The heart and soul of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) includes smaller-in-attendance churches. Of the approximately 1,800 churches, the majority have an attendance of 125 people or less.
At one of those smaller-in-attendance churches in the hometown of Hance Dilbeck, BGCO executive director-treasurer, a revival is coming.
Pawhuska, Calvary, where Caleb Dunn is pastor, will host Dilbeck for the “Revival on the Prairie” May 6-9 in two locations, at Pawhuska, Calvary and at Constantine Theater in downtown Pawhuska. Bill and Ellen Ballinger will lead worship. Ballinger is the music pastor at Midwest City, Sooner.
The “Revival on the Prairie” will be a homecoming for Dilbeck, who says he hasn’t preached in his hometown in some 15-to-20 years. Dilbeck was raised going to church just down the street from Pawhuska, Calvary, at Pawhuska, First.
“Pawhuska is made up of hard-nosed, rugged men and families who work hard, mostly in the oil field or as ranchers,” Dunn said. This will be an opportunity to reach those families both outside and within the church walls.
Dilbeck and Dunn agreed that, in small towns like Pawhuska, spiritual strongholds exist. Between the two of them, they hope to have a hand in breaking those strongholds and creating a culture of revival.
Like urban areas, social problems are rampant in rural towns as well, such as broken families, depression, poverty and more. Pawhuska is not an exception to these issues.
“In smaller towns especially though, churches like Pawhuska, Calvary can really impact the town as a whole in ways the churches in a city might not be able,” Dilbeck said. “The more of a city you’re in, the smaller the slice of humanity you deal with. In a small town, you deal with everyone of every demographic and sector.”
Dilbeck pointed out that the BGCO, much like the Kingdom of God, is a convention of smaller churches. “That is why I emphasize that across our convention, we strengthen the feeble churches. I’m not saying make the small churches bigger; I’m talking about making feeble churches strong,” he said.
Dunn said in preparation for “Revival on the Prairie,” the congregation at Pawhuska, Calvary is focusing on four things: Expect greater things, pray for greater things, prepare for greater things and decide how to respond to greater things.
One way in which a church can prepare for a revival is, according to Dilbeck, praying for specific lost people like friends and family members by name.
“In my experience, if a church is praying for specific lost people, and trying to invite them and share with them, then God honors that. Even if that person doesn’t respond to the Holy Spirit, God honors that by bringing others,” Dilbeck said.
The desire of both Dunn and Dilbeck is that the unbelievers in the city of Pawhuska will experience the grace and forgiveness through the Gospel.
“What we’ll be doing here is a simple, basic message. When you do teach evangelism, you’re preaching toward people’s brokenness. You’re assuming where there’s a shell of pride, people don’t know they’re broken,” Dilbeck said.
Expectations are high for May 6-9 to have a Gospel revival. It will be homecoming for Dilbeck who says, “I’m just a country boy from Pawhuska, most of what I learned about Jesus I learned there.”
For more information about the “Revival on the Prairie,” visit www.cbcpawhuska.com.