CRBA Update January 6, 2022

CRBA Bible Institute begins NEXT WEEK!!!

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    Do you desire to know the Word of God better? Would you like to read the Bible more closely, preach or teach it with more insight, and discover or renew the joy of discovering and applying biblical truth? Do you minister in a music program, work with youth, or teach Sunday school or small group classes? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute is a great opportunity for you!

    There are many great college and seminary programs available, and many are accessible through the internet. However, most of these programs are expensive, require previous education, and include coursework that is not relevant or useful to your ministry in the local church. Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute is different!
Classes last only 10 weeks and are held in person at the CRBA office. The cost is only $50 and includes all class notes and texts. You don’t study on a screen; however, you meet with your neighbors throughout our association. Your teacher is a carefully-prepared Bible scholar who serves as a pastor right here in Burke County.

    Catawba River Baptist Bible Institute brings affordable, accessible education to you, so you can learn the Word of God! Join us for our inaugural class, The Gospels. Classes start January 11 and last one hour each Tuesday night. The class runs for 10 weeks. Come join us!

For more information, contact me at
To register, contact the CRBA at  

Where Catawba River Baptist Association When Every Tuesday Evening through March 29th Time 530 pm

Karl F. photo

Karl Fredrickson photo 

By Matt Henslee

Many years ago, someone asked Charles Spurgeon why he was so successful. His response? “Because my people pray for me.”

In an issue of Our Daily Bread, there’s a story about travelers to London who stopped at Spurgeon’s church to hear him preach. They were greeted at the door and offered a tour.

“Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” asked the gentleman who greeted them. They were not particularly interested because it was a summer day in July, but not wanting to offend the stranger, they consented.

The gentleman led the visitors down a stairway to a basement door. After the door quietly opened, their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.”

Surprised, the visitors saw 700 people praying, seeking a blessing on the service soon to begin in the auditorium above.

Softly closing the door, the gentleman introduced himself. It was Charles Spurgeon, the pastor of the thriving Metropolitan Tabernacle.

While many today know Spurgeon as a powerful preacher of the gospel who we often call the “Prince of Preachers,” he knew where the power was—prayer.

Most pastors don’t have 100 in attendance on any given Sunday. According to the 2020 Faith Communities Today study and the 2019 Annual Church Profile, 65% of all U.S. congregations and 67% of Southern Baptist Churches average less than triple digits. So, the average pastor won’t have 700 people praying under their sanctuary each week.

However, they can still ask their people to pray for them. During the height of COVID-19, I asked several people who couldn’t join us in person to pray specifically and passionately on Sundays from their homes. And they did.

By the end of my time serving our church, we averaged more in attendance and baptized more people than ever before. Why? I firmly believe I can say with Spurgeon, “Because my people prayed for me.”

Here are five ways to pray for your pastor as we kick off a new year.

1. Pray for his family.

Pastors wear a lot of hats, but if he’s married with children, none are as crucial as husband and dad. Take some time to pray for his home, his first ministry.

Ask God to help him love and lead his family well, making the most of his time in the home. Ask the Lord to give him the courage to put off the trivial matters of ministry, so he’s fully engaged as the husband and father God calls him to be.

Helpful Scriptures to guide prayer here are Ephesians 5:25 and Psalm 127:3-5.

2. Pray for his schedule.

As I shared above, your pastor wears a lot of hats. It’s easy for your pastor to feel tugs from every direction, especially as a new year begins.

He’s trying to prepare engaging sermons, has people to visit in the hospital, worries home-bound members will fall through the cracks, and is attempting to follow up with all the holiday visitors.

Pray that God will help him manage his schedule well enough to spend time with his family and lead his church family at the start of a new year.

Helpful Scriptures to guide prayer here are Ephesians 5:15-17 and Psalm 90:12.

3. Pray for his sermon preparation. 

Speaking of your pastor’s schedule, he’s likely working hard in the study to prepare fresh sermons, either by continuing an old series or launching a new one.

Pray that God gives him focus and perseverance in sermon prep, as well as clarity and wisdom as he aims to rightly handle the Word of God.

Helpful Scriptures to guide prayer here are 2 Timothy 2:15 and Psalm 119:18.

4. Pray for his preaching.

Your pastor prepares sermons in the study, but he preaches them in the pulpit. As the new year dawns, some folks may consider visiting a church for the first time or returning after a long absence.

Pray God will fill him with passion and conviction as he declares the good news to encourage the saints and lead the lost to love and follow Jesus.

Helpful Scriptures to guide prayer here are Hebrews 4:12 and Mark 16:15.

5. Pray for his walk with God.

None of the above will matter if your pastor isn’t walking with God. If he’s not spending daily time with the Lord, his family, preaching, and everything else will suffer.

As silly as it may sound, pray that your pastor will wake up even before his alarm goes off with one thing in mind: time with God.

Pray that he will devote himself to prayer and Bible reading first and foremost before he even begins his day of ministry and family time.

Helpful Scriptures to guide prayer here are Philippians 4:6 and Psalm 119:9.

E.M. Bounds once said, “What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.”

That’s not new, of course; even the Apostle Paul asked for prayer not once, but eight times (Romans 15:30-32; 2 Corinthians 1:10-11; Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 1:19; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; Philemon 22).

It was so important to Jesus’ disciples that they asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), and it should be important to you, too. As we begin 2022, join the disciples, Paul’s churches, and Spurgeon’s church by praying for your pastor.

EQUIP Conference (1)

EQUIP 2022/Spring Meeting is going to be a great event/conference where you can choose to be equipped for ministry. Please put March 15th, 2022, on your calendar and make plans to be there.

Some of the classes we will be offering in the evening include (but are not limited to):

  • Saturate Burke (Evangelism)/Assimilating Guests
  • Helping your church with technology
  • Starting (and Re-starting) Small Groups
  • Nuts and Bolts of Deacon Ministry
  • Raising Funds for Missions and Ministry
  • Leading in Worship
  • Better Together (Mergers and Church Fostering)
  • Help, I am the Church Treasurer
  • Developing Disciple-Making Disciples
  • Leading your Church to become an Acts 1:8 Church

Thank You

Church News

Amherst Baptist is seeking a Pastor.
Antioch Baptist is seeking a bi-vocational Pastor.

Pleasant Hill Baptist is seeking a part-time Worship Pastor/Leader.

Southside is seeking a Church Secretary. All questions and resumes should be sent to

Wilkies Grove is seeking a full-time Associate Pastor. Please send resumes and questions to:

Mr. Chris Bortnick
(WGBC Pastor Church Committee, Chair)
5780 Wilkies Grove Church Rd.
Hickory, NC 28602

Partner News

Would you consider Christian Education
for your children in Burke County?


After much prayer, a study team has been formed out of concern to gauge the need for a Christian school in the Morganton area of Burke County. Catawba River Christian Academy will be an independent organization seeking to create disciples of school-age children through a Christian curriculum and education.

Please share the word and click on this link ( to help us determine community interest in a Christian school for Morganton and the surrounding area of Burke County. If the form doesn’t work, or you’d like to ask any questions, please email More details to come. 

Eddy Bunton is on the lookout for the “Experiencing God” adult student workbooks. If you have any extra, please contact him at or call (828) 443-1047.

Stantonsburg FBC is seeking a pastor and is located 50 miles east of Raleigh. If interested, please send resumes to:
SFBC Pastor Search Team
PO Box 356
Stantonsburg, NC   27883

Friendship Baptist Church, Hudson NC is seeking an energetic Interim Children/Youth Leader with potential for a permanent position.  (15-20 hours per week).  Please email resumes on or before September 20th to

FBC Hildebrand is seeking a Pianist, Organist & Part-time Music Director for our church. This is a paid position. This will require you to be here for Sunday & Wednesday services and any special services; revival, cantata, dramas, etc. Please submit your resume to the church office by mail at PO Box 220, Hildebran NC 28637 or you can email your resume to Kendra Arrowood
First Baptist Hildebran is also prayerfully seeking a full-time pastor. First Baptist Hildebran is in the Foothills of North Carolina in the town of Hildebran. Our church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Catawba Valley Baptist Association. We are seeking a Pastor that adheres to the Baptist faith and has a Master of Divinity degree (or equivalent) or in pursuit of a degree with a conservative evangelical faith. To learn more about our church and see a full list of qualifications, please visit our website
Resumes may be sent to:
First Baptist Hildebran
Senior Pastor Search Committee
PO Box 220
Hildebran, NC 28637 or

📣📣 South Mountain Baptist Camp NEEDS YOUR HELP 📣📣

As we (South Mountain Baptist Camp) begin our new year, Camp 2022 will soon be upon us. This year, we began to think about a project with the game room, which turned into a whole list of projects that will improve several areas of the camp.
Ethan would like to extend an invitation to any retired and/or able skilled help on FRIDAYS from 8:00-2:00 beginning January 21. Come one Friday or every Friday (weather permitting) between January 21 and the start of camp to help get these projects checked off as we look to the Lord for completion and the start of a successful summer.
An idea of some of the projects on the list:
-remodeling/updating some of the bunkhouses
-construction/electrical work for new game room
-removal of the existing wall in the dining hall
-construction of new tables for the dining hall
-installation of new water line for the village
-blockwork (village cabin)
-moving game room equipment/construction of new equipment
-small plumbing projects (leaky faucets, etc.)
-unskilled work (blowing leaves, trimming tree limbs, painting, etc.)
Please let any men/women know who might be interested in helping one, or more Fridays, and feel free to message Ethan Cromer on FB or call the camp (828)544-5736 to speak with him about dates/specific project information.
Please let Ethan know when/if you plan to come so that he can be prepared for you to be here.

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