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Pastor Quin

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Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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March 2018

On January 28, I received news that a very good friend and fellow pastor had died.  Jesus came to Gary Hans and carried him home.  This ended Gary’s long battle with a variety of health issues.

It is unusual for me to take this space to remember someone we have lost.  Especially, someone like Gary, who was not, nor had ever been, a member of Boyd Avenue.  But, I’m going to take a moment and share with you my personal tribute to a man who I knew and loved.  A fellow pastor whom I deeply respect.  Perhaps, this is my way of mourning my loss.

When I first met and got to know Gary, he was a deacon at Mountain View Baptist Church.  During those days, the church had a couple of pastors and it is not harsh to say that the church was having its ups and downs.  But, during the ups and downs, the one thing I always saw, was Gary, standing strong and pushing forward.  His pastors always spoke of his dependability and his faithfulness.  His fellow church members, while not necessarily agreeing with Gary, always respected and appreciated him.

In 1999, Gary surrendered to the Gospel Ministry.  He was ordained by Mountain View Church.  Almost a year later, we was called to be pastor of Sunrise Baptist Church.  To say that Sunrise was a struggling church would be a gross understatement.  They had had a series of ineffective pastors.  Turmoil was a standard operating procedure.  The church was beginning to stabilize under the leadership of an interim pastor, but everyone expected the dysfunction to return as soon as a permanent pastor was called.  Then they called Gary Hans to be their pastor.  He had no pastoral experience.  His education was limited.  The only thing he had going for him when he accepted this call was his absolute belief that this was God’s will for him and for Sunrise.  He was proven to be right!  It is no exaggeration to say that Gary saved that church.  In 2000, I had no confidence that the church would survive, much less flourish.  But, it did.  Gary simply loved those people.  He went in as their pastor, loved them and led them out of a wilderness to become a strong and effective church.  I know that I am saying that Gary did all this.  We know that really God did all this, but He used Gary.  Gary allowed God to use Him.  With all of the elements needed to be a successful pastor, if a person loves his people and allows God to use him, good things will happen.  Last year, Gary took a medical retirement from being a pastor.  He left the church that God left in his care exponentially better off than when he started.

That is what I saw God do with Gary.  But, personally, I knew Gary as a friend.  He was always happy, always smiling, always up to something.  You had to keep an eye on him or else you would fall victim to one of his practical jokes.  But, he was never mean spirited.  He just like to laugh and so do I.  Over the last couple of years, as he struggled with health issues, he would still be an encourager.  Every once in a while, he would give me a call out of nowhere.  We would chat for a few minutes, then he would give me a word of encouragement.  He would thank me for doing something I probably had little to do with, but then he would leave me with a word of encouragement.  After those phone calls, I would always feel a little guilty, because here I was, in good health, in a good place and here is Gary encouraging me.  I should have been calling him and encouraging him, but it was usually the other way around.  That was just Gary. 

So here we are now, Gary is gone from this life.  I will miss him.  Gone is a good friend.  Gone is a man who I liked and respected.  While I am mourning his death, truly, I am celebrating his life.  Gary knew and served our Lord, Jesus Christ.  On January 28, Jesus came to Gary’s home in Mills, put His arms around him and said, “Son it’s time for you to come home.  I have a mansion in My Father’s house that I have prepared for you.  Well done, good and faithful servant.”   Someday, I will see Gary in that place.  For the same Savior died for each of us.  The same Lord placed us in His service.  The same Lord will bring us back together in His presence. 



February 2018

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes the statement, “For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 21.  In other words, He is stating that if we examine what is most important to us, we will find that which we love most.  So, if w store up and collect something, it could be that this is what we love the most.  Now I’m not talking about collecting as a hobby.  It is highly unlikely (although not impossible) that stamps, or baseball cards, or rare coins could become the most important things in our lives.  Generally, people who collect as a hobby simply enjoy the ongoing pursuit of something that can be hard to find, not unlike the drive in those of us who like to hunt or fish.

What Jesus was talking about in this statement, is not focused so much on that which is collected, but rather the heart of the one who is doing the collecting.  What are you putting away in storage?   Why are you putting it there?  Are we storing stuff?  Are we storing something that is more valuable?  Don’t get me wrong.  Stuff in itself is not necessarily a bad thing.  I have quite a bit of stuff, and I like most of that stuff.  Our house for example.  We have lived in our current home for almost 15 years.  We have invested many dollars as we have been making mortgage payments all that time and still have a little way to go.  Added to that, we have remodeled the kitchen, the master bedroom, both bathrooms, and a few other places.  We have replaced the roof and about half of the flooring.  As with all houses, there is always more to do and we will keep doing things to upgrade the house.  Beth and I really like our home.  We spend a lot of time there.  We entertain on a regular basis.  We find it as a place of quiet retreat when we need a short break.  Both of us have lived longer in this house than in any other house, including our childhood homes.  But, we are well aware that it is almost certain that there will come a time, when we will choose to move out of that house.  Someday, we will hire a realtor, find a buyer, make a deal on the house, and move out.  And when we do that, there will likely be a little sadness, but we will not be traumatized.  It’s just a house, a nice house, but still just a house.

Now, on the other hand, what do we really treasure?  What is there, that if we lost it that loss would devastate us?  This is an important question.  While I cannot speak for Beth, I do not think that she would disagree with my following observations.  As I think about this, there are a few things that I treasure.  There is my family, (my wife, my children, and their children) the loss of any one of those would be devastating.  My heart would be broken.  There is the church, (Boyd Avenue Baptist Church) if I could no longer be a part of this wonderful body, I do not know what I would do.  Granted, there will come a time (no date picked out yet) when I will no longer be the pastor.  But currently, it is my full intention to remain a part of this great body and follow its new leadership whoever that may be.  So, as I answer this question, what do I truly treasure, the two things that hold my heart the strongest are my family and my church.  But, there is one more thing that as I contemplate losing it would be even more devastating than all else.  What if I lost the love of God?  Not my love for Him, but His love for me.  I cannot fathom this loss.  For if God stopped loving me, what value would there be in any of my other treasure?

Good News!!  I cannot lose that last mentioned treasure!  A tragedy could strike and I could lose any or all of my family (in this life).  An unforeseeable circumstance could arise and I could have to move far away and never see any of my dear Boyd Avenue family again.  But, there is nothing in all of creation that can separate me from the love that God has for me.  Romans 8: 35-39 asks and answers this question.  “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?”  The answer: “For I am persuaded that not even death of life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

So, I’ve answered the question:  What do I treasure?  What do I hold deepest in my heart?  But, of those things that I treasure the most, the only one that is absolutely enduring is the love that Jesus has for me.  Yes, that indeed is a treasure that cannot decay, nor can it be taken away.  Where is your heart?  What do you treasure?



January 2018

Well, here we are turning the calendar from one year to the next.  The year 2017 sits fully in our rear view mirror, and 2018 sits entirely before us.  As we each look back across the year we have just completed, we will see victories and defeats.  We will remember laughter and tears.  We will recall things we regret and fully intend to avoid such things in the future.  At the same time we will remember things that were wonderful, hoping that the joy of those events will be repeated.

Indeed, life is full of these contrasts.  Rarely does life unfold evenly.  There seems to always be unforeseeable obstacles that get in the way.  But, there also are times when things go better than expected.  Or there is an unanticipated blessing that pops in on us.  This is the unpredictability of life.  I guess you could say that this is what makes life interesting.  As we reflect on the past year, hopefully there were more ups than downs, more wisdom than foolishness was lived out.  If we have learned from our mistakes then even our foolishness has some value.  But, no matter how we view it, the past is the past.  We can only learn from it, we cannot relive it.  We can neither go back and undo our errors, nor can we perfectly relive our victories with any guarantee of repeating them.

Interestingly, while we reflect on the year that has gone into history, at the same time, we look forward to the year that is about to unfold before us.  If you are an optimistic person (and I am) then you are looking toward this new year with great anticipation and excitement.  If you are a pessimistic person then there is a certain level of dread in your heart.  I think that 2018 is going to be a wonderful year!  The pessimist is sure that dreadful things are lining up right now to descend upon them.  At this point, neither one of us has a clue which of us is right and which is wrong.  Sometimes there is a certain level of self-fulfilling prophecies that come with our attitudes.  But, overall, we really do not know what the future will hold.  Yes, I have plans for 2018.  Much of my calendar is already filled, but I cannot plan for the unforeseeable.  Now, the question is, do I worry about that which I cannot anticipate?  Or do I look forward to it?  My answer is:  neither.  I just don’t think about it too much.  This is true because I can’t do anything about it and worrying about it just doesn’t accomplish anything at all. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to put aside worry (Matthew 6: 25-32).  He follows that up by teaching us that wisdom is found by seeking above all else the Kingdom of God.  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6: 33

Here we see the key to having a Happy New Year and living in a more optimistic manner.  If we make it our highest priority to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives and His righteousness day-in, day-out, then we will have a good year.  Bad things may happen to us that are completely out of our control.  But, if we are seeking Him, even the difficult things will be more tolerable.  They won’t be any fun, but we will be able to not only endure them, but to grow through them.  At the same time, if good things happen to us (and I think they will) then the joy that we know will be even greater because we have sought the right things and have chosen to live in the right way.

May you and yours have a truly blessed and happy New Year!!



December 2017

WOW!!  It seems as though it was just the other day that I was writing an article welcoming in 2017.  But, here we are saying farewell to this year and preparing to welcome in another.  But, looking back, I see that it has been a busy year.  We have seen construction begin on our new building.  We sent mission teams to Haiti and Canada.  We attended Kid’s Camp and Summit Youth Camp.  Ed and I helped organize and lead a second week of Summit. (This was the first year that we had two weeks of Summit Camp and we had over 300 in attendance between the two weeks.)  We celebrated Ed’s 20th anniversary with us here at Boyd.  We enjoyed an epic Sportsman’s Day.  The ladies, put together a mid-summer retreat they called “Nourish”.  Add to that our usual activities, Vacation Bible School, the fall women’s retreat, S.W.A.T., and a few more events, then throw in an eclipse for good measure and I suppose we can see where the time went.  And now that I think about it, I wonder how in the world did we get all that into just one year?

Reflecting back on all this I would have to say that it has been a really good year.  God has blessed us in so many ways.  That is the point that I’m trying to make.  This year hasn’t been a good year because it was busy.  No, it was a good year because God poured out His blessings upon us, time and again.  And there is no reason to believe that He will not continue to do the same as this year ends and next year unfolds.  I am excited to see what God is going to do next year.  I am confident that it will be busy.  I’m sure there will be times of high stress and uncertainty on my part.  But, I am equally confident that when the chips are down, God will show up as He always does, then next year at this time, I can stand amazed how time as flown by and how God has blessed.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pastor Quin


November 2017

It’s hard to believe, but here we sit on the edge of another holiday season.  As I have often said, the holiday season, coming up to Thanksgiving and going through Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of my favorite times of year.  (It doesn’t quite measure up to the opening day of hunting season, but it is close.)  This year, Beth and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in Wyoming.  I’m not sure of all of the details for this year.  Beth keeps me on a “need to know” basis about such things.  But, no matter where we are, we are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  As you know, Thanksgiving is a harvest feast, intended to lead us to give thanks to the source of our bounty.  When the Pilgrims had a good harvest, facing their second winter in the New World, they knew that they had the means to survive the upcoming winter in much better fashion than they had faced a year earlier.  So, they had a feast of “thanksgiving” to God who was their Provider. 

While my family and I are not dependent on our farming abilities, we have so much for which we must give thanks.  God indeed is our Provider.  He has made physical provision for us.  We are healthy.  We live in a nice house.  We have everything we need and enjoy many wants that God provides.  All of this comes from the Hand of God. 

As if that were not enough, God is our spiritual Provider.  Jesus won for us a victory over sin and death.  He gave Himself as a sacrifice, so that our sins could be covered.  He has redeemed us and made us His children.  As a bonus, He has called us (Beth and I) into His ministry.  From that He has provided us with a wonderful Church family.


This month marks the completion of 20 years of ministry by Ed Tharp at Boyd Avenue. In November of 1997 Ed and Rebecca moved from Indiana to Casper accepting two part-time positions, Youth Minister at Boyd Avenue and   Director of the Baptist     Collegiate Ministries at    Casper College, through the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention.  Through the years, his work has evolved.  His role at Boyd grew to become full-time and he remains Casper College’s BCM Director, still part-time.  He does that ministry in addition to his ministry here at Boyd.  Currently, his title with us is Student Pastor.  But, no   matter what you call him  (and he’s been called a lot of things over the years), he has served our congregation and our community well. 

Personally, I am very proud and pleased to have worked alongside Ed all of these years.  He and I share a very similar ministry philosophy, which is one of the reasons that our partnership has worked so well for so long.  Through the years, Ed and I have laughed a lot, cried a little, been frustrated with the Church and each other rarely (a time or two, I think).  We have encouraged one another, celebrated the victories that we have seen Christ win, and helped each other over the rocks and ridges as they have arisen.  What I am trying to say is that while in the hierarchy of Boyd, I am his boss, in the reality of life, Ed and I are bothers-in-Christ above all else.  In addition to that, I am honored to call him my friend.

Note the announcement in this Newsletter about November 12, the day we have set aside to recognize and honor Ed, Rebecca, and their kids.  There will be no 8:00 service that day, Sunday School will be at 9:15.  We are asking the teachers to shorten their   lessons, so that we can have a cookie and cake reception for the Tharps between Sunday School and Worship at 10:30.  Please come to join in this special day of celebration.