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Informing and Inspiring Oklahoma Baptists Since 1912


/// SEE PAGE 6


CO N T E N T S : Page 3 | Voices Encourage: ‘A quest for souls’ >> HANCE DILBECK

Page 3 | Voices Sword & Trowel: Strange things

Southern Baptist leaders welcome Barrett nomination

Ministry Wives Weekend provides ‘Sisterhood’



WASHINGTON (BP)—Southern Baptist leaders Russell Moore and Ronnie Floyd commended President Trump’s nomination Saturday, Sept. 26, of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. As expected, the president announced at the White House his choice of Barrett to succeed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18 after 27 years on the high court. /// SEE PAGE 2

Oklahoma City, Northwest hosted the annual Ministry Wives Weekend, Sept. 25-26, providing an opportunity for refreshment and support for wives of Oklahoma Baptist ministers. More than 140 ministry wives attended, representing more than 90 churches from across the state. The theme of the weekend retreat was “Gift of Sisterhood,” which Amy Petersen said helped ministry wives know they have a special bond. /// SEE PAGE 5

Faith at the flagpole: Students across Oklahoma gather to pray in person, online >> CHRIS FORBES

Early on the morning of Sept. 23, students across the state assembled around their school flag poles and computer monitors to pray together for the 30th annual See You at the Pole (SYATP) gathering. “SYATP began in 1990, when a small group of high school students in Texas felt led by the Lord to pray for their schools,” Brian Baldwin, Oklahoma Baptists student missions and evangelism ministry partner, explained. /// SEE PAGE 7

Follow the Baptist Messenger on social media! To comment on articles, visit www.baptistmessenger.com


Page 4 | Gospel Ministry Rite of Passage: Car talk >> WALKER MOORE

Page 6 | Features OKC, Thrive Community launches during pandemic >> JIMMY KINNAIRD

Page 8 | Church News Oklahoma Baptist DR shares the Gospel, sees lives changed >> CHRIS DOYLE

Page 10 | Church Toolbox 3 questions to guard your character and convictions >> H.B. CHARLES, JR.



Southern Baptist leaders welcome Barrett nomination & SPORTS & MISSIONS /// PREVIEWED Y T RCOVER SON


ily and our nation in what are sure to be tumultuous days in the weeks ahead for the entire country.” Floyd, president of the Executive Committee, WASHINGTON (BP)—Southern Baptist leaders described Barrett as “one of the most gifted legal Russell Moore and Ronnie Floyd commended Pres- minds in America today.” ident Trump’s nomination Saturday, Sept. 26, of “In her words, ‘I love America and the ConstituOX OLB O T H Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. C tion,’” Floyd said, citing her remarks during the anR U H C As expected, the president announced at the nouncement ceremony. “She is known to be a womWhite House his choice of Barrett to succeed the an of deep Christian faith, a committed wife and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18 after mother of seven children. She is more than deserv27 years on the high court. Trump’s selection of ing to receive not only the nomination to be the Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Ap- next justice of the Supreme Court but also deserves peals in Chicago, means he has selected a conser- to be confirmed by the United States Senate.” vative or originalist to replace a liberal icon on In making his announcement S in the Rose I E DBarrett, S S I Fcalled C L ATrump Garden, whom the court. If confirmed, Barrett would become he nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court in 2017, “a woman of unparthe third justice Trump has placed on alleled achievement, towering inthe nine-member court during his four tellect, sterling credentials and unyears in office. He previously nominatyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” ed, and the Senate confirmed, federAs she stood on the platform with al appeals court judges Neil Gorsuch him, Trump “will decide and Brett Kavanaugh. S C E Barrett V O Isaid Trump’s decision to submit a nominee cases based on the text of the Constibefore the November election has met >> PHOTO: BAPTIST PRESS tution as written.” Liberals are concerned Barrett’s adstrong objections from Democrats espe- Amy Coney Barrett dition to the high court could provide cially, who believe such an action should conservatives with a decisive majoriwait until American voters have chosen a president for the next four years. Senate Majori- ty for many years. She clerked in 1998-99 for the ty Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to hold a Senate late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who champiconfirmation vote for Trump’s nominee also has re- oned during his 30 years on the court the philosophy of interpreting the Constitution based on its ceived criticism. E ONLIN original meaning and laws according to their text. Barring an unforeseen development, it appears NEW T ENconONTto Cvotes E Like Scalia, Barrett espouses originalism. the Republican majority has enough IV S U L C X EB-E “His judicial philosophy is mine too,” Barrett said firm Barrett. TheWJudiciary Committee’s hearings, scheduled to begin Oct. 12, and Senate floor de- after Trump’s introduction of her. “A judge must apbate promise to be contentious regarding her writ- ply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any ings and seemingly her religious faith. “There is no question that Judge Barrett is qual- policy views they might hold.” Barrett, 48, would be considered the sixth conified by intellectual acumen and years of experiOsaid servative F IN among the justices, but that ideological N ence to serve on the highest court in the land,” IO T A LIC PU Moore, president of B the Ethics & Religious Liberty evaluation has not always produced the results Commission (ERLC). “I am praying for her, her fam- that might be expected. In June, the Supreme >> by Tom Strode


OCT 13

Info: $10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Baptist Building Worship leaders and teams meet for fellowship, encouragment and inspiration Contact Rachael Roberson rroberson@oklahomabaptists.org for more information

OCT 16-17

Fall Back Weekend Info: Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center Contact Jordan Anson, janson@oklahomabaptists.org for more information


OCT 17

Disaster Relief Training Info: Newcastle, First okdisasterhelp.org/ volunteer-training

OCT 23-24

Chaplain Training Info: OKC Police Training Center Contact Marianne VanZandt, mvanzandt@oklahomabaptists.org for more information


Oklahoma Student Worship Choir Concert Info: 6-8 p.m. OKC, Brookwood oklahomabaptists.org/ student-worship


11-year-old’s challenge to give $32 to IMB raises $13,000 –and counting GRACE THORNTON | SEPT 26



Abby Cavanaugh* gave all of her hard-earned vacation money—$32.20—to support the International Mission Board because she felt like that’s what God wanted her to do. After her parents matched Abby’s gift, then challenged friends on social media, Abby’s Challenge had snowballed until 155 people had given a total of more than $13,000. *Name changed


GuideStone votes to establish presidential search committee ROY HAYHURST | SEPT 28

At the request of GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins, trustees have appointed a search committee to begin considering a new president for the organization. No timeline has been set regarding Hawkins’ eventual retirement. He assumed the presidency of GuideStone in 1997 and has seen the ministry grow. FIND ALL THESE STORIES AND MORE ONLINE AT WWW.BAPTISTMESSENGER.COM


ry “sex” in employment non-discrimination law applies to homosexual and transgender employees. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts— considered conservatives when confirmed to the & in P L E wing court—joined the four-member P E O liberal the majority. NEWS H C R U H C Abortion rights advocates and other liberals are especially troubled about how Barrett would vote in abortion cases, including the possibility she would support the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the high court’s 1973 opinion that legalized an expansive right to abortion nationwide. The ERLC’s Moore acknowledged the nominaTURE L U C & S W E tion’s circumstancesN“mean that this could be a highly charged confirmation process in an already polarized nation.” “No serious person actually believes that Judge Barrett would be a theocrat imposing her religious views on a pluralistic republic,” he said. “In fact, her record shows otherwise, as confirmed even by many who disagree with her rulings.” Moore called for the debate to be “about her qualifications and her record, not about her personal religious views or affiliations.” Barrett taught at the University of Notre Dame Law School for 15 years before joining the Seventh Circuit Court. Her husband Jesse and she have seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and a son with Down syndrome. Moore said he has “long respected” Barrett, “not only as a highly accomplished jurist but also as an adoptive parent active in the advocacy for adoption and for special needs children.” Oklahoma Baptists’ Executive Director-Treasurer Hance Dilbeck also approved the Barrett nomination to the Supreme Court. “Judge Barrett is a highly respected jurist,” Dilbeck said, “and her affirmation of the pro-life Eposition is I Nthat W asOisNtheLfact E me, N to greatly encouraging T is a ENshe T E CONI will CLUSIVparent. person of faithWand anXadoptive continEB-E ue to pray for our nation’s leaders at this key time.”



Oklahoma Worship Collective

MENT N T E R TA I N E Court ruled in a watershed decision the catego-

October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com | News & Trends



The Baptist Messenger (ISSN 0744-9518) is published semi-monthly by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, 3800 N. May, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112-6506. Periodicals postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Circulation last issue: 41,862. Individual subscriptions are available upon request. When writing for a change of address or a subscription renewal, please include a copy of your mailing label. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Baptist Messenger, 3800 N. May, Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6506. While the Baptist Messenger attempts to provide advertisers of integrity who furnish quality products, it is recommended that buyers be cautious, do research and get references to any advertiser with which they are not familiar. Publication of an advertisement in the Baptist Messenger does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services or businesses. October 8, 2020 • Volume 109, Number 19. Member, Baptist Press News, Christian Newspaper Association, Evangelical Press Association, Oklahoma Press Association.


MESSENGER STAFF >> Brian Hobbs | Editor bhobbs@baptistmessenger.com >> Chris Doyle | Managing Editor cdoyle@baptistmessenger.com >> Hannah Hanzel | Art Projects Leader hhanzel@baptistmessenger.com >> Lori Coats | Subscriptions/Assistant lcoats@baptistmessenger.com >> Chris Forbes | Staff Writer/ Branding & Marketing cforbes@oklahomabaptists.org


Encourage: ‘A quest for souls’ Hance Dilbeck Oklahoma Baptists’ Executive Director-Treasurer @Hance_Dilbeck

Two men lived in the same suburban community. They happened to ride the same trolley into downtown Dallas to work every weekday—let’s call them Sam and Jim. Sam was an active Baptist who went to church nearly every Sunday and most Wednesdays. Jim never darkened the door of a church. Now, it so happened that both men had serious health concerns and found themselves in separate hospitals at the same time. Jim’s condition was grave, and his wife was concerned that he was not ready to face death. So she asked, “Honey, do

you want me to call a pastor or a good Christian to come and talk to you about forgiveness of sins and going to heaven?” Jim answered, “No. My good friend Sam is a Christian who goes to church every week. We have spent hours and hours on the trolley over the years talking about everything under the sun. If there was anything to all that stuff—heaven, hell, forgiveness, Jesus—Sam would have surely mentioned it to me; he is my friend.” And so, Jim died in his sins without any hope of heaven. George W. Truett used to tell this story. Truett was the pastor of Dallas, Texas, First, from 1897 to 1944. He preached two weeks of evangelistic meetings in Fort Worth in June 1917. Those evangelistic sermons were transcribed and put into a book titled, “A Quest for Souls.” Truett used that story in one of those sermons.

“A Quest for Souls” is quite a title. A quest is a long search; a search that endures and overcomes obstacles. A quest involves passion, patience and persistence. A person on a quest for souls lives with a deep, abiding, prevailing burden to win men and women, boys and girls, to faith in Jesus. It comes as no surprise that lost people often show little concern for their souls. It should trouble us deeply to recognize that we show such little concern for their souls. What would happen if just a Gideon’s army of Oklahoma Baptists would begin to live our lives on a quest for souls? Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save. —“Rescue the Perishing” by Fanny J. Crosby

Sword & trowel: Strange things Brian Hobbs Editor of the Baptist Messenger @BrianGHobbs

The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court caused instant scrutiny of her life and legal career. One aspect of Barrett’s life to fall immediately under the media microscope was her religious beliefs. Barrett, a devout Catholic, had previously been criticized because the “dogmas lived loudly” in her, meaning she lived out her faith. This cultural and political moment brings up the question once again, just how important are religious beliefs to Americans? A new LifeWay Research poll revealed that, “more than half of Americans say religious beliefs are a matter of personal opinion, not objective facts.” To be specific, the poll showed that “for 54 percent of Americans, theological beliefs are not a matter of objective truth, but rather belong in the category of subjective personal opinion.” The poll went on to explore distinctive Christian beliefs, including those fundamental to the faith like the Trinity.

We are living in times in which distinctive Christian beliefs—and people who take them seriously—will seem odd to people. This shift, from being the “Moral Majority” to an odd-man-out minority is noticeably stark. In a book written in the 1970s by Southern Baptist great Herschel Hobbs (for the record, I am not his grandson, but I do know we are related by our distant relatives from Noah in the Bible), Hobbs almost seemed to apologize for how large and influential Baptists had become. He was explaining why Southern Baptists were growing by leaps and bounds and even the newly-elected president at the time of his writing, Jimmy Carter, was Southern Baptist. Hobbs went out of the way to say he was not offering a “Baptist brag.” Looking at baptism numbers and influence on society, it is easy to see what a hey-day the 1970s and 80s were for Southern Baptists. Fast forward to today, and with our Southern Baptist Convention numbers and influence waning, a “Baptist Brag” would be laughable. Yet some good news is that Christians often have thrived when we were not a majority. In fact, it would do us well to reclaim some of the “strangeness” of Christianity. The Bible says “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him” (1 Cor. 2:14). As C.S. Lewis pointed out, the

Christian concepts of loving your enemies and of biblical marriage do not, and will not, make sense to the world. Russell Moore leaned into this idea of embracing the “strangeness” of Christianity. He said, “We (Christians) believe that a previously dead man is going to show up in the sky on a horse. Every time that message is proclaimed in the first century, the response is not, ‘Well, of course, that’s Christian.’ The response is, ‘That sounds insane to me.’ “And when the response is not a seeing of the strangeness of this,” Moore continued, “Jesus and the apostles always press the question until that is the reaction from those who are standing around. And so as we move forward into the future, religious conservatism should not attempt to hide the strangeness or distinctiveness of the Gospel. We should lean into that and be strange, but not crazy.” As Christianity and the ideas we hold sound increasingly like “strange things” to the world around us, we should pause and give thanks to be counted among those other “strange” believers who came before us. Thank you, Lord, for those “strange” people from the early church and first followers of Christ, who taught us to share the Gospel with everyone we can and live out the faith no matter the cost.

Voices | October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com




Rite of passage: S P O R T S & TCar talk AINMEN

& MISSIONS M I N I S T RY Walker Moore

President Emeritus of Awe Star Ministries Email | walker@awestar.org @WalkerDeanMoore


It was the day before Titus the Honorable’s seventh birthday. Since the Coronavirus has limited our ability to go on adventures, I thought I should find one that wouldn’t involve much risk. Our adventures always contain two things: something challenging andFaIlesson E D Sto be learned. I with S Sborn L Awas CTitus an old soul. He likes cassette tapes, old electronics and old cars. In fact, the older something is, the more interest he has in it. Recently, he was having dinner with us, and we were eating Mexican food. Grammy had a stash of hot tortillas in a woven basket with a hat-shaped lid on top. He asked her, “Grammy, how old is this tortilla basket?” When Grammy S older than he is, he thought it C Eit was O Ihim Vtold was cool that we had something that old on the table. I planned our adventure with the idea of introducing Titus to people who have collected and restored antique cars. In Tulsa, when you think of that topic, only one name comes to mind, and that is Red Frese. Mr. Red has been collecting, restoring and selling antique cars longer than I have been alive. He is 90 years old but still works daily on cars in a warehouse near my office. Titus and I walked into his warehouse and introduced ourselves. Mr. Red was so excited to see someone so young that he took Titus under his wing and ex-

NTERT E plained each car. Even though

one was 90 and the other was 7, one is over six feet tall and the other is way smaller, they came together with their pasLE & sion for old cars.P Mr.ERed O Ptold Titus his love of cars started NEWS H C R U H C when he was 4 years old. The cars in Mr. Red’s warehouse weren’t ready to drive, so I took Titus to see Mr. Don. Mr. Don lives a few blocks from us and has restored a 1929 Model A Ford. TURE L U C & S W E Of course, N before I took Titus to see either one of these men, we had a lesson on how to act. He needed to properly introduce himself, extend his hand to shake and then ask, “Would you have time to show me your car?” And yes, we added “please” and “thank you” to his list of things to include. We drove to Mr. Don’s house, and with his new skill, Titus introduced himself. Again, two old souls came together as Mr. Don explained how he rebuilt and restored the car. He showed Titus pictures of what the car looked like when he got it. Back then, it was a pile of rusted junk, but Mr. Don knew what it could become. Then Titus asked if he had time to give him a ride. You should have seen the smile on Titus’ face as he got in the car and Mr. Don backed it out of the driveway. To this day, Titus talks about the day Mr. Don gave him a ride in a 91-year-old car. In fact, he talked about it so much that his little brother Cohen the Goodhearted wanted to see and ride in Mr. Don’s car too.

We kept the boys a few days ago, and Cohen asked if I could take him to see Mr. Don. We loaded up in the car, and as we drove toward Mr. Don’s home. I could hear Titus in the back seat giving his younger brother a lecture. “Now Cohen, you are only 4 years old, but when we get to his house, you are going to have to act like a little man. You are going to have to stand still and listen. You will need to reach out and shake his hand and introduce yourself. You will need to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’” I had to smile. Cohen the Goodhearted was getting the same lecture I had given his older brother. This time, they both walked up to Mr. Don’s door and knocked. I am grateful to men like Mr. Red and Mr. Don; they were kind and eager to pass their passion on to the younger generation. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing, mentoring and teaching the next generation? I poured into Titus; Mr. Red and Mr. Don poured into Titus; and then Titus poured into his little brother. I have already seen Cohen the Goodhearted pour into his little brother, River the Peacemaker. We can’t call forth from the next generation what we haven’t cast into them. “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:6-7).

Dare2Share LIVE encourges students to share their faith Brian Baldwin Oklahoma Baptists’ Youth Missions and Evangelism Ministry Partner @BrianBaldwin2

Forty-four percent of Americans among 18-29 years olds do not identify with any religion, let alone Evangelical Christianity. In the last 10 years, teen suicide has gone up by 50 percent. One out of five students are bullied. Every day, 15,000 teens try drugs for the first time. Wall Street Journal statistics like these would be drastically different if students grasped the Gospel at an earlier age. Oklahoma Baptists, let’s burn these stats to the ground and reject this as our future reality! Here are some encouraging Gen Z facts: 77 percent of Christians come to faith as teenagers. If the American church had the same Christian worldview we had 20 years ago, 22 million students would walk through the doors of our nation’s churches. The size of the average teen’s social media network is 400 percent larger than the size of the average church, making them key players in advancing the Gospel. It is crucial for Gen Z students in our churches to be more on fire for the Gospel as our nation’s worldview gets flipped upside down. Oklahoma Baptists are partnering with Dare2Share LIVE in assisting churches to stay alive and thrive in the jump to a post-Christian worldview. It is our prayer that it will be a strategic catalyst in helping students across Oklahoma and the nation grasp and share the Gospel! Dare2Share LIVE is a one-day evangelism training event happening on Oct. 10 (10/10/2020), from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., involving 10 Oklahoma host sites. Nationwide, we will join thousands of teenagers to be inspired, equipped and unleashed with the Gospel to their communities.


The 10 Oklahoma locations are—Ada, First; Bixby, Evergreen; Choctaw, Choctaw Road; Duncan, Immanuel; Elk City, First; Enid, Calvary; Heavener, First; Idabel, Trinity; Oklahoma City, Eagle Heights, and Woodward, First. This is up from three locations last year. Oklahoma led the country in the number of Gospel conversations initiated in 2019, and we hope to continue that position this year. The event will be broadcasted live from Denver, Colo., with prominent speakers and artists such as Greg Stier, Zane Black, Jerrod Gunter, Gabrielle Odom, The Skit Guys and Vertical Worship. Dare2Share LIVE will have a combination of broadcast and live in-person elements at the event and in the community. Teens will be motivated and equipped in the morning and then sent out to serve and share with their local communities in the afternoon. Sharing the Gospel through digital platforms like social media and text messaging will also be a part of a simultaneous nationwide Gospel movement. Here are eight reasons why Dare2Share LIVE is a good fit for Oklahoma churches. 1) Interactive. Nationally-recognized speakers, artists and bands will engage with our groups. 2) Lasting Impact. It could be the spark that will lead to revival for youth groups and churches. 3) Close to home. A host site has strategically been placed near all of our Oklahoma churches. 4) Affordable. The price is only $149 for the entire group (including lunch). *Scholarships available. 5) Vision. Helps teens develop a heart for the lost. 6) Tools. Trains teens on how to share the Gospel relationally. 7) Opportunities. Launches students into their community to evangelize. 8) Results. Teenagers become on fire to reach

October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com | Gospel Ministry

their generation and beyond. A lot is going on in our world today. What will be the thing that will bring real and lasting transformation in our state, nation and world? For us as followers of Jesus, it’s not government, guidelines or griping. It’s the declaration of the Gospel with the way we live and the words we speak. Henry Thoreau once said, “For every thousand hackings at the branches of evil, only one strikes at the root.” With violence, distancing, isolation and depression widespread, we need teens who will step out with the message of life to make a difference, because the Gospel changes everything. This year’s theme, “Jesus is LIFE” is fitting in today’s circumstances and will be focused on John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Pray for those who will participate as they are involved in their schools and with their circles of friends. Pray that they will advance the Gospel by reaching their friends for Christ. For more information and to register, visit Dare2ShareLIVE.org. It’s never too late to participate. Contact me at bbaldwin@oklahomabaptists.org for questions. The next big evangelism equipping event for teens will be the Oklahoma Youth Evangelism Conference, Jan. 17-18 at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis. Visit oklahomabaptists.org/yec for more information. We hope you’ll join us!



Ministry Wives Weekend provides ‘Sisterhood’ E & /// PREVIEWED ON COVER L B OX







LT U R E U C & S W E N


>> PHOTOS: JULIE TOWERY 1) More than 140 ministry wives gathered for fellowship

and to worship; 2) Attendees shared a meal together; 3) Jacki King taught lessons from Genesis and Philemon at the weekend retreat.

>> by Chris Doyle


Oklahoma City, Northwest hosted the annual Ministry Wives Weekend, Sept. 25-26, providing an opportunity for refreshment and support for wives of Oklahoma Baptist ministers. More than 140 ministry wives attended, representing more than 90 churches from across the state. The theme of the weekend retreat was “Gift of Sisterhood,” which Amy Petersen said helped ministry wives know they have a special bond. “Feeling alone is one of the most prevalent challenges that ministry wives face,” said Petersen who serves as Oklahoma Baptists’ ministry wives ministry partner. “This weekend provided opportunity for ministry wives to make connections, as well as offered practical tips for growing friendships—a sisterhood—in ministry. But before we can reach out to others, we need to reach up to Jesus because He is the source of everything we need.” Jacki King was the speaker for the weekend. Her

husband is Josh King, lead pastor of Conway, Ark., Second. She leads a women’s ministry at their church and E S a podcast called I C hosts V Ofocuses “At The Table,” which on sharing stories of women leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. King taught from Genesis 2-3, during the Friday night session, identifying shame and deception common among church life. King emphasized the freedom that comes from resting in the truth that God “chases us in love and uses our brokenness to bring about His glory.” On Saturday, King taught from Philemon on how to find community or “grow a sisterhood in ministry.” “We dove in deep,” King said about the lessons she taught for the weekend. “We sought truth to our lies, and we decided to fight for the beauty of the bride of Christ. It’s not always easy, but it is absolutely unwaveringly worth it.” Courtney Tice who currently leads worship at Broken Arrow, BattleCreek, led times of worship through music at the weekend retreat. Tice teaches high school and middle school vocal music at Inola Public Schools. The event included a panel conversation on Sat-

urday morning, featuring Petersen; Julie Dilbeck, wife of Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer with Oklahoma Baptists; Samantha Gardner, wife of Eli Gardner, pastor of Mannford, Lakeside Southern; and Simi John, wife of Jayson John, pastor of Norman, New Life Bible. The panel discussed struggles and triumphs in growing friendships in ministry. Comments were seen on Facebook from those who attended the weekend retreat. One attendee said, “This was one of the more poignant Ministry Wives Weekends for me. The Word was timely, and the Lord knew exactly what I needed to hear. I’m thankful for this ministry to ministry families in our state.” Others said the weekend event “was just so perfectly timed…amazing,” and “…was a beautiful event that meant so much! It refreshed, challenged and encouraged me so much!” For more information on the Oklahoma Baptists’ ministry wives ministry, visit oklahomabaptists.org/ ministry-wives.






These ministries have ongoing opportunities for volunteers:


Tulakogee Conference Center, Wagoner—John Hewitt, 918/462-3212 or john@tulakogee.com Hospitality House of Tulsa provides family centered lodging, emotional and spiritual support for family members of patients traveling to Tulsa for medical care—918/694-8888 Hospitality House of Oklahoma provides for the physical, spiritual needs of families with loved ones incarcerated in McAlester. Lodging available—918/429-0142 OK Jail & Prison Ministry needs volunteers to go into the jails and share the Gospel each week— 405/917-2242 or ojpm@ojpm.org

Pre-registration is mandatory. Classes are limited in size. Masks must be worn, and temperatures will be taken. Oct. 17—Newcastle, First-1650 N. Main, 73065 Nov. 7—Madill, First-210 S. First St., 73446 Visit okdisasterhelp.org to register

Campers on Mission: Campers on Mission is a fellowship of Christian campers sharing their faith while doing mission activities. Email mvanzandt@ oklahomabaptists.org for info.

Pray for International Missionary Will Thompson* Pray for Will and Marie Thompson, and their children, 8 and 5. The Thompsons oversee the work in Russian-speaking areas. The family serves in Russian Bible Church, which has grown from 22 to 35 small groups over the last two years. * Name changed for security purposes.

Pray for National Missionary Drew Cunningham Drew and his wife Shannon have four children and are planting a church in Santa Cruz, Calif., where less than 4 percent of the population know Jesus.

For Powerpoint slides of Prayer Guide, visit www.oklahomabaptists.org/cp

Missions & ministry | October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com


Unhindered: Abbreviated annual meeting (Nov. 10) still poised to advance the Gospel /// PREVIEWED ON COVER >> by Staff Like many aspects of this year, the 2020 Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Baptists will be unique. The event, which marks the 114th annual meeting of Oklahoma Baptists, which was previously scheduled for Nov. 9-10, will now take place as an abbreviated, one-day meeting. Messengers will gather on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Broken Arrow, First (100 W. Albany Street) for the abbreviated annual meeting, a schedule which was recently set by the state convention’s board of directors. The newly-approved schedule will feature times of preaching and essential business, including officer elections. Oklahoma Baptists joins other Southern Baptist Convention state conventions to change annual meeting plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; multiple state conventions have altogether cancelled or postponed their annual meetings. 2020 Theme is ‘Unhindered’ Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, said, “The theme for our convention meeting is ‘Unhindered,’ based on the last verse in the Book of Acts.” Acts 28:31 says, “Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” Dilbeck added, “Paul, in the Book of Acts, encountered geographic, political, cultural, ethnic and re-

ligious obstacles to his work. Yet, the Truth kept marching on—the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ kept on advancing, unhindered. “In this year of obstacles and adversity, live with confidence that the Gospel is unhindered, especially if we will share it with openness and with boldness like prisoner Paul. I pray that Oklahoma Baptists will plan to join us for this important Annual Meeting.” Program and sermons The annual pastors’ conference and various fellowship events and meals previously scheduled have been cancelled. The 2020 officers to the Oklahoma Pastors Conference will continue to serve in 2021 and plan that future event. Sermons at the Annual Meeting will be delivered by Hance Dilbeck; Blake Gideon, senior pastor of Edmond, First, who is serving his second one-year term as state convention president; and Andy Taylor, pastor of Broken Arrow, Arrow Heights. “While we are disappointed that COVID-related factors have inhibited our plans to meet as we typically do, we believe the 2020 meeting, though shortened, will be uplifting and unifying for our pastors and churches. We need strong participation this year from Oklahoma Baptists,” Gideon said. Messenger registration information The Oklahoma Baptists Annual Meeting consists of church members who are elected as messengers

to represent their local church body in business decisions during the meeting. Church members interested in serving as a messenger can contact their church office for information. Every elected messenger will receive a messenger booklet and voting ballots upon check-in at Annual Meeting. Only elected messengers have voting privileges at the Annual Meeting. Messenger pre-registration is open for churches to register their elected messengers prior to the Annual Meeting, allowing for a quick and easy onsite check-in process. To access pre-registration, visit sbcworkspace.com. For questions contact Kdie Nix at knix@oklahomabaptists.org. Onsite check-in begins Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registering online and early check-in are strongly encouraged. The program itself begins Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. Other key meeting information Childcare is offered, by reservation, for children birth through kindergarten for the afternoon session. To register for childcare, please fill out the form online at oklahomabaptists.org/annualmeeting. For questions about childcare, please contact Broken Arrow, First at 918/258-4575. Childcare is free, but pre-registration is required by Monday, Nov. 2. A list of local lodging options is published on the Annual Meeting website. For more information about the 2020 Annual Meeting, visit oklahomabaptists.org/annualmeeting.

OKC, Thrive Community launches during pandemic >> by Jimmy Kinnaird


“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction”—Will Rogers. Church planting is chaotic in the best of times. Launching during a pandemic is taking it to another level. But when it comes to the Gospel, it is better to move ahead into the unknown than to sit and wait for certainty. Oklahoma City, Thrive Community had its first public service on Sunday, Sept. 13, at an Oklahoma landmark, the Will Rogers Theatre. The building opened in 1946 as a single screen movie theatre. It is now an event center which has been home to several successful church launches. Perhaps one could say that the theatre never met a church plant that it didn’t like. Why start another church in Oklahoma City, and why start one during the Coronavirus pandemic? “The church life we had experienced did not go deep enough in living out the Gospel in the everyday, ordinary grind of life,” Founding Pastor Tyler Barnes said. “My wife and I began to be burdened about that.” Barnes came out of a parachurch ministry that




>> PHOTOS: PROVIDED 1) A mother escorts her two daughters to the Thrive Community’s inaugural public meeting; 2) Thrive launch team members welcome guests to the new church gathering; 3) Thrive launch team members and planters pose for a group picture; 4) A technical volunteer directs audio and video for the public service and online live feed; 5) Members of the church’s worship team lead the 130 people congregation.

was community focused and relational focused. However, he was shocked by the lack of deep community in church and really missed it. For the last year and half, Tyler and his wife Chotsie have been working to build a church community that is relational and missional. Thrive Community’s mission is to be a family of deep-rooted disciples who champion the forgotten and make Christ known. They do this in part by how they are structured. On the one side, Thrive has

October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com | Features

sought to remove the separation between sacred and secular. On the other, the church emphasizes that every life and everything in life is important. Barnes explained it this way, “When you come to a church gathering or community group, and if you can be unguarded and authentic, you will meet the unguarded and authentic Jesus. When you come to a space and you feel safe—safe enough to be authentic—you then can actually encounter the authentic Jesus.”

Faith at the flagpole: Students across Oklahoma gather to pray in person, online /// PREVIEWED ON COVER >> by Chris Forbes STAFF WRITER

Early on the morning of Sept. 23, students across the state assembled around their school flag poles and computer monitors to pray together for the 30th annual See You at the Pole (SYATP) gathering. “SYATP began in 1990, when a small group of high school students in Texas felt led by the Lord to pray for their schools,” Brian Baldwin, Oklahoma Baptists student missions and evangelism ministry partner, explained. “God gave them compassion for their lost classmates who needed to know Christ. They determined that their school’s flag pole would be the best gathering place to pour out their hearts to God. “Little did they know that it would lead to a movement in the years that followed, involving thousands of groups of Christian students doing the same thing,” Baldwin continued. “This year, SYATP provided a great opportunity not only for students, but for churches to unite and support this student-led movement. It is important for the unity and prayer emphasis around SYATP to spill out into our churches.” Many student pastors and church youth leaders realized there were challenges to planning this year’s SYATP gatherings because of COVID-19 protocols. Thankfully, they were pleased with the results. “In the midst of everything, I was still blown away at how many students showed up,” said Stuart Tilley, youth pastor at Durant, First. “I think it is awesome to see students come together as one body of believers to pray for each other, their school and their nation,” said Jonathan Chambers, Woodward, First youth pastor. JoLee Guthrie-Denton, a Woodward High School senior, agreed that the value of the prayer gathering is bringing Christian unity to those who participate. “See You at the Pole is important because it brings together our school that is normally divided and separated off into groups,” she said. “This morning during worship and prayer, we were not looking at each other as ‘the star football player’ or the ‘dance team captain,’ but we saw each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and God alone provides that unity.“ Nick Burchfield, a Minco High School senior, said the event also had evangelistic potential. “SYATP is cool because it can help start Gospel conversations,


Barnes believes that the Holy Spirit will work more effectively if people can come and let down their guard. They don’t need to keep up a façade that all is as it should be. The primary way that Thrive holds this focus on relational life and mission is through missional communities. The missional community model is not a quick way to start, but it’s likely the best way to build a core team of leaders committed to the vision of a new church. “I’m glad we started with missional communities,” Barnes said. “It has fed into so many things, like a strong core and launch team. We’ve seen lives transform through it.” In time, this process led to having a strong public launch during a pandemic. For launch day, Barnes was not sure who would show up. He thought that prior to this, he might have 25 or more on his launch team with maybe 75 or more people at the first public service.



>> PHOTOS: PROVIDED 1) A Durant High School student leads others in prayer at the See You At the Pole gathering; 2) Plainview High School football players practice social distancing as they pray at the student-led meeting.

and it helps believers refocus on the fact that school is one of the best places that they can share the love of Christ.” Not all Oklahoma schools were able to allow students to gather at their flag poles. Some schools were not meeting for in-person classes due to COVID-19 protocols. Students who were not able to meet in person, instead had a creative way to gather online. Drew McElhaney, student pastor at Hennessey, First, gave details on how SYATP was observed in his community. “SYATP went sideways for us this year,” McElhaney explained. “We were asked by the school to not do it (Sept. 23) because of some virus cases that popped up (recently). They had not yet completed contact tracing and thought it best to not gather. I get it, but nobody can cancel prayer. We did an Instagram prayer challenge this morning and will have a prayer time tonight at Midweek. I was proud of our students for publicly sharing their prayers on social media.” Scott Cross, youth minister at Norman, Immanuel, observed the benefits of the online prayer gatherings. “In the past, our students have always gone to the poles at their respective schools in Norman, but we’re usually the only church in the area that participates, so they’ve often been the only person(s) at their respective school’s pole praying,” Cross said. “This year, Norman is virtual only and don’t actually have classes on Wednesdays, so we did a prayer breakfast at the church for them instead. We let them have some hangout time as well to help with


emotional stress from isolation and then prayed together. Given how isolated they’ve been, this might have been better for them at this season of their lives.” Garry McNeill senior pastor at Durant, First, said the value of the event is that it gives students an opportunity to fellowship with other Christian youth. “See You at the Pole is a special time each year because it allows students to identify with other believers in a strong and unified way at their schools,” McNeill said. “Several different students were involved in the planning of the events that were held at multiple schools in Durant and the surrounding area.” McNeill pointed out that, even though there were in-person SYATP gatherings in the state, students were careful to practice social distancing protocols. “Because of COVID-19 concerns, there was an emphasis on keeping the gatherings to less than 15 minutes and on physical distancing,” he said. “As a result, there was no hugging, small prayer huddles with students arm in arm and no holding hands. We continue to ask God to guide us through these challenging times.” Youth leaders have already seen more spiritual clarity result from prayer gatherings. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with students over the past couple years who were confused about the Gospel,” Chambers said, “because so many fellow Christians at school want to have theological and doctrinal debates with them. Today there was none of that. No divisive theological debates; only unity in fervent prayer to our Savior.” For more information about See You at the Pole visit syatp.com.


As it turned out, there were 45 people on his launch team with 95 percent of them having been involved in missional community. There was a total of 131 in attendance at the service with more than 900 views online. Barnes said that they invested quite a lot into technology, perhaps even 60 percent of their budget. Having a quality online ministry is important, given the current circumstances. Eighty percent of those who attended the preview service had not been to church since the Coronavirus shutdown. “Live stream and kids’ ministry are the two things today that a church must do to be successful,” Barnes said. At the close of the service, three people made professions of faith in Christ; seven wanted to join a missional community, and four volunteered to serve. When asked what is one piece of advice that he would give to a prospective church planter, Barnes

reflected, “I did not realize how much church planting is a work of prayer. It has been the only thing that really works. The best way we have gotten people to community is to pray for them.” Barnes was quick to add how important it is to not try to plant alone. The church would not have started if it were not for Yukon, Canadian Valley, Thrive’s sending church, and Claremore, First, along with support from Capital Association. As part of the church planting strategy of multiplication, new church plant Enid, Open Door, which celebrated its second anniversary on the same day, is a partner church as well. Woodward, Ascent, another plant that celebrated its one-year anniversary on the same day, is a supporting church. For those interested in learning how to become a sending or partner church, or to be involved directly in church planting, contact Send Network Oklahoma at oklahomabaptists.org/send-network.

Features | October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com




Oklahoma Baptist DR shares the Gospel, sees lives changed

ASSIFIEDS C>>L by Chris Doyle



LAKE CHARLES, La.—Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) continues to help those who were affected by recent hurricanes. In the weeks many Southern Baptist DR volunV O I inC EtheSaftermath of Hurricane teers served Laura, more than 350 people made professions of faith in Christ. “Meeting people in their brokenness gives >> PHOTO: PROVIDED Pastor Rusty McMullen, right, of McAlester, First and a opportunity for advancing the Gospel,” said group of DR volunteers pose with David, center red shirt, who made of Rusty McMullen, pastor of McAlester, First. profession of faith in Christ. “That’s what Disaster Relief does primarily. It opens the door for people in the middle of their tions and dealing with the fear of the hurricane. Afhurt and pain and difficulty to be able to come in and ter they connected, McMullen shared the Gospel meet needs physically. As you meet needs physically with David who prayed and made a profession of it opens the door to talk about the Gospel.” faith in Christ. McMullen and a group of six men from his church “This has changed my life,” David said. “What spent a week in Lake Charles, partnering with a group you guys have done, not only in your work but also from Claremore, First with Danny Cotner and Randy what you’ve done in sharing the truth of the Gospel Swift working as the Blue Caps (DR team leaders). with me has changed me.” “What we said from day one is the reason we are McMullen said David began to weep while they here is to share the Gospel,” McMullen said about were praying, and the new believer in Christ was serving with DR chainsaw teams. “We were con- overcome with joy. “It was a beautiful picture of the stantly looking for opportunities. We worked on 15 Gospel moving in his heart,” McMullen said. homes during the five days we were there, and at David and Brenda Ross, members of Broken Arrow, every single home, minus one, we got to share the First, work as a team when they serve through DR. Gospel with the homeowner.” David is an assessor, finding out how much damage While they were cleaning a yard, a neighbor named is at a house and what DR needs to do for clean-up. David came over to talk with McMullen and his team While he is making his assessment, Brenda works as members. The DR volunteers explained to David why a chaplain, connecting with the homeowner. “Anytime we go out, we pray that doors will be they came from Oklahoma to serve hurricane victims. McMullen said David told them he “rode out the opened to share the Gospel,” Brenda said about how storm” in his house, experiencing all kinds of emo- she and David serve in affected areas.


October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com | People & Church News

As they were serving a home in Lake Charles, David and Brenda met a woman who was so appreciative of what DR could do to help her and her husband. Brenda said the woman feared their house would never get repaired or yard would never get cleaned because her husband has health issues and not able to do most of the work himself. Brenda listened as the woman spoke. She then found an opportunity to share the Gospel with her. Near the end of their conversation, David joined them when Brenda asked if the woman would pray and make a profession of faith in Christ. The woman was willing. Just as they were about to pray, the woman’s husband returned to the house. At first the Rosses weren’t sure if they should go ahead and pray or wait for the husband. They chose to wait and allow him to participate. Both the man and the woman prayed and made professions of faith in Christ. “They were joyful about their decisions,” Brenda said. There are many other stories of DR volunteers serving and advancing the Gospel. All of this is possible because of churches serving together and giving through the Cooperative Program. “As you take part together in the Gospel advance, it binds us together in recognizing that our Cooperative Program dollars go an extra step by helping us to be on the field,” McMullen said. “In circumstances such as these, we know Disaster Relief would not exist if it weren’t for the cooperation of the churches. It all happens because we are able to join together in Cooperative Program gifts and also physically work together.” For more information on Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, visit okdisasterhelp.org.



OSWC hosts Night of Worship





The Oklahoma Student Worship Choir (OSWC) had its first Night of Worship at Fort Gibson, Fellowship Bible, Sept. 27. “It was great. It was a wonderful start,” said Randy Holt, minister of music at Inola, First, who is the director of OSWC. “I was excited, and I hope it’s the beginning of many years of a great program.” OSWC is a worship music group of 30 Oklahoma Baptist students that was organized this summer. Due to the pandemic, opportunities to practice were limited, but Holt was impressed with the first performance. “The kids did well, especially with one rehearsal,” Holt said. “I had someone ask me, ‘How do we get this group at our church?’” Randy Lind, worship and music ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists, was excited about OSWC’s first performance and believes the group has great potential for students looking to be involved in worship in churches. “This is students leading students in worship,” Lind said. “We are hoping these events would be regional and for students to meet together, share testimonies, develop as musicians and lead others, especially other students, in worship.” OSWC’s next Night of Worship will be Nov. 1, 6 p.m. at Oklahoma City, Brookwood. For more information, visit oklahomabaptists.org/worship-music.


PEOPLE IN THE NEWS RETIRED. Jonathan Reichman, who previously served at Tulsa, Riverside, is retired and now available to supply preach. He can be reached OMA H at 918/230-3987. A L K O E H T CHURCH STAFF CHANGES HIVE T A R CFirst. TOM KENNEDY is Gracemont, A P TatI S Bpastor STEVE MURRAY is interim pastor at Apache, First. RANDY REASONER is pastor at Heavener, Pilgrims Rest. CONGREGATIONAL NEWS ANNIVERSARY. Oklahoma City, South Lindsay is celebrating 95 years of ministry with a celebration service on Sunday, Oct. 18, 10:15 a.m. Former South Lindsay member Chris Wall, pastor of Owasso, First, will be guest speaker. His son Eric will be providing special music. TO SHARE NEWS, PLEASE EMAIL ALL INFO TO BAPTISTMESSENGER@OKBAPTIST.NET

Del City, First Southern hosts ‘In His Image’ screening Oct. 13

Del City, First Southern will be hosting a movie screening, Oct. 13, 7 p.m., of “In His Image: Delighting in God’s Plan for Gender and Sexuality.” The film will feature Laura Perry, whose story was shared in the Baptist Messenger in an article titled “From transgender to transformed.” The article title became the title of Perry’s autobiography.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Publication Title: Baptist Messenger Publication Number: 42960 Filing Date: 09/24/2020 Issue frequency: Semi-monthly Number of Issues published annually: 24 Annual subscription price: $0.00 Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6639 Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publication: 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6639 Full names and complete mailing addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6506; Editor, Brian Hobbs; Managing Editor, Chris Doyle, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6506 Owner: Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6506 Known bondholders, mortgagees and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Has not changed during preceding 12 months Publication Title: Baptist Messenger Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: 09/24/2020 Extent and nature of circulation, by average number of copies for each issue during previous 12 months and by actual number of copies for the single issue published nearest the filing date: AVERAGE 09/24/20 a. Total Number of Copies 45,000 45,000 b. Paid and/or Requested Circulations (1) Outside-County Paid Mail Subscriptions 0 0 (2) Paid In-County Subscriptions 0 0 (3) Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, 0 0 Street Venders, Counter Sales and Other Non-USPS (4) Other Classes Mailed Through USPS 0 0 c. Total Paid/Requested Circulation 0 0 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (1) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County 41,988 41,862 (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County 0 0 (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed 0 0 at Other Classes Through USPS (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 0 0 Outside the Mail e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 41,988 41,862 f. Total Distribution 41,988 41,862 g. Copies Not Distributed** 3,012 3,138 h. Total 45,000 45,000 i. Percent Paid 0.00% 0.00%

16. Electronic Copy Circulation a. Paid Electronic Copies b. Total Paid Print Copies + Paid Electronic Copies c. Total Print Distribution + Paid Electronic Copies d. Percent Paid (Both Print + Electronic Copies)

AVERAGE 0 0 41,988 0.00%

09/24/20 0 0 41,862 0.00%

**Some copies are damaged during preparation for mailing and not distributed and are recycled.

Joyful sounds at Baptist Village

Bells 4 HIM, the resident bell choir at Baptist Village of Okmulgee, met for the first time in many months due to the pandemic. Pictured is resident Kathy joyfully ringing. Campus Director Sherri Powell said, “The residents K Uso happy to be back, and it was S U D Owere wonderful to hear that sound echoing through the campus!”


RCH WORD SEA Note: The word clues for the Word Search are chosen by the Messenger staff, while the puzzles and letters surrounding the clues are computer-generated at random.

Action Authentic Barnes Certainty Chaotic

Community Core Deep Family Focused

Inaction Invested Landmark Launching Level

Orderly Pandemic Parachurch Public Relational

Rogers Team Technology Theatre Thrive

People & Church News | October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com




3 questions to guard your DS CLASSIFIE character and convictions





So, how do we persevere in these things? By guarding our character and our convicS I CweEwatch tions. We watch how we live, and VO how we teach. That’s it. We hit repeat again A few years ago, I saw a hashtag trend- and again and keep a close eye on these two ing on social media about healthy pastors. fundamentals: our behavior and our beliefs. This hashtag often displayed pastors in a Second Tim. 2:15 says, “Be diligent to presgym or working out. These pasent yourself to God as one approved, tors shared their disciplines, a worker who doesn’t need progress and commitment to be ashamed, correctto get in shape. ly teaching the Word of I felt encouraged by truth There are three truth.” these posts. It’s imquestions I regularly portant to guard the ask myself from this bodies that God has passage. Use these given us to carry three questions and out the ministry to examine your own which He has called behavior and beliefs us. As 2 Cor. 4:2 says, before God. “We have this trea1. Is God well sure in clay jars, so that pleased with me? this extraordinary power You will answer to God may be from God and not for how you have lived from us.” your life and carried out your This illustration may not seem ministry. You are either approved to be the most complementary picture or not. Do your best to present yourself of the vessel. The treasure we have is price- as one approved. less, but it is placed in jars of clay. And we 2. Is my work well done? are those jars. We are fragile, weak and vulPaul’s concern was not being put to nerable. It is our stewardship to guard the shame before men but being put to shame vessel for the sake of the treasure. After all, before God. You can be a smashing sucwe only get one vessel. cess with men and be a horrible failure beBut when we talk about guarding the ves- fore God. God isn’t impressed with books, sel, we’re not simply talking about our bod- crowds, buildings or programs. Be a worker ies and physical health. We’re talking about who is not ashamed before God. our holiness. Scripture makes it abundantly 3. IsEthe Word rightly handled? H must correctly handle the Word of O M TWe FR clear that character matters to God, not just G to cut the truth straight. LOcalled Bare E R SWe a man’s giftedness. R D S L I N Gtruth. O W God wants godly men. We must commit Each of us must constantly and diligentto prayer, integrity and holiness. You can- ly pursue these fundamental principles to not blame others when you have missed be sure our life and our doctrine is pleasing the mark in these areas. As Paul says in 1 to God. The work of ministry is the overflow Tim. 4:16, “Pay close attention to your life of a godly life. You don’t want to just be a and your teaching; persevere in these things, preacher. You don’t want to just be a pasY Smust be a holy man of God. Pursue for in doing this you will save both yourself S AYou E tor. V A D and your hearers.” godliness at all costs. >> by H.B. Charles, Jr.


Gale Sayers, the former outstanding Y S running back for A S E V A D the Chicago Bears, died recently. Sayers, who was known for his outstanding football play, was also known as a man of character. In his powerful autobiography, “I Am Third,” Sayers describes his friendship with former Bears teammate Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in the 1970s. S P T I S T sentiment for That phrase—“I amHthird”—is O M A BaApowerful OKLA our increasingly self-absorbed IG H L I GHtoTconsider. Hgeneration E C R U O S E In a similarRsentiment, other athletes who walk with God stepped forward to make popular video testimonies featured on a website called “I am second” (www.IAmSecond. com). In the videos, which are powerful and important, an individual talks about their faith in God and background. Each video ends with the person saying, “My name is (so-and-so), and I am second.” The implication is that God is first, and they come second in life. It is a wonderful website and an excellent witnessing tool in a lost and dying world that I encourage you to look into. Yet something about Sayers, an NFL Hall of Famer who had much to be proud about, is much more powerful and fitting. Sayers statement (“I am third”) shows that God comes first, others come second and he comes last.

To read the rest of Brian’s blog, visit baptistmessenger.com/blog-he-was-third

F RO M T H E E R S B LO G G N I L S D R O To read W more blogs with Jesus in mind, visit www.baptistmessenger.com/blog

D AV E S AY S ZERO -BASED BUDGETING EXPLAINED Dear Dave, BA PT ISTS A M What exactly isKaLzero-based budget? O H A O T —Dean E H IG H L I GH





Take a look at the updated schedule for the abbreviated Oklahoma Baptists’ annual meeting happening on November 10.

Visit the site below to fill out a registration form for childcare needs of attendees for this year’s annual meeting at Broken Arrow, First.





Check back with the highlight every issue to learn more about the resources available to every SBC church!


October 8, 2020 | The Baptist Messenger | www.baptistmessenger.com | Church Toolbox

Dear Dean, Simply put, a zero-based budget is income minus outgo equals zero. If you earn $4,000 a month, and you’re doing a zero-based budget, every item you spend, save, give and invest should add up to $4,000. It’s a method of knowing where every single one of your dollars is going. Most people don’t live on a budget. They just cash checks, write checks, then they look up and wonder where all their money went. Not having a plan, especially for your money, is a bad plan. List all your income from all sources for the month. Next, list every single expense you have each month. Rent, food, cable, phones, and anything else you pay for gets added to the list. Your expenses vary from one month to the next, which is why you make a new spending plan each month. Now, here’s where it gets real. Subtract your income from your expenses. Ideally, this number will be zero. It might take some practice, so don’t be discouraged if everything doesn’t balance out perfectly the first few times. All that means is you need to find a way to bring one of the numbers up, the other one down—or both. But whatever you do, don’t spend a dime that’s not accounted for. If you have a problem with spending more than you make, make some cuts in order to equalize your income and your outgo. Using coupons, cutting back on groceries, or carpooling to work are great ideas to reduce spending. If you want to generate more money, get a second job on weekends or sell some stuff. You’re the boss of the budget—in the beginning. Once it’s committed to paper, in a spreadsheet, or on an app like EveryDollar, the budget is the boss! —Dave The views expressed by Dave Ramsey do not necessarily reflect those of the Baptist Messenger and do not constitute legal financial advice.




Rate: $1.00 per word, $25.00 per issue, minimum • Deadline: Two weeks prior to publication. Submit a classified ad at www.baptistmessenger.com/advertise on the Classifieds Form congregation with a heart for change. Send resume to hpbc@cableone.net or 1002 S 10th St, Duncan 73533.




>> F/T PASTOR: First Baptist Church, Ft. Cobb, Oklahoma is prayerfully seeking a F/T Pastor. Send resume & cover letter to: First Baptist Church, Attn. Pastor Search Committee Box 87, Ft. Cobb, OK 73038 or email: fbcftcobb@yahoo.com.

EMPLOYM ENT >> F/T PASTOR: FBC Purcell, OK is seeking a F/T Pastor. Responsibilities include preaching & teaching, counseling, visitation & other pastoral duties. Include a cover letter, resume w/ references & a sermon link to: fbcpurcelltj@gmail.com. >> P/T MUSIC MINISTER: Fair Baptist in Empire, OK is in search of P/T Music Minister to lead the body of Christ to the throne of God. If you feel lead to be part of a growing church please, send resumes to: fair@fairbaptist.org. >> BI/VO PASTOR: Addington Baptist Church in Addington, Oklahoma is looking for a BI/VO Pastor. Please submit resumes at: pastor.search@addingtonbaptist.net or mail to: P.O. Box 7 Addington, OK 73520. >> CHILDREN’S DIRECTOR: The Village Baptist OKC Personnel Committee is accepting resumes for a Christ honoring, loving individual to join our staff as Children’s Director. If God has called you to Children’s Ministry, email your resume to: vbcokcpersonnelcommitttee@yahoo.com. >> F/T DISCIPLESHIP/OUTREACH PASTOR: FBC Sapulpa is seeking a F/T Discipleship & Outreach Pastor. Send resume, cover letter and references to: jamie@fbcsapulpa.com. >> BI/VO YOUTH MINSITER: BI/VO Youth Minister for Soldier Creek Baptist Church in Midwest City. Please, send resumes to: soldiercreek@soldiercreek.org. >> BI/VO PASTOR: Sequoyah Baptist Claremore is accepting Letters of Application or Resumes’ for the position of BI/VO Pastor. Letters of Application or Resumes’ may be submitted to: Terry Rader, 11538 E 410 Rd, Claremore, OK 74017 or terryjrader@gmail.com. >> F/T KIDS PASTOR: NewPoint Church in Ponca City, OK is seeking a F/T KIDS Pastor to oversee all aspects of the Birth-5th Grade KIDS Ministry. Email resumes to: kyle@newpoint.church. >> PASTOR: Highland Park Baptist Church in Duncan, OK is seeking high energy, mission-mined pastor to lead our church. We are a mature, traditional

>> BI/VO PASTOR: Church is seeking BI/VO Pastor. Please email resume to: wagonertwinoaksbc@yahoo.com or mail to: Twin Oaks Baptist, 70076 S. 330 Rd, Wagoner, OK 74467. >> P/T WORSHIP LEADER: Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Claremore, Oklahoma is seeking a P/T Worship Leader who has a heart & passion for leading God’s people in worship. Please send your resume to: kmacken@kamopower.com. >> BI/VO OR F/T PASTOR: Osage Heights Baptist Church is prayerfully seeking a Pastor. Email resume with cover letter to: 1945OHBC@gmail.com or mail to: Attention Pastor Search Committee, 142 Tapp Rd Ponca City, OK 74604. Parsonage onsite. >> F/T DIRECTOR OF MISSIONS: Pecos Valley Baptist Association in Artesia, NM is seeking a F/T Director of Missions who is willing to lead & encourage the cooperative work of the 32 churches that comprise the association. Please email/ resumes to: pvba@pvtnetworks.net. >> F/T OR BI/VO PASTOR: First Baptist Church Keyes, located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, is seeking a F/T or BI/VO Pastor. Resumes may be mailed to: P.O. Box 153, Keyes, OK 73947 or emailed to: fbckeyes@gmail.com. >> F/T MINISTER OF WORSHIP/MUSIC: View Acres Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma is prayerfully seeking a F/T Music Minister. Please send resume to: vabcmusicsearch@gmail.com. >> BI/VO PASTOR: GRAND OPPORTUNITY to reach lost souls for CHRIST in & around Strang, OK. We are currently seeking a MISSION-MINDED BI/VO Pastor at Strang FBC. Send resume or questions to: strangfbc@gmail.com or Strang FBC P.O. Box 165, Strang, OK 74367-0165. >> F/T SENIOR PASTOR: First Baptist Church of Woodward, OK is prayerfully seeking a F/T Senior Pastor. Before Nov. 8th, send resume & cover letter to: First Baptist Church, Attn: Search Committee, jgage@hybriddrilling.com or 202 E. Hanks Trail, Woodward, OK 73801.

>> F/T PASTOR: Calvary Baptist Church Tishomingo, Oklahoma is prayerfully seeking a F/T Pastor. Send resume & cover letter to: cbctishomingo@gmail.com or Calvary Baptist Church, Attn: Pastor Search Committee, 9700 US 377, Tishomingo, OK 73460. >> PIANO PLAYER: Piano player needed for Sunday morning worship service at Russell Baptist Church in SW Oklahoma. Remuneration given. Call Ron Myers at (580) 706-0236 or email to: rpma5@swoi.net. >> F/T PASTOR: Whitesboro Baptist Church located in SE Oklahoma is seeking a F/T Pastor. Send resume to: Whitesboro Baptist Church Box 124, Whitesboro, Oklahoma 74577. >> SENIOR PASTOR: Foss Baptist Church of Foss, Oklahoma is seeking a Senior Pastor. We are in search of someone who needs extra income to their retirement salary. Send resumes to: P.O. Box 24, Foss, OK, 73647. E-mail to: evelynrh45@gmail.com. >> F/T PASTOR: FBC Forgan, OK is prayerfully seeking God’s man. Send resume to: P.O. Box 9 Forgan, OK 73938. More info see: forganfbc.com or call (580) 461-0857. >> F/T PASTOR: Calvary Baptist Lawton, OK is prayerfully seeking a F/T Pastor. Interested candidates should email a cover letter & resume to: personnel@calvarybaptistlawton.org or mail to: Calvary Baptist Church, 715 H Ave, Lawton, OK 7350. >> BI/VO YOUTH MINISTER: 40th Street Baptist is asking God for the right person to be our Youth Minister. Please send resumes to: fortiethbc@yahoo.com, call Pastor Josh at (405) 826-2654 or mail to: 40th Street Baptist Church, 1801 NW 40th, OKC, 73118. >> F/T OR BI/VO PASTOR: First Southern Baptist, Pahrump, NV is prayerfully seeking a F/Tor BI/ VO Pastor. Interested candidates can mail resume to: P.O. Box 399, Pahrump, NV 89041 or email to: 1stsobap@gmail.com. >> F/T STUDENT PASTOR: One Church Elk City is prayerfully seeking someone with prior experience to lead & direct an established youth ministry. Send resume & references to: onechurchelkcity@gmail.com. >> F/T PASTOR: New Hope Baptist Church, Tecumseh, OK is prayerfully seeking a F/T Pastor. Please email resume along with current sermon video or


ACROSS 1 Printer function 5 Press down 9 Play a trumpet, say 13 Angel topper 14 Choir section 15 Ephesian temple goddess

(Acts 19) 16 Biblical periods 17 When Jesus dies, the temple veil __ 18 Commandment 19 Angel songs 21 Silly one

link to sermons to: newhopesecretary@gmail.com or mail to: 37496 New Hope Road, Tecumseh, OK 74873. >> P/T CHILDREN’S MINISTER: First Baptist Church, Tecumseh, OK is accepting applications for a P/T Children’s Minister. Call (405) 598-3778 for an application or send a resume to: 301 S. Broadway, Tecumseh, OK 74873. >> BI/VO PASTOR: The First Baptist Church of Howe, OK is searching for a BI/VO Pastor. For information or details call (918) 658-4650. Send resumes to: P.O. BOX 9, Howe, OK 74940. Email: hms1952@yahoo.com. >> SONG LEADER: Opportunity to serve the Lord & earn extra money as Song Leader at Willieo Baptist Church located in the Inola area. For more information contact Linda Froman at (918) 341-1605 or send resume to: Willieo Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1304, Inola, OK 74036. >> BI/VO PASTOR: Wilson Community Baptist Church in Henryetta, OK is accepting resumes for a BI/VO Pastor. Mail Resume to: WCBC 8849 Chestnut Rd, Henryetta, OK 74437 or email to: tkuykendall@gmail.com. >> F/T SENIOR PASTOR: Mammoth Baptist Church, Meeker is seeking a F/T Senior Pastor. Please submit resumes to: P.O. Box 642, Meeker, OK 74855 or email to: mammothchurch@gmail.com. Deadline to submit resumes is November 20, 2020. >> F/T OR BI/VO PASTOR: Mount Hermon Church, located in Jay, Oklahoma is prayerfully looking for a BI/VO or F/T Senior Pastor who is passionate in sharing the Gospel. For more information or to submit a resume, please email: colewheeler36@gmail.com. >> BI/VO PASTOR: Crown Heights Baptist Church seeking BI/VO Pastor with a desire to reach the lost & disciple the Church family. Located in a challenging area of OKC. Send resumes to: CHBC, 4802 N. Western, OKC 73118. or email: chbc.okc@coxinet.net.

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23 Cost 24 Angel led him from Sodom 25 “Over this way!” (2 words) 29 Flying rodent 30 Ping __ (paddle game) 32 Jesus “made some __ with the saliva” (John 9:6 niv) 33 Number of angels in Revelation 36 Slurps 37 KJV’s art 38 Small bird 39 Surpluses 40 Anna and the King of __ 41 Charged atom 42 Jerusalem beggars’ habitats 43 Gent 44 Gov. food product agency (Abbr.) 45 Angel sat in Jesus’ __ 46 Stinger 47 Angel with a message 49 __ mode, dessert choice (2 words) 50 __-Magnon, early humans 53 “Good shepherd __ down his life” (John 10:11 niv) 55 Angels __ God in heaven 57 Angel appearance 60 Arabian peninsula nation 62 Church section 63 Things

64 Angels deliver God’s __ 65 Device operator 66 Joseph to Baby Jesus 67 Leaf joint 68 Greek letter DOWN 1 Joseph’s was bowed to in his dream 2 Chili con __ 3 Angel descriptor 4 Snack 5 Ground squirrel 6 Favorite people 7 Motor oil brand 8 Angels, the heavenly __ 9 Angel announced the __ of Jesus 10 He had five loaves and two fish 11 Three Persons, __ God 12 “There was __ in heaven” (Rev. 12:7) 15 Angels’ assignments, e.g. 20 Dash 22 Angel features 26 Modern angel’s communication method? 27 Outside Jerusalem, say 28 Swelling 29 Jacob’s son, for short 30 Perpendicular 31 Reveals 33 Angel’s speed

34 Wear away 35 Corrupt 36 Long-faced 39 “__ to God in the highest!” 40 Angels can __ us 42 Unlawfully takes 43 Angels’ assurance: “__ not!” 46 Angels in classical art 48 Camel cousin 49 Merit badge 50 Run after 51 Fascinate 52 Carmen, for one 54 Seed __ on thorny ground, per parable 56 Rebuff 57 Some looked for a way to get __ of Jesus 58 JFK info (Abbr.) 59 Make-up diploma (Abbr.) 61 Pasture sound


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