Dakota Happenings

DBC Monthly Newsletter | November 2023

Dr. Mac's Minute:

Thanksgiving for God's Grace Giving

Passage: Philippians 4:5-9

Focus: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:6-7

Paul is not diminishing or denying the things that bring us anxiety or fear, in these verses. To the contrary, we must acknowledge them in order to follow his command. The word “prayer“ means to earnestly seek God. It can even refer to a place set aside where God is sought. Supplication is a “heart felt petition arising out of deep personal need or indigence.” And at the core of the Greek word “thanksgiving” (eucharistias) is the word grace (charis). Thanksgiving means gratitude for God’s grace.

So . . . when anxiety pops up (and it will), we are invited (actually, commanded!) to go to that private place where we can earnestly seek the Father with our deepest need of that moment, in order to find the grace our heart and soul desperately needs; thanking Him even as we plead because we know He is ready to bring a peace that goes beyond anything we can possibly comprehend (Eph. 3:20); one that protects our heart and mind.

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Dakota News

Dakota Gathering Celebrates 40 Years

The 2023 Dakota Baptist Gathering and Annual Meeting was held October 5-6 at South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City, SD. A highlight of the meeting was hearing from the first and the most recent executive director. 

Dewey Hickey, who was named executive director in 1984, a year after the formation of the Dakota Southern Baptist Fellowship travelled with his wife Harriett to attend the celebration. He shared stories from the first days and commended the churches of the Dakotas for all the evidence of growing up that he saw. Garvon Golden, who retired in 2020, also shared memories from his years as a part of what is now the Dakota Baptist Convention.

DBC president Josh Brown (Rapid City, SD: Redeeming Grace) and vice-president Ian Harp (Belfield, ND: Belfield Baptist) guided the meeting under the theme, “The Heart of Christ.” Messengers from 30 different DBC churches approved the 2024 budget and calendar, three resolutions, several reports, and elected officers for 2023-2024.

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The Heart of Christ for the Abused

by Everett Hornbostel

On Thursday, October 5, the Black Hills Area Baptist Association hosted a special pre-conference event prior to the 2023 Dakota Baptist Gathering. The event included a message from South Canyon Baptist Church worship leader, Joel Harris. He delivered a powerful message about The Heart of Christ for the Abused out of Isaiah 42:1-4. Joel pointed out to us the importance of Jesus’ humble and gentle interaction with the fallen world, bringing justice while not loudly proclaiming his presence or bruising the wounded. Joel addressed the issue of trauma, discussing the meaning of the Greek found in the New Testament (Luke 10:33-35) as well as the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament). The Greek word used is a word which means “wounds.” The main location we can see this word being used is in Isaiah 53, when we read about the suffering servant, the verb of trauma this suffering servant would receive, that He was wounded (received trauma) for our transgressions. By his wounds (trauma), we are healed.

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Executive Board Conducts Organizational Meeting

The incoming Executive Board for 2023-2024 met at the conclusion of the annual meeting to organize and select officers for the coming year.

Dude Garrett (Fargo, ND: Journey Church) was elected to a second term as chairman. Rob Graywater (Fort Totten, ND: Dakota Baptist Church) was chosen to be vice chairman. 

Giving Tuesday is November 28

Giving Tuesday is on November 28 this year. This is a day for reaching out to organizations that are doing Kingdom work with a gift in honor of the holiday season. One way to help with the work of the Dakotas is to make a gift to Baker State Missions. Giving to Baker enables you to have a part in everything we do as Dakota Baptists: help pastors in times of crisis, take the name of Jesus to the lost on the reservations across the Dakotas, support the work of our Church Relations Missionaries. One gift does much. You can give online at www.dakotabaptist.com, or mail your gift to: DBC; P.O. Box 549; Rapid City, SD 57709.


The members of two North Dakota churches honored their pastors on their retirement in a series of special events on consecutive weekends in October. Dude Garrett (Fargo, ND: Journey Church) and John Flowers (West Fargo, ND: Living Hope Baptist Church) each came to their churches more than thirty years ago.

Garrett and his wife Karon came to Temple Baptist Church from First Baptist Church in Devils Lake, ND. Flowers and his wife Debbie moved to the area from Redfield, SD to plant a new church in West Fargo. The two pastors formed a deep friendship and ministry partnership that spanned nearly four decades.

Each have been active in the Dakota Baptist Convention. Garrett is the current Executive Board chairman and Flowers was the preceding chairman.


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Dakota Baptist Church in Fort Totten, ND celebrated 40 years of proclaiming the name of Jesus on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in northeastern North Dakota. Church members and friends shared stories of how the church had impacted their lives. Many of those that shared recalled the work of Wilbert Robertson who started the church in 1983.

At the end of the celebration service, Dakota’s pastor Paul Young challenged the church to begin looking to the future to see how they will impact the area in the years to come.

A week prior to this celebration, Black Hills Baptist Church in Whitewood, SD also celebrated their 40th anniversary. Longtime church member Delores Fallon wrote and read a poem to mark the occasion. The church also presented a gift to their pastor and his wife, Sean & Jessica Donnelly. 

Former DBC executive director Garvon Golden and current director Fred MacDonald shared memories of the impact the church had on their lives and encouraged them as they looked to the future.


Sample resources for the 2023 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Week of Prayer have been mailed to the churches. Additional resources can be requested online at www.dakotabaptist.com or through the DBC office.


*Click the image above to access full CP article

DBC Monthly Newsletter

November 2023

Dr. Fred MacDonald, Editor

Marissa Shimer, Print Editor

Dakota Baptist Convention

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


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