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Messenger Jerusalem

Judea & Samaria

General Baptist

Special Edition

Ends of the Earth

From Our Executive Director   by Clint Cook, Executive Director

The call of God into ministry is a deeply spiritual and mysterious experience. That God would call a human being to partner with Him is humbling. Who God chooses to call is often without apparent rhyme or reason. The Apostle Paul explains, For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. | i Corinthians 1:26-29 In addition to the question “Who is called?” we have “What kind of ministry am I called to do?” God calls and uses people in nearly endless ways as He calls pastors, preachers, church planters, international missionaries, or children’s, youth or worship ministers—and we cannot forget those called with administrative gifts. Those wrestling with a call to ministry might also be wondering if the “call” is the only necessary element. Is availability all that’s necessary? There’s more to ministry than just the “call.” The “call” by the Holy Spirit is a distinct signal to the individual who then has a responsibility to develop the characteristics and qualities necessary to facilitate the objective the Lord has revealed. In ii Timothy 2:15 (KJV), Paul says to “study to show thyself approved unto God.” This fervor for study and education to refine our commitment is also illustrated in ii Kings 6. And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” | ii Kings 6:1-2 Here the “sons of the prophets” are in a particular location referred to as the school of prophets. This is the first mention in the Bible of a place where potential prophets could receive training. Several times this group of young prophets traveled under the tutelage of Elijah and Elisha. Jesus implemented this same concept with his twelve disciples. The disciples turned the world upside down! Now those are models for ministry training!

There’s more to ministry than just the “call.” General Baptists have a long history of understanding the importance of training through their partnerships with Oakland City University, the Matigsalog Bible Institute, and the General Baptist Bible College in the Philippines. Within these pages, Oakland City University is highlighted for the vital role it plays to assist the local church in developing pastors, missionaries and church planters to go forth and serve. Recognizing changing worship styles OCU has added a new Worship Arts program to teach innovative use of music, video and graphics. They want to help the local church connect young, socialnetworking members with older, traditional members. As an older minister, I want to help young leaders understand that the “call” to ministry is also a mandate from God for education and training. The ministry we are called to do will be hindered if we are unwilling to pursue education and training. I am grateful for older ministers who helped me define my calling through exposure to ministry opportunities and training. They understood that I would be able to go farther in a shorter amount of time with these skills. Likewise, I want the next generation of General Baptist leaders to go much farther and much faster in advancing the Kingdom than I have. This edition of The Messenger shows that God does His part in the calling, but we must do our part by developing the call through education and training.


Messenger General Baptist

Special Edition

Table of Contents 3 From Our Executive Director 8 Enter to Learn — Go Forth to Serve 11 The College on the Hill 13 Why I Believe in Attending a Christian University 14 Cultivating a Pastoral Imagination 15 Making a Difference in Worship Arts 16 Expand Your Horizons Through Online Learning 18 What’s New at OCU’s School of Business 20 The Graduate Programs in the School of Education 22 An Interview with Douglas Low 27 An Uncharted Path

The College on the Hill


28 My Journey to OCU and Chapman Seminary 30 Quotes — Education 31 To Stay or Not to Stay? 32 Pastor Search: A Process 34 Building Use and Marriage Definitions 36 L.A.M.P. 38 Meet the Schremps 39 Typhoon Relief Update 41 5k Run for Missions 43 Well Appointed

Expand Your Horizons Through Online Learning

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Enter to Learn Go Forth to Serve


Messenger General Baptist

The General Baptist Messenger is published by General Baptist Ministries (General Baptist Council of Associations, inc), 100 Stinson dr, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 under the direction of an editorial team composed of the denominational leadership team, Clint Cook, Executive Director


5K Run For Missions

Editorial Team:

Franklin Dumond, Linda McDonough, Jim Schremp, Sue Schremp, Patti Thornton

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Stinson Press - Kenrick Nobles


Typhoon Relief Update

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Meet the Schremps

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ed·u·ca·tion \ˌe-jə-ˈkā-shən\

1 a : the action or process of educating or being educated; also: a stage of such a process b : the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process 2 : the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university 3 : the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university 7

Enter to Learn Go Forth to Serve By Dr. Ray Barber, President Oakland City University

Since 1885 the fundamental values expressed through OCU’s motto have shaped students and graduates academically and spiritually. “Enter to Learn—Go Forth to Serve” has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as when first developed. Education is more than just the impartation of facts or the memorization of a body of knowledge. Education, especially in the context of Christianity, aspires to develop and form leaders who will live out their lives in service to others. Robert Mulholland defined spiritual formation with similar words: “Spiritual formation is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” The world of business and economics added a new phrase to the modern lexicon in 1970. Business leader Robert Greenleaf, who had worked for AT&T for forty years in many different capacities, started using the phrase “servant leadership” to describe what he perceived as an emerging model to replace the command and performance paradigm for leading an organization. Greenleaf believed that the words “servant” and “leadership” together meant something more profound and true than either word alone.

Jesus was king, but king of an upside-down kingdom where the last was to be first and the first, last. Max Dupree, Chairman and CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., an innovative Fortune 500 company, authored a number of books on leadership, such as Leadership Jazz. He narrowed down the major qualities of servant leadership to one of responsibility and gratitude: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say ‘thank you.’ In between, a leader is to be a servant.” Clearly, servant-leaders make a Education is merely an exercise in literacy unless we understand lasting impact on the lives of others. As a result of her servant leadership atthat the reason behind all learning is the desire to further the tending to patients at night during the Kingdom of God and to be the hands and feet of Jesus Crimean War, Florence Nightingale came to be known as “The Lady with the Lamp.” While war was raging all around her, she carefully Greenleaf acknowledged that his formulation was borworked her way through the darkness and between the cots of rowed from a much older leadership style found in the life sick, wounded, and dying soldiers nursing as many as possible. and teaching of Jesus. The paradoxical quality of servant One young man reportedly said to her, “Miss Nightingale, you leadership could be found in Jesus, because Jesus brought are Christ to me.”So how does Oakland City University go about together the paradoxical nature of God as Creator and Creameeting the challenge of shaping servant-leaders? ture, Transcendent and Immanent, Divine and Human. 8

First, we are committed to providing academic excellence. As an institution of higher learning, the essence of who we are is in the quality of education we deliver. We believe in the value of a Christian liberal arts education. In today’s global economy where average people will have multiple careers in their lifetimes it is critical that we provide students with the skills necessary to transfer knowledge. Embedded in the liberal arts curriculum are reasoning and critical thinking skills required to make such a transfer possible. Furthermore, that ability to transfer knowledge includes the moral and ethical principles that govern our daily lives and the practices we use each day to make decisions. Education is merely an exercise in literacy unless we understand that the reason behind all learning is the desire to further the Kingdom of God and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Secondly, Oakland City University is committed to the spiritual formation of our students. OCU promotes the imitation of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The evidence of such a life is found in the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” | Gal. 5:22-23

John Maxwell repeatedly makes the statement: “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The lives of people around the world have been changed because a graduate of Oakland City University was willing to care for them in a time of need. These caring, servant leaders served out of their love for God and their compassion for others. The titles used to describe these servant leaders range from pastor to missionary, from insurance sales person to community leader, from doctor to lawyer, and from kindergarten teacher toW school superintendent. Perhaps one of the clearest demonstrations of servant leadership evidenced in the Bible comes from the example of Jesus. When the time came for Him to be crucified, he began the process of preparing the disciples to lead what would eventually become the Church. He set the tone for leadership by taking a towel and girding Himself. Then He proceeded to wash his disciples’ feet. Having completed His task He told the disciples: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” | John 13:13-17 Oakland City University’s motto has served the school and General Baptists well. It influenced those who preceded us, it influences students today, and its value will influence a generation that is yet to become. Servant leaders find strength by realizing their weakness, find authority by being under authority, find vision by seeing the needs of others, and find greatness by being servants. The mission statement of Oakland City University is as follows: “To become a leading faith-based university that provides a Christian learning environment preparing students for service.” Will you join with Oakland City University in learning more and more about the wonder of God, His creation, and His Holy Word? Will you join with Oakland City University in washing the feet of others?

OCU encourages students to embrace these virtues in their daily collegiate life. Only with the grace of God, a solid Biblical foundation, and a Christ-centered life can one navigate the complexities of today’s culture. Whether in business, education, criminal justice, or religious studies the necessity of Christ-centered values impacts the world we are called to serve. Additionally, Oakland City University provides the practical experiences necessary for our graduates to be successful in the world of work. Knowledge without application serves only the individual. We believe that it is of utmost importance that students learn the practical applications of the knowledge they learn. We seek to provide an environment where students and the OCU learning community can enact their abilities. Whether around the corner or around the world, being a servant leader is encouraged and expected. Thus the University constantly seeks new avenues to provide students with internships, mentoring programs, and onsite field experiences. It is no surprise then that our students periodically sponsor food drives, assist persons in our local community, work with Habitat for Humanity, and participate in foreign mission trips. 9


“The College on the Hill”: A Brief History of Oakland City University By Dr. Randy Mills

Struggle and perseverance are two words that capture the ongoing drama of the many attempts of General Baptists to start and maintain their own college. Little emphasis was placed on creating a denominational college in the f ledgling years of the early 1800s. Founded by Benoni Stinson, the General Baptist cause fought to survive with no resources to establish institutions. By the late 1830s, however, General Baptists had developed a solid core of members and perceived a need to build a college for ministerial training. In 1838, Liberty Association of Indiana charged a committee “to procure a charter from the [Indiana] legislature . . . empowering them to purchase a site and erect and furnish a building for a seminary of learning.” Elder Stinson called

upon one of Indiana’s most prestigious political figures of those times, Joseph Lane, to assist in the cause. Lane, who was not a particularly strong church supporter, had nevertheless been greatly moved by Stinson’s commanding sermons over the years. The somewhat adventurous Lane served in the state legislature and would later serve as the original governor of the Oregon Territory, as a Senator from Oregon, and would run as a vice presidential candidate on a national ticket in 1860. Despite Lane’s inf luence no charter was gained for the General Baptists. The next year the Liberty church, Benoni Stinson’s home congregation, took the lead in trying to establish a school to be called “The Indiana General Baptist Seminary.” A lack of financial support doomed this particular effort. In 1857, Liberty Association once more attempted to establish a college, “The General Baptist Academy.” This effort also failed. Another more successful attempt was the “Oakland Institute,” founded in Oakland City, in 1867. General Baptists in the community were very proud of the f ledgling school. The town’s correspondent to the county newspaper, for example, bragged about the little college and encouraged potential students to “come to Oakland and you will find it, with the additional advantage of good churches and Sabbath 11

Schools, to be free from the curse of the Devil’s recruiting shop (the whiskey saloon), for we have none in this town.” The school lasted for some years until the death of its benefactor, James Cockrum, in 1875. In the 1880s General Baptists in Evansville, Indiana, attempted twice to create a General Baptist school there but those efforts were unsuccessful, as was an attempt in Western Kentucky. On the plus side, the Evansville attempts did create a fair sum of money which the denomination was able to use in its final, successful attempt to start a college. In June of 1885, the Educational Board of General Baptists was organized. The group was approached by William Cockrum of Oakland City, Indiana, who related to the board his desire to deed the denomination ten acres of property for a college, along with his and others’ pledges of financial support. With both land and money in hand, the General Baptists quickly gained a charter from the state of Indiana to operate a college at Oakland City. However, because of a lack of funds, the first building, a two-story brick structure housing the administration and classrooms, was not complete until 1891—the same year Oakland City College actually opened its doors for classes.

Today, Oakland City University, once housed in a single building and known as “the college on the hill”... offers seven graduate degrees and over thirty undergraduate programs In those early days, Oakland City College, because of it rustic location along a gently sloped and wooded ridge was called “the college on the hill.” The surrounding trees, many of them large ancient oaks, would lend the name for the school’s future sports teams—Mighty Oaks. For the next two decades the school saw slow growth and gained some recognition as a solid teacher training institution. By 1904, for example, scores of teachers in the region had attended the college and were serving in area schools. Enrollment grew from 130 students in that year to double that number two years later. The school also served as a cultural center for the community and surrounding area. By the mid-1920s, the school reached its zenith for the first half of that century. Several buildings graced the grounds, including: • An expanded Administration Building; • Wheatley Hall, a women’s dorm; • A field house (Memorial Gym) with a library in the basement; • Cronbach Hall, a building used for agricultural and industrial arts classes; • a two story brick building called the President’s House. Beside the normal, liberal arts and theological schools, the college had added a large industrial and agricultural department to respond to the vocational needs of the rural area it served. Enrollment during these prosperous times often approached 1000 students a semester.   Sadly, this comfortable world came to a screeching halt in 1930 with the coming of the Great Depression. At its darkest hour, college president William Dearing told the 12

college community, “We invite the students and faculty of Oakland City College to unite in the common fellowship of suffering. No one will be able to do what he wants to do. He must do what he can this year. Until business turns the corner, the challenge is: Smile and do your best and leave the rest with God. Can we do it? We shall see.” Grimly, the school held on with faculty and staff often forgoing paychecks in order to keep the school running. The end of World War II and the GI Bill witnessed resurgence in enrollment, and by the mid-1960s the “college on the hill” experienced an upswing comparable to the 1920s. Several buildings now crowned the campus including: • Four Dormitories; • a new Library; • Brengle Hall, a science building; • Stinson Hall, a classroom building containing an auditorium.   By 1967, the college enrollment topped eight hundred on-campus students, but the winding down of the war in Vietnam in the early 1970s witnessed a substantial drop in enrollment. By the fall term of 1973, the college found itself with an overabundance of empty dorm rooms. The college now faced a crisis on par with the near shut-down of the school in the 1930s. Fortunately, the sponsoring denomination, the General Baptists, rallied around their school by making an intense effort to raise funds to keep Oakland City College financially healthy. Denominational leaders also chose Dr. James W. Murray to lead the college through one of its most difficult times in history. In the 1990s the college moved to university status under Dr. Murray’s leadership. By 2008, over twenty eight million dollars in renovations had occurred without any indebtedness, including the construction of seven new major buildings. Today, Oakland City University, once housed in a single building and known as “the college on the hill” still sits upon the gently sloping ridge of its founding. The school, with its many modern buildings and dedicated faculty and staff is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Moreover, OCU continues to serve the General Baptist denomination, especially through its Chapman Seminary and the Chapman School of Religious Studies. Overall, the university offers seven graduate degrees and over thirty undergraduate programs and is especially well known for its teacher training and prison education programs.   As noted, the story of Oakland City University has often been one of struggle and perseverance. Today, Oakland City University, under the leadership of President Ray Barber stands as a wonderful testimony to the efforts and visions of those General Baptist leaders who over the years labored so hard and faithfully to make such a school a thriving reality. Dr. Randy Mills is a professor of the Social Sciences at Oakland City University and the author of Christ Tasted Death for Every Man: The Story of America’s Frontier General Baptists.


of all Students attending college across the country are walking away without their faith.

Why I Believe in Attending a Christian University By Caleb Fendrich

The family sitting opposite of me in my office had just expressed what so many Christian families do when they are visiting our campus. The parents worry about their new college student being taught ideas that would undermine their Christian faith. 60%. That’s the number reported by Eric Reed of young people who walk away from the Christian faith during their college years. Our young people are going into colleges across the country and then into the secular world after they graduate woefully underprepared to deal with challenges to their faith. Even young Christians who are armed with better-than-Sundayschool answers are failing. They may have the answers to what they believe, but they don’t know why they believe it. At OCU, we teach students to grasp that the Christian worldview is entirely comprehensive. Such a worldview seeks to explain God’s truth in every area: from literature and philosophy, to business and ethics, law, sociology and, yes, even politics. The apostle Paul encouraged Christians to seek God’s truth in all of life’s questions: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, ESV)

If we’re going to reverse the trend of young people forsaking the faith, then it’s going to take a very real understanding of how Christianity applies to all of life. So much of that training comes through relationships. I am so avidly pro-Christian University because college life, and training for life after college, isn’t just about book knowledge. It’s not about just knowing the right answer. It’s about knowing why you know the right answer. I am constantly reminding families who visit Oakland City University that even after four years in a Christian University the challenges don’t end. Mom and Dad don’t get to help their children out of hard situations forever. When our children are faced by life’s toughest questions years from now, I want to know that the training they received during their formative college years came from men and women who are grounded in God’s truth. It’s my earnest prayer that in future years the number of students who walk away from the faith shrinks dramatically because of places like Oakland City University that are filled with people educating students to have biblically based convictions etched firmly in the forefronts of their minds. The results are Christian students who are not only better prepared to withstand attacks on their faith, but who are in a better position to help others understand God’s truth, and to impact all facets of society from a distinctly Biblical perspective.


Cultivating a Pastoral Imagination By Dr. Daniel Dunivan

In Oakland City University’s programs specifically designed for the preparation of individuals for Christian leadership, students come with an awe-inspiring set of diverse expectations and educational needs. In times past, seminaries and schools of ministry had a relatively concrete set of objectives that could prepare individuals for a traditional track toward pastoral ministry. Today, students arrive at college or engage in graduate theological education with many types of ministry in mind or with an undefined sense of their future. We have students at both the undergraduate (The Chapman School of Religious Studies) and graduate (Chapman Seminary) levels who feel called to the pastorate, youth ministry, music ministry, children’s ministry, missions, educational ministry, chaplaincy, and many who are still searching out the specifics of their callings. The complexity of our students’ expectations and needs is further multiplied by the variety of faith communities they represent. They include not only General Baptists but also United Methodists, American Baptists, Nazarenes, Southern Baptists, non-denominational churches, and several others. The diversity of expectations of students and the churches or ministries that will employ them are only one part of the challenges facing theological education today. Ministry itself is changing, mostly because the church is changing. Emerging paradigms often require proficiency in the traditional biblical-theological disciplines, as well as ever shifting contemporary church programing models, technologies, and modes of communication. Teaching the most current models, technologies, and practical wisdom will help in the short-term, but quality education for a life of ministry requires much more. It requires the cultivation of what Craig Dykstra calls pastoral imagination. A pastoral imagination is the critical ability to integrate theological knowledge, professional skill, spiritual vibrancy, and moral integrity. Pastoral imagination allows individuals to bring all of their knowledge, skills, and sensibilities to bear on the variety of situations that contemporary ministry requires. Preparation for ministry involves more than training individuals on how-tos. It involves the formation of the entire person. Otherwise, preparation for ministry cannot be adaptable enough to meet the changing circumstances encountered in actual ministry settings. For Chapman as for the rest of Oakland City University, education of the whole person comes through an intentional development of the head, heart, and hands of our students. In the formation of the head, we attempt to bring our students into the academy. It is important that those seeking preparation for ministry be able to think their way through the difficult practical, moral, spiritual and theological issues that they will confront. We make no apologies for this component of the educational enterprise. The academic study associated with learning theology, church history, educational philosophies, or biblical studies does not elevate one into an ivory tower with no practical service to ministry. Instead, academic study provides the intellectual resources required for a well-informed practice of ministry. It provides the cognitive resources for the cultivation of the “pastoral imagination.” 14

In the formation of the heart, we attempt to provide opportunities for spiritual formation. While each student must wrestle with and strive for spiritual maturity in their own ways, we take this side of education seriously both through coursework and through opportunities for worship. For students in theological education, the spiritual life undergoes significant changes. When I came to Oakland City University as a student in 1997, many of the ministers and spiritual advisors I knew cautioned me that education could stifle my spiritual vitality. While I changed significantly during the course of my education, loss of spiritual conviction or depth was far from my experience. My walk with God has deepened in ways I could have never conceived at the time. My studies shaped my mind, but they were also used by God to work on my attitudes, my biases, and my commitments to spiritual discipline. Integrating spiritual formation into ministerial preparation is essential for providing the energy and power necessary for the sustaining of the “pastoral imagination.” What good is technical knowledge or practical skill when one’s passion for God is weak or when moral fiber is lacking? The deepening of the minister’s heart is an essential part of a good education. In the formation of the hands, we nurture good ministerial practice. In every program offered by Chapman, there are courses designed to teach students how to do ministry involving both theory and practice. Courses on preaching, worship, church administration, family ministry, and many others prepare the student’s hands to perform more effectively in ministry. Every program also requires students to do advanced reflection on actual ministry practice through some form of field education or practicum. Chapman is committed to giving its students the real-life experiences and the opportunities for reflection on those experiences necessary for the full development of their “pastoral imagination.” For the individual student the kind of education I have described is both challenging and fruitful. Theological education is not something that should be taken on half-heartedly. It requires intense concentration and commitment. Engaging in this type of study is risky because it involves opening up areas of faith and ministerial practice to scrutiny. However, in the process both faith and ministerial practice are strengthened. The outcomes are worth the price. If you are interested in cultivating a more vibrant pastoral imagination through formal education, Oakland City University has programs to meet your needs from certificates to doctoral degrees. I invite you to contact me to discuss how we can help in your preparation for ministry service. Dr. Daniel Dunivan is the Dean of the Chapman School of Religious Studies and Chapman Seminary and the Associate Vice-Provost at Oakland City University.

Making a Difference in the Worship Arts “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” | John 4:23-24 Throughout scripture, the Bible speaks of the importance of worship. As believers of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we understand that God longs for our worship. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Oakland City University launched a new Bachelor’s degree in Worship Arts. OCU hired Andrew Goldman ’12 as Worship Arts Admissions Counselor and Chris Cook ’13 as Worship Arts Lecturer. These fine young men head a new program that directly impacts church ministry.   Andrew Goldman states: “Our goal is to greatly increase the number of Worship Arts majors within three years.” The program is currently located in the School of Arts and Sciences. However, the Chapman School of Religious Studies is working on a second track for students desiring a greater emphasis in pastoral ministry. Andrew says: “Our current approach is from the standpoint of educating individuals who desire to lead worship. When the other degree in Religious Studies with a worship concentration is finalized, then we will have both models.” Chris Cook adds: “Andrew and I bring an interesting dynamic to the program. Andrew has the performance background. I add the music education expertise to the Worship Arts degree.” Currently, the new degree has started with several students and the forecast is bright for the Worship Arts program. Additionally, President Barber is strategically launching a new contemporary praise and worship band, The Great Command, as an outreach to congregations. The University’s Earthlight group will continue its long history of serving General Baptist churches. This new group will carry out a similar focus leading churches in praise and worship music.   Andrew believes: “We can promote the Worship Arts program through the ministry of our student music groups, campus events such as Soulfest, and even through networking with other Christian organizations and schools.” He goes on to say: “The potential is oozing out of this place and we recognize that God has big plans.”


Expand Your Horizons through Online Learning with Oakland City University Dr. Mark E. Simpson, Coordinator of Online Learning

Oakland City University (OCU) focuses on training tomorrow’s Christian leaders through high quality and affordable education options. One of those options includes the provision of online learning opportunities for individuals and busy professionals who are not able to study on the main campus. In the spring of 2012 the University launched three fully-online programs to make earning a college degree from OCU accessible to more students. Two of these programs focused on business and one focused on religious studies. Today the number of online programs has grown to include undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels of study. Online courses are offered in the areas of business, criminal justice, education, and religious studies. Additional programs of study are being planned for the future as well.   Each online program at OCU is built around a faith-based learning environment guided by Christian morals and values. Students interact with each other and the instructor through online discussion forums each week. Course learning activities and other curriculum material and presentations are accessed 16

via an online Learning Management System. Online students are thus free to study at any time of the day from any location with access to the Internet. This flexible learning environment is designed to provide students with an atmosphere that fosters intellectual and spiritual growth despite the distance between students and the instructor. The current fully online programs at Oakland City University are available in a variety of subject areas and degree levels.

enter to learn – go forth to serve! If you would like to learn more about online learning opportunities at Oakland City University, visit us online at and select the online programs button and the area of interest, or call the main campus to speak with an admission counselor or the coordinator of online learning. Online studies begin several times throughout the year—apply today and become a part of the OCU family of students and graduates!

Oakland City University Online Programs Associate of Arts in General Studies

The online General Studies curriculum provides basic courses to help students get started in their academic careers. Courses in the areas of communication skills, the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences lay the foundation for students to pursue a major in their field of interest. The associate of arts fully online program is ideal for students who are not yet ready to declare a major for a bachelor’s program but want to begin their undergraduate academic studies.

Associate of Arts in Religious Studies

OCU’s online Associate of Arts in Religious Studies curriculum focuses on the essential and practical courses needed by ministers and laypersons involved in local church and related ministries. The degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in various ministry-related career paths, such as church ministry, denominational service, missions, and Christian education. The goal of this preparation is to help students develop a greater appreciation of their Christian faith and the effect of the Bible and Christianity on Western civilization. Students also gain the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of contemporary ministry.

Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

The fully online Associate of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed for recent high school graduates and new military personnel who wish to begin academic studies in the field of criminal justice. Through a combination of general studies applicable to any bachelor’s degree and studies in law enforcement and corrections, the online student is better prepared for service in a criminal justice career. Courses are created and taught by leading experts in the fields of criminal behavior, forensic science, sociology, and the general academic disciplines.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree is designed for seasoned professionals in the field of corrections, law enforcement, or the military who have completed some previous academic studies. Courses focus on issues and best practices for a wide array of correctional and law enforcement jobs at the state and federal level. Course studies cover the fields of criminal behavior, forensic science, sociology, and the needs of other criminal justice professions. Students who complete a bachelor degree in criminal justice are better prepared for career advancement as a law enforcement officer, paralegal, forensic investigator, or other criminal justice profession.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

The fully online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program is offered in two fields of concentration: management and human resources. The accredited BSBA degree positions graduates for a wide range of rewarding and challenging careers, such as banking, accounting, business management, marketing, correctional facility administration, human resources, athletic administration, teaching and consulting. Through the Business Administration online program, students gain the knowledge base and practical skills they will need to succeed in the business world.

Master of Business Administration

The online Master of Business Administration degree is designed to propel graduates into exciting careers in business-related fields and position them for upper level executive and managerial positions. The online MBA program gives students practical managerial and administrative strategies and concepts to support and enhance business operations. Online MBA courses address advanced business best practices, domestic and international financial policies, organizational communication, and other topics regarding the challenges faced in today’s corporate world.

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

The Education Specialist hybrid degree program is a specialized professional degree that requires students to engage in a rigorous process of research, inquiry, application and site-based practice. The Ed.S. program is designed to meet the growing academic and practical needs of leaders who are designated as decision makers in related policy, and who are already employed in leadership and administrative roles. Through a combination of face-to-face classroom experiences in the summer and fully online courses the rest of the year, students learn how to use collaboration in learning environments and organizations, how to effectively communicate with peers, instructors and students, and most importantly, how to serve and assist the community in which they are employed.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

By earning a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) hybrid online/ face-to-face degree from OCU, students gain valuable knowledge to further their career in specializations such as the superintendency, curriculum & instruction, and organizational management. This degree program prepares the educator and organizational leader to be a servant leader, and facilitator and conveyor of knowledge. Through a combination of face-to-face classroom experiences in the summer and fully online courses the rest of the year, the Ed.D. program prepares graduates to deal with interconnected problems facing schools, organizations and society. The program looks at leadership within the context of organizational renewal. Such leadership focuses on common values among professionals within an organization, a vision of organizational strategy, and the pursuit of higher institutional and personal goals.


What’s New at OCU’s School of Business? By Dr. John Sutton, Dean, School of Business, Dr. Cathy A. Robb, Assistant Professor, School of Business, and Brittany Fulkerson, Lecturer, School of Business

  The School of Business has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees are all offered by a variety of delivery methods including, traditional face-to-face, online, hybrid, and adult accelerated course formats. Also, new degree programs have been added in the past year to expand opportunities for students to join OCU’s School of Business, and further develop their careers. The Bachelor of Applied Science in Operations Management degree supports a new transfer-friendly initiative by offering a “2+2 transfer” program for students who have completed an Associate’s degree. The School of Business will accept 60 transfer credit hours of coursework towards this new Bachelor’s degree. Students then will complete 36 credit hours of business core classes, including a professional internship, for resume- building job experience. Current students have this to say about their experiences: “OCU helped me to get an amazing job at Toyota (TMMI) [Princeton, IN] where I’m having an accounting internship as an Accounts Payable Administrator. I love OCU because here I found the balance between school and soccer” (Aljosa Stankovic, Accounting major). Students in the School of Business complete a professional internship to apply their business coursework to on-the-job experience. “I love OCU, with small class sizes in the School of Business, there is always the opportunity for group discussion. The program equipped me with the knowledge to gain an accounting internship at FRAM [Albion, IL]” (Olivia Theriac, Accounting major). The Business Club, which is open to all business majors and minors, allows students in the School of Business an opportunity to socialize and connect with other students outside the classroom. The club consists of a variety of students from all realms of business studies. The officers and club body have already had the chance to be a part of some wonderful outreach programs at OCU. They have participated in the Alumni Family Day as well as the Fall Fest where they gave out free nachos to the community children. The OCU Business Club has big aspirations for the Spring semester, and they are currently planning future fundraisers and events. They have the desire to become a part of the professional business environment by gaining experience through study, workshops, and even conferences. They also want to develop a mentoring program for area high school students interested in the field of business. The School of Business also includes the Adult and Extended Learning (AEL) program, offering Bachelor’s degrees to adult students with work experience. These courses are in an accelerated face-toface or online format where students can complete a degree in 12 to 16 months. Each in-seat class meets one night per week for five weeks and online courses are in an 8-week delivery format. The AEL program also offers a Master of Business Administration 18

(MBA) degree, with updated curriculum to include a business simulation capstone project. Here students manage five products in a $100 million company to complete a team based cumulative project, drawing from knowledge acquired from all their MBA coursework. The AEL program also offers a newly added Master of Science in Strategic Management (MSSM) degree program with four specialization options: Quality Systems, Logistics and Product Distribution, Health Care Systems, and Professional Training. This 30 credit hour graduate degree is designed for individuals with two or more years of business or military experience. The MSSM degree content is focused towards developing and refining a set of leadership and managerial skills essential for career advancement. AEL programs are offered at OCU’s main campus and at off-campus Indiana sites including: Bedford, Evansville, Plainfield, and Rockport. The School of Business can be flexible to offer cohort programs on-site at a business or industry for added student convenience. Michael Smith, Unit Engineering Manager at Indianapolis Power and Light, represents an on-site MBA student cohort group comments; “I am a better fleet engineering manager now because of this [MBA] coursework. Thanks again for mentoring us along the way and fielding questions.”   The curricular design of programs in the School of Business is intended to unite management theory and practice with the ethical conduct of a business enterprise. Through this approach, we strive to prepare students to be leaders in their chosen careers and in their spheres of influence. Students participate in a wide array of experiential learning opportunities that enhance their education and give them hands-on practice in business. The curriculum exposes students to important values regarding stewardship, ethics, and decision-making consistent with professional conduct. Our faculty stand out from the crowd with years of practical experience in their field in addition to their academic qualifications. Thus, they are well qualified to act as both a professional and spiritual mentor to our students. The result is an education that prepares the student’s mind, heart, and hands for a successful career in business. For more information about OCU’s School of Business, visit our website at: or contact Dr. John Sutton, Dean, at 812-749-1272 or

The Graduate Programs in the School of Education at Oakland City University “The program made my dream come true.” Tanya Jones, Ed.D. The necessity of preparation for leadership is not a modern day phenomena. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, gives repeated accounts of those who spent time in preparation for the job God called them to do. From ark building to times of secluded separation, the call for preparation can be found as a necessary part of life for those who call themselves Christian. But why is preparation so important for future leaders? One reason is leaders are responsible for the development of the people and organizations over which they have authority. Both people and organizations will, over time, mimic the character of their leader. Preparation completed, not for some external reward, but out of the desire to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of leadership is a pearl of great price, and worthy of a person’s sacrifice of time and resources. In order for the educational and business community to be effective today and tomorrow, it must employ highly equipped leaders who are well prepared to deal with the problems facing organizations, schools, and society. The graduate programs in the School of Education at Oakland City University look at leadership within the context of organizational renewal. Such leadership focuses on common values among professionals within an organization, a vision of what the organization ought to be, and the pursuit of higher-order institutional and personal goals. The ultimate purpose of leadership is to serve others and to be a facilitator and conveyor of knowledge and cultural heritage.

Program Descriptions Masters Programs Currently OCU offers a Masters in Teaching (MAT) with three areas of specialization. • Option I: Curriculum and Instruction (10 available content areas) • Option II: Building Level Administrator • Option III: Sport Education (three areas of study) o Sport and Facility Management o Sports Education o Science of Applied Exercise Each option is designed to provide: 1. A catalyst for current educators, a forum for continued professional development with the goal of developing a professional development plan beyond completion of the MAT. 2. Experienced educators with an opportunity to change careers within education by providing educational opportunities that allow them to demonstrate competence as a building level administrator at one or more developmental levels. 3. An opportunity for already licensed educators to develop additional skills.


This performance based program provides an intensive, integrated curriculum that requires all graduate students to complete self-assessments, to design and evaluate curriculum from a field research base, and to report their findings for publication. The School of Education has determined that this approach meets the needs of its students as it provides professional growth in: • communicating with others, • assisting the restructuring and reforming of current instructional practices in the schools, • developing leadership skills necessary to work with students, parents/caregivers, and community leaders, • providing hands-on opportunities for educators to conduct research and to assess the value of identified pedagogical strategies – multiple intelligences, learning styles, integrated instruction, peer mentoring, etc. • understanding who he or she is (strengths and weaknesses) and what it means to be a leader within the contemporary educational world.

Specialist and Doctoral Programs Oakland City University’s Education Specialist (Ed.S.) and Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.) programs are designed to meet the needs of leaders who are designated as decision makers related to both personnel and policy, and who are already employed in leadership and administrative roles. The Ed.S. is a specialized professional degree that requires students to engage in research, inquiry, application, and sitebased practice. The degree also requires the successful completion of leadership coursework, an internship involving an action research project, a cultural diversity project, and a capstone paper/project. The Ed.D. is a professional terminal degree that requires students to engage in a rigorous process of research and practice with three options, or areas of specialization, within the degree program. These options are: • The Superintendency • Curriculum & Instruction (Higher Education) • Organizational Management

Alumni and Student Thoughts ! I have always known that I wanted to complete my doctorate, but I didn’t know when or where. Before applying to Oakland City, I was looking at other four year universities’ programs both traditional and online. The biggest factors impacting my decision to attend OCU were cost, location and a proven track record … in that order. What has kept me at OCU have been the caring faculty and staff, and the wonderful friendships I have gained through the program. So far, my experience at OCU has been both positive and rewarding. Karen Weiss, Doctoral Candidate   Dean for Career & Technical Education   Title III Project Director   Southeastern Illinois College

I like OCU because the faculty cares about me as a person, and wants me to succeed. -- Current Masters Student Having worked at a community college for several years I decided I wanted to pursue a doctorate degree. As I looked at a nearby large regional university I was troubled to see that it was going to take me close to eleven years to complete my degree. The program was not suited for working adults, but I felt it was my only option. Reluctantly I enrolled and before long I was very discouraged with the content of the courses I was taking, and I felt that they had little to do with being an administrator. By chance I read an article in my hometown paper about our high school principal, who had just completed his degree at OCU. I called him and talked about the program and I was immediately sold. In two and a half years I had completed my degree, far short of the eleven years I had been previously faced with. During that time I learned valuable lessons that I apply every day. I was able to study leaders I admire and was encouraged to use my faith as my guide. Today, I am looking at senior level positions and my dissertation research on baby-boomer retirements has provided me with an opportunity to speak throughout the state on the importance of training programs like the one at Oakland City University. If given the opportunity again, I would pick OCU again and I recommend the program to anyone who has a desire to take their career to the next level. Steve O’Keefe,   Director of College Relations   John A. Logan College OCU has an outstanding doctoral program. The one to one contact with professors was excellent. The ability to work on the dissertation throughout the program, not just at the completion of course work was a huge added bonus. My course work from other universities was accepted and valued. Michael Bendicsen, Assistant Principal   Knox Community High School

My personal academic plans never included a doctoral degree. In an unexpected meeting, Oakland City University’s established program came to my attention. My interest peaked as I learned that OCU was a small, religiously based institution willing and able to meet my needs as a full-time working mother and wife. The program allowed me to maintain all facets of my life and succeed in achieving my Ed.D. I believe in OCU’s graduate and doctoral programs so much, that I chose to accept a position with the university as Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the School of Education. I am quite blessed! Karen Bevis, Associate Dean, SOE   Oakland City University The doctoral program at Oakland City University changed my way of thinking about education. The program enhanced my problem solving skills and gave me the confidence to address the challenges school leaders face today. Through the program, I was able to explore new research frontiers and advance my thinking about how students learn. I feel the OCU program prepared me to become a leader in the field of education. Carl D. Underwood, Chief Financial Officer   Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Pursuing a doctoral degree is a daunting task for even the most capable of individuals. Completion of the process is attributed to the individual’s shear grit, determination, perseverance, coupled with a supportive faculty and cohort. A supportive faculty and cohort were both in existence at Oakland City University. The philosophy that “it can be done” permeated throughout the program and with the other doctoral students that were enrolled. There was never a time that absolute completion was not the goal of all involved. The program should be commended for making the process uncomplicated, affordable, logistically possible for the working professional and engaging for the “wannabe school superintendent”. The program made my dream come true. Tanya A. Jones, Children Services Manager   Paducah Head Start/Preschool

The Ed.D. program at Oakland City University was a perfect fit for me. As a first generation college student, I looked for a program that would fit my schedule but would also have a component for me to meet and interact with other students. The professors were down-to-earth and very caring of their students. I was able to create life-long friendships with other students from my cohort. After having earned my Ed.D., I have found that this degree has opened up a multitude of opportunities in my career. I feel confident making data driven decisions. I have been asked to oversee the creation of the Heritage Language State Standards for the Indiana Department of Education. Joél Muñoz, Vice Principal   George Washington Community High School


class. I remember Bro. Doyle Corlew being the moderator over a Bible quiz program for the association. The quiz questions all came from the Book of James. It was held at the Bernie church. My teammate and I came in second. I vaguely remember the one question we missed. I still think we gave the right answer! Very important for me was the experience of Howard Winberry and Camp Allen. He was (and still is) an encourager, a giver of wise advice, and a person whom you could trust. I suspect that there are thousands of grown up GB kids who would say the same thing. I grew up strongly impressed that all the church people were hard-working and practiced their faith. I can remember thinking that I must not let them down. You didn’t mention any preachers?

An Interview with Douglas Low The first question should be about you and Oakland City University. Why are you here? Personally I am here because I am General Baptist. My parents and grandparents were General Baptists. Ultimately I should say that my parents took me to church, raised me in the Faith, and supported me in my education. I am here because of them. Academically I am here because I was blessed to be rightly prepared. After college I went to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. My education there was impressive since some of the greatest Baptist minds of the time taught there. I found both the Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. programs challenging and transformative. I learned to think well, to read widely, and serve Christ with heart and mind. Tell us what are some of your most significant, early impressions of General Baptists? The genuineness and sincerity of the church people at the Bernie, Missouri General Baptist Church comes to mind. My earliest memories are very positive. The Wednesday Night Prayer Service always had testimonies. I remember Sis. Hamlin once concentrating her thoughts on the single word “do” while she explained the significance of that word. I remember those who said the same thing each time and who prefaced their words with “I don’t want to fail to testify” because they sensed the obligation to speak for Jesus and not let a single opportunity be missed. My first devotional was to that Wednesday Night Crowd. It was on Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. I remember about how seriously Sis. Burke took the responsibility of teaching my teenage Sunday School 22

Bill Elledge was pastor when I was born and served long enough that I have memories of him. He was serious and had a command of the Bible. Orville Myers was deeply devout and likewise serious. There was energy one could sense about him that stressed the Gospel was of the utmost importance. He once asked me what the professors were teaching about a particular subject—he asked because he deeply wanted to know and learn. There was no criticism of education or fear of it. I believe that he truly wished he had had the chance to go to seminary. Lester Dale was a kindly man whose smile I can still see. He really tried to reach folks beyond the walls of the church. He baptized me. You mentioned your baptism. What is your conversion story? I made a profession of faith at Camp Allen the first year I went. The Bernie church had revivals twice a year and I had seen and heard stories of dramatic conversions. My story isn’t like that very much. I had always believed, and I never thought of myself in any other way than as a Christian. The Camp Allen registration brochure asked the question: Are you a Christian? When the person filling it out for me marked the answer “no,” I was surprised and dismayed. The question of what makes a person a Christian has from that time been foremost for me. I ask students today how they understand being born again (John 3) and how they understand discipleship (being baptized and observing all that Jesus commanded as in Matthew 28) and how they synthesize those two questions.

I grew up strongly impressed that all the church people were hard-working and practiced their faith. I can remember thinking that I must not let them down. Have you always been interested in the Bible and theology? I think so. I remember my first Bible. It was an inexpensive one my parents got me using stamps from the grocery store. I think they wanted to make sure I really was

going to read it. Later I was bought an expensive, black leather King James Version. Those early years of learning the Bible are invaluable to me now. Exploring other issues came next. I remember talking with preachers at Camp Allen who had gone to Oakland City College. I was already hooked on fascinating questions and compelling answers. Do you think your education changed you? Of course it did. That’s the point. No, what I am asking you, was your faith ever challenged? You are asking a serious question. It is a question that I face every day. People of faith are confronted with facts, theories, and hunches while in school but they come to school with facts, theories and hunches. Education, then, is the sifting of hunches, the testing of theories, and the creation of a synthesis of old and new facts. There can be the painful recognition that what one thought was a fact is really a theory, or not even a reasoned theory, but just an unproven hunch. I also had hunches about theology and the Bible that my seminary education caused me to examine and rethink. When I deal with students I am aware that they are being asked to learn and understand new things. A good student has to have the time to think through issues and complexities. Education is more complex than learning a new fact or agreeing with a professor’s last lecture. Repeating hunches or some professor’s lectures isn’t enough. The wisest pastors help congregations because they themselves were once helped and matured. How would you describe the foundation for teaching the Scriptures to students? At the core of what I am, there is the belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God whose cross is God’s redemption of sinners, whose resurrection is eternal life, and whose Spirit is the gift of life for believers and the source of inspiration of the Scriptures. Our foundation for learning about God is the Spirit-inspired Scriptures. Without that biblical foundation there is nothing that can be built. The Spirit of God bears witness to God and draws us to Him. The Bible is part of the Spirit’s ministry. Through the Word the Holy Spirit converts, rebukes, encourages, and transforms. My seminary education helped me see this. Without my education I could never have worded these thoughts nor would I have seen the need to say such things in this way. Education is never memorizing a set of old or new answers; it is instead learning how to come to answers based on reading Scripture well, knowing Scripture thoroughly, and by thinking –consistently, logically, confidently—about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Oakland City University has allowed me to teach Scripture to the best of my knowledge and ability. I thank the University for entrusting me with the task. I get to teach Scripture for a living. I feel blessed.


Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve


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• The ceramic communion set used by the students at Chapman Seminary. • Oakland City University president, Dr. Ray Barber, stands next to the University seal in the Murray Administrative Center. • The Black Memorial Chapel can be visited in the center of the Chapman Seminary. • The copper pyramid of the Provance Memorial Chapel located at the heart of the Oakland City University campus.

• The oldest building on campus, Cockrum

Hall, is on the National Register of Historic Places. • Kyle Moore, a Master of Divinity student in the Chapman Seminary and pastor of the Arthur General Baptist Church, baptizing his daughter Bailey. • Preston Owens, a 2012 graduate of Oakland City University and current Associate Pastor of Worship and Youth at Liberty Hill General Baptist Church, leading worship. • Oakland City University students making calls during the annual phonathon.


An Uncharted Path By Dylan Branson

Looking back at four years of education at Oakland City University, I cannot help but think of how blessed I have been. God has blessed me with life-long friends and with professors who have poured their lives into me to insure that my peers and I will become the best ministers of the Gospel we can be. God has also changed me during these years by instilling in me both a love for people and a passion to make His name known to the ends of the earth. In Jamaica God first opened my eyes to what goes on beyond the borders of the United States. My pastor, Charles Linhart, took a team from my home church at Henderson General Baptist Church to Jamaica where we did construction work on the Triumphant General Baptist Church. I was stunned by the poverty. I had seen poverty in Mexico, but not to the extent I saw it in Jamaica. However, I had also not seen such joy as I did in our church family at Triumphant. Whatever they lacked in material possessions was made up for in the sheer joy they found in serving and worshipping God. As they worshipped, it was obvious they were there to give their entire devotion to God. As our week passed, it was amazing to see how cultural and racial boundaries shattered when members of Triumphant helped us as we did work on their building. We were one Body, unified under the name of Jesus Christ. While Jamaica opened my eyes to the physical needs in the world, the spiritual needs in the world were made clear to me through a life-changing ministry opportunity in Hong Kong in the summer of 2012. I taught conversational English to middle school and high school students, followed by a week in mainland China. While I was there, God completely broke my heart for the needs of the people of Asia. God used my students to show me His love and allowed me to be a vessel to share His love with them. God showed me the importance of building meaningful relationships with people and planting seeds in the lives of those around me. What broke my heart more than anything was my experience at a Buddhist temple in Harbin, China. As we walked through the gates, it was overwhelming to see so many people worshipping the false idols found there. It was an experience I will never forget. While I was there, I could not help but think of how great and powerful God is and the never-ending love He shows to His people. I have seen the chains that bind China and have seen a glimpse of what Christianity is confronting throughout Asia.

I have been searching my entire life for my purpose. Through my time in Asia, God finally opened my eyes to what it is: To fulfill the Great Commission no matter where I am. Following graduation in May 2014, I will be going to either Laos or mainland China for a year to teach English. The words of Hudson Taylor have been a strong motivation in pushing myself further along God’s path

“Finding one’s purpose with God can be a strange and mysterious journey, or it can be as plain as asking God for a task and then watching your desire for that task grow within you. The problem is, most of us forget to ask God to fill us with a fervent spirit to serve Him. Then, years later, we wake up and realize we had our life. We made our small choices…our safe choices. But somehow, we missed the richness of following our God down an uncharted path.” The classes experienced during my time at Oakland City University have allowed me to find my purpose. I am looking forward to following God down an uncharted path into my future!


My Journey to Oakland City University and Chapman Seminary By Chad Hensley

Twenty years ago, I first visited OCU for the Fall Frenzy weekend youth rally. I tagged along with our youth group as a sponsor. I heard a professor talk about what it meant to receive a good education and why OCU was an excellent choice. I vividly remember my reaction when in front of the entire group of young people, I said, “Why would I come up here and take classes from you so you can tell me what you think? I don’t need you to tell me what the Bible says, I know what it says. All you are doing is ruining good people in the ministry.” Then I said, “I will never come up here and take classes!”   The churches I attended growing up had speakers who were always belittling people who were educated in any type of religious studies. I heard church people say that education ruins good preachers.   In the next few years, I felt a call into the ministry. My pastor, Joe Hayes of the Shady Grove General Baptist Church, had a seminary degree and taught extension courses for OCU, but I refused to take any of them. I wanted to be ordained, however, so I started the General Baptist LAMP program. After being ordained by Union Association, I jumped through the hoop required to maintain my position by taking LAMP classes.   As bi-vocational pastor at Corydon General Baptist, my world turned upside down when my first child, Mitchell, was born with Down syndrome. After he was born, my first sermon was, “Mitchell, What’s Your Potential?” The sermon challenged each member of the congregation to reach their full potential as a Christian. That single experience and sermon have been my driving force ever since.   Later I received a call from the new extension instructor for OCU. He challenged me to “Take this one class. You will really enjoy this one class. It is just one class.” Despite my memory of my reaction to that OCU professor, my wife encouraged me and I agreed to take that one class.   I intended to only do the ten classes needed to get the Certificate of Religious Studies. My guard against higher, biblical education started coming down a little. I discovered that education for ministry was not only a good thing, it was a much needed thing. I reluctantly considered additional classes and after consulting with my wife began to work on my Associate in Religious Studies. I was able to complete this quickly because my certificate and extension courses counted toward the new degree. Although the associate degree was as far as I had intended to go, I had grown to realize that education for ministry was not bad. What was bad for ministry was my previous misconception that education ruins people. I finally decided to attend the main campus for my bachelor’s, in spite of what I had said to that professor years ago. The sermon I preached after my son was born was helping me reach for my potential as a pastor. My wife was also an example as she continued her education to maintain her Occupational Therapy license. I desired to continue learning so that I could be one “who correctly explains the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).” 28

Over these years, I grew in my faith and my knowledge of God’s word. I was a better pastor for it, and the church benefitted.   After receiving my bachelor’s, I continued a five year journey towards the Master of Divinity. Now I’ve realized that I never want to stop learning because when I stop learning, I stop growing. I have learned that the professors at Chapman Seminary care about students and desire to help them become all they can become in ministry. I have learned that education itself does not ruin people.   My journey continues. I now pastor Henderson General Baptist Church and have been accepted into the Doctor of Ministry in Leadership program at Oakland City University’s Chapman Seminary. What started out with “I will never come up here and take classes” turned into “just one class” and has resulted in a great journey. I am thankful for this journey. I do not know what my full potential is, but I want to continue growing and learning as long as I can.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. ­– Andy McIntyre and Derek Bok To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks. – A.A. Milne He who opens a school door, closes a prison. – Victor Hugo Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog. – Mark Twain My idea of education is to unsettle the minds of the young and inflame their intellects. – Robert Maynard Hutchins Education is a progressive discover of our own ignorance. – Will Durant A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. – George Santayana Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. – Malcolm S. Forbes The man who can make hard things easyis the educator. – Ralph Waldo Emerson Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. – G. K. Chesterton 30

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. – Robert Frost It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will. – Vernon Howard

A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions. – Martin H. Fischer

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. – Harry S. Truman

Education is the movement from darkness to light. – Allan Bloom

Wise men learn by other men’s mistakes, fools by their own. – Unknown

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. – Mark Twain

Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t. – Pete Seeger

To teach is to learn twice over. – Joseph Joubert

You can get all A’s and still flunk life. – Walker Percy

The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. – II Timothy 2:2

…the crowds were amazed at his (Jesus) teaching because he taught as one who had authority… – Matthew 7:28-29 Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin A man only learns by two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people. – Will Rogers

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

To Stay or Not To Stay? By Franklin R. Dumond Director of Congregational Ministries

The pastor-congregation relationship cannot be categorized as a simple employee-employer contract since the pastor first serves as a minister of the gospel and then serves as pastor to a particular congregation. The pastor has a higher calling of service first to the God who called and then to the congregation who has invited his service on their behalf. Baptist congregations select their ministers by following the Lord’s leadership in the process. Only rarely is a Baptist pastor appointed by a third party to serve a church. Most often the congregation or its personnel team will invite a pastor to serve. Thus congregational leaders should even more carefully consider the Lord’s will when if the time comes to consider discontinuing that relationship. To stay or not to stay often places the pastor and congregation in an adversarial relationship when complaints surface, anonymous letters arrive, and petitions for removal are presented. In the face of such complaints the pastor might well ask some important questions:

Success in never final; failure is never fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill   1. “Am I at fault?” If I am at fault then I must bear the responsibility for my mistakes and oversights, no one else can shoulder that blame. Responsibility, however, should be borne in proportion to the mistake/oversight. Generally these situations are dealt with one on one or in small groups rather than in a congregational forum.   2. “Have they misunderstood?” If communication has failed then it must be restored. It could be that someone has ‘read between the lines’ or it could be that the pastor has left too much ‘space’ between the lines.   3. “Is there dysfunction at work?” Dysfunction at the personal level stems from internal disappointments with life which often originate in childhood. Dysfunction can become a congregational trait if dysfunctional people impose their personality on the congregation. Dysfunction generally describes impairment of relationships and differs from mal-function (doing the wrong things) and non-function (doing no things). If there is dysfunction at work there is little the pastor can do to change the dysfunctional person or the dysfunctional system until those involved can properly identify the root causes of the dysfunction and begin personally and systemically to heal.   4. “Where is the church in its life cycle?” Churches naturally flow from periods of growth, then plateau, then decline before the cycle repeats itself. Apart from the conflict cycle the pastor must learn to ask some probing questions regarding personal and professional development. Some of these include:

  5. “Can I handle the stress?” Sleep disorders, mood swings and mental/spiritual distractions may indicate the stress level is too high. Some stress, however, may not be geographic but self-induced by an inappropriate leadership style. If stress is self-induced it will be little altered by relocation.   6. “What will the impact be on my family?” Children in the parsonage should be provided the basic right to have friends, childhood memories and to grow up with a sense of ‘home’. Frequent relocation of young families may deny these basic rights and may lead to dysfunction whether those families are military families or pastoral families.   7. “Have other doors opened?” The Lord only rarely leaves us in between assignments. Generally a new door opens before the old door closes. There is more to life than being a Baptist pastor, nevertheless being a Baptist pastor can be most rewarding.   8. “Where am I in my spiritual life?” Decisions about relocation should never be made from the darkness and void of an impoverished devotional life but from the clear light of active communion with the Lord.   9. “What other circumstances are at work?” Life is never simple and it may be necessary to change ministry locations or ministry assignments to be able to provide health insurance or to be able to purchase a retirement home.   10. “What do my trusted friends think?” There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors; only the one being counseled may make the decision. Winston Churchill offers some sage advice, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”


Pastor Search: A Process Many people serve only once in a lifetime on a pastor search committee, so that service demands a special amount of reverence and trust by both the church and the Lord of the Church. A handbook is now available to address the unique needs of our General Baptist churches as they engage from time to time in the search for a pastor. This downloadable handbook (see can also be made available in hard copy upon request to Congregational Ministries (573-7857746 or cmofc@GeneralBaptist. com). While no handbook can be comprehensive, it is our hope that the handbook produced for General Baptist churches will be a helpful guide for search committees as they lead their congregations to find the Lord’s choice for His church. With suggested interview questions, a section on how to say good-bye, and suggested reading assignments the handbook will have at least some pages that will assist any search committee in its process. One early question for the church without a pastor is, “Who can lead us in this time of transition?” It may be that another staff member or other church members can provide this pastoral leadership in the transitional time period. If the search process appears to require more than three months or if the previous pastor was in place for a long term, the church would be wise to secure the services of an interim or transitional pastor. The interim or transitional pastor may then serve as a sounding board or consultant to the pastor search committee while ensuring ongoing ministry within the larger work of the congregation. Even in transitional stages the broader ministry of the church must continue. Transitional or interim pastors lead churches to move from one pastor to another regardless of the reasons for being without a pastor. They help churches bring closure to one era of pastoral leadership and prepare for the launch of a new chapter in the life of the church. Only in rare cases or unusual circumstances will the transitional or interim pastor be considered for the permanent position as pastor. The work of the committee will be guided by the constitution and bylaws and/or the policies and procedures of the church. These should be studied carefully by the congregation and the search committee to establish a framework for the committee’s work. The committee must remember that its purpose is to assist the church in finding the pastor God has called to the church. 32

The congregation at large must remember that the inner workings of that process have been assigned to a select committee and not to a committee of the whole. This means that most of the work of the committee will be carried out in quiet, private and confidential settings. Search team members will want to report their general progress (“We are now conducting interviews.”) without violating the confidential nature of their work (“We are now interviewing Pastor John Doe.”) In General Baptist church polity the ultimate decision-making authority rests with the church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Generally the guidance of the Holy Spirit is seen when the church expresses a consensus of opinion or at least a super-majority approval of the pastor recommended by the search team. The successful search committee will spend much time in prayer seeking God’s will. Only the Lord can guide the committee perfectly to find God’s man to lead God’s church. The search process can never be seen as just a personnel selection process. Human reasoning can never be adequate for spiritual tasks. Regular praying by both the committee and the congregation helps keep the right spirit among the people and helps keep the right task before the search committee. In an earlier day search committees were labeled as pulpit committees. The implication of that label is that the way a person preached provided the determining factor in calling a pastor. In these days, however, the successful pastor search committee will not only evaluate preaching skills but also leadership and personal ministry skills. The search committee, once selected, should commit itself to • regular meetings. • a careful assessment of the church’s needs. • a careful search for candidates to review and interview prior to making a recommendation to the congregation. The pastor search process should plan for an interim period of at least three to six months. The pastor search team will be well served to utilize the services of General Baptist Ministries by posting the opening in the listing of open churches. This posting may be submitted on line or by downloading and mailing the open church form. The information from the sample form on the next page may also be submitted by mail or e-mail.

Church Openings Form for Staff Positions POSITION OPEN





Contact Person of Search Team NAME














The Following is Helpful for Prospective Pastors (











Return this form to: 100 Stinson DR. • Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Building Use and Marriage Definitions By Franklin R. Dumond Director of Congregational Ministries

The rapidly changing legal and social definitions of marriage have left many church leaders puzzled and anxious over how to manage the public use of their facilities. Similarly many pastors are concerned over whether they will be required to perform marriage ceremonies that are inconsistent with a biblical view of marriage. This has been a very rapid shift in legal and social behavior fueled by activist judges, self-interested politicians and an age of instant communication. Thus while less than five percent of the United States population considers itself gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or lesbian the public perception is that this small group is much, much larger. This dramatic shift in public morality and legal standing brings several issues to mind that require careful, prayerful attention from church leaders and pastors. Issue 1: The public use of privately owned facilities. Every church should have a well-developed, written policy, formally approved by congregational action that clearly states how its facilities can be used, who can use those facilities and what fee schedule is appropriate. A quick internet search will yield several sample policies of building use. The use of facilities should be tailored to reflect the church’s program of worship and ministry as well as the availability of someone to monitor or arrange outside use of the facilities. The primary use of the church’s facilities should always be specific to its worship and ministry otherwise the church building simply becomes a general purpose facility subject to public accommodation laws. The nature of fees charged for use of the facilities determines to some extent whether the facility is a public facility ready for hire or whether it is a private facility designed for specific uses. A fee schedule for use by non-members should probably best be designed to cover utility and cleaning costs rather than as rent. Requiring a cleaning or security deposit adequate to the nature of the building use is always a wise policy. Issue 2: Public requirements of access and opportunity. Public access and opportunity for admittance addressed by health and safety codes are very different from access based on moral or behavior requirements. A church that complies with building and fire codes is not required to provide unrestricted access to its facilities. Issue 3: Hate speech. Prevailing social norms regarding human sexuality and marriage are increasingly opposed to a biblical view of human sexuality and marriage. This conflict between social norms and biblical right and wrong has led many pastors and churches to make severe, harsh statements that sometimes are labeled hate speech. It is unfortunate that our pronouncements against sins have lost the genuine concern for people and their lostness. If they saw our tears they might better hear our words. Issue 4: Pastors as agents of the church not agents of the state. A justice of the peace or court official in one of the 16 states that currently authorize same-sex marriage by legislative action or by court decree will probably have no alternative but to act as an 34

agent of the state in performing those wedding ceremonies. The pastor, however, serves as an agent of the church and cannot be compelled to perform wedding ceremonies that are inconsistent with a biblical view of marriage. Issue 5: The real definition of Baptist. At the heart of this social quagmire we are faced with the real definition of Baptist that clearly distinguishes the church as independent of the state. Thus as Ed Stetzer wrote, “The Court decides what is legal and appropriate for a secular, civil government. Courts don’t determine biblical morality, and regardless of what government does, churches shouldn’t stop their mission.” Despite recent Supreme Court rulings General Baptist Ministries continues to affirm a view of marriage and sexuality as defined by the Scripture and as summarized in the Social Principles of General Baptists: We believe in the divine sanctity of the marriage covenant, which is the union between one man and one woman only. This is God’s plan for a continued moral civilization. We reject ‘marriage’ between two parties of the same sex and count such an act in violation of God’s ordained plan for human beings…Marriage is a partnership between husband and wife and accomplishes its full purpose through unity, loyalty, and love. (page 10) We recognize that sexuality is a good gift of God which, in all instances, is to be disciplined in such a manner as to bring two persons to its true fulfillment. We are to be good stewards of this divine gift. We believe that society as a whole has fallen far below God’s standards of sexual morality. We believe the Bible teaches that sexual relations should be practiced only within the marriage bond. (page 15) Executive Director Clint Cook states, “Neither courts, legislatures or a secular culture can alter eternal standards revealed by God himself. The recent Supreme Court rulings illustrate the mandate given to the Church to make disciples one at a time so that society at large may be changed. General Baptist Ministries will continue to pursue an aggressive plan for church planting to win more and more people to the faith. We will continue to coach and encourage local General Baptist churches to aggressively pursue evangelism and missions with the goal of life transformation that will in turn lead to social transformation. May God send us another Great Awakening to rescue our lost and dying culture.”

A simple building use policy might include something like:

ORM BUILDING USE F ch __ __ __ __ __ __ _ whi __ e th of n io ict sd ri ju fall under the finalized until Building use activities ent for building use is itm m m co o N es. iti cil ing fa nce. manages the use of build d and approved in adva ete pl m co en be s ha t en t em e or imply endorsemen the Building Use Agre ut tit ns co t no es do es the grounds and faciliti ust not Approval of the use of oved to use facilities m pr ap s up ro G . ns io sit ion, or their po o activities or of any group, their miss ment by the church. N rse do en y pl im to as ay such a w licies advertise the event in at conflicts with the po th s nd ou gr or gs in ild e within our bu ptists. advocacy may take plac sociation of General Ba As al er en G e th d an church and the practices of this

Date Sig nature


general baptist Making Disciples

For Christ

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Missions Departments Interim Appointments National and International Missions General Baptist Ministries is pleased to announce the appointment by Executive Director Clint Cook of a three-man team to oversee the ministry of National Missions throughout 2014. These experienced church planters (Carl Nichols, Brandon Petty and Vince Daniel) will “develop a holistic approach to church planting that includes assessment, funding, and coaching/training” while they also “recruit, train, and develop church planters to launch successful new church plants.” This most recent appointment now completes interim arrangements for both International Missions and National Missions made necessary by the resignation/ retirement of previous directors.

Leaders Advancing in Ministry Program (L.A.M.P.) LAMP has been developed out of a conviction that many people aware of the call of God to ministry prefer self-paced, non-traditional training. Lay ministers called of God within the context of the local church also need training to better live out that call. LAMP has been developed to meet these needs. LAMP also provides a continuing education option for those who have already obtained formal training. The rapid expansion of training options in this information age requires that this program be evaluated and updated periodically. New materials and new methods are regularly incorporated. Participants may also identify and suggest other organized training modules that accomplish the same targeted learning to customize the program to individual needs. LAMP has a built-in accountability factor through a mandatory mentoring program. Every enrollee is required to have a qualified mentor to assist him/her in the program. Written reports are then 36

The appointment of Jim and Sue Schremp as interim directors of International Missions was announced in November 2013. As with any interim assignment these interim arrangements will give careful attention to: • A thorough review of all management practices of both missions departments. • An intentional effort to shore up the financial base of the departments. • A systematic effort to communicate with both the missionaries/church planters in the field and the General Baptist constituency that so loyally supports denominational missions.

With interim arrangements in place, an ad hoc task force selected by the Executive Council will now begin its work to study the personnel needs of General Baptist Ministries and make recommendations to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will then work with the Personnel Committee and the Executive Council to make recommendations to the full Council. The Executive Director stated, “We are blessed to have willing, capable people to serve in this interim period so we will be able to make an unhurried, prayerful decision about these important issues. I would ask all General Baptists to please pray for the Task Force members as they begin their study process.”

reviewed through the LAMP Director’s office where a transcript is kept updated for each student. The leadership development process of LAMP involves three levels with a modest registration fee to cover part of the administrative costs of the program. • Level 100 consists of basic discipleship materials organized around the theme of Personal Leadership Development. • Level 200 consists of biblical studies and provides two options or tracks of study in this Biblical Leadership Development segment. Leadership Development 200 is a more advanced study designed to provide the student with a working knowledge of the Scripture. This level provides a deeper look at the Scripture through a Bible survey. Its purpose is to develop leadership skills and knowledge that can bring about productive ministry • Level 300 is particularly designed to be completed by those who are pursuing ordination to pastoral ministry but who prefer a self-paced, non-traditional training regimen. This section also requires ministry projects to coincide

with each course being studied. A variety of options are available for the student so that each student in consultation with his/her mentor may craft a well-rounded but personally tailored program of study. Pastoral Leadership Development 300 is a more intense and dedicated study for the student led of God into a more extensive work of ministry. This may or may not lead to ordination into pastoral ministry. It may also be used to sharpen one’s knowledge and ministry skills to serve in one of the many ministries of the local church. LAMP aims to partner with the General Baptist churches by providing a leadership development and training program to equip church members for productive ministry while also partnering with presbyteries/ordaining councils by providing ministerial training for those who prefer a self-paced, non-traditional course of study. In 2014 Next Level Coaching and Summit training will be eligible for LAMP credit. For additional information go to www. and see the downloads page or call General Baptist Ministries at 573-785-7746.

L.A.M.P. Enrollment Form Date: Name:

Date of Birth:

Address: City:


Telephone: home |

cell |


Email Address: Ordained Minister


Lay Person

Licensed Minister (LAMP required for ordination) Licensed Minister (Not required to complete LAMP) Church: Association: I have read and accept the Mentoring agreement.

Initial by Student

Mentor: Mentor’s Address: City: I have read and accept the Mentoring agreement.

Initial by Mentor

Entry Level:   [ ] LD100  [ ] LD200  [ ] PLD 300  [ ] OCU Fee Schedule:     $25.00   $50.00   $75.00 Please Make checks payable to: General Baptist Ministries 100 Stinson Drive Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Please order books from Stinson Press, mail order department. Phone: 800.521.0354 | If it is convenient you may pick them up at OCU Bookstore, Oakland City, IN. All books purchased through these outlets will be substantially discounted.

Meet the Schremps Jim and Sue Schremp are certainly no strangers to General Baptists. Pastor Jim served churches in Southeast Missouri for 52 years leading to his retirement in December, 2011. Retirement didn’t “take”, however and in 2012 he came out of retirement to serve as Interim Pastor at Agee Fellowship Church near Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Pastor Jim also served General Baptists as clerk of the General Association and a member of the Council of Associations. Miss Sue spent most of her professional career serving in a variety of capacities at General Baptist Ministries in Poplar Bluff. She served as an associate director for General Baptist International Missions prior to reorganization in 1996 and later served as a senior administrative assistant for International Missions before retiring to a part time position in 2008. Retirement and part time status ended abruptly on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 when the recommendation of Executive Director Clint Cook was affirmed by the Personnel Committee naming Jim and Sue Schremp as interim directors of International Missions. So as Sean Warren vacated his office in his transition to a new position in Arizona, the Schremps moved in to begin this new assignment. Miss Sue was overheard to say, “We’ve done a lot of things together over the years but we’ve never shared the same workspace before.” Jim Schremp came to faith in Christ when he was 12 years old and thanks to a romantic attachment to Sue he came to General Baptists a few years later. A major influence in his Christian walk has been the mentoring relationship he enjoyed with Dr. Kenneth Kennedy and Dr. Ora Johnson. Dr. Kennedy served as Executive Director for General Baptists as well as missionary to the Philippines and local church 38

pastor. His legacy for Jim Schremp is one of long term encouragement. As part of his ordination Dr. Kennedy continued to invest in Jim across the years by taking a personal interest in his ministry and by encouraging his further training. Dr. Ora Johnson served as Director of Evangelism and as Sue Schremp was his administrative assistant, he quickly came into contact with Jim Schremp. Dr. Johnson helped ignite Jim’s love for books and took him along to conferences and training opportunities. Sue Schremp came to faith in Christ at age 15 following the example of her parents who were “devout Christian people who lived what they believed.” As charter members of the Oak Hill General Baptist Church they later served alongside their young pastor who was also their son-in-law. Jim Schremp served as pastor of Oak Hill Church for 20 years. As with any interim assignment the Schremps will give careful attention to •  A thorough review of all management practices of   the International Missions Department. •  An intentional effort to shore up the financial base   of the department. •  A systematic effort to communicate with both the   missionaries in the field and the General Baptist   constituency that so loyally supports overseas missions. Looking ahead to the task Pastor Jim remarked, “We can’t do this on our own, but we serve a big God.” Executive Director Clint Cook always reminds us that the Great Commission is not optional. He also adds, “The appointment of Jim and Sue Schremp as Interim Directors of General Baptist International Missions will help General Baptists do their part to make the Great Commission a reality.”

Typhoon Relief Update By Joshua and Patricia Hammond Mindanao, Philippines

“This is the end of the world! God please help us!” read the large words painted on the side of a building. Death, devastation and desperation gripped this small country once again with a ferocity never seen before in recorded history. Typhoon Yolanda lashed parts of the Eastern Visaayas in the Philippines last November. Today, two months after Yolanda we drove through one of the worst affected areas, Tacloban City.   I have seen the aftermath of several natural disasters from a monster cyclone in Myanmar, tornadoes in the US, and a tsunami in Thailand, but nothing prepared me for what I saw here today. As far as the eye could see, for miles and miles in all directions, there was nothing but the mangled remains of great steel buildings, cement slabs where strong concrete homes and businesses once stood, and mountains of burning trash and once cherished personal belongings. It looked like an apocalyptic scene. In one day thousands of lives where extinguished but grief would not be the worst for those who survived the wind and rising waters. Surviving the days that followed without food, water or a way out was difficult. The emergency response was slow because no one was prepared for devastation of this magnitude. Once help started to arrive it was greeted by wild violence as mobs of people did whatever they could to get supplies for themselves and their families. Law and order has now been restored and the emergency help is making a difference.   All around this desperate landscape there are reminders of the reality we all live in if we could only see the spiritual landscape in the hearts of those around us. Without Christ there is the devastation of the storm of sin. Billions of people are experiencing the same desperation waiting for someone to come with the life giving water of the Gospel. We must not delay. That is why we are here, to help train the next generation of spiritual rescue workers. Together we will continue to take the gospel to lands and people who have yet to know of the rescuer. 39

General Baptist Pension Trust What it is, and why YOU should be a part of it

{what} General Baptist Pension Trust was established in 1968 as a vehicle to provide retirement benefits to employees of General Baptist churches as well as employees of denominational and institutional ministries. The Pension Trust is an IRS Section 401(a) money purchase plan whereby the employer contributes 5% of the participant’s salary on a pre-tax basis and the employee contributes a minimum of 2% on an after-tax basis. The employee can contribute a maximum of 20% of their salary. All contributions are fully vested upon entry, so your money is protected. Participants also have the opportunity to select their own portfolio mix through American Funds. Currently nearly 30 mutual funds are available.



This retirement program is available to all General Baptist pastors, church staff, missionaries, church planters, and employees of de- nominational ministries.

The trust operates at a minimal administrative expense, but a professional advisor is available to assist you with investment options. Sharon Kissinger of Kissinger & Kirkman In- vestment Centre, LLC is always ready to answer questions and discuss the possibilities with you so you can make informed decisions about your future.

General Baptist Ministries’ retirement plan offers a benefit that no other retirement planning tool can. Pastors may designate up to 100% of their pension benefit as housing allowance upon distribution. No federal income tax is due on the portion of your pension you designate as housing.



Head to our website {} and download the Pension Program Participant Contribution Form

For More Information Call: 573.785.7746 -or- Visit: Write: General Baptist Minstries | 100 Stinson Drive | Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

Making Disciples


For Christ

5K Run for Missions Melinda Sams

On December 28, 2011, God told me to have a 5K Run. I laughed out loud and then giggled at the unusual and wonderful instruction. By the time I got home from that evening jog, my mind was full of dreams and plans. God also told me that 5K Run is that it is to be “all about prayer.” Trying to follow God’s direction, each year a team of people has prayed for each runner by bib number and then by name, once registered. Registration forms encourage runners to provide their prayer requests. The prayer team prays for each person for the seven weeks leading up to the run. A Bible is put in each race bag with information regarding salvation and the address of a trusted website to find out more about Jesus. Each race bag contains a card from a member of the prayer team reminding the runner/walker that “we’ve been praying for you.” There were approximately 35 groups, organizations, and individuals who supported and sponsored the first 5K Run for Missions on October 13, 2012. On top of that, we had a team of 48 local people and 29 students at Faith Home, Honduras praying for the runners. That made 77 people PRAYING

for the run and our runners. We raised enough money to cover all the event costs and give $1,000 to the Dorcas Sewing Center ministry of our General Baptist Churches in India. Dorcas Sewing Centers train impoverished women to be seamstresses. The centers run on a regular basis and have trained over 1000 women in the past six years. When training is completed, students take their sewing machines home. What a blessing to learn a trade and to have the tools to practice it! The Second 5K Run for Missions on September 21, 2013 was also a success. We went from 43 to 60 runners and exceeded the proceeds of the year before. The October 11, 2014 5K will be presented as a competition between churches. The team or church with the most finishers (running or walking) wins a large trophy! The goal this year is $2,000 as net proceeds for missions. The 5K Run for Missions is about more than fundraising. It is a tool God can use to change us at the First General Baptist Church in Oakland City, to change the lives of the runners, and to support amazing ministries within the denomination. Consider making the 5K Run for Missions on October 11, 2014 a Youth Group or Sunday School Class event. Will Your Team take home the prize? For more information go to

Well Appointed Patti Thornton Director of Women’s Ministries

A well-appointed house is one that interior decorators would consider to be appropriately adorned and thoroughly equipped. A well-appointed Mission One Team is one whose members have each found themselves staring at the pointing finger of the Holy Spirit. They may not have heard an audible voice, but each of the women who sacrificially and obediently sent off their passports for Indian Visas have unique stories to tell about the time they heard, in one way or another, “You there…I want you in India in October.” There are not enough pages in this publication to tell all of their stories, but you will want to hear them. Consider inviting a 2013 Women’s Ministries Mission One Team member to share her experiences with you. One of our ministry goals was to bridge a connection to and form relationships with the hard-working, Jesus-lifting people in a new group of General Baptist churches whose members risk everything to worship together. You may not have been appointed to travel to India, but you are appointed to love and pray for our brothers and sisters there who need you to have their backs. It wasn’t until August that most of the seven-member, all female team was formed. We were just in time for visas and short on time for fundraising. But God is never late, and we found ourselves fully equipped and well-appointed to encourage, provide, teach, and learn as much as we could in a 10-day window of time. I think we absorbed more in those few days than any of us are able to “process” at any one time. The experiPictured Right is the ence will color the way we Women’s Ministries India Team see our world for the rest of (from left to right) Tina Beliles, Greenville, KY; our days. Patti Thornton, Poplar Bluff, MO; Five of the Women’s Christine Sills Hohler, Evansville, IN; Ministries India team Billie Galyan, Greenville, KY; share below a tiny slice Melinda Sams, Oakland City, IN; Nissey Vemula, Siddipet, IN; of their 10 day encounNicole Yeomans, Greenville, KY; ter with the people of Kristin Mitchell, Greenville, KY. Siddipet, India. Not one of them mentions the bucket showers or being guarded at all times. Isn’t it amazing how inconveniences pale in comparison to the work of God? “It was such an honor to go to our brothers and sisters in India and serve them. What a joy to pray with precious individuals who, for the first time in most cases, heard, “Jesus loves you.” Jesus loves you enough to heal you completely and fully, to visit you and touch you in person. I was so impressed by especially the women, most of whom are deemed “untouchable” by society, and their response to being prayed for, hugged, kissed, and simply loved. The good news is powerful—Jesus is the ointment to all our ragged souls. This picture conveys that for me. The girl being prayed over is Hindu, her friend is concerned for her, our team prays—may she and her friend know and remember how much You love them, Lord. Praise God! He is our Deliverer!” Mary (left) and Ruth (right) are young - Billie Galyan, women who have dedicated themGreenville, KY

selves to serving the One, True God. In a land where gods are everywhere, these women chose Jesus.


“Our team is wearing newly tailored Chudidar’s with our host sister Nissey. I did not know what to expect traveling half way around the world to India with six other women. It was an amazing bonding experience. I expected to “help” spread the gospel to the Indian people, but in doing so, the people I encountered and my new found friends helped me transform my own life and deepen my spiritual walk with the Lord.” - Christine Sils Hohler, Evansville, IN

“As we entered the church, we were asked to remove our shoes and to cover our heads. Soon after we entered, we learned the church we were standing in had been destroyed seven times by people who were against the name of Jesus. Soon it was time for me to tell the story the team had chosen for me to share, and a large group of Hindu children flooded the building. They were on their lunch break, and I nearly lost my breath at the magnitude of what was at stake. I knew this was a small window of opportunity, and I could either stand there or cry, or I could tell


the story. I told the parable of the Little Lost Lamb, and I told the children that Jesus loves them. I told the children that God was looking for them, and that God wanted them to be found, so that he could hold them. When I would look into the children’s eyes, they were mesmerized over this story and this God that loved them enough to search for them. When I would look at them, I would become so burdened for these children. Then, just like that, the story was over, and the children were gone. Their lunch was over, and they had to go back to class. The window of opportunity was closed. I believe God arranged a divine appointment for me to tell the Hindu children the story of the Little Lost Lamb. I just pray that somehow while in India, our team did what we were supposed to do to “plant a seed” and others will follow behind us to water the garden.” - Kristin Mitchell, Greenville, KY

“Mary is about twenty years old and is extremely shy. She teaches scripture and praise songs to the orphaned children who live in the church, which is over the Vemula family home. The children performed song after song and quoted many scriptures. Mary’s lips moved to the words, and she prompted gently when the children struggled with the next part of their Bible verse. Mary is so shy and humble that she could not take any praise; she covered her smile with her hands and turned her head away whenever we clapped or cheered for her and the children. Ruth has been through more in her young life than I may ever

know in all my years. She is a treasure. When Ruth’s husband died, she and her children were left alone with no support In the Indian caste system, Christians and orphans are “untouchables;” Ruth’s family is untouchable on both counts. They would have been homeless if it had not been for the church. Ruth and her three small children live in the church with the orphans. Ruth humbly serves in the Vemula family home—cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.—and she looks after the orphans in the church. God’s love and truth is being revealed through every verse, story, and song Mary teaches and through every act of gentle and humble service Ruth performs. These women are the hands and feet of Jesus, and they are an inspiration to me.” - Melinda Sams, Oakland City, IN

“I loved seeing the ladies’ faces light up as they experienced India for the first time! India has such a unique and beautiful culture, but there is a HUGE need for the Gospel. With a population of 1.2 Billion people, only 2.2% are evangelical Christians. 90% of the population is still considered “unreached” with the Gospel. One of the things that I am very excited about it with the GB ministry in India is the Timothy Initiative and partnerships with other church-planting organizations. The Timothy Initiative is a 10 month Bible training program where participants are required to start a church in order to graduate. The ministry in Siddipet already has 35 people signed up and another 25 waiting to go through the program once it starts. That’s 60 people, which equals 60 new churches once they complete the program! This is HUGE!! Some of the pastors are currently pastoring two, three, and four churches. We met many people who had to walk several miles to get to church because there was no church in their village. What dedication! It is my prayer that there will be a church, whether it be an independent

building or a home church, in every village in India and I’m so excited that General Baptists have a chance to partner in this!” - Nicole Yeomans, Greenville, KY

So there you have it – a taste of these mission-hearted ladies’ rich, passionate stories. These stories didn’t come without cost, and these paragraphs don’t even begin to describe “the calling” that each of the women experienced before they first stepped on Indian soil. The miracles that took place were part of the equipping package. As is always the case, His miraculous work gave birth to miraculous faith and miraculous ministry. Thank you, Nicole, Tina, Kristin, Melinda, Christina, and Billie for equipping your hearts. Thank you for being part of this team that equipped General Baptist leaders in Siddipet for ministry beyond their expectations. You were unquestionably well appointed.

Mary is a seamstress who desired to teach sewing to other women who have no means of supporting themselves. These women are at high risk in this area known for human trafficking. She could not have known that we would come with start-up money for new Dorcas Sewing Centers. God works in wondrous ways! 45


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2013 Winter Messenger  
2013 Winter Messenger  

Highlights include articles from and about the General Baptist institution for higher learning - Oakland City University.