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What We've Done in 2015

Articles are sorted with the most recently posted at the top.

Choir Brings Annual Caroling to W. B. Members
Posted December 22, 2015

The White Bluff Chapel Choir once again hit the trails of White Bluff to bring their voices and cheer to those who are ill or those who are more or less confined to their home. Choir Director Tom Reedy organized the venture for Friday evening, December 11, and the group divided itself into four teams under the leadership of John Upchurch, Charlie Whisenand, Gary Comer and Reedy.

Those receiving visits from the cheerful carolers included Bob Harris, Dale Moore, Clayton McConnell, Bob & Bessie Cunningham, and Howard & Alice Hill; Howard & Linda Yeary, Jim & Cindy McMahan, Phil & Doris Loveless, and George & Allete Feather; Mary Jane & Thomas McMillin, Tom & Winona Childress, and Pam Larson & the mother of Ellie Woods at CCRC; and Alminice Harrison, Carol Buckland, Kay & Joe-Dan Harris and Cliff & Carol Bartlett.

Before setting out on their venture, the choir members and their guests gathered at Fellowship Hall to partake of an array of appetizers. Then, upon their return, it was a buffet of desserts and hot cocoa and eggnog that greeted the chilled but invigorated carolers. The finale of the evening included the presentation of gifts from the choir to Reedy and to the accompanists, Betty Newman and Donna Spotts.

Live Nativity Scene Is Highlight of Community Christmas
Posted December 22, 2015

The Lake Whitney Community Christmas program sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance was held Sunday evening, December 13 and was hosted by Fort Graham Baptist Church. Many of the local ministers and others from the community gathered to tell the Good News of Jesus' birth through a live nativity scene. As people gathered, they were instructed to walk up a lighted path to a nearby field. The pathway lit by luminaries and flashlights led observers past a fire pit, some sheep and a donkey, and on to the "stable" where they found a reenactment of the night of Jesus' birth. Spectators were seated on bales of hay as they watched the cast members delight the audience with their acting and singing. The highlight of the evening was the "heavenly choir" which was made up of 20-25 children singing Christmas carols.

After the reenactment, those in attendance followed the lighted path back to a beautifully decorated pavilion where wassail, hot chocolate, coffee and food were available for all. About 150 Whitney residents enjoyed the evening and fellowship with members from all churches in the Whitney area.

Chapel Members Open Homes for Christmas Party
Posted December 22, 2015

White Bluff Chapel's annual Christmas party is one of the highlights of the fellowship activities enjoyed during the year. This year the popular event was held on Saturday, Dec. 19. Seventy-seven guests were divided into five groups that attended a home-based party followed by a rendez-vous at the chapel.

The home-based parties consisted of either a full appetizer buffet or for a seated meal, depending on the choice of the hosts. Opening their homes for the festive affair were Tom and JoAnn Reedy, Bill and Carol Campbell, Rick and Holly Faught, Wes and Peggy Mitchell, and Charlie and Chris Whisenand.

All the groups then convened at the chapel for a short hand-bells concert in the sanctuary. The concert consisted of an array of popular Christmas carols performed by members of the King Memorial Methodist Church. The audience was invited to sing along with the final selection. A sumptuous finale in Fellowship Hall of festive, seasonal desserts and Christmas punch or coffee provided candy for the eyes as well as for the palate. The event was sponsored and organized by the Chapel's Hospitality Committee, under the direction of Mary Parish.

"Over the Hill" Care Group Meets
Posted December 22, 2015

On Saturday, December 5, the "Over The Hill Care Group" met for their quarterly meeting and white-elephant gift exchange. The party was hosted by Ron and Ursula Stone at the 19th hole.

A group of 17 members gathered and the event was opened with prayer by the host Ron Stone. As always with White Bluff gatherings, food was plentiful. A variety of soups and sides was enjoyed by all.

The white-elephant gift exchange always brings about much laughter and ribbings, based on what kind of gift was opened. The rubber chicken has been part of every one of these events. Lorraine Bretthauer was the recipient of it this year and she embraced the gift with her usual charm. Frank Brown declined modeling his gift.

As is evident by the picture of the hosts, Brett and Jan were present in spirit.

The next quarterly gathering of this group will be on March 12th hosted by Marcie Burris and Glenda Bettina. It will be held at the 19th hole.

Woodcarvers Donate Proceeds
Posted December 22, 2015

The "Chapel Chippers," members of Harry Seurkamp's woodcarving class, meets throughout the year in the Chapel's Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. In recent years, they have established the practice of holding a sale of wood-carved ornaments crafted by members of the class and donating their proceeds to the Chapel in thanksgiving for the use of the venue.

This year's wood-carved ornament sales totaled $955.00. Donation of the funds was designated to be used for Missions, for the general operating fund and for purchasing two more 8-feet tables for future needs.

The woodcarvers thank everyone who supported their program and wish all a Merry Christmas, with greetings of "God Bless you all."

Advent Services Anticipate the Joy of Christmas
Posted December 10, 2015

Andy and Sandy Dayton performed the candle lighting ceremony for the Candle of Joy during the Third Week of Advent service on the evening of December 9.  A special reading was delivered by Linda and Larry Turner. 

Ann Duncan was hostess for Pie Night immediately following the Advent service, while Kay German participated as one of several pie makers. Three years ago Ann surprised the Wednesday night Advent Service attendees by inviting them to her and Jim's home to enjoy a lavish spread of homemade pies made from Ann's mother's treasured recipes. Last year, she continued the new tradition by providing homemade pies in Fellowship Hall following one of the Advent services. That means that this year marks the third time for the Advent Pie Night so, being the charm, the tradition is now officially established.

"Old people sure know how to buy candy!"
Posted November 12, 2015

by Debbie Bradley

Dear congregation,

Thank you so much for the MOUNDS of candy donated for the Whitney “Safe Trick or Treat” event!  My granddaughters helped sort the candy, and they had never before seen that much.  I don’t want to offend anyone, but one of them said, “Old people sure know how to buy candy!”  I tried to hide my SNICKERS and just replied, “Yes, we do!”

I don’t know the official count of the number of kiddoes who were treating on Saturday night, but we ran out of the over 200 “Jesus is the Light of the World” pencils about 30 minutes into the hour-long event.  We had other items to share, and we absolutely did not run out of candy!

Thank you Mildred Jackson, Carolyn Williams, and Becky Watkins for helping hand out the goodies and spreading the love of our Lord within our community!  We had fun.  Thank you, again, to each of you for your continued support and generosity.  We hope more of you can join us next year.


Debbie Bradley and the entire Children’s Ministry Team

WBC Men Feed Whitney Football Team
Posted October 15, 2015

About fifty hungry football players, coaches and cheerleaders from Whitney High School showed up at White Bluff Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 1 for a hamburger dinner sponsored by the Men's Ministry.

This was the pre-game meal prior to a junior varsity game that evening. Everyone seemed to enjoy the grilled burgers and all the trimmings.

Assisting Men's Ministry chairman Larry Turner with the grilling, serving and dishwashing were Jodie Yarbro, Terry Cosby, Ed Burcea, Harry Seurkamp and Jim Browder.

Guest Preacher Takes Interesting Perspective
Posted October 15, 2015

We welcomed Dr. Brian Brewer as our guest preacher on Sunday, October 11. While referencing the text of the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), Dr. Brewer treated the contrasting perspectives of the two sons in the parable rather than simply focusing on the returning younger son. Listen to his sermon here.

Dr. Brewer is an Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Truett Seminary in Waco. His teaching centers on historical theology with a focus on the Reformation and post-Reformation periods.

He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma with degrees from Baylor (B.A.), Princeton (M.Th.), and Drew University (Ph.D.) in Madison, New Jersey. He has completed additional studies at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University and at Southwestern Seminary, also in Ft. Worth. Dr. Brewer has the distinction of having been the very first graduate of Waco's Truett Seminary. In addition to his studies and his teaching ministry, Dr. Brewer has pastored and served in several churches. He continues a preaching, teaching, and writing ministry with multiple books and theological articles to his credit.

Over the Hill Care Group Gathering
Posted October 15, 2015

The "Over the Hill Care Group" met in September for their quarterly meeting at the home of Bill and Emily Morris. Approximately 24 members gathered for an evening of conversation, wonderful food and laughter. This care group began as one of the Chapel's cluster groups. It has grown by accepting other neighbors and invitees. Everyone has a good and fun time meeting new people and making new friends.

Emily offered horse rides to anyone who was interested. She had one taker, Elyse Short, who got into the event. We now know that she has garnered interest from some of the ladies currently residing at Rose of Sharon.

Leader Marcie Burris gave an update on Brett and Jan Schiftner's medical conditions following their motorcycle accident. The Schiftners are members of this group. Burris reminded folks that we are here for helping each other in any way possible when needs arise.

The next quarterly meeting of the group will be held in December at the home of Ron and Ursula Stone. The Christmas gathering traditionally features soups and sides with a white elephant gift exchange being the hit of the evening.

The Supper is the Sermon
Posted October 15, 2015

The Chapel celebrates the Lord's Supper the first Sunday of every month. With about ten active denominations represented in the faith backgrounds of the membership, there are abundant resources of depth and beauty from which to draw the types of services and the administration of communion. The ministerial staff has put together four different orders of worship for the Lord's Supper to be used during the year.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, the Chapel celebrated communion with the entire service centered on the Lord's table. There was no spoken sermon as the meaning behind the Supper, the elements themselves, the fellowship, the remembrance, the music, the readings, the movements, the prayers and praises were "the sermon" for this service. As Pastor Cosby explained to the congregation how the service would flow and why, he gave this introduction:


…let the beauty of ancient words bathe you in their richness.

…allow the beautiful orthodoxy of sacred routines connect you to believers from long ago, down the road of the future, and across the globe.

…feed on the fullness of Christ's unconditional, yet not undisciplined love as you receive the symbols of the bread of forgiveness and the wine of release.

…remember the deeds of Jesus that brought life from death; remember the grace and the promises that are yours and ours when we are "re-membered" (re- connected) to each other in the Faith.

…stop, think, pray, praise, rest, eat, and luxuriate in His Presence, for this is LIFE."

Listen to excerpts from the service here.

New Chapel Roof Reaches to the Heavens
Posted October 1 2015

During the final weeks of September, passers-by on White Bluff Drive may have looked up toward the heavens and caught a glimpse of the chapel roof taking on a fresh coat. Framed against the crisp, blue sky of an approaching autumn, the architecturally exquisite lines of our chapel serve to remind us that it is in the glory of our Lord that we have built this inspiring structure.

Send-Offs with Best Wishes for Ann
Posted September 17, 2015

By now you all know that Ann McAlpin has left our community and moved to Seattle to be near her son David.  While it is with great sadness that we bid her farewell, we're certain that the joy we recall of our times with her, the wonderful sermons and great Bible studies will overshadow our sadness.  It would be impossible to ever forget her.  Many people joined together to wish Ann a fond farewell.  Below you'll find a recap of 3 great parties.

The cluster group originally organized by Ann and now led by Rick and Holly Faught met at Glen and Madeleine Lively's home on Saturday, September 5. The group of 20 people enjoyed appetizers on the lawn, a baked potato buffet and a special dessert in Ann's honor crafted by Terry Pierce. Guests offered toasts and roasts as they shared fond memories of their times with Ann, including funny tales about Vacation Bible School escapades. All adjourned together to go watch the White Bluff Labor Day fireworks display.

Friday evening, September 11, a large crowd gathered at the rustic pool pavilion to share time with Ann.  Gail Heinen and Kay German organized the event. Prior to digging into the typically wonderful WBC potluck buffet, Pastor Terry gave thanks for Ann's life with us in White Bluff.  A hilarious time was had afterwards, thanks to the Browders and Duncans who put together a wonderful send-off program.  Ann took a lot of teasing about how rain, clouds and lack of sunshine would highlight her future.  The "Whispering Notes" singers put the fun into songs that delivered personalized messages.

Saturday night, September 12, the Missions Committee honored Ann with a BBQ dinner at the Griffin ranch.  Mission Chairperson Tommy Edgars thanked God for Ann and for her service to missions as he requested blessings on her travels and the getting settled in her new location.  After dinner, the 25 people in attendance gathered to remember Ann's contributions to the church and especially to the missions. Pat Griffin, Ann's longtime cohort on the missions committee, led a special time of remembering Ann's many roles and contributions.  As a member of the first Board of Trustees, Ann was instrumental in getting funding for our first missionaries, the Yosts, even before the missions committee was formed.

Ann also brought the idea of a scholarship program to the committee and was chairperson of the Scholarship Committee for years. Over 170 students have been helped by this program since it first started.  Ann was on the missions committee in some capacity for at least ten years, most recently serving on the Global/National subcommittee as advocate for Buckner orphan programs in Russia and Africa.

Caroline Upchurch remembered fun times on mission trips with Ann to visit our Lilies program in the Valley, to process shoes at Buckner's in Dallas or to tour the Wycliff facilities in Dallas. Vicki Thompson remembered Ann buying food for orphans in the market at Matamoras.  David Briggs laughed as he remembered a time he and Ann both got lost trying to find the high school in the large town of Blum. Wes Mitchell mentioned her compassion and insight as she served on the Benevolence committee. 

Ann shared her love of missions, her feelings at leaving and how God seemed to be directing this move.  She said that even if people couldn't remember her name in future years, she hoped they would remember that she was someone who tried to live what she taught.  All agreed that we were losing a valuable missions advocate, a dependable, discerning committee member and a loving friend. 

Ann's Farewell Message to the Chapel
Posted September 17, 2015

On Sunday, September 6, Ann McAlpin delivered her last worship-service message to the White Bluff Chapel congregation. Ann is moving this week to the Seattle, Washington area to be near her son, David. She has served our Chapel community in many different capacities, from member of the first Board of Trustees, originator of the Committee organizational plan, designer and administrator of the WBC Scholarship program, Associate Pastor and popular deliverer of sermons, Vacation Bible School leader, our first Women’s Bible Study leader, frequent mission-trip participant, author of “From My Kitchen Window” blog, etc., etc., etc. 

Read abbreviated excerpts from Ann’s introductory remarks below (or read the more complete transcript) and then listen to her touching and inspirational message.

John and I attended the Chapel the first time in September of 1999, and at that point, there were maybe fifteen people there. We were down in the Lone Star Room by the pool, and (…).

Things changed [as we grew], because people had a vision, a vision of what it could be. (…) And it’s been a good trip. It’s been exciting to see the changes that have taken place in the Chapel, and I am so glad that there were those people who had a vision of what could happen and what it could be. …there was the spirit of the Lord there. And there was the power that was there from Christ. And we saw that begin to grow….

It’s so exciting to be able to stand here in this building and to see it filled with people and to know that God still has a vision for what he’s going to do with the Chapel in the future. He is not through. Even though in the last 16 years things have grown to this point, I wonder what it’s going to be in the next 16 years.

It’s going to still have opportunities to reach out to the people in the community and to bring more people to Christ. It’s going to have the opportunity to reach out in mission to the people in this area, to the people in the nation and to people throughout the world. (…)

God is not through, and I know that there are people here today who have a vision for what can happen in the future. So my prayer would be that you never lose that vision but that you keep going forward. (…)

I remember exactly what I talked about that first time [I preached]. …It was about God’s love and God’s purpose for us and how, through Christ, we have our redemption. That’s the message of the Gospel, and that message is the same message that I have tried to bring in some way in everything I’ve ever said since that first time...

All the things that I’ve shared come back to that one topic, that one theme: that God’s love and God’s redemption is what makes us Christians, what makes us unique, what makes us His child. And so today I want to bring a conclusion…

Listen to Ann’s message of love that she shares with us and that she encourages us to share with everyone we meet.

Ice Cream Social Features Unique Program
Posted September 3, 2015

An enthusiastic crowd gathered on Saturday evening, August 22, for fellowship, sampling of delectable ice cream recipes accompanied by complimentary sweets, and for an unusual and fascinating program.

Mary Parish and her Hospitality Committee hosted the annual event in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. The gathering opened with solemn prayer for Jan and Brett Schiftner, who had just suffered their tragic accident on the previous evening.

Vicki Shultz had been invited to present a short and informative program on the rescued wildlife babies that she and hubby Jerry care for at their home on Oak Ridge Loop in Whitney. Vicki demonstrated the feeding of an infant skunk, showed off an infant opossum, and explained the habits of the two species. Even though most of the crowd found it difficult to accept, Vicki explained that there are far more advantages than not of having members of these two species living in our yards!

WBC Baylor Followers Host Lady Bears Volleyball
Posted August 20, 2015

Ten couples from White Bluff Chapel hosted the Lady Bears Volleyball team here at White Bluff on August 9 for a picnic and fellowship. There were 15 athletes and four coaches with spouses and children, along with the team's chaplain.

The group enjoyed the fellowship together, as well as a nice meal and some prayer time. They prayed for the coaches to keep their spouses a priority and to maintain healthy relationships with their family, especially during the hectic season. The White Bluff couples had a good time getting to know the team. They look forward to praying for the Lady Bears and cheering them on throughout the upcoming year.

WBC Members Clean Up Highway
Posted August 20, 2015

It was a hot August day, but young, strong backs showed up to collect 18 large bags of trash from a two-mile stretch of Highway 933 approaching the White Bluff entrance. The camera-shy crew consisted of David Wood, Bill Allen, Larry Turner, Ron Stone, Bill Pierce, and Rick Faught.

New Members Welcomed to WBC
Posted July 23, 2015

New members of the White Bluff Chapel congregation were honored at a reception following the Worship Service on Sunday, July 19.  They included Brad and Gina Blankenship; Joe and Ruth Ann Cashon; Tom and Nancy Duncan; Marilyn and Don Halsell; Howard and Alice Hill; Bill and Terry Pierce; and Nancy Vogt.

Mary Parish and her hospitality committee hosted the affair.

Cluster Group #9 Double Dips on 4th of July Party
Posted July 9, 2015

You know friends and neighbors enjoy each other’s company when they choose to continue their party on the morning after! Such was the case with the members of Cluster Group #9, who gathered at the home of Rick and Holly Faught for a 4th of July party on Saturday evening. The array of gourmet dishes was so ample that when surveying the leftovers, folks decided to return the following morning after Chapel worship service to continue the party.

Terry and Bill Pierce brought their game, “Guesstures,” which is a variation on “Charades.” The game elicited creative interpretations and raucous laughter.


Over time this cluster group has blended into a wonderful network of friends. It was originally led by Ann McAlpin, who hosted the first gathering and got the group going, with Patti and Keith Moreland then hosting a couple of times. Now Holly and Rick Faught have taken over the organizational responsibilities of the group. Holly keeps all informed of any needs that arise for members of the group.

Chapel Salutes Independence Day
Posted July 9, 2015

This year, Jim Browder and his grandson Aaron were the only volunteers who showed up to place Independence Day flags around the chapel for the 4th of July weekend. A tradition of White Bluff Chapel on the patriotic holidays of Independence Day and Veterans Day is to surround the walks and parking areas in a splendid array of stick flags. Typically, just preceding the 4th of July and November 11, a crew of hardy volunteers shows up to put out the flags. But speculation is that our habitual volunteers are getting “down in their back” too easily now.

An “all call” goes out to the younger members of our congregation in hopes that they will carry on this wonderful patriotic tradition.

Review of VBS in Pics
Posted July 9, 2015

White Bluff Chapel's popular Vacation Bible School was held during the week of June 21-26. Director of Children's Education Ministries, Debbie Bradley, reports that a minimum of 50 adults donated their time and talents to the big event, while 95 fortunate children showed up for the much-anticipated activities.

"Over the Hill Care Group" Holds Picnic
Posted June 25, 2015

Several years ago White Bluff Chapel organized members into a series of Cluster Groups.  The purpose was for neighbors to become familiar with one another.  Furthermore, it was intended to keep everyone aware of local needs and Chapel-related events.  Some groups are more active than others.

On June 13, the “Over the Hill Care Group” (formerly Cluster Group 14) held their quarterly gathering, meeting at the Live Oak Park behind the White Bluff Sales Office.  The event had been postponed from March since weather prevented use of the park.  Once all had arrived Bubba Radke led the prayer.  Everyone sat down to a meal of brisket, fried chicken, wonderful sides and great desserts.  Some members brought along friends who were visiting and the evening was a wonderful time of fellowship, with twenty-four attending.

It was a warm evening but God blessed the group with a gentle breeze that also kept the flying intruders at bay.  Just another example of when two or more gather in His name, He will be there with you.

Over time this group has blended into a wonderful network of friends who truly care for one another.  It has been led by Marcie Burris since the beginning and she keeps all informed of anyone's needs.  Christmastime they meet for fellowship and a wonderfully-crazy white-elephant gift exchange. This is just one of several "Cluster Groups" that have regular meetings and fellowship in the White Bluff community. 

There always seems to be a member or a couple that steps in to host the gatherings. The next event will be in September at the home of Bill and Emily Morris.

WBC Hosts African Pastors
Posted June 10, 2015

Earlier this year our Mission board approved money for several  African pastors to travel to Texas for a two- week training session at the Foundation Ministries facility in Kerrville and at René Brown's ranch west of Kerrville.  Foundation Ministries had chosen to bring the pastors to Texas instead of having René and Jack Horn trekking off to Africa.

Saturday, May 30, Dale and Vicki Thompson hosted the pastors and members of the Chapel for a potluck dinner at their lake house in Whitney.  They were expecting 18 to 20 people but a total of 40 arrived.  It was a great surprise, and everyone brought food, so there was plenty to eat.

By the time they reached Whitney, the pastors had spent 35 hours traveling from Kenya by land and air.  Jack Horn opened the evening with a prayer, then the festivities began.  Following dinner, Jack and the pastors, Luke Odemondo, Joseph Allen and Ruben Odago, fielded questions about their role in Africa and the impact that White Bluff Chapel and Foundation Ministries have had on their success. 

The pastors travel throughout Africa bringing to word of God to other pastors and believers.  One of them, Joseph Allen, also has the responsibility of the widows and orphans group that our Chapel sponsors through Foundation Ministries as well. A major breakthrough in their African ministry occurred once Jack and René changed their methodology and started using question and answer sessions versus a seminar approach.  Additionally, they began teaching in their African sessions that God's grace is freely given to us.  The pastors and the people of Africa had previously believed that you had to do certain things to receive His grace.  According to Jack and the pastors, it opened up a totally new avenue for reaching the people and the pastors as well.

The evening at the Thompson’s was most informative. Meeting the pastors and hearing of their successes in bringing the word of God to their people, with so many people there coming to Christ, was inspirational.  Vicki then lead the group with a closing prayer. 

René's wife Elizabeth suggested we close the evening with a song.  We all sang “The Lord's Prayer.”  What a heartfelt and moving way to close a wonderful evening of fellowship!  Elizabeth told me on Sunday that using that song for a closing was on her heart, but she didn't know when she would have found a place for its use.  The events of the evening convinced her the time was right.

On Sunday, May 31, the African pastors were introduced to the congregation.   Jim and Pat Griffin hosted a luncheon at their ranch following services at the Chapel.  The pastors and several other people took a tour on the "Gators."  They couldn't believe what they were seeing!  They kept talking about the quality of the cattle at the ranch.  After lunch, Vicki read Isaiah: 61 to them as a prayer.

As a personal observation, Bill Burris reports being deeply moved by the drive the pastors have to reach people and to bring them to Christ.  As he spoke with each one, Bill says he felt like he was talking to an old friend and he was drawn into their drive.

The pastors were given a tour of San Antonio the weekend of June 6-7 to experience the River Walk and other highlights of the area.  They will soon be heading back home to Africa and we request your prayers for their safe travel and more success in their mission.

Fellowship Reception Welcomes Scholars and Mentors
Posted June 10, 2015

The "Senior Recognition Sunday" service on May 31 was followed by a reception for our scholarship-winning students, their families and mentors in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. A brunch buffet of was provided by Mary Parish and her Hospitality Committee. Guests were given the opportunity to mingle and get to know the Chapel members who have pledged to serve as mentors, guiding a student down the bumpy and winding road to future adventures and opportunities.

Mentors are encouraged to get to know their student before their departure for school in the fall, then to follow up periodically with emails and/or phone calls to assure that the student feels comfortable communicating with them throughout the semester. End-of-the-year reminders to send in grades are advised, as well as perhaps a lunch with the students when they are home over semester breaks.

Needs Assessment Committee Hosts Town Hall Meeting
Posted May 14, 2015

Last year's White Bluff Chapel Board of Trustees authorized then Vice-Chairman Cheryl Robinson to organize and direct a Needs Assessment Study, which continued into March of 2015.  Then in April, 2015, the Needs Assessment Report resulting from that study was distributed via email to all members of the congregation by now Board Chairman Cheryl Robinson.

The Needs Assessment Committee followed up by holding a town hall style meeting on Monday, April 27 so that Chapel members could ask questions about the study and offer additional ideas. Twenty-eight people attended the meeting which was chaired by Chairman Robinson and during which the following committee members addressed each focus area separately:

Communications - Nancie Yarbro
Adult Education - Larry Turner and Gary Comer
Worship and Music – (Robinson covered this area in the absence of the committee members.)
Missions - Nancie Yarbro
Youth Education and Ministries - Becky Watkins
Membership Care - Harry Seurkamp
Facilities - Rick Faught

Also attending the meeting from the committee were Terry Cosby and Patty Turner. Turner served as the Recording Secretary for the event. Board Chairman Robinson has submitted the report of the meeting, which can be read here.

Also resulting from the original Needs Assessment Study, the Trustees approved the formation of a Facilities Assessment Committee.  Gary Comer will be chairing the committee and Wes Mitchell will be the co-chair. 

Mothers Honored for Mothers Day
Posted May 14, 2015

A array of pastel colors decorated the Chapel's Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall on Saturday, May 9 as the mothers of White Bluff donned spring frocks to come together for our annual Mother's Day Luncheon. Hospitality chair Mary Parish and her committee served up an appealing buffet of salads to the attendees.

Guest speaker for the event was Cindy McGage from Operation Greater Love, a faith-based group of central Texas men and women who are honoring wounded American soldiers by building homes and hope for them. The group's mission statement is the inspiration of hope, love and security for those who have been wounded for our freedom. McGage explained that their vision statement is to honor and reward that bravery by providing a custom-built home with hope of restoring a sense of normal life to the soldiers and their families.

McGage's presentation was followed by a lively and engaging discussion in which the audience demonstrated their interest and support. More information about Operation Greater Love is available on their website.

Culminating the event was Aggie Gladbach, who sang a solo appropriate for the occasion. Betty Newman provided the piano accompaniment.

Easter Week Services Draw Crowds
Posted April 16, 2015

Topping off the 2015 Easter Week, Easter Sunday drew an overflow crowd for White Bluff Chapel’s worship services. Well over 300 people attended the 9:30 service, with several participating from the Fellowship Hall, where they watched the service on the TV screen.  The special floral-wrapped cross rose majestically over a sea of Easter lilies to set a joyful tone for celebrating Christ’s resurrection. The choir culminated the service with a special arrangement of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

With the early morning hours being cool and rainy, it was a smaller than usual group that turned out to brave the elements for the sunrise service. They showed up to find an inspiring site where they sat facing a hillside above the White Bluff marina, looking toward the east where the sun rose over a well-placed cross and gravestone.

These two joyful Easter morning services followed the Maundy Thursday Communion Service in memory of the Lord’s Last Supper and the widely-proclaimed powerful while solemn Tenebrae Service on Good Friday evening. The service of Tenebrae, the title of which is Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” provides an extended meditation on the cross of Christ. This is a solemn opportunity to reflect on the passion and suffering of Jesus through scripture, music and the successive extinguishing of lights. John Upchurch and Mildred Jackson each provided special music selections for the service, and Tom Reedy led the congregation in hymns.

Chapel members who contributed interpretive readings for Tenebrae included Glenda Bettina, Linda McClary, Bob Buckner and George Feather, Harry Seurkamp, and Madeleine Lively. Following their reading, each presenter extinguished a candle symbolizing one of the sins of Pride, Self, Greed, Materialism/Consumerism, Position/Power, and Control. Several of the readings were authored by Pastor Terry Cosby, who also delivered the homily, “The Day Death Died.” After extinguishing the Christ candle, Cosby led the congregation in their departure in silence and darkness.

Other contributions to Holy Week included a series of five devotionals, released one per day and authored by WBC’s worship principals Terry Cosby, Betty Newman and Tom Reedy. The annual children’s Easter celebration was held on Saturday morning and included an Easter egg hunt, games and Bible stories.

Annual Retreat Inspiring and Uplifting
Posted March 29, 2015

Dr. Ken Horton, retired Senior Pastor of McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Fort Worth, led the White Bluff Chapel annual Bible Study Retreat on the weekend of March 20-22.  Dr. Horton's topic was 1st Thessalonians, "Embracing the Joy of Spiritual Influence."  Approximately sixty people attended the sessions on Friday night and Saturday. Additionally, Dr. Horton preached at the Sunday worship service with a message entitled, "The Consistent Pursuit of Contagious Spiritual Influence," based on 1st Thessalonians 5:12-28.

The retreat attendees found the sessions informative and entertaining. They were encouraged (and challenged) to make investments in people that will matter for eternity.  The participants were reminded that every day matters for eternity, and that obedience and steadfastness are the foundation for a lifestyle that exhibits those qualities.

Those who were unable to attend but would like a copy of the retreat outline can pick one up from the table in Fellowship Hall. The retreat is an annual program of the Adult Education committee. Larry Turner made arrangements for the appearance of Dr. Horton and wife Kathy and Mary Parish and her committee took care of Hospitality.

Seurkamp Captures Grand Champion Prize in Chili Cook-Off
Posted March 19, 2015

After several years of organizing the chili cook-off to benefit the Men's Ministry, each year entering the contest to help raise the number of competing entries, Harry Seurkamp finally walked away with the winning entry for Hot Chili, as well as the Grand Champion Prize. Winners in the other categories were Louis Hicks for Wild Game, Jerry Shultz for Mild to Medium, and Ed Bercier for Chili with Beans. The winners each received a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Brookshire's Grocery.

About 70 to 80 people stayed after the Worship Service on Sunday morning to participate in the event and taste the 14 competing entries. This event is the only fundraiser that the Men's Ministry has throughout the year, and they managed to collect $1000 in donations from the hungry crowd. These funds help support the cost of the Ministry's projects, which include building wheelchair ramps and other such handyman gifts to the community.

Thanks go out to the judges, contestants, and all those who attended this year's Chili Cook-Off.

Bob Horton's Chili
(or Harry Seurkamp's Grand Champion Chili)

Bob Horton, author of Basic Texas Red, has participated in one or the other of the Terlingua cookoffs each year since 1990.  Bob's competition chili is a little spicier than this toned-down version, which he created for eating by the bowlfuls.

Harry Seurkamp replicated the recipe to take the Grand Champion prize at the Men's Ministry Chili Cook-Off on March 15, 2015.

6 T. chili powder
3 T. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. ground cayenne
½ tsp. ground oregano
1 T. paprika
¾ tsp. salt (or salt to taste)
1 tsp. Accent (MSG) (optional)
3 lbs. lean, boneless beef roast or round steak,
diced or coarsely ground
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 ½ -oz) can chicken broth
1 (14 ½ -oz) can beef broth
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. brown sugar

  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; divide into thirds and set aside.
  2. Brown the meat in a large pot; drain well. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth and beef broth,  and simmer (covered) 2 hours, or until meat is tender, adding 1/3 of the chili powder mixture after each half-hour of cooking.
  3. Add the cumin and brown sugar with the last portion of the chili powder mixture.
  4. Cook chili about 30 minutes longer.

Yield: 6 cups

Chapel Pays Tribute to Founders Don & Betty Fritz
Posted March 5, 2015

Pastor Terry Cosby surprised the congregation on Sunday, February 22, with a tribute to Don and Betty Fritz. He praised them for the founders’ role they played over the past 20 years, planting the seed of the idea of a church within our resort and seeing it through to what we have today. Listen to the brief summary of the history of our chapel’s development that Cosby delivered. He explained that the founding of our church probably would not have happened if God had not used Don and Betty Fritz to make it happen.

Reading from the certificate he was presenting Don and Cate Fritz (their daughter who represented Betty on the occasion), Terry praised the couple, saying: “…whose wisdom saw the possibilities, whose experience paved the way, whose heart and home were always open, we the membership offer our heartfelt praise in helping found White Bluff Chapel, to the praise and glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

Founding pastor of White Bluff Chapel, Maurice Martin, delivered the guest sermon for the occasion. It was Don and Betty Fritz who recruited Martin to come out of retirement and guide the residents of White Bluff through the organizing of our congregation and the building of our church.

Valentine Banquet Draws Capacity Crowd
Posted February 19, 2015

Beautiful decorations, gourmet dining and fun entertainment were the perfect ingredients in White Bluff Chapel’s recipe for a delightful Valentine Banquet on Friday evening, February 13. The event was held for a capacity crowd of 110 people in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. After guests were greeted at the entrance with a tasty punch, Madeleine Lively took each couple’s photograph, which was sent to them as their party favor.

Nancy McGinnis emceed a fun program of entertainment, which featured White Bluff Chapel’s own quartet, comprised of Tom Reedy, John Upchurch, Gary Comer and David Wood. The gentlemen delivered musical renditions of several romantic favorites and even guided the couples in the audience through singing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to their own special sweethearts.  Hospitality chair, Mary Parish, thanked the members of the quartet with gifts of flowers, which they promptly presented to their spouses in the audience.

Mary Parish and her Hospitality committee cooked and served up a scrumptious menu of a shrimp cocktail appetizer, tossed salad, and each guest’s choice of rib eye steak or chicken, accompanied by a fully-loaded baked potato, green beans almondine, assorted dinner rolls and cherry cheesecake.

Retiring Trustees Honored
Posted February 5, 2015

Cheryl Robinson, new Chairman of White Bluff Chapel's Board of Trustees, recently presented Nancy McGinnis and Larry Chapman, our two retiring trustees, with certificates of appreciation for their three years of service sitting on the board. Their terms ran from 2012 to 2014. Also retiring was Jean Rose, who served as Chairman of the Board during 2014, culminating her three-year term. Rose was honored in December when the incoming trustees were inducted and the new Executive Board was announced.

Currently serving on the Executive Board for 2015 are Cheryl Robinson, Chairman; Wes Mitchell, Vice Chairman; and Nancie Yarbro, Secretary. Incoming trustees for 2015-2017 are Yarbro, Gary Comer and Ron Roberts. Continuing trustees are Terry Newman, Charlie Whisenand, Bubba Radke, Larry Turner, and Liz Umble.

Board of Trustees Elects New Officers
Posted January 8, 2015

The new Board of Trustees has elected its officers for the year 2015. Taking the helm as Chairman of the Board is Cheryl Robinson, who will be completing her three-year term this year. Assisting Robinson is Vice Chairman Wes Mitchell, who is serving his term during 2014-2016, and Secretary Nancie Yarbro, 2015-2017.

Rounding out the Board are members Terry Newman (2013-2015), Charlie Whisenand (2013-2015), Bubba Radke (2014-2016), Liz Umble (2014-2016), Larry Turner (2014-2016), Gary Comer (2015-2017), and Ron Roberts (2015-2017).

White Bluff Chapel's new Organizational Roster lists all the committee chairs on the Council of Ministries, as well as the other chairs with Key Committee Responsibilities, which can be viewed here.

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