Meet Buddy Dukes

FBC Jesup,

I enjoy reading. Sadly, I don’t take as much time as I used to, but I enjoy reading—especially a good novel. As a kid and teenager, I would try to stay up as late as possible reading. One of my favorite series to read as a child was The Hardy Boys. These mysteries captured my attention. We have a phrase for a good book that captures our attention—page-turner. I used to get so frustrated when my parents would tell me to finish the chapter before going to sleep, because all too often the chapter would end with a situation that would have my imagination buzzing with possible outcomes.

That is where I find myself today. Quite a few pages have turned for my family recently, and rather quickly, if I might add. Since August 11, we have made quite a few changes, decisions, and moved 520 miles.

If you are just now following us, please know my family and I are excited to be at FBC Jesup. I am excited to begin as Minister to Middle School & High School Students! I am told that you may want to know the Duke Crew a bit better, so here’s some info on us:

I was raised in a Christian home around Macon, GA. Creston Groover was my Youth Pastor. I came to faith in Christ at a young age. I attended Gilead Christian Academy in Macon, and then graduated from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, TN with a degree in Bible. Misty was raised in a Christian home around Covington, KY. She attended Calvary Christian School and she also graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. We married in May of 2003. The Lord has blessed us with four great kids: Hannah (14), Jude (13), Levi (10) & Gavin (8). We enjoy playing sports, watching movies, and going out to eat.

My full-time ministry experience began in 2005 when I began as Youth & Children’s Pastor at Rentz Baptist Church in Rentz, GA outside of Dublin. In 2008, I began as Youth & Children’s Pastor at Steubenville Baptist Church in Monticello, KY. After 9 years in that role, Steubenville called me to be Senior Pastor in 2017. I have often described myself as a “Utility Pastor”, however, my passion is for middle school & high school students.

A new chapter has begun—for FBC Jesup and the Duke crew. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for all of us in the coming days. May we be open to all that this next chapter brings. I pray it’s a page-turner!

Buddy Duke

Youth News for July 2019

The Summer 2019 youth program has started off so well! We are well into a series called "put off, put on" where we have been talking about putting off the old self and putting on the new self like in Ephesians 4:22-24. 
 
On both Wednesday nights and Sunday nights, topics will be something like "put off anxiety, put on trusting the Lord". Thankfully, there are several faithful members of our youth group that attend regularly and will surprise you with their depth of understanding of the Bible and their obvious ability to dive deeper into their relationship with the Lord.
Our Wednesday night dive-ins have been my favorite events of the summer so far. The Thomas family kicked us off in their pool at the beginning of the summer, and we have a summer calendar full of dive-in volunteer houses.
 
I will always be impressed with our churches long and consistent response to volunteer opportunities. Several dedicated adult volunteers went to Camp Hawkins and helped lead our own youth group there as well. Many of these same volunteers showed up the very next week to serve in VBS and have their names as a Dive-In host this summer. 
 
I am thankful for your prayers for the youth program and your active involvement in the youth group. I find encouragement and love from our community everywhere I look. Everyone will tell me they appreciate that I am here, they ask what food they can bring to the next event, and they make it so clear they love me and love our youth.
 
I would also like to express my appreciation to our church at large, but specifically to my youth committee. I won't list their names here, but their meeting and talking with me about the vision for our youth group has been the foundation for a bold proclamation of Gospel truth among our youth group this summer. Each of them has been faithful and loving servants to me and to the youth group. Thank you.
 
In Christ,
 
Asher Kenerly
 

Welcome To Our New Youth Intern, Asher Kenerly

We are very blessed to have  Asher Kenerly as our Youth Intern this summer. Asher is a recent graduate from Georgia Tech, and he will be taking a job in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC after his time with us. Asher's is excited to be home  for the summer doing work that he loves serving the Lord and leading others to Christ.

During his tenure at Georgia Tech, Asher was involved within the Baptist Campus Ministries organization where he served as president his senior year. He has hosted their planning retreat at his  home here in Jesup, and he has spearheaded the backpack distribution for the Georgia Tech BCM. He has a heart for serving and looks forward to spending time at home leading our students to a deeper and more personal relationship with Christ. We are grateful to have Asher joining us this summer serving with our youth.

Developing relationships with each other and being intentional within those relationships is an important step in becoming an active member in our youth department. One way you can make that happen is to participate in the activities we have planned for our youth in the next couple of months. Some of the events already on the calendar include:

  • ·Sunday nights and more events to come
  • ·Dive-ins—Most Wednesdays all summer
  • ·Camp Hawkins—June 12, 13, 15—go over in the morning and return each afternoon AND also help unload the campers in front of the church on June 16th and join them as they sing in our morning worship service
  • ·Vacation Bible School—June 17-21 (a special trip is planned on the 21st for the youth who work in VBS)
  • ·Attend the rescheduled lock-in for all our youth

We are working on planning other activities, and we will announce them as they are finalized. We want our youth involved and active in the ministries of our church, but we also want them to know it is ok the have fun while you are participating.

The Youth Minister Search Committee continues to meet on a regular basis as they search for the person God has planned for us as our new youth minister. The search committee has committed to working together to find that person,  and the committee asks that each of you to please keep the members in your prayers. Also, please continue praying for whomever the Lord had planned to come serve in our church as the Youth Minister. Pray that his/her heart will be open to serve the Lord at FBC Jesup, and pray that we will welcome him/her with open arms and open hearts.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Isn't that a question we all ask ourselves from time to time. We had an incredible D-Now weekend. The Bible study was intriguing, the activities were exhausting, and the food was amazing. We had over 31 students participating with us, and we are seeing some more excitement with our youth. But really, where do we go from here?

This is not a time for us to sit back and talk...we are called to action! There are some wonderful Sunday School teachers and parents who are working in the background to ensure that we do not lose the momentum our church has worked and supported together to build.  Developing relationships with each other and being intentional within those relationships is an important step. One way you can make that happen is to participate in the activities we have planned for our youth in the next couple of months. Some of the events already on the calendar include:

  • ·Lock-in starting at 5:00pm—May 17
  • ·Graduation Sunday—May 19 (we need youth to serve the meal)
  • ·Asher Kenerly—youth intern arrives—May 19
  • ·Dive-ins—May 29 and most Wednesdays all summer
  • ·Camp Hawkins—June 12, 13, 15—go over in the morning and return each afternoon AND also help unload the campers in front of the church on June 16th and join them as they sing in our morning worship service
  • ·Vacation Bible School—June 17-21 (a special trip is planned on the 21st for the youth who work in VBS)
  • ·CentriFUGE—TBA—we are trying to nail down a specific date, so watch for that announcement

We are working on planning other activities, and we will announce them as they are finalized. We want our youth involved and active in the ministries of our church, but we also want them to know it is ok the have fun while you are participating.

The Youth Minister Search Committee is meeting on a regular basis as they search for the person God has planned for us as our new youth minister. The search committee has committed to  working together to find that person,   and the committee asks that each of you to please keep the members of the search committee in your prayers. Also, please continue praying for whomever the Lord had planned to come serve in our church as the Youth Minister. Pray that his/her heart will be open to serve the Lord at FBC Jesup, and pray that we will welcome him/her with open arms and open hearts.

Denise Voyles

PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSNGS FLOW!

Our D-NOW weekend has ended. After weeks of intense preparation, prayer, and persistence, we had 31 youth who spent a weekend together learning how to write and tell their story. Our AMAZING host homes made the students feel unconditionally welcome, and that simple fact moved the students from scattered groups of children to cohesive teams. Thank you to Amy and Creston Groover, Sabrina and Eddie Thomas, Keri and Bill Headley, and Melissa and Walt Pinder for loving on your students and welcoming them into your homes.

Asher Kenerly, one of our own former D-NOW students, created a team of group leaders who led the students through the Bible study. These young men and women took time from their spring break to come to Jesup and love on our kids, and they give us hope for the future of our nation. I want to give a huge shout-out to Christina (also one of our former youth), Powell, Bradley, Mack, David, and Andrew for loving our students. Asher will be our youth intern this summer, and this weekend gave him the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a relationship with the youth.

The greatest thank you of the weekend goes to our congregation for your support, prayer, and donations to our mission project. Lynn Jones raised the bar in her challenge during the children’s sermon, and what an overwhelming response we witnessed from our church! What a way to represent the words of Christ in Matthew 25:37, 41, “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? The king will answer, ‘The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’” You gave 381 cans of vegetables, 232 variations of spaghetti and sauce, Beefaroni, ravioli, spaghettios, and spaghetti and meatballs, 176 cans of soups and stews, 146 cans of meat, 171 boxes/bags of grits, oatmeal, and cereal, 121 bags/boxes rice, noodles, and dried beans, 32 jars of peanut butter, 36 jars of jelly, 181 miscellaneous paper products, tooth brushes, and toothpaste, and finally 127 various items. That is 1603 items, and you donated them all! Dedra Shuman, Linda Hires, Linda Jones, Suzette Williamson, and Buddy Williamson did an amazing job keeping the Food Pantry flowing while we were all outside with the Block Party.

The question of the day is, “Where do we go from here?” The Youth Search Committee has met twice, and we are laying the groundwork for our search for the Minister to Students that God has chosen for us. The committee members are Tina Anderson, Robert Headley, Jerri Henderson, Joe McPipkin, Angie Schrum, Miki Thomaston, Gina Thornton, Denise Voyles, and Suzette Williamson. We are committed to keeping the momentum from our D-NOW weekend and helping our students grow in their relationship with Christ. Please feel free to offer your help and respond with, “I’d be happy to help.” when you are approached with a need in our youth department. Together we can do this and make an eternal difference in the lives of our students.

Denise Voyles

Got Youth? Get Involved!

Hey y’all! This is Denise Voyles writing the youth article for The Witness this month. As you all know, Zach has moved to Tennessee following God’s plan to become a full-time lead pastor. As we have all enjoyed his time with us and the messages he shared from the pulpit, I am confident that God will move in miraculous ways in his new church home. Continue to keep Zach and his family in your prayers.

There are adults working behind the scenes planning to ensure there is no gap in our Youth Ministry in Zach's absence. Our youth are the future of our church, and we must lift them up and intercede for them in prayer. Also, please pray for those adult leaders who feel God’s prompting to step up and stand in the Youth Ministry gap. Also, if you are willing to help with our youth, please let Earl, Creston, or Mike know. God can use all of us!

We have an amazing youth event planned for March 22-24. It is our annual D-NOW (also called Disciple Now) weekend. Our church is joining with Calvary, First Screven, First Ludowici, Anderson Drive, and Altamaha to host this opportunity for the youth in Wayne County. Asher Kenerly, our summer youth intern, is bringing a team to lead our youth, and I am so excited to have the honor of working with D-NOW. We have several activities, Bible studies, and worship services planned. Our students will be staying in host homes Friday through Sunday, and our Brotherhood is providing breakfast Sunday morning for all our youth at 8:30.

I want to spend the last lines of this article sharing with you about our mission project on Saturday during D-NOW. We are hosting a block party at the Bayview Housing Community on Pine Street from about 1:15-4:45. Did you know there are 50 units in that community? We are planning a general store, hot dogs, chips, drinks, games, and a Bible lesson during the event. We need some help to ensure the block party is a success. Could you spend the next three weeks until March 20th  picking up a few extra groceries (including cans of ravioli, Spaghettios, individual servings of items for the kids to eat on the weekends, etc.), dry goods (small bags of flour, sugar, oil, etc.), and any other grocery item you can think we might could use in the general store? Just drop them by the church and let them know they are for the D-NOW weekend.

Please pray for this D-NOW event that God will move in miraculous ways in the hearts of our community. Pray for the team of college students Asher Kenerly is bringing to teach and disciple our youth. Pray for the host homes who will have a direct and significant impact on the weekend. Pray for our youth that they will have a hope and security of a personal relationship with Christ. Pray for our church that we will encourage, uplift, and demonstrate God’s love to each other and our community. We “Got Youth”; let’s “Get Involved”!