In the past two years, I have had the privilege of attending quite a few of the annual meetings of Kentucky’s Baptist associations. It has been a privilege to meet many of you and also to see and hear some of what the Lord is doing through Kentucky Baptists. Collectively we can do so much more than we can do individually, and collectively Kentucky Baptists enable Oneida to reach and teach so many more young people than we could otherwise.
I recently hit the road on a Tuesday morning for a bit of a trip that would keep my development director and me on the road for 750 miles and 17 hours. The last stop on our trip was Boiling Springs Baptist Church in Munfordville. The Lynn Baptist Association director of missions had extended an offer for me to come and speak about Oneida.
I was given 20 minutes to share, but I actually took 27 minutes. While I did go seven minutes over my allotted time, I am sure it was still quite short compared to what Dr. Barkley Moore would have done. In my 27 minutes, I shared several things about our ministry and highlighted our new building project. I included some information about our furniture fundraiser for this new building once it is complete.
A few minutes after I had shared, one of the association’s pastors made his way to the pulpit and made a motion. He moved that the 19 churches of the association each contribute $132 to make the $2,500 needed to furnish one of our 50 new dorm rooms.
I was touched by this motion, second, and unanimous vote. The motion also included that this room sponsorship be done in honor of their retiring director of missions and his sweet wife. As I glanced over my shoulder to this DOM and his wife, I saw that they, too, were moved by this motion and gesture.
It was so obvious that the people of the Lynn Baptist Association loved and appreciated their DOM and his wife, and it was also obvious to me that the Lynn Baptist Association loves and supports Oneida. It has also been obvious and overwhelming for me to see how many people in this state choose to bless Oneida in so many different ways.
My traveling companion and I returned home at 1:15 a.m. We were both physically weary, but at the same time we were spiritually and emotionally charged because of the outpouring of the Lord’s blessings on Oneida. For the duration of our new dorm (hopefully 50 years or more), our young men will walk into their dorm rooms and see that folks at the Lynn Baptist Association love and support them even though they have probably never met them.
Our students and I are grateful for your love and support. Oneida would not exist without you, and God’s Kingdom is filled with people who were able to attend Oneida because you made it possible.
Larry Gritton is the president of Oneida Baptist Institute.