In this edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: The More Excellent Way . . . Reveals Our Spiritual Maturity
  • Dakota Baptist Convention set to Gather in Huron
  • Hurricane Ian Relief
  • “Why does He have the Scars?”
Around the Dakotas:
  • Hope City in New Location
  • Cornerstone Community Holds Children's Event
  • Serve Spearfish
  • Living Hope Baptist Sponsors Gas Buy-Down Event
  • Christ Church Hosts Evangelism Training
  • DBC Pastors, Wives, and Church Leaders Gather for Rest and Evangelism Training
  • Association Annual Meetings
  • IMB Prayer Guides Available to DBC Churches
  • Adorned & Fearless Women's Conference
Celebrating Church Planting... Dakotas style:
  1. Celebrating New Tools for Church Planting Across the Dakotas
  2. Getting involved in church planting
Around the SBC:
  • CP story: Penny Sargent* (named changed for security)
Dr. Mac's Minute
The More Excellent Way . . . Reveals Our Spiritual Maturity

Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:8-11

Focus: “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man I did away with childish things.” (v. 11)

A few years ago, a college quarterback was selected first overall in the NFL draft by a struggling team that desperately needed a leader. Analysts lauded him as the next Tom Brady. In his first few seasons he won half his games and led his team to the playoffs in only his third season. It was a good start, or so you would think. After just four seasons the young man’s team traded for a new QB. Then they spent several months trying to trade him to another team. Even though he was still a good player, no team wanted to pay his contract. Why not??? One writer said, “Teams are looking for a strong mature leader both on and off the field. (He) has been unable to fit the bill.” Great talent, but no maturity.

The church at Corinth had great potential and a great start (Acts 18:1-17). Paul devoted a year and a half to planting deep spiritual roots. Souls were saved, baptized, and discipled. They had godly leaders like Aquila and Priscilla, and they overcame fierce opposition and persecution. But lately, bitterness had taken root. Rivalries had developed. Immorality had replaced Christ-like behavior. Something had disappeared along the way . . . spiritual maturity.

Their lack of agape love revealed a lack of spiritual maturity that frustrated Paul. He was disheartened to have to write, “I could not speak to you as spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able” (1 Cor. 3:1-2). Maturity was tragically missing from Corinth and their lack of Christ-like love was the greatest evidence of that.

Spiritual maturity is the metric that measures the impact we will have in our home, school, church, or culture. And how we love exposes the level of that maturity. Gifts, talents, and abilities can decline over time. They will ultimately disappear. Agape love, however, enables us to grow up into enduring, dependable, complete followers of Christ. 

It is cute to watch a baby take his first wobbly step or hear her utter her first word. It warms the heart as we see them try to imitate what they see big people do, even though these efforts lack the depth of reason and thought of an adult. But over time the childlike efforts become childish if they are not marked by a developing maturity.

So it is in our walk with Christ. When we are born again, we walk, talk, think, and act like a spiritual child. That is as it should be. But over time a childlike faith can become a childish faith if we don’t grow up. And the measuring stick of our development is agape love. Grow in love and you will grow in Christ.
Dakota Baptist Convention set to Gather in Huron

The annual meeting of the Dakota Baptist Convention, known as the Dakota Baptist Gathering, will meet October 6-7 in Huron, SD. Messengers and guests from around North and South Dakota will meet at the Nordby Exhibition Hall on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds for worship, fellowship, and to conduct God’s business.

The 2022 meeting theme is “Celebrating Intentionally Together.” Psalm 118:24 is the key verse: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

DBC president Jeffrey Mueller and vice-president Josh Brown will lead the meeting. Mueller is also the pastor at Restore Church in Yankton, SD. Brown serves as pastor at Redeeming Grace Church in Rapid City, SD. The election of these two leaders at the 2021 annual meeting was historic. It was the first time two church planters had been elected to these two offices. In addition, they are both serving in their hometowns. Worship throughout the two day event will be led by the Restore Church Praise Team.

The meeting will open with a “Celebrating Intentionally Together Conference.” Mueller will open the meeting with his president’s message. The address will be followed by breakout sessions for men and women. The women’s session will feature 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). The session will have a special guest, SBC Woman’s Missionary Union executive director, Sandra Wisdom-Martin. She will share missionary stories that she has gathered over the years.

The men’s breakout will feature messages from two Dakota pastors. Chris Wallace (Hope City Church: Bismarck, ND) will preach on “A Call to Build Culture that Celebrates.” Steve Ford (Grace Baptist Church: Vermillion, SD) will preach on “Never Stop Celebrating the Gospel.”

The breakouts will be followed by a missions’ banquet. The theme is “Celebrating God’s Work Beyond the Dakotas. Representatives from various SBC agencies will share a word of greeting and report on what God is doing around the Southern Baptist Convention. The banquet will feature a smoked BBQ, prepared by Huron Baptist pastor, Ian Harp.

There will be two business sessions. The first is Thursday evening. Business will include acting upon recommendations from the Executive Board. There will also be two messages. The first, “Celebrating Planting,” will be shared by Brown. Jeff Robison (New Life on Main: Harvey, ND) will preach on “Celebrating Revitalization.” This message will be followed by recognizing new and retiring pastors and a time of fellowship.

The second session is Friday morning. Gateway Seminary president Jeff Iorg will open the session with a challenge for the Gathering. A variety of reports will be received and then officers for the 2022-2023 year will be elected. After staff reports, DBC Executive Director Fred MacDonald will preach his annual message. The sermon, from Zephaniah 3:12-20, is titled, “When God Celebrates.”

The Gathering will conclude with lunch and a final word from Dr. Iorg.

Messengers and guests can register for the annual meeting at the DBC website, www.dakotabaptist.com
Hurricane Ian Relief

For those looking to help the people who have been left with great need in the wake of Hurricane Ian in Florida, please go to the Send Relief website and give.
Hurricane Ian - Send Relief

Hurricane Ian crashed into Florida's Gulf Coast on September 28 as a Category-4 storm, bringing catastrophic winds, rains and storm surge to cities in its direct path. The massive storm carried 155 mile-per-hour winds, putting the storm just...

Read more
“Why does He have the Scars?”

By Alysia McCord

In our first term of service overseas, in the region of Southeast Asia, we had a goal of befriending Hindu people, and our hope was to share with them about Jesus. One of the things I had the joy to do was start an ESL (English as a Second Language) group with a lady I met at the market and her friends. We met in a concrete walk-up apartment, with a dark and winding staircase of stairs built intentionally at varying heights in order to scare off evil spirits. 

I wanted so badly to tell this group the stories of Jesus. My friend brought a young Hindu girl to one of the meetings. This girl turned to me and said, “I have seen pictures of this Jesus. I want to know: why does have the scars on his hands?”

I was taken aback; left speechless for a moment. Those scars…the scars I had sung about as a child, the scars that bought my eternity, the scars that had cost Him such pain and shame… how could I begin to describe the weight of importance they hold for me? Yet, here was a person standing before me that did not know what they meant. She didn’t know that that He had come to die, and that His sacrificial death was for her. This was the moment I had come for. 

Joshua Project, a website that keeps up with statistics concerning the advancement of the gospel among the peoples of the world, reports that 87% of Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus around the world do not have even one Christian friend.* Not one person in their inner circles could explain why we in American churches sing about “nail-scarred hands.” 

How will we as a church respond? How will we unify around the mission of taking the Gospel to the unreached majority world? What must we lay aside in order to obey the command of Jesus to take His message to all nations? 

We live with the hope as we share that one day all the world will hear, and He will return (Matthew 24:14). What will it take on my part, individually, to make sure when He comes, that another has heard what the scars mean for us?

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.
Hope City in New Location

Hope City Church of Bismarck, ND, has acquired a new location and moved to that location at the beginning of September 2022.

Hope City began as a church plant during the Covid pandemic season. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, Pastor Chris Wallace and his family have ministered faithfully to city of Bismarck by way of multiple outreaches including volunteers from Mississippi, Florida, and South Dakota. Hope City has around 20 families attending currently. The new space has a capacity of approximately 75-100 people. 

The new site is on Basin Avenue in Bismarck. The church is centered in a low-income area, where few people attend church. Hope City has been ministering in the area by doing prayer walking, giveaways, and sharing the gospel. A member from Hope City has also begun a prison ministry at a men’s prison. Pastor Chris says, “We believe God has put us in this area specifically to reach this neighborhood with the gospel.”
Cornerstone Community Holds Children's Event

Cornerstone Community Church in Mobridge, SD, held a children’s event in the month of August. Children were invited to a movie afternoon, where they were shown, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. The seven children who attended thoroughly enjoyed it. Another children’s movie event is planned for the month of October. On the afternoon of October 1, Cornerstone Community Church will be showing Veggie Tales: Heroes of the Bible. Doors wil open at 1:30; movie showing will begin at 2:00. 

The pastor at Cornerstone Community Church is Everett Hornbostel.
Serve Spearfish

Connection Church of Spearfish held a special community outreach emphasis called “Serve Spearfish” at the end of August. 

Outreach events included a night of free meals handed out at the church, a night where the church paid admission for all who came to play at the local waterpark, a night of free laundry at the laundry-mat, and an evening of free car washes for all who came to the carwash that evening. Church members volunteered at outreaches, which might include giving out “kindness cards,” with the hope of sharing God’s love with their communities, along with the hope of having Gospel conversations.

Connection Spearfish and Pastor Jon Ballard had a desire to serve their community in a way that helped local businesses instead of competing with them. 
This desire guided their decision to hold their free carwash at a locally owned car wash instead of hosting it at the church. When the owner of the car wash what their church planned to do, the owner initially assumed the project was a fundraiser. When the carwash owner realized that the church really wanted to give the car washes for free in order to love their community and share the love of God with them, he insisted on offering use of the car wash for free and even provided soap. 

Pastor Jon reports that the experience not only served the community, but it strengthened relationships among volunteers as well. Because the events were easier on the volunteers, barriers to finding volunteers were lowered. Having the volunteers working together was an exciting and rewarding experience. A volunteer later shared that this experience was what helped reignite an excitement to get re-involved in outreach through the church. Pastor Jon Ballard says that the outreach was also held last year and is intended to become a yearly event.
Living Hope Baptist Sponsors Gas Buy-Down Event;
Shares the Gospel with 132 Drivers

Living Hope Baptist Church in West Fargo, ND, partnered with a local gas station to provide a gas buy-down for their community. Over a two-hour period on September 24, the church paid $1.00 of the cost of every gallon of gas they pumped. Petro Serve added an additional twenty-five cent discount, enabling drivers to pay $2.34 per gallon. This was the seventh time Living Hope has conducted such an event over the past several years.

During the period of the buy-down, Living Hope members pumped about 2,000 gallons of gas, washed windows, and checked tire pressure for 132 cars. At one point, traffic was backed up for three blocks. It is estimated that each family saved about $18 on a fill up.

In addition to the discount and full service, drivers received the gospel and information about the church. Each customer was given a goodie bag that contained gospel tracts and a copy of the booklet “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. 

The event was more than a goodwill gesture on the part of the congregation. Living Hope co-pastor Tanner Olson had opportunity to do several radio interviews leading up to the event. When asked why they were doing this, Olson shared with the listening audience that they wanted to lift up Jesus. He also had opportunity to let the community know how Southern Baptists do missions. He shared that the event would not be possible without the Cooperative Program and the churches of the Dakotas banding together to make these kinds of evangelistic events possible.

The outreach had a great impact on the church, as well. Co-pastor John Flowers said that this was “an easy way to mobilize people and get people out to do something for the Kingdom.” He shared how he was not the only one engaging drivers in conversation. “Several of our people went car-to-car talking to and praying with others. When they were asked why they were doing this they answered, ‘we want to show the love of Jesus.’” He added that the church had two new visitors at the church the following Sunday.

The pastors at Living Hope are Tanner Olson and John Flowers.
Christ Church Hosts Evangelism Training

Christ Church in Rapid City, SD is hosting an evangelism training event October 29-30. The training, “The Three Stories,” will focus on three stories that every believer can share to help lost friends and family come to Christ. The first story, “Your Story,” is the story of how Christ changed your life. The second story, “His Story,” is the story of what Christ did to change your life; the gospel message. The final story is “Their Story.” It is inviting the unbeliever to let God give them a story of their own by repenting and believing the gospel. The training will be led by DBC Executive Director, Fred MacDonald.

Garvon Golden is the pastor at Christ Church.
DBC Pastors, Wives, and Church Leaders Gather for Rest and Evangelism Training

A total of 56 pastors, wives, and other church leaders gathered at two different retreats, one in Mandan, ND and the other in Huron, SD. The retreat featured times of rest and encouragement, as well as several evangelism workshops.

The North Dakota retreat/workshop featured Mike Proud, executive director for the Colorado Baptist Convention and music was led by Breanna Terzic and Trot Lifto from Connection Church in Sioux Falls, SD. Tim Patterson, executive director for the Michigan Baptist Convention was the main speaker at Huron and Todd Fuehrer (Community Church: Bismarck/Mandan) led music.
Workshops focused on evangelism for the men were led at the North Dakota retreat by Chris Collier (First Baptist: Langdon, ND), Fred MacDonald (DBC Executive Director). Garvon Golden (Christ Church: Rapid City, SD), and Buck Hill (DBC Send Networks Director) led the South Dakota workshops. For the women, Annie Bifulco (South Canyon Baptist: Rapid City, SD) led the North Dakota retreat and Catherine Renfro from the North American Mission Board taught at the South Dakota retreat. 

DBC CRMs and staff provided morning devotional encouragement during the two retreats. Paul Young and Jeff Musgrave shared in North Dakota. Everett Hornbostel and MacDonald shared in South Dakota.

In 2023, the DBC will host two evangelism workshops in April. One will be in Fargo, ND, the other in Rapid City, SD. There will be a separate retreat in August for pastors and their family. This will be in the Bismarck/Mandan area.
Association Annual Meetings

Four associations held annual meetings during September. Badlands and Prairie Partners Associations in North Dakota and the Heartland Association in South Dakota all met on Saturday, September 19. Black Hills Area Baptist Association met in Rapid City on Monday, September 26. South Valley in the Fargo, ND area and Siouxland Association in southeast South Dakota will meet later this year.
IMB Prayer Guides Available to DBC Churches

The DBC office has copies of the 52-week International Mission Board prayer guide coming. If your church would like copies, call the DBC office at 605-716-0130 and let us know how many copies to send.

An electronic version of the prayer guide is available by clicking the link below.
Adorned & Fearless Women's Conference

Cornerstone Baptist Church in Williston, ND, invites you to attend the “Adorned and Fearless” women’s conference on October 15. Those planning to attend are encouraged to book their stays at the following hotel:

Hampton Inn—Williston, ND
1515 14th St. W, Williston, ND 58801
Phone: 701-774-5909

When you book your hotel room, mention “Cornerstone Rate” to receive a discount on rooms. Discounted price for rooms is $129 per night; double queen beds are available.

Organizers ask for prayer as they prepare for the conference and for prayer that the weather will be clear that weekend. 
“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 Tools for Church Planting Across the Dakotas

The mission statement of the DBC is, “The Dakota Baptist Convention exists as a network of Great Commission churches that partner together to strengthen establish churches and start new churches.” A new tool to assist in accomplishing this mission was unveiled last month.

The SEND Network Dakotas website is now up and running. It contains information on how to become involved in church planting in North and South Dakota. The website address is www.sendnetworkdakotas.com. The site can also be accessed with .org or .net.

This new website will serve as a partner site to the DBC primary website, www.dakotabaptist.com. For more information on church planting, contact Buck Hill at bhill@namb.net. Buck is the Send Network Dakotas director. You can also contact one of the DBC’s two Church Planter Catalysts: Stephen Carson (scarson@namb.net) and T. J. Green (tgreen@namb.net). Carson and Green also serve as pastors in the Dakotas in Belle Fourche and Williston, respectively.
2) 14 Ways to be Involved in Church Planting . . . Dakotas Style!

Way #8. Starting an Outreach Bible Study to become a new church: Lead your church to be a ‘launching pad’ for a new work in your area. Your church may be able to launch a Bible study in an area where an evangelical church does not exist. This could be the starting point for a new church in your community.

Implementation Suggestion: Identify a “Top Ten” list of areas or places in your community where an Outreach Bible Study might be needed. Pray for God’s wisdom and for “laborers in the field” in starting evangelistic studies that take the gospel outside the walls of the church and into your world. Contact one of our DBC Church Relations Missionaries (CRMs) or Church Planter Catalysts (CPCs) for resource suggestions.
“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, October 2022

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