ACMin Newsletter - February 2016

Our One True Love

In December, we are reminded that God sent Jesus because He SO loved the world.  In February, our attention turns towards love for one another and “romantic” love.  Because our most tangible experiences of love play out in the human realm—quite possibly imperfect, needs-based or flawed experiences—we can easily assume that God’s love must be the same.  

Each of us has inside a place of longing that can only be filled with God’s good and perfect love.  He made us that way, in His image, so that we would have the capacity to love Him and be filled with His love.  In our hunger for love, how often we work in our own strength to fill the empty place with things of this world that will never satisfy us the way that only HIS LOVE does. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “hessed” (or chesed) is the representation of God’s love.  In Exodus 34:6-7, Moses saw it.  Hessed is much more than an emotion or feeling; it is weighty, tangible and has real substance. Numbers 14:18  describes this love as the very character of God.  Hessed is God’s mercy, lovingkindness, goodness, and grace-filled love.  Hessed is sticky and tenacious in its pursuit of our hearts.  It is eternal and self-sustaining. In the New Testament, hessed is expressed in the Greek word, “agape” and all of its characteristics have life in the person of Jesus Christ!

May we all know and believe the love that God has for us.  God is love—to know His love is to know HIM. If we remain in His love, we remain in God, and God remains in us.  As His love is perfected in each one of us, may it flow through us out into the world, casting out fear and revealing His glory to the ends of the Earth. (1 John, 4: 16-17).  For God SO loves the world!

ACMin Campaign for Growth = Accreditation!

We invite you to parther with the Athens College of Ministry as we press forward into full accreditation--the focus of our 2016 Campaign for Growth! ACMin is making ready to add full-time staff and a library facility as it prepares to qualify for accreditation candidacy.  Your financial gift will help further God's mission and vision for the college through:
  • a multi-year pledge to the ACMin Annual Fund;
  • a one-time stretch gift to the Capital Campaign; and 
  • remembering ACMin in your estate planning
Click here for full details of the 2016 campaign, an audio testimony of how our college was founded, and a look at the vision for our college in the months ahead. Naming opportunities are available. Your gift not only helps supply the needs of the saints but also results in many expressions of thanks to the Lord! (2 Corinthians 9:12).

Sign up to ServeAthens in March!

ServeAthens ICN, the college's annual service day, is coming up Saturday, March 19th. God is doing a huge work of empowering the churches of Athens for service that will continue throughout the year, but we need YOUR help!

This year, ServeAthens ICN will be partnering with a few of our local churches who need some help to reinforce - and in some cases kickstart - outreach to their neighboring communities. Our 2016  projects will focus on serving some of the most broken, needy and lost communities in the city of Athens together as the collective "hands and feet" of God and connecting them to a church body in their community!   

Learn more about the 2016 ServeAthens ICN event at www.acmin.org/Serve, check out the projects lined up, and sign up today! 

Plan to be Transformed! in June

Mark your calendars for June 10th and 11th so that you won’t miss ACMin’s Transformed! Conference. This year’s theme is “As Your Soul Prospers” based on 3 John 1:2. The conference will be a life-changing time of in-depth teaching, powerful keynote messages, and special times of worship.  The 2016 lineup includes:

-Free to Be Like Jesus by Tommy Hays
-Pastoring With Passion (for pastors only) by David Holt
-The Power of One by Angel Davis
-A special keynote message and worship by Babbie Mason
….and more!!

Click here for complete information and bring everyone you know who is hungry for God’s power to transform!

We Learned to be More Than Conquerors!

Saturday, January 9th, was ACMin's 3rd annual New Year-New Heart prayer conference. Teaching, testimonies and prayers moved us deeper into the understanding that we have within us the power and authority to live in the Victory of Christ as "More Than Conquerors." 

What we learned about Pain

One participant learned to "Pray from my place of pain." Debbie Jones learned that she "gains authority in the place of affliction. It becomes a platform to intercede for others." Donnette Grant said, "Pain should not be feared or avoided. Insecurity in myself is not bad. I need to find my security in Christ." Another participant learned that her pain actually equipped her for ministry! "Suffering shows us how to have compassion to pray for others in hard times."

What we learned about the Battle

Dave Himmelsbach was encouraged to "get ready for battle before going into it." Another participant concurred, learning "not to have a spirit of fear but of power through Jesus Christ ... to put on that armor and get in the fight! I am a soldier and will live according to God's will and in His Strength."


Stay tuned on Facebook for a video testimonial from some of our NYNH16 participants! Thank you to everyone who made the day a success including Cornerstone Church, our speakers, volunteers, participants and our 2016 business sponsors

Student Spotlight: Cassandra Sims

"I was baptized when I was 6 years old, but I didn't know what that meant," said Cassandra. Cassandra Sims grew up in a Christian home that valued church attendance. "You went to church," said Cassandra. "It's just what you did." Though Cassandra's mother, sister and grandparents were passionate for the Lord, Cassandra spent much of her life running in the opposite direction. "I rebelled for many years. I just was not interested, so I didn't get into it." It wasn't until Cassandra got pregnant with her oldest daughter that things changed.

"God started really dealing with me. I wanted to be better for my daughter, a better mom and wife. I rededicated my life to the Lord." "Up to that point," Cassandra said, "I was a 'pew member' when it came to church. But at 33 years old I heard Him say, 'I'm speaking to you.'"

Cassandra had been attending Timothy Baptist Church for about 9 years when she felt pulled to pursue something deeper. "About three or four years ago, I felt like I was being called into ministry," said Cassandra. "I didn't quite understand what that meant. So, I joined the ushering ministry." Eventually, Cassandra became the Director of the ushering ministry at Timothy, but knew there was even more. "I thought 'No, I want to preach the Gospel,'" said Cassandra. Then, two years ago, Cassandra joined the Ministers in Training Program at Timothy. 
"I heard the announcement that the church was offering a class on Spiritual Gifts through the Athens College of Ministry," said Cassandra. "Through the class I learned how I have unique talents and the gift of HIs Spirit, and how to use them to serve others and the Lord." 

At that time, Cassandra also began attending a post-abortive recovery Bible study here at ACMin. "I got so much healing through the abortion recovery Bible study here at ACMin, in the spiritual gifts class, and meeting prayer ministers from ACMin. My pain was a way of life - I thought that was just how I was," said Cassandra. "When I was finally set free, I wanted to show the light to other women, so they can not just be better mothers/wives, they can be completely whole spiritually." 

"My call is helping hurting women. The fact that women are nurterers and caregivers often means we help others but not ourselves. Women have physical and spiritual issues that need to be delt with, and God wants to heal US."  "I didn't have a lot of foreknowledge about my calling. It's been a great discovery process," said Cassandra, now a facilitator for the Athens Pregnancy Center. "I don't know the exact path; but when the time comes, He opens up another door." Cassandra will also preach her first sermon at Timothy Baptist Church next Sunday, February 16th. 

Cassandra Sims is now pursuing courses in Christian Ministry through ACMin's partnership with Timothy Baptist Church. Cassandra has lived in Athens for 15 years with husband Sean and daughters Chelsea and Taylor. Cassandra, a registered nurse, works in the operating room at St. Mary's hospital. 

One Body - One Church

Here at ACMin, we are all about equipping believers and building up the body of Christ "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." 

God is doing a unique work here in our Athens of connecting the body of Christ across denominational, racial, socioeconomic and geographic lines. Please take advantage of the Connect page to find out about ongoing prayer opportunities, ministry connections and even job openings in ministry! Be sure to note:
  • The Athens Prayer Watch
  • Sparrow's Nest fundraiser on March 3rd