South Dakota is known for its famous “Faces and Places”. Mount Rushmore is probably the first on the list that meets both criteria, but there are many more. I am thankful for our presidents and this great memorial to them. However, I would like you to meet two other men that share similarities as well as vast differences. First, Bill Hickock, or “Wild Bill” as he loved to call himself, was a law enforcer that we recognize from the past. He gunned down many men with his pearl handled Colt 45′s that he wore in reverse fashion. In fact, he is the first on record to have a quick draw gun fight. He also scouted for
General Custer. However, along with a list of positive accomplishments, there would be the not so positive characteristics in his life. He was a rough drinking man who loved to gamble. He also had his list of enemies. His custom was to always sit with his back to the wall when he was in a saloon or gambling hall so he could see anyone who would want to gun him down. However, one particular evening when coming to Deadwood, SD (for the purpose of gambling) he joined a game with all the seats full except one. It was the one that would put his back to the door. He asked the men to change seats but they refused. Instead of refusing to play, he joined in his last hand of cards that he would ever be dealt. He was shot in the back and died that day August 2, 1876.
The second man I want to introduce you to is simply known by “Preacher Smith”. Not as much is known about this gospel preacher who traveled the west following his burden to win souls. Henry Smith was traveling by foot from Deadwood to Crook City, SD on his way to preach the Word again. However, he never got the opportunity to preach that message because he was shot with an arrow in the back August 20, 1876.
Both men were killed near Deadwood, SD by being shot in the back. Both died in August of 1876. Both are buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery, and that is where the similarities end. “Wild Bill” claims no faith in Christ from what I can read. While “Preacher Smith” gave his life for His Savior, Jesus Christ. There is a large fenced in monument for Bill Hickock that is visited by the public every year. However, most do not continue through the cemetery and see the simple sign that states “Preacher Smith” as a reminder of man that is widely unknown.
That brings me to one more person you should meet. A cancellation led to an invitation when Pastor Gordon Phillips invited me to preach at a church plant by the name of Golden Hills Baptist Church in Lead, SD. It was a wonderful blessing to see the faithfulness of someone who I not only knew from college but also back in day school. As we strove to be a blessing to this family and their church plant, we left with the bigger blessing. Although this church plant was small in size, it’s beginnings are huge! For eight years Brother Phillips wanted to start a church next to Deadwood in the small town of Lead. The Lord opened the door at just the right time in order to get a building. An old unused church building and parsonage was already in the process of being donated to the city of Lead. When Pastor Phillips discovered this news, his heart jumped! He had been waiting on the Lord to start a church and he wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass him up! He first approached the attorney in charge of the property, who told
him that the city wanted it. He then went to the city officials, who told him that they didn’t really want it. He, of course, offered to take it from them. Two buildings, worth $300,000 collectively, were given to Pastor Phillips for a small transaction fee of approximately $400. To God be the glory! We know that God is going to do great things with this church. We are excited to see what He has done the next time we pass through the area.
Gateway Baptist Church, Sundance, WY
In Wyoming, there is a small town named Sundance, which could be local dialect for “not much happening.” The population contains less than 1200 people, which allows Gateway Baptist Church an opportunity to be a big light to their small community. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Pastor John Burns, his wife Melissa, and their three children.
We also had a great time enjoying the snow. Yes, snow in April! With the consistent snow at the beginning of the week, we decided to take advantage of the fresh snowfall. Tuesday morning became a declared “snow” day for most of the Miller crew. We grabbed snow gear, borrowed sleds, and headed to the hills! We had a lot of fun sledding down different hills, such as our declared “bunny slopes,” steep hills, and even steeper hills! We hated to leave our snow fun that day. But, we enjoyed it before it melted away later in the week.
We had great services throughout the week and the Lord really met with us. Responsive hearts resulted in full altars. We saw two ladies receive assurance of salvation that week. Snack fellowships after each evening service gave us opportunities to meet and get to know this church family, as well as visitors. On Friend Night, we saw many visitors come! Although none got saved that night, the seed was planted and we pray that these folks will come to accept Jesus as their Savior very soon.
Throughout the week, Bro. Miller and Pastor Burns visited quite a few folks, whether in the hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or home. And a couple of those times became opportunities for the kids to play their instruments and use their talents for the Lord.
We covet your prayers for Pastor Burns and Gateway Baptist Church, as Pastor Burns continues to follow up with the lost who came on Friend Night, as well as with those that he and Bro. Miller visited that week.
As we entered the parking lot of Lake Shore Drive Baptist Church, in Nampa, ID, we were greeted by Pastor James Bliss, his daughter MacKenzie, as well as the Youth Leader Don Jesup and his wife, Jeri. Their warm welcome and generosity that first day typified their church family the rest of the week. Throughout the week, we were the recipients of gracious hospitality from many church members. We enjoyed getting to know this church family. During the revival meetings, we saw tender hearts respond to the messages. One received assurance of salvation that week. We are very grateful for what God did in the hearts of this church family.
Pocatello Baptist Church, Pocatello, ID
If you drive into Pocatello, ID, anytime soon, you’ll discover quickly that you need to have both hands on the steering wheel and your foot close to
the brake. Pocatello is a busy city with very busy-minded drivers! And busy we became. Sunday began early at 7:30 a.m. for the Easter sunrise service. Pastor Colan Deatherage preached a challenging message from Mark 16 on Mary’s zeal to seek her Lord that very first Easter morning. As we listened to the message, we observed the sun peak over the mountain in front of us, adding a special beauty to the Easter service.
We had wonderful services throughout the week. Emphasis was placed on Thursday night for the church members to bring lost family and friends to hear the Gospel presentation. One young Christian man named Miguel, who came Sunday night, requested prayer for his brother to come and get saved. Throughout the week, we specifically prayed for his brother and others to come on Friend Night. And God answered our prayers. Miguel’s brother came and accepted Christ as Savior! The Lord also opened up an opportunity for Katie to witness to a young lady named Cozette. Cozette did not get saved that night, but we prayed for her to come back the next night. And she did! Bro. Miller and the Youth Leader had opportunities to speak to her that night, both at separate times. The seed was planted again and we pray that she will get saved soon.
We would appreciate your prayers for continued revival and for more souls to be saved. We know of an older Filipino lady named Josie that came on Friend Night. We’re hoping that hearing the Gospel again in Tagalog will help her. Please also keep Maggie, Michelle, and Joy in your prayers concerning the matter of salvation. We look forward to hearing what the Lord will continue to do in this church!
So the next time you enter Pocatello, be ready to brake quickly in traffic and pray fervently for revival. It will be a busy, but great stay! You’re in for a treat.
Fellowship Baptist Church, Meridian, ID
Hold onto your hat as you come into Meridian, ID, as strong winds may come any time, any day of the week! Along with that, you can be prepared for ready and tender hearts from the folks at Fellowship Baptist Church. Bro. Miller preached a series on brokenness throughout the week. What an encouragement to see many young people come forward, surrendering their lives to the Lord. We also saw many church members make decisions to share the Gospel more, relying on the Holy Spirit’s power. Throughout the week, we enjoyed fellowship with many of the church members, as well as Pastor Estes and his family.
As we prepared to leave, we discovered that snow was predicted at our next stay. Since we had a few days with no scheduled meetings, we decided to wait on the weather. While waiting, we realized that the weather was getting worse with heavy snowstorms on the way! Our trip kept getting pushed back farther and farther. But, the Lord had directed our steps and kept us from being caught in the big storms. Bro. Miller, who kept watching the weather and road conditions, decided upon a different route and the Lord gave us safe travels to Sundance, WY.
We thank God for His provisions and for you! Many of you have prayed for and given toward our new trailer project and we are thrilled to share the news that the Lord has provided our new trailer! We have prayed for a while and the Lord has led us in many steps of faith.
In order to pick up our new trailer, we needed one final payment. Just five days before, we received a gift that made it possible. We picked up the trailer in August and have been using it for our fall travels. It is much more comfortable to live in and it fits our family’s needs very well. Thank you for your prayers and your gifts. God has used both of them to make this possible. All praise goes to our all-powerful God, Who takes care of our every need.
The kids love their new bedroom with each of them having their own bed! They have about four times as much closet and storage space in this new trailer. They also enjoy their own bathroom connected to their room. (Mom and Dad enjoy this too.)
Cheri loves her new kitchen with a huge pantry, an island sink, more counter space, and most importantly a full residential-size refrigerator! We also have more room in the main bedroom and more storage capacity. The bathroom actually has a tub (a little smaller than a residential size) and a huge hot water capacity.
In the last several weeks, we have had tremendous services with 58 people trusting Christ as Savior! Also, several have received assurance of salvation. God has done some wonderful works through our ministry. We have been thrilled to have two ladies serve with us throughout the entire fall season. Rae McCollum and Katie Skrabacz have helped with music in the services, music training, computer work, and much more. We also have had different song leaders that have helped us throughout the year.
Since August, we have used two different semi tractors and a medium duty truck to pull our trailer. Please pray for wisdom and God’s provision to get the necessary truck to pull our new home. We need a used truck by the third week of December to get ready for our western travels this upcoming year. We want to thank all of you who prayed and gave toward our trailer project. We praise God for your part in the ministry in which He has entrusted us.
First Baptist Church, LaSalle, IL 8/26-31
Our first full week of revival meetings took place August 26-31 at First Baptist Church in LaSalle, IL with Pastor Wesley Waddle. During our time there, Bro. Miller had the opportunity to speak in chapel on a daily basis. The children were very tender and six elementary-aged students accepted Christ as Savior. One of those students was a young boy named David. David, an immigrant from the Philippines, was still very new to America. He came forward one morning in response to an invitation for salvation. He told Bro. Miller that he wanted to “make right his wrongdoings.” From there, Bro. Miller knew that he didn’t understand. Raised in a Catholic home, young David was trying to trust in himself and his good works for salvation. Throughout the conversation, Bro. Miller saw that David was not understanding that salvation is simply trusting on Jesus Christ to save him from sin. Bro.
Miller then told David to wait until the next day, but David was persistent! He wanted to get it settled. Bro. Miller continued with him, but it still seemed as if David did not understand. Again, Bro. Miller mentioned waiting a little longer, but then David told him “No, I want to accept Jesus today!” He finally understood and accepted Christ as Savior. What a testimony! Later on that week, David brought his dad to one of the evening services, and his dad came to understand how to be sure of Heaven. It was such an exciting thing to watch take place.
We also saw a great response from the high school students. One teen girl received Christ and many decided to surrender their lives to Christ. It was exciting to see the altars full of young people.
Looking back, we not only enjoyed seeing the Lord work in such wonderful ways, but we also appreciated the warm, welcome from the congregation. The church members were so friendly, and helped make our first fall meeting very memorable.
Rockford BC, Rockford, MN 9/9-14
After a restful break in Pecatonica, IL, the team made its way to Rockford Baptist Church in Rockford, MN. Here, the team began to experience the first signs of fall with the crisp, cool mornings. Since the very first meeting, we saw guests come on a regular basis. In the Sunday morning service, Bro. Miller preached a clear salvation message. At the last verse of invitation, a brother and sister in their twenties came forward to receive Christ as Savior! It was a wonderful way to start off the week. It was such a blessing to watch Richard and his sister Caroline come back throughout the week to hear more from God’s Word. After one of the services, Bro. Miller talked to Richard about the importance of reading the Bible. Richard said he read the Bible the previous night. He had read Genesis the first 25 chapters in one evening!
Activities during the week included afternoon visitation on Monday and Tuesday. Even though we did not see those we invited come out, we know that the seed was planted and that the Lord said His Word would not return void.
Little did we know that we would meet young people from Germany, Slavakia, and Thailand, in Rockford, MN. These foreign exchange students come to America to not only learn the language in more depth, but to also experience the culture. What a wonderful ministry this church has to reach the world for Christ right where they are. Please pray for these students to trust Christ as their Savior.
On Wednesday night, we saw a young girl trust Christ during kids’ meetings. Donna Robertson got the opportunity to talk with her after the missionary story and invitation.
With a smaller congregation, we got to know the church members very well. Many were faithful to each service and faithful to respond to the messages from God’s Word. We grew to love those church members and were even tempted to take a couple with us on the road!
It was a fantastic time in New York City this year. I first preached in two churches before we conducted our outreach. I had the opportunity to be with Pastor Bickel at Bethel Baptist Fellowship for the second time. We had a great spirit and tenderness to God’s Word with many good decisions among Christians. This is a church in the middle of Brooklyn with a heart for revival. In the evening, I had the opportunity to preach at Bible Baptist Church in Elmont, NY where James Barker is the pastor. I have been there several times with blessing and this was the case this time too.
People from both of these churches and a few others had a part in the soul winning in Manhattan. It was a high year for us with 86 people trusting Christ! This brings our total for the eleven years of outreach to 775 saved. What a privilege its is to be a part of seeing people come to Christ! There are so many stories represented behind each of those numbers. The young man in the picture is going to college full time and working full time. He wanted prayer for his busy schedule and the heavy burden he bears. After we prayed for his concerns, he listened to the gospel and was saved.
This next man that trusted Christ is holding the New Testament we gave him and he was so grateful. He kept thanking me for talking with him and telling him the truth about Heaven. I said “Praise the Lord for it!”. We had prayed that God would allow us to meet people ready to hear the gospel. He certainly was.
One of the most amazing stories from this year was a couple who was on their way to an abortion clinic. She was looking for a “sign” to show her whether or not she should go through with the abortion. She and her husband saw our Prayer Station and stopped. Both her and her husband received Christ. This illustrates the truth that the Gospel is still powerful and the Holy Spirit is still working in hearts. For this I am thankful.
…Is a Merry Christmas for you. There is only one way to have a truly Merry Christmas.
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas, with Christ being the center of your celebrations. We as a family cherish the time of Christmas. It is a great time to rejoice with the people we love about the only true salvation we can receive. Jesus Christ the baby born in Bethlehem was 100% God in the flesh. Jesus is therefore the ONLY Savior that can take your sins away and make a way for you to go to Heaven.
The best present you can receive is eternal life through Jesus Christ. The way you receive Jesus Christ and eternal life is through Faith. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, 9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Why don’t you place your trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? You can and should do it today. If you would like to know more click on the article entitled Heaven.
I love bridges! I have been able to see and travel across many famous bridges. I have traveled across the 7 Mile Bridge in the beautiful Florida Keys. I have visited the great Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. I have looked down the extreme height of the Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, CO. I have also seen the impressive Mackinac Bridge that spans the five mile gap between lower state of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Built in the 1950′s, the Mackinac Bridge was an engineering feat. There are two lanes of traffic each direction that flow 200 feet above the icy blue water at mid span. Weighing over a million tons, it is unbelievable that is even suspended by two beautiful towers. These towers reach from the water level up 552 ft. and from the water down 300 ft. until they hit the bedrock in which they are anchored. Imagine with me standing on the shore of the lower state of Michigan peering into the horizon. We barely see our destination of the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) off in the distance. How are we going to get across except we use the bridge. This phenomenal structure spans the gap and allows us to access the other side.
Now imagine with me a group of over 2 million people standing at Kadesh Barnea trying to decide whether or not they are going to go in the Land of Canaan. The choice is simple yet difficult. Will they by faith take God at His promise and go possess the land? Unfortunately they doubted, hesitated and missed the opportunity before them because their lack of faith. Hebrews 3:19 states “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Like the children of Israel, who hesitated to go into the Promised Land by faith, we also can miss out on the blessing of revival. Faith is the missing element in accessing the revival that God wants to send. Our ministry theme is Faith for Revival. We want to encourage churches and individual believers that we can believe God for revival and soul winning in today’s time. Let us take the admonition from this passage to not repeat the same error they did. Hebrews 3:12 warns us “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Access the “Promised Land” of revival in your life by depending upon God’s promises that He has given you. What we need more now than ever is Faith For Revival!
If you are going to get stranded somewhere, it might as well be on a resort island. Because of trailer repairs we could not travel and had to stay a week next to the church we had just ministered in (which happened to be on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina).
Minutes after we prayed for safety and committed the trip and equipment to the Lord, I was pulling out of a tight spot at Bible Baptist Church which Brother Scott Barber pastors. CLANG! I heard the sound of metal and knew immediately what had happened. I snapped a leaf spring in the suspension in the trailer. We were stuck and knew it. I started calling several places to locate the proper spring to replace it. Finally (and I mean finally), I was able to locate the spring and have it shipped. This meant we were staying there for the week. Our next meeting was the next Sunday in Florida. The Lord is so good that he provided a mechanic in the church to volunteer his time and replace the springs when they came in.
Since we were going to be there for the Wednesday evening service of the church, the pastor asked me to preach. I preached from Mark 11 on “Expecting the Impossible”. God gave us a special service that night with a good response to God’s Word. The Spirit specifically spoke to hearts about faith and there were many definite decisions.
After the service, an exchange student from India trusted Christ as Savior! We were thrilled to see this one be saved. For a long while he stayed afterward. He noticed the mission board in the hallway and asked what that was. He was told that is was a display of missionaries to foreign countries that told people what he had heard that night. He then asked where is the one to India? He was told they did not have one to India. He said’ “I guess I am going to be the next one.” What an amazing statement from someone who just was saved! His excitement in his new faith could also be seen the next few days. The following Sunday he was at church, and he said “I just couldn’t wait until Sunday!”
As I think back on all that God did, I can’t help but thank Him for His providence and divine appointments. And I can truly say, It’s not so bad to be stranded on a