Jeremy Taylor, an Anglican pastor and author from the seventeenth century, once said, “God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.” Statements like this reflect my pastoral ambition to confront souls and shepherd them into the profound character of God, as it is revealed through Jesus Christ in the Scriptures. All the fullness of God affecting all of who we are, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can move us in supernatural combinations to “rejoice with trembling,” (Psalm 2:11). Psalm 2:12 confirms Jeremy Taylor’s strange but true assertion, “[Kiss] the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way.” God threatens terrible things for the sinner who refuses to joyfully embrace the Son, because such resistance devalues the satisfying nature of God’s supreme spiritual beauty. This is the very essence of sin. Sin launches a full-frontal assault on the infinite honor of God by substituting lesser things for our ultimate pleasure and joy. Therefore, the very essence and “good news” of the gospel is that God reunites the eternal happiness of our souls with Himself, by the new birth of His Holy Spirit through Jesus’ shed blood. May the LORD first plunge me into the deeper depths of this everlasting joy that I might be of some heavenly use in helping others get there! May the LORD also grant that “the unfading crown of glory” be revealed to me and all the elders of UHF on the day “when the Chief Shepherd appears” (1 Peter 5:4).
Chip Bayer is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN, and has done additional post-graduate work in biblical languages and hermeneutics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He considers his time in seminary one of the most formidable experiences of his life.
“When I entered seminary I was amazed to learn how much I didn’t know,” he said. “I grew up in church but had never studied God’s Word so comprehensively. I found out I didn’t even know how to study the Bible. I felt cheated. I shouldn’t have had to go to seminary to learn those things — I should have been learning them in church all along. The in-depth things of God are not only for pastors and elders — they are for the Church. This fundamentally changed how I view the task of making disciples.”
Chip’s ministry experience includes serving on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications, as editor of the Indiana Baptist new journal, and as a regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He also is an instructor for the SBC Seminary Extension program. But, he considers his most important ministry to be to his wife of more than 25 years, Peggy, and his two daughters, Megan and Katie.
DR. BILL VADEN
Meet our Deacons. They are the “hands and feet” for numerous tasks of ministry in our church. They manage the care of our facility and property. But more importantly, they are the designated male servants in our fellowship who are responsible for creating points of intersection between our theological vision and the tangible needs that exist within our congregation and out in the community (Acts 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3:8-13).