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What We've Done

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

In the Beginning: The Creation of 'Chapel on the Lawn'
Posted July 30, 2020

by Betty Newman

When the Worship Committee met in May, its purpose was to discuss the guidelines the Trustees were proposing on how to move forward with worship while implementing the Covid-19 safety guidelines.  One renegade member had a new "better” idea.  What can I say?  It was a Duncan.  Not Jim or Ann, but brother Tom. 

Here’s how it went down.  Long conversations about meeting inside, distancing, using masks, standing in lines 6 feet apart, special instructions for the ushers, sanitizing the pews and bathrooms, removing all Bibles and hymnbooks, yada, yada, yada.   I’m sure you are beginning to get the point.  It was beginning to sound like a lot of work for the property chair, the Trustees and the ushers.  In the middle of this conversation, Tom Duncan says, “Well out in Fort Davis….”  With those simple words, “The Chapel on the Lawn” idea was born.  What a wonderful plan it has been!!

Each Sunday we are averaging 115 – 120 people with masks and in lawn chairs and golf carts.  The dress is very casual and you can bring your coffee to sip on while we worship.  You can print your bulletin and bring with you, or the ushers can hand you one.  Every word that you need is on the bulletin, which eliminates using any books or touching any surfaces.  If you forget you face mask, the ushers will be glad to provide you a disposable one.  Our homemade “Chapel on the Lawn” fans are still available, too, to help keep you cool.  The Trustees are marking places to put your chair to ensure 6-foot distancing. 

If you can’t make “Chapel on the Lawn,” we record the service and offer “Chapel on the Web” on our chapel website each Sunday morning by 11:00.

The response has been great!!  God has been gracious to give us beautiful weather each Sunday morning.  The services have been kept to a short 45 minutes.  If you haven’t attended yet, I would encourage you to try out our new adventure.  

Farewell to James Pool
Posted July 1, 2020

by Betty Newman

As we joyfully say hello to Randy and Susie Marshall, it is with sadness that we have to say goodbye to James and Valerie Pool.  Last October I was asked to return to the chapel to help with pastoral care.  Dylan Price had accepted a job at a church in Mt. Enterprise and James had been our interim pastor who could only be at the chapel for one or two days a week due to his full-time job with One Cry Ministries.  I agreed to come back to help with pastoral care and other duties assigned. 

I had no idea how much I would enjoy this job.  James Pool was and continues to be such a blessing to me as well as the chapel.  According to James, his full-time ministry gives him the opportunity to promote and encourage Christians to cry out to God for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit in national revival and spiritual awakening.  From my standpoint, James is a master teacher for those who are tentative or bashful about praying for and with others. 

Having accepted Christ as my Savior when I was nine years old, I have said a million prayers over the past decades.  However, James somehow gave me a fresh perspective and boldness that I needed in my prayer life.  This summer James is spending multiple hours on a daily basis being a disciple for five of Baylor’s student prayer leaders for the purpose of leading Baylor’s prayer movement this coming year.  What a wonderful experience for those young adults!!

I would also credit James with helping me become more aware of God’s gracious blessings each day.  We all realize we should be grateful, but when you work with someone who is full of “thank you’s” and points out God’s gracious provisions on a daily basis, you realize how much you take God’s graciousness for granted.  James gave me a fresh view of God’s blessings and guidance every day that I worked with him.

I know that James and Valerie are perfect for the job that God has given them.  Encouraging and guiding what “being a church” looks like to youth on a college campus is such a needed and valued opportunity for our young society.  White Bluff Chapel was truly blessed by this caring and loving couple.

James and Valerie sent the following thank-you note to the congregation:

Dear White Bluff Chapel Family,

Valerie and I want you to know just how much we appreciate you. The financial gift and the beautifully framed picture of the church facility were so timely and wonderful. We have the picture of the chapel displayed prominently in our living room as a very visible reminder of your graciousness and the blessings God brought into our lives through you.

You are permanently positioned in our hearts and we will continue praying for God’s richest blessings to rest on you as you go forward in serving Him.

Thanks again!

James and Valerie

If you would like to know more about James’ ministry, please go to the One Cry website.

2nd 'Chapel on the Lawn' Service Draws Many
Posted June 18, 2020

Over 140 were in attendance at White Bluff Chapel’s second ‘Chapel on the Lawn’ service. The newly-arrived Senior Pastor, Dr. Randy Marshall, provided the sermon, Associate Pastor Betty Newman gave the scripture reading and prayer, Organist Esther Sousa presented a saxophone medley of “We Gather Together and Count Your Blessings”, special music was performed by Jeff and Sherrie Williams and Music Director Tom led the singing of the hymn selections, aided by one of his ‘mini-choirs’. Accompanist Paula Carpenter accompanied the hymns and provided the postlude.

Dr. Marshall’s sermon was entitled “Crossing Jordan,” with the scripture drawn from Joshua 1:9. He spoke about events of the 119 days that have passed since White Bluff Chapel called him into service and then used his ‘crossing Jordan’ analogy to address our facing the future together.

Be sure to check out Randy’s “Lifelines” column for this week. The article is most uplifting and you will quickly see why he’s the Lord’s perfect gift to our White Bluff Chapel community.

Terry Pierce recorded our service on the lawn and saw to posting it on our Facebook page, as well as submitting it here on this website. It is available on the Sermon Videos page for those who want to watch it.

LWMA Hosts Easter Sunrise Service
Posted April 23, 2020

by Betty Newman

The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance hosted an Early Sunrise Service on Easter morning. Brad Slaten, pastor of King Memorial United Methodist and LWMA Community Worship Chairman, found a transmitter that allowed area pastors to gather and speak into their cell phones while being transmitted to 88.5 FM on the radio dial. Several area pastors gathered to read scripture, pray and sing praises to our Heavenly Father for his gracious and glorious gift of His son as our Savior.

Local officials graciously provided our Whitney High School parking lot for the assembly and a police officer to direct traffic as over 200 gathered to worship. Those in attendance were directed to stay in their car and listen on the radio as the sun rose and the dark, cloudy, rainy skies turned into glorious sunshine. All were encouraged as we listened to the resurrection story of our Lord. We were all blessed to hear pastors from the following churches: First Nazarene, Open Range Cowboy, Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist, First Baptist, Our Savior Lutheran, Cedar Creek Baptist and music from Randy Hayes, First Baptist.

Men's Ministry Orchestrates Easter Parade
Posted April 23, 2020

During this difficult time in our history members are missing the fellowship and music they've come to enjoy every Sunday. Not being able to gather together on Easter makes it more difficult as the Chapel community celebrates the Risen Christ. Easter at White Bluff Chapel wouldn't be the same without the flowered cross. Three couples, the Hammers, Clements and Gaudets pitched in and decorated the cross for all to see.

The Men's Ministry once again came to the rescue and planned the first-ever parade in White Bluff. Members were invited to assemble at the Chapel with their cars or ATV's decorated for a parade route designed to reach most of everyone in White Bluff. Check out a short video here.

Those who did not participate in the parade were treated to an exuberant group of fun-loving members who traveled around White Bluff waving, horn honking and cheering onlookers with many different ways to wish them a very happy Easter.

According to Rick Faught, the organizer of the parade, the parade was a "perfectly-imperfect" great success. The participants all seemed to enjoy themselves and the spectators were enthusiastic. Rick also wants to thank all who assisted.

The Men's Ministry has become a very important group of godly men who simply want to help others. They wait for any call to assist and, if it is a skill they have, they are most willing to lend a hand, usually at a moment's notice! If you have a need, please contact Rick Faught and he will arrange the helping hand(s).

Chapel Hosts Winter Bible Retreat
Posted March 12, 2020

On the evening of February 28, Dr. Hulitt Gloer began our annual Winter Bible Retreat focusing on "The Greatest Stories," not  "The Greatest Story."  The Greatest Story is Jesus; the Greatest Stories are the ones he told through parables.  Those attending were glad to see and hear Dr. Gloer once again. He has been a favorite retreat leader here for many years.

The retreat took back up on the morning of February 29 with the continuation of the stories.  Dr. Gloer delved into the meaning of several parables to boost broader insights.  About 70 people attended the retreat and now have a deeper understanding of the parables.  Dr. Gloer has a way of communicating to the listener which reaches their heart.

Mary Parish's hospitality team put together a pleasant luncheon that all enjoyed before the afternoon session.  Those in attendance had both their hunger and souls fed.

On Sunday, March 1, Dr. Gloer provided the sermon for the Worship Service and completed his message about the parables. 

The Pastoral Search Committee Found and Offered;
The Congregation Accepted Unanimously;
We Are Blessed!
Posted February 27, 2020

The weekend of February 15-16 was a major moment in the history of White Bluff Chapel.  After numerous weeks of meetings, prayer, listening to sermons and interviewing candidates, the search committee chose Dr. Randy Marshall to be presented to the congregation as their candidate for the Chapel's new pastor.

On the morning of February 15, Dr. Marshall (or Randy, as he indicated his preferred name) spent time at a brunch with the Trustees, the Search Committee and representatives from the Worship Committee and Missions Committee.  There was a wonderful exchange of questions and responses by Randy.  Randy's wife Susie was also present and her sense of humor and love for the Lord and for Randy were very apparent.

Then later in the day members of the Chapel were given an opportunity for an exchange of questions and answers.  Randy gave them an overview of the life journey he and Susie have shared and was very open with his answers to the questions.

On Sunday, February 16, came the time that everyone had been waiting for, once the Search Committee was formed.  The congregation had their first opportunity to see and hear Randy
deliver a sermon live.  The Search Committee had previously provided three sample sermons Randy had provided for us to watch, but the live Pastor (Shepherd) speaking to the flock gives one a better understanding of what we see and hear. Plus, this sermon had been crafted for W.B. Chapel as its directed target and was hence more personal to us.

Following the sermon, the Search Committee Chair Cheryl Comer opened the special meeting and explained the secret ballot voting process.  Once the votes were counted, Cheryl announced that the vote was unanimous and the congregation rose in a standing ovation to welcome Randy as the new Senior Pastor of White Bluff Chapel.

The congregation was once again given a chance to meet and formally greet Randy and Susie to White Bluff Chapel in the following reception.  Due to Randy's military obligations still due in anticipation of his retirement from the military, it is estimated that their permanent arrival will be in the August timeframe.  Dr. Pool has agreed to continue as the interim Pastor until the time Randy can be here full time.  Randy suggested that there may be times where he can return for a week-end to provide the sermon at a worship service.

Upon their return, Randy and Susie sent the following thank you to the White Bluff congregation.

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

Susie and I are incredibly excited and blessed to be a part of the White Bluff Chapel family.  Thank you for your hospitality and openness to share your loving heart, uncommon fellowship, and mission outlook.  I appreciate the months of prayer and consideration by the Pastor Search Committee, and the White Bluff Chapel as a whole, to discern and determine God's will. I believe the Lord provided a clear confirmation as we gathered this past Sunday. Susie and I are both humbled and appreciative for the opportunity to partner with you in the days, weeks, and years to come.  Our prayers are with each of you, as together we praise God for the immensity of His love and for blessings that we're looking forward to the journey,

Randy and Susie

Annual Valentine Banquet Season Highlight
Posted February 27, 2020

The evening of February 14th drew a record number of guests for the Chapel's annual Valentine Banquet.  This year the banquet was held at the Texas Café event venue on Jefferson in Whitney, which could comfortably accommodate the 100 in attendance.

Mary Parish and her Hospitality team provided a beautifully-decorated ambiance for attendees to sense the beauty and romantic meaning of Valentine's Day.  Also new this year was a meal provided by Texas Café, featuring chicken fried steak or smothered chicken along with salad, sides and dessert.

Once again Nancy McGinnis provided the entertainment performances.  Her opening stand-up comic monologue was entertaining and gets better each year.  After Nancy warmed up the crowd, some of the talented Chapel musicians provided an audience sing-along of traditional love songs.  David Wood, Jody Yarbro, Dwayne Redding and Debbie Hammer each played an instrument and lead the singing. 

This year's surprise part of the evening consisted of, as McGinnis put it, celebrities from California who had agreed to come to Whitney to entertain the crowd.  Then ears began to perk up to the famous music of the Dance of the Swans from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Ballet. As the familiar music mounted, out onto the stage tip-toed six exquisite male ballet dancers attired in red tutus and head band poofs, crafted by costume mistress JoAnn Reedy. Mark Hamner, Ron Stone, Larry Smith, Gary Comer, Gwen McGinnis, and Perry Gaudet definitely stole the show as the evening’s favorites.  Following their performance, Nancy indicated that when she asked them to participate, not one had declined.

The evening left everyone looking forward to next year's banquet and what kind of surprise entertainment Nancy will dream up for us then.

Entertain yourself by comparing the “real deal” from the Royal Ballet with that of our White Bluff Chapel boys, tripping the light fantastic in grand style!

Carpenter's Vocal Solo Draws Enthusiastic Response
Posted February 13, 2020

During Chapel Worship Service on February 9, Paula Carpenter shared her musical talent both on piano and voice.  Following her piano solo for the Offertory, she played and sang the special music in place of the choir presenting the anthem.  Carpenter chose the song, "Tell Me More," to the delight of the congregation, which gave her an enthusiastic round of applause.

Paula is just one of many generous Chapel members eager to share their musical talent to enhance the worship experience.

Bible Study Ladies Pull Off Birthday Surprise
Posted February 13, 2020

On Friday, February 7, the Friday Women’s Bible Study group surprised Mary Parish with a salad luncheon to honor her on her birthday.  They provided her with a birthday “crown” and a cake and showered her with cards. 

Mary is usually the one creating the various luncheons and other meal treats for Chapel events. She seemed surprised and pleased to be the on the receiving end this time.  In the photo, Mary is in the center with the crown and mask.

The Bible Study ladies come every Friday from various churches to meet at 10 AM in Fellowship Hall. They study the Bible, see DVDs and study different religious books.  At the moment they are studying the book, Overcomers, by Dr. David Jeremiah.  Pat Griffin leads the discussions.

Annual Chili Cook Off 2020 Draws Record Crowd
Posted February 13, 2020

by Rick Faught

A huge THANK YOU! and a round of applause to all who participated in the 2020 edition of the Men's Ministry Chili Cook off . Over  100 smiling faces were counted enjoying the event and sampling the wide variety of chili entries.  Thank you to everyone who assisted, in addition to the judges.  It was quite the efficient operation. 
This year the number of judges was increased from four to five. Serving as judges were Mark and Debbie Hamner, Paul and Becky Jacobus, and Mike Miller.  All of the judges had had previous judging experience and there was very little difference in the scores, which must indicate that WBC has a lot of good chili cooks.

There were 20 entries in four categories and the winners were:

Wild Game - Ron Williams
With Beans - Nancy Yarbro
Mild - Holly Faught
Hot - Vicki Shultz (using Jerry's recipe)
The Grand Champion from across the four categories was Holly Faught, for the second time since the event started!

The Men's Ministry netted over $700 on this year's event, their only fund-raiser of the year. The funds are destined to be used on various charitable projects throughout our Whitney community.

Pastor Search Committee Reaches a Decision
Posted January 30, 2020

After many months of extensive work and prayerful consideration, the Pastor Search Committee (PSC) is pleased to announce the nomination of Dr. Randy Marshall as the new senior pastor for White Bluff Chapel.  Dr. Marshall (aka Colonel Marshall) has been a chaplain in the United States Air Force since 1989.  He currently serves as the Command Chaplain of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) at Robins AFB, Georgia.  Previously, he served as the AFRC Deputy Command Chaplain while also serving on extended tours of duty in Miami, Florida and in Qatar, a small arab country in western Asia where it shares a border with Saudi Arabia.  Previous to his full-time military service, Dr. Marshall served for 22 years as senior pastor at Baptist churches in Dickinson, Stockdale, and Yorktown, Texas.  During those years, he served as a part-time Reserve Air Force chaplain in Texas, Georgia, Nevada, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  His military training as a chaplain has prepared him well to support our interdenominational needs.  In fact, in his current position, he leads and manages chaplains across the United States who represent over seventy different theological backgrounds.

Dr. Marshall holds a Bachelor of Arts from Howard Payne University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology.  Throughout his years of ministry, Dr. Marshall has been extremely mission-minded, both locally and internationally.  As a pastor, he led mission trips to hurricane-ravaged East Texas and to the economically-disadvantaged northern region of Mexico.  In his military chaplain role, he has had extensive experience in humanitarian care and support.

Dr. Marshall and his wife, Susie, have been married 37 years.  They have two children and one grandchild.  Their son, Blake, and his wife, Lindsey, currently live in Kansas City, Kansas.  Their daughter, Amanda, and grandson, Matthew, reside in Warner Robins, Georgia.  Susie’s 95-year old mother lives in Dallas.  Susie has been a ministry partner with Dr. Marshall throughout their marriage despite health challenges that have left her wheelchair-bound the past three years.  Her delightful sense of humor and her love of Jesus are apparent when you meet her.  Based on his military commitment, the Marshalls will be available to move to White Bluff in June.

A “Meet and Greet” reception is planned for Saturday, February 15 from 3-5pm at White Bluff Chapel.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.  Dr. Marshall will preach on Sunday, February 16.  Following the service, a called congregational meeting will be held and a written ballot vote will be cast by Chapel members. 

Prior to his arrival, examples of Dr. Marshall’s preaching can be heard at the following links: 




https://www.fbcwr.org/media/sermons then scroll down to Media Archive, click on Speaker and select Dr Randy Marshall.

Varied Musical Performances Enrich Worship Service
Posted January 30, 2020

On Sunday, January 19, the musical talent that exists within the Chapel continued elating the congregation and inspiring worship.  On this particular Sunday, two of our best talents were once again on display. White Bluff Chapel Music Director, Tom Reedy, plans the order of music and the performers for each worship service.

The Offertory music was provided by the Chapel's talented organist, Esther Sousa, as she played "Jesus Paid It All" on saxophone.  Esther has performed for WBC on saxophone before and always receives a generous round of applause. 

In place of the regular chorus anthem, the WBC "Ring of Praise" bell choir charmed the congregation with a rendition of "Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him."  Assistant Director Lynette Moore directed the group on this selection. Lois Partridge is the director of the bell choir.

Men's Ministry Clears FM933 Trash
Posted January 16, 2020

On Saturday, January 4, members of the Men's Ministry and other Chapel members spent time walking and cleaning the 2-mile FM933 highway stretch in front of White Bluff Resort. 

The group was joined by Jim and Ann Duncan's grandson, Jeb Duncan.  Jeb was working for community service awards at school.  Joining Jeb were Mark Baker, Gary Copple, John Knightstep, Larry Turner and Rick Faught.  A total of fifteen bags of trash were collected.

More Musical Talent on Display at Chapel Services
Posted January 16, 2020

A wealth of special music has been recently added to WBC's recent worship services, highlighting a variety of talented resources to tap. To open the January 5 service, the three grandsons of Jim and Pat Griffin, Jude, James and Joel, performed a medley of Christmas carols on two violins and a cello.  The three have previously performed for the Chapel, as well.

Two Chapel members who fairly regularly perform as vocal soloists, Patti Moreland and Jeff Williams, separately contributed their talent to embellish the beauty of the season.  Choir member Moreland provided the featured solo during the choir's December 29 special anthem, while Williams, on another Sunday, provided a touching arrangement of the song, "Somebody's Praying," accompanying himself on the guitar.

Debbie Hamner also returned to the WBC dais recently to add her flute accompaniment to the piano embellishments of Paula Campbell for the January 12 choir performance of “Beautiful Savior.”

Any time special musical performances are featured, should anyone take a picture, please send a copy of the photo to Bill Burris at aceburris42@gmail.com so it can be included on the website.  The last time the website highlighted a musical performance, it was the quartet of flutists and Mike Miller was kind enough to send a picture he had managed to take.

Chapel Hosts Community Christmas
Posted January 1, 2020

by Tom Reedy, WBC Music Director

White Bluff Chapel was pleased to host Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance's Community Christmas Service on Sunday evening, December 8. The service was very well attended by the community and, for the first time, the White Bluff Chapel choir had to participate from the fellowship hall when not in the choir loft in order to accommodate all of the other participants and attendees.

The Chapel's bell choir, Ring of Praise, began the service and was followed by the Chapel's choir, three Whitney High School choral groups (Concert Choir, Combined Choirs, and Jazz Choir), the Whitney High School New Blue Jazz Band, and the combined choirs of First Baptist Church and First Church of the Nazarene. The congregation heartily sang carols throughout the service while the groups moved to and from the choir loft.

Local ministers participating in the service included Greg Johnson (First Church of the Nazarene), Jay Morris (First Baptist Church), Philip Wottrich (Our Savior Lutheran Church), and James Pool (White Bluff Chapel). Our own Betty Newman, President of the Ministerial Alliance, opened the service with a welcome and prayer.

Following the service, the Chapel hosted a time of fellowship and refreshments in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. Thank you to Mary Parish and her team, as well as the many Chapel members who provided the delicious Christmas goodies!

Every year this is a much-anticipated event in Whitney and this year's rendition was especially well-received. Many thanks to everyone involved in making this service a success!

Dylan Price Earns Masters Degree
Posted January 1, 2020

On Friday, December 20, 2019, Dylan Ray Price received the Master of Divinity degree from Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary during a Commencement service held at First Baptist Church in Waco. He was also presented the Dr. Abda J. “Chip” Conyers Outstanding Graduate Award for the fall, 2019,  class, which included a collection of books from Smyth and Helwys Publishing, Inc. Both Dylan’s and Shelby’s families shared in the celebration.

The Commencement included joyful hymns, beautiful vocal and instrumental music, and inspirational words for the graduates. The reception following the service overflowed with smiles, hugs and well wishes. 

Please continue to pray for Dylan and Shelby as they begin their ministry in Mount Enterprise, Texas and Shelby recovers from her surgery.

Men's Ministry Assists Another Family
Posted January 1, 2020

Recently the Men's Ministry, specifically Rick Faught and Bill Pierce, came to the rescue of White Bluff residents, Bill and Marcie Burris, to remove leaves from their gutters and around their yard.  It took them the better part of an afternoon to finish what they could.  Seems the Burris's ran out of yard bags with a small amount of work left to be done.  They were most appreciative of the efforts expended by two gracious gentlemen.

The Men's Ministry has been coming forward to give those who need assistance with taking care of their home territory for quite a number of years.  If you have a need, it is suggested that you contact Rick Faught to see if their skills can meet your needs.

New Year Brings Changes in Mission Committees
Posted January 1, 2020

Beginning with the New Year 2020, Tom Edgar is stepping down as Chair of the main Mission Committee.  Vicki Thompson is taking Tom's place and Tom will remain on the committee.

Carla Roberts will be taking over as Chair of the Local Mission Committee.  With the death of Bob Buckner, she is looking for his replacement to be the Chapel liaison for the Sandy Creek Bible Camp mission.

Bill Burris will be replacing Vicki Thompson as Chairman of the Global/National Committee.  Perry Gaudet is joining this committee and will replace Bill Burris as Chapel liaison for Athletes in Action.  Perry brings a unique understanding of what Brian Firle deals with in the cycling arena.  Perry is an avid cyclist, as many of you may know.

Peggy Mitchell continues as Chair of the Education Committee.

The head committees of the three major categories (Local, Global/ National, and Educational) understand the need to be aware of all the missions they support and (in the form of regular reports of their missions' activities) are getting a good return for the money that the Chapel entrusts to them.

Those seeking to know more about the Chapel's mission efforts will find significant information on the Chapel website.  From the main page, select "Get Involved with Missions."  From there, you can find all the information about each of the three major committee categories, as well as the Chapel's overall intent to pursue mission work.

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