Dakota Happenings

DBC Monthly Newsletter | February 2023

Dr. Mac's Minute:

What Will You Do?

Passage: Proverbs 24:10-12

Focus: “Deliver those who are being taken away to death..." (v.11)

Since 2008, John Quinones has hosted a T.V. series, “What Would You Do?” It creates real-life scenarios involving people in need or danger to see how passersby will react. Will they stop to help? Will they speak up for what is right? Or . . . will they just go on their way as if they see nothing. The people in need are only actors, but the show shines a light on the different ways we respond to others.

What causes good people to remain silent? Fear? Laziness? Indifference? Solomon had another word for it . . . SIN! The Bible teaches God’s people to defend the defenseless and oppressed. “If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited. Rescue those being taken off to death and save those stumbling toward slaughter” (Prov. 24:10-11).

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Dakota News

Dakota Churches Provide Strong Support to Cooperative Work in 2022

The final giving figures are in for 2022 and, once again, the churches of North and South Dakota showed a strong commitment to the cooperative work of Southern Baptists here in the Dakotas and around the world. The churches came within $250 of reaching the Cooperative Program target and passed the Baker State Missions goal by over $3,000.

The 2022 CP goal was $428,400. The final receipts totaled $428,150.08. The Baker goal was $40,000 and DBC churches gave $43,208.77. This was the second consecutive year and the third year in the last four that the Baker goal was reached. The 2023 CP target is $435,000. The 2023 Baker goal is $45,000.

DBC Youth to explore

“The Big Life” at camp this summer

The 2023 annual DBC youth camp is June 5-9 at Crystal Springs Baptist Camp in Medina, ND.

The theme for the 2023 camp is “The Big Life.” The main passage is John 10:10, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Camp director Joe Savery said, “All too often we think about the ‘do not’s’ of our faith, but what if we spent a week thinking about the BIG LIFE that God offers us through His Son?”

Camp pastor will be DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald. Worship will be led by Ashton Rohn. Rohn is the worship leader at Connection Church in Belle Fourche.

The camp is open to students in grades 7-12. The cost of camp is $230 before March 1. After that it is $250. May 1 is the deadline if students want to be guaranteed a t-shirt. Final cut off is May 19.

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DBC Hosts Two Evangelism Workshops in April

The DBC is sponsoring two evangelism workshops in different parts of the Dakotas this April. The two events will be in Rapid City, SD and Fargo, ND. The theme for both workshops is “What is the Gospel?” and will feature large group sessions as well as breakouts for men and women.

The first workshop will be April 20-22 at Hills of Grace Fellowship, 330 E. Anamosa in Rapid City. The main speaker for this workshop will be Shawn Parker, the Executive Director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Mona McDonald from Scottsdale, AZ, will lead the women’s sessions. McDonald serves at the Sun Lakes Community Church in Sun Lakes, AZ, where her husband Mitch is pastor. The men’s breakout sessions will be led by Garvon Golden, Matt Hadden, Steve Ford, and Fred MacDonald.

The second workshop will be April 27-29 at Journey Church, 2801 Broadway, N., in Fargo. The main speaker for the Fargo workshop will be J. J. Washington. Washington is the national director of personal evangelism for NAMB. Catherine Renfro, also with NAMB, will return to the Dakotas to lead the women’s sessions. She led these sessions at last year’s workshop in Huron. The men’s breakout sessions will be led by George Crawley, John Flowers, Jeff Robison, and Fred MacDonald.

All DBC pastors and wives are invited to attend. Each pastor is also invited to bring up to three church leaders and spouses. Each workshop will begin with supper on Thursday and conclude with lunch on Saturday. Two nights of hotel rooms will be provided for those coming from out of town. All meals during the workshops will also be provided.

Registrations can be made online at https://dakotabaptist.com/2023-evangelism-retreat/

Shawn Parker

J.J. Washington

Thoughts on a New Year

by Alysia McCord

One great gift God has given us in the new year is purpose. He has a plan for all the peoples He has created, and He has revealed to us His plan in the Scripture. From the call to Abraham in Genesis that promised he would be a blessing to all people, to the vision of people from every tribe and language worshipping in Revelation, Scripture is filled with the recurring theme of God’s heart for each one of us. 

As we enter a new year, I thought I’d share a few of the facts and stats about the world right now, that might help us see how we can be a part of sharing His glory among the nations.

  • As it stands right now, North Americans spend about the same on Halloween costumes for their pets as we do for outreach to the unreached peoples of the world.1

facts and stats continued...

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Seeking for a Southern Baptist Bi-Vocational Pastor to service in central South Dakota at a smaller country church. Calvary Baptist Church is in Blunt which is a friendly country church that makes you feel like your home. Please send resumes to jeebb@venturecomm.net attention Jaylene Fanger.

“To go out into the community and beyond” this is Calvary Baptist Church's mission statement. We need the man God has placed in his heart this mission statement of spreading the gospel in the community and around the world. Enjoys spending time in personal prayer, Bible study, preparing sermons, attending church functions and meetings, along with ministering to youth and being an active part of the Blunt community. 


Connection Church in Belle Fourche will host a training for those involved or interested in children’s ministry. Connection’s children’s ministry director Bethany Savery said that the event is open to all Dakota Baptist church children’s workers.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 25. It will begin at 10:00 in the morning and be done by 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

The training will involve three sessions. The opening session, “Helping Children Come to Jesus,” will be led by DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald. The second session, which will be team taught, will focus on classroom management in children’s ministry. In the final session, Savery will facilitate a discussion on praying for children’s ministry.

The training event is free. Connection Church is located at 613 6th Avenue in Belle Fourche

Stephen Carson is the pastor of Connection Church—Belle Fourche


The churches of the Black Hills Area Baptist Association (BHABA) held their annual Christmas in January dinner last month. The fellowship featured several “Minute-to-Win-It” games, sharing of testimonies, and Christ Church’s pastor Garvon Golden’s famous smoked beef and chicken. 

Approximately 75 pastors with their families and other members of the churches from around the Black Hills attended. Whitewood pastor Sean Donnelly emceed the event. 


by Pat Martin

The Dakota Baptist Convention gathering this year helped to create a link between two churches in the southern area of the Black Hills Area Baptist Association. Joy Community Fellowship in Hot Springs and Creator’s Fellowship in Porcupine joined together to provide Christmas for the children in their congregation. The members of JCF purchased gifts for 19 children, as well as providing appropriate level study Bibles and books for each child. A partner church in Louisiana, that has supported JCF for many years, also sent a huge box of hand made hats and scarves of all sizes to be shared. 

We are working to forge a continuing relationship of prayer support and encouragement between our churches as well as seek ways we can support the ministry of Chanku Waste as we get to know each other better. Hopefully, the coming of spring and warmer weather will allow opportunities for our congregations to get to know each other and open up opportunities to forge a greater spirit of cooperation and encouragement between churches in the Southern Black Hills. 


The Dakota Baptist CP Ambassadors met for the first time in the new year last month. Dr. Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, was the guest.

CP Ambassadors are members of DBC churches that have an interest in learning more about the cooperative work that Dakota Baptists do throughout North and South Dakota and around the world with other Southern Baptist churches. The group meets monthly on Zoom and once a year in person. In these meetings they receive information and resources to share with their churches about this work. They also get to meet leaders of various Southern Baptist entities.



Larry and Lillian Vickery announced to the church and the association they serve that Father’s Day, June 18, will be their last Sunday with them. Larry is the pastor of Belfield Baptist Church in Belfield, ND, and the associational missionary for Badlands Association. The Vickerys have served in the Dakotas for the past 46 years, serving in churches, associations, and with the Dakota Baptist Convention.

Larry expressed his gratitude to those that helped in their work over the past four and a half decades. He said, “God has truly blessed us and the work we have been involved with.” He thanked “the churches and individuals supporting us,” saying that it made “possible for us to do so much more in the ministry for the Lord in these 46 years.”

Larry and Lillian are planning to move back to South Carolina. As to their future plans, the longtime pastor and missionary said, “We do not know what the Lord has for the rest of our lives, but we will be like Isaiah in 6:8; ‘whom shall I send and will go for us? Then said I, here am I, send me.’”


Three Dakota Baptists will be in Mississippi the last couple days of January and the first week of February. Stephen Carson (Belle Fourche: Connection Church), Dakota SEND Network Director Buck Hill, and Executive Director Fred MacDonald will be at the Mississippi Baptist Convention state evangelism conference during that time sharing about the work that is happening here in the Dakotas. After the conference they will make a tour of several associations around the state to meet with pastors and church leaders.

The tour is being coordinated by Mississippi state mission director Mike Ray. The goal is to help Mississippi churches see what God is doing and ways they can connect with the Dakotas mission to “strengthen established churches and start new churches.”

While in the southern state, Carson, a Mississippi native, will preach at his home church, Longview Baptist Church in Olive Branch. MacDonald will preach at Trinity Baptist Church in Philadelphia, MS.


Connection Church Sturgis held a week-long outreach in September 2022. During that week, church members and mission team volunteers engaged in a variety of activities geared at showing love to and involvement in their community. For one morning over a period of 2 hours, the team opened a tab at a local coffee shop. Church and team members milled about the shop while customers trickled in. If a customer had a question for a worker about the fact that the tab for coffee was already paid, one of the team members was there to engage the customer in conversation. 



Andy and Tabitha Daniel moved up to South Dakota from Missouri in the summer of 2020. That summer, they worked to reach out to their community, and were able to visit approximately 70% of the homes in the area, inviting them to a Bible study on the book of Ephesians. From that August, they began with around 30 people. By the next Easter, they held their first meeting as a church with 35 in attendance. The church family has continued to grow, with around 15-20 baptisms since the church began. 



CRM for DBC’s Black Hills and Siouxland areas, Chad McCord, attended the State Directors of Evangelism Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, in January. This meeting is an opportunity for SDOEs to encourage evangelism and equip for evangelism efforts across the state. English professor from OBU, Alan Noble, shared a session on how distractions in the modern lifestyle take away from evangelistic efforts in the lives of individuals. 

Another session was led by John Avant, president of Life Action Ministries and former vice president of NAMB. Avant spoke on living a Spirit-filled life and how this lifestyle will lead to a greater zeal for evangelism. Fred Luter, former SBC president, led another session, speaking on the four enemies of evangelism. Attendees were also trained in ways of attempting to creating an ethos of evangelism in churches. The material used to train the SDOEs will hopefully be ready to use by churches by the summer of 2023. 

The 2023 theme for the Dakota Baptist Convention is, “The Heart of Christ.” Each month a DBC pastor and a layperson from one of the Dakota churches will be invited to share how they have seen the heart of Christ “being enjoyed, experienced, or modeled in some way” where they serve. 


by Fred MacDonald

I have a unique opportunity each weekend, as I am generally in a different church every Sunday. Denise and I have the blessing of worshipping with folks all over the Dakotas. And, we have the blessing of seeing the heart of Christ lived out in many ways.

Recently I have filled the pulpit several times at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mitchell, SD. Each week one of their deacons, Ted Christianson, prepares a (what should I call it???) “CP mission prayer story devotional.” It is genuinely unique. 

Focusing on one of our IMB missionaries, Ted develops a story around the life, location, and work of one of our missionary families. He goes beyond just name, place, and activity. Ted researches the country where they serve, the needs of the people that live in that country, finds out what information about the missionaries that he can, and then weaves it together into a beautiful story and call to prayer. He then shares it (without notes!!!) with the congregation . . . EVERY SUNDAY!

We have many Dakota Baptists like Ted that live out the heart of Christ in so many ways. I am blessed to meet them every week as I travel the roads of North and South Dakota.

Fred MacDonald is the DBC Executive Director and a member of Hills of Grace Fellowship in Rapid City, SD


by Canyon Shearer

Kris was medically retired from the Army a decade ago. Having grown up in church, he walked away and into a life of drugs. After realizing that drugs would lead to his death, he and his long-time girlfriend moved to the Dakotas for a fresh start.

Living on his retirement check he found himself one day trying to decide how to best fight the moral decline he saw in the United States and prayed that God would send him a sign.

The next day a Mercy Gate Box Elder mission team from Missouri knocked on Kris’ door and invited him to church. Eager to discern the will of God, he began attending Sunday service, Sunday night Bible study, Tuesday night discipleship, Freeway Ministries, and evangelistic block parties.

After hearing a sermon from Pastor Andy Daniel on stepping out of the boat to come to Jesus, Kris felt he finally understood the gospel message and fell on his knees before his Savior in repentance and faith.

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Canyon Shearer is a member at Mercy Gate Church in Box Elder, SD and a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force.

*Click the image above to access full CP article

DBC Monthly Newsletter

February 2023

Dr. Fred MacDonald, Editor

Alysia McCord, Managing Editor

Marissa Shimer, Print Editor

Dakota Baptist Convention

P.O. Box 549, Rapid City, SD 57709


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