He stepped up to the podium on stage in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Kilgore with a slide presentation well-prepared to capture the attention of a large crowd of listeners.  The 1961 KHS graduate began to talk about a subject dear to his heart and one he had approached before only this time his presentation began with Bible verses and the importance of God’s presence at NASA.

According to Jonny Ferguson, a longtime NASA employee, “Many of the flight controllers were Sunday School teachers and Bible study was often held in an adjoining room of the control room. Prayer was a big part for those working before, during and after special flight missions.”

 History unfolded as he spoke of the success of the flight of Apollo 7 in October 1968, which he termed as a much-needed boost during depressing times for the United States, at the time a country that had lost leaders with the deaths of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, a country filled with unrest and anti-establishment riots.

Jonny continued to talk about test missions Apollo 9 and 10 and led to the Apollo 11, the spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon. That crew was Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin; working alongside others in the control center was Jonny, the backup Landing & Recovery Officer for the mission.  He spoke of tense moments, when the module was landed with mere seconds of fuel left, of the first meal on the moon – communion – and of loss communication during the return.  The presentation showed actual clips of what took place in the control room through each stage of flight and how God helped them through miraculous situations.  

“Failure is not an Option When You are with God” were the ending words to the presentation and a motto used by the NASA team.

Associate Pastor Dr. Pete Freeman said, “I was teaching school near the Johnson Space Center. Jonny and I were both only 26 years-old at the time.  I only hope our youth can learn the significance of what took place during those years. “

Jonny’s presentation was part of the FBC Builders senior luncheon held once a month.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Kilgore will also host “Surviving the Holidays,” a grief sharing class given by Freeman. It will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Please call to have your name added to the list, so they will know how many to expect. It will be held in the Legacy Hall which is the first room you enter from the covered walkway. They can be reached at 903-984-3531.

A COAT DRIVE FOR KIDS is currently taking place at the State Farm Insurance Agency ran by Tara Harris. They are seeking coats in sizes 4T through young adult sizes and will be collecting until Dec. 16. They are located on the corner of 1600 S. Henderson Blvd.

SHOEBOX collection hours at Forest Home Baptist Church run Nov. 18-25 for Operation Christmas Child. Hours are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 18 (including the opening ceremony at 2 p.m.) then 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Nov. 25. Kim Gore and her team are “looking forward to serving alongside you this year as we reach children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

More volunteers are needed! For more information or to volunteer please call the FHBChurch office at 903-984-2117 or Kim Gore at 903-987-2857.  

UNION PACIFIC’S historic Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014 is touring the union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad’s 150th Anniversary.  The locomotive will depart Palestine on the morning of Sunday, November 10th; making stops in Jacksonville and Troup before reaching Overton at 11:15 a.m. Big Boy is to be in Overton for 30-40 minutes until leaving for Longview. If you plan on seeing it while in Overton, please remember to stand 25 feet from the tracks.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the week.

We may be reached at 903-984-2593 or chitchatlinda@aol.com

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