Unrestrained Driver Killed in Red River Parish Crash

On October 30, 2020, just before 4:00 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a two-vehicle, fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 1 south of Louisiana Highway 509. This crash killed 39-year-old Adrian Toussaint of Natchitoches.    

The initial investigation revealed a 2003 Buick passenger car, driven by Toussaint, was traveling northbound on Louisiana Highway 1. For reasons still under investigation, Toussaint’s vehicle crossed the centerline and struck the rear trailer tires of a southbound 2011 Mack tractor-trailer. 

The driver of the tractor-trailer, who was properly restrained, was not injured in the crash. Toussaint, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash. Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences. Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night.

In 2020, Troop G has investigated 23 fatal crashes resulting in 27 deaths.

We’ll Gain An Hour

It is that time of year, the autumn, or fall.  Upcoming Sunday will be the first of November.  That is the date when the clock reclaims the hour of sleep we gained in the spring.

Daylight Saving Time will come to an end in the wee hours of the morning Sunday. Before bedtime, set your clocks back an hour so you will not be early to church.

Fire officials take this opportunity to remind you to make sure your emergency weather radio is working properly and to change the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors.

Or not… and just let your cell phone do it for you.

Thanks to Bro James Hester for helping me understand what time it is! I have difficulty remembering what “spring forward and fall back” really means.

Prayer Service for America

By Pastor Steven McAbee of Open Door Fellowship

Regardless of our political perspective one thing is clear:  God’s people should call themselves to prayer!   I would like to extend an invitation for you to join us together in prayer for our nation on Tuesday November 3, 2020 at noon.  Open Door Fellowship will host this noon time prayer meeting. 

We will meet during the lunch hour for 30 minutes to pray for our nation and revival.  In these uncertain days let us join in one accord as we seek the presence of our Lord. 

King David said it well:  “You have said, “Seek my face. ”My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Let us have such a heart as to seek the heart of God for ourselves, our families, churches, state and nation.

I look forward to praying with you soon.

Early Voting Breakdown

Early voting turnout is setting records around the nation.  And in Louisiana nearly a million people cast early ballots either in person or by mail-in. 

Figures from the Secretary of State show 817,954 people cast ballots in person during the 10 days of early voting and 14,979 people cast absentee ballots.  Total statewide was 967,751.

As reported Wednesday by The Journal, there was a record setting turnout here in Red River.  A total of 1546 people voted in person and 359 voted absentee for a total vote of 1905.  That is 32% of registered voters have already voted.

The detailed break-down is in the document below.  The demographic breakdown of those voting is:

White 1034, Black 846, and other 25.

Male 766 and Female 1139.

Democrat 1036, Republican 652, and other 217.

It’s Time For Kids To Go Back To School:  Sunday School

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

When you think of schools that have given us people who have contributed to our world in benevolent ways, institutions such as Harvard, Yale and other Ivy League schools come to mind. Yet, historically, the school that is most responsible for shaping character is Sunday school. In fact, many of those who went to Yale and Harvard went there first. That is why it is so vital to get kids back to church. They need the character building lessons found only in God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Yet many churches have not reopened for children due to safety concerns about the Coronavirus. At the same time, children are going to regular school. What is the difference? Here is an argument as to why all Sunday schools should be opened and why outreach to unchurched children should be expanded.

If you are a Christian, I am sure I don’t have to point out that today’s culture is neither kind to nor supportive of Christian values. Which means this is the ideal time to both teach and reinforce the teachings of Jesus Christ. The spiritual instructions children get from going to Sunday school have never been more vital. Let’s not fool ourselves. If we don’t teach our children, a media and pop culture hostile to Christianity will act as substitute teachers. Here is a sample of their class schedule: “God did not create the earth 101”; “You can marry any sex or species 101”; “How to have sex before marriage 101”. Or, “Even though the Book of Genesis says God made them man and woman, so-called experts maintain there is no such thing as gender 101”. These lessons ooze out of TV, movies, online games, social media and music on your child’s phone. This is all happening right now.

Some will point out that they have online Sunday school classes. That’s fine. But let’s be honest. Don’t online classes only reach children with computer access? In The Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus himself commanded his followers to spread the gospel to the whole world, meaning the unchurched. In other words, the implication of that is that our goal should be to grow the kingdom, not just reach our own members. And believe me, there is a great harvest, just as Christ promised there would be. I know this because I am involved in a ministry called 22:6 (226youth.org) which is blessed to be able to do outreach primarily to children who have trouble getting to church. 22:6 either takes them to church, or arranges with a parent to have Bible study with the parent and child in their home, using 10 to 15 minute Bible lessons. Each child receives a free snack or prize. Point is, it is simply time to try approaches that are new and creative. God will guide and direct us if we will submit to and obey Him. In the Great Commission, Jesus ended his command by promising to personally be with us as we reach out to those who do not yet know about him or believe in Him. Every believer should know that believing in Jesus is very important, because Jesus himself said so in John 14:6. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” He was putting it on the line and warning that only those who accept him as savior and Lord will make it to heaven. He wants everyone to have an opportunity to accept him so they can be saved and live with God eternally. That especially goes for children.

What can we do in more specific terms? First, we can pray. James 1:5 says that God will give us wisdom if we will ask. Next, we can educate ourselves on the guidelines for social gatherings and follow the directions from the CDC (Centers for Decease Control) By the way, there is no CDC guideline that prevents us from sharing Jesus with anyone. With God’s help and good information on safety, we can step up our game and reach more children. And of course, wear masks. A few simple ideas to get the ball rolling: Children who have computers and who attend Sunday school online could invite a friend to join them. Churches could copy what the 1st Century Christians did and go “two by two” (teams of two people) into neighborhoods and share short five or 10 minute Bible lessons, like I mentioned earlier. These are merely suggestions or idea starters. Jesus will give you the ultimate direction, the good ideas and he will provide the increase. We just need to be open to his guiding hand. Like church, Sunday school does not have to always happen between walls. But it is good when believers come together the Bible tells us (Hebrews 10:25). However, if we cannot do that physically, let’s do it in any way that puts the word of God in front of our children and children in our communities. If we really believe children are the future, then it naturally follows that we should also believe that without Christian children there can be no Christian community. America needs new Christians because it needs to follow God in order to continue to be blessed.

Whatever we do, let’s throw off the fear and realize that the stakes are too high not to strengthen and bring innovations and fresh thinking to Sunday schools. It should be obvious that we need to do more than we are doing. This epidemic is causing lots of pain and stress. There is a world of hurting people out there and some of them are children. They need a loving, benevolent God’s instruction now more than ever and they need it consistently and brought to them by teachers who love God and love people. Two things you will most likely find in only one school: Sunday school.

“Allow the little children to come to me.” –Jesus Christ, Matthew 19:14

“My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.”—Hosea 4:6

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6

Donations to Red River Industries

Red River Industries received two generous donations this month.  They came from Vine Oil and Gas and Defiance Energy.

Teal Lowring, Director of Red River ARC told The Journal that both donations were for $1,500.  One went to Red River Industries and the other to the business side of the organization, the ARC.

The presentations were made at the first of the month.  Clients of Red River Industries made thank you signs and served cookies and punch.

Representing Defiance Energy was James Lee.  Lindsey Lewis represented Vine Oil and Gas.  Representing Red River ARC were Board Member Rose Moseley,  Bakery Supervisor Red River ARC Melanie Alexander, and Director Red River ARC Teal Lowring.

Swamp Bowl Saturday

Riverdale’s Pee-Wee footballers travel to Haynesville this weekend.  The Little Rebels are getting ready for the Swamp Bowl!

They will play at Claiborne Academy Saturday at 11:00. The winner will play again at 3:00. The school said, “Come help us cheer on the Little Rebels!!”

Bridge Work Progressing

The state transportation department said work is progressing on replacing the bridge on Highway 507 and may be completed this year.  Completion depends upon the weather.

Erin Buchanan of the transportation reports the bridge deck is being poured.  When that is finished, Buchanan said they will have the approach slabs and the barrier rails to go to complete the project.

Repairs are underway on two other bridges over Bee Branch Creek just north of Red River in Bienville parish.  The first site is just west of Morgan Road is almost completed.  Buchanan said when that one is done they will move on to the second bridge site between Bob Neal and Magnolia Roads.

Junior High Students Study Ratios

Here is a teacher applying a little imagination to a lesson.  She had her students use Fruit Loops in a way they will remember.

Red River Junior High posted, We have the best teachers!!! Mrs. Coats taught an amazing math lesson today.  What better way to learn about ratios???  The students had a blast  and were able to make real world connections to what they are learning.

In a package of Fruit Loops, how many are there of each color.  And what is the ratio to one color or another and that color to the whole.

Local Man Ordained

Coushatta resident Joshua Loftin is now an ordained minister.  His ordination ceremony was held recently at Open Door Fellowship.

Loftin is still in school in Dallas working on his divinity degree.  After he was ordained on Saturday, October 10th, he headed back to classes on the next Monday.