“What Will Be Our Legacy?” was the theme of the 2013 Oklahoma Indian Evangelism Conference, March 7-9, and the three-day event at Oklahoma City, Glorieta focused on heritage and future opportunities for Oklahoma Native American churches.
“In order to leave a legacy, we need to be good role models and good examples,” said Frank Kauahquo, pastor of Hobart, Daw-Tow-Koot, who spoke during the Friday afternoon session on Mark 2:1-5. He gave examples of people, like the friends of the paralytic, who will do whatever it takes to bring people to Jesus.
Jimmy Kinnaird, pastor of Oklahoma City, Village, was the OIEC keynote speaker and gave a series of messages on “Our Legacy in the Gospel.” His focal passage throughout the series was Eph. 2:1-22 and said about this passage, “The Apostle Paul gives believers an extended meditation on God’s glory and an appreciation of His grace.”
Kinnaird shared that the cure for the human condition is to experience salvation in Christ.
“There are no good people and bad people,” he said. “There are only saved people and lost people.”
Jeremiah Garcia, pastor of Jay, Tyio in Cherokee Strip Association, spoke Friday evening, giving example of how his church grew from only five people to 30.
“God has done the work, and I’m just thankful to be a part of it,” he said.
Garcia mentioned how he traded in his truck for a Suburban, just so he and his wife could pick up children and youth to bring them to church.
“This is not a pat on our back. It’s just something God laid on our hearts,” he said. “We want to see our young people come to church.”
Members of Oklahoma City, Glorieta presented a drama series during the sessions that focused on the conference’s “Legacy” theme, giving an interpretation of the Christian journey in life.
Emerson Falls, pastor of Oklahoma City, Glorieta, spoke in the final session Saturday morning on Nicodemus visiting Jesus in John 3:1-8. Falls gave the example of Nicodemus being a religious man and a Jewish leader, but he went to Jesus because he knew there was something missing in his life.
“I want to give Nicodemus a lot of credit. I admire this man, and you know why? Because he had the intestinal fortitude enough to say ‘There is something missing in my life,’ and was willing to come to Jesus,” said Falls.
Religion was not a problem for Nicodemus, Falls said, just like it is not the problem for churches today.
“Our church houses are full on Sundays, but the laborers are few on Mondays,” he said. “When it comes to Native American people, the fields are white unto harvest.”
The top 10 Oklahoma Native American churches in baptisms were recognized in the OIEC closing session. Jesus Pacheco, BGCO ethnic evangelism strategist, announced that 369 people were baptized in 2012.
Oklahoma City, Central led all Native American churches with 22 baptisms in 2012. Other churches leading in baptisms last year included Oklahoma City, Victory; Stillwell, Salem; Tahlequah, Elm Tree; Cedar Tree in Cherokee Association; Seminole, Indian Nations; Tecumseh, All Nations; Shawnee, Sallateeska; Ada, Oak Avenue; Emmanuel in Cherokee Association; Oklahoma City, Glorieta; and Pawhuska, Osage Indian.