Your Story Matters

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Sundays: 9:00am & 10:45am Worship + Bible Studies | Wednesdays: 6:30pm Students // 6:45pm Community Groups + Kids

YOUR STORY MATTERS

Everyone has a story of where they come from, how they came to be here at Community and how God has touched people’s lives through their faithful service to the Lord. Each week as we highlight someone who has been called into ministry at Community Church, we pray that their story will encourage each of us to recognize how God is working in our own lives and how He desires to bless us as He blesses others through our obedience to Him.

Darla Kilhoffer

by: Erin Keller

12/15/2019

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Exhuberant, joyful, enthusiastic, fun: those are all words that describe Darla Kilhoffer. Darla may be young in years, but she is mature in her faith in Jesus and in her desire to chase after Him with all her heart.
Darla grew up in a Christian home, the middle child of five. She says that her Dad’s family was all musical, and he would sing around the house. The kids all picked up that habit, and one friend said, “It’s like walking into a Disney movie when I come over. You all just burst into song!”
Life was not all sunshine… read more

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Exhuberant, joyful, enthusiastic, fun: those are all words that describe Darla Kilhoffer. Darla may be young in years, but she is mature in her faith in Jesus and in her desire to chase after Him with all her heart.
Darla grew up in a Christian home, the middle child of five. She says that her Dad’s family was all musical, and he would sing around the house. The kids all picked up that habit, and one friend said, “It’s like walking into a Disney movie when I come over. You all just burst into song!”
Life was not all sunshine though. Darla’s Dad passed away when she was 15. She says, “That’s how I came to know who the Lord is in a really, really, real way, because it changed everything I believed about who God was. When my aunt came in to tell me he had passed away, I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m fatherless now.’ Even before I finished it in my head, I heard God say, ‘I’m your father.’” Darla started writing songs to help deal with all the emotions, sad, sad songs at first, but over time the songs changed to reflect the things that she was learning about the Lord. “Dad dying made Him more real because I spent a lot more time with the Lord. As real and hard as grief is, He was even more real in being able to comfort me. If I hadn’t gone through all of that, I wouldn’t know God to be a faithful father and counselor, who counsels us through all the feelings we don’t understand. My favorite verse is ‘You’ve turned my mourning into dancing. You’ve taken my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.’ He reminds me that I’ll always have joy in Him if I choose to hold on to it or receive it. He reminds me that I have freedom in Him, and that joy is a promise for those who want what His heart wants.”

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Jeff Robards

by: Erin Keller

12/08/2019

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Jeff’s is a life that has been transformed by the power of relationship. Jeff didn’t have any Christian influences in his life as he was growing up. He just tried to live life as a “good person.”

Jeff met Bill and Lauri Williams in 2000 when Jeff was coaching soccer and their daughter Sarah was on the team. Jeff says, “Bill invited us to church and we went. We weren’t searching. We didn’t know that we needed the Lord. We just liked Bill and Lauri and said, ‘Okay, we’ll try it.’ I went to church for about a year and a… read more

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Jeff’s is a life that has been transformed by the power of relationship. Jeff didn’t have any Christian influences in his life as he was growing up. He just tried to live life as a “good person.”

Jeff met Bill and Lauri Williams in 2000 when Jeff was coaching soccer and their daughter Sarah was on the team. Jeff says, “Bill invited us to church and we went. We weren’t searching. We didn’t know that we needed the Lord. We just liked Bill and Lauri and said, ‘Okay, we’ll try it.’ I went to church for about a year and a half before I decided I did need Jesus. I accepted the Lord when I was 27 and got baptized within a couple of months after that, and I just thank the Lord that he put me in some good teaching classes for several years.”
Since then, Jeff has spent years on the host team, as an usher, and for the past five years he has been teaching a class on Wednesday nights. One of the things that has changed the most for Jeff is his desire to connect with people. “I didn’t used to like to interact with people, but as I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with it, I like that part more than anything. I’ve learned it’s not about me. It’s more about that first impression and letting people know that somebody sees them and makes them feel comfortable and welcome.” For the past year or so, Jeff has taken on the role of scheduling all the host team and ushers.
Because of one friendship, one person’s willingness to invite Jeff to church, Jeff’s life and the life of his family and countless others has been forever changed. Would you like to be that one person for someone else? Consider inviting someone to church with you, or getting involved in the host team or another ministry. One person does make a difference.

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Merri Logue

by: Erin Keller

12/01/2019

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The church is so blessed to have Merri working in the facilities department here at Community Church, but Merri will tell you she is the one who is blessed. The body of Christ that is Community Church was there for her as her husband, JL, battled lung cancer and after he died. The Sunday after JL’s funeral Merri was in church, and the sermon was about giving God our problems. “Pastor Bill preached a lesson about visualizing your problems in the palm of your hand and lifting them to God, just letting Him have them. I was at my… read more

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The church is so blessed to have Merri working in the facilities department here at Community Church, but Merri will tell you she is the one who is blessed. The body of Christ that is Community Church was there for her as her husband, JL, battled lung cancer and after he died. The Sunday after JL’s funeral Merri was in church, and the sermon was about giving God our problems. “Pastor Bill preached a lesson about visualizing your problems in the palm of your hand and lifting them to God, just letting Him have them. I was at my wit’s end, and I remember doing that. I raised my hands to God, and literally a weight came off my shoulders. The made all the difference in the world. Everything fell into place. Now I do that every single day during my private time. God is teaching me to stay in His Word and sit in His lap and rely on Him, that He’s been there for me this whole time. He’s made me realize why I went through what I did. It was so I can help. Whenever I find out someone has cancer, or lung cancer especially, I feel drawn to them and feel like I am there to help them and to help their family and loved ones. I can see the doors that were opened, the doors that were closed, and it has made my faith stronger. I have a war room in my house that is covered with post-its of people that I pray for. I rely on Him with everything.”

Merry attended the grief group that the church hosts, and about six months after JL’s death, she started volunteering in the church office and then came on staff. Now Merri does the purchasing and supply inventory, as well as supervising the cleaning crew. “I love working here. I love being here. I love volunteering my time. I’m so thankful for everyone who has stepped up to help take care of the property. It makes everything so much easier for Alberto and me.”

God designed us to do life in community. Ask yourself, “Who does God want to be for me in this trial?” And ask yourself, “Who can I walk alongside in their trials?” May we be the hands and feet of Jesus to each other.

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General T. L. Daniels

by: Erin Keller

11/24/2019

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No one in Guthrie and surrounding areas has to go without a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the vision and desire of General Tommy Lee Daniels.

Tommy Lee Daniels was born and raised in Guthrie and served in the U.S. Air Force and then in the the Oklahoma Air National Guard and at the Pentagon. It was important for him to give back to the community that had supported him. He fully funded the initial event in 1997, and the Guthrie community has embraced and supported his vision for 22 years.

The dinner is held on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 am to… read more

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No one in Guthrie and surrounding areas has to go without a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the vision and desire of General Tommy Lee Daniels.

Tommy Lee Daniels was born and raised in Guthrie and served in the U.S. Air Force and then in the the Oklahoma Air National Guard and at the Pentagon. It was important for him to give back to the community that had supported him. He fully funded the initial event in 1997, and the Guthrie community has embraced and supported his vision for 22 years.

The dinner is held on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 am to 2 p.m at the American Legion Center, 123 N. 1st Street in Guthrie, and is catered by Chef Yvette Curry, a former culinary instructor at Guthrie Job Corps, who will prepare meals for about 800 people. There will be give-aways, good food, fellowship and more during the event. The feast is open to anyone who would like to come and enjoy the fellowship of the meal or have one delivered. Meals are delivered from Crescent to Langston to people who are alone or homebound, to the jail, to police and firemen who have to work on Thanksgiving, to workers at convenience stores, and to students at Langston University and Guthrie Job Corps who can’t make it home for Thanksgiving.

Giving back was the passion of General Daniels, and as followers of Jesus, we are commanded and blessed by giving to our community. The General T. L. Daniels Thanksgiving Dinner is a great opportunity for the members of Community Church to serve alongside members of the “Big C Church” to spread His love and caring to the people of Guthrie. Come to eat and visit with people from the community, or come to serve. Volunteers will meet at the American Legion at 10:30 on Thanksgiving morning to set up for the meal, including unloading the truck, dressing tables, plating food, Another way to serve is to donate gift cards in various amounts to places like Walmart or the Dollar Tree to be given as door prizes at the event.

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Allen & Sheri Brown

by: Erin Keller

11/17/2019

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Allen and Sheri did not grow up in church, but each had a family member that planted seeds of God’s truth in their hearts. Sheri’s grandmother was the daughter of a Baptist preacher, and Allen’s mother would read the Bible to him, mostly, he says, because he needed it. “She was big on the Ten Commandments because I was a wild child.”

Shortly after they were married 54 years ago, Allen and Sheri started attending a little country church on the west side of Guthrie and were baptized. Since that time they have been active and contributing followers of Jesus.

Allen… read more

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Allen and Sheri did not grow up in church, but each had a family member that planted seeds of God’s truth in their hearts. Sheri’s grandmother was the daughter of a Baptist preacher, and Allen’s mother would read the Bible to him, mostly, he says, because he needed it. “She was big on the Ten Commandments because I was a wild child.”

Shortly after they were married 54 years ago, Allen and Sheri started attending a little country church on the west side of Guthrie and were baptized. Since that time they have been active and contributing followers of Jesus.

Allen and Sheri started attending Community Church in 2016. Sheri says, “The first time we walked into the church, we felt the love. This is where we needed to be.” Once again they jumped in to serve. They organized and led a team to serve food for the Newcomers Lunches for a time, they prepare the communion trays, serve on the Host Team, and are now sharing their passion for travel with adults in the congregation through Travel with Friends. Of serving on the host team, Allen says, “We really enjoy interacting with people out here in the lobby on the Host Team. I’ve made some good friends.” Sheri adds, “It’s like second family.”

Travel with Friends is a new ministry at Community Church. Allen and Sheri love to travel and see different places. They lived in an RV for eight years, and after they sold the RV, they started taking bus tours. Now they are bringing that love of travel to Community. Sheri says, “Traveling is a lot of fun. You get to know people so much better when you do stuff like that with them.”

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Tyler Rudek

by: Erin Keller

11/10/2019

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God takes our passions and uses them in unexpected ways. Tyler Rudek has always been fascinated with medicine and anything medical. He worked as an EMT and the more critical the situation, the more he thrived. His ultimate desire was to become a flight nurse on a helicopter. He says, “I loved meeting people at that biggest crisis point in their lives and having the skill and technique to rescue them. I loved the adrenaline rush.” Today, God has taken that passion for people in crisis and He uses Tyler’s skills to rescue their souls.

Tyler is the second of four… read more

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God takes our passions and uses them in unexpected ways. Tyler Rudek has always been fascinated with medicine and anything medical. He worked as an EMT and the more critical the situation, the more he thrived. His ultimate desire was to become a flight nurse on a helicopter. He says, “I loved meeting people at that biggest crisis point in their lives and having the skill and technique to rescue them. I loved the adrenaline rush.” Today, God has taken that passion for people in crisis and He uses Tyler’s skills to rescue their souls.

Tyler is the second of four boys in his family. His father is a preacher who has specialized in helping struggling churches to heal and grow, so Tyler grew up in church doing whatever was necessary, from setting up chairs for the services to greeting people to running the sound system. After one move to a particularly quiet town, Tyler and his brothers all started playing musical instruments and so added leading worship to the things they did at church. Tyler says that his dad led by example and taught him to love people and to develop relationships with people by meeting their needs. “That’s the stuff I love to do, to be able to be out and love on people, to hear their story and learn from them.”

Tyler and his wife, Rachel, were invited to visit Community Church in 2016 and knew right away that this was meant to be home. Tyler says, “It’s just incredible that God’s presence is here…. He’s up to something crazy awesome here.”

So now Tyler gets his adrenaline rush from watching people be touched by God and seeing their lives changed. “It never gets old to see someone come and their life is intersected with the cross, with all that God is, when people realize the goodness of God for the very first time or when God reveals Himself in a new way. I know it’s all through the power of God, but anything I get to do to be a part of that never gets old. That’s the euphoria, I guess, that I get to be a part of it, and it just encourages me to keep pressing on no matter what I’m walking through.”yler and his wife, Rachel, were invited to visit Community Church in 2016 and knew right away that this was meant to be home. Tyler says, “It’s just incredible that God’s presence is here…. He’s up to something crazy awesome here.”
So now Tyler gets his adrenaline rush from watching people be touched by God and seeing their lives changed. “It never gets old to see someone come and their life is intersected with the cross, with all that God is, when people realize the goodness of God for the very first time or when God reveals Himself in a new way. I know it’s all through the power of God, but anything I get to do to be a part of that never gets old. That’s the euphoria, I guess, that I get to be a part of it, and it just encourages me to keep pressing on no matter what I’m walking through.”

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Prim Cockrell-Dunn

by: Erin Keller

11/03/2019

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“I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” Those are the words Prim likes to use when she meets someone new. “When you say that to somebody, they know immediately where you stand.”

Prim remembers her grandmother spending time in her Bible every day, but she was raised a Catholic. Prim trained horses and their riders. Many of them became world champions, and Prim moved in the circles of the rich and powerful. After her husband Andy died, Prim married a man who turned out to be abusive, and it was during that time that she started seeking the truth.… read more

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“I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ.” Those are the words Prim likes to use when she meets someone new. “When you say that to somebody, they know immediately where you stand.”

Prim remembers her grandmother spending time in her Bible every day, but she was raised a Catholic. Prim trained horses and their riders. Many of them became world champions, and Prim moved in the circles of the rich and powerful. After her husband Andy died, Prim married a man who turned out to be abusive, and it was during that time that she started seeking the truth. The seeds planted by her grandmother and the preacher took root and Prim started to read the Bible. As she looks back, she can see God’s provision and direction all over her life. She went to Celebrate Recovery to learn how to help people caught in addiction, but God used CR to heal Prim. She spent 15 years running a therapeutic riding center that focused on inner city kids and on women caught up in prostitution and addiction. When God told her it was time to sell the ranch, she was reluctant, but again He opened and closed doors in such a way that it was clear it was His calling.

Now Prim’s calling is to teach two-year-olds in Community Church’s Mothers’ Day Out program, and she loves it! She feels that God has told her just to plant the seeds of God’s love so that when hard times come, those two-year-olds can remember Prim and her love for the Word, just as she remembers her grandmother.
Prim says, “When God closes a door, let Him close it because He has other great doors to open up. We all have choices. We can be like the Israelites and spend 40 years to learn the lesson, or we can surrender and get to the Promised Land in two days. God is here. He wants the best for us. We are the ones making the choices not to believe. What is key to remember is that God never gives up on His people. He loves us unconditionally, and the scars that we get through our trials are there so that we can learn how faithful He is. I serve a God who is unbelievable. We just have to count our blessings and look for our miracles, because there are plenty.”

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Lisa Trask

by: Erin Keller

10/27/2019

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“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. That is definitely true in the life of Lisa Trask. Her plan was to get her law degree, become an agricultural lobbyist and a career woman. Children were definitely not part of her plans. But where has God called her? And where has she happily worked for over a decade? You guessed it, with children and their parents. And God has opened the door each step of the way.
After deciding that the hours demanded of a lawyer were not for her, Lisa got… read more

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“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. That is definitely true in the life of Lisa Trask. Her plan was to get her law degree, become an agricultural lobbyist and a career woman. Children were definitely not part of her plans. But where has God called her? And where has she happily worked for over a decade? You guessed it, with children and their parents. And God has opened the door each step of the way.
After deciding that the hours demanded of a lawyer were not for her, Lisa got a job as a school secretary. She discovered that she loved the administrative side of that job, and she loved being able to be “the happy lady” for the kids at school. When she and her husband, Michael moved to Guthrie, they attended Henderson Hills for several years and she worked in the Mothers’ Day Out program there until a couple of years ago, when she was given a leadership role in the Mothers’ Day Out program here at Community. “I’ve flourished. I love our families. I love our kids. I love being able to teach teachers, these women who think ‘oh, I’m just a Mom,’ and help them to take ownership of the fact that they are important and valued and what they do here matters. At my old program a lot of the families were churched. Here it’s kind of the opposite, so I love that we are Jesus for these families. We are the reason that the kids talk about Jesus and know Jesus and that He made them special. And I just love that we get to pour that light into them, and I’m honored that the parents feel safe enough to leave their kids here even if they aren’t churched themselves or go to a different church or whatever their background is.”

These days Lisa tries hard to make plans and goals with a loose grip so that God can direct her steps. “If I had followed my path, cycles would have been repeated, generational curses would have been passed on and growth would not have happened. I would not have the faith that I have now.” How will you let God direct your steps? His plans are always perfect for you.

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Charlie Jones

by: Erin Keller

10/20/2019

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If you hear the words “Operation Christmas Child,” chances are that Jean Ingram is the speaker. Jean is the voice of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in Guthrie and surrounding towns, and she is passionate about the mission of the organization: evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. She says, “You see that being carried out even in what we (the local church) are doing. First of all, it’s to evangelize and to tell people about the Lord. It’s not just about a box or the gifts. Then discipleship means that the kids are being discipled afterwards to learn how to be a follower… read more

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If you hear the words “Operation Christmas Child,” chances are that Jean Ingram is the speaker. Jean is the voice of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in Guthrie and surrounding towns, and she is passionate about the mission of the organization: evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. She says, “You see that being carried out even in what we (the local church) are doing. First of all, it’s to evangelize and to tell people about the Lord. It’s not just about a box or the gifts. Then discipleship means that the kids are being discipled afterwards to learn how to be a follower of Christ, and the multiplication happens when they take it into their homes. I see multiplication happening in Guthrie because we are able to share it. Everywhere we can say, ‘Would you like to hear about it?’”

Jean says she’s a “country girl from Deatsville, Alabama.” Her parents were devout followers of Jesus, and the ladies in their little church who influenced her the most were the ones who loved God’s Word. “They taught me just to love Jesus. I don’t remember when I didn’t love him,” she says.

She became a special education teacher and taught for three or four years, but she says God’s call on her life was to do fulltime work for the Lord one day. After she and her husband, Al, moved to Pensacola, Florida, she volunteered at the church and eventually was asked to lead the children’s ministry, which she did for 25 years, until she and Al moved to Guthrie to be closer to their grandchildren. She had packed shoeboxes for years, but once in Guthrie she jumped in and is now a year-around volunteer and is the Prayer Mobilization Coordinator for this area. Jean also teaches in the Community Kids ministry here at Community. “I know how important it is to reach little kids for Jesus. I love them. I love playing with them…. God says you’ve got to use your gifts no matter where you are…. My purpose is to prepare, not just myself, but other people around me. How many people will I take to heaven with me? That’s what life’s about.”

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Jean Ingram

by: Erin Keller

10/13/2019

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If you hear the words “Operation Christmas Child,” chances are that Jean Ingram is the speaker. Jean is the voice of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in Guthrie and surrounding towns, and she is passionate about the mission of the organization: evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. She says, “You see that being carried out even in what we (the local church) are doing. First of all, it’s to evangelize and to tell people about the Lord. It’s not just about a box or the gifts. Then discipleship means that the kids are being discipled afterwards to learn how to be a follower… read more

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If you hear the words “Operation Christmas Child,” chances are that Jean Ingram is the speaker. Jean is the voice of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in Guthrie and surrounding towns, and she is passionate about the mission of the organization: evangelism, discipleship and multiplication. She says, “You see that being carried out even in what we (the local church) are doing. First of all, it’s to evangelize and to tell people about the Lord. It’s not just about a box or the gifts. Then discipleship means that the kids are being discipled afterwards to learn how to be a follower of Christ, and the multiplication happens when they take it into their homes. I see multiplication happening in Guthrie because we are able to share it. Everywhere we can say, ‘Would you like to hear about it?’”

Jean says she’s a “country girl from Deatsville, Alabama.” Her parents were devout followers of Jesus, and the ladies in their little church who influenced her the most were the ones who loved God’s Word. “They taught me just to love Jesus. I don’t remember when I didn’t love him,” she says.

She became a special education teacher and taught for three or four years, but she says God’s call on her life was to do fulltime work for the Lord one day. After she and her husband, Al, moved to Pensacola, Florida, she volunteered at the church and eventually was asked to lead the children’s ministry, which she did for 25 years, until she and Al moved to Guthrie to be closer to their grandchildren. She had packed shoeboxes for years, but once in Guthrie she jumped in and is now a year-around volunteer and is the Prayer Mobilization Coordinator for this area. Jean also teaches in the Community Kids ministry here at Community. “I know how important it is to reach little kids for Jesus. I love them. I love playing with them…. God says you’ve got to use your gifts no matter where you are…. My purpose is to prepare, not just myself, but other people around me. How many people will I take to heaven with me? That’s what life’s about.”

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Kathie Dellenbaugh

by: Erin Keller

10/06/2019

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"God is faithful, and God is good.” Those were the words that Kathie has believed and used as a foundation of her faith since she was young. She was raised in a military family, and church was at the base chapel, which preached a generic gospel. When she was 12, Kathie spent the summer with her grandmother and went to a Baptist church. That was the first time she really heard the gospel, and she said yes to Jesus and was baptized.
Kathie has seen God’s hand in ways that show her He loves her and cares intimately about her. She… read more

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"God is faithful, and God is good.” Those were the words that Kathie has believed and used as a foundation of her faith since she was young. She was raised in a military family, and church was at the base chapel, which preached a generic gospel. When she was 12, Kathie spent the summer with her grandmother and went to a Baptist church. That was the first time she really heard the gospel, and she said yes to Jesus and was baptized.
Kathie has seen God’s hand in ways that show her He loves her and cares intimately about her. She had preventive surgery which made her a cancer survivor without even knowing she had cancer. When her husband Danny was in the hospital with a stroke, his blood pressure was too high to give him the clot-busting drug. Pastor Bill, Kathie and others in the room texted everyone to pray that that the pressure would go down. It did, so he was able to receive the drug. Kathie was diagnosed with RA, but she doesn’t have RA. Her home overlooks a farmer’s field. She jokingly told her son to tell the farmer to plant canola, and canola is what came up that year.“I believe God did that to encourage me, to say I care about you. I really believe that an attitude of gratitude and looking for the goodness of God is so important. It’s not about being happy about a diagnosis. It’s being thankful that you have God to walk it with you, being thankful that God brought the diagnosis to light. It’s looking above your circumstances at what God is doing.“
Kathie has served as director of the children’s ministry and later as director of the women’s ministry. She is currently involved with the care calling ministry and subs for the Mother’s Day Out program and in the public schools.
God tells us to seek Him with our whole heart. Kathie says that as she has done that, she has had more opportunities to minister to other people, and she is blessed to see God work through her obedience. Are you willing to seek Him with your whole heart too?

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Erin Keller

by: Erin Keller

09/29/2019

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“But God….” Those are the words that are ever-present these days in the mind of Erin Keller. “Life can be falling apart, but God…. “
She and her husband Andy have had serious struggles in different seasons of their marriage, “But God” showed Himself faithful, and through those trials Erin learned to go to God first.

Erin and Andy spent years thinking they didn’t need to have relationships with other couples, “But God” has shown the richness and value of living life with good people who pour Jesus into them.

They bought land, but after building and living there for… read more

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“But God….” Those are the words that are ever-present these days in the mind of Erin Keller. “Life can be falling apart, but God…. “
She and her husband Andy have had serious struggles in different seasons of their marriage, “But God” showed Himself faithful, and through those trials Erin learned to go to God first.

Erin and Andy spent years thinking they didn’t need to have relationships with other couples, “But God” has shown the richness and value of living life with good people who pour Jesus into them.

They bought land, but after building and living there for only three months, they had a house fire that took everything they owned. Erin says, “We had to grieve. It was a loss, and I just remember through that whole journey, saying, ‘This does not change who God is. He’s still sovereign and He’s still good.’ I realize now that in every season in life God is going to teach you something, through the easy or through the hard, but in this season I’m learning so much about God and His character, and I’m just kind of blown away by it all. There’s just this awe-ness. I love to say, ‘He loves to show up and show off,’ and He does, a lot of times in ways that we’re not expecting.” “But God….”

Erin serves Community Church on the directional leadership team, overseeing guest follow-up, host team, promotions and social media. She used to live in fear of messing up, in fear of not being good enough, “But God” has used her struggles to help her trust Him as she creates a welcoming atmosphere at church. “I love what I do. It’s not about the buildings or the donuts or the coffee, but those are tools for someone to encounter God…. When they’re here, if they can encounter Jesus, a life is changed, generations are changed….”
What are some of the “But God…” moments in your life? Spend some time looking for those “But God…” moments. As you find them, your faith will be strengthened, and the opportunity to encourage others by your “But God…” experiences will abound.

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Vickie Robards

by: Erin Keller

09/22/2019

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When you walk through the doors of Community Church, you will likely be greeted by Vickie’s smiling face. But God has taken her on a long journey to bring her to where she is today. Vickie grew up as the youngest of five children, and she was the only child in the home from the time she was 11. She was very close to her Dad, but he died when she was 23. “I think I have always had depression because of my Dad dying, and I never dealt with it in healthy ways. I would push Jeff [her husband]… read more

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When you walk through the doors of Community Church, you will likely be greeted by Vickie’s smiling face. But God has taken her on a long journey to bring her to where she is today. Vickie grew up as the youngest of five children, and she was the only child in the home from the time she was 11. She was very close to her Dad, but he died when she was 23. “I think I have always had depression because of my Dad dying, and I never dealt with it in healthy ways. I would push Jeff [her husband] away because if he left or something happened, then I wouldn’t have to feel that hurt all over again. So I put up barriers. I didn’t know how to love my kids in healthy ways.”
Vickie met Bill and Lauri Williams in 2000 at their kids’ soccer games and was invited to church, but it was several years later when Vickie was at her very lowest point that she realized God was the only One who could help her. “I had to literally fall flat on my face and say, ‘You’re the only One that can save me.’ I knew I had to come to Him or I would not be here.”
Since then, God has had Vickie on a journey. She has gone from isolating and not trusting people to feeling like the care and support of people is her passion. She has worked on staff in just about every department in the church: children, custodial, front office, Mothers’ Day Out, the treasurer’s office, and she is now on the directional leadership team overseeing administrative support services. She also volunteers on the host team on Sunday mornings, and you will find her loving on people and helping wherever needed.

Vickie’s favorite scripture is Psalm 40:2-4: “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps. He put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” ”If I had to give my testimony to anybody who doesn’t understand, I could show them that verse and that explains it for me.”

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Michael Manning

by: Erin Keller

09/15/2019

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Michael Manning should not be alive. He has two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star and spent almost four years in and out of hospitals before his medical retirement from the Army. Michael says, “If it wasn’t for God, I know without a shadow of a doubt I wouldn’t be here. When that RPG landed between my legs, it should have ripped me in half or taken my legs, so my faith has carried me through. He carried me through depression. He carried me through divorce. I gave it all to God, and he took it all off my shoulders… read more

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Michael Manning should not be alive. He has two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star and spent almost four years in and out of hospitals before his medical retirement from the Army. Michael says, “If it wasn’t for God, I know without a shadow of a doubt I wouldn’t be here. When that RPG landed between my legs, it should have ripped me in half or taken my legs, so my faith has carried me through. He carried me through depression. He carried me through divorce. I gave it all to God, and he took it all off my shoulders and I was at peace. Everything I’m blessed with now, it’s because of God. I know when I go through things, it’s just a temporary setback. God’s always going to be there for me…. He just keeps me grounded.”

While Michael deals with short-term memory loss, PTSD and the effects of his injuries, he enjoys volunteering his time to the church. He says Community Church is the only other place besides his farms where he feels safe, and serving at the church helps him to keep his mind and his body busy. “I’m blessed that I feel safe in church because I know a lot of guys that don’t…. I love Community Church. It’s more of a family. No one judges you. No one looks at you differently. My son Christopher is autistic and nonverbal, but I have never seen anyone look at him differently here. The kids treat him like anyone else, and it shows a lot about their characters. It shows a lot about the future of this church.”

Michael believes that giving back to the church is part of what it means to be a Christ follower, and he invites everyone to discover and use their God-given gifts and abilities to serve God and others in their sphere of influence and for the good of the body of Christ.

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Alberto Segura

by: Erin Keller

09/08/2019

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When Alberto was 17 years old, he waded across the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Texas. He didn’t know how to swim, and as the water rose above his neck, he was sure he was going to drown. Looking back, he knows that God was watching over him even then when he didn’t know God. He made his way to Guthrie, Oklahoma, and met both the love of his life, Mary, and eventually Jesus, the lover of his soul. When he met Mary, he didn’t speak any English and she didn’t speak any Spanish, but they communicated through sign… read more

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When Alberto was 17 years old, he waded across the Rio Grande River from Mexico to Texas. He didn’t know how to swim, and as the water rose above his neck, he was sure he was going to drown. Looking back, he knows that God was watching over him even then when he didn’t know God. He made his way to Guthrie, Oklahoma, and met both the love of his life, Mary, and eventually Jesus, the lover of his soul. When he met Mary, he didn’t speak any English and she didn’t speak any Spanish, but they communicated through sign language over burgers and fries.
God reached Alberto and Mary because some friends invited them to church, but God planted seeds the day before when an old friend he hadn’t seen for years stopped by and told Alberto, “I accepted Jesus in my heart six years ago, and I’ve been praying for you because I don’t want my friend to go to hell.” The next day Alberto went forward during the invitation, and Mary also accepted Jesus. His family wasn’t happy with his decision, but his mother and father both later became believers. He prays that God will send someone to witness to his brothers and sisters who have not yet come to faith in Christ.
Alberto was “mainly a regular church member” for many years, taking care of the grounds and facilities and caring for people’s needs. He became an elder in 2000 and joined the staff in 2013. He feels that “it’s a God call because I enjoy doing it. It’s not work.” When asked what God is showing him now, Alberto says, “I feel that God gave me a passion for everyone, but within the last six months, He has really given me a passion to get involved with the younger generation…. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t have that when I was growing up, but I want to mentor.”
If you are looking for connection, someone to help you grow as a Christ follower, or a place to serve, spend some time with Alberto. He will encourage, exhort and point you to Jesus, who watches over you just as He has done and continues to do for Alberto.

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