Posted By Matthew on December 9, 2013
Before I post this letter, a little context would help. Years ago, I was supported through some of my schooling. I went to a preacher training school, and to Heritage Christian, and even at Lipscomb a couple churches provided some funds. It should be noted, that when I went to Waynesboro, I declined all funds because of the salary increase (one church was giving me 100 dollars a month, the deacon told me I was the first to ever do this). During the early years of ministry, I made nothing or a yearly salary of 16,000 a year. So these funds helped pay for school. Because of this, each year, I send a letter to every congregation or individual that supported my schooling and training. Why? Because I want congregations to be reminded of the money that was spent on me. At that time, I was a young man from Canada that had no Christian roots, and was mostly a stranger in the land. These people took a chance on me, and yes, I am still doing ministry. The letter thanks them for a gift that was given many years ago, but is still blessing me and others. Also, I want these people to support others like me. Some young kid out there who knows no one in the church, is wanting to preach the gospel, and there are people who can support them. Maybe in some small way, my letter can help someone else find funding to go to school to preach. I know that not every one had this opportunity, but for some reason God provided it to me. It should be noted that I have paid for a lot of my schooling too. But during the early days, the help, helped. Here is the letter. It was cleaned up some before it went off, this is the rough draft.
My prayer is that this letter greets you during a time of blessings. After some reflection, it has been ten years so far in writing this update letter. Hopefully, no one is tired of hearing from me. The likelihood is that some of you have forgotten who I am. If you have, just be reminded that you made an impact on my life.
This November was the fifth year anniversary of being the pulpit minister for the Castle Rock church of Christ. The congregation has had the best year yet. We grew by over 20 percent in attendance, and the contribution increased by roughly 15 percent. I know numbers are not everything, but it is nice to have good numbers. We are in the process of adding another elder, and we just installed two new deacons. We also set a record for the number of baptisms in a year within the congregation. Ministry is filled with seasons of sorrow and seasons of joy, after 12 years of full time ministry, I like the joyous seasons better.
After five years of hearing about my schooling, “It is finished!” Yes, I finally graduated with my Doctorate degree. On a funny note, I graduated High School last in my class, and somehow I won the Academic Award for being the top student. Only through the power of Christ was this accomplished. In a way, school will be missed. I enjoyed the challenge of it, but rest assured, I am on to other projects. Right now I completed a rough draft of a book on “Mountain Moving Faith” for the Gospel Advocate company. Hopefully this book will be out soon.
This was the first year that I ended up traveling a lot. Every other year, if someone wants me to speak, it almost convinced me that miracles were happening. But this year, I was on a few special programs. The door opened to speak at Fresno, CA , the Men’s Retreat in Portland, A Men’s Retreat in Ohio, as well as a Gospel Meeting, A Gospel Meeting in Borger, TX, a Youth Rally in Texas, and a Senior’s Camp in Corpus Christi, the Prison Conference in Florence, AL, the Scholar’s Conference in Nashville, and at the Heritage Christin lectureship. It was a busy season of traveling, and hopefully this year will not be as intense. Also, I wrote a few articles for the Gospel Advocate. The sad part of all this was that I did not get to attend my graduation because I was double booked.
Charity, Gabrielle, and Noah are doing excellent. Charity is home schooling the kids. From my perspective, she is the best, and doing a great job. She is the best wife ever. Gabrielle is 8 and Noah is 6. Charity still looks like she is 18. Charity is highly involved in the education program at the congregation. She and a couple of the ladies totally revamped the Bible School. Gabrielle did gymnastic for most of the year, and the boy is still into animals, though I am hoping to get him into hockey.
As for me, I am still climbing mountains. There are 58 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado, and I have summited 51, to the consternation of the elders who are afraid of having to do a preacher’s search. We will not mention the wife’s feelings about this.
Once again, thank you for the support you provided me now over ten years ago. All that is happening in my life is because of your sacrifice and kindness toward me. Through your support and encouragement, hopefully God is using me as a blessing to His church. Thank you.
Dr. Matthew Morine