In this Edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: The More Excellent Way . . . Prepares Us for Our Spiritual Eternity
  • Dakota Baptists Celebrate in Huron
  • 2022-2023 Executive Board conducts organizational meeting
  • "My Mother's Legacy"
Around the Dakotas:
  • Churches Seeking Pastors
  • Vickery's Celebrate 60 Years of Marriage
  • Dakotas host residency builder training in Rapid City
  • Dakota Team Represents State at Mississippi Annual Meeting
  • Lottie Moon Resources Available to Dakota Baptist churches
  • Dakotans go on Mission to South Africa
  • A Message from Terry Sharp, IMB
Celebrating Church Planting... Dakotas Style:
  1. Celebrating New Church Plants
  2. Getting Involved in Church Planting
Around the SBC:
  • CP story: Ralph & Lovie Adair * (named changed for security)
Dr. Mac's Minute
The More Excellent Way . . . Prepares Us for Our Spiritual Eternity

Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Focus: “But now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (v. 13)

How many times have you heard someone say, “All good things must come to an end”? Ever wondered who was the first to utter those words? Actually, they were written (sort of) before they were spoken. In his poem, Troilus and Criseyde, 14th century author, Geoffrey Chaucer penned these words: “But at the laste, as every thing hath ende, She took hir leve, and nedes wolde wende.” What????

You can probably decipher your way through the ancient English for the first two-thirds of his statement, “But at the last, as everything has (an) end, she took her leave and . . .”; but what do you do with “nedes wolde wende”? The phrase is seen as a feeling of “regret, warning, or resigned acceptance.” The word “wende” comes from a German word meaning “a turning point.” Think of it as a heavy sigh and sad acknowledgement that good times come, are enjoyed for the moment, and then slip away; only to be replaced by the ordinary and mundane things of life. Over time the phrase simply became, “all good things must come to an end.” Hmmmm . . . I wonder . . . how accurate is Chaucer?

As Paul wound his way around the final curve on the path of the “more excellent way,” he reminded the Corinthians that all the things they valued most would come, have their moment in the sun, but then fade away. Their great knowledge??? Here today, gone tomorrow. Their eloquent words??? Lauded and applauded one day, forgotten the next. Their gifts, talents, and abilities??? Headlines now, lost in next week’s news cycle. Score one for Sir Geoffrey.

The apostle wasn’t finished, though. He identifies three things that will endure: faith, hope, and love. Faith in the transforming power of the death and resurrection of Jesus opens the door to life on the other side of eternity and gives the strength to live on this side. Hope is the rock-solid confidence that when Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3), that we can take His promise to the bank. Agape love, that Christ-like love that sets self aside to lift others up, is the documentation that we are citizens of God’s kingdom, children of the Father, and joint heirs with the King of kings (Rom. 8:15-17).

And of these enduring qualities, the greatest is love. Why? John answers that question for us: “Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). We might say it this way: faith is the GATEWAY to eternity; hope is the COURAGE of eternity; love is the EVIDENCE of eternity.

So, with apologies to Chaucer, I guess I would have to say (or, rather, Paul would say), all the things we call good will come to an end, but the three things that God calls good will endure to the end. The great question we must answer as we consider “the more excellent way” is, whose picture of good will we pursue? Whose pathway will we follow?

Note: This is the last of a series of articles through 1 Corinthians 13 called, “A More Excellent Way.” If you missed any of the articles or would like to reread all of them, text Dr. MacDonald at and he will send you the entire set.
A note from Dr. MacDonald:
I have had a few pastors let me know that they have received emails in the last couple of months offering the opportunity to purchase the attendees list from the 2022 SBC annual meeting along with personal info on each of the attendees. I have spoken with Willie McLaurin, the interim president of the SBC Executive Committee and he assured me that this is a scam. He said they have not and would never make this information available. If you receive this email, do not respond to it.
Dakota Baptists Celebrate in Huron

67 messengers from 34 Dakota Baptist churches gathered in Huron last month to “Celebrate Intentionally Together.” An additional 25 guests joined in the celebration. The annual meeting of the Dakota Baptist Convention, known as the Dakota Baptist Gathering, met October 6-7 in Huron, SD at the Nordby Exhibition Hall on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds for worship, fellowship, and to conduct God’s business.

DBC president Jeffrey Mueller opened the meeting with his president’s address where he took the attendees through the book of Philippians. He highlighted the apostle Paul’s challenge to, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Music was provided by the Restore Church worship team throughout the entire event.

After Mueller’s message breakout sessions were held for men and women. The women’s session featured Sarah Deible (Creator’s Fellowship: Sharp’s Corner, SD), Anne-Marie Caldwell (Calvary Baptist: Rapid City, SD), and Denise MacDonald (Hills of Grace Fellowship: Rapid City, SD). SBC Woman’s Missionary Union executive director, Sandra Wisdom-Martin, shared missionary stories that she has gathered over the years.

In the men’s session, Chris Wallace (Hope City Church: Bismarck, ND) preached on “A Call to Build Culture that Celebrates” and Steve Ford (Grace Baptist Church: Vermillion, SD) preached on “Never Stop Celebrating the Gospel.”

The breakouts were followed by a missions banquet built around the theme, “Celebrating God’s Work Beyond the Dakotas.” Representatives from various SBC agencies shared a word of greeting and what God is doing around the Southern Baptist Convention. Huron Baptist pastor, Ian Harp, prepared a smoked BBQ meal for everyone.
During the Thursday evening business session, messengers heard a report from Executive Board chairman John Flowers and adopted the 2023 budget and calendar. Following business, Jeff Robison (New Life on Main: Harvey, ND) preached a message, “Celebrating Revitalization.” The evening session ended with recognition of retiring and new pastors.

The Friday morning session opened with a Bible study by Gateway Seminary president Jeff Iorg. Messengers approved reports from the Nomination and the Resolutions Committees and presidential appointments. 

The approved nominations report included Karen Holmes (First Baptist Church: Wolsey, SD) as recording secretary and Tom Stewart (Hills of Grace Fellowship: Rapid City, SD). New and returning Executive Board members approved included: Steve Ford (Grace Baptist Church: Vermillion, SD), George Crawley (First Love Church: Lincoln, ND), Josh Bonner (Calvary Baptist Church: Rapid City, SD), Jeff Robison (New Life on Main: Harvey, ND), Kristyn LaBine (Hills of Grace Fellowship: Rapid City, SD), and Dave Utter (Black Hills Baptist Church: Whitewood, SD).

Messengers also approved President Mueller’s appointments of Chris Little (Hilltop Baptist Church: Lower Brule, SD) to the Constitution & Bylaws Committee and Chris Collier (First Baptist Church: Langdon, ND) to the Nominations Committee.

New officers were elected by the messengers. Josh Brown (Redeeming Grace Church: Rapid City, SD) was elected president. Ian Harp (Huron Baptist Church: Huron, SD) was elected as vice president.

Three resolutions were received and approved. The first was a resolution expressing gratitude and appreciation to the meeting hosts. The second was a resolution of celebration and appreciation for church planting. The third was a resolution calling on men to be intentional to love their wives and make their families their top priorities.

After staff reports, DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald preached his annual message. The sermon, “When God Celebrates,” was an exposition of Zephaniah 3:12-20.

The Gathering concluded with lunch and a final message from Dr. Iorg.
2022-2023 Executive Board conducts organizational meeting

The new 2022-2023 Dakota Baptist Convention Executive Board held their organizational meeting after the conclusion of the annual meeting. Outgoing Board chairman John Flowers moderated the meeting.

The Board received general instruction of their duties from Flowers and then elected new officers. Dude Garrett (Journey Church: Fargo, ND) was elected chairman. Chris Wallace (Hope City Church: Bismarck, ND) was elected as vice-chairman. 
"My Mother's Legacy"

By Alysia McCord

My mother always wanted me to love what was good and value what was honorable and beautiful. That’s one reason she was in such an urgent state right before I graduated college to buy me a ring. I don’t remember asking for fine jewelry; I knew she was taking me on a trip when I graduated, and that was enough for me. Right as college ended, however, she got the idea that my boyfriend was about to propose. She gave me a beautiful sapphire ring, and she explained that she wanted me to have received some piece of fine jewelry to have as an heirloom besides my engagement ring. I still wear the ring to this day. I treasure it and have answered many compliments about it with, “my mother gave this to me.” 

My mother gave me something greater still, however. I still remember how the light looked in our sunken den in our Arkansas home when I was five years old when she told me in a tone that I knew was urgent and important, “Alysia, I am working to memorize something, and I believe you can do it with me.” What she asked me to learn was Galatians 2:20, and she had me remember it like this: “I, Alysia, am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Even at a young age, I could sense there was something of weight to those words. And after she taught it to me at five, I have never been able to forget it. Still when I hear that verse, I remember how she taught me to treasure it. 

I work with young people, and as I have asked them to memorize that verse, I have asked them to do it as a memorial to my mother. No one who knew my mother would ever doubt her love for the Scripture and deep commitment to it. She wanted me to remember her love for me when I looked at the sapphire ring. But I know that it would be an even greater treasure to her to know that the memory of this verse is her “in memoriam.” This memorial is one that has multiplied itself. 

When my children, or those I work with, think of me, I hope they remember something that lasts, and something that’s worth repeating. I hope I can leave a legacy the reminds them of something greater than me, as did Dr. William Carey, a pioneer missionary to India in the 19th century. As he lay dying, he said to one of his visitors, “Mr. Duff! You have been speaking about Dr. Carey, Dr. Carey; when I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey. Speak about Dr. Carey’s Savior.”* I hope when they remember me, that they remember a real treasure. 

Alysia McCord is the managing editor for the Dakota Happenings newsletter. She and her husband Chad served for about fifteen years as missionaries in Southeast Asia with the International Mission Board. Alysia is a member of Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD.

Cornerstone Baptist Church in Grand Forks, ND is seeking a bivocational assistant pastor or interim and, or pulpit supply preacher.
If you have questions or want further information Pastor Hughes be reached at 701-213-9765.
Seeking for a Southern Baptist Bi-Vocational Pastor to service in central South Dakota at a smaller country church. Calvary Baptist Church in Blunt, SD is a friendly country church that makes you feel like your home. 

“To go out into the community and beyond” this is Calvary Baptist Church 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. 

Please send resumes to attention Jaylene Fanger.
Vickery's Celebrate 60 Years of Marriage

Larry and Lillian Vickery celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on October 7. The Vickerys are at Belfield Baptist Church in Belfield, ND, where Larry serves as pastor. He is also the area missionary for the Badlands Baptist Association. Larry said that 45 of their 60 years have been spent in ministry in the Dakotas.
Dakotas host residency builder training in Rapid City

On October 20, Send Network Dakotas hosted a Residency Builder training at Hampton Inn & Suites in Rapid City. Ryan Johnston and Bob Burton from NAMB conducted the one-day event. The Send Network Residency Builders help churches and pastors learn how to identify potential leaders and map out a plan to equip and train them to be leaders in the church. This preparation could equip them to be pastors, church planters, Sunday School teachers, missionaries—basically any type of ministry leader. These trainings give participants the pathway to equip, but churches are able to design the training according to their needs. If you would like to learn more about Residency Builders for your church, contact Buck Hill at
Dakota Team Represents State at Mississippi Annual Meeting

A team of four Dakota Baptists traveled to Jackson, Mississippi in October for the Mississippi Baptist annual meeting. They set up a booth and spoke with several hundred Mississippi pastors, area missionaries, and church members about strengthening established churches and starting new churches across North and South Dakota.

The team consisted of church planter Paul Betts (Piedmont: Redemption Church), associate pastor and DBC Church Relations Missionary Chad McCord (Belle Fourche: Connection Church), DBC Send Network Dakotas Director Buck Hill, and DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald. Betts and McCord are originally from Mississippi, along with several other Dakota pastors.

Hill was impressed with the results of the annual meeting booth. He commented, “I’ve done a lot of these events and this was by far the best one. The people we spoke to showed a genuine interest in the Dakotas; not just the typical, ‘Yeah. I like the Dakotas. I’m praying for you.’”
After the meeting ended, Mississippi Missions Mobilization Director Mike Ray took the team to dinner to talk about ways the two states could minister to each other. He invited Hill and MacDonald to return in January to take part in the state’s evangelism conference and then a three-day tour of Mississippi to get to know pastors and churches in the Magnolia State.

Ray is then going to reciprocate by bringing some Mississippi pastors to North Dakota in May 2023 to meet with pastors, planters, and church leaders from the Dakotas.

The connection between the two states is growing out of a relationship that has been building between MacDonald and Mississippi executive director Shawn Parker. They both started serving in their roles about the same time and see a lot of similarities between their two states that would make for a natural opportunity to connect with each other. Parker extended an invitation to come to the annual meeting last spring as a result of conversations that the two had in February at the annual executive directors retreat.
Lottie Moon Resources Available to Dakota Baptist churches

Each church in the Dakota Baptist Convention received a packet last month with sample resources for the 2022 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Week of Prayer. 

The annual offering and prayer week focuses attention on the Southern Baptist missionaries serving around the world with the International Mission Board (IMB). Through the Lottie Moon Offering and the Cooperative Program, Dakota Baptist churches are placing, supporting, and keeping thousands of missionaries on the field where they meet real life needs, share the gospel, and work with nationals to plant churches.

IMB president Dr. Paul Chitwood says that the world’s greatest problem is lostness. Southern Baptist missionaries are fighting this darkness with the good news of Jesus Christ. Chitwood will be a featured speaker at the 2023 Dakota Baptist annual meeting.
Dakotans go on Mission to South Africa

Four Dakota Baptists will be on mission to South Africa this month. The team will partner with four South African ministry leaders to conduct training events and a retreat for some African pastors and their wives. The Dakotans will leave on November 2 and return on the 14th.

The Dakota team will include Paul Young (Dakota Baptist Church: Fort Totten, ND), Sean Donnelly (Whitewood Baptist Church: Whitewood, SD), and DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald, and his wife Denise (Hills of Grace Fellowship: Rapid City, SD). When the team arrives in Pretoria, they will partner with two ministry couples, Dr. Julius & Cintia Mbu and Pastor Segun and Funmi Adeyemo. 

While on the ground the team will conduct a training event for pastors, pastors’ wives, and other church leaders. The men’s session, “Revival in the Pulpit,” will challenge the men in the areas of calling, character, companionship (their family), and commitment. The women’s session will have times of praise and worship and provide steps to ministry for pastors’ wives.

The team will also lead a retreat for six pastoral couples in the Pretoria area. They will then fly to Durban, South Africa, which is on the east coast of the continent. In Durban they will lead two more training events for leaders in that area. The events will focus on four pastoral responsibilities for the men. The conference is called, “Pastoral Ministry . . . God’s Way.” The women’s sessions will repeat the training from the Pretoria event.

On the two Sundays that the team is in South Africa, Young, Donnelly, and MacDonald will preach in churches in the cities of Pretoria and Centurion. The trip is the continuation of a partnership that Dr. MacDonald and Denise started while serving at the Pecos Valley Baptist Association in New Mexico. This will be the 11th trip for Fred and Denise’s fourth. It will be the third trip for Young and Donnelly’s first. 
A Message from Terry Sharp, IMB Director, Convention Relations & Diaspora Mobilization:
IMB is committed to solving the world’s greatest problem – lostness. We are so grateful to partner with you and your church in taking the only solution to this problem – the gospel - to the nations. Together, we send missionaries to the corners of the world to be present among those who have little to no access to the gospel. We believe that missionary presence cultivates gospel access, gospel belief and gospel multiplication. 
We have two upcoming events that can help you and your church learn more about how IMB is taking the gospel to those who have never heard. 
 On Wednesday, November 2 at 3:30 pm ET, IMB President Paul Chitwood will host an exclusive video call for pastors and missions’ pastors to talk about IMB’s 2023 vision and give attendees the opportunity to hear from IMB missionaries about how your generosity is making an impact on lostness. Registration is required at
On November 13 at 7:00 pm ET, we will send our newest IMB missionaries to live among people in cities, people in hard-to-reach places and people who are dispersed and displaced around the world. You’re welcome to join us in person at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia or on livestream through our appwebsite, or Facebook page. You will hear how God called each of these new missionaries and from IMB President Paul Chitwood.
“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. Help us celebrate the new things God is doing across North and South Dakota.
1) Celebrating New Church Plants

Two Dakota Baptist churches will have their first public worship service in November as they prepare to launch in early 2023.

Redemption Church in Piedmont, SD will meet at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, November 13, at 14727 Sturgis Road in Piedmont. It is located at exit 46 off I-90. Paul Betts is the church planter at Redemption Church. Betts invites others to, “join Redemption Church as we gather together for the first time in our building.” To let Paul know you are praying for him and/or discover ways you can help, contact Paul at

The Church at Custer in Custer, SD will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 13, at The Armory at 527 Montgomery Street, Suite 203 in Custer. Ryan McGehee, the church planter at The Church at Custer said, “We are excited to take this next step as we work to share the gospel and reach our community. Thank you for the prayers!” To let Ryan know you are praying for him and/or discover ways you can help, contact him at
2) 14 Ways to be Involved in Church Planting . . . Dakotas Style!

Way #9. Sending people and families to help: Encourage your members to pray about serving with a church plant for indefinite or fixed times. Church plants need people, so sending volunteers to help them launch is a great way to help. You could also lead your church to “adopt” a church plant in your community or area.

Implementation Suggestion: Contact one of our church planters. Ask him for a list of ways that someone or a team of ‘someones’ could help to what he is doing. Ask for ideas that call for long-term partnership and ideas that call for a short-term mission opportunity. Discuss these ideas with your congregation, staff, or mission committee/team and, working with the planter, develop a plan to meet the needs that God has enabled your church to meet.
“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.”
*click image above to link to CP story with powerpoint image download
DBC Monthly Newsletter, November 2022

Dr. Fred MacDonald, Editor
Alysia McCord, Managing Editor
Marissa Shimer, Print Editor
Dakota Baptist Convention
P.O. Box 549, Rapid City, SD 57709