Wyoming Church Regains Strength After Decline

Cheryl Chaney teaches a child in North Cheyenne Baptist Church’s preschool division. North Cheyenne Baptist Church submitted photo

North Cheyenne Baptist Church never lost its missions focus during a rough decade that saw worship attendance dwindle from 181 to 30. Once considered one of the strongest in Wyoming, the church is regaining its strength.

Daniel Brubeck, pastor of the church since August 2016, told Baptist Press he takes no credit for the 11 percent of North Cheyenne’s undesignated income being allocated to missions through the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program.

“That was in place when I got here,” Brubeck said. “Our church has a tradition of supporting the Cooperative Program and I don’t think you could change that without some problems.”

For many years, North Cheyenne Baptist gave in excess of 15 percent to missions through the Cooperative Program, the way Southern Baptists work together in state conventions and around the world. Contributions reached a high of 18 percent in 1993.

“CP is one of our strengths as a denomination,” Brubeck said. “As the saying goes, many hands make light work. As one church, we can’t focus on everything ourselves, but with the Cooperative Program together with the other churches in the SBC, we can have all these different ministries emphasizing different things that one church just couldn’t do on its own.”

Brubeck benefited from the Cooperative Program during 14 years of service as an overseas missionary with the International Mission Board. Non-Southern Baptist missionaries had to return to the U.S. and raise funding on their own to support their work, he said.

“They had to concentrate their speaking engagements on churches able to make sizable donations to their ministry,” he said. “With the Cooperative Program, when we’d be on furlough, we didn’t have to think about that. We would speak anywhere to thank people … even in the smallest churches for giving to missions through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.”

Brubeck uses the same strategic missional thinking in Cheyenne that he used overseas.

“The majority of what I did was training people in ministry so after I’m gone the work continues,” he said. “As a missionary, you’re always trying to work yourself out of a job, to raise up leadership in the local church, and have them be able to take over and be less dependent on you.”

When Brubeck arrived at North Cheyenne Baptist, he found a remnant that had remained faithful through difficult times. The church had shrunk considerably but had been saved in many ways by interim pastor David Barker, who played a key role in reorganizing the church and keeping it going, according to Brubeck.

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Source: Baptist Press