News & Notes

Bulletin for May 12, 2024

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Psalm 106

This week, we’re going to start learning a new psalm. Psalm 106 is the last psalm of Book 4, and the last of three “Hallelujah” psalms. Book 4 is all about the hope of the heavenly king (Jesus), and Psalms 104-106 end that theme with an explosion of praise.

Psalm 104 is praise to God for his creation, and 105-106 are praise to God for his redemption. Psalm 105 is about God’s faithfulness in redemption, but the unique contribution of Psalm 106 is that it’s about Israel’s unfaithfulness in redemption. This is key to understanding how redemption works. All we can offer to God is our own sin, but in spite of our failure, he is faithful.

Psalm 106 illustrates this by rehearsing several key events of the wilderness wanderings. As we study these wilderness wanderings over the next few weeks, we’ll be singing the portions of the Psalm that go with our sermon text. You may notice that some of the verses go with events in Numbers, so we won’t be singing those. In particular, we won’t sing verses 9-14 (vv. 24-43 according to the numbering in your Bible.) But it might be interesting to go back and study those for yourself.

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  1. Bible Camp is scheduled for the week of June 24th. Be sure to mark you calendars!

  2. The next Parents’ Fellowship is May 26th.

  3. As always, don’t forget to support our mercy ministries, Antioch’s Food Pantry and PROMISS!

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletin for May 5, 2024

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Bulletin for April 28, 2024

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The Divinity of Jesus in Titus

As Christians, we confess that Jesus is God. A lot of times, we take that for granted, but it is actually something that comes straight out of Scripture. In particular, although it’s not the main point of the epistle, we can clearly see that Paul understands Jesus to be God in Titus.

If you look for the word “Savior” in Titus, you’ll see that it appears six times.

The first two are back to back in Titus 1:3-4:

…and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Notice that first God is called Savior, and immediately following, Christ Jesus is called Savior.

Two more times, God is referred to as Savior, in Titus 2:10 and 3:4:

…not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…

Once more, Jesus Christ is Savior in Titus 3:6:

…whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

But the kicker is in Titus 2:13:

…waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ

There are two ways to understand this verse. Either our great God refers to the Father, and Savior refers to Jesus Christ, but I am more inclined to see the whole phrase “our great God and Savior” as a unified phrase all referring to Jesus Christ.

But the point is this: in Titus, we can clearly see that Paul understands God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son to be one. They both take on the same title, Savior.

So next time the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door, you can turn to Titus to have a discussion about the divinity of Christ!


  1. Yesterday, I was at First Presbyterian Pascagoula for our Gulf South Presbytery meeting. I’ll have some great updates for you tomorrow, but please continue to pray for our missionaries and church plants as they seek the minister in the places they’re called.

  2. Rev. Ron Pierce is joining us next week, May 5, to preach and serve communion. Be preparing your hearts this next week.

  3. Parents’ Fellowship meets tomorrow at 5 at the Newmans’ house.

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletin for April 21, 2024

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Psalm 113

This Sunday, we will open our worship service with a responsive call to worship from Psalm 113. This psalm is the first of the Hillel psalms (113-118) which would have been sung each year at the Passover. In Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26, it says that Jesus and his disciples sang a “hymn.” That almost certainly refers to this sequence of psalms.

Psalm 113 is a call to praise God, and it lists several reasons to praise him.

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!

Verses 1-4 tell us to praise God because he is creator. We praise him because he is sovereign over all things. He sets the sun in its place, and he establishes all the rulers of the earth. Nothing is outside of his control. This is certainly enough reason to praise him, but there’s more.

Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Verses 5-9 tell us to praise God because he is our redeemer. Although God is high above all things, sitting on the throne of heaven, he does not remain unapproachable. In fact, he bends down from his throne to raise up the poor and needy. This is exactly what Christ did in his incarnation, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7).

We are the poor and needy, and he raises us up from the dust and ash by becoming dust and ash himself, i.e., by becoming man. He takes barren Israel, and makes her fruitful so that the children of God are multiplied with the gospel. He gives the church a home in heaven, and guards her from all danger.

When we worship each Sunday, we rejoice in this–that God is both creator and redeemer. This is how John Calvin summarizes this truth:

In this ruin of mankind no one now experiences God either as Father or as Author of salvation, or favorable in any way, until Christ the Mediator comes forward to reconcile him to us. Nevertheless, it is one thing to feel that God as our Maker supports us by his power, governs us by his providence, nourishes us by his goodness, and attends us with all sorts of blessings—and another thing to embrace the grace of reconciliation offered to us in Christ. First, as much in the fashioning of the universe as in the general teaching of Scripture the Lord shows himself to be simply the Creator. Then in the face of Christ [cf. II Cor. 4:6] he shows himself the Redeemer. (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1.2.1)


  1. Parents’ Fellowship is scheduled to meet again on April 28th (next Sunday) at 5 PM. We’ll be diving deep into what the Bible teaches about how to study the Bible.

  2. Presbyterian Women will meet on Thursday, May 2, at 6:30 PM

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletins for April 14, 2024

Lord’s Day Morning Bulletin

Lord’s Day Evening Bulletin

What’s Happening Sunday?

John Henry Lorimer–The Ordination of Elders in a Scottish Kirk

John Henry Lorimer–The Ordination of Elders in a Scottish Kirk

This Sunday, we’re doing something a little unusual. In fact, it’s possible that some of you may have never seen this kind of service before. Under normal circumstances, elders in the local church are ordained and installed in the local church by the local Session, but since we have been received into the EPC, our elders need to be installed by our new presbytery. We’ll have elders from several churches in our presbytery joining us for this service.

Ordination is what makes someone an elder. This is done through the laying on of hands by other elders (see 1 Tim. 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6), and it is only done one time–once an elder, always an elder. Installation is when an ordained elder is appointed to a particular role. All of our elders have previously been ordained, so the purpose of Sunday evening’s service is to install them as elders in the EPC. They will take vows to serve the church with moral integrity and doctrinal purity, and the congregation will take vows to sumbit to and support the elders in their calling. This is a very solemn and important event in the life of our church, but it is also a great time of rejoicing and thanksgiving for God’s provision to us.

Also, here’s a short video explaining the basic of Presbyterian church government to help you:

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletin for April 7, 2024

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Psalm 87

This Sunday, we’ll open worship with a responsive call to worship from Psalm 87. Then, we’ll sing “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” John Newton (also the author of “Amazing Grace”) wrote this hymn as a reflection on Psalm 87. So I thought it would be good to prepare you with a couple thoughts on what this psalm means.

Psalm 87 is divided into three stanzas by the word “Selah”–vv. 1-3, 4-6, and 7.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah

Zion/Jerusalem/the city of God are all used in the psalms to designate the place of God’s worship. In the Old Covenant, the highest worship happened on the Temple Mount in the city where the people would gather periodically to perform their duties. Of course, there were synagogues throughout the land of Israel, and the people worshipped each Sabbath in these smaller settings. But notice what the psalm says, “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.” The people’s synagogue worship was certainly accepted by God, but the fullest and best expression of worship occurred in the Temple.

In the New Covenant, these terms are redefined. The temple is now the body of Christ and the people of God (Eph. 2:21). When God’s people gather, they themselves constitute the temple. This is why the author of Hebrews can say that we have “come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22).

So Psalm 87 takes on new meaning in the New Covenant. It is still true that the LORD loves Zion more than the dwelling places of Jacob, but Zion is no longer bound to a physical hill in Jerusalem. Zion is the weekly gathered worship of God’s people. This also means that, although it is good to worship God privately and in our families, the pinnacle of our worship, the most important time of our week, is weekly Lord’s Day worship. This, of course, makes this psalm particularly appropriate for our call to worship. When we read this together, we are proclaiming the value of the worship that we are about to engage in. Our weekly worship is the thing that most delights God in this life, and it should also be the thing that most delights us.

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush–
“This one was born there,” they say.
And of Zion it shall be said,
“This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
The LORD records as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah

In the second, we get a catalog of some of the nations that surround Israel. Each of these nations is praising the one who is born in Jerusalem. The word “born” here can mean physical birth, but more generally, it refers to any “bringing forth.” Those who are born/brought forth in Zion have a special distinction of belonging to the LORD who makes note of them.

Of course, in the New Covenant, one element of salvation is the new birth–we are born again to a living hope. To borrow Jesus’ words from John 3, we are born of the Spirit. Verses 4-6, then, are a picture of the nations coming to God’s temple to rejoice with his people, which is ultimately fulfilled in the church.

Singers and dancers alike say,
“All my springs are in you.”

The spring (some translations, “fountain”) is the source of water. In the same way, the public worship of God among the people of God is the source of life. When we ascend Mount Zion each Sunday morning, we are going to drink from the well of living water. We call these springs the means of grace: the Word, sacraments, and prayer.1 It is in these things that God has promised to meet us, and they are found in their most potent and concentrated form in public worship.

So as we worship this Sunday, let us delight in the streams of living water God offers us, the streams that flow from his holy temple, the people of God.


  1. The floors are getting closer, but we’re not quite there yet! We’ve got one more week out of the Fellowship Hall, and one more week of adult Sunday school in the sanctuary.

  2. Keep in mind that we’ll have a special installation service next Sunday, April 14th, at 5pm. Be sure to join us to welcome our guests and celebrate our elders!

Your friend in Christ,

  1. Where does singing fit into this? Well, on one hand singing is prayer when it is directed toward God, but when it is directed to one another, it is also an exposition of the Word or, in the case of our psalms, the Word itself. ↩︎

Bulletins for Easter Weekend 2024

Good Friday Bulletin

Sunrise Service Bulletin

Lord’s Day Service Bulletin

Bulletin for March 24, 2024

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A Devotional Suggestion

This week and next week, we’re taking a short break from reading the Gospel of Luke and jumping over to the Gospel of John. We’ll read the first part of John 12 in worship this Sunday, and on Good Friday, we’ll pick up with John 18. So it would be a great idea to read chapters 13-17 during the week (you can read one a day)! These chapters, called the Upper Room Discourse, are an account of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. In it, he tells them a number of important things about how to live the Christian life after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

If you to dig deeper into these chapters, you can watch this teaching series from Sinclair Ferguson at Ligonier.


  1. Don’t forget about the community choir special at Faith Presbyterian in Leakesville! There will be two shows–Saturday at 7 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

  2. Make note of the Holy Week schedule, and be sure to share it with your friends!

  3. The floors are still in progress, so please continue to avoid the Fellowship Hall.

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletin for March 17, 2024

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Over the next four weeks of sermons, we’ll be studying the Passover. This week is “The Passover Promised.” I highly encourage you to be looking ahead to familiarize yourself with the Scriptures as we move toward Easter!

  1. The new floors are going down in the Fellowship Hall! Please keep out of that area until further notice.

  2. Presbyterian Women meets Thursday at 6:30 PM to install new officers.

  3. If you haven’t been with us for Wednesday night, this week is a great time to start! The adults are working through the book of Romans in addition to all the kids’ activities.

Your friend in Christ,

Bulletin for March 10, 2024

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Psalm 116

This week, we’re singing Psalm 116:15-19. In this section of the psalm, verse 16 may jump out at you:

O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.

Here’s some brief comments from John Calvin that may shed some light on what’s going on here:

In assigning, as the reason of his deliverance, that he was God’s servant, he by no means vaunts of his services, but rather refers to God’s unconditional election; for we cannot make ourselves his servants, that being an honor conferred upon us solely by his adoption. Hence David affirms, that he was not God’s servant merely, but the son of his handmaid. “From the womb of my mother, even before I was born, was this honor conferred upon me.” He therefore presents himself as a common example to all who shall dedicate themselves to the service of God, and place themselves under his protection, that they may be under no apprehension for their safety while they have him for their defense.

In other words, we are God’s servants first because we have been freed from sin. This is justification (freedom from sin’s penalty) and sanctification (freedom from sin’s power). Second, we are God’s servants because we have been adopted into the family of God. Our relationship with God is both legal and familial. As Paul reminds us:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:14-15)

Get Ready for Easter!


  1. Don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday night!

  2. Presbyterian Women meets Thursday at 3 to install new officers.

  3. Within the next few weeks, the Fellowship Hall will be blocked off to put in new floors. Please do not attempt to enter.

Your friend in Christ,