Dear Friend of Atlantic Shores,
The day Camper was released from prison, he was still searching for love and acceptance. With parents who divorced when he was eight years old and a dad who was a convicted felon, it did not appear that young Camper had much of a future. Drugs, sex, and running with a rough crowd characterized his adolescent years. At age seventeen, he was in and out of group homes and hooked on heroine, which led to his two-year incarceration.
But God’s hand is not too short to reach a young man who thought the only way to numb his feelings was through drugs and sex. “There has to be more to life,” Camper said to himself when he was at his lowest point.
That is when Marvin, a friend from work, invited Camper to Atlantic Shores Baptist Church. After visiting for a few weeks, Camper heard a sermon from Leviticus and a presentation of the gospel through communion that pricked his heart. With Marvin, he prayed and placed His faith in Jesus Christ after the Sunday worship gathering.
Later, I met Camper in a Starting Point group I was leading and helped him take his first steps as a new disciple of Jesus. I was so excited to witness his baptism at an outreach event called Praise Him in the Park, and now I see him serving on our Guest Services team.
Reaching to What Lies Ahead
Camper’s story reminds me of the power of the gospel and why Atlantic Shores Baptist Church is reaching FORWARD to what lies ahead with campus renovation, ministry revitalization, and church planting. We do so to reach more people like Camper with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we begin year forty-one of ministry at Atlantic Shores, we are making strategic and necessary investments. I am convinced these investments will enhance our ability to glorify God by making more disciples of Jesus Christ who go and make disciples, just like Camper.
Have you made a FORWARD financial commitment? If you have not, now is a great time to join with others in the church who have. Go to atlanticshoresforward.org to learn more and make your commitment. Our goal is one hundred percent participation, with everyone in the church family making a financial commitment.
Also, prayerfully consider the Christmas Tithe Challenge (Malachi 3:10) by giving at least a tenth of your monthly income in December to support the ministries of Atlantic Shores Baptist Church. I encourage you to bring your best year-end gift to the Lord!
On behalf of the entire staff and elder body, I wish you a Merry Christmas! Thank you for accepting the Christmas Tithe Challenge. I look forward to how God will make good on His promise to return a special Christmas blessing to you, your family, and our church family.
Serving Him and you,
Dr. Ron Jones
P.S. This Christmas, join me in rejoicing with Camper and his wife, Christiana, who is pregnant with their second child, and who they plan to name Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” Also, please make a FORWARD commitment and accept the Christmas Tithe Challenge by December 31. If you already give a tithe or more of your income to the Lord as Cathryn and I do, I encourage you to grow in the grace of giving by accepting the Christmas Tithe Plus Challenge. Thank you in advance for your generous response. Merry Christmas!