Dear Pastor and Friends, March&April 2012
Sowing seed and plowing fields as well as pulling weeds is the constant work of those who wish to raise a crop. The Lord often used such examples as he talked about the Kingdom of God and the work that was to be done. Little has changed over the years … we still sow the seed of the Word, water it with more of the Word, and in due season, we Reap the Harvest. In the first year of the planting of a local Church, we spend a great deal of time plowing and then sowing seed. Now in this second year, we are working on watering that seed and sowing more seed. The constant is always there as we deal with weeds, thorns, rocks, and of course, the Devil, as he snatches away the seed before it can take root. Is not the Word of God so true? But, in the midst of all this work, we have the joy of seeing folks saved and even at this very time, we have three ready to baptize. God has been so good to us as we are getting to reap again from that which has been sown!
Fighting the Good Fight
We have seen visitors in nearly every morning service as well as visitors in the evening services. But though we are seeing God work in bringing in new people, we have also experienced the loss of a few people along the way as some have decided to drop out. It’s always hard to deal with such matters when some choose to leave, but it happens and we must go on. We are reminded that the ministry is not without its disappointments, nor is it without its challenges. God is still good!! His Word is still true!! He is coming back …and I believe it will be soon!
The Car Is Now With Us
Praise the Lord!! We now have a reliable vehicle to use for our Lord. Through your gracious gifts and prayers, we have been able to obtain a good used vehicle with low mileage to use for the Lord. Thank you all for your help!!!!!!
Our outreach in this spring will be to families in our area that so desperately need the help of God. Many are struggling financially and broken homes seem to be the order of the day. Yet God has the answer!! Pray for us as we reach into our neighborhoods with the truth of God’s Word for the Family. Thank you for your support and your prayers for the needs of this great City of Vancouver nestled in the Northwest!! Virl & Sandy Psalm 96:6
August 2011 Dear Pastor, This country is Bankrupt! Though many would fearfully agree with this statement ...citing recent financial setbacks, it is not money that I’m talking about … it’s Spiritually Bankrupt!! When the leadership and the rank and file of our nation cannot bring themselves to ask God for help, we are Bankrupt! All across this country folks are taking a casual approach to God. We used to “dress up” into “church clothes” when we went to Church. Now we “dress down” … “come as we are”…“get comfortable” … and yes, with the “down grade”, we have become … almost “disrespectful” of God. 2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Christians need to “step up to the plate” by setting the example for those who are weak in the faith and for the unsaved. In the attempt to “attract” people and bring people into the Church, we have made it so easy that now folks have no “awe” of God. God’s people need to “wake up” … and “stand up” for God. He is Worthy of Worship and of Praise! Our news is one of great praise to the Lord who has enabled us to be here in the Northwest! How important our Church is to the city of Vancouver, Washington! Our city is known as the 7th most “Gay Friendly City” in America. Portland, Oregon just across the River from us hosts a naked bicycle ride each year which draws thousands. Immorality is filling our cities as Sodomy, drunkenness, drugs, adultery, murder and general lewdness makes us look more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah. I said we are important to Vancouver because here at Majesty Baptist Church a person will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ preached ... and be invited to be saved! When people get saved at Majesty Baptist... they are saved from their sins not saved with their sins! So many today want to continue in their sins ... but be saved from Hell. It doesn’t work that way... God expects us to leave the old life behind and to mortify the deeds of the flesh! You can’t do that without Christ’s forgiveness. You might say I’m a little riled up.... and you’d be right! I’m tired of middle of the road Christianity that goes nowhere, does nothing, and leaves folks empty with a form of godliness but no power! We are to be the salt of the earth ... but many have lost their saltiness! Still others have abandoned the faith that was once delivered and are trying to give folks the “world with a Christian wrapper” , rock and roll music, beer, vile language, and tattoos. Christian wrapper? ... yes, rock music (as long as the name Jesus is in there... somewhere.), Beer (as long as you don’t get drunk.), Vile language (as long as you’re quoting the reformers), Tattoos (as long as you have a “spiritual theme”)! Come on ... that’s just plane wickedness! People need the Lord ... who has saved multitudes from that ungodliness …cleaning their lives up from the inside out! Since coming here we have seen folks saved and others rescued from lives that have been broken by churches that have been overcome by the flesh. Over and over again I have heard people say,“there is just nowhere to go to church in Vancouver...” and then they tell me their story of broken promises and broken hearts. One dear lady said her church was taken over with rock music and the preacher is now just an entertainer…..no more preaching! We have come here to make a difference ... and little by little, we are doing just that as we reach out to the lost and the fallen. It’s not easy to get people to trust you after they have been abandoned and left without real Bible preaching. But we are seeing visitors in nearly every service and we are seeing folks helped as they begin to trust us with their souls. Sheep need a shepherd who will watch for their souls ... with your help, that’s what we are giving them. Please pray with us as we continue to reach the lost sheep and the broken hearted of the city of Vancouver, Washington. Thank you for your much needed prayers and support to help us here in Vancouver!! The Stalnakers Psalms 96:6
Dear Pastor, Spring 2011
New Testament Church Planting
Church planting is just that … it’s planting. Planting involves many different actions as you prepare the ground to get it ready for the seed. Any good farmer knows that all soil is not the same …. There is way- sided ground … not in the main area.. not been plowed before. This ground is going to have to be broken up, stirred up, and clods will have to removed before seed will really take root. Then you must deal with the thorns, thistles, rocks, and dry ground. Then there is the over- planted ground which is nutrient starved from universalism, Calvinism, reformation-ism, ecumenicalism, modernism, emerging church-ism, Mormonism, Catholicism, and of course atheism. All of these ism’s mess up the ground and make planting such a difficult task. Next you add climate changes as folks have become “lukewarm” in their faith (we have been seeing a lot of that), contrary winds of doctrine as many have left “the faith once delivered” chasing after something that pleases the flesh, bad farmers (pastors who messed up), lack of supplies, waning support (as some decide not to stay till the harvest) , discouragement, and many of these lead to health problems. It takes a lot of just plain old hard work, a lot of prayer, and God sending “..the former and latter rain ..” We have had a lot of rain here in Washington (HA) and now we need the Son to shine in the hearts of the people of our land.
The Fruit Of Our Labor
This past weekend we baptized Jerry and Peggy Smith, a really great couple who came our way not long ago. It’s such a joy to see the seed take root in people’s lives and see the growth in their lives. The story behind their coming and being saved and baptized is one of the faithful planting of seed by a family that loved them and we had the joy of bringing them in. The night Peggy was saved was a hard one for my wife and I … you see we were both sick … sick with sorrow over “climate changes” and “contrary winds” that were sweeping through the lives of some people we love very much. But as sick as we were we were reminded of Ecc 11:4 “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” So we went and oh how happy we were that we did go … for there was waiting for us the fruit of our labor. Peggy was saved and Jerry wanted to be baptized… how open they both were to God’s Word! Now the task of discipleship is at hand as we take that which is supplied and begin to shape, teach, prune, and groom God’s special harvest.
In His Time
“To everything there is a season….” we are told this and truly we see it as we continue the repetition of plowing, removing the stones, gathering the seed, planting, watering, weeding, pruning, and then reaping the harvest. Repetition becomes an important part of the cycle as we preach, teach, visit, and sow the seed wherever we go. Dealing with the obstacles that are there in the way and leaving the door open for future visits… we press on. We pray daily for the flock of God that we have been entrusted with .. seeing to their health, leading them beside the stilled waters, and caring for their souls gives us a great love for the sheep of His pasture. It takes time to grow and time to see God establish His heritage among the people of this great city. Often I look for a place … a building that might be ours for the work of the ministry. A church building takes time to build or find. Finances are necessary to buy and equip a building… it will take time. Often I see a facility with its equipment, pews, and chairs….and I think to myself, “One of these days”!!!!! Pray for us!!!! Though we are small now… In His Time we will have a place for Majesty Baptist Church here in Vancouver, Washington.
Thank you for your support that is so needed as we continue to plant here in the northwest.
May God continue to bless your work as you continue to serve Him in your field!!!!
Behind the plow,
Dear Pastors and Friends, February/March 2011
The NEW YEAR has begun and it is a joy to see the work growing and prospering under the hand of God. Our expectations have not been realized to the extent that we had hoped .. but the Church is progressing and we are seeing first time visitors nearly every Sunday Morning! PRAISE THE LORD!!!
We have gone through a few battles over various doctrines of the Church that some from other backgrounds have not experienced before. The New Testament Baptist Church must take its stand for the Bible, Salvation, Baptism, and Separation if we are to be what the Lord has called us to be. Many times we face the false teaching of Universalists who practice a distorted form of “Local Church” in a “universal sort of way”! Such practices do not honor the Lord and His Local Church. One large church in our area just recently moved their congregation into the Mall taking up thousands of square feet of space. As they were conducting some Saturday night services with their “rock and roll music”, one of our members stopped by and questioned some of their pastors as to what their doctrines were. “Doctrine .. “ ..they said, “..you won’t find doctrine in there … doctrine divides … we don’t teach doctrine … but what we do unites people…” . But you could well ask the question, “..unites them to what?” Through our area we are finding it the same way … folks have religion but very little of Christ .. they flock to their rock music but know nothing of worship that pleases the Lord. It is for this reason that we have been conducting a study of “Where our Bible came from “ and the “Miraculous way God has preserved His Book from generation to generation”. We have also launched a chapter by chapter study of the early Church as found in the Book of Acts. A well taught people will have the tools to live a faithful life for the living God!
Our outreach into the community, though dampened by the winter rain, has proceeded with some success. Each week we are in different neighborhoods distributing tracts and information about our church. We have two couples who have been very faithful in getting the information out and now we are seeing a few more of our folks come out on visitation. We praise the Lord for each person that is getting involved in the Lord’s work.
Our greatest need is for souls to be saved. The future of any ministry is in the winning of souls and in the making of disciples who will continue the work. We certainly want to rescue those who have no church … those who have watched as their church fades into liberalism and falls into the use of multiple versions of the Bible. The music changes from the “old hymns of the faith” to a “rock and roll” style that appeals only to the flesh. Those caught up in such a falling away find themselves discouraged and left alone to seek some sort of church they can worship in. When they have found us … they have often said, “We didn’t think there were any churches left that still preached from the K.J.V. and sang from the old hymnbooks of the faith!” For these folks we have become a welcomed “haven of rest” and a place of “encouragement and peace”.
Please continue your prayers and your support!!! You have been greatly used to enable us to come here and establish this work for God and we are very THANKFUL!!! It will soon be a year since we first started Majesty Baptist Church and” Oh what a blessing” it has brought to more than 30 people who have come to be part of this work.
From the Field of Vancouver, Washington,
Virl and Sandy Stalnaker
Dear Pastor and Churches, MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How often I have found myself saying , “Well, it’s the Lord’s Church … He will have to do the work.” Usually those words are spoken when someone doesn’t respond to things the way I think they should respond. Working with lost people and saved people requires wisdom, faith, and a lot of Grace at times, as you work through their troubles and show them the way. The shepherd is to be mindful of feeding the flock and watering the flock .. but also he must be mindful of those who have been wounded and need the shepherd’s hand to bind up that which has been broken. Thankfully, we have the Great Shepherd who understands and is able to do and be more than we could possibly hope for in our own strength!
We asked you to pray about a place for us to move to that would be more suited to our needs. God opened up another facility that is owned by the school system we have been renting from. It is in another location and we are excited about the possibilities. The location gives us the use of the board room which seats more than 100 people. There are also side rooms that serve as Sunday school and nursery rooms for our people. The cost is greater but the facilities are much more suited to the church than a gym and some hall ways. With this opportunity came the need to reprint much of our literature and then hit the sidewalks with the new material. It’s exciting to move into a new area knowing that you will reach folks who have not been reached before!
For a Scriptural understanding of the starting and building of a true New Testament Baptist Church, we have only to look in our K.J.V. Bible to know that a Church is born out of a Church.
It is our joy to be under the authority of Cleveland Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio. On November 28, 2010, our pastor, Dr. Kevin Folger, was here to organize Majesty Baptist Church. This was an exciting time as we saw our people come together to form the Lord's Church! We have been teaching Bible Doctrine to our folks and teaching them the importance of unity in the local church! 1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I recently made a statement in a sermon, “As you know …”. This was made in reference to an event in the Bible which I felt was well known so I needed not go into the full explanation … which would allow me to go on with what I wanted to say. After the service a couple wanted to talk to me … they said “ Preacher, when you say “As you know..” … we don’t know!” I had to learn yet again that not all have the Biblical Backgrounds. I was reminded to take more time and build their understanding. What a joy it is to see folks learn and grow!
We are still growing and still working on becoming a faithful functioning local church that cares about souls and lives …and for the return of our Saviour and Lord. The days ahead will be spent working and praying together to build a Church that is truly self-propagating, self-governing, and self-supporting … these are our goals. While we work at this, we need your continued prayers and support to see this accomplished. In the mean time, there has been established a New Testament Baptist Church here in the City of Vancouver, WA.! Thank you for being a part!
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Serving Our Lord in His Majesty,
Virl and Sandy Stalnaker
Dear Pastor and friends, May and June
The Blessing ...
The last 10 weeks have been such a blessing to us as Majesty Baptist Church still develops and grows.
The Scriptures says of the early church "…and the Lord added unto the church daily..". I'm so happy to say that each day we become aware new people … families that call or come out to services. We are visiting, witnessing, preaching and teaching the wonderful truth of God's Word. We are having the time of our lives as we challenge the liberal mind set which has turned God away. Just this week we visited in a home where the man said he was a student of the Bible , "I've read the Bible through many times.." He proceeded to tell us that he doubted that ".. our church could draw his attention!" So I being a Baptist preacher … decided to examine the "intellect of this one who was so arrogant
and so versed in the Bible. " so I asked him a simple question, Sir, if I had 5 minutes to live and that's all and I knew it …. What could you tell me that would get me into Heaven?" He looked at me and laughed … and then said, "Well, it's too late for you! … you've waited too long!" The trouble is that I've heard that answer too many times … and too often from those who claim they know God .. But know nothing of Salvation! I have told them, "I'm glad I don't serve the same God that you do … because my Lord looked to a thief dying next to him on the cross and said to him "TODAY thou shalt be with ME in
Paradise." I left that man with the thought of what was said …. as he refused even to accept our gospel literature. People need to be challenged … and we intend to do that. God has also put us in touch with people who are searching … folks who are not sure but wanting to know more. Just yesterday our next door neighbor said "preacher we need to talk .." they will be away for a few days but when they get back he wants to meet. With me … he has questions and I know God has the answers. Church planting is all about these kinds of encounters meeting with people .. Hearing their needs and questions and then bring them to Christ. That is what the scriptures teach us is sowing, watering, and reaping. We want to do the reaping … but we don't like the sowing, and watering part … the breaking up of fallowed ground so that the seed of the Word can take root. Thank you for being a part of the process by caring and sharing , by giving so this church planter can be on the field doing want has to be done to accomplish the task of planting a New Testament Baptist Church.
Sandy and I are doing well … we both have had our bough's with illness … and have been through some illness .. But we are still at it . Something for you to pray about … our daughter Deborah will be having their first child on July 19th. Lord willing. As many of you know this is a high risk pregnancy. Deborah had gamma knife surgery in 2009 to correct a view and artery problem deep inside her brain. By God's Grace she came through the procedure just fine … and He has continued to bless her through out this healing process which the doctors said would be all of two years. But now with the child coming we again need you to pray. Her condition is such that a normal delivery will not be possible because of the pressure that would be involved with the labor. So the c section will take place July 19th … please pray that all will be well.
The Additional Laborers
The Lord said we should pray that God would "send forth labourers into his harvest…" and indeed we have! God has answered and many of you have Helped! Brother Deaunoe gave us 5000 John and Romans free … our Home Church and Pastor Folger sent $300 + dollars to pay for the shipping … North Columbus Baptist Church Gave up their secretary ( Our Daughter Deborah) for a week so she could set up our books and get our house in order…. Still other have taken up the cause to support us … in prayer and financially. The Lord is so good!
If I have given you the idea that everything is going "fantastic" please understand … it is! I have often been quoted when asked how are you? "Oh! I'm Great, Fantastic, Super, and Colossal!" Many laugh and say you couldn't mean that … but I do! In Christ Jesus I am that and so much more! That is not to say that we haven't faced a fight against Satan and the "powers and principalities" … we certainly are!
Extra costs , break downs, one of our $200.00 signs was stolen, personal sorrows and health problems both in our lives and the lives of those who have joined with us. The battle to stay up when others are down and to stay true … when others are throwing in the towel. But as Paul once said "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
Act 20:24 So, I'm Still "Great, Fantastic, Super, and Colossal!"
Living the Life,
Virl and Sandy
March 22, 2010
Dear Pastors and Friends,
Our First Sunday
PRAISE THE LORD!!!! Our first morning service was held Sunday March 14th!!!! We have long awaited this day and what a joy it was as we met with 14 in attendance
We have been privileged to have 3 “Baptist” families join with us in the start of this work. For those of you who have started a church you understand the value of people who already know how to help!
Hitting the Streets
The past two Saturdays we have begun to visit in the area where York Elementary School is located. We are making ready with “John and Romans” to hand out and additional tracts are being printed. As we go forth we are praying that God will open the hearts of those in the area that they might hear and believe.
The work has begun such as: printing of tracts, buying printed signs, working with sound systems, setting up the key board, packing up song books, buying and setting up computer software, and getting the car packed for the services. We have no storage at the school so everything has to be brought in and taken out! Oh, and making sure my message is ready to deliver! We will need a trailer to transport and store everything in to make transportation more efficient. (Something to pray about!) It’s Great! The Lord is so very GOOD!
Thank you and God bless each and every one of you who has helped us financially and prayerfully over the holidays and in the beginning of this new year!!!!! We Praise God for the faithful pastors, churches, and friends HE has given us these past twenty months of deputation!!!!!!
Now In Vancouver,
Virl & Sandy
Support address: Cleveland Baptist Church, 4431 Tiedeman Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44144
Field Address: Majesty Baptist Church, P.O. Box 821787, Vancouver,Washington, 98682, (360-687-8538)
E-Mail: Please send us your Church e-mail address if you would like to help us cut the costs of postage and receive your letter by e-mail…..thank you!!!!
September / October 09
Greetings From Vancouver, Washington,
We have been busy traveling to and fro raising our support from churches across America. Our travels have taken us into some really great churches. We have met many people with a heart for God who have a burden for their Jerusalem desiring that folks would get saved, but many are concerned because the world seems to be so hard and indifferent to the Gospel message. The Heart of our God must prevail. 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. These words remind us that God's agenda has not changed. These words were written concerning our time "…in the last days.." 2 Peter 3:3
when the scoffer comes challenging our faith. But God still is not willing that any should perish.. The mission has not changed … but I think we have. We have not succeeded in reaching the lost so we've tried to rationalize by claiming the hardness of hearts, or that we are 'in the last days' … but the Lord is still not willing "..that any should perish." May we rekindle our efforts … and fervently pray for a revival in our midst that we might see the 'any' saved!
We were able to spend a little over a week in Vancouver during which we did some of the preparatory work that was wont to be done: the setting up of a post office box (Our box number is P.O. Box 821787 Vancouver, WA 98682.); searching for a meeting place; contacting people in the area that we had heard of or meeting with those who have contacted us. We have chosen a name, Majesty Baptist Church and we have chosen a verse; Psalms 96:6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
If you will give us the time and the tools, we will invest the treasure in this "earthen vessel" to accomplish the task to which God has called us. Time? … we ask for your time in prayer asking the Lord our God for the power, mercy, grace ,wisdom and timing we need in the planting of this church. Tools?... materials we will need to present ourselves to the community. Printing needs to be done, tracts need to be obtained, advertisements need to be presented, hymnals purchased, a pulpit (something portable) , web site set up, yellow pages ad, portable key board, program for setting up bulletins and other church projects, financial support to keep me on the field. Treasure? … the truth of the gospel that God has put in me .. and my life .. every moment of it invested in the people of Vancouver and the surrounding areas who have little chance of hearing the gospel. The planting a of local New Testament Baptist Church requires a great deal of prayer, financial assistance, equipment, and plain old- fashioned hard work … but think of the benefit …souls saved for all eternity!
Thank you for your help,
The Stalnakers Romans 8:28
Support address: Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Rd Cleveland, OH 44144
July – August 2009
The Warfare of Prayer
The engagement of the enemy took on a personal aspect as our grandson, Josiah, was smitten with a tumor on the brain. I cannot fully express the toll it has taken on Jason and Suzie, (our daughter and son-in-law), myself, my wife and the rest of the family and friends. We can honestly say ".. we didn't see it coming." Days and weeks were spent trying to save this little four year old boy who is the apple of our eyes! With all the care we feel in trying to start the church .. this care was added… but not without purpose from God. Truly the Lord our God has had purpose in driving us to our knees in our petitions for little Josiah Lee Herring. Prayer became more important to us as we searched for healing in a desperate time. God’s answer came just 55 days after Josiah first went to the hospital… God took our precious grandson HOME! I’m so glad he had a home to go to! The lessons we have learned about prayer, friendships, God’s Word, and the importance of Faith have been invaluable.
Thank you is due all of you who prayed, fasted, and journeyed with us through this difficult trial.
The Battle for Support
More meetings and more support is needed so we can be about the task of building a church to the Glory of God. With times being what they are it is difficult to raise support. Though the need is great, so too is the Greatness of our GOD! We started full time deputation in July of 2008 and at this point are just over half in our support level. Please pray for new meetings and that our support might increase.
The Advancing of Our Faith
Local Church Planting requires a willingness on our part to advance for the cause of our faith. The lines are being drawn as we see and hear of more attacks against the faithful. Yet, I am reminded that to this fight we are called … it is for this purpose that I have been sent forth to fight , to labor, and through the power of the Living God to be Victorious! The conflict is not new to the Christian of years gone by .. but I think it is new for those of us who have had it relatively easy up to now. We must now know what we believe and why we believe it …we must be practiced in the use of the Scriptures as a weapon to fight off the attacks of those who hate our Lord. The days of allowing someone else to carry the load of study and of putting on the whole armor of God… those days are gone. Let us rise up in prayer and do all that we can to secure the Victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.
On The Battle Field,