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The Eve and Dawning of the New Millennium
Rev. Frederick Mau (1994-1998)
Rev. Wally Bumpas (1998-2016)
In 1999, a year after the Bumpases came to Dyersburg, the Christian school invited the late Rev. Peter J. Marshall, son of Dr. Peter and Catherine Marshall, to speak one weekend about “America’s Christian Heritage.”
At a pastors’ luncheon, Marshall spoke about the history of revival in the United States, and challenged listeners that when God sends revival, He doesn’t just do it in one church, but in multiple churches across denominational lines, and that there is a real spirit of repentance.
He then said another characteristic of revival is a concern for mercy ministries. And he asked, “Do you have a local mission?” “Do you have a “Habitat for Humanity?” “Do you have a crisis pregnancy ministry?” “Do you have a jail ministry…”
Heads nodded as he asked each question, but at the mention of a crisis pregnancy center an audible gasp fell on the room, as the local paper had just announced that Dyer County had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state.
Within a year, pastor’s wife Reni Bumpas was serving as co-chair of a steering committee with a number of others from around 6-8 local churches to start a crisis pregnancy center. She chaired its first board of directors in 2000, and served as executive director from 2006 to 2014, overseeing its conversion to a pregnancy medical clinic.
Many other FPC church members have also served Life Choices. Former elder Ralph Lawson also served on the steering committee. Elders Miles Shatzer, Troy Kerber, Willis Chapman, and pastor Wally Bumpas have served on the board of directors, and Laura Busch both volunteered and served as the chair for years. Martha Hoff, Jan Johnston, Helen Kerber, and Lynn Hall have served as volunteers. Melodee Chapman worked on staff as the administrative assistant for Right Choices of West Tennessee, the early name for Life Choices Prevention. Many other members are financial partners for Life Choices.
Dentist and elder Dr. Troy Kerber also moved to Dyersburg in 1998 when he and his wife Helen, of Tchula, MS were married. He began in 2001 going annually to Haiti with the pastor from the church in her hometown, the late Rev. Matt Baugh, who’d grown up in Haiti as a missionary kid.
As God gave Troy a heart for Haiti and the Haitian island of LaGonave, he built a dental clinic, and after Matt’s death in 2006, Troy continued his annual mission trips. As Matt’s family founded Hope for LaGonave (HFL) in memory of Matt, Troy began recruiting other church members to go with him on his annual trips.
Because of the strong partnership with HFL, a number of church members sponsor children to attend one of the four schools, where they are given a faith-based education by qualified and caring teachers, medical and dental care, high protein meals, and hope.