Parrs

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Name: Tom & Naomi Parr
Mission Field: Washington
Mission Board: Northwest Baptist Missions

Tom and Naomi Parr both grew up in Idaho and understood the need for solid, Bible-preaching churches in the Pacific Northwest. In 2006 they moved to Anacortes, WA to plant Cornerstone Baptist Church serving under Northwest Baptist Missions. The Parrs have three children at home/college: Jacob, Caleb, and Katherine. Their daughter, Chelsea, married Jason Sterling on October 14, 2011, and they have joined Tom and Naomi in helping in the ministry.

The Lord has greatly blessed their work in Washington state. They began with a core group of several families and with help from a church in a nearby city. They had the charter service for their church on December 2, 2007, and their church has continued to grow numerically and spiritually. They have seen a number of people make decisions for Christ in the last year and many of them are being discipled. The church people themselves are participating in this through one-on-one Bible studies with them. Pray for continued growth.

 

As of the end of 2012, we no longer financially support the Parrs.

Links

Cornerstone Baptist Church

Northwest Baptist Missions


Latest Update


March, 2015

Dear Praying Friends,

It’s been too long since I’ve written an update letter, and I apologize for that. Thank you for your continued love, interest, and prayer support for me and my family as we strive to establish a church in Anacortes Washington.

Many of you remember that my wife Naomi was very sick a few years’ back. Thank God that she is leading a normal life now, due to the medication she must take every day. Just to update you on our children: Chelsea is 27, married, with two children of her own, Alaine and Justus. She lives in town, and she and her husband Jason Sterling are faithful members of our church. Jacob is 25, married, with a little son named Nate. He and his wife Brittany are faithful members of our church too. My wife and I have four children at home––Caleb, 9, Katherine, 7, Riley, 3, and Brandt, 6 months. I’m 44 now, and having an infant at my age is not as bad as you might expect. In fact, Brandt melts my heart every time I see him. He’s a lot of fun, and he’s named after my grandfather, whose memory touches me more the older I get.

Church ministry is that same mix of joy and challenge it has always been. We started 8 years ago with 3 families, have grown to 25 families, but the last two years have been a leaner time, and we have about 15 families now. In fact, I’ve noticed a marked decline in visitors over the past few years, so please pray that we’ll see folks from our community attend the services. The core group of believers who regularly attend are a sweet group of folks, and there is a strong bond among us that is a joy to experience. Our people love the Word of God, and that is the chief reason they attend. We keep the Scripture central and the worship free from the influence of the flesh, and the folks who still come love to have it so. Spurgeon’s question has guided me through the years––“Are we feeding sheep or entertaining goats?”

We’ve recently had the opportunity to visit with some friends from Greenville. Dr. Bryan Smith, who came to Seattle on a trip for BJU Press, visited us to preach in a service last year. More recently, Pastor Robert Vincent came all the way from Mount Calvary Baptist Church to visit for a couple days to encourage us, and he preached in both Sunday services. It was absolutely delightful to see both of these dear friends, and to have them minister God’s Word to us. Another friend, Mark Ward, will be visiting us in May, 2015, Lord willing.

I just want to specially express my gratitude to my sending church for letting Pastor Vincent come to Anacortes last October. Thank you so much, Mount Calvary, and Pastor Minnick, for letting him come visit us. What a great time it was to have him here!

I have many thoughts about ministry in these times of ours. One of my concerns about our era is that people seem to be satisfied with shallow connectivity that gives very little and demands very little. This satisfaction with e-socializing, in addition to the worsening attitudes toward religion in general and Christianity in particular, is hurting local churches and making ministering even more difficult. Then there is the rampant worldliness. Many here in Washington desire that their peaceful lives not be disturbed. Personal peace and affluence are the twin gods of the day. Few people feel any need for Christ, and many will not even speak about Him. Just the other day, my wife Naomi met a teenage girl at the Library; Naomi reached out to her, and the girl and my son Caleb started playing a game of chess together. The conversation progressed well, and they had great rapport until Naomi invited her to church. She immediately stiffened and said “I’m not religious.” She wouldn’t even speak more about it. This sort of thing is very common. Interactions with Christians can be even more disheartening, since many Christians never have encountered the idea that the Bible is our reference point. Often, people just seem to do what is right in their own eyes.

The need of the hour is to look to the Scripture for our light and sustenance and joy. “To the Law and to the Testimony!” (Isa. 8:20). When there is so much discouragement, the reality of our profession is tested. What have we been enjoying all along? What has been sustaining us? Christ and His redemption? The truth of the Scriptures? Our heavenly home? Or were we depending on relations, social events, or the feeling that we are a part of a big, visible movement? If and when there’s nothing left of the Christian subculture, will we still be smiling with the Bible before our faces and the Spirit warming our hearts and our eyes fixed on Jesus?

We have had several opportunities to baptize new believers over the years, and it is comforting to know that God is still reaping souls. There is a “fullness of the Gentiles” that will “come in.” We are planning another baptismal service this year, and several people who’ve been saved in the last couple years will be baptized, Lord willing.

Because our church has less folks attending now, I’ve decided to take another full-time job to help support it. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sustain two jobs, but I want to be faithful to the ministry God has called me to. I’m now a month into my new job, and so far so good. When I talked to Pastor Vincent and asked him for counsel about this, he told me that working another job is fine as long as my calling, family, and health don’t ‘take a sustained hit.’ I’m really keeping his comment in mind. Please pray for these three elements of my life.

Thanks again for your continued prayers and love,

Tom Parr (and family)

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