Back in April, we shared the “Hope Summit Launch” in Pikeville, Tennessee. Our hearts were full of anticipation and high expectations. God says to draw near to him and He will draw near to us. And so, we did. What an amazing day—God did not disappoint us! Every activity, every moment, led us to greater revelation. As we toured the trails, enjoyed the views, heard the stories and testimonies of the power and works of God on this 200-acre property, we gave abundant thanks to our God. As you read the report below, just know that words cannot fully express the significance and beauty of this day that we wanted to share with you.
We walk in abundant blessings; We rejoice at all times, pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything. (1 Thes 5:16-18) This is the will of God.
There is continued movement and progress including the many wonders and miracles witnessed on Hope Summit as the Parsons (Mark and Shirley) respond in obedience to a new ministry direction set in motion and named by the Holy Spirit—Hope Summit Retreat and Training Center.
Stories and testimonies abound both when the call came in 2021 and this year 2022, of the greatness of our God as He moves us toward His great purposes in the Body of Christ, His Church on this Earth. We find He has chosen to place us in the atmosphere of continual revelation, inspiration and admiration. So abundant are these accounts that they will not fit into this report in the detail that makes sense of them. Therefore, I have chosen to locate most of them in a new upcoming website, where the whole journey will be chronicled for all who will join us in this new journey off the map!
“Hope Summit RTC” is a new ministry born out from the work of the Holy Spirit in Great Hope Christian Fellowship, Inc. It is a fresh ministry, and I can attest to the fact that we must move in great faith in this unknown place. We do, however, know that our God is with us all the way and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I will include in this report the “titles” of some of the yet-to-be-expanded accounts of physical events in which you will find also the spiritual, almost mystical, encounters interwoven. You are sure to recognize scriptures along the way, shining more light on the wondrous work of God at Hope Summit.
Be on the lookout for these stories—like chapters in a book!
So, there you have it! A little different report formatted so you don’t get lost in thousands of pages. Ha-ha. So many stories of the work of our Great God! He will have His way and we will move in the Spirit. Victory! Victory! We will build the Great Hall, an edifice for the King’s Table. He will build His Church. He reveals His purposes for this ministry and we flow in the river of His love. There can be nothing but victory as we live and move and have our being in Him.
We are a living journal. Seek out the details on the soon-to-come website. And delight your hearts in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sneak Preview: The shop was just finished today! Right up on Hope Summit. Waiting on the overhead doors in a week or so. Now to work on the Great Hall! We are praising God for His greatness!
This past 2022 was a blessed year for VRM. We are accessible 24/7 with Live 365 on our website (www.veteransradioministry.com), which allows viewers to “Listen Now” to the broadcasting anytime, day or night. With the Live 365 phone app, they can tune in anywhere. We’ve also increased our footprint on social media on YouTube, Facebook, and Rumble. This month, we added Zoom Professional Plus, which will enable us to bring guests from all over the world to be a part of our broadcast and will allow us to interact with more listeners for a longer time. We are looking forward to a new schedule of guests for the upcoming 2023! But we’re not limited to radio, either. We are now also on Roku television, which gives us seven different platforms bringing access to VRM. Because of the generous support of our listeners, we have been able to make several new upgrades to our primary studio that will allow us to simultaneously broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Rumble.
The new year, 2023, will be a busy time for VRM with productions in podcast, radio, and television, and live remote shows broadcasting on several platforms at one time. But, more importantly, our goal is to use what God is providing for VRM to spread the truth and life of Jesus Christ around the world. Your prayers and financial support is what keeps us going. We hope you will join us on this journey.
What an exciting year of changes and the move of God. As the Director of Piercing the Darkness Ministries under Great Hope Christian Fellowship (GHCF), I continue the outreach ministry to Tampa and beyond. At this point in time, I serve as the volunteer Chief of Chaplains of the Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol (CAP). In that capacity I lead the CAP Chaplain Corps in promoting the role of CAP core values in all our activities; help provide coverage during national and local emergencies; and as asked by the Air Force, provide Chaplain Corps assistance with the troops of the Active, Guard and Reserves, giving opportunities for worship, liturgies, and ceremonies. We give the same to CAP in providing spiritual resources and religious programs to serve the humanitarian and personal needs of the CAP community.
Great Hope Christian Fellowship is privileged to help so many in our local communities, and now, through work as Chief of Chaplains, to help so many across the nation. In this manner, GHCF serves quite a broad spectrum of God’s people.
In addition, through this ministry, invocations, benedictions, funerals and speaking engagements are provided for many local veterans’ organizations.
The loving, prayerful and financial support of our donors makes this work all possible. May we continue to work together for the good of spreading the Word of the Lord and His love to all people. He is with us.
Hello, and greetings to all our beloved friends and family in Jesus our Lord.
I set out here with the intent to write a report of Great Hope Christian Fellowship (GHCF) of this past year. God is on the move, and we have certainly felt His accelerated pace for the ministry, His Church.
Shirley and I have likened this past year of 2022 to being launched like astronauts into outer space. Just imagine we were strapped in and buckled up for this “Spirit of Adventure” rocket ship lifting off to parts unknown and unfamiliar to us.
In fact, Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story character, would say, “To infinity and beyond.” Yes, we have definitely felt the G-forces of gravity and acceleration on our mind, body, and spirit as we ventured out on this journey off the map— leaving Florida and landing in Tennessee.
What comes to my mind is a VBS song that says it all:
“We’re on a journey off the map….
Furthermore, we hold fast to what was spoken by God to Isaiah, “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (IS 30:21)
Just think of God calling Abraham and sending him off into a new and unfamiliar land. He obeyed not knowing all the details of his future residence, surroundings, and purposes for his life.
Shirley and I also are somewhat unfamiliar to our new surroundings and community here in Tennessee on Hope Summit and can identify (well, somewhat) with Abraham. However, we are holding steadfast to our very familiar God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is certain that He will never put more on us, His bride, than what we can bear. (9 Cor. 10:13)
Living in an RV is a totally new experience for us in itself while working with contractors on our property five miles away. We must allow the Holy Spirit to be the architect and builder of the dwelling He has planned for us.
This past year of 2022 has been an amazing transition requiring us more than ever before to trust God for physical strength, decision making, finances, wisdom, revelation, and discernment in so many matters. I pray that you, along with us, will take every thought captive and not let them run down all those “rabbit holes” of distraction in our lives.
Most certainly, we are not in Tennessee to retire, sit in a rocking chair on the porch and live a quiet and unassuming life on Hope Summit. We are here to live, and move, and have our being in Christ Jesus. See Acts17:28. We are here to do the work of service He has called us to do and build a dwelling for the King’s Table. Our commission is to gather together to worship our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, by putting on the garments of praise.
Our Father yearns to bestow upon His people “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (See Isaiah 61:3)
We must, as followers of Christ, desire with passion for the Kingdom of God and His realm to co-mingle with us here in this realm. This presence of God happens when we worship Him in Spirit and truth (awareness). If God inhabits the praise of His people, then praise is the requirement that brings God’s presence in the midst of such adoration to Him.
So, we praise Him! Job said he would praise God even if He were to slay him! Paul and Silas, while in a nasty prison, were singing hymns and praying to God when an earthquake shook the ground, their shackles came off and the doors opened! God came in power to Paul and Silas because they were praising Him. We are here to experience what God has in store for GHCF and others who desire to come into His courts with praise and thanksgiving in our hearts.
God has certainly revealed to us so many directives and revelations since the church building was sold in Tampa and up to this present day in December of 2022. We abide in revelation for this is God’s desire for the Body of Christ.
A religious spirit has far too long divided the body of Christ into selfish carnal dogmas rooted in pride. There is no room for praise with such carnal pride. Praise suffers when pride exalts itself above God.
I heard these words recently while meditating about all this division in the body of Christ, “Religion has pixelated the face of Jesus.” To pixelate means to divide an image into pixels, typically for display or storage in a digital format. Also, to display an image of (someone or something) on television as a small number of large pixels, typically in order to disguise someone’s identity. In other words, in light of this definition, I saw all the divisions in the church as pixels. Thousands of little image squares remaining separate and not coming together as one, and knit together, therefore preventing the true picture and image of Jesus Christ.
The community here in the Bible Belt has all the denominations like most places in our country. God’s solution to all these divisions is to crucify the flesh. You know the “me, myself and I” myopic agenda.
We must be most willing to check this die-to-self box each and every day in order to prevent pride from coming in through a crack in the door. I love to encourage people to “stay humble and stay in class.” In fact, God requires His followers to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” (See Micah 6:8.) It is too convenient to see all the faults in others while failing to look in the mirror and see what’s going on inside of us. Let’s allow God to examine the inner man in us and make the necessary adjustments in order to pursue a life of transforming to the image of Christ.
We will keep you informed of the work going on here in Tennessee as we continue our journey into the new year of 2023.
These are exciting times that we are living in and be sure to ask God to receive, seek Him to find, and knock on His door in order for Him to open.
In seeking God for a word for this new year of 2023, I heard these words: “Hands to the plow.” Wow! Looks like there is a Kingdom work to be done my friends in Jesus. Luke 9:62 declares, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” These are the words of Jesus spoken to a man who promised to follow Him after saying goodbye to his family. May we “learn from the past” while putting our hands to the plow willingly, joyfully, hopefully, obediently, and faithfully laboring in our Father’s vineyard through Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Finally, my friends in Jesus, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Love in Jesus now and always,
What a year! What a journey! As the current buzzword says, “so many moving parts!” And we are all living right in the center of it—right in the center of the magnificent plan of God!
We think of Great Hope Christian Fellowship (GHCF) as only a portion of the Body of Christ. Within this portion there are individuals who have been called to the work of the Kingdom of God. We call these ministries. And to be sure, every individual person is called to a ministry! Some are more formalized and others not so formal. Some have been reaching out for many years and others for just a short time, some in the limelight, and some behind the scenes. It is safe to say, some among us may not even yet know or understand what they are called to (no ministry name or logo). But we are all called to a purpose set forth by God Himself!
The selling of the brick-and-mortar building in Tampa may have caused some confusion to some, and they, perhaps not knowing what to do next. I can, beyond a doubt, confirm that GHCF is alive and well, performing and moving in the five-fold ministry to equip the saints. This concept is presented in Ephesians 4:11-13:
11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; 13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].
How magnificent these great gifts are within our small representative body of Christ! I should take only a small space here to review some of the amazing works of God through these five-fold ministries. These ministers are not those who just cow-path to a church building, but whose lives are baptized fully into the glorious life and work of a son of God. When the four walls on Rome Circle were sold and torn down, these ministry leaders did not skip a step nor miss a beat. For they had been trained by the Holy Spirit Himself and fully know that the church is not a building with all its “programs.”
Many years ago, Dr., Chaplain, Colonel, Pastor, teacher, counselor and friend, Linda Pugsley, under the urging of the Holy Spirit, established Piercing the Darkness Ministries (PDM) with small and challenging beginnings. After years of work, prayer, obedience, and much growth, (along with tears and growing pains), she now serves as the 21st Chief of Chaplains in the Chaplain Corps of Civil Air Patrol. This is her current assignment in the Kingdom of God where the influence and power of Christ reaches thousands of hungry, discouraged, and needy souls—and this all across our nation! It is a mighty work God has entrusted to her and I encourage you to read her PDM report presented separately. Please also know that as a “grandmother” to six children and friend to many, her life consists of much more than what is visible to the casual onlooker. With the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in her life, she certainly is credited with doing her assigned part in the five-fold ministry at GHCF and beyond. (See Annual Report)
Pastor Mark Parsons (who likewise has reported separately) has freely, and with grace, maintained the pastorship even after the building was sold, a challenge indeed. But even after moving to Tennessee, his heart is still with those who were called in other directions. Prepared and trained by the Holy Spirit, he remains a pastor/shepherd and teacher to the flock in Tampa as well as to new friends and family wherever he goes. He has made frequent business trips to Tampa where it has been most delightful to gather with the believers in high worship to our God. (See Annual Report)
His relocation to Tennessee was not a retirement move or of any particular heart desire but was arranged by God for a new work. We are simply the forerunners. And what a work it is! There are so many stories to tell of God’s greatness, goodness, His faithfulness, and direction in the Holy Spirit. Those stories will follow, especially as God unfolds it each step with one revelation after another, all showing who our God is. The five-fold ministry of GHCF continues until we all reach unity in the faith and maturity in Christ.
Other active ministries include:
We have to know that God requires each one of us to “Come, follow Him!” To surrender completely and fully and to know that we are salt and light to the world’s darkness in whatever various ways God chooses to manifest it. We are ambassadors, and we have been sent to this place with a mission to complete. He fully equips us with gifts, gives us the mind of Christ, and makes all provision for the works we are called to confidently fulfill in Spirit and Truth.
Great Hope Christian Fellowship is alive and well and has experienced great growth in this past year of 2022—moving in the five-fold ministry! We believe our God has begun to reveal some of the “greater works” Jesus talked about in John 14:12. With this in mind, and our great love and adoration of our Father and Jeshua our King, we, with great hope, anticipate our continued worship and Joy in the Lord—advancing in the next year, 2023.
Someone has said, “No matter where you go, there you are.” We can go on to say, “No matter the circumstances you find yourself in, there you are.” – for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or health, in calm seas or stormy seas. We may not be able to always choose what each day may bring out on life’s seas, but we can certainly choose the captain who is in control and commander sailing our ship.
Shirley and I will be married for 46 years this coming December 20th on her birthday. I remember some at the 37th Aeromedical Evacuation Group at MacDill Air Force Base (where we both served in the Air Force Reserve) saying they would give us six months being married. Obviously, we have exceeded their misguided expectations.
Most certainly, Shirley and I have had our share of life’s daily challenges, but we have never abandoned the covenant we have made with each other and our Great Father in heaven and Lord Jesus Christ. And now, here we are in Tennessee with our fifth change of address on earth since we have been married. Our Kingdom address, however, has not changed. We still remain seated with Jesus in His Kingdom. Once again, “No matter where you go, there you are.”
We are now in Tennessee with a binding relationship and covenant with Jesus Christ. God has a purpose for us right where we are, and He has a purpose and plan for you right where you are. In fact, Paul said in Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” This “address” of being in Jesus must be every day, all day in Him. Never a “time out” with God. But trusting Him at all times. Job was so committed to God regardless of his circumstances that he proclaimed with passion, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.” (Job 13:15) Wow! Job said he will maintain his own ways before God. Job had an address in God’s house, no matter his horrific physical conditions and loss of his family, animals, and earthly belongings.
Shirley and I must also maintain our own ways before God at our new location in Tennessee. However, the mailbox of our heart, mind and soul will receive our Father’s kingdom mail with a readiness to receive what He desires to say to us. Living in TN with lots of trees, turkeys, deer, bears and other critters, must not ever be a retirement destination but an acceleration, revelation, and impartation of God’s Kingdom plan for us. Shirley and I love being a part of a cord of many strands in our Lord’s Ekklesia, Bride, His Church. We love how God has called us to promote His Kingdom as faithful ambassadors of His life and light.
How about you? Are you thirsty and hungry to receive Kingdom mail right where you are? Are you open and willing to “…examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith to test yourself, or do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you unless of course, you fail the test.” (2 Cor. 13:5) Our journey in Christ must be a life of faith for without faith, it is impossible to please Him. And we understand that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
We are now in Tennessee not knowing exactly what God has in store for us, but we know His plans will be revealed with substance, hope, and evidence of things not seen. When you logically think of what we are doing, it doesn’t make sense. But when you ask, seek and knock, He will respond! We must then obey and actively engage in His response. For Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to Him and I will sup with Him and He with me.” (Rev. 3:20) We desire to open our hearts to Him and to meet with Him at His table — to go to deeper places we have not known before.
It’s a new day for Shirley and me. It’s a new day for you, our friends in Jesus. Let us be most willing to open our hearts as Jesus knocks and arise to the life He has for each of us. “Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the people, but the Lord rises over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and the glory appears over you.” Is 60:1)
We will keep you informed of what is going on with us in Tennessee as our Father in heaven informs us. We will pass on to you what Jesus and the Holy Spirit reveal to us on our glorious journey.
Once again, where do we go from here? Most assuredly we will go with Jesus – the way, the truth and the life. All is well and all shall be well.
New Directions – What a journey! As most of us know, any change of direction in life can be exciting but must also bring us into unknown places. Those strange and new places can expand our territory beyond comprehension or launch us into fear if we are not careful. Praise be to God! I am so delighted to give Him praise and to report to all believers that God has expanded our territory in a most miraculous way. We now own 200 acres in Tennessee.
A Little History
A quick back history may be in order.
Enlarging Our Territory
To our great surprise and marvel about a year later, the most unusual and, to us, impossible circumstances arose – we had the opportunity to purchase 200 acres (in the same area). God supplied a buyer for the 100 acres (that’s another whole story). A 607-acre parcel became available after two deals had strangely fallen through. Now it was available again but figures of over 2 million dollars were not in our vocabulary!
For sure we heard the Lord say two things: “Secure the land” and “Buy the whole thing.” We believed Him, and we obeyed. And, as you may have guessed, that is another whole story! Within one week, we had a solid contract on 200 wooded acres with nearly a mile of pristine creek. We had asked the Lord that we own this property with no debt and He did it! We own it, free and clear!
As one would expect, we moved the church storage shed from the 100 acres to the 200 acres.
God is on the Move
As we continue to move in the Spirit, we know for sure that “God is on the move!” We know this property is fully dedicated to the will of God, to the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, and we are excited about what He is doing. Surely, there are times I think He is unveiling and revealing things much too slowly, ha-ha, but He is patient with us. We know all His plans and timing are perfect.
So, we walk the property, praying, rejoicing, singing, and dancing, delighting ourselves in our God and His ways. Owning this property is exciting, and obedience to Him is our purpose in life. This brings us to the short “ceremony” and video of staking this God-given land on Hope Summit (that’s the name God gave for the lane), right on the top of Sheepnose Mountain. This land is dedicated!
Delighting Our Hearts in Him
I guess you can tell just how excited we are, greatly delighted to know our God, to move and exist in Him, and to have our being in Him. Our hearts are so full as we receive revelation after revelation from Him, as we move through a process we have never experienced. (So many stories of His goodness.) We trust Him more than ever when we do not see or understand what He is doing until it manifests, but we have found again and again that our King is faithful. After all, that’s part of His name!
We have located the perfect site for building the “Great Hall” as we are directed and are in the process of clearing it now. Work continues on floor plans and such. And, you may have guessed, this is yet another story that we are sure will bring great glory and honor to our King Jesus.
Everywhere we go, we are Christ’s ambassadors. There are opportunities to bring good news to needy people, bring encouragement to the downtrodden, bring the love of God to the unloved and lost, and to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth as it is in heaven.
Partners and Supporters
To all our faithful supporters, we thank you for your prayers and contributions in this great work of our King Jesus. Your participation in the Kingdom of God is paramount. Let us all be faithful to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.
“What are we going to do today, Jesus?”