First Baptist Lawton-Fort Sill has seen a number of exciting changes over the last couple of months. First and foremost, we called a new pastor, Mike Keahbone. We appreciate him and his family for hitting the ground running as they transition to Lawton. Also, thanks to the Pastor Search Committee for their efforts.

Another exciting change has been a work in progress. The Vision 2020 project has physically begun. After many months of planning, the first day of outside contractor demolition began on Monday, August 10. In the last couple of months, permits were gathered, bids were taken, and furniture was ordered. I am sure you will notice many changes and frankly messes in the welcome area over the next few months. Please be patient with our progress. Reed Johnson is coordinating with the construction management team. That is no small task so pat him on the back and encourage him along the way. The goal is for completion prior to the Living Christmas Tree. The Vision 2020 Committee will meet and oversee along the way as well.

To paraphrase Luke 12:48, we have been provided a great church and given much. Much is expected of us since we have been given such an abundance. The overall mission for this project is to welcome others. When the project is complete, let’s use the gifts and talents that we have to welcome all others to our church and most importantly to Christ.

This last Sunday, Pastor Mike, gave a message from Joshua 22:5 that reads: “Only carefully obey the command and instruction that Moses the Lord’s servant gave you: to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, keep His commands, remain faithful to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” With each person’s gifts, this project can meet each one of these instructions. The Vision 2020 Committee and staff appreciate your faithfulness and continued giving during these times that are not so easy. As I stated earlier, the construction has begun this week. The contractors, tradesmen, and laborers will be hard at work and in and out of our church building over the next few months. That will take patience and vision on our part so we can celebrate the completion later in the year. I would also ask that we treat our construction guests with the utmost respect and be a welcoming church before the project is complete. We never know how God can use us so that others can see a light in us. The committee asks for your prayers regarding a successful and safe project. I look forward to sharing the accomplishment with all of you in the near future. In the meantime, we welcome the Keahbone family back to the Lawton community.

Justin Phelps

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