Monday – Obituaries

Douglas Arnold Schneider
(August 30, 1931 – March 1, 2008)

Died at 7:58 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, 2008 at his residence in Kentwood. He was a native and former resident of New Orleans, LA and later retired to Kentwood. Age 76 years. He retired as owner of Crescent Gun and Repair in New Orleans, was Past Master of Trinity Lodge #375 of New Orleans and two time Past Master of Lodge #184 of Spring Creek. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Tuesday and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 1908 Short St., Kenner, from 10 a.m. until religious services at 12 Noon on Wednesday. Services conducted by Fr. Richard Miles. Interment Garden of Memories, Metairie. He is survived by his wife, Elsie Hall Schneider, Kentwood; 3 daughters, Mrs. Gloria Gaines and husband, Edward, Raceland, Mrs. Orna Mumphrey and husband, Clarence, Prairieville and Elsie Jo Schneider, Abita Springs; brother, Gerald Schneider, New Orleans; sister, Mrs. Elaine Laurence and husband, Tommy, Auburn, AL; 8 grandchildren; 8 1/2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph V. and Mabel Boudreaux Schneider.

Louise Ardillo Marabelli
(October 25, 1924 – March 1, 2008)

Died at 11:12 a.m. on Saturday, March 1, 2008 at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond. She was a native of Kenosha, WI and a resident of Independence. Age 83 years. Visitation at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, Independence, from 9:30 a.m. until religious services at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Services conducted by Fr. Chris Romaine. Interment Colonial Cemetery, Independence, LA. She is survived by her 3 daughters, Diana Ardillo, Indpendence, Sandy McAlister and husband, Donald, Independence and Marianna Miller and husband, Jim, Knob Noster, MO; brother, Johnny Marabelli, Kenosha, WI; 6 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Sam Ardillo; parents, John and Ida Marabelli; sister, Olivia Harvey; brother, Anthony Marabelli.

Jason Phillip Smith
(July 11, 1986 – March 1, 2008)

Died at 11:25 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, 2008 at St. Helena Parish Hospital in Greensburg. He was a native of Belle Chasse and a resident of Montpelier, LA. Age 21 years. Visitation at Montpelier Baptist Church, Montpelier, from 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2008 until religious services at 12 Noon. Services conducted by Rev. Rusty Durant and Rev. David Theriot. Interment Montpelier Cemetery, Montpelier. He is survived by his mother, Pamela Morris Smith; two sisters, Jessica Lynne Smith, Montpelier and fiance’, Joseph Wall, Springfield and Jennifer Lynne Futrell, Montpelier; grandparents, James E. Morris and Kathryn Crouch Morris, Belle Chasse; step-grandmother, Mary Smith, Derby, MS; aunts and uncles, Mitchell and Vickie Futrell, Montpelier, James Phillip Morris, Belle Chasse, Kenny and Ruby Smith, Picayune, MS, Karen and Mike Anderson, Pearl River, Kathy Louise Smith, Long Beach, MS, Tori Smith, Derby, MS; 8 cousins, Ken, Cher, Victoria, Nolan, Brandy, Jeremy, Joshua and Jacob. He was preceded in death by his loving father, Kerry Vireece Smith, who died in a car crash on November 21, 2007; grandparents, Nolan Ray Smith and Shirley Meitzler Biehl. Special thanks goes to St. Helena Parish Nursing Home where Jason resided from December 2006 with love and excellent care. Also to Occupational Therapist, Linda Charleville for not only the therapy but the love and devotion she had for Jason. As an employee of the hospital, I think of St. Helena Parish Nursing Home and St. Helena Parish Hospital as one. I thank everyone and every department for the love they showed Jason. Jason’s mother, Pamela Smith.

Monday – Update on Hill Family

Just received a posting on Aaron. We need to pray for Faith as she is now alone with Aaron at RMH. Waiting for March 12 time with doctors. She is so unselfish & has requested prayer for Marshall who is there. God Bless You

This weekend was nice with Scott here visiting. We had some nice weather and had some good family time. Aaron and I are a little sad, though, as mom, Scott and Levi left this morning heading home. It is lonely already… Aaron and I will need each other for support until we see our family again.

Please remember our new friend Marshall Sanders in your prayers today. Marshall’s mom is a teacher at NWR and his daddy is a fireman in Flowood. Marshall was having his second surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome on Thursday and there was more damage to his heart than doctors anticipated. He has been on bypass since Thursday. Although they anticipate taking him off bypass today, there is a possibility that he may need a heart transplant asap. He and his family need our prayers.

Love to everyone.

Monday’s Devotional



“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor

“THE WORLD HAS no problem accepting and following a religious leader who permits them to stay in their sins…

but they will crucify the man who dares to point them to a narrow gate that leads to a narrow way” (Warren Wiersbe).

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matt. 5:10


Monday – FBC

Deacons of the week:

  • Tom Brister
  • Robert Wilson

Acts 1:8 Easter Outreach – Touching our Jerusalem with the Gospel

  • Saturday, March 8 @ 10:00 A.M.
  • Give out New Testaments house-to-house
  • Will continue through March 15

Easter Worship Musical “The Risen Christ”

  • Sunday, March 16 @ 6:00 P.M.
  • Monday, March 17 @ 7:00 P.M.

Annie Armstrong Kick-Off Luncheon

  • Sunday, March 9
  • Following morning worship
  • Everyone is invited

Monday – AAEO

Annie Armstrong Week of Prayer for North American Missions

Despite State’s Native Beauty,


Aikens Worry About Lostness of Vermont


By Mickey Noah

WASHINGTON, VT. – When Dewey and Kathie Aiken survey the landscape of Vermont, they see much more than the beautiful red and yellow leaves of autumn, the traditional maple syrup-making in March, and 150-year-old churches with white steeples piercing the blue skies of summer.

Instead, the couple is haunted – literally unable to sleep some nights – when they ponder the lostness of the majority of Vermonters and the urgency to reach the tiny New England state’s population of 623,000 with the Gospel. It’s estimated that only two percent are committed believers in Christ.

“Vermont is a beautiful state and it’s full of beautiful people,” says Kathie. “But we know that beneath the facade there is a lostness. Something is missing in people’s lives. I see the sadness in so many of their faces.”

The Aikens – a husband-wife team of Mission Service Corps missionaries commissioned by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) – say their passion for Vermont stems from the urgency of the state’s bleak spiritual condition.

“There’s an urgency to go and get the Gospel out here. When I think about how so many people in this state do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, it breaks my heart,” Dewey said.

The Aikens are two of more than 5,000 missionaries in the United States, Canada and their territories supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® for North American Missions. They are one of eight NAMB missionary couples highlighted as part of the annual Week of Prayer, March 2-9, 2008. This year’s theme is “Live with Urgency: Seize Your Divine Moment.” The 2008 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering’s goal is $61 million, 100 percent of which is used for missionaries’ needs and ministries.

Hailing from Brevard, N.C., Dewey, 56, and Kathie, 54, were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary 10 years ago when they vacationed in Vermont. They fell in love with the Green Mountain State.

Already active in missions and disaster relief back in North Carolina, the Aikens returned home and after several years, retired from their successful first careers – Kathie as a registered nurse and Dewey as a purchasing manager for Duke Energy.

“When we came up here on our anniversary, we saw the need here in New England,” Kathie said. “We had careers that we were finishing up, and we knew it was time for a change. Our children were married, our family was changing, and it was a time in our lives when we could serve Christ in another area in a different way. And we were ready.”

Their passion for Vermont grew even stronger. “We wanted to come here. We desired Vermont. We were at home in North Carolina, where we were raised and where we had good jobs and family,” Kathie said.

“We just felt like God was calling us to Vermont, to share the Gospel here,” Dewey said. “I looked at Romans 10:14 which asks: ‘how will they know unless somebody comes and tells them?’ That’s why we’re here. We’re here to tell the people of Vermont about Jesus.”

And since the Aikens did not leave their North Carolina drawl behind, they joke about how they use it to witness to Vermonters.

“Folks up here grin when we talk but they’re polite about it,” says Kathie. “Our accent is actually a witnessing tool. Say we’re in a restaurant and we strike up a conversation. When they say ‘you’re not from around here,’ we make them guess where we’re from. That opens up doors and we can tell them why we’re here.”

Coming from a strong Southern Baptist state like North Carolina, the Aikens initially faced some culture shock upon their arrival in Vermont, a state known for its liberal political and secular bent. Vermont also suffers from a pervasive influence of New Age thinking and even Wiccan practices.

“God prepared our hearts and gave us a vision of what it was going to be like, even before we got here,” said Kathie. “We came up here with the mindset that nothing is going to shock us.”

A hindrance to their ministry, according to the Aikens, is the fact that many in Vermont — with its strong Catholic influence — have “just enough religion in their pasts to think — because they were baptized as infants — that they’re going to heaven. Or they think they are ‘genetic Christians’ because their families attended church or were members of a certain faith.

“It hurts your heart, and actually sometimes makes me somewhat angry at the way people up here have been deceived into thinking that everything is OK,” says Kathie.

Kathie gets frustrated at times because she sees children and young people who don’t understand the Bible and, in fact, says the Bible has never been read to them, even in a church. “They don’t open the Bible in church, only the priest does.”

So whether ministering to young people or conducting a Bible study for a group of 80-year-olds, Kathie tries to keep it basic and simple. Her strategy must work: she recently led an 82-year-old woman to Christ.

Rather than ask a person if he or she is a Christian – since two-thirds of most Vermonters consider themselves Christians – Kathie instead asks “Was there ever a time in your life when you asked Christ to be your personal Savior?” Or “Do you have a personal relationship with Christ?”

While Vermont is dotted with beautiful old churches built in the 1800s and before, many have closed their doors. People in some churches just quit coming; some churches died spiritually or financially; and yet others closed because entire families finally died out. Sadly, many of these churches have been converted into town halls, libraries, antique shops and senior centers.

But Washington Baptist Church, the only Southern Baptist church around, is open for ministry. Located in the village of Washington (pop. 1,000), Washington Baptist has 90 members, including Dewey and Kathie Aiken.

Right off Washington’s village square is The Calef House and Retreat Center, a 7,400-square-foot Victorian mansion built by the wealthy Ira Calef in the mid-1800s. Today, it’s managed and maintained by the Aikens for God’s work.

Purchased from the local Catholic parish in the late 1990s by Washington Baptist Church and operated by the Green Mountain Baptist Association, the house was completely renovated by Southern Baptist volunteers who came from across the country.

“The church had a vision of changing the facility into a parsonage for the pastor and his family, a mission apartment for us and a retreat center,” Kathie explains. “We were called here by God to be the managers of the retreat center.”

Some 300 Southern Baptist “guests” — as many as 21 at a time — stayed at The Calef House from April to November 2007, most of whom were on mission trips to Vermont from throughout the United States.

When he’s not helping Kathie run The Calef House, Dewey works as state disaster relief coordinator for Vermont under the auspices of the Baptist Convention of New England.

Using his relationship to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, he also manages a partnership of volunteers among the two state conventions and the Green Mountain Baptist Association, the local association serving 33 churches in Vermont and two in New Hampshire.

Dewey said the association only had 23 churches when he and Kathie came to Vermont. Today, the association’s largest Baptist church has some 400 members, while the smallest has as few as eight.

“We’ve had a lot of mission construction teams to come in and help us do construction on our church buildings,” Dewey said. “The Calef House is an economical place where they can come, get a good night’s sleep, good food and a fresh shower. We’ve had about 80 teams come to Vermont this year, 50 just from North Carolina. God is using these teams to evangelize the state.

“One of the main ways teams coming to Vermont have helped us is in the increase of salvations we’ve seen. More churches have been started and the number of ministries has increased. They have assisted our churches in our work and encouraged our pastors.”

The Aikens also serve the Green Mountain association and its director of missions in the equipping and encouraging of the association’s churches and pastors. They also work as “church strengtheners” for Washington Baptist, which involves the training, mentoring and encouragement of new Christians.

What do the Aikens feel like they’ve accomplished during their five years of service as MSCs in Vermont?

“I want to know that the people of Washington, Vt., had an opportunity to know Jesus Christ as Savior,” says Kathie. “I want our churches in this state to grow and to reach people for Jesus. I want to teach and mentor young Christians and help them grow. I want to continue to be able to accommodate our mission teams at The Calef House. I want us to be able to encourage our pastors and their wives.”

Dewey said he wants Southern Baptists to understand that “we are here because God, first of all, called us here. Southern Baptists need to understand that New England is an area that needs the Gospel. And we need workers.

“I pray that Southern Baptists will continue to give, not only of their time but of their financial resources,” he added. “We still have so many towns and villages in Vermont that do not have a Gospel-preaching church at all.”

Why should Southern Baptists give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering?

“The money that comes to Vermont under the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering supports our director of missions, our church planters, and our new church plants,” said Dewey. “It’s all about a compassion to win people to Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel here in Vermont.”

When will the Aikens return to their native North Carolina, their three grown children and five grandchildren?

“We just signed up for two more years,” said Kathie. “After that, I’m not sure. We’ll return to North Carolina one day, probably to the Brevard area near Asheville. We’re mountain people.

“But right now in our lives, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. “It’s so absolutely fulfilling to know you’re right smack in the middle of what He wants you to be doing. We cherish that.

“We have friends and family in North Carolina who still ask us, ‘when are you going to come to your senses and come home?’ Or they ask, ‘when are you going to get over this mid-life crisis?’ Dewey and I just look at them. They just don’t get it. We pray that one day they will. No matter. We’ve never had a satisfaction or a joy like we have here today. We are exactly where we’re supposed to be,” Kathie said.

Sunday – Update on Hendry Baby

Justin and Dana Hendry’s baby, Ferrin, was born about three weeks ago. Margaret Huber sent this update:

I just got an email from Dana Hendry awhile ago. They went to the hospital and visited with the baby today. The doctor put a tube to the baby’s stomach back through the baby’s nose and they are giving 3cc’s of diluted breast milk every hour. So far she is tolerating this pretty well and if she continues to do good, they will slowly increase her milk. Prayers are being answered so keep her on the prayer link for Justin & Dana.She is still at Women’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.
Thanks, Margaret