Sunday Morning Worship – July 8, 07

“We will not rebuild Bethany based on our faith in a building, we will rebuild Bethany based on our faith in Jesus Christ.” Gary Edge

Using a simile, the church right now is like a flat balloon, Christine Beeman helped Parker Watson and Kaley Tijerina demonstrate to the congregation how working together we would rebuild the church. Over and over, the emphasis of this mini-sermon was that “we will rebuild the church with God’s help and guidance.” When a balloon filled with air was set free, it flew off in all directions and went flat again. Christine made the point that with God’s help, we would find the right direction to rebuild Bethany.

While away with their children at a camp for autism, Simon and Sara Spalding returned with an unbelievable gift to Bethany. Simon composed a moving tribute to the church and its rebuilding. He could not be present Sunday to sing it but Sara left hardly a dry eye in the congregation when she had finished her rendition of Simon’s wonderful, beautiful, and lasting tribute to the ongoing life of Bethany Christian Church, the “Church at the Crossroads.”

Click here for Simon’s words.

Please note that this moving piece of music is now copyrighted.

Click here for Simon and Sara’s website.

Gary Edge concluded the service by calling the names of faithful members of Bethany Christian Church who now live with the Lord. He said, “They are speaking to us now, they are saying ‘Stand tall …'”

Camps Sea Gull & Seafarer Send in the Troops

Campers and counselors from both Camp Seagull and Camp Seafarer were on hand spending their July 4th holiday helping Bethany Christian Church. Ward Russell from Asheboro, NC, led a contingent of campers from Sea Gull to retrieve and stack bricks. Iris Glace from Charlotte and Taylor Sullivan from Wilmington were part of a group of campers from Seafarer helping inventory books and other items salvaged from the fire.

These young people, willing to spend their Independence Day holiday hard at work in the hot sun for a church they don’t know is an uplifting gift to the people of Bethany. On the other hand, Bethany is obviously a church they do know, for it is simply another church worshipping Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Barbara James Creates Worship Banner

A Note From Mac Harris


Barbara James thought Bethany needed a worship banner at the pavilion worship service last Sunday, so she designed and created the three-piece cloth banner spelling “JOY” that adorned the pavilion behind the communion table. Barbara began working on the banner Saturday before the service, and finished around 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

As she was purchasing the cloth needed to make the banner, a stranger overheard her mention the burned Bethany church and donated a yard of the cloth. The store in New Bern also donated a yard of cloth, and gave her a 15% discount on the balance of the purchase.

Bethany is lucky to count Barbara among its church family, and grateful to strangers and businesses for their kindness and help. Barbara’s banner again Sunday and beyond will remind us of the “joy” of our risen Christ, the journey upon which we have embarked to rebuild God’s Church at the Crossroads, and of the love shown by compassionate brothers and sisters who are strangers only in the sense that we do not know their names.

New Bern Christian Churches Raise in Excess of $10,000.00 for Bethany at Ice Cream Social


Representatives of Broad Street Christian Church and Highland Park Christian Church Sunday presented to the Bethany Board proceeds of the Ice Cream Social held Sunday afternoon in the Broad Street Fellowship Hall. The social raised in excess of $10,000. The Bethany Church Family greatly appreciates the generosity and Christian love shown by the people of both churches, those who attended the social, and of the Maola company, which provided the ice cream.

Board Action & Calendar Notes – Sunday, July 1


Worship services again will be held at the Pavilion Sunday, July 8, at 10:00 a.m.

The Bethany Christian Church Board voted Sunday to begin holding Sunday School and Worship Services at Camp Caroline at regular times on July 15 : Sunday School, 10:00 a.m. and Worship, 11:00 p.m.


Camp Seafarer invites the Bethany Church Family to an informal outdoor vespers service Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. The camp wishes to stay in touch with Bethany as we begin our rebuilding journey.


Chairman Chris Watson appointed Jennie Adams to the Communications Committee to fill the eventual vacancy when Charles Beard relocates to Wilson.

The First Sunday After the Fire

Highlights from the pulpit.

“We are on a journey, It has already begun.

“We’re all one in this. Let us lift each other up in prayer.

“Look over there, what do you see?

John Beeman, Jr., said, “I see a new start.”

“Look over there, what do you see? Some see nothing but problems. People of faith see opportunity.

“Look over there, what do you see? Some see a pile of rubble. People of faith see a shepherd we will follow.”

“It’s God who will build His church back, but He will need our help.”

Using the book of Ezra for context,”God builds us up when we renew our committment to him. God builds us up when we renew our committment to faith.

“God builds us up when we build a foundation on a rock. The foundation of our new church will be Jesus Christ. He is the solid rock from which we will build.”

And in closing, “We are in Easter people. The events of Good Friday will not hold us down.”

Lea Banks, Walking to See the Light

Lea Banks drove from his Virginia Beach home Saturday morning to visit his boyhood church home, Bethany Christian Church. Annette Hardison Aldridge embraced him shortly after his arrival.

Lea Banks, born in 1923, grew up in the depression. He recalled walking the mile or so from his home north of the crossroads in Arapahoe (Bethany Crossing) to see the electric lights inside the church at night. His home had not yet connected with electric power and was still lighted by lamps.

He said, “Every time I come across that passage in the bible, ‘I am the truth and the light,’ I think about walking from the house to the church just to see the lights in the church. A church represents the worthwhileness of life.”

He wiped away the sadness of the moment with a humorous recollection of communion being prepared using Nugrape soda back in those days. He said that it took two bottles of Nugrape to prepare communion. “I would slip into the church and drink those one or two swallows left over in those bottles after the communion was prepared.”

Recalling the turbulent times of being on a ship in World War II, and then coming home, he said, “For soldiers, church represented some stability in life.”

Members of Bethany Christian Church, after a long week, will maintain the stable tradition of Sunday worship on July 1. Worship will be under the pavilion an hour earlier than usual, but worship will carry on.

Camp Caroline CYF Camp Reaches Out to Bethany

A note from Gary Edge

This afternoon Richard Stevens came by the Church and presented a Love offering from the youth at the CYF (Christian Youth Fellowship) Summer Camp at Camp Caroline in the amount of $283.18. The youth also prayed with us while at camp this past Tuesday at the same hour we had our Prayer Meeting under the Pavilion.

God’s love comes to us in countless ways . . . His wonders to behold!

Camp Seafarer Counselors Reach Out to Help

Camp Seafarer Directors,Sally Ransome, left, and Sarah Kronour, brought a contingent of Seafarer counselors to Bethany on Friday, June 29, to use Charlie Beard’s power washer to clean folding chairs from the fellowship hall for Sunday’s worship service under the pavilion.

Young people from all over the nation, in Arapahoe for a summer at camp, reaching out to help Bethany Christian Church recover.