why God’s People Do Not Have to Fear?

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Notice what Isaiah 41:10 says: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Historical Setting As we look at this passage, it is […] READ MORE

Marriage: An Eternal Perspective

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Introduction Marriage is a shadow of what is an eternal reality–that reality being the Triune God. The Trinity is the doctrine that God has eternally existed as one God, yet three distinct persons. God, as eternal Creator, created the institution of marriage, but how is marriage a shadow of an eternal reality? […] READ MORE

Marriage: Divinely Designed

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Introduction Companionship is one of the blessings of marital covenant. Implicit within the thought of companionship is the assumption that aloneness is not good. From where did this assumption come, and who made the solution for aloneness? The purpose of this first lesson will be to establish that God is both the […] READ MORE

Galatians for the Christian Institution

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   How does Galatians 1:1-5 help administrators within a Christian institution?   It is hard to imagine that such an old writing like the book of Galatians may actually be relevant within Christian administration, but Galatians is tremendously relevant for administrators within a Christian institution. It will be the purpose of this short article to set […] READ MORE

Is Christianity Relevant?

BY ALEX FLANAGAN   “God is dead, and we have killed him.” That is what the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche concluded in his seminal parable entitled The Madman. Although this simple yet profound statement was written well over one hundred years ago, it seems that the ideology behind it has never been more popular than it is […] READ MORE

What Does the Bible Say Happens When Someone Dies?

BY DON OVERPECK   What happens when you die depends on what happens before you die. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” The only opportunity you will ever have to get right with God, is the opportunity God affords you right now. When those who […] READ MORE

Mom Life: One of God’s Greatest Ministries Is Being a “Mom”

BY VAL BUSSELL   There are many important, loving people in a child’s life; however, since I am a mom, we will approach this subject from that point of view. Regardless of whether you are an adopting mom, foster mom, step-mom or biological mom, everything said here will relate to you. So, a little about me…… […] READ MORE

Jesus and the Defeat of Racism

BY JAKE TAUBE   One of the great wonders of our modern era is that I can safely assume essentially every reader agrees that racism is evil and all people, whatever their ethnicity, have equal dignity and value. This would not have been the case in nearly every society of the past! As concerned as we may be about the […] READ MORE

Motherhood: An Identity Crisis

BY ELIZABETH BERRY   We are created in the image of God. Our lives are designed to reflect—to image—pure perfection: the Creator Himself. The human identity was always intended to be found in Him. The curse of sin has ruined many things for mothers—we experience infertility, miscarriage, difficulties in childbirth, heartbreak, death, and so much more—but […] READ MORE

How Do Christians Cope with Uncertainty and Stress?

BY DON OVERPECK   Stress is generally caused by fear of the unknown or a real or perceived loss of control in one’s life. How will I pay my bills? How will I cope with my disease? Sometimes we do things we should not, which creates stress. I must speed and weave through traffic unsafely to […] READ MORE

Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

BY ALEX FLANAGAN   To say that there are a multitude of different worldviews in our modern society is certainly a given. A quick glance at the world around us is all that is needed to confirm it. Indeed, differing ideas and opinions seem to be almost as plentiful as there are people. Amidst all these, […] READ MORE

Is Jesus Truly God?

BY JAKE TAUBE   Christians affirm that Jesus is God. Sound a little superstitious? After all, Jesus lived a long time ago, and we can’t really put this claim to the test, can we? What proof do Christians have that Jesus is God? But, really, how long ago Jesus lived isn’t the biggest problem. If some […] READ MORE