Spring 2015 Newsletter

Bro. Mershon and Bro. Harold Butler

Tom and Sandy Williams and the Mershons

This last round of meetings marks the very first time I have had the opportunity to minister in the great state of Texas. We found the people in central and south Texas very warm and friendly and enjoyed our month of ministry opportunities there. By the time we arrived back in southern California, we clocked 4,200 miles on the odometer. Our 2012 Chevrolet is piling up the miles as our travel schedule has expanded, and has provided us with good service and great fuel economy as well. Travel has gotten a bit more tiring for us as we get older now, but praise God for His grace and for His traveling mercies as He has surely given His angels charge over us. We truly appreciate your prayers for our safety on the road and in the air. We have upcoming meetings in California, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and on the east coast, so we continue to covet your prayers for safety as we travel.

I had the privilege of preaching for Beeville Baptist Church where Tim Stowe has faithfully served as pastor for the past 26 years. I have a connection with this ministry in that my dear friend, Tom Williams, served as pastor of Beeville Baptist for 8 years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Tom is a retired United States Navy Chief Warrant Officer. We met when Linda and I came to Fundamental Baptist Church of Escondido in 1975. I served there at FBC as a deacon and youth director. Tom served as our song leader. When he received orders to Guam, God used him to plant an independent Baptist church there while serving on active duty. While still attached to his duty station in Guam, he returned to the states on leave at which time both he and I were licensed to the Gospel preaching ministry on the same evening at FBC. Upon completion of duty in Guam, Tom was reassigned to Naval Air Station Chase Field, Texas, where he subsequently retired from the Navy, later becoming the pastor of Beeville Baptist Church. Today he is serving as pastor of Community Baptist Church in Devine, Texas, where it was a blessing for me to preach. Though he is now 76 years of age and in failing health, he has remained faithful to his call to the pastoral ministry. He planted this work several years ago and is now looking for God’s choice of a man to come and pastor there so he can fully retire.

But I have yet another connection to Beeville Baptist Church in the person of Harold Butler. I have included a photograph here of he and I taken after I preached there in a Wednesday evening. I had the joy of leading Harold to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ many years ago when we served together in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Twelve (HS-12) deployed aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43). We had not seen one another for 30 years, so we had a sweet and precious time of reunion. Brother Harold, as a Senior Chief Petty Officer, retired from the Navy while assigned to Chase Field, and became an active member of Beeville Baptist Church. Though older than me by a year-and-a-half, he is indeed my “son in the faith,” and I thank God for this dear brother in Christ, a faithful servant of the Lord.

I had the privilege of speaking for the annual family camp for Freedom Baptist Church of Copperas Cove, Texas. This is a work planted by my friend, Kevin Raub, in 1994. Kevin serves as a home missionary-church planter, specifically working with the United States Armed Forces. Freedom Baptist Church is located close to Fort Hood and has ministered to is soldiers since its inception. Fort Hood is home to 46,000 assigned soldiers and 8,900 civilian personnel. There are also many thousands of military dependents making the area a vast mission field all of its own. We had a wonderful week at camp. There was a fresh moving of the Spirit of God during the week, on one evening in particular, with many decisions for the Lord. I sensed that families were drawn closer together as God worked in hearts. One particular blessing was witnessing a father and son reconcile their differences after a lengthy period of alienation and bitterness. Praise God for the moving of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these two men! To God be the glory! Great things HE hath done!

Our family welcomed little Elayna Mae into the world on last month. For us, she is great-grandbaby number 6, the first girl out of the 6 as the first 5 are great-grand boys. Great-grandbaby number 7 is due in August, and we just learned that we will have another girl added to our family. It is such a joy to have 5 precious grandchildren, but there is something even more special to have lived long enough to see our children’s children’s children. And we are young enough to enjoy them and watch them grow over the upcoming years. It’s amazing to me that God gave us the one child, and from that one dear girl we have this rapidly expanding family. God has been good to us!

In June Linda and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. It seems like just a short while ago when we met, courted, and were married. It has been a wonderful and blessed 50 years! God has been so good to us! We are not only partners in life, but partners in the ministry as well.

We are praying about more direct involvement with church planting and church planters. I have some projects in mind at the moment, so I would appreciate your prayers as we look to the Lord for His guidance. I am particularly interested in working with young men with a heart for establishing new works as commissioned and sent out by their local church. I am also very interested in working with church restarts and struggling works in some way in order to see those works preserved rather than closing their doors. We can ill-afford to see existing churches pass off the scene leaving no Gospel witness in the community where God has placed them.

My pastor and I visited the inner-city work in San Diego this past week and we were excited to see what God is doing in that dark and needy place. Iglesia Bautista la Puerta Abierta is thriving and growing. There was a capacity crowd on the Wednesday evening we were there. Pastor Crescencio Diaz has now turned the work over to Brother Ezequiel Nunez who will now be the pastor. Brother Nunez is a seasoned man in his 40s, and a graduate of the Bible College that is a ministry of the commissioning church. The church is now meeting in a very nice rented facility costing only $150.00 a month. What a blessing! How we rejoice to see what God is doing in and through this work with souls saved and an outreach where none existed just a few years ago. Personally, I am so thankful to see this work established after 7 years of prayer seeking the Lord for the establishment of a work in the barrio. Pastor Diaz now reports that they will be planting yet another Hispanic work very soon in National City, California. Please pray for the establishment of this much-needed work in a city largely populated with Hispanic people.

Thank you all for your prayers for us as we travel and minister in revival work. We love and appreciate you all. Thank you, too, for your continued support of our ministry. We are grateful that we are partners and co-laborers in service to the King. Please know that we pray for you and the work that God has given to you as you labor in His vineyard.

Addicted to the Ministry of the Saints,

Paul and Linda Mershon



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