Last Sunday Nancy and I rushed to Salem, OR to say “so long” to a former pastor, mentor and BNN director, Carl Hill. He died recently at 97. We arrived after the service started, got a chance to meet many old friends and greet his wife. He was our pastor while we were at Corban and later was an encouragement when our church started. We thank the Lord for allowing us to know him.

Then we headed to the “sea” at Cannon Beach. Paul Hayes, Chris Rogers, Enriko Stigter, myself and our wives were there. Our team led music for the pastors and wives Refresh retreat. I met with our regional BNN council as we planned for future multi-church events as well as discuss our new building project. Our team also had strategic discussions with other leaders about how to help reach others for Christ in our region etc.. We also heard a series of messages by Pastor Bryan Hughes on Romans 8:28 that took us deeper into this amazing verse by looking at five important words in the verse. The fellowship time with many other folks in ministry was very encouraging as we visited, walked the beach, rode bikes or just rested.

 Meeting of our DBC team outside the chapel of Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center.

Meeting of our DBC team outside the chapel of Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center.

This weekend our weekly “SALT” groups are multiplying to six groups. It is a good time to join one. S.A.L.T. stands for Saints Applying Living Truth. Here are five reasons you should consider attending a SALT group.   

    1. Because it will assist you in applying the truth of the morning message in a deeper way through a give and take discussion format where you can ask question or contribute application. 

    2. Because you will meet other believers and grow in the Lord together as you get to know each other better.

    3. Because in the Bible the church met corporately in large groups as well as small. Act 2:46  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart…

    4. Because it is a place for families because young and old can mix and share in fellowship and prayer. Acts 2:42   

    5. Because it is a good place to bring guests who may be seeking but fear going to church.    

Groups start the week of September 16 as listed below. Note that some have new name designations based on location changes. For the complete address and leader phone numbers check the bulletin front each week or look them up on the online Community directory. If you have not joined the community then this is a great time to do that by going to

•Gig Harbor South (Mark Suko Home, Sunday, 6:15pm)

•Gig Harbor Central (Campbell or Porter Home, Sunday, 6:15pm)

•Peacock Hill (John Kerr Home, Monday, 6pm)

•Gig Harbor North (Willie Clark Home, Sunday, 6:15pm)

•Key Peninsula (Karman Storset Home, Sunday, 6:45pm)

•Burnham (Dann Ledwick Home, Thursday, 6:30pm)

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S.A.L.T. refers to Saints Applying Living Truth as they become the salt of the earth.


When my beloved and I were married in 69 we would never have imagined being grandparents someday. But in God’s providence we became parents, grandparents and now great grandparents.  

Psalm 127:3 comes to mind.  “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Both of us only knew our grandparents briefly. Both of our sets of parents died relatively early so most of our children didn’t know what a grandparent was. But the Lord has blessed us to be able to see three generations. We are thankful.

In keeping with National Grandparents Day today (9/9/18) we are blessed to announce the birth of our first great grandchild. Philippa Jane Whitaker Suko was born 9/4/2018 to Jorge & Naomi Whitaker Paris in Valdivia, Chile. All is well down under.

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Little Philippa Jane will bring changes to our family with some young aunts and uncles. She is our first South American so that means we’ll need to learn some Spanish too. It will also expand our need to pray for her along with the others.  Our prayer would be as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 71:18 “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.”

-Pastor Mark  


Sunday morning some of our flock met early to pray for the Franklin Graham Decision America Rally in Tacoma before attending that evening. It had been over fifty years since I had been to my first Billy Graham Crusade in Seattle. I heard the gospel clearly there, repented and trusted Christ. A few years later I was a counselor in his Portland Crusade. 

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I was looking forward with anticipation and prayer to the event this week. Times have changed and I expected it would be different from years ago. As we drove I was pleasantly surprised by the cars backed up on the freeway to get in. I thought we were early but was wrong. Hundreds of cars had already filled the large parking areas on the way in. 

Along the access road small groups of demonstrators representing an atheist group, a gay rights group, an anti-hate group, a separation of church and state group, a group against islamophobia and so on, as if Franklin was for those things. A Tacoma clergy group signed a letter against "Franklin Graham hateful version of faith: Not welcome in Tacoma." I don't recall seeing things like that in the sixties. Yet there were no clashes with the guests arriving. People were respectful.

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The rally was in the parking lot and we were to bring our own chairs. I didn't think that would work. But thousands were already seated near the stage, music was playing and people were still arriving. We got seated hundreds of feet from the platform and separated from a number of other groups. There were about seven-thousand-eight-hundred people of all ages; yet there were no disturbances, few police and no drinking. 

Soon Franklin appeared and welcomed everyone. He made it clear America needed help and that Christ was the answer. He also encouraged believers to be involved in our government. He pointed out political parties can't fix it. Only God can. Then he preached on the prodigal son. He mentioned his own rebellion in his youth and how he didn't find satisfaction in it. He finally came to his knees in repentance and trusted Christ. He said we are all prodigals, lost and away from God. It is only in repentance over our sin and faith in Christ that anyone can be saved from the wrath God has over our wrong.  

His treatment of sin pulled no punches. He named a wide range of acts that many today might not think are wrong. He was clear that all sex outside of marriage is sin and that the gay lifestyle was also clearly sin against God. He said, "Some of you may think you have no sin." "But even thinking that is sin."  Wow!

Finally, he invited people who wanted to repent to stand. He explained and prayed with them and then offered them Bibles, etc. Hundreds stood. He prayed for them and the churches that have a role in encouraging them; we are among them. Things have changed but the Gospel of Christ is still the same. I am encouraged that we can still have such a meeting in our country. Hear Franklin's message for  yourself here.

See their drone pics and other closeups of the event here.

Pray for our Family Camp this weekend.  Wednesday is the last day to register at the Community.  Because of camp there will be no Men's Discipleship Breakfast this Saturday.  Church services will be as usual at Discovery back in Gig Harbor.

-Pastor Mark

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