Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary: Mike Sinyard

Mike Sinyard was formerly approved as Education Minister on October 12, 1983 at a called conference. A week later the following announcement appeared in the church bulletin:

In both morning worship services last Lord’s Day, the church voted unanimously to call Rev. Mike Sinyard as our Associate Pastor/Education. By telephone, Mike was extended the call to come to First Baptist. Mike accepted, and he, and his wife, Karen and son, Bailey, will be moving to our community in about a month.

From the church’s 50th anniversary handout:

James Michael Sinyard became Associate Pastor/Education at First Baptist, Lithia Springs, in November, 1983 He was born June 18, 1948, in Austell, the oldest of three children. Mike accepted Christ when he was nine years old here at First Baptist in 1957 on the last day of Vacation Bible School.

He graduated from Columbus College, Columbus, Georgia with a B.B.A. Degree. He earned his M.R.E. Degree in 1981 from Southwestern Theological Seiminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Mike was licensed to ministry in 1977 by Gentian Baptist Church, Columbus, Georgia, and ordained by First Baptist Church, Lithia Springs, in 1978.

Mike has served Green Acres Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama; Gentian Baptist Church, Columbus, Georgia; Fairview Baptist Church in Columbus; and Southwest LaGrange Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia. He has conducted numerous Sunday School workshops for the State Sunday School Department, and has served as Associational Discipleship Training Director and Associational Sunday School Director for West Metro Bapist Association.

In years past FBCLS recorded staff anniversaries by the Sunday the staff member began their employment. Mike’s anniversary is celebrated on the third Sunday in November every year because he started on the third Sunday in November, 1983.

In a church directory a years ago Mike’s duties as Minister of Education was described this way:

The ministry of education comprises a myriad of avenues and opportunities to “increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Sunday School, Church Training, Vacation Bible School, Royal Ambassadors, Girls in Action and Acteens are just a few of the ways we minister through education.

In the same description Mike stated, “Being the Minister of Education at First Baptist is a challenge filled with countless blessings. It is a joy and privilege to serve God with you.

Today, November 16, 2008, the church is honoring Mike and Karen’s service to our church with a reception following the 6:00 p.m. service.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day: Our Video Presentation

Each veteran featured in the video above can be found in the series of postings for Veterans Day including their images, their names, and a bit about their service to our county.

Follow this link here for a complete listing.

Many thanks to Denise Haas for her song Thank You to the American Soldier. You can find out more about Denise (Big D) at her website Big D & the Good New Blues.

Happy Veterans Day!

Veterans Day: A Different Display

This year the FBCLS Historical Committee decided to display our veterans in a different manner. Each photograph (now a total of 61) is currently being displayed in the sanctuary foyer as seen in the pictures below. Each photo is captioned with the person’s name and a little bit about their service to their county.

During Sunday’s service (November 9, 2008) a short Powerpoint presentation similar to the movie seen here was shown and a leaflet using the Veteran’s Day logo, seen above, contained the names of the individuals and our thanks.

Veterans were also asked to stand in our traditional worship service. Many of the men and women standing have not yet submitted their pictures to the historical committee. It’s not too late! Now that the images are digitized here at the church history blog it is very easy to scan the images and add them to our tribute here and to the movie which can be shown yearly.

Veterans are encouraged to drop their picture by the church office, contact any member of the historical committee, or email the committee at

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link here for a complete listing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day: Our Own Unknown Soldier

This military photo was found in the historical archives of FBCLS, but it is not labelled and currently he is our unknown soldier. If you know who he might be please email the historical committee at .

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: 1990s to 2008

The following veterans are members of FBCLS or are related to members of the church. They served their county in the 1990s and into the new millenium or are serving their current as of this posting date.

You can click on the images to make them larger.

FBCLS pastor, Kevin McKoy, served in the U.S. Army in the capacity of a chaplain from 1992 to 2004.

Tara Williams is the granddaughter of Billy and Ellen Dobbins. She served in Iraq.

Eric J. Haight also served in Iraq and is the grandson of Frank and Shirley Cloud

SmSgt. Luther Phillip Snider served in the Air Force from 1981 to 2008. He took part in Desert Storm, and is the son of Phil and Carol Snider.

Shawn Woolever, the son-in-law of Phil and Carol Snider has been in the army since 1999. He has completed three tours in Iraq and is currently there.

Anthony Harper served in the U.S. Marine Corps from December, 1999 to 2005. He spent six months in Iraq during his enlistment.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing

Veterans Day: Men Serving Their County in the 1970s and 1980s

The following FBCLS members are veterans of the armed forces during the 1970s and 1980s. Captions identifying the pictures are underneath each image.

You can click on the images to make them larger.

David Cooper served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Harry E. Yarnell from 1978 to 1983 as an operations specialist. While aboard the Yarnell (pictured below) David participated in many cruises through the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.

From 1984 through 1986 David served on shore as a Systems Integration Test Analyst at Damneck, Virginia.The USS Harry E. Yarnell, David Cooper's ship.

Wesley Griffin served in the U.S. Army as an x-ray technician and worked in nuclear medicine. During his enlistment he spent six months in Egypt as a peacekeeper. He also served at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky as well.

Chris Griffin served with the Combat Engineering Division in German during Desert Storm.

Joe Dickens served with the U.S. Army during peacetime.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: Captain Bob Akers

Robert (Bob) L. Akers, Jr. retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of captain in 1972. Prior to his retirement he had quite a career.

Bob served in the US Navy (1958-1962) and US Army (1963-1972) and retired after almost 21 years of service. While in the Navy he served aboard the USS Shangri La (CVA-38), USS Walker (DDR-517) and USS Mount Katmai (AE-16). Additionally he spent two years of shore duty in Sasebo, Japan.

He entered the Army in 1963 and after a three year tour in Germany, attended OCS (Officer Candidate School) upon his return from overseas. After OCS he served at Fort Polk as a basic training company executive officer and later as a company commander.

He attended rotor wing flight school and served in Viet Nam in 1969-1970 as an Operations Officer in a Combat Assault Helicopter Company, a gunship pilot, an operations officer at the battalion level and in the twilight of his tour was appointed the Battalion Command Post Forward, Commander.

His helicopter was shot down in August 1969 and he was severely wounded. After Viet Nam he served another tour in Germany and after, at Fort McPherson in East Point, where he retired from active duty in 1972.

After retirement, he served as a Senior Army Instructor for Atlanta Public Schools teaching Army JROTC for more than twenty years. He retired in 2002 from the school system having spent more that forty-two years in uniform.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: Al Reid and the USS Tracer

Commander Al Reid served during the WWII, Korea and Vietnam years. During his 30 year service Commander Reid served aboard the USS Tracer, a special ammunitions ship. More information concerning the USS Tracer (seen below) can be found here and here.

A tribute at the crew site (the first link given) states:

Capt. Reid (his rank during his service on the Tracer) has now attended three of the AGR Reunions. A record that few other former AGR skippers can match. His record, while Captain of the Tracer is hard to match too. During his time aboard the Tracer the ship won the "E" as the most efficient ship in the squadron two years in a row. The ship also won the Ney Award as the Outstanding General Mess Afloat over 775 other ships. His XO was the best too and even made Rear Admiral. You can't do much better than that... Capt Reid has said that his time aboard the Tracer was his best duty in the Navy. Most of us can look back after forty years and treasue the time when we served under Al Reid and Rod Flannery. Two greats in Tracer history.

You can see a picture and the whole text of the tribute here

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Veterans Day: Height of the Cold War and the Vietnam Era

The following church members are veterans from the 50s, 60s, and 70s covering the Cold War and Vietnam.

Jerry Johnson served in Vietnam.

Dale Pickens served in the 509th Engineer Company as a motor pool dispatcher. His rank was Specialist E-4. He commented that fortunately for him there were no big battles….only a few small ones.

James Millwood served in Vietnam.

Allen Wilson served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1974 in the 363rd Technical Air Command.

Douglas Cranford (1947-1980) served with the U.S. Air Force in communications where he was honored for dedication and dependability. Following his Vietnam service he worked with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office where he was awarded the Young Lawman of the Year award for 1978.

Arthur Henderson served in the U.S. Army from 1961-64. Due to his special computer skills he served his entire enlistment in El Paso, Texas.
Sam Griffin was in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964. He was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.

Billy Queen was in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965. He was a mail clerk for a bit in Germany before serving as a colonel’s driver in Orleans, France. Following his Vietnam years Billy worked for Ford Motor Company where he retired with 30 years of service.

Jim West was in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1963. He spent 30 months as a tank commander along the Czech-German border during the height of the Cold War. Following his military service Mr. West spent 40 years as the owner of McClarty and West Sheet Metal Company.

Tommy Tart’s military service was spent in the Panama Canal Zone in 1958.

Paul Trew was stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky in 1963.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: Korean Conflict

The following FBCLS members served their country during the Korean Conflict. Each picture is followed by an identifying caption. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

Earl Allen was with the military from 1951 through 1983. During the Korean Conflict he was with the Air Force, and during the Vietnam War until his retirement he served with the Georgia Air National Guard as a civilian employee. Mr. Allen retired as a Senior Master Sargent (E-8).

Richard Young was in Korea from August, 1953 to June, 1954 in the 40th Infantry Division where he worked in the finance division. He was mainly in and around Chuchon and Chorwan, Korea.

Jim Brooks (1933-2007) served in the U.S. Army with the National Security Administration, a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States government from 1952-1955. The NSA was created on November 4, 1952 and was responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence. In his capacity with the NSA, Mr. Brooks became fluent in the Persian language and worked with Project Bluebook and other top secret and classified projects.

Don Deal (1933-2002) served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Valley Forge. At one point Mr. Deal lost an eye during his service. Following his naval service Mr. Deal coached little league for over 40 years. The first carrier air strike of the Korean Conflict was launched from Valley Forge’s flight deck on July 3, 1950. You can find out more about the Valley Forge’s service during the Korean Conflict here.

Claude Foster served with the Seabees in the Philippines.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: Recognizing Our Heroes

Dwayne Duncan, U.S. Navy

Frank Smith spent 13 years in the U.S. Coast Guard on the ice breaker, Westwind, mainly along the New England coast.

David Schuber served in the U.S. Marines.

Charles Hulme (1931-2004) served in the U.S. Air Force. He spent his entire enlistment in Texas. After his service career he taught at Douglas County High School for many years.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Veterans Day: World War II Era....Navy Men

The following pictures are FBCLS members or have a relative who is a member of the church. All of these men are World War II veterans. Captions follow each image, and images can be clicked to enlarged.

Pastor Marion Beaver served during WWII in the U.S. Navy Air Division as an electrician, first class in Miami and then later in the Philippines. In 1953, he became Senior Pastor at FBCLS and continues today serving our church as Minister to Seniors.

Harry Allgood served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1948. For a time he was assigned to the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender. More on the Curritick can be found here and here.

In 1946, Mr. Allgood sailed with Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole. During that voyage Mr. Allgood spent 103 days without going ashore. This was Admiral Byrd’s fourth and final expedition we remember as Operation Highjump. It was the largest Antartic expedition to date. Besides the flagship Mount Olympus and the aircraft carrier Philippine Sea, there were thirteen other US Navy support ships, six helicopters, six flying boats, two seaplane tenders (including Mr. Allgood’s ship, the Currituck) and fifteen other aircraft.

Mr. Allgood was one of over 4,000 personnel involved in the operation. Strangely….the expedition was terminated six months early and no explanation was ever given.

Roland Garmon (1919-1988) served in the Pacific aboard the USS Leray Wilson, a destroyer escort, as a fireman, first class. Some of the history of the Wilson is detailed at this website including the events of January 10, 1945 when the ship experienced the full fury of the Japanese suicide attacks. Spotting an enemy two-engine bomber dead ahead about 25 feet off the water, the ship’s gunners unflinchingly maintained continuous and deadly gunfire, diverting the aircraft enough to save the ship. As the suicide plane splashed, its starboard wing crashed the ship’s port side, killing six gunners, seriously wounding seven more, and causing extensive damage. A family member of Mr. Garmon’s reported 42 crew members lost their lives in that attack. The USS Leray Wilson received four battle stars.

Seldon Green (1925-2007) served aboard the USS Zaniah pictured below. The Zaniah was responsible for delivering troops, goods, and equipment to locations in the war zone. At one point the Navy also enabled Zaniah to become a distilling ship with the capabilities of producing 80,000 gallons of fresh water. USS Zaniah received one battle star for her service, and her crew was eligible for the following medals: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Medal (with Asia Clasp). You can read more about Mr. Green’s ship here.

The USS Zaniah, Seldon Green's ship.

James Gore served aboard the USS Crater, a cargo ship. You can read a short history of the ship here. After a voyage to San Pedro, California, Crater was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on June 25, 1946, and was transferred to the Maritime Commission the next day. Mr. Gore advises the USS Crater was bombed by the U.S. for nuclear research.

Julius (Jerry) F. Carrafa, Sr. (Antonette Mitchell’s father) served aboard a U.S. Army salvage ship known as the USAT Arthur C. Ely as a Tech Sargent (T/4).

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Veterans Day: World War II Era

The following pictures are FBCLS members or have a relative who is a member of the church. All of these men are World War II veterans. Captions are underneath each image to identify the person.

J.D. Duren-While in Europe his feet froze and he spent many months in the hospital. Later he served as a cook for replacement soldiers.

B.C. Quinn (1925-2007)-Mr. Quinn served in the Merchant Marines. He was ordained as a deacon at Ben Hill Baptist and served as a deacon at FBCLS for many years. Mr. Quinn is remembered fondly as “the chewing gum man” since he handed out so many sticks of gum to children and young adults over the years.

Ed Redwine (deceased) served in the U.S. Army as a corporal. He was in the Philippines from 1945-1947.

Herman Schuber served in the Army Air Corp.

J.L. Clark was in the U.S. National Guard

LaFell Rakestraw (deceased)

James Leroy Burcham (deceased)

Fred Enterkin served in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a Staff Sargent, First Class. He advises he spent several months in Europe.

Thomas L. Richardson served in the U.S. Navy and provided a copy of his discharge paper
Bob Smythe served his country from 1943 to 1945 as a sargent in the Army Air Corp where he worked in airport supply.

Charles Bennett was in the U.S. Navy and spent most of his enlistment in Pensacola, Florida.

This is James Johnson Smith, father of Annie Joyner. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

J.D. Millwood
Walt Maynard served in the U.S. Navy

Clyde Hardy was a POW during World War II.
This is James Morgan….now deceased.

This is Ralph Brown. He served in Okinawa.

If you would like to see more posts regarding the veterans at FBCLS follow the link
here for a complete listing.