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Rick Barton Ministries, PO Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-3583 |


2012/13 Ministry Opportunities and Highlights

January On New Year's Eve Rick was able to lead his annual prayer for the ski school and other employees before skiing down the mountain in a torchlight parade. Rick slowly regained his strength after suffering from pneumonia; he and Paul Muirhead started a weekly Bible study for their fellow ski instructors after work.

February Rick led worship at the High Ground Men's Bible/ski retreat in Beaver Creek.

March Paul Muirhead, our ministry intern, was married to the wonderful and godly Sarah Juba!!

Rick was invited to share at a fire academy in Charleston, WV. He taught an all day class on Faith in the Fire Service, and spoke at a chapel for the firefighters on Sunday morning. (This was the first time that this prestigious academy had a chapel and a class on Faith.) Rick also taught annual fire safety refreshers for the Crested Butte, Gunnison, and Federal forest fire fighters and handed out firefighter Bibles and devotionals.

Rich T. preached in Pitkin, CO and helped college students serve at a Christian camp near Colorado Springs.

April Rich T. held a sunrise service and Shelba T. taught ESL as an outreach in Colorado Springs. Rick preached in Gunnison, CO. Then along with Melva and Rich and Shelba T. started a 2 ½ week road trip to meet with supporters in CO, TX and OK. Rick and Melva held services in Guthrie, OK April 22-29, and sang for a senior's center in Amarillo, TX April 30.

May Rich T. was ordained by his home church in St. Louis! Rick served on a forest fire in Western Colorado and preached in Pitkin, CO.

June Rick and Melva were asked by another church in Oklahoma to hold services so they returned and following those services proceeded to preach in MO. Rich T. preached in Sargents, CO. At the end of June Rick was assigned to a forest fire near DeBeque, CO and was able to distribute firefighter New Testaments and devotionals to several firefighters.

July Rick was reassigned from the DeBeque forest fire to another fire nearby. In mid-July we held our annual rodeo chapel with a great turnout. Each person attending was given a cowboy New Testament and the offering was sent to support Rodeo Bible Camps for kids.

August Rick received a fire assignment near Custer, SD where he was able to hold a chapel service for firefighters after shift as well as distribute a number of New Testaments and Devotionals.

September Rick and Melva held a worship service in Cripple Creek, CO then the rest of the month was filled with two of their children's weddings in Vail, CO and Los Angeles, CA. They took a two day rest break at Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center. What a blessed place! Rich T. attended a pastor's conference.

October Rick travelled to Oklahoma City to visit with two of our ministry Board of Directors who had serious strokes. We held a chapel for hunters at their camp up the Cochetopa and at the end of the month Rick and Melva travelled to speak and sing in Gallatin, TN and attend a conference on preaching, and met with Rick's DMin advisors at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Shelba T. taught ESL in Montrose, CO

November: Rick and Melva returned to Oklahoma City to assist in the Memorial Service for Dr. Jack Hough. We also held another hunter's chapel service. At the end of November we were invited to travel to Dallas to meet with Dr. Gene Getz and sing for the group we travelled with on our "Footsteps of Paul" trip last year.

Rich T. and Shelba traveled to minister in St. Louis

December: Rick and Melva conducted ministry in the Gunnison area including conducting two more funerals for local extended families where they were able to share the gospel with over 500 people; many of whom don't know Jesus yet. Melva realized driving home after a service that the Lord had allowed us to share the gospel message with more un-churched people at funerals this fall and winter (8 funerals, over 1000 in attendance) than in any of our meetings in churches.

Rick continued teaching skiing and Melva substitute taught school. On Christmas Eve we held a service in Crested Butte South; a town of 1200 people with no church, 20 miles north of Gunnison. Twenty attended the service but no one attended the 4 week Bible study in the weeks following. We're praying about our next step to reach this area. Rich T. and Shelba led our Saturday night group ringing the bell for the Salvation Army while Rick and Melva recovered from pneumonia/bronchitis.

In January 2013, Rich T. and Shelba spent a week with two of our "alumni" who are serving in missions in Mexico. Rick gave his annual prayer with the ski instructors before the New Year's Eve torchlight parade. Rick and Melva conducted another funeral. Paul was asked by his local church to become the Children Ministries Director and so we sadly released him from his internship. He and Sarah still help us when they can.

February: Rick conducted another funeral with 200 hearing the good news. Then it was on to Beaver Creek where he led worship for the High Ground Men's Bible/ski retreat. A special highlight was the opportunity to invite the evangelical pastors and their wives from Gunnison, Lake City and Crested Butte to a free dinner. The only agenda was to help them get to know each other and have a time of prayer for the valley. Twenty-one attended and we had an amazing evening of fellowship and prayer! Rick taught safety classes for the Gunnison and Crested Butte Volunteer Fire Departments and gave out firefighter Bibles and devotionals.

March: After finishing a great week with the men at High Ground, Rick and Melva drove directly to Livermore, CO, a small community 40 miles north of Ft. Collins. There the Lord moved in a wonderful way with at least four folks making decisions for Jesus! Each night the number of those in attendance grew!
Upcoming: May 5-8 it's on to Waynesville, Missouri and Guthrie, Oklahoma May 12-19. And of course, work on the doctorate and forest fires!

Ongoing: Rick is teaching a somewhat "trimmed back" schedule at the ski area and trying to work on his Doctor of Ministry. Melva continues to serve as a substitute school teacher where she is able to establish relationships and sometimes pray with teachers and students. And of course she handles a myriad of ministry activities including mailings and receipts.

Rich and Shelba Townsend are involved in almost all of the above mentioned activities. In addition, they assist in the following weekly activities: West Elk Bible Institute (WEBI) classes in Gunnison; (Rich T. teaches WEBI classes on Cochetopa Pass to ranching families); Thursday morning "Called to Ministry Breakfast"; Saturday Evening Worship; various weddings and funerals in the community; and Rich T. teaches Sunday School in their local church. Rich T. has become a popular preacher for various churches as well!

We thank the Lord for the privilege of sharing in these ministry opportunities! We thank you for your prayers and financial support that undergird us!


Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • • (970) 641-3583