Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
June 5, 2015
Five States in 6 Weeks
What a wild and wonderful spring! In mid-April we left for Amarillo, TX where we held a mini-concert for our friends at Park Towers senior living complex. Then we headed to Oklahoma City and met with our Board of Directors followed by a week of services in Guthrie, OK at Abell Community Church.
We had a week ministering at home before leaving for Kentucky and Tennessee. Our first stop was Louisville where we had the privilege of visiting friends at Lakewood Baptist. A highlight was meeting with folks who faithfully pray for us daily. A huge thank you to all who lift us up in prayer! Then we spent three days at Southern Seminary before heading to Eubank, KY to hold revival services.
Eubank has a population of 300 and the church building is located on a highway north of Somerset. Pastor Scott Hughes (wife Vicki and family) became shepherd eleven months ago of an active and growing church. They feed over 175 families from the area each month as well as actively support missions. Our first service had a reported 300 in attendance and each night went very well. The revival had started before we arrived and fortunately we didn’t seem to slow it down☺! We had a “Fire-Police-First Responders Appreciation Night” and members of the volunteer fire department as well as Sheriff’s officers attended. Each one was given a firefighter New Testament and Devotional. We were truly blessed by this wonderful church family! We believe the Lord touched lives because of your prayers.
Upon leaving Eubank we stopped in Gallatin, TN where we were invited to share with a Bible study group around a campfire. We flew home and I conducted fire training for our county road and bridge workers, helped with a men’s breakfast, a pastor’s gathering, our Saturday evening service and a service in Pitkin, CO.
R and R: As soon as we left the folks in Pitkin we drove to Glen Eyrie, the Navigator’s conference and retreat center near Colorado Springs for 5 days of rest and renewal. If you’ve never been to the Glen, go! What a restful, Spirit-filled place.
Doctor of Ministry: during our week at home between trips, I received a call from Southern Seminary (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) in Louisville. If we could come out three days early on our way to Eubank, they would schedule the “Defense” of my project. When I walked in, the professors asked how long I had been working on my doctorate. I said I thought “about six years”. They said they thought it was closer to ten! At any rate, at the end of the defense they said, “Congratulations Dr. Barton” so I guess I passed☺. Thanks to all of you who have prayed for and encouraged us through this journey! Lord willing, I will receive my diploma December 11th in Louisville. We’d love to have you come!
Family: Steve and Annie in Los Angeles just celebrated the completion of Annie’s permanent teaching endorsement; “Way to go Annie!” Tim and Sara continue to thrive at work and serve in LA. Nick and Bek returned safely from their trip to Japan. Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) are going strong with Stephen preaching most recently in England as well as Scotland. Thank you for praying for our family!
44 and counting!June 6 Melva and I celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary. What an exciting journey it’s been so far! I am soooo fortunate to have the most loving, patient and supportive wife ever!
Coming Up: This weekend I have the privilege of conducting a “Celebration of Life” for a local lady as well as lead our Saturday evening service and preach again in Pitkin. I’ve been asked to hold two more memorial services for local families this month as well as preach a third time in Pitkin. In addition, the Forest Service has asked me to help train rookie firefighters. July 12 we hold our annual “Cowboy Church” service at the Gunnison Rodeo. Thank you for your faithful prayers, they truly undergird us!
Rich and Shelba Townsend: Some important changes are taking place in our co-workers Rich and Shelba’s lives. We have to wait till next month to fill you in but please lift them up in prayer!
Finances: This past year has been a “miracle” year. We have been able to purchase and give away more than 3000 firefighter (and now police) New Testaments and Devotionals. In addition, we have been able to help families in need as well as fellow Christian workers. Your faithful support has made all this possible! Thank you for investing in His Kingdom through us!
Firefighter Bibles and Devotionals: More testimonies keep pouring in. One firefighter is going to hand them out to members of several fire departments at a fireman’s golf tournament. Another is going to hand them out at a marriage retreat for firefighters. Your prayers and financial support is reaching into this special group of men and women!
Our ministry vision is “To Know Him (Jesus) and to Make Him Known”, our mission statement is to “Win One-Train One-Send One”. Neither of these is unique to us, but both have motivated us for 46 years of service to our King. Thank you for being a huge part of our “Team”!
By His grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva Barton Rich and Shelba Townsend