Thankful For Your Prayers

“Well, do you think we are going to make it?”

A good friend and fellow servant of Jesus stopped by my study to say “Hi.” After I assured her that eventually we would make it through all the challenges associated generally with 2020, and specifically with Weatherford’s First Baptist Church, she went on to say, “Every time I think about all the mess that is going on, I pray for you.” She explained that the decisions I had to make seemed like they could be overwhelming. I agreed before we chatted a bit about pheasant hunting and funerals.

During this season of Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of you for your prayers on behalf of the church staff. I am finishing up 38 years of full-time ministry next month. In many ways, this has been the most challenging year I have ever faced. My weekly routine, that included in-home visitation, vanished like an Italian Creme cake in my refrigerator. Our budget was cut over a quarter of a million dollars for 2021 in order to keep spending more in line with giving. I rarely see some friends that I used to see often. I have preached 25 funerals this year. That translates into many members struggling with massive amounts of grief.

Which brings me back to the focus of this Thanksgiving article for 2020. I am thankful for your prayers. The effectual, fervent, prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. Many members are not comfortable being in the building. I understand and support each one of you. Prayers can be offered by believers and heard by God for anywhere. Thanks for interceding on behalf of the staff as we seek to shepherd this wonderful church.

In John 10, Jesus said that a hired hand leaves the sheep when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches the sheep and scatters them. You are blessed to have a staff made up of those who care about you and want God’s best for you. We will not turn tail and run just because the going has gotten a bit rough. We are standing beside you because we love you and because you are praying for us.

We are going to make it! It won’t be quick and it won’t be easy, but God will use this mess to advance His kingdom and bless His people. Thanks again for your prayers.

I love you, Earl


Happy Thanksgiving


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The Promised Messiah” Isaiah 9:1-7
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • NO Gathering Service, TeamKIDS, or University Meal until January 13
  • The Church Office will be closed Wednesday, November 25 – Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving
  • December 20 & December 27 – NO LifeGroups / Worship Only at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (Childcare available for Birth – 3 year olds)
  • Virtual Christmas Eve Service will be posted on the Church website, youtube, and Facebook on December 24 at 5:00 p.m. Provide your own communion elements.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Matthew Milner

The Mission Continues

Article by Seth Odam

It was my joy to lead a team of twelve servants, ranging from high school to young adults, to Santa Cruz, California, to work alongside Santa Cruz Baptist Church in an effort to help wildfire victims in their community. Our team primarily did cleanup for the Brock family who lost their entire home back in August. With shovels, wheelbarrows, and five gallon buckets we filled two thirty-foot dumpsters full of rubble. One dumpster was filled with all of the metal scraps that make up a home. Things like the microwave and kitchen chairs were left unrecognizable from the blaze. The other was filled with ash, broken glass, and other household debris. Along with that, the team placed 45 hay waddles around the properties of surrounding neighbors to prevent their foundation from washing away during the winter rains.

With good ol’ western Oklahoma work ethic we finished faster than expected! Successfully clearing the site of the debris met a tangible physical need for the Brock family, but it also opened the door for the pastor of Santa Cruz Baptist Church, Drew Cunningham, to connect and build relationships with the unbelieving neighbors who were also affected by the fires. Our presence made an immediate impact, but more importantly we were able to help set into motion years of ministry for Santa Cruz Baptist Church as they will continue to serve these fire victims even after the fires fall from the headlines. We witnessed these unbelieving neighbors not only accept our help, but also saw them jump into action to serve each other.

Living like Jesus isn’t normal everywhere.

Living like Jesus is noteworthy everywhere.

Let us continue to live on a daily mission to imitate Jesus in how we serve and love others. Thank you for supporting us in your giving and in prayer. You make an eternal difference! Seth


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The LORD Our Righteousness” Jeremiah 23:1-8
  • This Sunday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m. – Vote to approve the proposed 2021 Budget and the 2021 Committees.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • NO Gathering Service or TeamKIDS until January 13
  • The Church Office will be closed Wednesday, November 25 – Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving
  • December 20 & December 27 – NO LifeGroups / Worship Only at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (Childcare available for Birth – 3 year olds)
  • Virtual Christmas Eve Service will be posted on the Church website, youtube, and Facebook on December 24 at 5:00 p.m. Provide your own communion elements.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Thanksgiving Family Meeting

The pandemic that began many months ago continues to influence our actions as a church. I am thrilled to see so many of you actively engaged in church on multiple fronts. Many of you are present in person. Several of you watch over the livestream. Many of you continue to serve others while taking appropriate actions to stay as safe as possible. We have intentionally made all members of FBC feel loved and included, whether they are on campus or online. From the beginning, my goal, as your pastor, has been to lead us to still be loving each other and serving Jesus as one when this is behind us.

This year, one tradition that has been cancelled is the all-church Thanksgiving meal. We have not been serving food since the pandemic began. We have coffee on Sunday mornings and snacks at Celebrate Recovery on Monday evenings. That is about it. We are trying to remain smart about things in order to limit risks.

Instead of the Thanksgiving meal, we will be meeting in the Worship Center on November 22 at 6:00 p.m. to praise the Lord and approve plans for the future. The time together will include a video of many of you giving reasons you praise the Lord even in 2020. I look forward to positive church family time. We will also be voting to approve the budget, as well as new committee members for 2021. These are the two major actions we take every year. Approved committees then operate throughout the year within the parameters of the approved budget.

Another item we will be acting on will be a joint recommendation coming from the building and grounds committee and the stewardship committee. They are recommending that we hire Sawatzky Construction to add about 1400 square feet of space to our second floor by filling in the open area above the choir room with a concrete floor. The choir room will continue to be phenomenally functional and the additional space on the second floor will provide opportunity for increasing our ministry to children and their families. Money for the project will come from current funds on hand.

As we continue to navigate uncharted territory, let us do so with a vision toward reaching as many people as possible and making them into disciples of Jesus Christ.

I love you, Earl



FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Getting Out of God’s Way” Acts 11:1-18
  • Sunday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m. – Vote to approve the proposed 2021 Budget and the committees for 2021.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • The Church Office will be closed Wednesday, November 25 – Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Do Not Be Afraid

The apostles participated in the feeding of five thousand men and their families on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. They watched in awe as Jesus produced bread and fish which they distributed to the masses. When they had gathered the leftovers into baskets, just before they lined up to receive a round of applause, Jesus put them in a boat and told them to head toward the other side of the sea. Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowd. The apostles obediently began the eight-mile journey across toward Gennesaret.

 Life includes danger.

Shortly into the routine journey to the west, a storm swept down on the sea and hindered the progress of their boat. They lifted the sail and broke out the oars. Enough seasoned fishermen were in the group to give instructions and supply skillful effort. All would be just fine. Or, would it? The more they pulled at the oars, the more the winds and the waters pulled at them. They made little progress. Good thing they ate plenty of bread and fish before leaving shore. They needed the energy.

Life includes danger.

While they frantically pulled at the oars, Jesus spent time in prayer on a mountain near the east shore. He could see that they were struggling but did nothing to help them. Not immediately, anyway. He was spending time with His Father. I have no doubt that He prayed for His frightened apostles. He saw their circumstance, heard their cries, and empathized with their pain. He continued to pray as the apostles continued to panic.

Life includes danger.

Between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Jesus left the solitude of the mountain and headed across the top of the sea toward the frightened apostles. When He came near the boat, the apostles cried out in fear. They thought He was a ghost. He heard their cry and climbed aboard the boat. After identifying Himself, He again commanded them to not be afraid.

 Life includes danger.

This was the second time the apostles had experienced a category five storm while following Jesus. The first time it had been in the daytime, and Jesus was actually in the boat with them. The longer they followed Jesus, the more He used storms to strengthen their faith. He does the same for us. Life will always include danger. Faith in Jesus will always calm our fears.

Do Not Be Afraid! Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The Rich Man and Lazarus” Luke 16:19-31
  • October LifeGroup Average Attendance – 500
  • Financial Update: Budget Required YTD – $1,498,435 Budget Received YTD – $1,326,578 Budget Spent YTD – $1,266,184
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Emily Banks

“Cotton Pickin’ Memories”

During a recent trip to Hobart I surveyed the ongoing cotton harvest. I met several picking machines on the highway as they changed locations. Modules of cotton stood alone in some fields and in line at the gin north of Hobart. Unharvested fields shone brightly in the midday sun. For years, very little cotton was grown in southwestern Oklahoma. Once the boll weevil was eradicated and the price of cotton increased, the crop again became prominent in the county where I was raised.

When I was a boy, I remember repeated plantings and listed ridges. If rain came when the tender plant was “in the crook,” it had to be planted again. It could not push through the crust formed by the rain. I remember chopping the weeds out of the rows during those days before pre-emergent existed. I remember watching daddy mix ground grain, molasses, and poison in a number 3 wash tub. While he drove slowly around the edge of the field, I used a board to toss the bait out for the grasshoppers.

When my daddy stripped the cotton, I sometimes rode in the chicken-wire sided trailer and stomped down the cotton. Green boles fell near the front of the trailer and made good ammunition to toss at my cousins, who were riding in other trailers in the same field. Cotton stalks always made walking through a harvested field challenging.

Annually, our family attended the “Gin Supper.” The coop gathered all the farmers and their families together and fed us a meal catered by Underwood’s Barbecue in Altus. Each of us had pencils at our spots. I used mine to sketch pictures on the paper that covered the long line of tables where we sat. During the evening’s program, door prizes were given from time to time. I never won, but I always watched my ticket as the numbers were read off. Cotton was a big part of life on the farm while I was growing up.

When my daddy was a young man, before he married my mom, one Fall he earned enough money to buy a new car by picking cotton. He was able to do so because he remained on task and worked very hard. He succeeded in life by continuing the same M.O. So can you.

“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

Proverbs 12:11, Earl  



FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Doing Our Duty” Luke 17:7-10
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends this Sunday, November 1…Remember to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday evening
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Michael & Renee Gunsaulis and John Hilliard

My Friend Freckles

The closer we get to home, the more she wants to hug. Actually, it is more of a hold. Freckles, our female Brittany Spaniel, has always been very intelligent and very affectionate. She often stands on the patio with her paws on the window sill, looking in and monitoring her humans. At times she whines for food, but usually, she simply watches us live. She likes to feel connected.

Duke is neither affectionate nor…  Actually, he is smart about some things. However, for the most part, he fulfills his role as a dog very well. Freckles, at times, seems to think more than the average canine. I did not train her to be so. She arrived that way when we brought her home from Ponca City. She spent the first month sleeping in a crate at the foot of our bed. Nancy read that helps a puppy bond with their owners. Apparently it worked.

Freckles only comes in the house when I put her boots on before taking her quail hunting. I use the tiled utility room because I don’t want to stay outside myself. Otherwise, Freckles has the run of our south yard with her nephew, Duke. They are perfectly content to stay outside and sleep in the doghouse they share. They do look forward to their morning walks and their weekly runs. They are always ready to go.

Freckles is not always ready to stop. Our daily trek covers approximately three miles. During the walk, she pulls and sniffs like Duke. Occasionally, she may slow down in order to cause me to stop. When I do, she jumps up and gets me to pet her. By the time the journey is almost over, she seems more interested in pets than smells. She interrupts travel more during the last few blocks than during the entirety of the walk.

That tells me that she is more interested in who she is with than she is in what she is doing. I find that to be somewhat pleasing. I am not just the person on the end of the leash. I am the person she enjoys spending time with. At least, that is what I like to think.

I do know that I please God when I tell Him and show Him that I enjoy being with Him, wherever He leads me. When I delight in His presence, I thrill His heart.

So do you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Forgiven Much” Luke 7:36-50
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • This Sunday, October 25 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • This Sunday, October 25 – Presentation of the 2021 Budget at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

God’s Provision

Their tongues clung to the roofs of their mouths.  The extended journey had led them further into the wilderness and away from all known water supplies.  They thirsted for something with which to moisten their parched, cracked lips.  As the dust boiled up beneath their sandal-covered feet, they cried out for water. 

Not champagne or goats milk or fresh-squeezed orange juice, but water.  A basic requirement for survival was missing and they passionately pleaded for its provision.  They didn’t even ask for ice. 

Moses forwarded their request to God, Who in turn outlined a plan to get some water.  God always has a plan.  The plan defied human logic.  God’s plans usually do.  Moses followed the plan anyway.  So should we.  In obedience to the Word from God, Moses used his staff to strike a rock near the base of Mt. Sinai.

Water gushed forth from the rock with such bountiful supply that every one of the over two million Israelites drank until they thirsted no more.  God supplied their need in the most unexpected of ways when they simply obeyed His instruction.  He will do the same for you.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Two Men in the Temple” Luke 18:9-14
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Graciously Pushing Forward

On October 25 we will be forming a Children’s Minister search committee. Each member of First Baptist Church will be asked to submit up to five names of those they believe would make good members on the search committee. From those receiving the most recommendations, a committee of five will be formed that will actively pursue our next Children’s Minister.

Currently the ministry to children is being led by Tamra Misak and Deborah Fulton. They are leading out in many positive ways on an interim basis. The personnel committee has decided that it is time to move forward with pursuing a called staff member for the position of Children’s Minister at FBC Weatherford. They know this is a position that means so much to the health and growth of the church. Begin now praying about who you will recommend to the committee. Also pray for God’s direction as a Children’s Minister is sought. We want God’s will to be done.

As we continue pushing forward during this pandemic, know that I love you and am thrilled that I get to be your pastor during such a time as this. So many of you have surfaced in various ministry roles. Thank you. We could not make an impact for Christ without your active participation. You are making sacrifices, and people are being blessed.

As a church, we have made wearing a mask and socially distancing a matter of personal preference. We diligently clean and sanitize, but we do not police anyone’s behavior once they enter the building. However, showing Christian love is not a matter of personal preference. Your view on mask-wearing does not permit you to treat others without kindness. All of us have been given so much contradictory information from various sources that I understand why different viewpoints exist about wearing masks. Nailing me down on this issue would be like nailing Jello to the wall.

So, let me reaffirm my love for each of you. I delight to be your pastor. I have never lived through anything like this and neither have you. Let’s show grace to one another, even as God shows grace to us. People continue to have multiplied needs that can only be met in Christ. The gospel must continue to be shared and lived even during a pandemic. Thanks for doing your part.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Like a Good Neighbor” Luke 10:25-37
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary….this week “Night of Praise” It’s Fall Break, so there will be no children’s activities.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Finding Joy and Peace

I found it where I lost it.

Several years ago, a friend handed me a key to a half-section of pasture that he owned and told me to take my dogs out and let them run any time I wanted. I don’t think I have received many gifts during my lifetime that are so practically beneficial. I have no idea how many times I have unlocked the gate and driven in before releasing the dogs from their box. They usually leap off the tailgate like two horses competing in the Kentucky derby.

This day had been no different from previous days. After parking, I put my phone in my coat pocket and my key in my jeans pocket. I walked while the dogs explored and ran untethered. They circled back often. We eventually made it to the pond, where they waded and drank. I just watched. At the truck, I loaded them up before we headed for home.

I exited the truck and reached into my pocket to get the key to unlock the gate. I found nothing. I returned to the truck and searched the cup holder. Again, I found nothing. I quickly assessed the situation. I had not left the key at home or I couldn’t have entered the pasture. I do have a master’s degree!

My conclusion was that the key had fallen from my pocket when I retrieved the truck key after loading the dogs. I returned to where I had parked. I searched for the small key with the smaller white tag that said “Dean’s key.” I usually park in about the same spot in the grass. Knowing where to look made it much easier to find the key, which I did!

Have you lost the joy of the Lord? Have you lost the peace of God? You will find them where you lost them. Go back to that place where you were spending time with the Lord consistently, and trusting Him completely. Focus on Him and not on current events that swirl around you. Only then will you be able to rejoice in the Lord.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Counting the Cost” Luke 14:25-35
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Jared & Jayci Henriksen, Mikylin York, Braden Sweet, and Carter Tharp

In Need of a Coat

He needed a coat. The interior of the Roman jail cell offered few conveniences to the seasoned apostle. His basic needs were provided only when the soldier on duty felt compelled to do so. Many nights he had trouble sleeping. A growling stomach tends to make rest almost impossible. The air smelled musty and chilled his body to the bone after the sun went down.

Now winter was coming and the situation would get worse. Paul was not one to complain, but the cloak he left behind in Troas with Carpus would sure make the days, and especially the nights, much easier to endure. So he asked Timothy to bring the coat with him when he came to visit. 

Paul-the apostle. Paul-the author of at least thirteen books in the New Testament. Paul-the great missionary and evangelist. Paul-the scholar. Spending his final days on earth incarcerated by wicked people. And he didn’t even have a coat.

Quite the contrast, don’t you think, with those religious leaders of today who tell us that if we just have enough faith and get the sin out of our lives all will go well for us physically and financially. Apparently these modern day leaders have more insight and integrity than Paul had. Or maybe they just don’t know what they’re talking about.

Sometimes God’s choice people suffer hardship on earth. Paul not only died homeless, he died coatless. It didn’t bother Paul, though. He knew the Lord would bring him safely to His heavenly kingdom. He wouldn’t need a coat there.

I love you,   Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God Shows No Partiality” Acts 10:24-48
  • This Sunday, September 27 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote