by Eddie Price
There are many reasons I love this church and those reasons span three decades. My wife, Kay, and I were married here in 1983 and over the years we’ve raised our six children here. Most of the ministries of First
Euless have blessed our family at some point as our family has grown. I’ve watched as the culture we live in continues to change and evolve over time. Our church has responded by adapting and transforming its ministries to present Christ in compelling ways that are relevant to the context in which people live. A recent example is the way our church has invested itself in our community. Through the launch and continued investment in 6 Stones, we’ve made a huge impact that has been noticed by the community and beyond. I’m very excited now about the potential impact of the Community Groups we are launching. These groups will help us bring the Gospel message directly into our neighborhoods.
Our family has lived in our current home for 17 years. Over those years we’ve often felt a burden to minister to our neighbors but didn’t do much more than develop cordial and polite relationships. God began to work in our hearts and show us ways to begin building relational “bridges” to our neighbors. He deepened our desire to reach out on his behalf and minister to them. Thanks to the encouragement and support of our church, we launched our own Community Group in our neighborhood last fall. It’s been very rewarding to meet with a group of neighbors, share a meal, discuss a Bible truth, and then consider ways we can bless and impact our neighborhood for Christ. I like to describe our group members as people who want to know Jesus better and make him known.
“Yo amo a mi iglesia porque es mi refugio, mi gozo, y mi casa. Es el lugar donde me siento aceptada, comprendida, donde puedo ser yo misma, porque Dios me conoce y sabe lo que hay en mi corazón. Es el lugar donde puedo adorarlo y gozarme con Su presencia.”
Here is a translation of why Cecilia loves First Euless:
“It is my refuge, my joy, and my house. It is the place where I feel accepted, understood and I can be myself because God knows me and knows what is in my heart. It is the place where I can worship and enjoy His presence.”
After recently relocating to DFW, Cecilia began searching for a church home in Spanish to serve and belong... and God led her to First Euless en Español. Through the First Look Lunch, Cecilia learned more about our church’s passion for our community and is in the process of becoming a member of First Euless.
The first Belong Membership Class in Spanish is being held today in The Chapel, where over 20 people will become members of First Euless. Last Sunday, 191 people praised the Lord in Spanish! There are 4 Connection Classes (at 9:15 am) and 6 Community Groups in Spanish. There are 3 mentors and 7 being mentored. Once a month, there is a special time of music led by the adult choir and the children’s choir.
Please join us in praying for the 1st Anniversary of First Euless en Español on Sunday, April 7 at 10:45am in The Chapel.
by Krista Floyd
My name is Krista Floyd a junior at Trinity High School. I recently attended winter camp with the student ministry. That weekend was life-changing because I got saved for the first time. This may be a surprise to many people because I’ve
attended this church for 4 years and portrayed myself to be such a good christian. I was convinced that I had been saved before since I have a Bible that told me I asked Jesus into my life when I was 8. I never remembered actually getting saved, so i’ve always wondered if I was really saved or not. When I sat through some messages, I would feel convicted but would ignore it because I knew you don’t need to be saved again. I knew the answers to their questions, attended church every Wednesday and Sunday, was on team 412, went on mission trips, prayed and read the Bible... but only when someone was looking. I not only made everyone else believe I was a Christian, but I believed it myself. I did all these things, but still felt something was missing. During camp, God kept putting on my heart that it doesn’t matter the works you’ve done, without a relationship with Him, it means absolutely nothing.
I really started to check my heart—was I being a christian only when people were looking? This question got to me. It was true. I didn’t actively pursue the Lord when behind closed doors. I realized the thing I was missing was Christ. In that moment, so many emotions came over me. I was scared of what people would think of me if I stood up to get saved, but God told me that I could continue doing what I was doing just to please men, but in the end, He would look at me and say, “Go away from me, I never knew you.” That’s when it set in. I stood up, went to talk to Kent, and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Kent asked me if I was considering baptism. I had already been baptized, but on the wrong side of the cross. I needed to be baptized after I
accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was hesitant because I didn’t want people to I was a fake, but I knew God wanted me to do it. After being baptized that next Wednesday, I’ve felt nothing but pure joy. My relationship with Him has grown immensely. It’s mind blowing how God has constantly chased me even though I just blew Him off. He never gave up. He is in constant pursuit of you. He won’t stop until He gets you. God is so good! He loves you more than you will ever know. I pray that if you have been trying to do the works thinking it’s enough, that you would check your heart and make things right with Christ.
by Tom Simpson
n 2008, my wife and I went from 0 to 4 kids in 30 days when we adopted 3 of my wife’s cousins right after the birth of our firstborn. Through this
challenging time, our church family rallied around us in so many amazing ways. Our Connection Class even threw us a “welcome shower” and blessed us by welcoming our new children into our church family. It was such an overwhelming outpouring of support and love, it’s hard to adequately describe.
Today, this is still my church family that encourages and uplifts my wife and I in prayer as we continue in our own family journey (now with 5 kids). This is a church family that helps cultivate and teach our kids to grow in their relationship with Christ. And of course God’s sovereign 2-way streets always have us learning alongside our children as we continue learning how to guide them into a maturing faith, become active members of the body of Christ, and keep seeking our Heavenly Father.
Basically, I love my church because I’ve realized that “they” first loved me. A sinner saved by grace in Singles Ministry at Campus West roughly 10 years ago, further mentored, taught & discipled by teachers and staff within our Young Married Ministry, and now trying to return to the church some measure of what we have received as my wife and I serve in our Youth Ministry... we are humbled and thankful in so many ways to be a part of this body.
I want to let you know that it has been my privilege to be associated with First Euless for almost 20 years. Previously I served 7 years and this time almost 6 years. Beginning Feb. 4, I will join the convention staff of the Southern
Baptists of Texas. I will be the Director of the Church Ministries team with specific leadership to Sunday School and administration. Pam and I leave only because I believe it is where God can best utilize my gifts and talents to glorify His name. Working with the 2400 Southern Baptist Texas churches in the convention will allow me to raise the banner for Sunday School and to impact many lives for Jesus. Thank you for the opportunity to work with some of the best people in the world. We love you.
As you may know, Mark Yoakum has been a strong voice for Connection/Sunday School Ministry at First Euless. I deeply appreciate his advocacy in that area. In fact, we will continue to build on the foundation he has helped lay over the years. Staff members we call to our church in the future will have, as we always have had, an unwavering dedication to making our Connection Ministry biblical, vibrant and growing.
We wish Mark well, and know he’ll be well utilized in the convention. We have planned a special reception for the Yoakum’s on February 3, following the morning worship service.
This year will mark 40 years since the United States Supreme Court deemed abortion legal. Since this decision, more than 54,000,000 lives in the U.S. have ended in abortion.
The number of aborted babies in the United States could fill the Cowboys Stadium to maximum capacity about 500 times. The total aborted in the United States is almost twice the population of Texas. The casualties of abortion far outweigh all American deaths in World War I, World War II, Civil War and Vietnam combined. Abortion is the number one cause of death in the nation, more than cancer and heart attacks combined. If each baby lost to abortion lined the earth, they could circle the globe over 6 times. For the last 40 years in America, a child has been aborted every 20 seconds.
For every child lost, 54,000,000 couples are inwardly suffering, mourning a generation lost. Abortion undermines the view that each human is made in God’s image and valuable at every stage and in every condition. Abortion not only takes a life, it steals futures, dreams and families. But there is hope.
The Mid Cities Pregnancy Center was founded on the belief that changing a culture of death begins with changing the heart of one woman. Our mission is to offer healthy life alternatives to abortion-determined women. Since opening in 1984, God has allowed us to help thousands of women and empower them during a challenging time. God has faithfully provided for and guided us to serve the women who need His love most—those considering abortion as their only solution to an unplanned pregnancy.
MCPC also offers compassionate, grace-centered counseling to those who are post abortive. Volunteers, prayer warriors and financial partners are the heartbeat of our ministry. Without your partnership, MCPC would not be able to offer truth in love to the women and men in our community. Your support makes an eternal difference! You can get involved by:
• Becoming a financial partner
• Volunteering as a trained Client Advocate
• Volunteering with the Medical Team
This year will mark 40 years since the United States Supreme Court deemed abortion legal. Since this decision, more than 54,000,000 lives in the U.S. have ended in abortion.
Give online or get involved at mcpcfriends.com
by Cameron Muilenburg
Our SkateChurch ministry here at First Euless has had a number of slight renovations over the past few years, but a few weeks ago God showed up and everything changed.
After receiving a gracious donation, we were contacted by a church who heard about our ministry here. This church had skate equipment that they no longer needed. After talking with Kent Wells, they agreed to sell $30,000 worth of skate ramps to First Euless for $1,300! What an incredible upgrade to SkateChurch!
This is such a huge encouragement for the students as well as those who serve at SkateChurch. It’s just another reminder that God is our provider, and that He provides in His perfect timing. The addition of these ramps has so far exceeded our expectations. We’re so excited to see what the Lord has in store for His ministry at SkateChurch!
We’ve just wrapped up a study on the book of Matthew. It’s been so sweet to have God’s provision for His disciples so fresh on the students minds as we see Him provide in such a huge way for us as well!
This past Sunday, we had about 25 people attend SkateChurch and about half of them have accepted Christ since coming—keep the other half in your prayers. God is using SkateChurch to reach a group of kids who may otherwise never hear the good news of God’s love for them.
By Bonnie Lakey
It has been 8 months since Pastor John and church staff prayed over me, and it is with great gratitude and humility that I inform you of the Lord’s miraculous healing in answer to prayers.
For almost a year, I had experienced daily fevers, fatigue, bone pain, nausea, and neurological symptoms. While homeschooling our three children, I routinely had to nap several hours during the day, taking away from teaching them. Doctor after doctor found nothing. But three months ago, I was healthy and well. My pain and fever were gone. I had energy again. I didn’t need naps. I thought, “Is it possible that the Lord healed me?” I believe without a doubt that...
THE LORD HAS INDEED HEALED ME COMPLETELY!
It was the powerful faith of the body of Christ interceding on my behalf. I can not thank you enough for this powerful ministry of prayer. I have realized that there is no greater gift than the gift of prayer. That is how God’s power is released to change our circumstances, and more importantly, our hearts and lives. The Lord has given me a fresh vision of the importance of prayer and the truth of John 14:13-14:
“And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be GLORIFIED in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord in fulfilling the call to pray for the sick in the church. His healing comes in many ways and He is always faithful to do it in the way that brings Him the most glory. May He receive all the glory for what He has done and may you be blessed and encouraged in the Lord because of His answer to your prayers. May your faith be strengthened and emboldened to pray for the impossible, because with Him, ALL things are possible!
This Sunday, December 30, we say goodbye to our worship pastor, Jeff Brockelman. Jeff has done an incredible job of leading our worship staff, choir, orchestra, and technical team these past twenty eight months. His passion for worshiping the Lord and his desire for excellence has been evident in his leadership at First Euless.
Recently, God has called Jeff to a new ministry assignment. He has accepted the position as worship pastor for the Dallas campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church where he will be starting in January. We trust that the Lord is directing his steps and will continue to use Jeff to further His kingdom. We celebrate the ministry God has given him here at First Euless. As you know, during his time here, Jeff not only had a heart for worship but also for outreach. It was evident in his vision for “Choirs of Christmas”, where hundreds of families were brought through the doors of First Euless and introduced to a church that loves the community.
Jeff, Shelly, Tori, Tyler and Tia will be missed greatly here at First Euless. Please join me in the guest reception room after the service today as we say goodbye to the Brockelman’s and bless them as they continue to follow the Lord and serve Him faithfully.
– John Meador
Last Sunday, December 2, our church was filled with choir and orchestra members from LD Bell, Trinity, Grapevine, and Colleyville Heritage high schools. Their friends and families filled the Worship Center as the show began. It was such a great night with talented performances of some traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs. One of the non- traditional performances blew everyone away. The LD Bell/ Trinity Guys Step Team captivated the audience with their amazing skills and musicality. The applause proved so.
The Step Team is a self-funded program. They practice an hour and a half every weekday in the Bell cafeteria. To raise their funds to attend the NSSA National Championships in Nashville, Tennesee they compete very often around the metroplex. Last year, the guys team qualified and was able to raise enough money to go and...
...they won first place in the nation!
This year, they have qualified again and so has the girls team, so they are working on their fundraising.
At Choirs of Christmas, our church promoted a competition to see which performing program had invited the most people to come, based on the ratio of how many of them were performing. The winning program received $1,000. Well... the Step Team won the $1,000! Their director, Cory Smith, said how much he appreciated the invitation from our Worship Department to come perform, and how much the $1,000 prize means to them as they prepare to go compete in Nationals again in March. He continued to say that it was such a cool experience for them to perform alongside the other choirs and orchestras in such a great show here at First Euless.
Raul Castanon grew up Catholic and went to church every now and then with his family. When he was 13, a friend introduced him to a personal Savior for the first time. His first true encounter with God, though, was at an awakening service during high school. He realized at that moment God was real but decided to run the other direction. As time passed, he made up his own theories and ideas that allowed him to live his life for himself and enjoy it the way he wanted. However, after high school, those ideas and way of life mixed with his new independence, really had him in a hard spot. He was dealing with alcohol as a way to run away from his problems and hate was building up.
One day, Ryan, a long time friend invited him to come play bass with the First Euless en Español praise band. He saw this opportunity from Pastor Humberto Gonzalez as a gesture—a chance—and it opened his eyes to the calling that God had for his life. It was in the little things and how Pastor Humberto and others from the group invested in him that his view of Christians and Christ changed. It was also the first time he had ever been a part of true study of the Bible. Through Connection Class Bible study, and Pastor Humberto personally pouring into his life, Raul began the process of rehabilitation and restoration.
“God used people to call me,” he says. He now knows Christ as his one and only Savior!
“Now I see talents or gifts that God has given me and I think of how I can use these to serve God and others,” he says.
He wants people to know his story of how Christ transformed his life. Christ healed him from all that he had in his past, and gave him a new life—a new chance.
I grew up in a ministry family—my dad pastored a church in the metroplex and my mom was our worship leader most of my growing up years. Music & ministry were a part of my life from birth! As a child, the Lord planted in me a passion for people and a desire for all to know Him. I started leading worship at the age of 13 and God continued to confirm my calling in that capacity.
I studied Commercial Music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and loved the performing experiences that were offered to me. However, I soon realized that I couldn’t be a performer! I was never really “at home” until I was on a platform leading people into God’s presence.
Shortly after graduation, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Ironically, both of my parents are survivors of lymphoma, but it was still shocking news for me at the age of 23. God was so present and involved in every stage of that journey. Immediately, I started chemotherapy and my body responded better than anyone expected. I have been cancer- free for five years and feel incredibly grateful for all that God has done!
After my treatment concluded, I began to feel very homesick and ready to come back to Texas. I moved back in 2009 and opened a voice & music studio where I train singers of all ages. It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with families and people outside of the church and build relationships that point them to Jesus.
Before my husband and I married in 2011, we had been attending the church for about a year, but were unable to be very involved due to our crazy schedules. Once we got married and life settled down a bit, I thought that maybe I could be in the choir and sing on occasion if there was an opportunity or need. I had no idea that would ever transpire into a job!
God clearly opened this door and I am so glad He did.
It’s an honor to serve the precious people of First Euless and it’s a joy to be a part of this family!
A couple of years ago, Kim was having a difficult time paying the bills. As Christmas approached, her three children were invited to participate in Night of Wonder. During the party she picked up black bags with gifts for her children...gifts she would give to her children on Christmas. Her children also made her a special gift.
Christmas morning, the children awoke with excitement and opened their gifts. There were new clothes and toys. Those gifts also contained smiles, laughter and most importantly - hope. Joy overflowed as she watched her kids cherish the gifts she could not have provided on her own.
As she sat thinking it couldn’t be better, her children brought her a gift. A gift they had kept a secret since the Night of Wonder party. As she opened it, warm tears began to stream down her face.
Today, if you visit Kim’s home, the first thing you will see is the small cross her children gave her that Christmas morning. She will tell you that was the year she found hope.
Our community has hundreds of moms like Kim—moms who have to choose between paying the electric bill or providing a Christmas gift for their children.
This Block was Rocked
This Oct. 31st, First Euless called our people to reach out to their neighborhoods in the mid-cities and beyond in a strategy called ROCK the BLOCK. Well, Austin Grissom and his family are most certainly BEYOND. They live in Saginaw, but they didn’t let how far they lived from the church deter them from taking the challenge of reaching their neighborhood.
The Grissoms and some friends from their Connection class took rocking their block to a whole new level. They had a bounce house, fire truck, hot dogs, dessert and (of course) lots of candy! They served 125 hot dogs, mostly to adults—and ran out! As a matter of fact, they ran out of cookies and dessert in a little over an hour. Every trick-or-treater received a First Euless information card, and they finished the evening one short of handing out all 250 cards they started with. By the end of the night, they estimated that they had 300-350 people that had come by!
They were a light to their community all because they were willing to think differently about October 31. The Grissoms and their team saw an opportunity to build relationships with the people around them—and that’s exactly what they did! They met many of their neighbors and had some deep, meaningful conversations.
It all started with one word: YES.
“What God has taught me during this is when He tells us to do something, then all we have to do is say YES.” Austin said, “There is no way I would have planned to have that many people come across our yard. There was traffic jams because of us!!! A lot of prayer went into this and we knew exactly what we had to do.” And so they were a light to their community—and in a BIG way. God did an incredible work, and we look forward to what God continues to do in the Grissom’s neighborhood.
Thanks to Austin Grissom for telling us his story.
Pam Pittard was saved as a young girl following Vacation Bible School. She was very fortunate to be raised in a wonderful Christian home where depending on God was a way of life for her family. From an early age, she has greatly valued her relationship with God.
To this day, Pam still walks with the Lord. She and her husband Knox have been members of First Euless for over 40 years. During that time, they have become deeply invested and have built some incredible relationships. The people in their connection class and others are very important to them, but they had no idea how important these relationships would become.
In January of 2011, Pam was diagnosed with cancer. Through this time of treatment, Knox and Pam have relied on their support group here at First Euless. Pam says: “One thing is for certain: the love and support shown to us by our church support group during these past two years has been unequaled to any amount of care ever given to anyone.”
In her time of greatest need, she has been able to trust in Jesus Christ and count on the support of the people at her church!
Through this process, Pam has even been inspired to write a book! Eagle in a Storm is all about the greatest challenge of her life—her journey with cancer. Pam says, “I want to encourage you, help you, cry with you, laugh with you, and give you lots of hugs through the book. It is the story of my struggle and faith that leads to enduring hope.”
As Pam continues to undergo treatment, she would tell you that she leans on the very verse that inspired the book title. Psalms 57:1 which tells us “I am trusting You. I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings until this storm is past.” Pam’s book is available here at the Common Grounds Bookstore or at pampittard.com.
Chris & Emily had been taking their 2-year old son, Cole, to preschool when they realized his excitement had died down. He had been so over-joyed to start school at the beginning of the 2011 year, but then he started telling his parents that he didn’t want to go to school. Emily and Chris began to investigate. “You want your kids to learn to love school from an early age,” says Emily.
Once they realized that his classroom didn’t have a positive atmosphere, they started looking around for another option. They found one right at their own church. They have been members of First Euless for several years but had never really checked out 1st Kids Academy. They came up to the church for a tour of the Tuesday-Thursday mother’s day out program and were excited to meet such friendly and loving teachers. They signed their son up to start this last January and have been thrilled to see him come home so excited after school. “He can’t wait to go to school, and comes home ready to share about the new letter or song he has learned that day,” says Emily.
1st Kids Academy has been a great experience for our son. His teachers always send home a note about the day. The last one said, “We learned in chapel about how David watched over the sheep, the same way God watches over us! And he cares about any lost sheep too!... Thank you for letting us love your children, teach them and help them grow!” And they really do. We are so thankful that...
Jesus is being taught through everything they do!
For those of you who are trying to figure out what 1st Kids is, it’s part of the Preschool ministry here at First Euless that provides a place for newborns through Pre-Kindergarten age children to learn God’s love and learn academic and social skills on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year. They teach the kids biblical truth and biblical principles through creative methods such as drama, music, puppets, crafts, teaching and discussions...And they have great teachers! If you want to find out more information, you can go online to firsteuless.com/1st-kids.