New Hope Church of Christ, Amory, Mississippi

New Hope’s reason for gratitude grows with each saved and secured soul. Recall Christ’s teaching as He em
phasizes the value of taking up one’s cross: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:25). You see? If one soul is worth more than the world and all its treasures, that means your investment here increases exponentially on its return (so to speak) with every convert and restoration. Praise God!

Of course, I’m largely referring to the now four (4) baptisms New Hope has witnessed since December – not to mention one physical birth! This sort of thing hasn’t happened here in well over a decade. Additionally, some visiting family members are becoming more regular, and they even bring grandchildren! By tallying up our membership and ‘reliable’ guests, our attendance is nearly double from a year ago. Numbers don’t mean everything, but they sure help boost morale.

Timing couldn’t be better for the congregation’s growing courage, as I’ve been  traveling a lot since the New Year began. Between guest speaking at home, attending the Freed lectures, and this visit to you all, the reality of ‘the show must go on’ has challenged New Hope to grow in other ways. Indeed, I’m pleased to say that, while nobody is quite yet eager to occupy the pulpit, they willingly and dutifully find replacements. Even more encouraging is their willingness to occupy the teacher’s role in the classroom. Though this is extremely challenging for them (from their own perspective), they buckle down and get things done. As Mike Scott says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” How pleasing it is to see the cobblestone laid down first hand!

While it delights me to report this steady congregational growth, I know your love for me might be delighted to hear of some of my own. Now, in my second year at New Hope, I’ve been invited to speak at two (2) Gospel Meetings. Unfortunately, having already been away so much, I’ve had to decline one this first quarter to properly prioritize the work in Hatley. Fortunately, a reschedule is imminent, as the invitation came from a dear friend in Minnesota (I’m sure visiting in the summer will be better anyway). The second takes place at Faulkner in April, and the event will be the most publicized I’ve ever spoken. Please forgive the transparency: the responsibility frightens me. Rewarding as such an invitation is, the sheer prominence of Faulkner is sure to attract impressionable souls. Pray for my comfort, peace, and wisdom.

Impressionable souls are ripe in Amory, too. I’ve prayed earnestly – as I know you have – to determine what our role in this area is, especially given that we are the smallest congregation in Monroe county. We may be arriving at an answer. You see, while evangelism comes in many forms and stages, the ‘street corner preacher’ style is neither skill nor talent of mine. Fortunately, God does not rely on this “Smoot-shaped-cog” to get His work done, for there are other hearts willing to work. One of our recent converts, Laura, is a regular Samaritan woman. She just can’t help but tell everyone what Jesus has done for her John 4). She, Dayton, and Terrell, having come from a pretty poor part of the county, have come from a place in desperate need of hope. They are eager to shine their light to direct others to it.

Keep praying for us, my beloved Margaret Street. God is using all of us to glorify Himself and His Son. If we are able to recognize and interact with each other on that Golden Day, there will be people from Hatley, Mississippi gladdened to tell you, “Thank you. Because of your faith, I found my own.” Praise Him!

aving been at the New Hope church of Christ for nearly two months now, two things are crystal clear to me. First, our evaluation of the New Hope members’ spirit for helping the work here holds true. They have been sure to pour out aid for me whenever I need it, avail their help to the building and its functions, and keep close-knit connections with one another. Second, there is work, hard work, to be done here. We knew that when we discovered this little congregation in Hatley, MS (with an Amory, MS address), so our guard has not been found lacking. Challenges are quickly being discerned for Phase I and their solutions likewise implemented.

You’ll recall there are a number of large congregations within Monroe county, with Amory church of Christ and Christian Chapel church of Christ boasting the largest memberships (160, 250 respectively, if memory serves). I have visited with the ministers of both these congregations, as well as the Skyline church in Tupelo. Every minister I’ve met seems to be of kindred spirits in one way or another, with a couple being fellow mentees of Troy’s (both named Jonathan, coincidentally). Each building I’ve been to has been remarkable, particularly with their emphasis on youth development. Casey would be just like a kid in a candy store.

So far, my greatest personal connection to the community is wrapped up in those gym-goers who enjoy late night workouts. Here, there are few. I’m in the process of readjusting my schedule to go earlier in the day to potentially interact with more folks. Hopefully, before too long, we’ll get some Bible studies going. Congregation. Regarding the standard operations of the congregation, things have hit the ground running. All men who participated in worship before have continued to do so. You’ll be surprised to know there are nearly as many song leaders here as there are at Margaret Street! I’ll be tasked with song leading on the final Sunday of February, but that’s with my permission. (We won’t make a habit of that).

To best understand the language in this next paragraph, our Sunday services operate like so: 9:30 AM – Bible class; 10:20 AM- Worship; 11:20- Third Session (this has been treated as both a second service and a Bible class in the past; we presently treat it as a sort of blend, a Bible class with singing mixed in).

As for classes, we have three. ‘The Life of Christ‘ is our first class on Sunday, taking a look at Christ’s life to better navigate our own lives as Christians. This particular class will run until we’re ready for a change. The third session is the class Casey and I co-taught at Margaret Street, ‘Know Your Why,‘ a class which focuses on why we do what we do as Christians. (That is, obedience to God is all that’s necessary, though nearly everything runs more deeply than that. Casey can clarify details for you.) ‘Know Your Why’ will conclude at the quarter’s end. Wednesday night is Genesis class, and it will take us clear to the summer. Of note, Genesis is the first Wednesday night class New Hope’s had since before Covid! Attendance has maintained 7-8, which is roughly half the congregation. Considering the health and work schedules of some, this is very good. I have been informed a few regular Wednesday attendees were seldom present in the past during the midweek service, and that speaks well of the hearts here.


I am amazed at the frequency I hear from Margaret Street members, though I am not surprised. The effects of your prayers are absolutely being felt, and I earnestly beseech their continuation. A couple weeks ago, I led a sermon on Satan as James speaks about him Qas. 4), largely from the perspective of “resisting him.” The reality is this: for all the energy God is directing in this effort, Satan will likely respond aggressively. Approaching God is the only surefire way to resist him and make him flee, and your prayers have helped in that.

Trevor Smoot

Trevor Smoot, a 2021 graduate of Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver, CO   recently came work with Margaret Street as our “Domestic Missionary.” We are excited to have Trevor and he has been doing a great job.