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Heintzman Shares Vision for FM Communications

BrettHThe new Free Methodist Church – USA communications director is an experienced communicator and spiritual leader. Brett Heintzman, an ordained elder in the Genesis Conference and associate director of the National Prayer Ministry, officially began his new role on March 4. The communications director oversees FMCUSA communications such as denominational websites, book publishing and Light + Life Magazine/Revista Luz y Vida.

“Brett comes with a rich history of leadership at several levels in the FMC from local church to denominational ministry,” said FMCUSA Chief Operating Officer Mark Dowley while announcing Heintzman’s hiring to staff at the World Ministries Center. “Additionally, Brett is well-experienced in the fields of technology and communications.”

Heintzman views the communications director role as a continuation of his call to ministry.

“In all of my ministry life, God has been changing me, shaping me and crafting me to deliver what I believe is a very specific message to the church, and that is to call God’s people back to holiness and vibrancy of life in the Holy Spirit,” Heintzman said during an interview in his new office at the World Ministries Center. “When I was approached to consider this position, what really got me was the thought that ‘Lord, you’re opening the door for a whole new avenue for this message.’”

While emphasizing what makes the denomination unique, Heintzman said, Free Methodists must embrace change instead of fearing it. Technological advancements have changed communication methods drastically in recent years. Heintzman — who previously owned a technology firm in New York — said our methods must change “to help accomplish effectively our mission to love God, love people and make disciples.” He wants to ensure that the Indianapolis-based communications team’s efforts connect with congregations across the denomination.

“My goal is to really investigate, promote and implement ways that communication can actually reach the person in the local church and bring us together in our distinctives,” Heintzman said. “I would like to see communications make a difference to an increasingly diverse audience in our culture. I would like to see it help the people in our denomination understand who they are in light of the greater church.”

After becoming a Christian at age 13, Heintzman realized his musical abilities provided a place to connect in the local church. In 1989, he accepted a staff position as a worship leader at a church in Florida. In 1994, he became the worship leader at Harvest Chapel — a Free Methodist congregation in Fredonia, New York. In 2010, he became the lead pastor of the Jamestown (New York) Free Methodist Church. Since July 2017, he and his wife, Barb, have served in a stateside missions role that includes teaching across the nation. During a 26-week period last year, he traveled to 39 locations for prayer initiatives and speaking engagements that included two weeklong camps.

Heintzman is the author of the books “The Crossroads: Asking for the Ancient Paths” and “Jericho: Your Journey to Deliverance and Freedom,” both of which are available at He is now writing a five-volume book series to address components of spiritual revitalization for churches.

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What Child Is This?

As we enter a New Year, we have fresh memories of joyful celebration of the gift of the child who changes everything for us. In our Christmas celebrations, many of us sang the classic carol: “What Child is This?” The song reflects on the wonder of God’s great gift to the world, who was proclaimed alive while still preborn and the fulfiller of God’s promises to bring salvation to persons, families, communities and the entire world.

The angel told Joseph that the child conceived and to be born was from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). And the preborn son of Elizabeth leaped in her womb at the presence of Mary, carrying the world’s Savior and Lord (Luke 1:41). Clearly, life abounds in this story from conception to crucifixion and re-emerges in the resurrection of Jesus.

The Free Methodist Church celebrates life beginning at conception and ending at a time of physical death (2015 Book of Discipline Par. 3222). We honor what God has created and sustained in creation by opposing the termination of preborn babies after conception. Human life is sacred and bears the image of our Creator God. Such life, in whatever the circumstances of its conception, rightly causes us awe and draws us to offer protection and care. Our Scriptures imply this clearly (Psalm 139:13-14).

It grieves us deeply to learn of a recent law enacted in the state of New York making provision for preborn children to be aborted even when they are medically considered full-term and “viable.” We understand that the Supreme Court has recognized a right to privacy that offers a legal right to abortion. We have opposed such laws and deny the legitimacy of such a right. But this new law goes even further to the point of allowing the termination of life for healthy babies. We view such laws as contrary to the will of God expressed both in creation and throughout the Scriptures.

The Free Methodist Church calls its members to respect civil authority and to participate fully in public life. Within such respect, however, there is a place and even a necessity for opposition to laws and legal decisions that are unjust and run counter to the way of Jesus our Lord. Such opposition has been a feature of our witness and service to the world from the inception of our church. We also note that Free Methodists have been on the front lines of offering alternate and better ways than that of the world. We have responded to the legalization of abortion with opening crisis pregnancy clinics, adoption advocacy and opportunity, and the welcoming of women into our homes and churches whose pregnancies overwhelm them.

We call upon our members to pray, advocate and engage appropriately with due respect for authority but with unwavering love for and protection of life.

Board of Bishops

Free Methodist Church – USA


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Memorial Service Scheduled for Pastor John Hendricks

46782272_10216732769488054_3988914944463601664_oDuring his 58 years as a Free Methodist pastor, John Hendricks had an especially fruitful ministry to people of diverse ages and backgrounds — including many college students who attended the Free Methodist churches bordering their campuses. Hendricks, 85, pastored in Ypsilanti, Michigan; St. Petersburg, Florida; Spring Arbor, Michigan; Greenville, Illinois; and Lakeland, Florida.

Hendricks died Sunday, Nov. 25, following a fall the previous day that resulted in severe brain trauma.

After a private graveside service for family earlier in the day, a 3 p.m. public memorial service will be held Friday, Nov. 30, at Light & Life Free Methodist Church, 5730 Deeson Road, Lakeland FL 33810, with a time to visit with family immediately following the service.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in Hendricks’ name be made to International Child Care Ministries. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the family.

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Bishops’ Fund to Support Wildfire Recovery

wildfire-1105209_1280The deadliest wildfire in California history has directly affected Free Methodist churches in Northern California, but that hasn’t stopped them from serving their communities. Donations through the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund will help local Free Methodists continue to assist their neighbors in need of shelter and support as they recover from the devastating blaze known as the Camp Fire.

“There are two churches near the burn zone. The Table Church (Pastor Jaymes Lackey) was in the evacuation zone, but the fire line was contained, and residents were permitted to return to their homes,” Sierra Pacific Conference Superintendent Mark Adams said. “The Foothill Community Church (Pastor Phil Gilmore) was near the evacuation zone. Three families of the Foothill Church lost their homes and all belongings. Both churches have stepped into immediate aid.”

CAMP5editThe conference has offered dozens of homes to people in need of shelter, Adams said, and churches are working with aid agencies to mobilize volunteers effectively. In addition to trying to meet the needs of the three families whose homes and possessions were destroyed, Foothill Community Church has distributed $700 worth of water to people in emergency shelters, and six pickup trucks full of donations have been dropped off at the church where teenagers are sorting and categorizing the items for distribution.

Foothill Associate Pastor Jeremy Carr has assisted first responders as a chaplain for the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 15,000 times, Carr discussed his work with survivors of the fire and also his time embedded with the coroner teams finding and identifying victims’ remains. He wrote, “My biggest fear is that after the urgency of this disaster fades so too will the humanity with which we have been conducting ourselves.”

CAMP6 (1)The Table reports, “Our church continues to meet for worship and prayer —spiritual support —during this scary and trying time. We have coupled our worship with service to the community through making the requested hygiene kits, being a hub for non-locals to donate resources, and actively engaging in community efforts to provide for the needs of the evacuees in our community by partnering with local nonprofits doing incredible work. … Our leadership team continues to encourage and model servant leadership by volunteering in local evacuee ministries run by other local nonprofits; 10-15 Table folks are serving on a near daily basis right now —more to be expected as air quality improves (which is dangerously bad).”

Amid the devastation, God is answering prayer. One of The Table’s key volunteers had a brother who was missing in the fire, and the congregation had prayer for him. “Less than 30 minutes later during our hygiene kit project, we got word that he was found alive and well,” The Table reports. “Tears and cheers erupted. It was a great moment.”

The Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund is the first line of rapid response to aid Free Methodists affected by natural disasters, famine and persecution. It is a means for the U.S. church to provide immediate, focused assistance through our church’s local, international and missions infrastructure. The bishops are grateful for any donations.

Give at or send donations to Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund, 770 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214.

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Help Churches Rebuild After Cyclone

believers houses destroyedA cyclone has destroyed 20 Free Methodist churches and left nearly 200 families without a roof over their homes as winter approaches.

“Our pastors and believers are without any roof to worship. Their places of worship have been completely damaged,” reports a church leader in this creative access country. “The people who are solely dependent on cash crop crops have been totally devastated and shattered with no hope.”

Free Methodists are planning to rebuild churches and homes with support from the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund. The fund is the first line of rapid response to aid Free Methodists affected by natural disasters, famine and persecution. It is a means for the U.S. church to provide immediate, focused assistance through our church’s local, international and missions infrastructure. The bishops are grateful for any donations.

Give at or send donations to Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund, 770 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214.

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