YUKON—The city of Yukon is one of the fastest growing communities in Oklahoma.
Over the past several years, one Oklahoma Baptist church ministering in that community has seen explosive growth and baptisms. Yukon, Trinity was recently called “one of the fastest growing churches in America” by a ministry magazine.
Yet Pastor Brian Mills, who has served at the church since 2019, would not attribute any growth to himself, but instead directly to the Lord, who used the faithful members of Yukon, Trinity.
Trinity Baptist: From then to today
The church began as a mission in October 1979, as a joint effort of Capital Baptist Association and Mustang, Chisholm Heights. In January 1980, Ted Kersh was called as pastor and later that spring the church was officially dedicated as Trinity Baptist Church.
The church saw rapid growth and has been greatly used by the Lord for many years. Sometime around 2015, though, the church was not growing. Around that same time, Mills himself had gone through a season of struggle.
Mills had served nearly 20 years in youth ministries, as small as seven students and as large as 3,000 students. He served churches in Tulsa, Fort Smith, Ark.; Houston, Texas; and near Memphis, Tenn.
Yet the Lord used Mills’ season of struggle to create clarity about where he should serve and to bring him to Oklahoma. “At one point, I wondered if I should stay in the ministry. I did not know where God would have me serve next,” he said. “My wife Jennifer and I had no specific desire to move to Oklahoma City. In fact, we had no real idea where Yukon was.”
Mills was serving on another church staff when he received a call in 2019 from Rhys Cole about the possibility of becoming pastor at Yukon, Trinity.
Mills initially responded “no.” Yet through times of prayer and seeking the Lord, Mills ended up accepting the call to serve as pastor of Yukon, Trinity.
The people still attending Yukon, Trinity, at the time, kept believing the best days were ahead.
“We call them the ‘Faithful 400,’” Mills explained. “All of these people stayed faithful to the church and kept moving forward, which proved to be so important.”
One such member, Elaine Bewley, who has since passed away, wrote a note to Brian Mills upon his arrival as pastor. “Those of us that have been at Trinity Baptist Church from the beginning look back on the time Bro. Ted was pastor as … glory days,” Bewley wrote.
“(Yet) I feel like the Lord gave me a promise way back then, the latter glory of this house will be greater than the former…”
That prediction, in many ways, is unfolding, as the church has seen explosive growth in professions of faith, baptisms and membership in the past four years.
Yukon, Trinity sees season of growth begin
The theme “Together We” was the first sermon series Mills preached, and the message stuck. “Together we reach. Together we disciple. Together we send,” he said.
“We were not called to just move to a city; we were called to join a group of people and see a ‘Together We’ movement happen,” Mills explained.
In his first year as pastor, Mills and Yukon, Trinity held a Kickoff Sunday, and had 743 people attend that day. By the end of that year, the church was running 625 on attendance and had moved to two services.
By February 2021, the church had grown past 850 in attendance and began to update their worship center, preparing for more attendance and growth.
Even amid the pandemic times, the church grew. “We stayed closed for six weeks,” Mills said. “We were online. We were in the community. The church was just taking off.”
By March 2021, they had exceeded 1,000 in worship attendance and had baptized 169 people that year. The following year, the church continued prayerfully and evangelistically to involve church members in the ‘Together We’ reach vision, putting on events and follow up with everyone who attended.
As of Easter 2023, more than 3,000 individuals were on the Yukon, Trinity campus. The church baptized 51 people last summer at Falls Creek, and the congregation is a baptism leader among Oklahoma Baptists and the entire Southern Baptist Convention.
The congregation is outreach-minded, as it operates a strong community outreach ministry, which includes benevolence, called “Together We Center.” Yukon, Trinity also connects with local public schools. The church also launched a ministry specifically to those facing sensory needs and other special needs. The church utilizes home groups to reach even more people, in addition to offering Sunday School. Mills also emphasizes a call to response, or alter call, at the end of every service and event.
On Wednesday evenings, Mills recently invited Todd Fisher, Oklahoma Baptists executive director-treasurer, to teach a multiple-weeks series on biblical doctrine. In 2022, he asked Ted Kersh to preach on a Sunday.
“The Lord is using this church in a mighty way,” Kersh said. “I praise the Lord for what He is doing.”
Mills, who is known for his high-energy personality and enthusiasm for the Gospel, seeks to energize others to share the Good News.
“Our church oozes evangelism,” Mills said. “We just want to share the Gospel of Jesus with everyone. This move of God is something that we pray happens in every area of our community, in every area of Oklahoma. ’Together WE’ as Oklahoma Baptists can reach many more for Jesus.”