JUNE 2022
In this edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: Why?
  • It’s VBS Season!!!!!!
Around the Dakotas:
  • Spring tornados damage Huron churches
  • Calvin & Carol Jones retire after decades of service in the Dakotas
  • Evangelism grants available to DBC churches
  • Badlands Association hosts 25th annual women’s retreat
  • Mercy Gate in Box Elder sees evangelism and discipling victories
  • CP Ambassadors to meet on Zoom on June 21
  • Dakotas CP Ambassadors strategy to be highlighted at Anaheim
  • Online Youth Camp registration is open
Celebrating Church Planting... Dakotas style:
  1. Celebrating what God is doing in Piedmont
  2. Getting involved in church planting
  • Safety and Security Thoughts (Part 2) Trigger Talk
Around the SBC:
  • IMB: 2021 stats highlight faithfulness of IMB missionaries, partners
  • Baptist Press: Executive Committee sets up hotline for abuse claims
  • CP story: Joe Brewster
NOTE: The DBC Youth Camp is June 6-10. The theme is “Real Love.” This month’s devotional is the first in a series of devotionals through 1 Corinthians 13 that Dr. MacDonald prepared for the adult leaders as they spiritually prepare for camp. Please pray for our youth and their adult leaders prior to and during the week of camp. If you would like the entire set of devotionals, you can request a free copy at fred@dakotabaptist.com


Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:26-31

One of the most important questions to ask when trying to understand a passage of Scripture is, “Why?” In the world of his original readers, why did the Spirit-inspired author pen those words? A common mistake we make as we approach God’s Word is to jump immediately to the 21st century as we seek to explain and apply it to our lives. While we may occasionally stumble onto a few useful life nuggets this way, we will almost always miss God’s intended point. Worse, it reduces the Bible to the level of Aesop’s Fables and can lead to disastrous consequences. 

So, go ahead. Ask the question. Why did Paul write 1 Corinthians 13? First, we need to dispel the biggest myth surrounding this chapter. While there is good application for couples, it was NOT written as a romantic passage. We sometimes act like Paul got to the end of chapter twelve, then thought, “Oops! Valentine’s Day is next week. I better insert something for the loving couples of Corinth.” Then, he simply resumed his thought in chapter fourteen.

Nothing could more miss the point. Paul was writing to a church with deep problems.

God’s gifts were being abused. Some were guilty of spiritual arrogance concerning their spiritual gifts, while others suffered from spiritual anemia, thinking, “I can’t do anything for God” (12:14-17). Many were engaged in spiritual anarchy: “I don’t care what anybody else thinks, I’ll do my thing, in my way, and my time” (14:26-33).

God’s people were being abused. They quarreled over who had the best spiritual connections (1:11-17; 3:1-9). Spiritual conflicts were being settled in godless courts, by godless judges, who had a godless worldview (6:1-8). The poor were being pushed aside in the name of the Lord’s Supper (11:17-22). 

God’s standards were being abused. This was their biggest problem. Rampant sin was not only tolerated at First Church Corinth . . . it was celebrated (5:1-8). They were putting up with things that would make the world blush.

Paul’s solution, what he called “a still more excellent way,” was a revival of love as a recipe for godly worship and conduct. Just as Jesus commanded the Ephesians to return to their “first love” (Rev. 2:4-5), Paul challenged his friends to restore real godly love at the heart of who they were and what they did. 

In other words, 1 Corinthians 13 was not a commercial break from his thoughts; it was the centerpiece of Paul’s letter. It was not a gentle pause in a critique of a church gone rogue; it was their only pathway back to the One who had taught them to love.
It’s VBS Season!!!!!!

by Karen Holmes

Hello Dakota Baptists. For most of you, I think this is the end of the school year. And with that, comes the beginning of VBS SEASON!

Over the next few months, many of our Dakota Baptist churches will have Vacation Bible School. Either your church will lead, or you may have a mission team or two coming to handle that for you. I wanted to remind you of a few things as we get into this season:

  • Be sure your church is involved. When we have mission teams come to help us with Vacation Bible School, there is a temptation to leave it all to them. Our churches should be there, getting to know the kids, and their families. Even if the team has planned everything, your church should have folks there to help. Sit in the groups with the kids. Provide the snacks. BE IN CHARGE OF THE REGISTRATION. Don’t leave everything to the team. They are coming to your church to help you. To assist your church in reaching your town.
  • Remember, no church is too small to conduct a Vacation Bible School. At our church in Wolsey, we have six workers this year. Any size church can host a VBS and make it work.
  • Be sure your church is excited. Those of you who are in the VBS leadership of your church should be the biggest cheerleaders! Let your excitement be contagious. If you are excited, your church will be excited.  
Spring tornados damage Huron churches

Two DBC churches experienced extensive damage in a series of tornados that swept across eastern South Dakota last month. Huron Baptist Church and Western Way Cowboy Church, both in Huron, SD, were in the path of one of the tornados and had damage to their roof and other parts of the building. The largest outbuilding for Western Way was also destroyed.

Both churches have had clean up days and are now waiting on insurance adjusters to assess the full extent of the damage. 
Calvin & Carol Jones retire after decades of service in the Dakotas

Calvin and Carol Jones announced to their congregation at Cornerstone Baptist in Mitchell, SD that they are retiring. Prior to serving at Cornerstone, the Jones’ started First Southern Baptist Church in Gregory, SD and New Hope Chapel in Lead, SD. They also served twice at First Baptist in Miller, SD and at Bethel Baptist in Wakonda, SD.

Calvin started preaching at the age of 16. He preached his first sermon on Mother’s Day in 1965. A year later he was ordained to the gospel ministry. Originally from Texas, Calvin and Carol served churches in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma before coming to the Dakotas.

The Jones’ recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. Their last service at Mitchell will be on Sunday, June 26. They will then return to Miller, SD.
Evangelism grants available to DBC churches

by Chad McCord

The weather is warming up and the folks in your neighborhoods and communities are getting out. This is the perfect time for your church to meet your community with the gospel. The DBC has received evangelism funds through our partnership with the North American Mission Board to provide grants for churches to be on mission to win the lost to Christ. To request a grant, click this link: https://dakotabaptist.com/general-request-form/ and complete the form.

The one requirement for these funds is that you intentionally present the gospel through your event and call on the lost to, in the words of Jesus, "repent and believe the gospel." The request form has a place for you to indicate how your event will engage people with the gospel. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at chad@dakotabaptist.com

Chad McCord is an associate pastor at Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD, and a Church Relations Missionary for the DBC.
Badlands Association hosts 25th annual women’s retreat

The 25th Anniversary Celebration for the Badlands Baptist Ladies Retreat was held April 29-30. There were 48 in attendance, with five women from Pensacola, Florida attending. First Baptist Church in Pensacola has sent speakers for nineteen years with some of the women coming multiple times. Lillian Vickery said, “We do have a great relationship that has grown over the years.” The speaker this year was Sonya Bryant. She spoke on “Women of the Bible.”

Over the quarter century this event has taken place, it has only been cancelled once. That was in 2019 when the Covid pandemic hit. In 2011 a blizzard forced the women to extend their stay at the retreat by one night. 

Vickery said, “The women are always excited to meet and see friends that they only see at the retreat.” While the event is sponsored by Badlands Association, she pointed out, “We reach many on the western side of North Dakota, but any lady will be welcome. We have Bible Studies, singing, sharing and fellowship time and two catered meals.”

Next year’s retreat will be April 28-29, 2023.
Mercy Gate in Box Elder sees evangelism and discipling victories

In the months leading up to and the weeks since their launch, Mercy Gate Church in Box Elder, SD has seen some exciting victories. Four women graduated from the plant’s 14-week discipleship program last April. Two more classes as well as a men’s discipleship and spiritual growth class began in May.

Mercy Gate pastor Andy Daniel reported that they will be launching their Phase-2 class soon. He said, “Our Phase-2 class is six months long. It is a more in-depth and inductive discipleship class.” Their goal, according to Daniel is to, “give each person a year-long structured discipleship program to strengthen their faith and grow them spiritually in their Christian walk.”

The new congregation saw three new believers give testimony of their faith by being baptized last January. In the days since their official launch on Easter, two more have received Christ as Lord and Savior. Pastor Daniel said, “there are more baptisms coming!"
CP Ambassadors to meet on Zoom on June 21

The next CP Ambassadors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, at 10:00 a.m. (Mountain Time). The CP Ambassadors are members from the churches of the DBC who are interested in learning more about the cooperative work that is being done across the Dakotas and around the world. 

So far, ten DBC churches have designated an ambassador for their church. Each time the ambassadors meet they learn new ways the name of Jesus is being carried around the world that they can share with their church. The churches that have a CP Ambassador are: Restore Church (Yankton, SD), Black Hills Baptist (Whitewood, SD), Connection Church (Sturgis. SD), Dakota Baptist Church (Fort Totten, ND), Journey Church (Fargo, ND), Huron Baptist (Huron, SD), First Baptist (Sisseton, SD), First Baptist (Wolsey, SD), Western Way Baptist (Huron, SD), and Cornerstone Baptist (Mitchell, SD).

In the June meeting, the Ambassadors will receive a report on the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim. Discussion will focus on key issues dealt with in the meeting, especially those that relate to the Cooperative Program and Southern Baptist efforts to take the gospel around the world.

If your church would like to designate a CP Ambassador, send their name, email address, and phone number to Fred MacDonald at fred@dakotabaptist.com. They will receive an invitation and Zoom link so that they can join the next meeting. CP Ambassador Zoom meetings are open to anyone that would like to participate. If you would like to sit in on the May meeting, email Fred and he will send you the link.
Dakotas CP Ambassadors strategy to be highlighted at Anaheim

The CP Ambassador strategy that Dakota Baptists implemented in January will be highlighted at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim this month. DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald will be one of five state convention leaders sharing how churches in their state are promoting the Cooperative Program with the use of local church CP Ambassadors.

MacDonald, along with the other leaders, will be interviewed on the CP Stage on Tuesday morning during the week of the annual meeting. The other participants will be Doug Rogers of Alabama, Chris Forbes of Oklahoma, Matt Tullos of Tennessee, and Scott Morie of Oklahoma.

The CP Ambassador strategy was introduced last year by Executive Committee Vice President Willie McLaurin. He is also serving as the EC’s interim president. McLaurin presented ideas and suggestions to state leaders and encouraged them to develop a personalized strategy that fit their context. The goal is to equip individuals in local churches with training, resources, and encouragement about state, national, and world evangelism efforts by Southern Baptists to share within their own congregation. So far, the Dakotas is one of about five or six states to implement a statewide strategy. Several others are in the development stages.

The program will be live streamed on Tuesday, June 14, at 8:00 a.m. (Pacific Time). Information on viewing the interview can be found at https://sbcannualmeeting.net/.
Online Youth Camp registration is open

The annual Dakota Baptist youth camp is June 6-10 at Crystal Springs Campground in eastern North Dakota. This year’s theme is “Real Love.” Richard and Cheryl Hardy from Harleton, TX will return to lead the Bible times. A few years ago the Hardys led teams from their church in Texas to help with the camp over several years. Chris Wallace, pastor at Hope City Church in Bismarck, ND will lead worship. 

The camp will focus on helping teens understand what real biblical love is. The theme verse is 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Registration and more information for both youth and adult leaders can be found at the DBC website. Adult leaders are required to go through the online Ministry Safe training. The registration fee is $ $210. Youth camp is open to all young people currently in grades 7 through 12.
“Celebrating Church Planting . . . Dakotas Style!” is a monthly celebration of what God is doing around the Dakotas through our new work. Each month’s feature will have two parts. The first is an article on one of the newer churches in the Dakotas. The second is one of the fourteen ways that you and your church can be involved in church planting along with an implementation suggestion. You can find all fourteen of the ways listed under the “Resources” link at www.dakotabaptist.com. Help us celebrate the new things God is doing across North and South Dakota.
1) Celebrating what God is doing in Piedmont

Redemption Church: Paul & Michelle Betts

Paul, Michelle, and Rebekah Betts moved to Piedmont in January 2022 to plant Redemption Church. Paul and Michelle have been married for 26 years and adopted Rebekah while living in China in 2015.

Redemption Church was chosen as the name for our church plant in Piedmont because the Bible declares God’s story of redemption. The Old Testament is the historical account of human rebellion and God’s redemption as He called people into a relationship with Himself and then used the story of their lives to accomplish His story of redemption for a sinful and rebellious world. The New Testament details how the story of redemption found only in Christ was taken to the ends of the earth so sinful humans could have their sins forgiven and be granted eternal life by God’s grace and mercy. 

We have started a weekly Bible study in our home on Sunday night. We are studying the Bible in 14 Eras to give our people an overview of the story of God’s redemption. So far, we have one couple attending. Please pray we would make connections with more people in our community and for Bible study attendance to grow.

We have several teams coming this summer to work on our building, to host a VBS, and to canvas nearby neighborhoods. Please pray for safety, unity, and changed lives.

NOTE: You can contact Paul & Michelle Betts at betts.paul6987@gmail.com.
2) 14 Ways to be Involved in Church Planting . . . Dakotas Style!

Way #4. Provide materials and equipment: Your church may be able to help them procure teaching/evangelism/VBS materials. You may be able to help them with gifts of sound equipment/computers/ TVs/nursery items, etc.

Implementation Suggestion: Contact one of our church planters. Ask them for a list of the kinds of materials, equipment, and other resources they need. Perhaps present this list to your church as a “New Work Registry” over a month’s period. Encourage Sunday School classes, small groups, mission organizations, and/or individuals to sign up for and obtain the items on the list. After the items have been collected, invite the planter and his wife to come to a service (or maybe send a delegation on a Sunday morning to the church plant) to present these items.
“To see all 14 ways to be involved in church planting in the Dakotas, use this QR code or go to the DBC website and click on the Church Planting link in the Resources section.”
Safety and Security Thoughts (Part 2) Trigger Talk

by Everett Hornbostel, Church Relations Missionary

I was about six years old when I first saw my dad’s medal. He served in the Marine Corps in the late 70s and very early 80s. This medal was awesome in my eyes. My dad was a sharpshooter in the Marines! 

It wasn’t long after seeing this medal for the first time that dad put a rifle in my hands. He taught me how to safely handle it, how it functioned and how to safely operate it. This included understanding the backdrop. He taught me that it is always important to know what is behind your target. A major aspect of this understanding of backdrop included how far a bullet can typically travel. What will you hit if you a) miss or b) the bullet goes through your target and continues?

A couple years later, I had the opportunity to take a hunter safety course that was put on by the Missouri Conservation Department. The education provided in this course reinforced the backdrop understanding my dad taught me. Fifth grade would be the last time anyone spoke to me about backdrop for almost 30 years. 

Missouri became a Constitutional Carry state sometime around 2017. This meant, like in South Dakota, a person could conceal carry a firearm without a permit. There were obvious restrictions to constitutional carry, and some locations required a permit to be able to carry. This led to several people purchasing handguns and a concealment holster. They may have never operated a weapon like this before. All they knew what “I can carry a weapon without paying for a class and a permit!” Some never read the law involved or simply didn’t fully understand it. 
2021 stats highlight faithfulness of IMB missionaries

The International Mission Board has made the full 2021 Annual Statistical Report (ASR) available to the public. IMB trustees were presented the report during their board meeting on May 18-19 in Orlando, Florida. The ASR reports that the number of ...

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Executive Committee sets up hotline for abuse claims |...

NASHVILLE (BP) - A hotline has been established to allow those affected by sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches. The number is 202-864-5578. According to the joint statement from the SBC Executive Committee, Guidepost Solutions and the...

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*click image above to link to CP story with powerpoint image download