The Oneida ministry has seen many faithful servants come and go down through the years. The people are called for a season and leave when God chooses for them to do so, but the mission stays the same. It takes these saints of God to enable Oneida to reach so many.
For a recent Board of Trustees’ meeting, I decided to bring some of our staff members in to share their Oneida stories with the group. It was a great blessing for our personnel committee and also a reminder to me of how much we are blessed with these faithful servants. I would like to highlight the staff members who shared in that meeting.
One couple came to us from Beattyville. He serves as campus minister and spends most of his time teaching Bible, counseling students, and speaking and preaching. This servant of God is well qualified and is a very sought-after speaker and teacher, but he recently told me he got his dream job at 60. His sweet wife has a wonderful spirit and heads up our daycare, where our preschool-aged staff children spend their days.
Another couple came to us from Manchester. Their two children were already attending Oneida before God led them to serve here full time. He works in our construction department and she works as a houseparent in the boys’ dormitory. She is kind of like mama to 125 boys in our dorm. In the trustee meeting, he shared that they have great satisfaction in knowing they are right where God wants them to be.
The next couple serves on our farm. The farm is a wonderfully unique part of our ministry, and it is mainly because of the manner in which this couple leads. They introduce our kids to Jesus and then they teach them to work. Scores of young people come to know Christ on our farm most any year. This couple gave up a $200,000 annual salary to come and make mere pennies compared to their past life, yet they will quickly tell you that they didn’t give up anything in coming to serve the Lord at Oneida.
Lastly, we had a first-year teacher share with the committee. She initially came with her church as a one-week volunteer. She is a retired Alabama teacher, and during her visit she got the bug, picked up an application, and was interviewed for a teaching position in our elementary school. She has been a tremendous blessing to our little ones. While sharing, she said, “The best thing about being a Christian is knowing when God calls you to something.”
Pray for these servants, their 120 fellow laborers, and the future needed laborers who faithfully serve day after day in this little place called Oneida Baptist Institute.
Larry Gritton is the president of Oneida Baptist Institute.