Montana Baptist E-News

The Montana Baptist E-News | November 2016






































Executive Board Meeting

MPact Montana (Helena)

North American Missions Emphasis

Elevate Leadership Training (Glasgow)

Elevate Training (Central Region)

Elevate Training (Missoula)

Elevate Training (Miles City)

Cooperative Program Sunday



Get Real East

Spring Staff Retreat

VBS State Training

Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

Summer Missionary Orientation

SBC Annual Meeting

Independence Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

Montana Missions Offering Emphasis

Labor Day (Office Closed)

State Literacy Training

MTSBC Executive Board Meeting

Refresh Montana

Get Real West

Thanksgiving Day (Office Closed)

International Missions Emphasis

Winter Staff Retreat

Office Closed


(406) 252-7537

Montana Southern Baptist Convention

1130 Cerise Rd

Billings, MT 59101


“One of the girls who got saved last night is in our group!”

“The students were very open, hungry and responsive to the Word of God. To top it all off, you have an amazing group volunteers and youth pastors!” – Matt M. (Speaker)

“The unity and support of the group was very encouraging.”

These are just a few of the praise reports still coming in from Get Real West. With over 150 students and leaders from churches across Montana it’s clear that God is at work in our youth. More...





Students were encouraged and challenged by session topics including “The Trap of Sin,” “Declaring His Praises” and “Seven Word Testimony” while youth workers examined how to “Remember Student’s Names” and how to lead youth group when your own kids are teenagers.

Check out the Get Real West recap video here.

You can also watch individual sessions and training here:

  • Seven Word Testimony
  • The Trap of Sin
  • Look Upon the One You Have Pierced
  • Declare His Praises
  • Leaders Training

  • Make plans now to attend Get Real East on April 28-29 in Billings. Watch here and our Facebook page for more details and promotional materials.


    You might also be interested in...

    Get Real West Information

    Next-Gen Ministries Page

    Barrett Duke

    Whatever You Are Facing, God is Greater

    Barrett Duke, MTSBC Executive Director Elect

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this is the best time of year. I know, it gets mighty cold, but the weather is a circumstance, and we all know we must not let our circumstances dictate how we feel. For those in Christ, challenging circumstances are an opportunity to demonstrate the power of God. In Christ, we are able to live above our circumstances, with joy, peace, and power.

    To live above our circumstances we must focus on things beyond them. I recall many times as a young church planter how important this fact was. Denise and I labored for years with the thought that all our hard work was in jeopardy at every moment. The daily spiritual warfare was intense. We could feel it.

    Yet, in the midst of that uncertainty, we learned many important, empowering truths about God that we could never have learned without living in the midst of that perennial crucible. And Thanksgiving and Christmas are the times of the year that bring some of those soul-refreshing truths back into vivid focus. More...

    Some of these empowering truths are embodied in Psalm 65. I read this Psalm at my family’s Thanksgiving table every year to remind us of the goodness of our God through Jesus Christ and to help us remember what we have to be thankful for. As you come into this special time of year, perhaps you, as well, might be asking what God has done for you lately. Or, maybe you just need a spiritual pick-me-up. Psalm 65 will do it. This beautiful psalm, penned by the great King David, is a wonderful reminder of God’s many blessings.

    David begins by reminding us that God has met our greatest need. He has forgiven us of our sin. He says, “As for our transgressions, you forgive them,” (v. 3). We who have come to know God can testify that our greatest blessing is the peace we have found with Him through faith in Jesus His Son. That is certainly true for me. I was hard and rebellious. Some faithful people probably looked at me and saw a young man too far from God to be helped, but God saw me through the eyes of love. In His great mercy He pursued me until I surrendered to His great love in Jesus. We were all sinners and separated from God, but God in Christ saved us through faith. Now, the God of the universe indwells us and has made us His own.

    This is reason enough to live above our circumstances. Yet, David is just warming up. He tells us that God not only forgives us. He also watches over us. He exclaims, “By awesome deeds you answer us,” (v. 5). God not only hears our prayers but also answers them in powerful ways. God doesn’t protect me from everything, but I am comforted in knowing that I can trust Him to do what is best in His plan for my life every day. This is the perfect time of year to remember God’s awesome deeds on our behalf. I assure you, your current challenges will appear much smaller as you recall the great things the Lord has done.

    Our personal needs are not all that God tends to. David says God “stills the roaring of the seas…and the tumult of the peoples,” (v. 7). The great God of creation watches over nature and the affairs of humanity. I know this can be hard to accept in our uncertain world. Montanans know just how disinterested nature is in human wellbeing. Nature does what it does, and we must do what we can to protect ourselves. But here, David assures us that nature itself is subject to the will of God. It is not the great decider. When nature is doing its worst, God is able to step in at any moment and still it. And when it has done its worst, God brings renewal.

    Nature can be the impersonal nemesis, at times. The calculating, cruelty of people is another thing, altogether. David declares that God is also sovereign over the schemes of men. People may do their worst, as well, and at times they do, but we don’t need to fear them because God is greater. Now, I certainly wouldn’t even attempt to explain to someone why he or she went through a horrible ordeal at human hands. I can only remind them of Job, who in the midst of his ordeal declared, “I know my Redeemer lives…even if my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God,” (Job 19:25-26). Nothing that happens surprises God. At times, only He knows why He allows some things, but the great truth that God is in control is a great source of comfort. Neither this world nor our lives are merely just happening. Everything fits into God’s master plan, and we, in Christ, are assured that the future rests firmly in His hand.

    David then reflects on God’s excess provision. He proclaims, “You have crowned the year with your bounty,” (v. 11). Now, we come to one of my favorite passages: “The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are clothed with flocks, And the valleys are covered with grain: They shout for joy, yes, they sing” (vv. 12-13). The entire landscape, from hill to valley, reveals the excess that God has poured out on His beloved. As I reflect on my year, I can give thanks that God has always provided more than I needed. God is my great provider. And not mine alone. In Christ, we are all blessed with more than we need.

    No matter what comes into my life, I rest in the knowledge that I am God’s through faith in Jesus, that He is at work in my life and the world, and that He will meet my every need. This, He has pledged to do through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever. He will do the same for you.

    I hope these great truths will lift you above your circumstances if you ever come to that time of need. Whatever you are facing, God is greater. May God use this special time of year to remind you of this and strengthen you in your service to our great King Jesus.



    Capstone Chruch, Helena

    Andrew Hardiman

    I am totally unprepared for this. The thought must have been tattooed on my forehead around 5 p.m. on October 31, just 30 short minutes before Candy Jam was scheduled to begin. There were already about 100 guests gathered in the foyer of our venue – the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds – and we still had significant setup remaining. As I thought back to our group’s countless discussions on what we should prepare for, this had not been taken into consideration. When we started out, we were aiming for 300 and praying for 500, but this was nowhere on our radar. More...




    We had considered best and worst case scenarios and wondered if we had supplied and staffed the event adequately. We spent time painting and crafting and scheduling and reserving equipment. We handed out door hangers, posters, flyers, and business cards. We even put an ad on the local classifieds page. We analyzed multiple venues and weighed their potential advantages and disadvantages. We prepared…a lot!

    When I earnestly reflected on what should be communicated about Candy Jam, it was the realization that crossed my mind those few minutes before we were set to begin. While our group had been preparing diligently for weeks and even months, God himself had been preparing something beyond our wildest imagination. From about 5 – 8 p.m. on Halloween night, somewhere around 2,500 people graced us with their presence. People were shoulder to shoulder for the majority of the night, and many people wondered if we had set up a severe fire hazard. Kids got more candy than most of their parents would want them to indulge in a lifetime. We fed the crowd hotdogs, popcorn, chips, and cotton candy. We made it all free, because we wanted the community to sense the investment that we are making in Helena. The event far surpassed our greatest expectations. We now have hundreds of contacts to follow-up with, and we have a name and a reputation that can only help us. We have much feedback from the community thanking us for a wonderful time. We know that Candy Jam is but a stepping stone of what God has planned for Capstone Church.

    I told someone the other day that I did not sleep well at all Monday night. My body was incredibly fatigued from a full day’s work, but my mind could not find rest. Where had all those people come from? Why had they chosen to spend their trick-or-treat time with us? How could two families have accomplished so much in so little time? A peace has come over me the remainder of this week. I know that much sweat and tears were poured into Candy Jam, but we accomplished nothing. The Lord is our orchestrator and preparer, and we are just his obedient servants. Now I know for certain what I have for some time been confident of – that God has great things in store for Helena, MT through Capstone Church! Please don’t take this statement as brashness or arrogance. We are completely humbled by what transpired at Candy Jam, but we also are certain of the vision that God has granted to us. Please rejoice with us at what God has done for us through this initial outreach effort. Praise be to God!

    Please continue to pray for Capstone Church. Our first “preview service” was on November 13, with 32 in attendance.

    Capstone Church Website

    Elevation Church, Billings

    Dave Carroll

    Candy Jam is a special event for Elevation Church in Billings, MT. The event was born out of seeing a need in cold weather communities on October 31st - a need for a warm, fun & friendly environment for families with young children. It was the very first thing Elevation did to help gather people and impact the community during the pre-launch planting phase in the fall of 2012. In that first year, 750+ people came not knowing anything about the church, the pastor or even the people - because technically, we didn't exist yet! Fast forward to our fifth Candy Jam in 4 years and God has done a miraculous thing. We still see people come to worship, come to Christ or grow deeper in discipleship from that first Candy Jam!




    This year we had 10 times the amount of people from that first one 4 years ago. That’s right, 7,500 people attended Candy Jam - and it was the first time our church body was able to handle it on our own, with over 100 volunteers. We were able to have gospel centered conversations with most of the families and handed every family an invite back to our worship service. Outreach events are one of the best ways to expand your potential reach as a church body. We highly encourage you to find one that makes a BIG impact and do it as well as you are able. We are grateful for the MTSBC and their support to help us become a different & refreshing church helping people far from God come alive in Christ!

    Elevation Church Website

    It is exciting when churches are willing to come alongside other churches and help when the need arises. That is what makes being a follower of Jesus and a part of a church such an awesome thing. That is what makes us who we are, “churches associating together to help one another in the name and power of Jesus.” You see, I think we need more of that and that is exactly what I have seen lately. Let me share with you a couple of experiences that I have witnessed recently.

    In October, I was able to be a part of a mission trip with a group of church members coming from across the country to help one of our pastors get his house enclosed for the winter. He and his family were living in a travel trailer and using an outhouse since they had not been able to complete the sewer system. With the cold of winter setting in, it was essential to get them into the basement and enclose it for the winter. It was an exciting day to see the smiles and service of these fine folks as they committed to helping another church with needs. More...

    Just the other day, I met with three discouraged leaders of a church that had recently lost their pastor. A week later, after checking with another one of our churches and asking if they could come alongside and help, we met with their members. They were excited to find out that we as a group of churches here in Montana, called Southern Baptists, were willing to help them in their time of need. The church has offered to help assist them with some young interns to fill their pulpit on Sundays and to help do some much needed work on their building to keep the cold out this winter.

    I can tell you a number of these stories as I travel across our vast state and see churches helping churches and what a joy it is to see. So, let me ask you, are you in any way helping another church in your area that has a need, a problem or is struggling to reach its community? None of these churches were large churches. They are just churches helping others in need. You could be one of them. If you would like some information on how you could help another church in your area, contact me at and I will get you connected.


    You might also be interested in...

    Church Strategies Page


  • December 3 | Glasgow – Calvary Baptist Church, 100 Highland Avenue
  • December 8 | Bozeman – Crossroads Church, 111 Arrowhead Trail
  • December 9 | Missoula – Outdoorsmen Church, 12208 Pulpmill Road
  • December 9 | Great Falls - Crossroads Memorial Church, 1700 Marketplace Drive
  • December 10 | Miles City – Valley Community Church, 1004 N. Sewell Ave


  • February 4 | Glasgow – Calvary Baptist Church, 100 Highland Avenue
  • February 9 | Central Region – Location to Be Determined
  • February 10 | Missoula – Outdoorsmen Church, 12208 Pulpmill Road
  • February 10 | Great Falls - Crossroads Memorial Church, 1700 Marketplace Drive
  • February 11 | Miles City – Valley Community Church, 1004 N. Sewell Ave


  • April 1 | Glasgow – Calvary Baptist Church, 100 Highland Avenue
  • April 6 | Central Region – Location to Be Determined
  • April 7 | Missoula – Outdoorsmen Church, 12208 Pulpmill Road
  • April 7 | Great Falls - Crossroads Memorial Church, 1700 Marketplace Drive
  • April 8 | Miles City – Valley Community Church, 1004 N. Sewell Ave
  • Mark your calendars for future Elevate dates!

    The sessions at all locations are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have questions specific to a location, you can contact the following facilitator:

    Central Region - William Johnson, 406-579-1304

    Missoula - Michael Liner, 406-830-0884

    Miles City & Glasgow - Eddie Smith, 406-853-9890

    Great Falls - Mike Ammons, 406-750-1335


    You might also be interested in...

    Elevate Montana Page

    Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

    The Montana Southern Baptist Convention

    Lottie Moon

    By now, your church should have received the 2016 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering materials. Included are prayer guides and offering envelopes.

    The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, established in 1888, helps international Southern Baptist missionaries reach people around the world with the gospel.

    For a full history of Lottie Moon, please go here. There are also videos that can be shown during your church service and a leader guide to help with ideas to promote the offering.


    Lou Sherril Obituary

    Obituary in Waco Tribune

    Lou Sherrill

    Lou Sherrill

    Nov. 13, 1930 - Oct. 30, 2016

    Lou Ramsey Sherrill, 85, died October 30, 2016, in Wilmington, NC. Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 5, at Bethel Baptist Church, Statesville, NC.

    Mrs. Sherrill was born in South Bosque, TX, daughter of Jim and Mary Ramsey. She graduated from McGregor High School, then went on to Baylor University, becoming a R.N., and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she met Tom Sherrill. They married in 1956 and served at churches in North Carolina, Wyoming, and North Dakota. For the Northern Plains Baptist Convention, she served as President of the Women's Missionary Union and was one of the first women elected to the Executive Board. More...

    She was preceded in death by her husband.

    She is survived by daughter, Karen Robbins of Holly Ridge, NC; son, Stan Sherrill and daughter-in-law, Terri Sherrill, of Durham, NC; son, Stephen Sherrill and daughter-in-law Cate, Hartley, of New York City; sister, Bobbie Donaldson and brother-in-law, Presley Donaldson, of Hillsboro, TX; and eight grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations to the Tom and Lou Sherrill Memorial Fund, c/o Dakota Baptist Convention, PO Box 549, Rapid City, SD 57709 (used for Dakota pastors' emergency needs).


    Study: What Are Americans Thankful For?

    Bob Smietana, Baptist Press

    Lou Sherrill

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- When Americans count their blessings at Thanksgiving, God will get most of the credit, a new study shows. And money might be the last thing on their minds.

    Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) say they give thanks to God on that day, according to LifeWay Research. Fifty-seven percent give thanks to their family. About a third (31 percent) thank friends. Eight percent thank themselves, while 4 percent thank fate.

    Most Americans are thankful for family (88 percent), health (77 percent), personal freedom (72 percent) and friends (71 percent). Fewer give thanks for wealth (32 percent) or achievements (51 percent), the study shows. More...

    "The blessings that matter most are the ones money can't buy," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

    In a representative online survey of 1,000 Americans, researchers gave respondents 10 options to be thankful for -- from family and health to achievements and wealth.

    Their responses were shaped in part by demographics.

    Those 65 and older are more thankful for family (92 percent) and health (86 percent) than fun experiences (48 percent). Those under 25 are thankful for fun experiences (70 percent) and their achievements (61 percent) but still cherish family (77 percent).

    Americans with bachelor's degrees (45 percent), graduate degrees (46 percent) or evangelical beliefs (41 percent) are more thankful for wealth. Those who didn't go to college (23 percent) or who don't have evangelical beliefs (31 percent) are less thankful for wealth.

    Women are most likely to give thanks for family (91 percent), health (83 percent) and friends (75 percent). Men are slightly less likely to give thanks for family (84 percent), health (71 percent) and friends (67 percent).

    Overall, giving thanks seems alive and well in America, despite the stresses of the recent election season. Only 2 percent say they are thankful for none of the 10 options provided.

    "Many Americans have felt discouraged about events of the past year," McConnell said. "But they still find a lot to be thankful for."

    When asked to rate what they are most thankful for, family wins in a landslide. Six in 10 Americans (61 percent) say they are most thankful for family. Thirteen percent say health, while 9 percent say personal freedom.

    Few choose safety and security (3 percent), memories (3 percent), friends (2 percent), opportunities (2 percent), achievements (2 percent), fun experiences (1 percent) or wealth (1 percent) as what they are most thankful for.

    Past Thanksgivings

    Americans have celebrated days of thanksgiving in the fall since 1621, when the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation held a feast at the end of their first harvest. In 1789, President George Washington set aside Nov. 26 of that year as a thanksgiving day in honor of "that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be."

    States celebrated Thanksgiving Day on different dates until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln set aside the fourth Thursday of November as an official federal holiday. Lincoln credited God for the nation's blessings: "They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."

    Still, Thanksgiving isn't for everyone. Seven percent of Americans say they don't give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. Another 4 percent say they don't thank God, family or any of the other survey options.

    Americans living in the South (72 percent), African-Americans (83 percent), those attending religious services at least once a month (84 percent) and Christians (80 percent) are among those most likely to thank God. Protestants (90 percent) are more likely to thank God than Catholics (67 percent). Those with evangelical beliefs are most likely to thank God (94 percent). One in 4 nones -- those with no religious affiliation -- also say they thank God.

    Catholics (65 percent) are more likely to thank their family than Protestants (49 percent).

    Those with evangelical beliefs are half as likely to thank family (32 percent) as those without evangelical beliefs (62 percent).

    Those in the Northeast are more likely to thank themselves (14 percent) than Midwesterners (7 percent) and Southerners (6 percent). Men (9 percent) are more likely to not give thanks than women (5 percent). Those younger than 25 (14 percent) are also more likely to skip giving thanks than those 65 and older (5 percent).

    For more information on this study, visit or view the complete report PDF.

    Methodology: LifeWay Research conducted the study Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, 2016. The survey was conducted using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel. For those who agree to participate but do not already have internet access, GfK provides at no cost a laptop and ISP connection.

    Sample stratification and weights were used for gender by age, race/ethnicity, region, metro/non-metro, education and income to reflect the most recent U.S. Census data. The completed sample is 1,000 surveys. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.1 percent. Margins of error are higher in subgroups.

    LifeWay Research is a Nashville-based, evangelical research firm that specializes in surveys about faith in culture and matters that affect churches.

    This article originally appeared on the Baptist Press website at Written by Bob Smmietana.