St Mark

Church of Christ
Disciples of Christ

From   the Pastor's Desk...


                                            Greetings Disciples of Christ



It is with a grateful heart  that I greet you following  a remarkable General Retreat such as we experienced during the week of May 14 - 17th.


Our exciting week began with the General Ushers Convention, which set the House in order for a “Spiritual Excursion.” Following a day of fellowship, workshops, memorials and tributes, we embarked on the 13th Biennial Re-
treat, of the General Assembly, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, International.


Our theme for the Retreat was, “The Disciples Mandate: A Greater Call.” Our theme scripture for the week was, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” taken from Philippians 3: 14.

Each session began with Praise and Worship in which we were able to focus on God’s Word and His Imminent Plan for our actions. We experienced workshops, discussions, and fellowship that impressed upon all that we have
a job to do and it is time that we are “about our Father’s Business.” We have received our marching orders ... Now we must be diligent in our work for the Lord.


Elder Tony Smith, the General Evangelist, served as our  Retreat Coordinator.  Workshop Facilitators  were:  Elder Kimberly Ferebee, Elder Nannie Stevens, Dr. Evelena Oliver, Evangelist Annie Copeland, Dr. Robert D. Hood, Dr. Alma Jenkins, Elder Noel Thompson, Bishop Marcus Louis, Sr., Dr. Joseph Warren, Dr. Loreatha Jones, Sister Hattie Frederick, Sister Tiombe Tallie-Carter, Esq., Bishop Chester L. Aycock and Elder John Pearson.  Preachers for the event were:  Bishop Cleveon Bryant and Minister S. Michelle Johnson


Each presenter, each preacher and each participant was adamant that God had given them the mandate. They stated that now it is our mission to go forth and to work in the vineyard. I express my sincerest thanks to those who led and those who participated.


We are thankful that God allowed us to be present at a time of need for the employees of the facility in which we were housed. We are grateful that we were available to minister at a very crucial time. We continue in prayer for the establishment and those who remain in the process of healing.


Following such a tremendous week of instruction in Discipleship, let us be true to our mandate. We are Disciples of Christ.  We must represent Him in all that we do. Let us go forth and “Make Disciples!”




In Service for Him,

Bishop Alton A. Smith

Follow me as I follow Christ!

     Grace, mercy and peace be unto you in the name of our Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.

     It is with humbleness of spirit that I graciously thank you for your love, support and most of all your prayers as we continue the work that our Father has laid before us.

     We are slowly entering the close of Phase I of our building program and things are going well. It is rewarding to observe the changes as they occur. Truly, God has placed a tremendous vision within us and together we must complete the work that He has laid before us. We pray for your continued support physically, financially and prayerfully.

     Our church theme for 2013 is “Teamwork”. I am certain that God is pleased with the fellowship, the commitment and the support that is embodied in this Church Family and I thank Him for blessing all of us!

     Again, the spirit of Teamwork was exemplified during the recent 24th Biennial General Assembly of the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, International. You came in large numbers in support of your leader. For that, I am humbled and thankful. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of my leadership.

     I do pledge that I will never make you and especially my Lord and Savior ashamed of me or my work. I pledge to continue to “lead by example” and to make decisions prayerfully.

     My aim is to serve people. My goal is to make Disciples!


Follow me as I follow Christ ... 

Lessons That I Have Learned from the Storms!

In the midst of beginning with a plan, I have found that things do not always go according to plan.

Monday, August 22nd- I prepared myself and delivered the Eulogy for Mr. Kenneth Bagley, entitled “The Swiftness of Life”. This sermon was taken from James 4:14 – “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Tuesday, August 23rd – Working at my desk around 1:51 p.m. I felt a tremor, to discover later that our area had been affected by an earthquake which was centered near Richmond, Virginia.

Wednesday, August 24th – I attended the Home Going Service of Mr. James Haskins, father of the city’s newest and most professional Morticians in Goldsboro, Mr. Ernie Haskins.

Thursday, August 25th – I celebrated my 60th Birthday. I was excited about my Senior Citizen status until I was brought to the remembrance of Psalm 90:10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” I suddenly realized how close I was to God’s fulfilled promise…

Friday, August 26th – I began to prepare for what was described as a Category 4 Hurricane that was headed our way.

Saturday, August 27th – Hunkered down in our home with no power and no way to go anywhere, I pondered over the message for Sunday – “Signs of the End Times”.

 Mark 13:3 holds the record of a private meeting between Jesus and His Disciples. Some of them had questions concerning signs of the end of time. Jesus mentioned that when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, nations and kingdoms rising against each other, earthquakes in divers places, famines and troubles – these are only the beginnings of sorrows. He also warned His disciples of false prophets, the persecution of Christians. The world will try to distract, deter and eliminate believers in Jesus Christ.

 His warning to each of us is to watch and pray. Do not be deceived by anyone. The signs of the times are evident. He continues to warn us that the end of time is near. No one knows when that day will come, however, it is crucial that we make sure that when the Son of man does appear, He will find us ready and not sleeping, not entertaining sin and matters of the world. As His Church, we must constantly be prepared for His coming – “For no man knows the day, nor the hour when the Son of Man shall appear… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”