Rev. Dr. Gary Schneider

Brother Gary, Debbie, and Xaris
Thank you for visiting the North Ten Mile Baptist Church website. We are a small, friendly, Bible-believing church that exists to help people find and grow in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are an old church having been organized over 230 years ago, we preach and teach an old message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8), and we enjoy singing the old hymns of the faith. Not all is old at North Ten Mile Baptist Church, however. We believe that when God saves an individual, that person becomes a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17); we believe that God's mercies are new each day (Lamentations 3:22-23), and we enjoy singing God's praise in new songs (Psalm 96:1) as well as the old. We are a mission-minded church voluntarily cooperating with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the Southern Baptist Convention literally extending our ministry to the utter most parts of the world (Acts 1:8). We welcome all who sincerely desire to seek the Lord in worship to join us as we continue to proclaim "His-Story" to our community, state, nation, and world. Y'all come!

Brother Gary's Call To North Ten Mile
Finding the Church
My father, Rev. Louis Schneider, preached at North Ten Mile Baptist Church (NTM) for Memorial Day Sunday, 1996. At that time, NTM was a healthy American Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Jeff Johnson. For over 100 years, NTM asked active or retired military personnel to preach on Memorial Day Sunday. NTM's pastor resigned in the fall of 1998 and NTM began seeking new leadership in January of 1999. Dad's former Sunday School teacher from The Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown, PA, stayed in contact with friends of his from NTM. When he found out that NTM needed a pastor, he called Dad who called to inform me of the opening. We contacted NTM as a favor to Dad and his former Sunday School teacher, but we had no intentions of pursuing NTM any further. A member of NTM's pulpit committee quickly contacted us and expressed the committee's desire to meet with us as soon as possible. We requested a video tape of the church grounds and some additional information on the church and community.

Setting Up Roadblocks
We watched the video tape and reviewed the information sent by NTM, but we had several reservations. First, we are Southern Baptist, but NTM is American Baptist. Second, we didn't think the parsonage would be big enough for our family: there were only two bedrooms and one bathroom. When I agreed to travel to NTM to meet the committee in early Fall of 1999, I just knew they would not be interested in changing their cooperative agreement with the American Baptist Churches, USA, to include Southern Baptist missions support. I further anticipated the committee's discouragement when I told them that we didn't feel the parsonage would meet the needs of our family.

Meeting with the Committee
Pulpit Committees are always nice, and NTM's committee was no different. After meeting the committee members, we proceeded to tour the parsonage. I wasn't quite sure how to bring up the fact that Debbie wanted another bathroom and bedroom, but I didn't have to. While walking through the kitchen, one of the committee members directed my attention to the pantry which he informed me was being converted into a bathroom--the contractor had given an estimate the day before and would begin work the following week! I was also informed that a renovation project on the parsonage had been in the planning for about two years and would include adding another bedroom and additional space in the back. So much for the parsonage roadblock! Dinner and an in-depth interview followed our tour. During the course of the interview, I brought up my major roadblock concerning being Southern Baptist. The committee readily agreed and the church subsequently approved in a business meeting their new relations with Southern Baptists!

Getting the Message
After meeting with the pulpit committee from NTM last Fall, I asked them if I could go to the church alone to pray. When I got to the church, I realized I had not yet read the Bible passage for the upcoming Sunday's Sunday School lesson. Searching the church for a Bible, I finally found an old timey King James Bible in a Sunday School room, on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, buried under some magazines and crayons. When I opened the Bible to the selected passage, Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 8 had been bracketed in pencil years before (see attached copy). Knowing a move would mean major changes for our family and church family, I was afraid to move. Here's what verse 8 says, "And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee; He will not fail thee neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." I made several copies of that page and put the Bible back where I had found it.
The next morning I showed the chairman of the pulpit committee the copies and he asked where the Bible was so he could show it to the rest of the committee. Though I told him exactly where the Bible was, he was unable to find it. He called me two days later to ask me again where the Bible was. To this day, no one has found the Bible--or even the entire bookcase where I had found the Bible! On December 19, 1999, when revisiting the classroom where I had found the Bible, I found the wall just as bear as the pulpit committee chairman had said it was.

Receiving Confirmation
Arriving back in Plainview on Saturday, I got out my Sunday School teacher's book to finish studying the lesson. We were starting a new unit that Sunday called "Advance," and the first page of the unit had a full page picture of a family unloading their belongings from a moving truck (see attached picture). The first lesson in the unit was called "Coping With Transition," and dealt with issues such as leadership changes & moves (see attached Unit description).
In December, we went to preach at NTM in view of a call. After I finished preaching, we were asked to leave the sanctuary so that the church could discuss and vote on the pulpit committee's recommendation of calling us. While waiting in the back, an old friend with whom I had lost contact years before came back to talk to me. He told me that back in the Fall of 1999 he began praying that we would renew our friendship--not by phone or letter but face to face! He was just as shocked as I was to discover just how completely God would answer his prayer!
Debbie began calling moving companies in early January to get bids on our move to Pennsylvania. Debbie and I liked best the representative from Atlas Movers who came first to give his estimate. After the representative found out whom else Debbie had contacted, he informed us that he never underbids them. As it turns out, his was the lowest bid--even after he corrected a mistake increasing his original bid. About a week later, as I was driving to New Orleans, I had a strange thought. I called Debbie and asked her to look at the name on the moving van in the Sunday School book picture. See for yourself: it was Atlas Van Lines!

While not a determining factor--yet still a concern--was the news we learned early in January that our children's biological mother, who had been living in North Carolina, had recently returned to live in Franklinton, LA, just 20 minutes from Plainview. Meeting up with her in public was now more than possible--it was quite probable.

Providing New Leadership
We met Cheyne Day at a Pastor's conference about six months ago. I had heard that Cheyne had taken a pastorate in Bogalusa but had not previously met him. Cheyne immediately felt that Debbie and Cheyne's wife, Misty, would really appreciate each other. We agreed that we would get together again, but we made no definite plans. We ended up getting together for Cheyne's twenty-ninth birthday at the Day's home, and Debbie immediately knew that they would be perfect to lead Plainview when we left. Understand that at this point, we were not aware of NTM nor were we making any plans to leave Plainview! We informed the Day's that we wanted them to consider the pastorate at Plainview in the future even though they already had a place of service, and we didn't have plans to go anywhere!
Cheyne's ministry at his church was difficult, but he was committed to keep trying to lead his congregation. After an extended period of fasting and prayer, Cheyne realized that his church's leadership was not allowing him to lead them as God inspired. While Cheyne agonized with resigning, his father, a pastor in Oklahoma, called to talk to Cheyne. Cheyne had not previously talked to his father about the situation, because he knew his father would tell him to stay there and work it out. Cheyne's father called to advise Cheyne to resign effective immediately--precisely what Cheyne was planning to do!
Cheyne resigned Wednesday night, January 5, 2000, requesting a month's stay in the church's parsonage. Cheyne called on Thursday, January 6, 2000, to tell me what had happened, not knowing that we were planning to resign on Sunday, January 16, 2000. I reminded Cheyne of our interest in having him pastor Plainview and was amazed to discover that the day he had to be moved out of his parsonage was the day we were leaving Plainview! Cheyne remembered our discussions concerning the pastorate at Plainview, but he was not interested in coming. He had been deeply hurt by his last church and, understandably, wanted to sit out for a while doing supply preaching only.
When Larry, Plainview's music director, and Glenda Stringfield, friends with someone in Cheyne's former pastorate, heard about Cheyne's resignation, they began thinking that Cheyne might be a possible interim choice for Plainview. Arriving at church on Sunday morning, January 9, 2000, Larry called me into my office, closed my door, and proceeded to inform me of their discussions. I told Larry that Debbie and I were already six months ahead of him, and I opened my office door to reveal Cheyne and Misty standing there! Debbie had invited the Day's to come to church that Sunday morning since that was their first Sunday since resigning their church. I had prepared that Sunday's sermon on Monday, January 3, 2000, and debated whether to preach it or not since the message was more appropriate for pastors--not congregations. Now I understood why I was to preach that message for preachers--it was for Cheyne! God began changing Cheyne and Misty's desires: they were willing to be considered by Plainview for an interim position. I talked to Dr. Joe Baugh, the Director of Missions for the Washington Baptist Association, and he informed me that churches need a minimum of one month interim for every year the resigning pastor served there. Having been at Plainview five years, Plainview would need five months minimum. Cheyne had agreed to be considered for an initial six month period--precisely what Plainview would need!
After resigning Sunday morning, January 16, 2000, I called a Special Business meeting of the church to discuss considering Cheyne as interim pastor once I leave. The church voted to appoint a pulpit committee, who would consider the Day's first and, if approved, would invite Cheyne to preach on Sunday, January 23, 2000. The committee would have to meet with Cheyne during that week, but Cheyne was planning to be in a week-long workshop at the seminary making that meeting possible--but very difficult. There was another factor as well, seven committee members would have to find a time that was not only convenient for Cheyne but also for each of them. Thankfully, Cheyne lost his wallet and checkbook keeping him from driving to and paying for his seminary class. As it turns out, Monday, January 17, 2000 was a national holiday making it easy for the committee to get together. After a lengthy meeting, the committee recommended that the church hear Cheyne on Sunday morning, January 2 3, 2000. I informed Cheyne that he would be finding his wallet very soon. Cheyne found his wallet on Tuesday, January 18, 2000, under his bed where he and Misty had previously looked several times! Having lost his wallet, Cheyne wisely canceled his bank ATM card; after finding his wallet, Cheyne called his bank to get another card. Happily, the bank already had a new card in the mail to Cheyne before he even called--it seems his card was getting ready to expire anyway!

Bringing Closure
God continued to confirm our decision to leave Plainview by bringing closure to our ministry there. For instance, on Wednesday nights, we had been studying the Book of Romans. While we did not finish the book, we finished Chapter 11 on our last Wednesday night at Plainview. Though Romans has 5 more chapters, the Apostle Paul ends Chapter 11 with the following: "For of Him, through Him, and to Him are all things to Whom be glory forever, Amen." The Apostle Paul's seemingly premature closing served as a permanent closing for our Wednesday night group.
Van Clan, our nursing home visitation team, had received some money back in June of 1999 to be used to pay for Van Clan members to eat out. Since June of 1999, others had donated to the Van Clan fund to keep it solvent. Just before leaving on our last trip together on Tuesday, February 6, 2000, I calculated the amount of money we had left in the Van Clan fund: $54.01. Since it was our last trip together, some extra people came along that usually don't go with us. When we got to the restaurant each person ordered what he wanted to eat and drink without regard to the amount of money left in the Van Clan fund. I suppose you can guess the amount of the check. Look at a copy of the receipt: $54.01!

The most important way that God confirmed our decision to move was in how He lead nine people to be baptized over the 3 weeks following my resignation announcement on January 16, 2000. Not only those, but God lead one young man to walk the aisle and join the church on my last Sunday there!

Interesting Notes
While certainly not factors in our call to NTM, the following "coincidences" are rather interesting. First of all, we left Washington Parish, Louisiana to move to Washington County, Pennsylvania. Secondly, our children left Ben's Ford Christian School and enrolled in Faith Christian School--both of which use the A Beka Classroom curriculum (making our children's adjustment minimal), both of which use the Eagles as their school mascot. Thirdly, without deliberately doing so, we agreed to begin our ministry at NTM on February 13, 2000, the second Sunday in February--the same Sunday we began our ministry at Plainview five years previously. Finally, the Bible verse that God used to speak to me about coming to NTM concerned Joshua's role in leading the Israelites into the promised land; In Jeff Johnson's last sermon at NTM as pastor, Jeff compared himself to Moses telling the congregation that he had taken them as far as he could. Based on that message, NTM was looking for their Joshua--precisely the individual addressed in the Bible passage God had given me!