First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte
P.O. Box 170, Eagle Butte, SD 57625
(605) 964-3617 (Office) / (605) 891-1704 (Pastor’s Cell)
What an incredible time it’s been over the past several months! Here in Eagle Butte, First Baptist Church has been busily working to spread the Gospel, while Windswept Academy has been actively educating the next Generation and teaching them to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Last weekend, there was a major celebration for Labor Day. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe celebrated their annual Pow Wow, while the local ranchers put on a big rodeo. While these things were happening, a carnival was set up across the highway that everyone enjoyed.
All this came to an exciting peak on Labor Day itself, when we had a parade on Main Street. Windswept Academy had a float dedicated to the celebration, and I had the honor of being on it. We sang songs all the way down Main Street, praising God and scattering candy all the way! The float won third place in the competition. It was awesome.
Of course, not everything has been easy or fun. There has been a lot of hard work, and we have faced hard problems to solve. But the Lord has been with us, and I couldn’t be more proud of my faithful church members!
On more than one occasion since our last newsletter, Eagle Butte has played host to an unwelcome visitor. Massive quantities of smoke, blown by the wind from the Canadian wildfires, enveloped the town. With each wave of smoke, people became very sick. We were forced to stay indoors, rather than breathe the smoke-laden air. Please pray that the wildfires in Canada will be put out, for the sake of the Canadians and all those downwind from them.
Windswept’s High School Chapel Gets a Special Visitor.
Terrence Lonon, one of the newest attendees at First Baptist Church, is one of those fascinating people who seem to have lived a thousand lives. A former soldier and former cocaine addict, Jesus gave Terrence the help he needed to overcome his addiction and find freedom. Since then, he has become an Emergency Services worker and a Christian rap artist.
At my request, Terrence paid a visit to the High School of Windswept Academy, where he shared his personal testimony and sang some of his Christian rap music. The students were delighted to hear what he had to say, and asked lots of questions. It was a great afternoon, when the students got to hear the Lord glorified through word and song.
My Home Church Comes, and God Works Wonders
When I was only 16 years old, my mother and I began attending Burkemont Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. It was Burkemont who first allowed me to be a Sunday School teacher. It was Burkemont who ordained me. The former pastor of Burkemont, David Mills, was a reference that helped me get my current job. And now here I am, at the age of 43, pastoring my own church, and the friendship with Burkemont is still strong. Dr. Eddie Bunton, Burkemont’s Minister of Students and Missions, decided it would be a great idea to lead a mission trip to South Dakota, where they could host a Vacation Bible School at FBC Eagle Butte. Accompanying him was Rev. Philip Shepherd, Burkemont’s Minister of Music and Worship, and a large team of volunteers, of all ages and skill sets, eager to serve the Lord.
The Vacation Bible School was a beautiful thing. Bible stories were taught, crafts were crafted, songs were sung, and fun times were had by all. Every child had a wonderful experience, and left with a solid teaching of the Gospel.
Unsatisfied with simply giving us a Vacation Bible School, Burkemont brought professional craftsmen from their church to fix several broken things in our church building and parsonage. I came up with what I thought was a formidable list of things to fix, and they fixed even more than that! They even fixed two of our electric ovens, which have been impossible to manage for the past several years!
I am grateful for the work that these men and women did, but I am also grateful for the opportunity to see these old friends of mine, some of whom became my friends when I was just 16 years old!
Red Scaffold’s Annual Vacation Bible School
Sevier Heights Baptist Church of Sevierville, Tennessee has been visiting us every summer for the past twelve years. With each visit, they use our church as a base of operations, and travel to the outlying settlement of Red Scaffold. There, they conduct a Vacation Bible School with the young people of the community.
Sevier Heights’ unique consistency in coming here every year has created an unusual effect. The children of the community have formed long-term friendships with the people of Sevier Heights. They actively look forward to Sevier Heights’ coming every year. Some of them are in their late teens, but were only little children when the church started coming. This year, one young woman was heard to say that the week Sevier Heights comes is her favorite week of the year-even better than Christmas!
This year, the people of Red Scaffold were more welcoming than they have been in any previous year. In addition to the usual Bible study, crafts and sports, the children took the people of Sevier Heights on long hikes, and swam in the local river. Everyone had fun, and real spiritual development took place. I love it when God shows that He is at work!
Calvary Bible Church of Pennsylvania is the home church of one of our Elders-Jonathan Maholic.This year, they hosted a sports camp at our church for all the children of the community. They played basketball and soccer, taught Bible lessons and walked the children through some craft projects. They did some difficult work around the church, like painting our steeple and front railing. They even fixed our air conditioner!
We were deeply gratified to receive a visit from these good friends from far away. And the children couldn’t have been happier.
Every Sunday morning for many years, our church hosted children’s Sunday School and adult Bible study at the church, just before the worship service. Then the pandemic squashed everything, and the church was forced to close its doors for seven months. When we reopened, we lacked the volunteers to host children’s Sunday School anymore, and this ministry had to fall by the wayside. Until now.
The Holy Spirit moved in the heart of Grant Cotton, a young man who attends our church while teaching at Windswept Academy. Grant took the initiative, and presented me with a plan to revive Sunday School. He volunteered to teach the lesson and drive the van to pick the children up!
Moved by his selfless act, I contacted Beth McLeod, who had been involved in our Sunday School in the past. I asked her what she thought of Grant’s idea. She quickly voiced her approval, and even volunteered to make the children breakfast! I could not doubt God’s hand in this, and immediately gave them all the encouragement I could. On a good Sunday, they are already hosting five kids! Praise the Lord!
Women’s Bible Study
My wife, Tiffany, loves to study the Bible. And I mean she REALLY loves to study the Bible. The way America loves bacon. The way the Walt Disney Corporation loves money. The way teenagers love their phones. Tiffany can’t get enough of Bible studies, and often has more than one going on at once.
So I was very fortunate that Tiffany volunteered to teach a women’s Bible Study at First Baptist Church this Fall. The women of our church have taken to it with enthusiasm, and I am sure that they will all grow in Christ by studying the Book of Acts this year!
So perhaps you are wondering how you can become a partner with us in our ministry here in Eagle Butte? If so, then we are happy to tell you, since we welcome assistance from the body of Christ. Here is what we need the most:
Prayer. It may be true that our church is getting along very well at the moment, and that God is doing great things here. But it is precisely when a church is being used by God that Satan does all in his power to destroy it. So please pray, my brothers and sisters. Pray that our leadership will keep their hearts pure and humble, and that we will live at peace with each other. Pray that we will be protected from the power of the enemy, and that God’s Holy Spirit will shine through in our lives. Pray that the Lakotas in the community will come to know the Lord, and that the commitment they make will not be a superficial group of words, but a real change in their Spirits that will alter the course of their lives for eternity.
E-mail addresses. For those of you who have e-mail addresses, please send them to me. That way, these monthly newsletters can be forwarded to everyone in your church who wants one! Just send your name and e-mail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll make sure you receive this newsletter as often as it comes out.
Financial Assistance. Our church is fortunate to have members who are generous in their giving. But some of our most generous members are, nevertheless, very poor. We have long been blessed with assistance from outside churches and individuals, and we try to use those gifts wisely and well.
If any one of you wishes to bless the church with a financial gift, you may send it to:
First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte
P.O. Box 170
Eagle Butte, SD 57625
If you wish to give a donation in memory of another person, or in that person’s honor, we will recognize the person you designate in our newsletter.
May God bless you all, and draw you closer to Himself each and every day.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Ben Farrar
First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte