Category Archives: pictures

Thanking the Lord for 14 Blessed Years!

Fourteen years ago today, it had been raining for days on end and Lexington was flooding, but there were also showers of blessing and our hearts were being flooded with joy. New Life Baptist Church was organized on March 2, 1997, out of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church of Richmond. The Lord has been so gracious to us and has always proved Himself faithful. We are grateful for each and every one that has passed through New Life Baptist Church over the years. May the Lord continue to bring glory to Himself in and through NLBC.

“Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe.  And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel,  that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (read all of Joshua 4)

Our Church History Slideshow

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A Brief Overview of Our Church History

“O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy Name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”  –Isaiah 25:1

Isaiah 58: First Cookout of the Year!

We kicked off our 2010 Isaiah 58 Ministry last night and more than 100 of our neighbors showed up to hear the Gospel, grab a burger, and fellowship with us.  Pastor Steve preached a 5-minute sermon from the book of Hebrews about the grace of God.  Bro. Roger Cruz translated the message into Spanish for all our Latino friends who came out!  After Bro. Randy led us in prayer, our neighbors lined up to grab some grub. 

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Kenny worked the grill along with Denise (Charlie supervised!).  Ethan, Landon, and Joseph made the lemonade with Nikki.  Cheryl, Brenda, Leslie, Mollie, Helen, Ron, Wayne, Jason, Micheal, and Olivia all worked the serving line at one point.  Harry did a lot of the grocery shopping and was serving in every way as usually does.  Roger and Gina served the drinks (la limonada!).  Randy had trash patrol (he could squeeze more trash into one bag than anyone I’ve ever seen)! 

Everyone worked together very well and enjoyed getting to know our neighbors.  Pray that the Lord will water the seeds that were planted and give us courage and boldness to plant even more next time. 

View a clip of some of our members serving our precious neighbors!

Scripture at Sunrise 12.3.09

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.”  -Psalm 19:1

The Boston Globe has set up a Hubble Space Telescope Advent calendar that will take your breath away.  They add a new picture each day!  Keep up with it!

Harry & Beath’s 50th Anniversary Pictures

Harry and Beath Sparks celebrated their 50th anniversary on Friday, November 6. The next day, the church honored them with a reception!  (To view the full screen version, click on the thumbnail to the right.)

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[Pictures courtesy of Cheryl]

Summing Up Sunday 6.28.09

Each Sunday, I’m led to believe that it’s the best Sunday of my life!  And then…the next Sunday, the Lord adds a cherry on top!  ♪If it keeps getting better and better, O Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna do!♪ 

Today started out with a nice family breakfast at IHOP.  Let’s just say I really enjoyed my pancakes, but my sugar didn’t.  I cut out of IHOP early to make some copies before Sunday School and get the announcements set up.  To my surprise, I wasn’t the first one to arrive at church.  A cute little couple in a shiny red pick-up truck was already there to greet me (aka: John & Alta Hatcher).  Pancakes + Hatchers = It was going to be a good day! 

After busy morning of copies and setting things up, at 9:59 a.m., I hopped in my car to drive down to the Sunday School building.  Ah, it was wonderful to sing with young saints and listen to the things the Lord has revealed to them through His Word this week! 

Sunday School | 1 Peter 2:11-25 | Bro. Steve Dawson
“Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.”  -1 Peter 2:17
Steve connected this passage to Titus 3:1-2, Romans 13:1, Daniel and Exodus 1:15-20.  The one connected passage that popped out at me, though, was 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  Not only are we to honor our President and leaders, we are supposed to be THANKFUL for them.  Authority is given by God and God has providentially placed leaders in authority FOR HIS GLORY! 

Back to the main building, during the song service this morning, I was overwhelmed at the thought of God’s grace: how marvelous, vast, measureless, incomprehendable it is and the fact that He showed it to such a wretched, wicked sinner named Sarah.  Wow!  It is greater than all my sin (and that’s a lot)! 

Sunday Morning | Colossians 3:20-21 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”  -Colossians 3:20-21

I am so thankful for the godly parents God has blessed me with.  They have fully obeyed Colossians 3:20-21 and Ephesians 6:1-4 as well as fulfilled Deuteronomy 6:4-9 by teaching me God’s Word from an early age.  (You all know my favorite verse is Psalm 19:14, one of the first Bible verses I could say, thanks to my parents!)  They realized their most important job as my parents was to lead me to Christ and that is exactly what they did.  They live the Gospel in everyday life and it was constantly preached to me.  They have instilled a love for God’s Word me that only grows greater the more I dig and search!  The Lord made them love me so much that they had the love to discipline me.  I pray that I never take my parents for granted.  I pray that my love for wisdom will increase and that this will make both my mother and father glad!  (Proverbs 17:6, 29:3, 10:1, 15:20, 29:17)  Okay, sentimental moment…here are a few of the main points from this morning’s message:
*Parents, teach your children godliness.  The spiritual is what lasts forever.  Put the highest premium on the Word of God, not education and hygiene. 
*Children should want to obey parents BECAUSE it pleases the Lord. 
*Is your desire to please the Lord?  In ALL things?  (Colossians 3:17)
– – – –
After a quick bite to eat (and some extra insulin for those pancakes!), we snatched the Hatchers to celebrate all the Lord has done through the Bratchers!  It was a beautiful celebration you can read more about here.  (Remember to pray for Bro. Harold and Sis. Marie on Monday as they travel back to Manaus!)  I was so thankful to get a picture of the four of them together: a total of 210 years of missionary service in Brazil! 

Bratchers and Hatchers


It was so wonderful to see four of my heroes of the faith together! 


– – – –

Back to church, after some fun with the Little Lifers, we got into the book of Exodus again! 

Sunday Evening | Exodus 34:8-17 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“And he said, ‘If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Your inheritance.'”  -Exodus 34:9
vs. 6-7– Moses saw (heard) as much of the glory of God as he could handle.  When we get a glimpse of the glory of God in the face of our lord Jesus Christ, what effect does it have on our being? 
vs. 8– Moses’ response.  The effect of seeing God’s glory=worship!  You cannot worship appropriately if you have no glimpse of His glory. 
vs. 9– Moses “reprays” (prays for the same thing he has a few other times: Exodus 32:31-32, 11-13; 33:12-13, 15-16; 33:14; 34:7; 19:5)  He based his ch. 34:9 prayer on God’s promises.  He is pleading on the promises of God.  Your prayers will always be answered if you pray God’s promises because He always delivers. 
-Moses is once again a type of Christ.  (vs. 9: “OUR sin…”  ~ “He became sin, Who knew no sin…”)
vs. 10– Make=cut (God cut a covenant with Israel).  God’s covenant with us: The blood is more precious and we have a greater Mediator.  Why?  For His glory!!!!  (Psalm 96:3, Romans 16:26- people are obedient to faith for His glory.) 
-As long as we are on this earth, we have a purpose.  God is at work, therefore we need to be mission-minded.  Why?  So other might be obedient to faith that God might be glorified. 
vs. 11-14– Israel’s Responsibility in the Covenant: Don’t make a covenant with any other nation because the other nations have false gods=downward spiral. 
vs. 14– God shows a little bit more of Himself to Moses: He is jealous (Exodus 20:5- to be fiercely protected)  He is protecting those He loves by demanding loyalty from them.  If you love Him, you will want to follow His commands. 
*What is it in your life that competes with your love for God?  
– – – –
So this might be the record-long blogpost.  Can you tell it’s SuMmEr?!  I guess this day was just that edifying for me and I wanted to share it with you.  To those of you who made it all the way through, congratulations…I think I owe you something!  ;o)

50 Year Celebration of the Bratchers’ Ministry to Manaus, Brazil

A recap of the 50 Year Celebration of the Ministry of Harold and Marie Bratcher in Manaus, Brazil (1959-2009), held at David’s Fork Baptist Church of Lexington, Ky. on June 28, 2009 at 3 p.m.

Order of Services:
*Prelude of Music, Photos of Ministry: Mickey and Shirley Hyder
*Welcome and Recognition of all churches present: Bro. Mickey Hyder
*Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness
*Prayer and Introduction of Speakers: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher
*Scripture Reading: “The Great Commission” Matthew 28:16-20 by Bro. Jerry Bishop
*Baptist Faith Missions Report and Greetings: Bro. Dave Parks
*Music of Praise: “Grace Medley” by DFBC Choir
*Interview with Harold, Marie, Asa, and Stephen Bratcher
*Hymn: Blessed Assurance
*Message of Celebration: Dr. Wesley K. Smith (“Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.”  -Isaiah 42:1 > 1 Thessalonians 2)
*Music of Praise: How Great Thou Art” sung by Bro. Stephen Bratcher in English and Portuguese
*Laying on of hands Renewal: All ordained ministers present
*Closing Hymn: Send the Light
*Postlude: Kathy Matthews-Spencer

“The Bratchers of Brazil” by Dr. A.M. Bratcher
On February 5, 1919 Dr. Lewis Malen Bratcher arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This event began a 90 year love ministry of the Bratchers in Brazil that continues to this day.  For the next 35 years, Dr. L.M. Bratcher would labor faithfully in the cities and on mule trails preaching the “good news” (as boas novas) of the saving Gospel of his Lord Jesus Christ.  In June of 1939, he traveled to the Amazon Valley to begin a long awaited and planned Amazon River missions trip with the pioneer Baptist missionary Erik Alfred Nelson.  Soon after the trip began, on June 15, 1939, E.A. Nelson, 76 years of age, went home to be with his Lord.  He served in Brazil for 48 years.  After assisting at the funeral at the First Baptist Church of Manaus that Nelson founded in 1900, Dr. L.M. Bratcher decided to continue the river trip, this time having to inform the Brazilian people of E.A. Nelson’s death and “home going.”  He stated in his memoirs, “Just Longing,” (Saudades) that he would never forget the reaction of the villagers at each stop.  Tears would come to their eyes, and the sorrowful question would be asked “Now who will come and tell us about Jesus?” 

Exactly 20 years later almost to the day, Harold Foley Bratcher answered that question, arriving in the Amazon Valley on July 15, 1959, to begin a 50 year love ministry with the people of Brazil.  Harold Bratcher, 82, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 24, 1927.  His dear wife of almost 55 years, Hattie Marie Moore Bratcher, 82, was born in Richmond, Kentucky; they met while Harold was pastoring Newby Baptist Church, and were married on December 27, 1954.  The Lord blessed their union with three sons: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher, 53, of Manaus, Brazil, missionary to Brazil for 32 years; Pastor Stephen M. Bratcher, 49, of Ocala, Florida; and Joel Bratcher, now residing in “Glory,” who at the age of 6, drowned in the Amazon River on August 17, 1971.  His body is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Manaus, Brazil, only a few feet from the grave of Missionary E.A. Nelson, “The Apostle of the Amazon,” where both “await the sounding of the trump” on Resurrection Morning. 

During these 50 years, Harold, with the help of his son Asa, has organized over 20 Baptist churches and many other missions in the Amazon Valley.  Together they have baptized thousands of Brazilian people. 

This afternoon, June 28, 2009, we pause to honor Harold and his beloved Marie Bratcher for their 50 years of faithful service to the Brazilian people.  Behind many a great man, serves a great woman.  Marie, while stating she “never received a specific call to be a missionary,” strongly affirms her call of being a faithful and loving wife to Harold, an endearing mother to her sons and an esteemed mother-in-law to Lucianilda Auzier Bratcher, 48, of Manaus, Brazil and Saleth Nunes Bratcher, 50, of Ocala, Florida.  She is the loved Grandma to Marica Luciana Bratcher, 25, of Bridgeport, CT, Lucy Marie Bratcher, 23, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Stephen Matthew Bratcher, 17, of Ocala, Florida.  She has a dog, Blackie, of Manaus, 4 grand dogs, Nina, Elvis, Walter and Otto, and a great-grand cat, Clooney. 

Thus, please join me, Stephen, Pastor Mickey Hyder, and the David’s Fork Baptist Church in expressing your appreciation to this giant in the faith, one of those of Hebrews 11, “of which this world is not worthy of.”  May our Lord see fit to give the Bratchers of Brazil many more years of ministry and love for the people of Brazil. 

Miuto Obrigado (Thank you) Pastor Haroldo, “Apostolo do Amazonas” (apostle to the state of the Amazon) and Marie for 50 years of dedicated, loving service to the people of Brazil and to our beloved Savior, all glory and honor.  Amen. 

Dr. A.M. Bratcher

Our Gift to the Bratchers


Harold and Marie Bratcher (front) with John and Alta Hatcher, missionaries to Brazil, who combined have 210 years of service to the Lord in the Brazil!

Missionary Update: The Radfords

Dear praying friends,                                    June 6, 2009

Nathan, Carrie and McKenna Radford
Nathan, Carrie and McKenna Radford

Another month has come and passed so quickly, and it is hard to believe we are already half way into the year 2009. Time passes so quickly, and may we be the best stewards of the time the Lord has given us to serve Him. Ephesians 5:16 states “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” May we truly redeem, or make the best use of, the time and opportunities that we are given each day to serve. This update will share current ministry reports as well as prayer requests.

We thank the Lord for those who have given to the Annex building project at the prison. We hope to begin to start contracting the project soon, as the Lord leads and guides. Please pray for this project, and also for the builders, that they would be committed to the task and finish quickly, realizing it is the Lord’s work. We will be sure to give you an update on this in the future.

Concerning our family, Carrie has been staying busy taking care of McKenna and also busy with the hospital ministry. She has been able to go and teach the mothers, provide the mothers and babies with much needed supplies, and also give out Bibles and tracts. There are also abandoned babies who are brought in who we try to assist. Psalm 82:3 says “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.” We thank each one who gives to this ministry, for we could not do it without your help. Because of your prayers and generosity, many needy people are being assisted. May God bless you for your heart for His work overseas.

Please also continue to pray for the ministry in the village of Rafiki, which is about a 10 minute drive out of Kitale town. As I said previously in a prayer letter, there are many villages in the surrounding areas of Kitale that are yet to be reached.  It is my goal to have a preaching point in this area, but the people need to be taught the foundations first. Many in this village have a need to have a foundational understanding of the Word of God. I am presently in a course entitled “Firm Foundations – from Creation to Christ.” I have been teaching the people beginning with Creation in the Garden of Eden, and showing them from the Bible the effects/consequences of sin even in our day today. We have seen how we are all sinners and have an inherent sin nature. Later in the course, Lord willing, we will learn much about our Lord and also study concerning the need we each have for a Savior.

Please pray for me as I teach, and also that the Lord would bring those who love Him and have a desire to sincerely follow Him. Please also pray that the Word of God would work in the hearts of the people and that they would make any changes necessary to follow the Lord. I have attached a recent photo of this ministry so you can remember us in your prayers.
In closing, we do covet your prayers, as there are many challenges and obstacles to ministry on the mission field. However, we know that when people pray for us and we pray faithfully, nothing is too difficult for the Lord. A friend of D.L. Moody once said “I wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was preacher. Time and time again, he was confronted by obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but he always knew the way to overcome all difficulties. He knew the way to bring to pass anything that needed to be brought to pass. He knew and believed in the deepest depths of his soul that nothing was too hard for the Lord, and that prayer could do anything that God could do.” May we also be convinced and believe that nothing is to difficult for the Lord, and realize that the Lord desires us to come to Him in prayer with anything we face in our lives.

May God bless each of you as you serve Him in the States. We will keep you updated on the work here. God bless you.

In Kenya,
Nathan, Carrie and McKenna Radford
P.O. Box 4150
Kitale, Kenya
East Africa 30200

Remembering 12 Years

“Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe.  And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel,  that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” 
(read all of Joshua 4)

Our Church History Slideshow

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Our 12th Anniversary Celebration Slideshow

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A Brief Overview of Our Church History

For those who don’t know, on Sunday we all wrote down where we were 12 years ago and how the Lord has worked in our life since then.  If you did not have the chance to write that out, please see Sarah for a piece of paper.  They are being compiled in an album along with pictures!