Below are some recent ministry events.
Easter Children's Celebration 2022
Our Children’s Ministry provided our annual Easter Celebration with the gospel story, games, activities, and of course an Easter egg hunt. We had over 40 children and many adults who participated in a fun Saturday morning celebration of our Risen Savior.
Recently our Acts 2:42 fellowship hosted Elizabeth Brown, who represents Foundation Ministries, for a Mission Moment. Elizabeth was delightful in telling us about the ministry opportunities and conditions in Africa.
We also had Jody Yarbro, and Vicki Thompson share their adventures in Guatmala where they went for a mission dental ministry. A team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and joined them.
May Student of the Month
Mayte Arredondo WHS 2015
As a first-generation student, I have navigated through many financial, psychological, and social challenges. To overcome these hurdles, I sought social support, maintained a work-life balance, and worked with student support programs.
The WBC scholarship helped alleviate financial burdens in college and provided an amazing mentor, Gail Heinen, to work with.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in 2019, I found it necessary find a “leveling program” to acquire the necessary pre-requisites for becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist, without having to earn a second bachelor’s degree. After much frustrating research to find such a program, I located one with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
The course work there was very challenging because my communication degree didn’t align well with the new material I was learning. However, this only fueled my desire to become a better student, and I ended the program by making the dean's list, and earning a Speech Therapist certification.
I am thrilled to report that I have just been accepted into graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, my goal will be to improve the quality of life for clients by providing the skills to increase confidence and security in oral communication.
Chili Cookoff 2022
After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, the White Bluff Chapel Chili Cookoff was at full capacity in number of entries and number of consumers. The food was delicious and there were lots of variety. Category winners were Ava Wood, Joan Gaudet, Louis Hicks and Tom Partridge. Monica Allen was the overall winner for the evening.
Esther Sousa’s Senior Recital
The White Bluff Chapel organist, Esther Sousa, is a senior music major with an instrumental emphasis on the saxophone at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. As part of her degree requirements, she must perform a senior recital to be able to graduate. Those attending enjoyed an incredible 45-minute performance which showcased Esther’s phenomenal talent as she played duets and quartets with other instruments as well as her solo performances. Afterward, a reception was held to celebrate her marvelous performance.
After 2 ½ years, the dental clinic at Mission Hillsboro finally opened this past Saturday. Jody and Nancie Yarbro, with the help of a volunteer hygienist named Deb, started seeing patients for the first time in a modern two-chair dental clinic. The clinic is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month, seeing patients who are underserved and uninsured. This is a mission that White Bluff Chapel supports, and was originally sponsored by Becky McKee. We are looking for other volunteer dentists and assistants to help.
April Student of the Month
Dear White Bluff Chapel,
I was beyond grateful when I opened the letter from you informing me that I had been awarded a generous scholarship. Being a first-generation college student from a large family, financing a college education would be a huge hurdle.
Armed with determination, and my scholarship, I enrolled at MCC in Waco, Texas. There I succeeded in obtaining my AS degree. I then transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos. My first semester at TSU taught me a lot about the need for time management skills. In spite of juggling jobs, extracurricular activities, and study time, I was able to earn my BS degree with honors in Exercise and Sports Science.
After graduating from TSU, my plan was to take a gap year and apply for a Physical Therapy Doctoral program. While doing that, I began working at an inpatient rehab hospital, as a Rehab Therapy Tech. This experience cemented my desire to become a Physical Therapist.
Physical Therapy is a more competitive grad program than I had realized. I applied to six schools in Texas, and was interviewed by three of them. Despite being very confident in two of the interviews, I did not receive placement in either one. The disappointment of those setbacks was substantial, but I was taught to not give up. God had other plans for me. Overcoming adversity requires perseverance and passion to achieve one’s goal. I have both! My new plan is to enroll in a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program to bolster my resume, and then to reapply to the Doctoral programs in pursuit of my advanced degree.
WBC played a significant role early on in my college experience. The scholarship allowed me to work less and study more to earn higher grades. I am grateful for the prayers, assistance, and encouragement from my mentors, Carol and Bill Campbell, and for all the other WBC mentors who obviously care about the students they support.”
The Critters Go to Guatemala
A team of creative ladies at the White Bluff Chapel gather together twice a month to cut, sew and stuff cotton into “Critters”. Critters are small stuffed animals made for children to hold in times of distress. Recently, Jody Yarbro and Vicki Thompson went on a dental mission trip to Guatemala with a team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and Joined us. On our free day we visited the old city of Antigua.
March Student of the Month
Allison Powers is a 2020 graduate of Whitney H.S. and recipient of a WBC scholarship. She was an outstanding student participating in diverse activities demonstrating leadership skills and a broad range of interests. She earned 33 college credit hours while in H.S. Allison was very focused on a career goal of becoming an airline flight attendant. The following message we recently received from her indicates that she has embraced her career choice and has a solid plan to achieve that goal.
“I want to thank White Bluff Chapel for the impactful scholarship that I was awarded. It has helped me immensely throughout college. Being assigned a mentor greatly influenced the decisions I made in planning my career path.
Currently, I am a student at McLennan Community College pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. I am striving to become a flight attendant. As of right now, I am an employee at Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Waco as a front desk agent and I have gotten to meet some amazing coworkers.
I personally want to thank my mentor, Maura Collins. She has definitely been the best part of receiving this scholarship. I especially love our Tres Hermanos lunch dates where she gives me guidance and supports the choices that I’ve made. She has been the greatest help during college and continues to encourage me to push through the hardships. The mentor program is very beneficial because you get to form a bond with someone that will always be there to support you in your future endeavors.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for awarding me the scholarship that helps pay for my tuition, but also pairs me up with an incredible mentor.”
Local Education Mission Presentation
Your White Bluff Chapel takes very seriously being the hands and feet of Christ. To kick off the start of our 1st Wednesday Fellowship on February 2, 2022, Debbie Hamner presented all the activities in our various Local and Education Ministries. They are listed below with their leaders:
Scholarships/Mentor Program - David Briggs
School Supplies - Betty Newman
Teacher Appreciation - Linda Yeary
English as a Second Language - Wes Mitchell, Lynette Moore, and David Briggs
Critters - Linda Yeary
Providence Hospice - Aggie Gladbach
Isaiah’s Place - Diane Frederickson
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance (Benevolence, Food Pantry, Thanksgiving Meals, and Joint committee for Christmas and Angel Tree) - Betty Newman
Summer Camp Scholarships - Tommy Edgar
White Bluff Volunteer Fire Department -Randy Marshall and Betty Newman
Cedar Creek Youth Group - Tommy Edgar
Hillsboro Medical and Dental Clinics - Jody Yarbro
Whitney Senior Center - Betty Newman
Prison Angel Ministry - Kay Miller
Our Chapel reaches out to all, and you can rest assured that our Missions Outreach is alive and well thanks to all the leaders, volunteers, and those who give financial support to the church! THANK YOU.
On February 11th, the White Bluff Chapel celebrated its annual Valentine Banquet. It was a beautiful evening for fun and fellowship with family and friends. About one hundred met at the local event center in Whitney to eat a delicious dinner and be entertained by “Patsy Cline” aka our own Gail Warren. Debbie Hamner provided musical entertainment and the evening ended with a dance. All agreed the evening was spectacular!
Men’s Ministry Breakfast
The Men’s Ministry is alive and well at White Bluff Chapel! On January 15th the men gathered in the Fellowship Hall for a Men’s Breakfast. In addition to the great food, the participants were challenged by Pastor Randy to be the “Salt of the Earth.” Certainly, their spiritual and practical “salty,” influence is felt throughout our area by their hands-on mission projects, great fellowship, and servant attitude. Thank you men for all you do!
February Student of the Month
Summer Fargason is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient, mentored by Pat and Jim Griffin. She was delighted to be featured as a Student of the Month, and has shared the following comments about her experience.
“The WBC scholarship has allowed me to avoid an immense amount of stress throughout my time in college. I’ve not had to worry about buying books or supplies, because the award has covered those expenses for me. My mentors have provided wonderful support during this time. They are always available to give the BEST advice! Both have been college professors, so their wise counsel has been very beneficial.
I am a junior at Tarleton State University, majoring in education. I am hoping to be accepted into Tarleton’s teaching program at the Fort Worth campus, which is much closer to my home in Blum, Texas.
As for my current status, I am making all 100’s in my education classes, and I have a 3.96 GPA. My goal is to graduate by May, 2023 with a BA in Education, and my EC-6 teaching certificate. My focus is early education, and I can’t wait to be pursuing my dream in the classroom as an educator.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for making my life goals and aspirations actually become attainable. As a first-generation college student, I am especially grateful that you have provided this opportunity to me. Without it, I may not have been able to get a college education."
January Student of the Month
Itzel Guille Chavez
Itzel is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient. She is mentored by Jim and Anne Duncan, mentors of many WHS tennis players who have become scholarship recipients. Itzel is very grateful to them and to the WBC congregation for their financial and spiritual support.
She says “Because of my WBC scholarship, I was able to graduate with a General Associates Degree, debt free. Through my first two years at McLennan Community College, I was able to receive my CNA license, Associates Degree, and I am currently working on my Phlebotomy License.
Thanks to your assistance, I can move forward on my nursing career path through the University of Texas at Arlington. I appreciate everything you have done for me and I can’t wait to see how many other students succeed because of your support.”
The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance
The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance Community Christmas Worship Service was held at the First Baptist Church, Whitney on Sunday, December 12th. The White Bluff Choir sang as well as choirs and soloists from churches in the area. The Whitney High School choir joined us as we worshiped together. Approximately 250 from the Whitney Community enjoyed the service as we sang, worshiped and then had desserts afterwards.
Community Christmas Tree Lighting
The White Bluff Chapel Choir was delighted to lead the singing at the Community Christmas Tree Lighting. A parade, singing, lighting of the tree and a visit from Santa made for a fun and festive evening.
Adopt A Highway
It’s a memorable day when eight men come together to pick up 18 bags of litter from the roadside in 30 MPH wind. The Men’s Ministry not only did the job but had a good time while doing it. Special thanks to Todd Williams, Danny Bodeker, Jodi Yarbro, David Kernan, Mark Hamner, Ed Helmbeck, Randy Marshall, and Rick Faught
Salvation Army Bell Ringers
Each year White Bluff Chapel volunteers ring bells at our local Walmart for the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraiser. Through the generosity of others, the Salvation Army can help our many neighbors who need food, shelter, and other emergency assistance — and most of all hope. The years 2020 – 2021 marked the most significant jump in poverty since the government began tracking it. Millions of Americans, including families are reeling from the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Members of our congregation took turns ringing the belsl on a beautiful Monday.
December Student of the Month
My name is Noelia Delgado, a 2019 White Bluff Chapel (WBC) Scholarship recipient. I am a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) pursuing a degree in Applied Movement Science and Business of Healthcare on the pre-physician assistant path. As a first-generation student, navigating college and finding ways to finance my education has been a challenge. As I enter my third academic school year, I am excited to learn from brilliant professors and see the challenges that I can overcome.
UT has offered me many opportunities to gain leadership experience through student and community involvement. I was selected to be a part of the Texas Education Scholars in which I get to mentor students and speak in panels about healthcare professions. In the summer of 2020, a couple of students and I co-founded a nonprofit organization, Texas MedstART, dedicated to exploring the intersection between art and medicine. This organization raised money by selling artwork to help pay medical expenses of families impacted by the pandemic
We also run a virtual art class for the children at Dell Medical Center, the Helping Hands Home for Children. We also facetime calls with nursing home residents. This provided those who are more at risk a chance to socialize with students and be creative during this time of isolation. I also received a research internship with CommUnityCare Health clinics, where we conducted research on health disparities and proposed solutions to reduce inequalities.
I work as a Patient Care Technician on the cardiovascular unit concurrent to my studies at UT. I attend training classes, complete modules, and learn rules and regulations for the floor. Each shift I care for a variety of patients with different ailments. In the third surge of the pandemic, I was floated to struggling COVID units. Though this created a new and stressful working environment, I embraced the challenge. My work during COVID has taught me more patience and empathy than any previous experience. It has been a challenge working long hours at the hospital and managing my college courses. However, I have learned to balance work and school by using a planner and better managing my time.
Through my research internship, I was assigned to a physician assistant in urgent care. Shadowing her has shown me that PAs listen not only to heal, but to educate and understand. I plan to attend an accredited Physician Assistant program after I graduate from UT. Additionally, I hope to work to improve access to medical care irrespective of socioeconomic constraints, language barriers, or health literacy.
I have been able to attend UT with the help of the WBC Scholarship, reducing my financial burden and allowing me to focus on schoolwork. I am so grateful for the support and inspiration received from my WBC mentors and sponsors. Becky and Paul Jacobus have shown me so much love and care which has helped me get through some of the challenges that I face. I am extremely honored to be a scholarship recipient. The award has opened many doors and has introduced me to amazing people.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Decoration Day at the Chapel
With many hands and lightning speed, the chapel was decorated in record time for the Christmas season. Those who arrived early were treated with coffee and donuts. Everyone took an area and began their work by 9:00a.m. Before noon our chapel was cleaned, decorated and ready for Worship. We look forward to this Advent Season as the chapel prepares to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ Child.
Community Thanksgiving Service
The Community Thanksgiving Service, hosted by White Bluff Chapel, focused on the many blessings that God provides for us including the blessing of being able to come to our Heavenly Father on a personal basis. Pastor Randy emphasized that nothing from our past can separate us from the love of our Lord. Using Psalm 95, Pastor Randy emphasized that God wants to have a meaningful relationship with him. Approximately 100 people from the community gathered as we worshiped and then joined together for a time of cookies and punch.
Veteran’s Day 2021
It was--without doubt--the most impressive and inspirational Veterans Recognition Service in the history of White Bluff Chapel.
From the welcome by Pastor Randy Marshall, in full dress Air Force uniform, to the rousing closing chorus of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the service was awesome. There were tears as well as laughter. Somber moments and outstanding musical presentations. If you missed this one you definitely need to dial it up on the internet and view the recording.
It all began with the posting of colors by veterans from American Legion #522 and the VFW #12176, followed by The Star Spangled Banner and America, the Beautiful. Bill Louthan's rendition of the patriotic God Bless the U.S.A. was pure perfection. Following the congregation's inspired singing of God Bless America, Gary Johansen read a poem written by his father during World War II on Okinawa. The well written somber poem vividly brought out the horrors of war.
An Armed Forces Medley by the choir was highlighted by the trumpets of Dwayne Redding and Brad Lundberg. Randy's message was a reminder of the separation that our service men and women go through at such young ages--but nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
November Student of the Month
Caleb was a 2019 scholarship recipient. Having accumulated 24 college credit hours in high school, Caleb was excited to jump into college in pursuing a degree in physical therapy. The classes he needed were filled, so he was put on several waiting lists. It was difficult scheduling class registrations. As a result, he has made several adjustments to his degree plans.
When I visited with Caleb recently, he expressed his gratitude for the scholarship he received saying, “It has helped me immensely throughout my college journey so far. Since leaving high school, adjusting to life on my own has been a little rough at times, but your assistance has truly been helpful. Juggling classes with work schedules has resulted in a real financial strain which I have adjusted to.”
Throughout High school, Caleb was active in volunteer work, accumulating over 400 hours of community service. After incurring a torn ACL, and enduring the long post-surgical regimen of therapy, Caleb was motivated to enter a medical related career which would help the injured. Caleb went on to tell me “My major has changed a few times, but I was recently accepted into Blinn’s radiologic tech program, which means I will be administering X-Rays in two years’ time! All this was made possible through White Bluff Chapel’s support. Thank you!!!”
Caleb is mentored by Tom and Lois Partridge.
Critters 20th Anniversary Celebration
This is the 20th year for small handmade stuffed animals known as "Critters" to be made and delivered to children from the ladies at White Bluff Chapel. Sandy Cannon invited ladies to meet in her home in 2001 to cut, sew and “stuff” these cuddly creations. The first stuffed animals were given to children passing through the emergency rooms in hospitals.
After the Chapel was built, Critter ladies needed more room to work and the Knit and Crochet ladies needed a place to meet. Critters became a local mission of the Chapel and continues to be distributed to children who need a special smile or just a little healing comfort. The Knit and Crochet ladies make special creations for senior adults who need scarfs, caps for cancer patients and Afghans. These items are made for individuals who receive Meals on Wheels, who are in nursing homes and independent living facilities. Flag Afghans are also made for veterans in Hospice.
During this year 1,600 Critters have been given to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney and Hillsboro HealthNow Urgent Care, Hill Regional Hospital ER, Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic, CPS, CASA and the Texas Department of Health Services in Hillsboro, AMR Ambulance Service in Waco, and Goodall-Wicher Clinic in Clifton, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
Critters were also provided to First Baptist Church for Samaritan Purse Shoeboxes and the Whitney Food Pantry for distribution at Christmastime. During these twenty years, over 35,900 Critters have been given out in Vietnam, Honduras, Mexico and Africa and to the “ends of the earth. Just this month, another one of the Chapel’s missions, Wee Can Know in New Orleans, LA received Critters to share with children at Christmastime.
Mary Parish, the hospitality chair, catered the luncheon for thirty (30) ladies celebrating twenty (20) years. Sandy Cannon was present and shared an event from the past. The Critter group planted two ten (10) foot trees in front of the Chapel and office door in memory of one of their ladies, Connie Burris. The beauty of these trees is still enjoyed by everyone.
Critters meet from 10 a.m. until noon on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. All ladies, even if they do not sew, are invited to come “stuff” and just enjoy visiting and fellowship. The last meeting of 2021 will be December 14.
News from AIA
We have exciting news!
Lisa is 19 weeks pregnant this week!!
I can't begin to explain how excited and happy we both are. After years of wondering if having a family would be a reality, to have this come true for us is a dream. Lisa has been an absolute champion. She's put our future family on her back and carried it through years of hard work and commitment as we dealt with our infertility issues. My respect, love, and admiration for her has grown even more. I am blessed to have her in my life and to be the future mother of our kiddos. I am humbled. For those of you who knew what we've been dealing with, thanks for walking through it with us. I know there are prayer warriors out there that we owe so much to. Thank you for loving us so well and praying for our future.
Henriksen family is moving to Spain!
Todd Henriksen and his family, my co-workers and the pioneers of our ministry, are moving to Girona, Spain full-time at the beginning of 2022.
For years we have been praying about having a full-time staff person in Girona, where many of our athletes live and train year round. To be an influential ministry within pro-cycling at the highest level, being in proximity to athletes and the sports biggest events is key. Having Todd and his wife Tabitha (and 4 kids), in Europe will be a massive change for our ministry in western Europe as well as in the United States. We have been talking through these changes for quite some time now, hoping that they would come to fruition.
What is more, Todd has been connecting with AIA staff in Europe, a church planter from Belgium that wants to plant a Catalan church in Girona, a physiotherapist from the pro cycling team INEOS, and many professional riders. Below is a photo of a outdoor church service they did in the park near the city center in Girona two weeks ago.
These changes mean that how we do ministry domestically will need adjustments. Our reliance on volunteers and athletes will have to grow. How we structure our time and what disciplines we chase may change. Professional cycling in the United States is also changing at a rapid rate: the growth of gravel racing, the seemingly slow death of road stage racing, the growth of high school mountain bike leagues, and the growing influence of criterium racing. All of these disciplines are up and down, and our job is to support the athletes where they are and bring spiritual community to them. As the sport changes, so does our strategy.
Having the Henriksens in Spain full-time gives them physical proximity to athletes at the highest level of our sport: World Tour Road cycling and World Cup Mountain bike racing. All of the marquee events and history of cycling reside in western Europe, so having a staff person there long-term is a powerful step forward. Brad Bartz, our other full-time staff member is also expecting to spend a year or two in Singapore, starting next spring, which is another new dynamic we are anticipating.
That potentially leaves myself as the only full-time staff person in the USA. This leaves some uncertainty about how we'll continue our influence domestically but I believe God will raise up leaders, both athletes and volunteers to continue our impact. Our focus on elite mountain biking will continue to grow and our involvement in the road scene will remain a staple in our strategy. As the sport changes, we change with it. All to the glory of God.
Churchwide Barbecue at the Griffin Ranch
White Bluff Chapel members and friends enjoyed a scrumptious dinner and memorable evening at Jim and Pat Griffin’s ranch Saturday evening. The weather was perfect, the fellowship was heart-warming, the food was excellent and the country-western sing-along and dancing topped off a spectacular gathering. So many of our members volunteered their time and efforts with food, setting up tables, chairs and decorations. A special thanks to Jeff Williams who provided music.
October’s Student of the Month
Justin McKibben – Class of 2020
Justin graduated from TSTC’s Electrical Lineman program in August, 2021 after dealing with Covid related class scheduling issues. He managed to graduate early in August’ 2021 while holding on to his job at Tres Hermanos and getting some on- the- job training with an affiliate of Oncore.
In a message from Justin, he stated “College has been an amazing experience. I absolutely love the courses I’ve taken, and the people I’ve interacted with every day! I have had many challenges, physical and mental. I’ve been able to successfully tackle every situation head-on, and have learned how electrical systems work, and how to work on them. I also have been receiving on-the-job training with J&S Inspections during bad storms (and getting paid for it). I am hoping to work for a company like Oncore, Centerpoint, or Pike. As soon as I obtain my CDL, I will be able to work anywhere in Texas.”
I was also happy to learn that, although he hasn’t had time to practice on his band instruments during school, Justin does plan to get back to playing his music!
Debbie Hamner had this to say about Justin. “Seldom have I worked with a student as motivated as Justin McKibben. He is the most capable student I have ever worked with through our wonderful mentoring opportunity!”
As part of her music degree requirements, Esther Sousa (our wonderful organist) must present recitals in her junior and senior years. Her junior recital was postponed last Spring due to various circumstances, so she presented that recital Thursday evening, September 16, in the Wharton Auditorium of the Music School at Southwestern Adventist University. She played four very difficult selections utilizing alto and tenor saxophones with accompaniment at various times by a string quartet, harpsichord, piano, and flute and did an outstanding job! The recital was very well attended by fellow students and faculty and at least forty enthusiastic supporters from White Bluff Chapel. It was live-streamed on YouTube and is available for viewing using this link. Well done, Esther!
Honoring First Responders
Saturday, September 11, 2021 was the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. White Bluff Chapel took the opportunity to reach out to our local First Responders to let them know that we thank them for their daily sacrificial service. They are rare individuals who are willing to run toward the danger when others are running away. During our Wednesday Evening Acts 2:42 Fellowship, all took time to sign thank you letters to our local Police and Fire Departments.
Feed the Wildcats
White Bluff Chapel's Men's Ministry was honored to assist the Whitney Wildcats Football team in starting the 2021 season on a positive note. Our very own BBQ master, Danny Bodeker, provided meat and, our designated shopper, Larry Turner procured all the fixins to include a "Best Wishes for The Season" cake that was enthusiastically consumed in large quantities by the team and coaches.
The other men, Perry Gaudet, Terry Newman, and Rick Faught provided the labor with vigor. Randy Marshall delivered a great devotion on teamwork and helping others when they miss the mark. He concluded by saying,
“What is true on the football field is true in life. It is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Know that failure is not final. Know that we can and should encourage one another. As a church, we would like to remind you of the greatest friend, the greatest encourager, the One who can not only embrace us but forgive us of our sins and lead us on a path of true success. He is the friend, encourager, redeemer we call Jesus.”
As in years past the event was a positive experience for all concerned and an opportunity for the young men to see Christian Men serving others.
September’s Student of the Month
Elizabeth Prado Posos - Class of 2014
Dear Educational Aid Committee,
I want to thank you for your generous scholarship which enabled me to pursue my dream of going to college as the first in my family to do so. Your help has been a blessing to us. My parents have always been very supportive of me and my brother, encouraging and instilling in us the value of education. I wanted to make them proud.
When I received your letter announcing the scholarship award, I was surprised and grateful. It boosted my confidence that I could really earn a college degree.
There have been ups and downs over the past six years. I am so grateful to my mentors, Sara and Harold Edwards, for their encouragement and guidance. They have treating me like a member of their family.
Recently, I graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in Human Resource Development. I am currently employed by Bryan ISD in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and I am also working toward obtaining certification as a bilingual science and math teacher in the same school district.
White Bluff Chapel’s scholarship and mentoring program is making a big impact on the lives of many young adults from the Whitney area. Thank you for your love and support.
Elizabeth Prado Posos
The Children’s Ministry at White Bluff Chapel hosted a Saturday Mission Day for kids. The day started with music and devotion by Pastor Randy Marshall. Then students were divided into groups and had projects that could be shared with others to tell the Gospel Message about Christ. “Critters” were made, Bible stories told, outside playtime, and other activities that can be shared with others made for a wonderful day for all.
Ice Cream Social/Ministry Fair
This year’s annual Ice Cream Social was enhanced with a Ministry Fair. Various ministries had tables set up to allow members to acquaint themselves with ways to get involved. It was a fun night with an abundance of desserts, ice creams, games, and visiting. It was a perfect opportunity for new members and visitors to enjoy the fellowship of the chapel as well as educate themselves on our missions and ministries.
Back To School Bash
Back To School Bash #1 was a success. The weather was nice, the food was delicious, plentiful and the fellowship was the best part. I heard many of those attending state this was needed just to take a break from thinking about Covid 19 for a few hours. Yes, it has been a different time these past 20 months or so. This gathering was old school; pot luck food, picnic tables, swimming, lots of sodas, chips, burgers, hot dogs, and all the trimmings, baked beans, watermelon, and a beautifully decorated sheet cake! Someone brought the biggest, most luscious tomatoes I have seen in a long time. Not everything in Texas is big, but those tomatoes surely were.
The students enjoyed seeing old high school classmates again. The stories they shared with one another and with the mentors who attended were funny at times, a little worrisome at other times, and always heartwarming. The chapel has done a wonderful job with the scholarship program and the mentors continue to guide these young people in a way that God would want.
We, personally, would like to say "thank you" to everyone who was there, mentors and students, and also to those who couldn't attend, but contributed in other ways. It was our first attempt and we're looking at ways to improve, possibly by scheduling an earlier date.
We are excited about having a "Back to School Bash #2 next year.
Take care and God bless,
Paul and Becky Jacobus
Saying, “Good Job” to Tom
Recently, Tom Reedy, announced that he would be retiring on August 8th as Music Director, transitioning from his role as Director to choir member. After eighteen years of service to White Bluff Chapel, many wanted to say “thank you” for Tom’s years of service. On Thursday, August 5th, members of the choir enjoyed a wonderful potluck dinner and “roast” for Tom. To honor both Tom and JoAnn, many choir members shared “tomisims” collected from fun, intense, and sometimes arduous rehearsals over the years. Stories and anecdotes were assembled in a presentation that filled the room with fond memories and hearty laughs. Perhaps the one descriptive phrase for the evening was “Good Sport.” Tom took it with a grain of salt as his choir reflected on his selfless dedication and inspiring leadership. Welcome to the choir, Tom!
Other celebrations for Tom included a reception between our two Worship Services on Sunday, August 8th and a celebratory dinner on Wednesday evening, August 11th. The dinner was followed by a program honoring Tom’s dedication. If you missed it, or would like to see it again, you can access it on our website under “Worship Services.”
Crosses Everywhere at White Bluff
What’s up with all the crosses? I’m glad you asked!
Simple white crosses have been displayed in the yards of White Bluff for many years due to the efforts of Steve Baffic who is a long time resident and member of the Cowboy Church.
Early this summer the Men’s Ministry was asked by Steve to continue this ministry because he believed we have the manpower and energy to succeed in this type of project. We accepted the invitation, offered to build them and make them available free of charge at the Men’s Bible Study. The offer was enthusiastically accepted and now we’re pleased to report there are over 50 crosses in the front yards all across the community and back yards of homes on the golf courses.
The cross has significance as a reminder of what Jesus did for us. It is a powerful symbol to remind us of the price paid for our redemption.
Whether we display it or just think of it, the cross can, and should, draw us nearer to the One who hung on it. Beneath the cross we are one. There are no races, no political parties, no rich, no poor, just a family of believers. Public display of the yard crosses in White Bluff sends the message that God is here and everyone knows God is Love.
Crosses are available at no cost from the White Bluff Chapel Men’s Ministry.
Rick Faught 817-913-0777
Howard Clement 254-266-5056
White Bluff Chapel Office 254-694-7060
August’s Student of the Month
Taylor Gilchrist is a 2017 graduate and recipient of a White Bluff Chapel scholarship. Following is an update from her on her college experience.
I spent two years at McLennan Community College where I obtained my Associates's degree before transferring to Texas State University. While at MCC, I maintained a job at Silos Baking Co. and earned 120 hours of observation at Baylor Scott and White while shadowing physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons. After arriving in San Marcos, I was hired as a server for The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar where I worked until now.
My time at Texas State University has been amazing. I have definitely had some tough, demanding classes, but I loved every minute of them and have learned so much. I graduated in May, 2021 with my Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. I will continue my education at the University of St. Augustine in south Austin to earn my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I was recently hired as a physical therapy tech at Physical Therapy of Wimberley where I will work full time till I start at St. Augustine. Along with all of these exciting events, I just got engaged to my high school sweetheart, Gavin Ruesch!
These past four years have been the most difficult, yet most rewarding and fun years of my life. I am so blessed that WBC has been a part of it! I am thankful for the scholarship I received, but even more thankful for my amazing mentors, Monte and Marelia Geren. During every step of the way I have been able to go to Monte and Marelia for prayer and encouragement and that is something for which I will forever be grateful! They have shown me so much love and support, and I know that they will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for everything you have done for me and so many students in our community!
Helping Whitney Neighbors
As a result of the generosity of our members, White Bluff Chapel has establised an Emerging Needs Committee with the purpose of identifying and supporting neighboring community helping agencies. One of the identified agencies is “Veteran’s Pardners,” a local organization that assists area Veterans. In the pictures above, the Director,Donna Picket met with Rick Faught, Perry Gaudet, Randy Marshall and Betty Newman to explain the various needs of our area Veterans. A financial gift was given to them to assist in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of Veterans and their families.
Another organization the Emerging Needs Committee has identified is the Lake Whitney Senior Center. The Senior Center offers a variety of activities that serve the needs of Senior Citizens. A financial gift was also given to support the Center’s ongoing efforts.
July 4th Celebration
White Bluff Chapel had an exceptional July 4th Worship Service. We celebrated our nation’s freedom as well as the spiritual freedom we have in Christ. The Ring of Praise handbells began our service with “America the Beautiful”. Trumpets, played by Dwane Redding and Brad Lundberg, added a special effect to hymns and to the anthem, Battle Hymn of the Republic.
July’s Student of the Month
Wyatt Jackson is a 2016 graduate of Whitney High School. When asked if he’d consent to be recognized as our Student of the Month, he happily said “yes”. Following is his response.
“I always knew that I liked working with my hands. When I started seeking college options that offered hands-on learning, I decided to apply to Texas State Technical college. The career options they offered provided exactly what I was looking for. So, I enrolled in their Automotive Technology program.
The campus was a friendly environment with a balance of learning and recreational opportunities. With your help, I really enjoyed my time in school. I was able to live on campus. With the expenses of books, tools, supplies, and basic needs, the WBC scholarship relieved the financial stress to make it all possible.
After completing my studies and graduating, I was fortunate to be offered a position at United Rentals in Cleburne, Texas. I am currently a Service Technician II, and each day I find great satisfaction using the knowledge and skills acquired at TSTC. I am proud of the work I do.
Thank you to the members of White Bluff Chapel, and to my mentor, Howard Clement, for your prayerful support.”
White Bluff Chapel Chippers
The “White Bluff Chapel Chippers” is a woodcarving club with Harry Seurkamp as master carver/teacher. After viewing the Nativity Scene and other carvings that Harry had made for the chapel, several came to Harry and asked for instruction on how to carve. The numbers quickly grew and a club was formed. The club is open to anyone in the community who is interested from novice (beginners) to intermediate and advanced carvers. They meet the 2nd Thursday and the 4th Tuesday of every month to pursue new carving projects or receive help with projects they are trying to complete.
Ladies Bible Study Luncheon
Our Ladies Bible Study who met weekly during the school year, gathered on Friday, June 25th for an end of year luncheon at Pat Griffin’s Ranch. Pat led us in a review of our Max Lucado study, “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus”. She encouraged everyone to continue the study through the summer. Plans for the fall include a second Ladies Bible study on Tuesday afternoon in addition to the Friday morning Bible study.
Safety Response Team Lends Welcome Hands
White Bluff Chapel has a “Safety Response Team” in place to help our membership in all areas of safety. You will see them out front during worship services, in our halls and in our sanctuary, helping others to keep safe. In an earlier post last February, you saw them sweeping snow from sidewalks or you may have seen them helping someone on a walker or a member who didn’t feel well.
On Saturday, June 5, our Safety Response Team had a day of excellent training from professionals with a combined 47 years of experience in the military. Jaime, Walker and Drew, our own trusted trainers, provided information on how to handle a confrontational situation. Expertise in de-escalation and threat security was enacted to help our team be better prepared.
We are incredibly grateful for these men and women who volunteer their time and talents to help keep us safe.
Athletes in Action
I recently had a conversation with an athlete that was going through a tough moment in his life. His relationships were falling apart, loneliness was setting in, despair felt imminent. He described how he felt like a boat that lost its tether to a dock, drifting out to sea. He was feeling the emptiness of living without God's presence in his life, the damage he caused in some relationships and most importantly, how he had forgotten parts of himself.
In the midst of this hardship, he felt like his relationship with God was coming alive again. He began to see how parts of his past-life were isolating, destructive even, to his own spiritual growth, his intimacy in relationships, and his career. He saw how choices he had made were slowly eroding the closeness he felt with God and his motivation to pursue deep, repentant reliance on that relationship felt like a distant memory.
He felt rattled by this and it was time to make some changes.
Moments like these are like buying a house: location, location, location! We have to put ourselves in the way of the Spirit. We must ask ourselves, "How can I get smacked in the face with God's presence?"
I believe at any point in our spiritual journey, but especially moments like these, we have to make ourselves a target for encountering God's spiritual movement, both in our personal lives and the lives of those around us. Whatever you need to do: go to church, listen to worship music or sermons, create a space for prayer, get in the scriptures, serve others intentionally, take a slow walk outside with no distractions. We have to aggressively create space to listen to and to encounter God's Spirit moving within and around us. We have to make ourselves a target for God's work.
These practices ought to be part of our everyday life regardless, but at moments like these where we feel like we are coming apart, we must aggressively and intentionally put ourselves in the way of the Spirit. If the tendency is to reach out to anything but God for survival, we have to attempt to rely on the living presence of God to be our restorative power.
Paul describes the work of the Spirit this way in Galatians:
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."
Our work as Jesus-people, then, is to discern what is the work of the self (the flesh) and what is the work of God (the Spirit). If you have ever done a "spiritual discipline" before, you have felt this battle palpably. Anytime we intentionally carve out time and space to meet with God, we will feel this tension almost immediately.
But this is where the rubber meets the road: in real life. It is during the mundane Tuesday, the laundry, the work meeting, or our lunchtime walk, when we have the opportunity to place ourselves in the way of the Spirit.
How can I place and posture myself to encounter God's presence?
How can I let the Spirit restructure and rearrange my life?
These are the questions that reorient us when we are disoriented.
As we are entering into our busiest part of the year, I am so thankful to have a team like you supporting us.
Please remain in prayer for us as we travel and serve athletes this summer. The speed of the year is picking up and the craziness is about to set in! As we leave this last year of varied uncertainty and a difficult professional year for may athletes, we are more excited than ever to walk with them in their journeys.
I cherish this work and you make it happen. Sending love to you all this lovely spring day!
Critters at the Chapel
Since the fall of 2001, small handmade stuffed pillows called "Critters" have been provided to several local hospitals and clinics. This ministry was started with Sandy Cannon at the helm, making stuffed animals for children passing through the emergency rooms of hospitals in Hillsboro and Whitney. Providing Critters has expanded to all children who need a special smile or just a little comforting in our area hospitals.
Are you a “Critter Lady?” If not, you are invited to join the group. You don’t need to know anything about sewing, nor do you need any special talent. Just come for the fun and they’ll show you how to “stuff.” The ladies meet from 10 am until noon on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall of the White Bluff Chapel. If you would like to be involved but cannot attend the meetings, you can still contribute to the Critter efforts by sewing and/or stuffing at home. There is also a group of Knit and Crochet Ladies who make special creations for senior adults who need caps and afghans.
Currently, Critters are provided to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney Health-Now Urgent Care, Hill County Regional ER, CPR in Hillsboro, EMT and Police Departments in Whitney, Goodall-Wicher Clinic in Clifton and Mission Hillsboro Medical clinic. Critters are also made for Shoeboxes at First Baptist Church and the Whitney Food Pantry at Christmastime.
Senior Sunday, May 30, 2021
Senior Sunday is a wonderful celebration of God’s grace in the lives of White Bluff Chapel’s scholarship recipients. Twelve graduates and their families were honored in our service this year. As students were introduced to the congregation and their WBC mentors, their mentors presented an award Bible to them in commemoration of the event. Mentorship is the foundation of our program’s success. The mentor’s role is to pray for the student, offer encouragement and assistance regarding any difficulties being faced in navigating the college experience. Many of our members have mentored at least one student over the years providing friendship and guidance to students just beginning their advanced education.
This was our seventeenth year of awarding educational aid to deserving Whitney area graduates. We want to congratulate these young people for their courage and endurance in this difficult pandemic induced remote learning year. We also want to recognize and the thank the caring members who are providing mentorship to them.
Jessica Brooke Allen Susie & Randy Marshall
Kylie Lynn Booth Debbie & Mark Hamner
Holland Liberty Paige Burkett Vicki & Dale Thompson
Dawson Brady Hightower Maura & George Collins
Grace Ann Karr Linda Yeary
Valerie Ashley Panuko. Becky & Paul Jacobus
Isiah Deshonte Payne. Gerry & Linda Mayer
Cassie Paige Pettigrew Kay & Jay Miller
Fritz Edward Sauer John & Kathleen Knightstep
Maebry Analyn Sneed Jil Tankersley
Madison Brook Strickling Susan & Bill Borg
Kirstyn Mikayla Ward Gina & Brad Blankenship
A new ministry engagement opportunity has begun at White Bluff. The initial meeting of the White Bluff Links Fellowship was held on Friday, May 21nd at the White Bluff Resort Old Course pavillion. Over 40 men and women met over hamburgers and chips to hear Drew Hamilton, the Texas regional Links Coordinator. Nationwide, Links Fellowships unite around five tenets: Love God and others, Integrate Christ’s reign and integrity into all of life, Network friends together in Christ, Kindle compassion for the poor and needy, Share Christ through the great game of golf. To learn more, check out www.linksplayers.com. The White Bluff Links Fellowship will be meeting monthly. More details to come!
June Student of the Month
Clay Richters - Class of 2018
As a WHS student, Clay was a star receiver on the football team. He aspired to become a Texas Game Warden. People joked that he would be transferring his skills from catching footballs to catching poachers.
Three years later, Clay is on track to achieve that goal as he stated in this e-mail message:
“I am having a great time at college, despite the ongoing problems regarding Covid. I started working for a fishing guide service on Lake Whitney, which has been challenging between school and work. But I am still keeping up with my school work, making the Dean’s list every year. This scholarship has helped me greatly in paying my tuition so I can complete my degree. I am still a criminal justice major, and I plan to be a game warden.”
Jack Maddux, former game warden, and his wife, Ruth, have been Clay’s mentors.
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance
The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance met in person on May 12, 2021, for the first time since March 2020. The meeting took place at the Whitney Senior Center with numerous representatives from other churches and volunteer groups. These individuals work together to ensure that our community can offer services to those needing food, clothing, school supplies while also addressing spiritual and emotional needs. The Lake Whitney Senior Center provided lunch for the attendees after their meeting.
Caring Meals Ministry
Every Tuesday evening, Mary Parish makes meals for our Caring Meals ministry. Anyone can sign up for a meal and make a donation as they pick up their meal at our “drive-thru”. This service is designed to help those during Covid-19 that needed a meal brought to them at least once a week. It has become so popular with others who want to make a donation and have a great meal, that we serve around 40 people each week.
National Day of Prayer
Thursday, May 6th, was the National Day of Prayer in the United States, a tradition that began in 1942 when President Truman signed into law the annual event. White Bluff Chapel participated in the community prayer service hosted by the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance to observe this day. Pastor Randy helped lead that service by praying for our military. Other community leaders Ron Roberts, the chaplain of the LWMA as well as Chief Chris Bentley also led prayers for our national, state, and local leaders as well as our police force.
May Student of the Month
Our student of the month is Ashtyn Thompson, a 2018 graduate of Blum High School. The following letter from her is heartwarming, and bears witness to the influence WBC’s Educational Aid/Mentoring mission is having on the lives of local students.
“My name is Ashtyn Thompson, and I am classified as a J2 (Junior semester 2), Nursing Student at the Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing located in Dallas. Once I am finished with this semester, I will have one year left to complete and I will graduate with my BSN in May 2022. This semester I have been providing care during clinical visits to mothers and their infants, as well as to U.S. Veterans. My college experience has been a rollercoaster to say the least, but I have learned so much and made many new friends along the way. The biggest challenges I have so far faced are the COVID-19 pandemic like everyone else, and depression. I struggle with depression and on my bad days it can make me feel like I am worthless and a failure even though I have accomplished so much and continue to succeed every day in nursing school. Despite my depression, I have an amazing support system and I pray that God will keep me strong and faithful. I have also been taking the time to learn to take care of myself and my mental health which has helped a lot. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a challenge as my courses are now all online, even in nursing school. I do get to attend clinical rotations and that is a huge blessing as I have encountered many patients who had so many kind and encouraging words to say to me. Online learning is much harder than one realizes but I do my best and try to be optimistic. After all, my future career will be rewarding for all my hard work and I cannot wait to be blessed enough to be able to take care of those who will one day become our future which is our children.
The support I have received from WBC was truly a Godsend. My family struggles financially and I was worried from the beginning of my college experience that I would not be able to finish due to a lack of money. The scholarship from WBC has helped to relieve that fear and the stresses of finances. Some of my scholarship money from one semester was also saved and helped me afford to buy a better car that would be safer and cheaper gas wise to drive back and forth to Dallas for nursing school. I also need to mention my mentors, Nancie and Jody Yarbro. The support I have received from them has been amazing as well. They make sure to ask me if I ever have any prayer requests and continue to pray for me. They have also been very invested in my college journey and continue to text me asking for updates and how I have been. I want to thank them as they are absolutely wonderful and God-fearing. WBC is lucky to have such amazing people in their congregation who are whole-heartedly invested in their students.
Thank you for everything, Ashtyn Thompson”
Ladies Bible Study
The ladies in our community have several options for Bible Study at White Bluff Chapel. “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus,” by Max Lucado, is taught on Wednesday via Zoom and on Fridays for those who prefer to meet in person. This allows not only a choice of meeting in person or on Zoom, but also the opportunity to attend either day of each week for the same lesson.
Bible Study Fellowship meets at our chapel each Thursday morning at 10:00. Any women interested in studying Matthew in BSF starting September 16th should email Amy at email@example.com for more information.
Education Mission Committee
Each year White Bluff Chapel serves a burrito breakfast to the teachers and staff at each Whitney School in appreciation for their contribution to our community. Our “Teacher Appreciation” includes a Montes Wildcat burrito, a bottle of water, and a homemade cookie. This year we also gave each one a “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed” candle as a token of our recognition of their sacrificial service to our children during this challenging pandemic. They were so appreciative of our recognition and our support.
This is one of our local missions in which we recognize the contributions of those who serve our community enriching the lives of those who live in our neighborhood.