Evangelists' Updates

Evangelists' Updates

Joe Hamm Reports

Joe Hamm May 2023 Report

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Christ’s church Hamilton, AL


Serving Christ In Surprising Ways

When I moved away from home at age 18, I never thought I’d live here again. In fact, I tried to get as far away as I could. I’ve been blessed to work all over the country and travel the world. However, in God’s providence, He brought me back home to care for my family and help with the Lord’s work in a small city along the interstate in Northwest Alabama. Perhaps some of you can identify with my own experience. Most of us have found ourselves serving Christ in some surprising way. Wherever the Lord’s providence may lead us, we must learn to bloom where we’re planted. At times, there will be opportunities to serve Christ that will conflict with our own dreams. We will be forced to choose between serving ourselves and serving the Lord. And yet surprisingly, we will find a greater joy and purpose in serving the Lord. Serving Christ is not merely attending worship or promoting the right doctrine. In addition, it involves actual daily service...gladly submitting and serving Christ through those sudden and unplanned opportunities presented

May 2023

every day. These opportunities are sometimes neglected because we are too busy serving Christ in our own way, according to our own desires, or in a way that is more convenient or attractive to us.

Being A Light & A Blessing

I’ve been praying that God may use our family to be a light and a blessing to those around us. Let me state the obvious. As a large family, we attract a LOT of attention wherever we go. In fact, we cannot go anywhere without someone commenting on the size of our family or the fact that we have all girls. But we don’t want to be just a spectacle. I pray that God may use our marriage and family to model something special to the world. After all, our marriages should be a reflection of Christ and His church. This is something that all married Christians should consider at every stage of their marriage. How well is our family representing and reflecting God’s truths? May God help us be a blessing to others through not only our teaching, but also our lifestyle, hospitality and generosity.


~ Joe Hamm ~

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Gospel Meeting

We recently organized our first meeting in the new meeting space with various preachers speaking from the surrounding area. The event was well attended each night from brethren in the nearby counties and towns. We also had some local visitors. We were all greatly encouraged by the visitors and the wonderful lessons presented.

Preaching The Gospel From Genesis

I recently finished preaching a series of sermons through the book of Genesis focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I never ceased to be amazed how every Bible story, in fact, all of world history in some way points to Christ. After all, all things were created by him, and for him. (Col. 1:16). All of the worlds problems both collectively and individually can be traced back to Genesis. We have all turned aside to sin and rejected our Creator. We have turned our back on our origin story, Genesis. And yet, God in his grace prepared a way to bring us back to Paradise through the Gospel. I’m concerned that some stress the discontinuity between the testaments so much that we fail to see the wonderful continuity in God’s promises and fulfillment through the overarching story of redemptive history.

Member Spotlight - Helen Tidwell

Our dear sister Helen Tidwell has become like a mother to us and a grandmother to our children. She is our Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42) because this woman is full of good works. And boy, is she a worker! She cooks meals for the sick, goes above and beyond taking care of her extended family, makes dresses for our girls, opens her home to both friends and strangers, and is always prepared to care for the needs of others.

Prayer Requests

I’m thankful for your interest and confidence in our work for the Lord. Your encouragement means more than you may realize. Please pray that we will continue to be faithful through every trial both great and small. May the Lord give us knowledge and wisdom as we raise our children to serve Him. May we be a blessing to this local church. May the Lord help us be a light and blessing to our community. And May those who are seeking Jesus Christ see Him living in us.

Joe Hamm

151 Chestnut Circle Hamilton, AL 35570 256-398-0225 [email protected]


~ Joe Hamm ~

Joe Hamm Q3 2022 Report

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Christ’s church


Hamilton, AL

Move To Quarterly Reporting

I have recently come to the conclusion that quarterly reporting is best suited for my work here in Alabama. I hope my readers will be supportive of this change. When I worked in the city, the work was very fast paced. New adventures, new dangers, and many new contacts. There was always “something new” to report! However, in my current work, there are months that pass in which I’m involved in the same things. I continue to study, preach, and teach. I interact with many of the same contacts. We continue to experience the burdens of caregiving and parenthood.

Appreciation For Rural Work

Like many young preachers, I was initially attracted to large cities. We all want to be involved in important work and urban evangelism has received as much attention as foreign evangelism in recent years. Many rural works have been characterized as old and dying. However, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for rural living. There has been a different set of challenges. One challenge involves people moving out of rural areas for school and work. However, online learning and remote work opportunities are allowing more Christians to leave the city for various reasons. Some desire greater safety and security for their family. Others are choosing to care for aging parents. And as governments become more wicked and oppressive, we are seeing more Christians flee to the “wilderness” in order to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness.

Preaching Updates

I recently had the opportunity to present a series of lessons to the brethren meeting on 4th St in Cullman, AL. The series was an exposition of John’s epistles (1-3 John). These lessons are available at www.4thstreetchurchofchrist.com. I

3rd Quarter 2022

also presented a series on Colossians to the Northside church in Brilliant, AL. For these lessons, visit www.churchofchristnorthside.net. On Sundays, I’m preaching a series through the book of Mark. I’ve been particularly interested in how the overall narrative fits together and allowing applications to arise more naturally from the context. I want the focus of every sermon to be the focus of God’s Word.

The Mute Shall Sing

An older couple who worships with us has been caring for their adult son, Jim, after a major stroke. Jim has lived a wayward life. The church rallied around the family for prayer and support. At first, Jim was expected to die. Then, he began to make slow progress. He was unable to walk, speak, or feed himself. We continued to pray and visit the home. As months passed, Jim improved. He began attending worship and bible studies with his parents. While he was unable to communicate his ideas, he began singing joyously with the brethren. He listened intently to the preaching and teaching. Finally, he communicated to his parents he wanted to confess his sins and seek God’s forgiveness. With the help of his father, they addressed the congregation. I’m not sure how much the stroke or the years of hard living will affect Jim’s recovery. However, I know the Lord can use a stroke to bring a child home. I also believe God’s Word and Spirit can give Jim a new heart. Pray that Jim may recovery and proclaim God’s glory to others (Isaiah 35:3-6).

Building Relationships

Brethren from the 4th St. church in Cullman, AL came to help us work on the meeting space. We worked together doing demolition work and priming the walls and ceilings. This was a great opportunity to get to know these brethren better. We are very thankful for their visit!

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~ Joe Hamm ~

Your Help Is Needed

1 Personal Growth 2 As I mentioned previous, our family of nine (soon to be 10) has been living in my grandfather’s 2 bedroom house for over 8 months. The kids continue to grow. My wife continues to grow

more pregnant. Hopefully, our patience continues to grow, but some days it diminishes. I contacted the same contractor mentioned above to help us complete our home renovation. Phase 1 of the remodel should be completed by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to complete our home addition for a year and a half! We were disappointed, but continue to trust in the Lord’s provision and timing.

In the mean time, pray for our growth...both spiritual and numerical. The Lord teaches through every personal trial.

Stay strong in the faith!

Joe Hamm

151 Chestnut Circle Hamilton, AL 35570 256-398-0225 [email protected]


The work is plentiful, but the laborers are few. In order to complete the building project in a timely manner, I think we need to hire some help. The church as been meeting in our home for about 8 months. It has been a joy and great blessing, but also an added burden on my family. We live in a small home and the size of our family makes keeping things tidy very difficult. After Fiona has the baby in November, we’ll be unable to open our home for at least several weeks while she recovers. I would like to relieve her of this burden as soon as possible.

I have contacted a local contractor who has agreed to help. The total cost for labor and materials will be $25k. Brethren have already committed $12k for the material costs. If you are in a position to help us complete the project, please let me know.

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Joe Hamm June 2020 Report

Saturday, July 18, 2020

~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

July 12, 2020

My Family Needs Us

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” - 1 Timothy 5:8

These words have been echoing in my mind for a long time. As I mentioned in my past reports, there have been a lot of changes in my family recently. Two of my grandparents passed away last year and my father passed away two months ago. I’m the only child of my aging mother who continues to have many health problems. I’m also the only surviving descendant of my 91 year old grandfather (pictured below).

My family and I have spent the last two weeks visiting them in Alabama. It quickly became apparent to me that my mother and grandfather are no longer able to live on their own and handle their own affairs. I had considered moving them to live with us in Philadelphia, but I no longer think this is practical or beneficial for them. It is very difficult to find handicap accessible housing. The cost of living is expensive. And they would not be happy or feel safe living in such a large city. For this reason, I’ve made the decision to move my family to Alabama to care for them. This decision has been made with much prayer and it has not been an easy one to make. I thought I would continue serving in Philly as long as I was needed, or I was needed more somewhere else. That time has come, but in a surprising and unexpected way. I’m needed back home.

Leaving Philadelphia

Fortunately, through God’s blessing and providence, I believe we will be leaving the church in Philadelphia in good hands. Although the church has experienced some challenges over the past several months due to the COVID pandemic, it continues to be blessed with numerical growth. Several new families have recently moved to the area. David Raif and Kieran Murphy will continue preaching and teaching and the newer men of the congregation will continue to grow in their leadership abilities. It was always my intention to one day “work my way out of a job.” While we had not intended to leave this soon, I’m still confident that the work will continue to flourish.




Preaching in Alabama


The brethren at the church in my hometown of Hamilton, AL has expressed their desire for me to work with them if possible (building pictured below). However, they are not in a position to fully support a preacher, so outside support will be needed. Hamilton, AL is a small but growing city located on the recently completed Interstate 22 connecting Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN. It is the largest town in the county and also serves as the county seat.  There are very few faithful churches in this area of Alabama. I’m also hopeful for other opportunities to preach and teach as needed3. If you know any churches in Northwest Alabama that could use some help, please let me know.

Your Support Needed

First, I want to thank all of the brethren who have supported my work in Philadelphia. I have been so humbled and thankful to God by your love, concern, and generosity. While we will be moving to a smaller city, I still believe that the Lord has work for me to do in preaching the Gospel. While I cannot fully see God’s plans, I am following Him in faith. For that reason, I’m asking you to continue supporting my work. Some congregations support faithful preachers wherever they are working while others support preachers in specific places. The apostle Paul developed trusted relationships with brethren who supported him wherever he went. My desire is to continue preaching the Gospel and it would be my greatest joy to continue partnering with you in that effort.

Prayer Requests

This move is a big leap of faith for my family and we need your prayers now more than ever. Please pray for the congregation in Philly as we leave. Pray for our family as we begin serving the Lord in new ways and new locations. Pray for us as we look for housing in Alabama. Pray for my wife, five girls, and unborn baby. And most of all, pray that the Lord will open up doors for His Word to be preached to the lost. May God continue to use us for His glory!

Joe Hamm

Joe Hamm
5232 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA 19139 267-831-4019 [email protected]


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Southern ~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~ Hospitality

Joe Hamm June Report

Friday, July 10, 2020


Lights in A Sinful World

Thanks be to God we made it safely through the night. As I write this letter, our community is picking up the pieces from vandalism, looting and violence against the police. We have seen so much hatred and frustration, often being directed at those who are simply trying to help. And we have seen so much greed by those taking advantage of the civil unrest. We have seen the media spinning narratives from the air that don’t always match the reality of the situation on the ground. This community has torn itself apart. We live in a minority community and so many minority-owned businesses were destroyed. As the looters were systematically working their way toward our house, as police fired tear gas canisters down our block, as we closed our windows and rushed the children to the back bedroom for safety, I actually considered leaving this place. We have experienced so much sin and lawlessness since moving to Philly. It seems that few people value human life, so few have regard for the law, and so many have disdain for authority. Men shooting men, children shooting children, men beating women, and citizens shooting police officers who are sent into our community to restore order. People are so quick to blame others, yet so few are willing to accept responsibility for their own actions. We all want justice as long as it’s not against ourselves. When we sin, we hide from God’s judgment. That is true regardless of the color of our skin. It is true regardless of where we live. There are many people on both sides of the political debate proposing false solutions to our problems. I’m very concerned when Christians begin taking sides and adopting these false solutions. The only solution for peace and unity

is Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not a theoretical solution, it is a very practical one. It speaks to every area of our lives. Every sector of society, every discipline of study, every area of our public & private life should presuppose and be informed by God’s Word.

We must not only allow preachers to speak truth in the pulpit, but also in the statehouse, the laboratory, and the classroom. Why? Because the Bible should inform how we think about everything.

Someone asked my wife today, “At what point do you leave Sodom?” I’m not sure I know the answer. However, I do know that Jesus suffered to save lost sinners. We should be willing to suffer too.

My Father’s Death

In late December or January, my father contracted a flu virus which turned into pneumonia. The virus attacked his liver and he was admitted to the UAB hospital in Birmingham, AL so that he might receive a liver transplant. However, due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the surgery was delayed and he did not survive. Because he contracted the virus before the official COVID-19 outbreak, the doctors do not believe it was related. I’m thankful that I was able to attend his funeral service in Alabama on May 8.

Family Sickness

The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in this area on March 6. However, in late January, I came down with what I thought was a really severe flu which matched the symptoms of those being reported in China. Testing was

~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

June 1, 2020

not widely available at that time, but I was taking Hebrew classes with many students from Asian countries who had recently returned after the holidays. Perhaps I was exposed, but we will never know. This flu-like disease quickly turned into pneumonia and I was in the bed for several weeks. Following my sickness, each member of our family experienced two days of sickness followed by three weeks of low-grade fever. We isolated our family even before the official lockdown. We were advised by Fiona’s doctor to stay home and we all recovered. Thankfully, no one else in the church has experienced the severe symptoms of this disease.

Worshipping During The Shutdown

The church here normally meets on the campus of UPenn in downtown Philly. However, because the campus has been closed, we’ve been unable to meet there. The Raif family has continued to open their home for the brethren to worship together on Sundays. We even had three visitors worship with us yesterday. Those who have not felt safe coming continue to listen to the service over the internet. We hope that the city will re-open soon and that the whole church can gather together once again.

Growing In Number

Despite the shutdown, the Lord continues to bless the church with growth. Matt & Meagan Smith recently moved here from Birmingham for work. Nick & Tifanee Lane just moved here from Kentucky for the same reason. As I mentioned in my last report, several other brethren are planning to move here after things return to “normal.”

And Growing (More Babies)

We are also growing in other ways. Four of the ladies in our small group, including my wife Fiona, are expecting babies. Please pray for the Lord’s protection upon them.

A Special Need

With the expected birth of our sixth child in December, we will need to purchase a larger van. A family of eight will no longer fit into a seven passenger van. For some time now, it has been difficult to give other people rides to church because of our limited seating. We are hoping to purchase a used 15 passenger van so that we can transport our own family and also have plenty of room for others. I do believe that a large van will not only be helpful to us, but will also be a blessing to others we are seeking to serve. I anticipate the cost to be $20k. If you are in a position to help, we would appreciate your consideration.

A Final Word of Exhortation

During these evil days, let’s commit to loving one another more fervently. Let’s be willing to listen to our brethren who have experiences different than our own. Let’s determine that we’re not going to allow this world to divide us. Let’s compare everything being said with God’s Word. Read the Scriptures daily with your family so they will know how to properly view the world.

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
- Numbers 6:24-26

Love in Christ,

Joe Hamm

Joe Hamm
5232 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA 19139 267-831-4019 [email protected]


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Southern ~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~ Hospitality

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~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

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~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

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~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

Joe Hamm Jan 2020 Report

Monday, February 10, 2020


Visiting Churches

My family and I had the opportunity to visit several churches that support me in my work here in Philadelphia. First, we travelled to Alabama where we visited the Riverbend congregation in Florence, AL. The brethren there also organized a wonderful potluck after worship which gave us an opportunity to better acquaint ourselves with each other. I was also reminded how much I miss southern cooking!

Second, we traveled to Red Bay, Al and were very encouraged to visit the brethren there and we were met with great hospitality. It was also a joy to visit some of my relatives while staying in Alabama. The last year was especially difficult for my family due to the death of two grandparents.

Our third stop was in Atlanta to visit the brethren at Embry Hills. Our visit with them was so refreshing and although we moved away from there in 2011, it felt like a real homecoming. It was so good to see the congregation flourishing. As always, we were met with such warm hospitality.

Finally, our fourth stop was in Gettysburg, PA. Our plan was to stay the weekend with brethren and worship with them on Sunday. However, the Lord had other plans. Unfortunately, my whole family contracted a violent stomach virus! Not only was I unable to preach, my whole family was unable to attend worship, and we didn’t get to see the brethren. We even had to delay our return home. Craig & Natalie Bishop were so gracious to host us and care for my family while we were sick. May God return a blessing to them for all that they suffered.

Growing in Number

We’ve had many new brethren and visitors attending our worship assemblies to the point that we will soon need to add more chairs in our meeting space. Kayla, a young sister from Ithaca, NY is now worshipping with us for several months. Rebecca, a sister from Liberia, has recently moved to the U.S. and plans to worship with us as well. Judy, a sister from NJ has also recently committed to worshipping with us. In addition, we have received news that three families are transferring to the area in the coming months. We are all very encouraged by the recent numerical growth, but we ask for your prayers that we may remain unified in God’s truth.

Prayer Requests

As I mentioned, there have been many health problems in our extended family over the past year. Things are looking better for the moment, but I anticipate that I will need to begin traveling to Alabama more often in the coming years. Fiona’s mother continues to need more and more care. It has been a great blessing to have them nearby. I’ve included a recent picture of them as well as some other recent pictures on the next page.

Joe Hamm

Joe Hamm
5232 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA 19139 267-831-4019 [email protected]

January 20, 2020


~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~

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Kieran & Patti Murphy (in-laws)



2 Years!

Married 9

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Midweek Bible Study



Southern Hospitality

Snow Day!

~ Joe Hamm - Philadelphia ~