NEO Team Update 2-17-20

NEO Team Update 2-17-20

What kind of legacy are we leaving?

I had the privilege of leading the graveside service for Ben Riggins last week. Ben pastored a couple of churches in Northeast Oklahoma several decades ago. He and his family were also active in the Muskogee First Church for 23 years while Ben faithfully worked at Georgia Pacific.

One of the notable things about Ben’s life was his passion to see others come to salvation through Jesus Christ. He would feel at home with our emphasis on Organic Outreach.

I spoke to someone last week that was led into a personal relationship with Jesus through the ministry of Ben Riggins 50 years ago. The man and his young bride lived a few miles outside of Barnsdall and Pastor Ben, the 28-year-old pastor of Barnsdall Church of the Nazarene, made a “cold call” to their home. Pastor Ben introduced himself, took a few minutes to get acquainted, and invited the young couple to attend services at the Barnsdall Church. They began attending on Sunday evening, but it wasn’t long and the couple was fully engaged in the church. And during a one-on-one visit to the parsonage, Ben shared the plan of salvation and led this young rancher in a prayer of repentance and faith. Two days later, Pastor Ben visited in the home of this young couple and led the wife to the Lord.

The young rancher and school teacher and his wife served faithfully as lay leaders for the next 40 years, with many of those years at the Hominy Church of the Nazarene. They carried on the passion for evangelism they saw in Pastor Ben. And then to their surprise, God called this man in his 60’s to become a pastor! And wouldn’t you know it, a little over 10 years ago the Barnsdall Church, which had been the birthing center for their own relationship with Christ, called this seasoned couple to serve their church as pastor and first lady.

How thankful I am today for someone with evangelistic passion to make a “cold call” on a young married couple! How thankful I am that Jim and Jan Johnson said “yes” to God 50 years ago, and continue to say “yes” to him every day. And how thankful I am that God has given Pastor Jim a “holy discontent” – he is not content to care for the existing flock (which he does well, by the way); he prays for and works to see new people come to faith in Christ. Pastor Jim says about Ben Riggins, “He was on fire for God!”. The legacy lives on through Ben’s kids, including Scott, a missionary in the Church of the Nazarene, and through folks like Jim and Jan Johnson.

We need to examine ourselves….are we leaving a legacy of evangelism, like Ben Riggins did?

Register with Carol Stevens

Southwest Mission Area Workday on Bristow Parsonage

Thanks to Mission Area Coordinator, Rod Thelander, and the great team of 15+ people who came to help paint the inside of the Bristow Parsonage on Feb. 8. Another work day will be scheduled after some roof repairs have been made.


Our senior adult ministries invites all TNT and 50’s & Wannabees to come at 3:30 for Indian Tacos and to sit together at the concert. RSVP to for group seating.


January Reports

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I Want to Celebrate. . .

NEO Churches celebrate 13 salvations and 3 baptisms in January!

Tim Odom, Collinsville. . . We were blessed to have a great group of teens attend the Mid Winter Retreat this weekend.

Brian Loderhose, Owasso Silver Creek. . . Awesome services, new people attending, God is working, and we are excited!

Ronnie Baker, Tulsa Audacity. . . We have had guests at every service to begin the new year with one salvation and planned baptism. We are excited about what our new service time will do in our community. We have had prayer requests submitted from all over the world from Nazarene missionaries during our 40 days of prayer and fasting.

Michael Staton, Wagoner Cornerstone. . . One more adult added to the Kingdom!

David Stevens, Vinita. . . A young couple joined the Church this month by profession of faith. We had a great holiday season with much fellowship. We also had some funerals and I am so thankful for the faithful Church members who come and help us minister to the bereaved family members.

Bret Metcalfe, Claremore. . . We want to celebrate the recommitment of a man that has been attending church for a couple of months. We are actively involved (through Pastor Wes) in a multiple church-sponsored campus ministry at RSU. The response from the students has been overwhelming to the point the group has almost outgrown the current meeting place (an old gas station).

Drew Dinnel, Muskogee First. . . This has been a great season. We have had a number of teens make confessions of faith, and we are seeing visitors every week.

Cary Tipton, Mannford Grace Family Worship Center. . . We have three adults continuing in sobriety and with a commitment to attend church when not on weekend shift. We have three new babies in the nursery and five in the toddler to five class. Praise the Lord!!! In April we will host our first children’s quiz in Mannford. We are excited to do so! We have multiple activities scheduled this next month and new young adult class coming soon.

Scott Dermer, Tulsa Central. . . A young man came to faith during a service in our Hispanic congregation. Our special needs pastor taught a lesson on entire sanctification and two students prayed to receive that gift. We had 86 people, plus children and teens, attend several open house nights at our home. At these open house nights, we got to listen to people’s dreams for the church.

Dale Fillmore, Okmulgee. . . New attendees, possible new member additions.

Mark Smith, Cushing. . . We received 2 new members and 2 people renewed their membership. New people are coming to church as it’s a good place to meet great people.

Mark Smith, Drumright. . . “Love It Again Thrifty Boutique” opened in what was formally the Youth Center. It is an outreach ministry of LOVE INC. Good quality clothes are greatly discounted and we work together to meet needs in the community. We are in the third month of Celebrate Recovery. We have wonderful leaders helping with this ministry. We have some people who are now attending church through this ministry.

Casey Hollingsworth, Miami New Life. . . Had an amazing Spiritual Renewal weekend with Dr. Susie Shellenberger. Had a lady we have been praying for and pouring into give her life to Jesus! We continue to pray for the husband and four daughters to come to know Jesus and what it means to walk/live for Him!

Yalmi & Norma Izaguirre, Tulsa Roca de Salvacion. . . God is helping us to pay our mortgage on time and our members are committed to this new challenge.

Austin Troyer, Tahlequah. . . We have had great worship services and have seen God’s faithfulness through hardships and victories of many kinds. We also celebrated a successful family game night event, one of the more successful multi-generational events we have had in a while. It was also a blessing to get to take so many people to the children’s ministry training event. We are so thankful for the ability to transport people to training, an awesome time of ministry development, and growing leadership in our church.

Otoniel Dannemann, Tulsa Fuente de Vida. . . The Church had a 21-day fast, asking God for his presence with us, and for the support of the Holy Spirit moving to impact our city to Jesus.

Nain & Yanira Caceres, Claremore El Buen Pastor. . . We want to thank God because his mercy is always in each of the activities we do.

Work & Witness Trip

We are so excited about our district Work & Witness trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to build a school/compassionate outreach center!

June 26-July 3, 2020

Cost is $1300-$1400, depending on the flights. Anyone wanting to go must have a $200 nonrefundable deposit sent in by February 24. Payments of $200 required in March, April, and May. The remaining amount will need to be paid by District Assembly (June 1). We will be doing construction on the Huellas project, as well as some VBS activities with kids and possible medical clinics. Anyone interested in going with medical experience, contact Cynthia as soon as possible so we can arrange a more concrete plan for the medical clinic!

Any monies, except the non refundable deposit of $200, can be returned if you need to cancel your spot. The cutoff date for any cancellations and refunds will be May 18th. Please join us in praying over this trip as well!

Contact Cynthia Hollingsworth for more information: or 918-919-1177

Facebook: NEO Work & Witness-Dominican Republic