Dakota Happenings

DBC Monthly Newsletter | July 2023

Dr. Mac's Minute:

The Overcomer's Toolbox (pt. 4)

Passage: Revelation 12:10-12

Focus: And they overcame him . . . and they did not love their life, even when faced with death . . .(v. 11)

NOTE: This is the final in a four-part series on the tools God gave us to overcome the work of Satan in our lives. 

Where we’ve been . . . Satan has three basic tools: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (I John 2:16). He also tries to discourage by accusing us when we fail. He is, “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). God provides three tools to resist Satan: And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life, even when faced with death’” (Rev. 12:11). The first tool is our relationship with Jesus. The second tool is the bold declaration of how Jesus saved and transformed us.

Tool #3—“They did not love their life, even when faced with death.” The date was Feb. 23, 155 A.D. Smyrna’s bishop Polycarp, stood before the Roman proconsul who said, “Curse the Christ and you shall live.” The man who had been a student of the apostle John replied: “For 80 and 6 years have I served him, and He has done me no wrong. How, then, could I blaspheme my King who saved me . . . you promise the fire that lasts but a little while; the fires of judgment reserved for the ungodly cannot be quenched. But why do you delay? Come, do what you will” . . . and they did.

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The DBC office will be closed on July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

NOTE: Dr. Mac will be out of the office on vacation from July 10-21.

Dakota News

Pastors and Family Retreat Coming up in August

The 2023 DBC Pastors and Family Retreat is coming up fast. The retreat will take place August 10-12 at the Baymont by Wyndham in Mandan, ND. The retreat is open to all Dakota pastors, pastor’s wives, and their children from preschool to high school.

The keynote speaker will be Joe Wright, the Executive Director for the Bivocational & Small Church Leadership Network. Wright will also lead breakout times for the pastors. His wife Pennie will lead breakouts for the pastors’ wives. Programming for preschoolers, children, and teens will be conducted by a mission team from Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD. 

The retreat will begin with dinner at 5:30 on Thursday evening, followed by an entertaining program led by Tony Martin, the associate editor of the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s newspaper. In addition to his work with Mississippi Baptists, Martin is a Christian illusionist. 

Morning devotionals will be led by two Dakota pastors. Gabriel McCormick, the new pastor at Crossroads Baptist in Minot, ND will lead the Friday morning time. Todd Olson from Edgemont, SD will lead on Saturday morning.

Friday afternoon will be a free time for families to rest, swim, or explore the area. The retreat will end with lunch on Saturday.

There is no cost for the retreat. Pastors and their family will be provided with two nights stay and all meals during the retreat. Pastors can register their family online at the Dakota Baptist website. Deadline for registration is Thursday, July 27.

Register Here

Constitution & Bylaws Committee to Present Three Amendments at Annual Meeting

In accordance with the DBC Constitution and Bylaws, the Constitution & Bylaws Committee has announced they will present three amendments for messenger approval at the October annual meeting in Rapid City. The first two amendments relate to including giving to the Baker State Missions Offering as fulfilling the requirement for church cooperation. The third amendment clarifies a change that was made two years ago related to individuals selected to serve unfilled terms on the Executive Board. Click on the link below to read the proposed amendments.

The 2022-2023 committee is made up of Josh Brown (Rapid City, SD: Redeeming Grace Church) and Chris Little (Lower Brule, SD: Hilltop Baptist Church).

Proposed Amendments

What is RISE? 

Part 3

By: Everett Hornbostel

For the last few months, we’ve investigated the various elements of the RISE Active Intruder program. Each element can stand alone or it can be used in conjunction with other elements. Whichever element a church finds itself in during an active intruder incident, it is important to remember to take on whichever element is safe to perform at the moment. 

Last month we discussed what it looks like to interrupt an intruder and considered that route as a fully committed element of the RISE program. Once a team decides to interrupt the intruder, they need to continue the step until either the threat is stopped, or they are. 

This time, we are moving into the SECURE element. Each church is a unique mix of rooms, hallways and exits. This is why RISE exists…because churches are each unique. 

Highlights About The SBC Abuse Task Force Website

By: Everett Hornbostel

The Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) provided a report to messengers during the June 14 session of the SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans. One item which was approved was to continue the Task Force for an additional year. The ARITF has created a new website (www.sbcabuseprevention.com) which contains a ministry toolkit to provide churches with tools and resources to help make our churches a safe place. They provide five essentials to prevention and protection:

Train – Provide initial and ongoing training for staff, volunteers, and church members that raises awareness and shares effective actions to help prevent incidents of abuse in the church.

Screen – Adopt a careful vetting process for all those working with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Screening should include an application, interview, references, social media review, and background checks.

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Made In His Image

By: Alysia McCord

It’s almost rodeo time in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The rodeo on the 4th of July is a huge community event in our area, and a particularly memorable one for me is the first one we attended after moving to South Dakota. This was also the first rodeo following many of the major COVID shutdowns.

I remember the shock to the senses of being gathered again in a large crowd, and the delight it was just to be together again. People crowded into a metal stadium clad in cowboy boots and hats with their tall cowboy boot-shaped ice-cold drinks. The rodeo announcer tried to engage the crowd by playing familiar music. I remember that one song he played was Jon Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer.” The moment ironically touched me deeply, because the announcer cut the music out and left us all to finish. Almost everyone knew the words and sang along together. 

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Chad McCord, the missions pastor at Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD, and Church Relations Missionary for the Dakota Baptist Convention has accepted a call to serve as the Missions Mobilization Director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention.

McCord’s new position will enable him to continue connecting with Dakota churches through the developing partnership between the two states. He will be replacing Mississippi’s retiring director, Mike Ray. Ray has served as Mississippi’s point person in the partnership, a role which McCord will assume as part of his new duties.

DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald said, “I want to express my love and gratitude to Chad for his tireless work in reaching out to our pastors and churches in the Black Hills and Siouxland regions, as well as giving direction to implementing our evangelism strategy. I also want to thank Alysia who has been a great help in producing our monthly newsletter as our managing editor. I know that they will be greatly missed across the Dakotas and especially at their home church, Connection Church in Belle Fourche. Neither of them will be easy to replace; but, I am confident that God has great plans for them as they return to the Magnolia State.”


Sovereign Grace Church (Aberdeen, SD) had their initial services in their new building on Easter Sunday. Last year the church purchased the old Aberdeen American News building on a main thoroughfare in the town and began a renovation of it. 

Sam Ellyson is the lead pastor for Sovereign Grace Church.


Christ Church, a Southern Baptist Fellowship, has started a search for a man to serve our congregation as Associate Pastor. This man would serve with the Senior Pastor in sharing preaching responsibilities. He also would focus on coordinating our church’s ministry to young couples, families, as well as children’s ministry, and nursery ministry. This man would have ministry experience and a call to preach and pastor. A seminary degree is preferred. If you would be interested in this position, send a letter to Christ Church indicating your interest and a resume. We will respond with a brief description for church and community, plus a copy of the position description. Respond to: Christ Church; 1900 Evergreen Drive; Rapid City, SD 57702.


Mercy Gate Church - Box Elder is hosting a tent revival from July 9th-12th. This event will include evangelist Jeffery Stoneking, live worship music, live testimonies, bounce houses, food, booths and vendors.

Food games, and festivities start at 5PM and the service starts at 6PM each night.


The annual DBC youth camp was held again at Crystal Springs Baptist Camp in Medina, ND. Prairie Partners Baptist Association held their children’s camp at the same time. All together there were about 80 campers between the two camps. Three teenagers gave their lives to Christ during the youth camp and several life recommitments were made throughout the week. George Crawley (Lincoln, ND: First Love Church) was camp pastor for the children. DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald was camp pastor for the youth. Ashton Rone led the praise and worship in the youth camp. Gaylen Lennick (New Salem, ND: New Life) was the children’s camp director. Joe Savery (Belle Fourche, SD: Connection Church) and Sean Donnelly (Whitewood, SD: Black Hills Baptist Church led the youth camp.

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After a COVID-extended hiatus of 5 years, First Nations Baptist Association was overjoyed to return to their long tradition of holding an annual Family Camp June 11-16 this year. Association Moderator Christian Little, pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church in Lower Brule, SD found a great new location at Badlands Ministries in Medora, ND. The campground was more than able to serve the needs for the more than 130 campers who attended. Fellowship Bible Church of Winchester, VA hosted the event, bringing a team of 50 for the week and leading with planning and logistics, Bible teachers for all ages, and leaders for many different camp activities. They were assisted by a team from the Burnt Swamp Association of North Carolina, long time friends of the First Nations Association, who served as cooks and led the worship times. The Dakota Baptist Convention partnered with Family Camp once again, contributing to the cost of food for the five day camp.

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*Click the image above to access full CP article

DBC Monthly Newsletter

July 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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