Mansfield/Waco Churches Are Reaching Around the World

February 28, 2011

Rewritten March 1, 2011

“God Is Big Enough” is the message twin brothers Revs. Mike and Steve Ramsdell shared as one of them was undergoing treatment for cancer last year. They had no idea the message would travel around the world and change so many people’s lives.

This special message began with Waco First United Methodist Church where Steve serves as senior pastor, according to his brother Mike who is at Mansfield First United Methodist Church. “Steve got the idea when he was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson,” Mike said. “First Waco had the emphasis in the fall and began handing out the white bracelets. He then shared it with me and Mansfield began doing it as well on Christmas Eve.”

Since then, both churches continue to hand out the bracelets communicating the message that God Is Big Enough. “It continues to grow and expand in unexpected ways,” states Mike, adding that Steve will come to Mansfield on Sunday, March 20, and he will be in Waco Sunday, May 8, to talk about this growing program together in both churches.

The brothers had bracelets made for their churches as a means of providing prayer support — blue for the Mansfield church and white for Waco UMC. Mike gave them out to his congregation on Christmas Eve, and within a week they had distributed 10,000 bracelets and stories of their impact filtered back to the church and to Mike’s Facebook page.

The local ABC-TV affiliate (WFAA-TV) aired a story about how this 6,000-member congregation in Mansfield is reaching thousands of people around the world, including some high profile wrists (http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/116788623.html). The story was picked up by KENS-TV in San Antonio. 

Mike explains that a member of the Waco congregation shared a bracelet with Sarah Palin at a book signing, and she has been seen wearing it at news conferences. “I shared a bracelet with Laura Bush,” states Mike, “and my brother had an opportunity to share one with George Bush.”

Together, Steve and Mike have shared over 55,000 bracelets — with their congregations; orphans in the ZOE ministry the Mansfield church supports in Rwanda, Kenya and Zimbabwe; the Baylor basketball team; local churches, schools and hospitals; police and airline pilots to name a few.

This last weekend, First Mansfield gave out 1,200 bracelets to those attending the memorial service for Dr. Ken Diehm who died so unexpectedly Feb. 19. Dr. Diehm had been senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine.

Mansfield member Donnie Sherwood said, “I handed a bracelet to a young man struggling with depression about six weeks ago. He told me today that his life is back on track and he thanked me for caring — God is Big Enough!” Another member reported watching a news broadcast about the Mavericks and saw that one player on the bench had a blue band on his wrist. “Couldn’t tell if it was ours or not, but rewound it to verify that I did see it!.” Still another was served at a local restaurant by a waiter wearing a bracelet his hairdresser had given him.

Member and visitor attendance has increased at First Mansfield, quite possibly as a result of what has become the bracelet ministry. “Since January, we have had 100 people join the church,” states Mike Ramsdell. Average attendance at the Sunday worships services is 2,200. While Mansfield has about 55,000 residents, the message on the bracelets is reaching throughout the Mansfield Independent School District that has about 100,000 residents.

Personal stories of the message’s effect on individuals and groups continues to pour in. “Someone wrote on my Facebook page that his father was having brain surgery so he got him a bracelet to wear during the surgery,” Mike said.

The church has been overwhelmed with requests, so they are sending organizations to the supplier through a Website http://godisbigenough.us/.  There is a list of supportive resources from banners to bulletin inserts to a one-minute HD bumper video promoting a sermon series. The four-week worship/sermon series was used by Rev. Mike Ramsdell at First Mansfield. The outlines, scriptures and a link to the church Website to view the sermon is provided.