MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.


And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee


What could you learn in Bible Study?

March 8, 2011












As the wise Michelangelo said, “I am STILL learning.”  No matter who you are, you can still learn a little more about the Holy Bible.  One of South Main’s best time is during our Bible Study on Wednesday nights.

For the remainder of the spring, we are studying the Gospel According to Mark.

Mark is the earliest Gospel; the first written account of the life and ministry of Jesus. It was written by John Mark, who was Simon Peter’s translator and is likely a summary of Peter’s preaching. John Mark’s mother was a house-church pastor in Jerusalem and his uncle was Barnabas, Paul’s missionary partner. So John Mark grew up in the church in Jerusalem, went on Mission with Paul and Barnabas, and was apprentice to Simon Peter. What an incredible vantage point for sharing the life of Jesus with the world.

Please join us at South Main Baptist Church in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday evenings any time after 5:15 for supper. Prayer time runs from 6:15 until 6:30 and the Bible Study runs from 6:30 until 7:15. We hope to see you there.

fresh faith.  vintage church.

Are you yearning for a deeper experience of God?

September 17, 2010

Are you yearning for a deeper experience of God?

Would you like to be part of a small group of people with whom you can share questions of faith?

Come Walk with Companions in Christ:

  • A weekly journey in prayer, scripture, sharing, spiritual friendship, and meditation
  • A spiritual-formation group designed to deepen your spiritual growth
  • An invitation from God to come close. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing our Stories…Minnie Walker

April 18, 2010

By Minnie Walker, South Main Member

Minnie Walker is a proud member of the Reba Class in the Senior Adult Sunday School Department who is actively involved in many Missions activities at South Main.

I moved to Houston in 2005 to be near my sons and prayed I would find a church with loving members where I could dedicate my services to the Lord.

Guess what? God answered my prayer through a friend, Jean Crump, a former member of South Main Baptist Church, who had moved to San Antonio. She told me I HAD to go to her church in Houston for” it was the best, no other like it”. However, I really did not want to move my membership until I visited other churches.

Guess what? Here came an email from Jean with directions almost to the front door of South Main! So I attended church services, Sunday School and kept getting phone calls inviting me to join the Reba Class.

Guess what? I moved my membership to South Main and joined the Reba Class. Dodie Beazley has been a great influence in my life, and has involved me in SMILE, Shoes for Orphans and Bible Study. Cliff Brunson invited me to make sandwiches for the homeless, and I have been involved in this program for over two years.

So you see the reason I chose South Main Baptist for my church are the warm, friendly, caring Christian people who welcomed me and influenced my life. I have been blessed and can truly say this is the right church for me.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010

“God, use me.”

April 5, 2010

By Steve Rader, Outreach Committee Chair

I’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks working on this upcoming Share Campaign. During that time, I’ve been researching and writing the bible study lessons that will be using during the campaign. In it, I’ve really been learning and reflecting on what it means to share our faith and open ourselves up for God to use. As I have begun to pray “Lord, use me,” I have to tell you that some remarkable things have started to happen. Everywhere I turn, a new opportunity to talk about my faith or my church pops up.

Last week, I was walking down the hall at work and ran into a co-worker that I don’t regularly talk to a whole lot. She asked me what I had done over my Spring Break. I simply answered that I had helped to build a small house in Eagle Pass, TX as part of my church mission trip. She said, “Oh really. What church to you attend?” When I answered South Main Baptist, she quickly responded, “Oh yes, I visited South Main a few years ago. You know, I attended another church for 7 years and they did not do any missions or homeless work and I got frustrated because I really feel that is what being a Christian is all about. Two years ago I stopped attending and haven’t been back to church since. I really miss church. I’m going to come back and visit South Main.”

All I said was “I went on a mission trip,” and the next thing I knew, someone I work with had decided to come and check out South Main. When I add this to the 2-3 other incidents that I’ve had that are quite similar over the past few days, it is not hard to figure out who is really at work. God is not very subtle. I shouldn’t be surprised. I asked for Him to use me and He is doing just that.

We’ll be starting the 4 week “Share Campaign” on April 11th and running through May 2nd. Please pray for our church, that God will use us.

Crowded is Not Always Bad

March 8, 2010

By Tom Williams, Minister to Senior Adults and Church Administrator

During this time of remodeling and reconstruction, Bible Study groups have been reassigned to all sort of areas. I observe that this has proven that “crowded is not always bad”. Senior and IV and PrimeTimers have coexisted in the Fellowship Hall and all have worked to make it a good and wonderful experience. With coordination by the departments’ leadership, wonderful music has greeter our attendees on Sunday mornings along with a large quantity of coffee and donut holes. It has all worked to be a great experience.

People have shifted out of their regular patterns and have encountered new friends at church. Today, I am grateful for those that have made this work so well. I carry away from this experience that closeness, good coffee and donuts are a good thing!

What I learned about church at the U2 concert

November 5, 2009

u2bestWednesday night Bible study may be my favorite time of the week, so something very unusual has to happen for me to miss it. A few Wednesdays ago, I was in town, but not at South Main. Instead, my wife, Missy and I joined 80,000 or so other people at Reliant Stadium for the U2 concert. It was an amazing night and an incredible concert. It was also a religious experience. If you don’t know, allow me to let you in on the worst kept secret in the music industry: U2 is a Christian band. It is not just that the members of the band are open about their Christian faith, their music is deeply informed by that faith. Many of their songs directly quote Scripture; others offer mature reflection on the Gospel. The concert in Houston began with a song about the Holy Spirit, moved through a song about Judas Iscariot, and closed with a song called “moment of surrender.”

I was at turns enthralled by the depth of the music, wowed by the technology employed for the show, and fascinated by the crowd in the stadium. I am told that many to most of U2’s fans do not know that their music is so deeply rooted in Christian faith; but the crowd clearly connected deeply to the Gospel message being offered. It says something important about the Gospel that so many people, many of who have their guard up against “Christians” and “the church,” respond to the message of Jesus when it gets past their defenses. The church has something to learn from the success of U2 in sharing the Gospel. I have been thinking about what that might be this week and here are three preliminary thoughts:

Presentation matters.

U2 puts on an incredible show. We are not going to compete with them either in razzle dazzle electronics or in musical style. But part of the band’s appeal is that they have worked to prepare a place for you. Bo Prosser at CBF says, “people go where they know they have been prepared for and are cared for;” and he is right about that. It is clear from the moment U2’s show starts to the moment it is over that a place has been prepared for the fan. They are dedicated to innovation and excellence in all that they do: the show in Houston was different because it was in Houston. They had been to NASA, they knew things about us that became a part of the experience. They were enthusiastic about Houston; they cared about us. Excellence and passion attract. They know that connecting to the fan is a part of the delivery of the message. They know that communicating that they care is part of earning the opportunity to speak. South Main has long had some of the most beautiful worship space in town – our sacred space was built on the belief that architecture and design, when done well and right, evoke worship (or hinder it when done poorly). The present renovations of our campus will bring our discipleship space into the same kind of thoughtful, functional beauty as our worship space. Our building committee is struggling over details of paint and carpet color, technology choices, and furniture selection as part of our commitment as a church to prepare a place for our guests. We are setting the table with architecture and design throughout our campus. Of course architecture and design are only the first steps, we have to continue to plan meaningful, thoughtful, and engaging worship and Bible study. And we have to demonstrate to people – new and tenured alike – that we care. All of that is to say I believe our plans to date will show themselves to be wise and strategic in the near future.

Authenticity matters.

U2 is a rock band. Their fans expect a concert, and the band delivers. More than that, their music recognizes, explores, and mines the tension between the desperation, disappointment, and confusion we experience in the world around us with the joy, grace, and love we know has been planted within us through King Jesus. We intuitively know both that the world is a mess and that it ought not e this way. They Gospel points us to the redemption of creation. The church we are called to be, like U2, attracts people with excellence and helps us to live in the tension between what is and what should be by meaningfully offering ways to fix our eyes on what is unseen and to touch for ourselves the One who was from the beginning. People in our community are looking for a church like South Main, but do not yet know what to make of us, or do not yet know we are here. We have an opportunity to honestly shape people’s expectation about us in advance of their coming. Our Outreach and Publicity committees have worked hard with our staff to succinctly and honestly capture the essence of our church so that we can intentionally communicate with the surrounding community. Our marketing campaign “Fresh Faith. Vintage church.” is our effort to do so. We want people to come expecting both a place rooted in traditions older than we are and a place of grace and truth where honest questions meet thoughtful struggle, a place where we worship God, grow in our faith, and share all we have.

A call to service matters.

U2 invites people to join the ONE campaign, a secular effort to effect political pressure in favor of the poor of the earth. U2 fans know there will be a call to action. In the same way, people coming to the church want to know not only what we believe but how we behave: what are you doing with the faith you proclaim? South Main’s long commitment to the social gospel rings true to the culture around us. A rich heritage of lay-initiated ministries bears ongoing witness to the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit in this place and our faithfulness in responding to the call.

I believe the combination of beautiful space, well-prepared time, gracious hospitality, and commitment to doing real good in the world is not only authentic to the call of Christ, but also the very thing many people in our culture are seeking. As I have reflected on the concert, I realized South Main has a long and rich tradition of doing the things that are attractive for the Gospel to the community around us today. Last month I went to a concert and came home encouraged about the church.

Grace and Peace,


Judas Iscariot

September 7, 2009
By Steve Wells, Pastor

By Steve Wells, Pastor

We have been learning about the original twelve disciples in our Wednesday study this summer. Last week we learned from Judas Iscariot. Perhaps few characters are remembered more for their failure than is Judas Iscariot. And he is a Biblical character, which I take to mean that he has something to teach us.

Judas means “praise to God.” Because of that grand meaning, it was a very popular name, prior to the way Iscariot marred it. Judas betrayed Jesus. Two thousand years later, his betrayal still defines the name; even people who know little of the Gospel know that to be a “Judas” is to be a betrayer. Whatever good he did or might have done has been eclipsed by his last days. Matthew 10: 4 calls him, pointedly, “Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”

The truth from Judas is, Gene Kranz notwithstanding: Failure is always an option. We have it within us to live with great faith or, as my friend Joseph Kelsay said it, we have it within us “to quit before the miracle.” Judas quit before the miracle. Greatest sadness about his life is not what Judas did, but what he did not do. There was a moment during that terrible passion week in which both Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot were betrayers. Simon Peter three times denied he ever knew Jesus. Judas Iscariot sold his friend and Lord out to the Temple authorities. The difference between the two of them is that Simon Peter waited for Jesus to come to him, to forgive him,to call him back to ministry. Because Simon Peter received the grace to begin again, he preached the sermon that founded church and is remembered as a pillar of our faith. I believe that if Judas had waited, Jesus would have done the same thing for him that he did for Simon Peter. Again, the greatest tragedy in Judas’ life is not what he did, but what he did not do: he did not allow grace to work it’s way into him.

That lesson is a critical for us to learn, for, as John Claypool wrote, it is too late for innocence. If the truth were known, we have all failed. Each of us has skeletons in our closets. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And yet, the great glad good news of the Gospel is nothing less than this: God’s grace is greater than our sin. No matter how much mess we have made of our lives, it is not too much for God to forgive and redeem. God is more interested in our future than our past. God is more interested in what we can be than what we have been.

Judas never let God redeem his past, but Peter did. Judas never asked God for a better future, but Peter did. Judas never took God’s offer for a second chance; and his stubborn refusal consumed his life. Peter, on the other hand, found life, grace, peace, purpose and joy on the backside of failure and betrayal.

What do you need to ask God to forgive? to redeem? to repair? to rebuild? Have you asked God for a second chance? Are you willing to wait on Jesus, or will you quit before the miracle?

Simon the Zealot

July 10, 2009
We have been learning about the twelve Apostles this summer in Wednesday night Bible study. There is plenty of material about some of the disciples (Peter, Matthew, John, Judas) and then there is “Simon the Zealot.” He appears in the text of Scripture only three times (Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). In each case, his name is listed among a group of disciples, “Simon the zealot.” But he is a real puzzle to me: what is a zealot doing among the Apostles of Jesus? 
The zealots were as much a political party as a religious group (then, as now, there are sometimes unfortunately little difference between the two). The zealots trace their history back to a terrible persecution of Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century BC. Antiochus Epiphanes placed an altar to Zeus in the Temple, sacrificed a pig on the altar, made it a death penalty offense to observe the sabbath or to refuse to worship an idol. As you might expect, that kind of brutality evoked a brutality in kind. One the the priests from the Temple in Jerusalem, Mattathias ben Yochanan, and his 5 sons (better known as the Maccabees) put together a guerilla army to fight for God and His people. They won, then ruled Jerusalem from 135-37 BC. As Mattathias died, he said to sons, “be zealous with the law and do not hesitate to give your life for the holy cause” thus giving birth the the “zealot” movement. Later, when the Romans took control of Palestine in 63 BC, the zealots were their nemesis as well. By then, they were known as the “assassins.” They carried knives under cloaks and took great pleasure in plunging them into backs of Roman soldiers. Their hatred grew to include anyone who showed slightest accommodation to Rome. 
So what is a “zealot” doing following the “prince of peace”? And how did Simon the Zealot get along with Matthew the tax collector? The short answer is, “I don’t know.” But somewhere along the way, Simon stopped being conformed to the pattern of this world and was transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12: 1-2). I can’t prove this is true, but you can’t prove it is not. I think Simon went to listen to Jesus teach one day, after all someone (with knife under cloak) had to test young rabbi’s words to make sure he wasn’t a Roman lover. I think Simon heard a hope for the future and found a home in the heart of God in the message of Jesus he never knew while holding a knife in his hand. I think Simon found a joy in Jesus he thought was impossible in this world and for rest of his life he was “zealous for Jesus.” That is, he had a zeal to give and share life, not to take it. I think he kept the name “Zealot” as a reminder that people really can change all the way to the heart.
Do you know that your life can be joy-filled? I find it incredibly sad that a number of people hardly believe anymore in the possibility of a joy-filled life. I know people who have more or less accepted life as a prison and are grateful for any occasion that facilitates the illusion of the opposite: a vacation, a new romance, a drink. None of these things bad in and of themselves, but, when sought as an opiate for life, we become conformed by this world and not transformed by the next. But we can have joy that does not leave us in sickness, poverty, even death. We can have joy that moves us from the house of fear to the house of love. We can celebrate because Christ is sharing his own joy with us. We can have zeal, not to shed life but to share it. We can be transformed by the mercies of God. Simon was. How about you?
–Steve Wells, Pastor
For more information about South Main, please go to

Just a Closer Walk?

June 2, 2009

Companions in Christ Bible Study and Spiritual Formation Opportunity

Are you yearning for a deeper experience of God?

Would you like to be part of a small group of people with whom you can share questions of faith?

Come Walk with Companions in Christ

*an 8 week journey in prayer, scripture, sharing, spiritual friendship, and meditation

*A spiritual-formation group designed to deepen your spiritual growth

*An invitation from God to come close.

The Discipleship Committee invites you to consider joining us for a special 7 week Companions in Christ study this summer (six lessons and an intro). A group of 8-10 individuals would meet from 8:30-10:30am on Sunday mornings July 12-August 23. Participation in the group is open to anyone but does ask for a serious commitment of time and focus for a meaningful formation process. For more information or to sign up, please contact Amy Grizzle, Minister to Adults, at