During the Thanksgiving and Worship Service on November 20, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church dedicated 440 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boxes were packed all year with gifts and supplies for children ages 2-14.
Following the service, the boxes were delivered to the distribution center in Boone, N.C. Thousands of volunteers serve annually inspecting and preparing shoeboxes for international shipping. Every hour, work stops for a few minutes to pray for the children who will receive the boxes. Pastors around the world host shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him. Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas. In many places, they also offer The Greatest Gift, a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients. As a result of what they learn in The Greatest Journey, boys and girls grow in Christ and share with friends and family. The students also invite others to their graduations where the Gospel is shared. This often brings parents, siblings, and friends to accept Christ and become active members in the local church. Families are reached, churches grow, new churches are started, and communities are transformed. Several of our church members have tracked their shoeboxes to Mali, Namibia, Peru and The Dominican Republic.
We have much to be grateful for in our church — including our staff, our volunteer leaders, and the many people who participate in the life and work of the church. Thank you for your good work — all done as a result of your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Your generosity continuously amazes as you give to the church, to the community, and to national and international missions. Your gift of 440 shoeboxes is but one example of the generous heart of this congregation of believers!
Many thanks to all who helped to prepare for and lead the annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Worship Service Sunday evening, November 20.
The Mt. Olivet Baptist Church family is now remembering the life of our friend and faithful servant, Deacon Damon Igou. Damon, 52, passed from this life and into the arms of Jesus suddenly and peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours on November 29.
“Damon was an integral part of our congregational life as he faithfully served the Lord in our church. His passing has left us reeling in painful shock at the thought of his being ‘absent in body and present with the Lord.’ We appreciate the many ways that he has impacted the life and work of the church—particularly as he served as deacon and Sunday School teacher and Stewardship Chairman and the list goes on,” said Pastor Dale Ashley. “We appreciate the role model that Janice and Damon have exemplified in marriage, family and faith. He was a true servant of the Lord and we will miss his leadership terribly.”
Damon resided in Montpelier, Va. with his wife, Janice and their two children, David, 23, and Rhey, 21, Janice and Damon share the same birthday, May 5, and celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary on New Year’s Day 2016.
The Igou family joined Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in 2000. Damon was ordained as a deacon in September 2002, serving the church for 14 years and was active in countless other aspects. Janice and Damon began teaching the Café Class in 2010 which Damon often described as the pinnacle of their week. They have faithfully gathered for Sunday School each week to pray, share and learn about our Creator and Heavenly Father through His Word. Damon was admired in the class for his depth of biblical knowledge and the simple way he was able to share his wisdom with others.
Damon knew from the time he was a little boy that he wanted to be a Soldier and he set about to achieve his goals, both as an Electrical Engineer and in the Profession of Arms. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy Class of 1986 and was commissioned Field Artillery as a Second Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Colonel with thirty years of exemplary service in all three components—active, national guard, and U.S. Army Reserves. He graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 2005 with a Master of Strategic Studies.
Damon served in various command, staff and educational assignments at Fort Hood, Texas, Camp Casey, Korea and across Virginia and Pennsylvania. Most notably, he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, Petersburg Virginia. In August 2001, he deployed with the 29th Infantry Division and Task Force Eagle to Bosnia and served as Deputy Fire Support Coordinator. In response to Hurricane Katrina, he led Task Force Cardinal and over 200 Virginia Soldiers and Airmen in providing security and water production and distribution to the citizens of Louisiana. In 2006, he deployed again with the 29th Infantry Division and served as Task Force Falcon Chief of Staff for Multi-National Task Force-Europe at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo for 17 months. Again in 2010, Damon was called to Djibouti, Africa and served as the Combined Joint Task Force J3/Operations Officer, Horn of Africa. He culminated his assignment as part of the faculty at the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and retired this year on June 1.
Damon’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (4th Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
Damon served in his civilian capacity at Philip Morris International for 17 years as Shift Supervisor and Staff Engineer and also as a member of their Pistol Team; as Plant Engineer for Bear Island Paper Mill in Ashland, Va, and as Energy Manager, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Supply Center, Richmond. He was constantly attentive to covering the entire post of Bellwood, checking and keeping all energy aspects of the installation in excellent working condition.
Damon was a man with many passions and a variety of interests. Whatever he loved, he loved deeply. He was a fierce patriot for our nation, loved our constitutional framework and the rule of law. He never ceased in his pursuit to study God’s Word. He loved long phone conversations with his family in Florida and South Carolina. He enjoyed being at home and refining his collections. Damon enjoyed reading, target practice and spending time outdoors.
Damon and Janice met at Fort Hood, Texas in 1987 and married January 1, 1992. They built their home in Montpelier and both served as Citizen Soldiers together, balancing time for each other, time for family and time for service. Damon was extremely proud of his adult children and was looking forward to David’s graduation from VCU December 10th and Rhey’s in the Spring. If you knew him, you know he loved all cats, both great and small. His beloved Orange cat will sorely miss him.
“In a sense, Damon’s life was complete. He accomplished so many things, had such a sharp mind and keen interest, yet he was incredibly content. He knew who he was and what mattered. His brother, Derek, often commented that his little brother’s moral compass was something we could all learn from,” said Janice. “We loved him. He left us all too soon but we thank God for the time He gave us with Damon, we know exactly where he is, as God’s word tells us, and we anticipate being with him when we cross over.”
Damon was a native of Jacksonville, Fla. He is also survived by his mother, Wanda Selman (Wiley); his father, DeWayne (Debra); two brothers, Derek (Francie) and Devon (Sasha); five nephews; plus Glenda, Freddie, Chad and family.
The funeral service and burial will be held Monday, December 5, 11 a.m., at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church with full military honors. Visitation is Sunday, December 4, 2–5 p.m., at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 8510 Staples Mill Road, Richmond. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the American Family Association or the SPCA.
Business meetings are one of the ______________________________. You fill in the blank!
Many times people, including preachers, can feel that business meetings are some of the least inspiring events in the life of the church. Facts and figures, reports and more reports, etc.
Many times, people will want to bypass business meetings because they are boring or because the discussion can become intense or because they, well, can find almost any reason not to participate! There seem to be things that are so much more exciting to do!
The reality of the matter, however, is that in a community where democracy (under the Lordship of Christ) is the process, it is essential for the community to participate. Why?
One of the greatest contributions Baptists have made to Protestantism is the democratic form of government where every member has the right to a vote. The same is true for our country! A democracy requires each citizen being informed and casting a vote.
SO VOTE on November 8 and attend the business meeting on November 13.
To most, CW stands for Children’s Worship but for the children who come on Sunday it stands for Christ Working!
Each Sunday children age 3 through second grade are invited to attend the first half of second service with their families and then leave with CW leaders to worship, pray and learn about Christ in an age focused environment.
We begin with prayer allowing the children a time to share what and who are on their hearts. Then we move in to one of our times of worship as children lift up their voices in song. Then through a variety of ways we learn together about Christ’s Work in our lives and the world through theme based lessons. Our time closes with more worship a blessing on the children and their week ahead and closing prayer.
Our CW theme starting in October will be “The Gospel According to Dr. Suess!”
We will look at the Biblical parallels between Scripture and our favorite Suess books!
The CW… finding Christ at Work in our daily life!
Thanks to all who donated school supply items for our Give-away event August 27. A total of 85 backpacks filled with supplies were given away to children in need!
We would like to invite all youth to come for our Tailgate Social to be held Friday, October 14 at Mt. Olivet beginning at 5:30 p.m. The home football game against Armstrong High School will begin at 7:00 p.m. Youth are encouraged to invite friends from school! We will have food and fellowship before youth head over to PHHS! If this is something the youth enjoy, we will plan future home football game Tailgate Socials, so look for announcements in the church bulletin.
Toronto, Canada Mission Trip Information
On September 21, Cindy Weston presented details from her recent pre-mission trip with Dawn Dill to Toronto, Canada. She also presented to the church details about the mission work that can be expected for the team that commits to going next summer. She presented what they learned this past summer from the missionaries of Toronto and the work they are doing which we can be a part of next summer! Youth who will be in grades 9-12, starting next school year, are eligible to go on the adult/youth mission trip. Contact Cindy Weston or any member of the Missions Development Committee to learn more about this mission trip.
There is a fundraiser dinner for the trip, sponsored by Youth and Missions Development, on October 12. Menu: Loaded Potato & Salad Bar