Dallas Powell, Oregon Trail Baptist Association
By Dallas Powell
What opened your eyes to the fields where you serve? What drew you there? How did God call you there?
Nearing graduation from seminary, the pull of church planting was overwhelming, and we moved to Michigan to learn something about the real work of Church planting. We served there for nine years helping to start several new works. God began drawing us through a set of events toward Western Nebraska. A passion for church planting, my mother becoming very ill with cancer in Hays, Kansas and my mid-west roots pulled me to these familiar fields. God laid the Scottsbluff area on my familiy’s heart and we moved. Like the early pioneers we followed the trail west. When my family believed that God was calling me to full-time ministry, my wife took on a full-time job. This was a major change for us. Our heart was to please our Savior and for the people of the western Nebraska.
When you look at the fields, what do you see? When you see what stirs you? When you see whom do you see?
The field is a stretch of US 26 that parallels the North Platte River. This highway was once the trail taken by pioneers and settlers traveling west for fame and fortune. The eroded wagon ruts formed by the Oregon and Mormon Trails are still visible today. Some of the communities are small, and because of that they do not have a strong evangelical presence. Other communities are larger and need multiple strong new works. Each community is unique with great need to hear about Jesus Christ. I see people in need of a Savior. People are still searching for meaning and fortune on the journey in the west.
How ripe has your harvest been? What does this ripeness look like? Who is helping you in the gathering?
The vision will be to develop multiple new works with each one reflecting the community reached. The church starts will develop cores for several new works through community-wide surveys and evangelistic events. Personal contacts will be made to all potential prospects. Bethel Baptist Church a small Southern Baptist Church has partnered to start new works in several prospective areas where they have already started ministries.
Thus far, works are ongoing in Scottsbluff where the Jeremiah House ministers to the poor working with children, in Terrytown where the Carpenter Center also ministers to the poor including numbers of Hispanics and Native Americans, and in Kimball where a church restart is intended to restore the work of a once-prosperous church, which was focused to close.
For a full account of Dallas’ testimony, go to http://www.kncsb.org/ministry/article/viola_webb_promotional_material_downloads/.