Ray and Linda Harley at First Baptist Church – Steven’s Point, Wisconsin

harley, ray and linda dec 29 commission to go to stevens point croppedVillage Bible Church in Greenwood, Indiana, had the privilege 2 weeks ago to send off two of their church family to re-start a century-old church in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.

Ray and Linda Harley left the end of December from Indianapolis – so that Ray could pastor First Baptist Church of Steven’s Point – a church which has seen many great years, but had dwindled down to just 4 members.  First First Baptist, Steven's Point - side of churchBaptist has an awesome church building – with a gym – and a faithful handful of people to begin this work of rebuilding.  Ray has said he’s thinking of it as a church plant lucky enough to start off with a building.  We agree.

Ray has pastored churches all his life, and had nearly retired –  he and Linda had settled in Indianapolis, knowing that if the Lord called them to Pastor again, it would take a miracle to make it happen.

gymSanctuaryWe had often heard Linda say she would be glad if the Lord called them to another work, but that she sure wished it would be south…like Florida, maybe.  But the truth was – and is – that wherever the Lord was leading was exactly where these two servants wanted to be.  So…Steven’s Point Wisconsin it is – the day they arrived it was 20 below zero.  🙂

Here’s what we have heard from them now that they have had their first Sunday at First Baptist:

“The first day as pastor of First Baptist Church has come and gone.  With frigid temperature outside – 8 souls came together to hear thechallenges and promises of Haggai 2:1-9. A lovely meal followed which provided a good time of fellowship and getting to know one another.  A special thanks goes out to Village Bible Church. for the prayer support (which is greatly needed) and the financial support (which is greatly appreciated).  May we together be strong and work. Our prayers are with Village Bible Church.”

Onemorechurch will be following this work and keeping you up to date on what the Lord is doing in Steven’s Point.  Here is their address information in case you want to communicate with them:

harley, ray and lindaRay and Linda Harley.   3401 Harmony Lane, Apt. 3.  Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.  54481  317-340-1630,   harleylinda368@yahoo.com

First Baptist Church.  1948 Church Street.  Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.  54481


Village Bible Church One-Year Anniversary – July 14th

Ken and I are so amazed that a year has passed since the start of our church – Village Bible Church.   We love this little church plant – full of committed, loving people who want to reach out into the Johnson County community with the story of Jesus.  May there be many more church plants in this area in the next few years!

Thoughts from Ken: Run!

Recently when I was reading Haggai 2: 11-13 I was reminded of the importance of running away from evil. Haggai asked the priests two questions:

(1) If that which is holy touches that which is unholy, will it make the unholy holy “? The answer is no.

(2) If that which is unclean (unholy) touches that which is clean (holy), will the unclean make it unclean (unholy)? The answer is yes, that is what it will do.

Clean cannot change unclean.  But unclean can change clean.

It is a shame that often Godly, well meaning people, catch the disease of sin because somehow they think that their example and presence of righteousness will somehow rub off.  It doesn’t work that way.  We can catch sin. We do not catch righteousness.

Righteousness comes from responding in faith to the hearing of truth.

Often we should re-read Haggai 2: 11-13.  Do it today !

Thoughts From Ken: How to be Free

Over the years I have met a large number of wonderful Christians who appear to understand that their eternal salvation is not based upon their good works or obedience, but upon their faith in the gift of salvation paid for by Jesus Christ.  However, I have also seen that many of these same people who have been saved by faith, are trying to live each day of the Christian life by their own obedience and good works.  They continue to live in bondage.

I am so anxious to walk through the Book of Galatians on Sunday mornings – to be together reminded that the Gospel ( good news) message of salvation by grace through faith is not just to get us to heaven….but is the message we need to remember every day in order to live our Christian lives.

If you are struggling and feeling defeated at the end of each day, you will be encouraged as we begin our study in the Book of Galatians on Sunday, July 15th…..”How To Be Free”.


Thoughts From Ken: High View of God

Recently Kathleen and I have had the opportunity to visit a lot of wonderful churches.  It has been so much fun to experience the different church personalities.  One thing that has stood out to me is that the churches which present a very “high view of God” send me away with a lot of peace and security.

It seems almost ironic that the more focus we place on “how God is going to help me” the less secure we are.  On the other hand, the more I/we focus on Who He is, the more secure and peaceful all of life becomes.

July 15th – First Sunday Worship Service for Village Bible Church

During the last few months Kathleen and I have come to appreciate what the Apostle Paul experienced as recorded in Acts 16: 6-10.   In these verses we read of Paul’s two missionary trips where he invested time, travel and effort in order to plant new churches, only to have the Lord close both doors and send him to Europe.

As far as we know from scripture, God never told Paul why he let him first take those two trips. We cannot adequately answer why God permitted this to happen the way it did. We only know that a Sovereign God worked within His providence.  Because of God’s redirecting, the Gospel went into Macedonia, into Greece, Italy, Spain, on up through Europe into Britain, and finally it reached the shores of America.  Praise the Lord !

As you know, Kathleen and I invested time, travel and effort considering several new geographical areas to plant the next church.   God closed doors and has made it clear that He is not through with us here in Greenwood.

On Sunday, July 15th, we will be holding the first worship service for Village Bible Church.   We will be meeting at the Indiana Wesleyan Building located at the Greenwood/Rt. 65 Exit.   The facilities are wonderful.  New….high tech….spacious….lots of parking !

The service will begin at 10:00 a..m.   Nursery and children’s ministry will be offered during worship.   We invite you to visit this site often as we keep everyone up-to –date on what God is doing.

Encounter Church in Louisville

Great Weekend!  Ken preached in Louisville this morning at Encounter Church – a 6-year-old church plant located in the JeffersonTown area.

We had a great time last night with Pastor Michael Boehm and his wife, Maren, and 3-year-old Pierson and 18-month-old Thatcher.  Lots of talking and rejoicing in the wonderful things the LORD is doing in new church plants all over the area.

Michael and Maren planted Encounter Church in 2006, working in partnership with Mike Grine and his wife, and Kerris Wright and his wife.  The church runs about 100 now, with a strong volunteer-base of 55.  Wow!

March 20th Update

Our last Sunday at Southside Bible Church was on March 11th.   And, as you probably know, our plan has been to start a church in Estero, Florida – we have worked getting that all put together for the last couple of months.  But, after our last short trip down to Florida last week we were able to learn of some other strong new ministries recently launched and in the pre-launch stage in that very same area.   Because of that, we have come to the conclusion that  planting a church in Estero would not be the most productive move for us right now.

But at the same time we know that the LORD would have us plant a church somewhere…or maybe even help out a struggling church somewhere…. so we are actively researching other options, and have decided not to sell our house or leave Greenwood at this time. There is a wonderful sense of peace and anticipation at what the LORD will want us to do next.

You can still follow our progress at here on OneMoreChurch.   And both of us have new e-mail addresses:      mine:  kathleen3119@gmail.com.     and Ken’s:  kendalton3119@gmail.com   (had to make them similar so we could hopefully remember!)

We’ll keep you updated!

We are….In His service, and Grateful to Bear His name 

We Will Miss Him

Last Thursday Maury Smith went to be with the Lord.  Maury was sick for eleven long years. He is no longer imprisoned within that body. This Wednesday I have the privilege to conduct his memorial service.   Maury loved the Lord. He loved the Word of God. He loved to teach the Word of God. He loved to sing. I will miss him !

Seventeen years ago Maury invited me to work along side him with a struggling new church plant in Shelbyville, Indiana.  The new church had struggled for a number of years, but Maury was determined to stay with it.  Maury and the other elders in his church invited me to step in as interim pastor. Together we rolled up our sleeves, trusted the Lord and gave it one more shot.  Maury worked night and day as a faithful elder.  Soon the church began to grow and after approximately two years Pastor Brad Davis who had recently graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary was invited to take up the role as full-time/ permanent Sr. Pastor.   Under his pastoral leadership, the church is today a thriving church family of more than 1,000 believers.  None of this would have happened without the steadfast, unmoveable dedication on the part of Maury Smith…..a Godly, faithful elder.  Not long before Maury became ill he went on staff as one of the associate pastors.  Someone might make the mistake of saying that his ministry was cut short.   But that is not true.  In life, in sickness and even in death, Maury’s testimony changed thousands of lives for Christ.   We will miss him !

A Grand Testimony to the Whole World

This week as I have been resting from my eye surgery, I have had a lot of time just to be still, pray and think.  I have thought a lot about the last 15 wonderful years as the pastor of Southside Bible Church in Greenwood, Indiana.   My mind’s eye has taken me back to all of the different places we have met in for worship.   These are great memories.    But these memories have been interrupted numerous times this week as I have reflected on the events surrounding Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.    Pastor Youcef is younger than my three sons.  He has been arrested by the Islamic regime in Tehran for converting to Christianity.  It appears that he will soon be executed because of his unwillingness to recant his faith in Jesus Christ.    There is no doubt in my mind that his testimony will be used of the Lord to reach many thousands all around the world.  His ministry is not one of wonderful buildings or exciting programs.   It is much simpler and yet much more powerful. It is a ministry and a life of simple faith.  Please join me and Kathleen and we join with thousands of other believers all around the world in praying for Pastor Youcef, his wife and their children.