B.T. Roberts Buys a Tavern


The Tavern, North Chili, NY, where Chesbro started (Photo courtesy of Marston Memorial Historical Center)

In 1864, Free Methodist founder B.T. Roberts moved his family from Buffalo to Rochester, N.Y. His object in moving was to establish a school in the outskirts of Rochester, which is centrally located and easily accessible from all parts of the state.

Roberts hired Delia Jeffries to be the first teacher.

“He wrote me that he had purchased a place at North Chili, hoped to open a school, and wished me to consider that I had an application to become a teacher in the school,” Jeffries said. “In the fall of 1866, we opened a school in one of the rooms in the farm house.”

One of the first steps taken to ensure the welfare of the school [now Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary] was to secure the permanent closing of the tavern at North Chili. To do this, it was not only necessary to buy the building used for the tavern, but also the goodwill of the business.


I Can’t Help It


Bishop David Roller (To read more from Bishop Roller, visit fmcusa.org/ davidroller.)

There are physical addictions; the body depends on a substance so much that it reacts with nausea and tremors when the substance is withdrawn. But “addiction” describes a wide range of compulsive behaviors that light up the pleasure circuits of our brains as we attempt to overcome the pain of life.

Throwing every compulsive, habitual or pleasurable activity under the same “addictive” label can minimize the crushing reality of addictions. In John 8, Jesus uses the startlingly similar language of slavery to describe the tenacity of addictive behaviors: “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”

Addictions are real. But they’re not the only reality. Addictions enslave, but slavery isn’t the only option. Christians affirm individual and corporate responsibility for our actions. There aren’t scriptural excuses for repetitive, sinful behaviors or debilitating habits. Sin isn’t ignored just because it’s habitual or grasps us.


Youth Drug Addiction


llm-may14_disc3According to the yearly “Monitoring the Future” survey of high school age teenagers in the United States, by the time our kids complete high school, a minimum of 40 percent have consumed an illicit drug and 70 percent have consumed alcohol. Furthermore, 22 percent of our seniors in high school had used enough alcohol to become drunk within the two-week span prior to being surveyed, and one in every 15 students in high school was using marijuana daily or almost daily.

These statistics happen in spite of the best efforts of teachers and parents to direct our youth along drug-free paths. Every story will have its unique qualities, but every story will include some patterns discovered in the approach to addiction witnessed in young adults.

Many teenagers begin attending parties in which they share alcohol or drugs with other teens. They begin to steal alcohol from parents and maybe neighbors or friends’ homes. Some teens obtain false identification cards and visit liquor stores or bars. Marijuana is an additional typical drug of misuse among young people.


What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Stay Drug-Free


llm-may14_disc4One fear parents have is that their child will cave in to peer pressure and engage in drug use. The broad availability of drugs presents a high cause for concern.

Multiple theories claim to include the ideal method of keeping your kids from the harms of drugs. A few parents think having stringent rules are going to be enough to scare their teenagers into avoiding drugs; yet, unfortunately, that might not be enough.

There’s hope. Multiple studies have proven that following these three steps will assist you in helping your teenager avoid the multitude of harms of drug misuse.


A Recovery Story


Zacchaeus Sycamore Tree in Jericho

I remember it like yesterday! For years I’d lived with the stigma[1], stuck in repeating patterns of behavior that my friends and family, found totally offensive. Scum. That’s how everyone treated me, like something you step in walking down the street. No one knew how sick I’d gotten of this living prison where getting through the day from one dodgy deal to the next no longer fixed the craving in my life. I was simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.[2]

I’d heard He could do something about it. For the first time in years, there was a glimmer of hope[3] — a possibility it didn’t have to be this way anymore. I ran down the street, but no one gave me a chance; no one would let me in; no one would let me close. I found a space in the crowd, well above the crowd, where I could avoid the pointing fingers and check out the score.


A Destructive Force in Our Culture


llm-may14_featureFor many people across this country, being free from the lure of sexual fantasy seems like an impossibility. From a young age, we have become accustomed to falling into sexual sin and have all but given up hope for freedom.

The battle against sexual sin no longer exists for many people. They have thrown in the towel and have conceded defeat. The voices all around them reinforce this defeatist mentality: “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.”

The deep conviction at XXXchurch.com is that you can have great victory in your battle against sexual sin. People across the globe are making choices today that are reigniting their hope in a better future that is free from the repetitive cycle of sexual sin. Each of these people has taken seriously Paul’s direction:

But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. … Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18 NLT).

Steve’s Storm

When I met Steve, he was in the midst of a huge storm. After nearly two decades of marriage, Steve was watching his world unravel around him. Not unlike most men, Steve had falsely believed that once he was married the battle for sexual purity would subside. He quickly realized that the battle may weaken for a short period, but it comes back with greater force and intensity. This struggle led him to develop relationships outside of his marriage and to find comfort in the images and videos on his computer screen.

I believe the main differences between Steve and most men today are:

1. Opportunity 

Using pornography is like using training wheels. Many men rely on the impurity to get them through today without a thought about what it is preparing them for. Lack of opportunity is the only thing that has kept them from acting out the images and videos with real women. Porn has trained their minds to look at women as objects. Their minds have imagined what it would be like to enter into a fantasy. They are prepared, but the opportunity has yet to present itself.

2. Secrecy 

The addiction, the struggle and the battle are still secret. You may struggle every day with sexual purity, and you may be the only one who really knows the depth of the problem. When you meet in an accountability group, confronting others and being confronted with their questions, you can easily play it off like a minor issue or a subtle disturbance.

This approach feels safe. It keeps help at arm’s length. It also cements a future of deeper pain and brokenness.

When we live with secret sin, opportunity lurks around every corner. The opportunity to dive deeper into fantasy and immorality comes, and we fall without much of a fight. Recognizing our sin, we ask for forgiveness, pledge to never do it again and then continue the fight in isolation.

If you find yourself in this cycle today, please — I beg you — step out of the secrecy and confront the elephant in front of you. This battle is all around you in the secret lives of our fellow Christians.

Jake Larson is a co-founder of Fireproof Ministries, an organization that has reached millions through the online ministry XXXchurch.com that offers resources and information about pornography addiction. He lives with his wife and two children in California.

Not on Your Own

I believe that you will never overcome a struggle or addiction to pornography on your own. It will not happen. In all the years I have spent talking to people in the midst of the struggle, not one person has ever reported overcoming the struggle by willpower alone. Yet this is the main approach to fleeing sexual immorality. Satan has a grip on our minds and has captured our hearts with this false god. The battle is so intense because of the truth Paul highlights — your bodies “were made for the Lord” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NLT).

Satan is holding our fleshly bodies in a grip so intense that it takes the power and blood of Jesus to free us. “The Lord cares about our bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NLT), and He cares about your victory over pornography. The question a pornography-addicted person must answer is simple and yet difficult: “Will you surrender your desires and struggles to Jesus and a trusted friend?” There is no better time than now to come out of the darkness and into the light.

In an effort to assist people in achieving success, XXXchurch.com is focused on awareness, prevention and recovery. We know that without Jesus, this battle is all but lost; however, with Jesus, the future is bright.


XXXchurch.com offers a variety of resources that include online workshops and X3watch, accountability software available in a free version and a paid version. Once installed on your computer or mobile device, X3watch tracks all the websites you view and emails an accountability partner about any questionable sites. This helps reveal the secret of pornography, bringing it out into the light.

Freedom is possible. Jesus came for freedom. May you accept and live in the forgiveness and grace of Jesus.

This post first appeared in the most recent Light and Life Magazine, a publication of the Free Methodist Church.

The Cost of Private Pain

llm-may14_disc2It was an ordinary Wednesday. I was face down, lying prostrate, on the cold tile floor in the church bathroom. I heard someone open the door. I mumbled something in response as the woman asked why I was on the floor in the first place. I was feeling too sick to move, and the cold tile felt good against my throbbing head and sweaty body. I simply muttered about being so tired and the tile feeling good. At least that’s what I think happened.

I apparently wasn’t aware that I reeked of alcohol. That’s what my husband told me bluntly as he picked me up from my office at church. “You reek. What happened?”


Behold the New!

by Mike & Vickie Reynen

Our New-ness in West Africa.

May was a marathon month for Mike and colleague, Dosseh, of Togo. They first went to Guinea. Recall that  February 2013, Free Methodist work was officially opened there. This visit to what is still a new endeavor for us was primarily a training visit. Pastor Belley, leader in Guinea, has several new pastors he is working with. A chief in the city has offered some land with a three-room school on it.  It is “free,” though not entirely free. Still, free enough to look like a gift from God! We are excited about how the several    pastors are moving forward to identify students whom God is bringing to us. Pray for God to give them discernment and the Spirit’s leading.  Also, we continue to look for regular monthly support for the Guinea Country Support Account.  Hope some of you can help!

Missions August '14 1


Parent’s Progress 8.7.14

Each week we attempt to provide parents an article or resource to aid in strengthening their families. If that’s what you are looking for and if you have ever wondered where to begin, then the work has been done for you.

Kiddie Kollege Update

Play is learning!

We want all of the children that come into our care to know that play is very valuable. There is so much that a child learns by playing cooperatively with others. However, with a lot of hard play by a lot of children throughout the year comes wear and tear on our building and our equipment.  We could use many hands to lighten our load and make our building and playground look beautiful.

Here are just a few of the items that need attention:

  • Repairing the tarps on top of the sandbox and swing set
  • Painting the wooden top to the older swing set
  • Chipping old paint and spray painting our merry-go-round
  • Tightening bolts on large play equipment
  • Fixing our leaking washer
  • Fixing loose trim inside the child care
  • Climbing a ladder to change light bulbs that have burnt out
  • Building cubbies (still in a box) and attaching them to the wall

If you are able to help with one or more of the above items, please contact the church office and let us know what you will take care of.

We appreciate your service!