Update- Letter from Pastor David

May 27, 2020

 

Dear Church Family,

 

 

1 Chronicles 16:31, Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”  Thus far the re-opening for worship has been very successful! June 14th we will add Sunday School, Nursery, Children’s Church, and the Choir.

           

June 14th will be a special time of praise to our God!  We would like to hear brief testimonies from you on that Sunday concerning what God has shown to you during our time of quarantine.  We will have a testimony time built into the service and we are asking you to share one thing that God has shown to you. We will ask you to stand where you are seated in the Sanctuary and share with your church family (we are not asking people to come to the pulpit but just stand-up and share where you are in the pew.)  This should be a great opportunity to hear how God has worked and is continuing to work among His people at Damascus. Yes, the LORD reigns!

 

In His Service,

Pastor David

David D. Stockton, D. Min.

Update - Letter from Pastor David

May 18, 2020


Dear Church Family,

 

Sunday May 17th was very successful. We re-opened for worship, kept our social distancing, sang praises to the Lord, prayed to Him, read from His Word, listened to the exposition of  His Scriptures, gave our offerings to Him, and enjoyed worshiping corporately as a church family once again.  We will continue with our 11 am worship only for the next 3 Sundays. Tentatively, we are planning to add Sunday school, nursery, and the choir on June 14th.

           

June 14th will be a special time of praise to our God!  We would like to hear brief testimonies from you on that Sunday concerning what God has shown to you during our time of quarantine.  We will have a testimony time built into the service and we are asking you to share one thing that God has shown to you. We will ask you to stand where you are seated in the Sanctuary and share with your church family (we are not asking people to come to the pulpit but just stand-up and share where you are in the pew.)  This should be a great opportunity to hear how God has worked and is continuing to work among His people at Damascus. Psalm 122:1, I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

 

In His Service,

Pastor David

David D. Stockton, D. Min.

Update-Letter from Pastor David

April 27, 2020


Dear Church Family,


We have begun the process of talking about re-opening the church. Please bear in mind that things could change based on what steps are being taken by our governor in Georgia. Above all we urge that you continue to pray for our President, our Governor, and all local leaders as they lead during this time of difficulty due to the COVID-19 virus. The latest information that I have been given by Georgia Baptist Mission Board for person-to-person meetings by the Governor is as follows:


  • Online services remain the best option to mitigate potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • Do not attend religious services if you are not feeling well, have a fever, or have had direct contact with someone who likely has or is confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Family members are allowed to sit together.
  • Please wear a face mask to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
  • Depending on the size of the congregation allow 6-feet between non family members.
  • When members arrive, they should be immediately seated, and once a service ends, rows should be emptied sequentially with everyone immediately going to their vehicles.
  • Refrain from using items touched by multiple people unless you can sanitize after each use.
  • Closed nurseries, Sunday school classes or related functions should stay closed for the foreseeable future.
  • Medically fragile and elderly Georgians should continue to shelter-in-place and utilize remote services instead of in-person services.
  • Strongly consider cancelling choir and choir practice to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Additionally, the Governor will order an extension of the Executive Order of shelter-in-place that goes out on April 30. This extension will go into effect May 1 with new guidelines and go forward to May 13. There are no changes regarding what churches can and cannot do.


With all of that in mind here is a tentative, and we want to stress a tentative, schedule for re-opening the church to in-person meetings. We believe this will all happen in God’s timing, we believe in cooperating with our state leadership and above all that we press on for the sake of the gospel.

Sunday May 17 we will re-open for in-person worship services as long as the shelter-in-place has not been further extended. All of the above guidelines will be followed. 


  • Doors will be open where people may enter the sanctuary and be seated. Families may sit together, and 6-feet needs to be maintained between families. 
  • All announcements will be shown on the screen and no bulletins will be used.
  • No choir.
  • Words to all hymns will be shown on the screen and no hymnal or pew Bibles will be used.
  • Offering plates will remain on the Communion table where individuals may place their offering but will not be passed during the service. You are encouraged to continue to utilize bill pay through your bank or mailing a check to the church to give your tithe and offerings.
  • Everyone is to come into the sanctuary and be safely seated. There will be no greeting time, no shaking of hands, no hugging, to avoid the spread of COVID-19. At the conclusion of the service rows of pews will be dismissed and you are encouraged to leave to your cars. Even Pastor David & Elaine will not be greeting at the conclusion of the service. (We know this is one of the hardest things to do but it is the responsible thing.)
  • We will see how things go on the 17, 24, and 31st. If new guidelines come in place, we are hopeful of re-starting Sunday school and the nursery on June 7. (That is just a tentative hope at this time and may change depending on what happens with the COVID-19 outbreak.)
  • June 7 will be a day of praise to our God. During that service we will set aside time where individuals may share short testimonies of praise!
  • Above all else we want everyone to be safe! If you are sick, please do not attend in person and watch the online services (we plan to continue our on-line services). If you are uncomfortable attending in person at this time, please watch the online services. If we are able to maintain proper social distancing, then we can meet beginning May 17 (Unless a shelter-in-place order is extended).


I want to leave a verse for you to ponder as I close this letter. Zephaniah details the wrath of God unleashed upon His unfaithful people. It is speaking about the End Times and the Judgments of God that will fall upon Israel as well as the Babylonian captivity. However, at the end of chapter 3 God begins to tell how the faithful remnant of Israel will be upheld during the Millennial Kingdom. All through God’s Word He speaks to the faithful remnant of His people. God spoke to Elijah and reminded him there was a faithful remnant that had not bowed to the false-god Baal. There was a faithful remnant that returned with Nehemiah after the Babylonian Exile. Revelation tells us there will be a faithful remnant that comes through the Great Tribulation. With regard to believers these verses describe the blessing of God’s presence, power, and protection over His chosen people. Believers are going to go through turmoil in this sin-cursed world; however, God will never leave us or forsake us as it says in Hebrews 13:5! Please listen to Zephaniah 3:17, The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Now if that does not excite you, you need to check your pulse. God’s Word says that in due time God will rejoice over you with singing. I look forward to hearing that heavenly song performed by our heavenly Father! I also look forward to joining together in corporate praise & worship when the time is right!


In His Service,

Pastor David

David D. Stockton, D. Min.

Letter from Pastor David...

April 6, 2020


Dear Church Family,


Together we will make it through this troubled time. All church meetings are still on hold until we get an all clear from the government to meet again. In the meantime, we are streaming our Sunday worship services live on Facebook, posting them on You Tube, and placing them on our Web Site. We are still holding small group meetings via Zoom. Eddie Butler is having an adult Sunday school class on Sunday mornings starting at 10am. Elaine Stockton is holding a children’s Sunday school class on Sunday mornings starting at 10am. Jay Frye is both posting the Youth meetings on You Tube and having a get together on Zoom. These are not the same as being able to meet together; however, during these times of health emergency we are staying connected. These are trying times as we must shelter-in-place and we want to take all precautions to protect the health of our congregation while not neglecting our spiritual health.


Tithing may be done electronically by contacting your bank and using the bill pay option. Many people have opted to use the United States Postal Service. Thank you to all who are continuing to support your church.


Some have asked if this is a judgment from God? Having just finished our study in Revelation when God pours out judgment upon the earth during the Great Tribulation time we can say, “The COVID-19 virus is mild compared to the End Time Judgment. However, I definitely believe that we are seeing the continuation of God’s hand of mercy being withdrawn from the world as more and more people have become indifferent and even hostile to God. Romans 1:28 says this about God withdrawing His hand of mercy from people that rebel against Him, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” When the United States of America legalized the murder of innocent babies in the name of “Women’s Rights,” when our nation has made a mockery of God’s institution of marriage by allowing forbidden marriages to take place, when sexual sin is rampant in this country in the form of pornography, and sex trafficking then God will remove His hand of mercy upon us. When the people of this land have tried to take God out of every aspect of our life then God will withdraw His hand of mercy. The amazing thing is this, God tells us how to deal with plagues that strike the land. Believers must confess these sins and beg God to forgive them and He will. 2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land. The command from God is to confess our sin and pray for the healing of this land!


I think that God has our attention. My prayer is that a Great Awakening to the need of the Sovereign God in our lives will be the result of this ordeal. By now people should understand that our government is not capable of saving us, only God is in the miracle business! Pray that our nation will confess the prideful sin of self-sufficiency and once again humbly ask God to direct our lives, giving Him thanks for everything. Please call, text, or email me with any questions or concerns that you may have. I am still working; however, it is from home at this point in time. Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.


In His Service,

Pastor David

David D. Stockton, D. Min.






Letter from Pastor David-------Covid-19

March 18, 2020


Dear Church Family,

           

I wanted to address a couple of questions that have been asked of me recently with the ever increasing Covid-19 concerns. Damascus Baptist Church has cancelled Wednesday night events for the next two weeks and will evaluate over Spring break how to proceed. Currently, we are still holding services Sunday morning. However, there are some modifications: no handshakes, no hugging, try to maintain proper distances, no passing the offering plate, and no communion for the immediate future. That being said, if you are sick or someone in your household is sick please stay at home.  Also, some are questioning if they should attend? The answer is, if you have any doubt about attending church over health concerns at this time please stay at home. Another member asked how will I tithe if I am not at church?

 

Here are two quick answers. Currently, all sermons are available at our Website: dbcappling.org. Therefore, even if at home you can listen to the weekly sermons or even go back and pick up ones you may have missed. Also, every bank in the area that I know of has Bill Pay as an option. In fact, Elaine & I use the option. You simply set up the amount and how often you wish to give your tithe and the bank will write the check and mail it to the church.

 

I want to thank people for those concerns. The last thing we want is someone feeling they have to come to church when they should stay at home. Sermons from your church are available at dbcappling.org. Giving can be set up electronically from your bank utilizing Bill Pay. These are different times and going forward we may have to utilize even more digital methods to enhance church. Please pray for a healing in our nation. Please remember that God is in control. Unfortunately, so many do not believe that fact; therefore, I believe God is using the coronavirus to get our attention. 2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

Please keep safe. Limit your contact with others, especially if you have health concerns. Please call, text, or e-mail me with questions and concerns. Remember that in James 4:13-15 it speaks of life as being a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Rather then trusting in the things of this world we must place our trust in God. v. 15 says, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.  This is a time when we can see clearly that the world doesn’t have the answers, only God gives us hope. Again, please continue to pray for a healing in the land.

 

 

In His Service,

Pastor David

David D. Stockton, D. Min.