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Pastor Quin

Pastor Ed

Scott - First Things First

Boyd Avenue Baptist Church
1930 Boyd Avenue, Casper, WY

(307) 261-9896

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October 2017

Over the course of this school semester, I (along with Ed Tharp) am teaching a seminary class in Baptist History.  I have taught this class before, so I’m getting pretty well versed in the traceable origins of Baptist denominations, their seasons of growth and seasons of decline.  In all of these things, there is one glaring constant.  This is that the Scripture is central in our history and vital to our successes.

The very roots of the Protestant Reformation are found in a rediscovery of the Bible.  Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic priest, and therefore quite well educated.  He was a bit of a rough character, but his devotion to God was absolute.  Because he could read the Bible (something rather rare at the time) he found that there were common practices of the Church that were not biblical.  He further determined that these practices were inappropriate, causing him to rise up in an attempt to reform the Church.  Failing that, he ultimately broke from the Roman Catholic Church spurring forth the Protestant Reformation.

In England, Henry VIII, rebelled against the Roman Church for his own reasons (no Bible involved) and established the Church of England with himself as the head of the Church.  Ecclesiastical practices did not change very much, but the head of the Church was no longer in Rome.  Now it was found in the British monarchy.

In short order, the common people in Europe and Brittan became more and more literate.  When the printing press was invented and brought into common practice the availability of Scripture was dramatically increased.  As people read the Bible, they found that the Bible often taught one thing and the Church (Roman, Anglican, and Protestant) often practiced something else.  So what ensued was a series of attempts to reform, then eventual separations.  Out of this (English Separatism) came a group who became known as Baptist.  First called this by their detractors, because they refused to baptize infants and insisted that true baptism can only be administered to a person expressing his/her faith. 

Now do not think these separations came easily or without cost.  Persecutions of the most extreme fell upon Baptists, Anabaptists, Quakers, and other nonconforming groups.  People were burned, hanged, imprisoned, banished, flogged, and more because they sought to worship God in a more biblical manner.  Understand, these were Christians (Catholic, Anglican, Congregational, and others) who were persecuting the dissenters.  This took place in Europe, England, and the American colonies.

So, why would someone go through all of this?  The answer is simple.  These people believed the Bible.  It is no more complex than this.  As they came to understand what the Bible taught about God and how to relate to Him, they would rather suffer and die than to live in a less than authentic relationship.  This is the power of the Scripture.

Church and denomination growth and decline can be traced along the very same lines.  Baptist numbers increased exponentially when churches and their leaders embraced the truths of the Bible and lived according to its instruction.  But decline and decay quickly fell upon those churches and groups that embraced a lesser truth.  They would interpret the Scripture according to their own logic and reason, rather than having the Scripture lead them in how they should think and live.

Since the pattern of rise and fall is directly linked to how believers view and apply biblical truth, it is incumbent upon us to learn from history.  The power of the Bible is as strong today as it has ever been.  If we love the Bible, learn the Bible, and live according to its teachings, then our lives will grow and our church will grow as well.  We may or may not be popular, but we will be living according to how God has told us to live.  This is the recipe for success in life.  So let us remain committed to not only knowing the Word of God, but also following the path it lays out for us.  If history teaches us nothing else, let us find this truth, it will make all the difference.



September 2017

We made it!  The eclipse is over and we are still here.  The town is rapidly returning to normal.  The world did not end.  As near as I can tell, no stable of demons were unleashed on the earth, the sun did not stay darkened.  None of the tales of superstition that have accompanied this event have taken place.  And quite frankly, we would have been more shocked had they transpired, than if they had not.  Which they did not.

In all honesty, coming up to the eclipse, I thought the whole thing was much ado about very little.  I had seen eclipses before, albeit not total, but eclipses nonetheless.  But, I must admit, that a total eclipse of the sun is a far more spectacular natural phenomena than I had expected.  As the totality neared, things simply changed.  Things slowly got darker, the air chilled a bit, the dogs in the neighborhood were barking wildly, everything just seemed a little strange.  Then, when totality happened, the eclipse glasses no longer worked, and the naked eye could be used to safely look at the eclipse.  I viewed the moon as I had never viewed it before.  I viewed the sun as I had never viewed it before.  The wind laid down completely, the chill increased, the neighborhood dogs went silent, all traffic stopped, there was a hush unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was spectacular!  Then as the 2+ minutes of totality passed, the first direct rays of the sun, shot past the edge of the moon and the eclipse glasses came back into play.  Within a few minutes, the darkness waned, full light was restored, the dogs started up again, the air began to warm, traffic resumed and before you knew it, for all practical purposes, it was over.

Now what do we take from this?  There is much the scientist have learned, although most of that is way over my head.  There was much socialization, as families, and neighbors, and even strangers shared in this event.  But, there is much spiritual application in all this as well.  Not the spiritual application that people who worship the sun or nature may develop.  But, for those of us who worship the Creator of nature, there are some things we should note. 

First of all, we should note the power of light.  According to Genesis 1:3 the first thing that God created was light.  Later in the creation process, He bottled the light up in the sun, the moon and the stars, but light came first of all created things.  Therefore, it is easy to conclude that light is the most basic of needed elements for the rest of creation, including the creation of mankind (that would be us).  Also, John opens his gospel by referring to Jesus as the “Light of men”, John 1: 4.  And in that Light there is Llfe.  Not biological life, but rather spiritual life.  It was built into us from the very act of creation, then reinstituted as Christ came to Bethlehem, went to Calvary, then rose from the grave.  This is God’s ultimate exercise of grace, opening up the door of restoration that we could return to Him through the Light He provides, which is His Son.

The other illustration I saw play out in the eclipse is the power and effect of totality.  As I said earlier, I have seen partial eclipses before.  And while I find them interesting, I viewed them as less than spectacular.  But, when the moon held the sun in total eclipse and we were in as deep a shadow as possible, the totality was amazing.  This illustrates to me the power of the totality of Christ.  Often we try to keep Jesus touching our lives in limited ways.  We refuse to give over everything to Him.  We will not trust Him with certain things and we do our best to maintain a certain amount of control.  When a Christian lives in this way, it leads us to a less than spectacular life.  But when we allow Christ to totally eclipse our sinful nature, and trust Him to overshadow every part of our lives, the result we see is beyond anything that we have ever imagined.  The difference is that the total eclipse of the sun could not last long.  Whereas, Christ’s overshadowing of our lives can become permanent, and it is to our great benefit for that to be the case.

So, the solar eclipse has come and gone.  Who knows when or if any of us may see another?  But, whatever the future may hold, let us remember that the Light of Christ shining in our lives is essential for us now and forever.  At the same time, we must seek to have Jesus overshadow our lives if we want to get all that God has for us here and now.

Pastor Quin 



August 2017

Wow!!!  What a wonderful and powerful God we serve.  As I sit in my office this morning, writing this article, I cannot get the power and wonder of God off of my mind. 

Today, we are in the midst of our second week of Summit.  Our youth and their great sponsors attended Summit 1 last week.  Right now, there are 136 teenagers and 41 sponsors at Mountain Top Baptist Assembly in Summit 2.  Stepping into two weeks of Summit, was no small thing.  When we were challenged to make this commitment a year ago, we knew that there was little choice but to go forward, but there was some trepidation to this move.  Could we recruit enough staff for two weeks?  Would we have enough students to make two effective camps?  But, as is so often the case, God showed up. 

Staff recruitment was accomplished earlier than ever before.  This year we are seeing about 70 more in attendance at the two weeks that we had at last summer’s Summit Camp which was the largest on record.  We already know that there have been some salvations, but it will be a few days before we see what we can see of God’s activity at Summit this summer.  I say it that way, because we are all well aware that God does many things around us that are beyond our perception.  Actually, what we can see is just the tip of the iceberg of what He does.

In addition to that, I can look across the street from our office and see the progress on the building.  For over three years, we have been working to see this project get started.  There have been many obstacles.  Some big, some small, but all have been overcome in time.  We know that there are still some hills to climb.  We are working with the city now to deal with a potential parking issue.  We thought this had been overcome some months ago, but it has popped up, so we are dealing with it now. 

Doubtlessly, there will be other obstacles arise as this project unfolds.  I do not know what they will be, but they are coming.  I’m not particularly worried about any of them, because I have seen God carry us past hurdle after hurdle, and I see no reason He will not continue to keep carrying us forward.  That is not to say that these problems are pleasant or that they will not require work on our part.  But, I have seen our mighty God carry us over so many things in the past years, I am confident that we will find a way over every situation that arises.  Again, I say it this way, because if our way is indeed God’s way then there is nothing that will not be overcome as we move forward.

Above, I have shared two current illustrations of our mighty God.  Yes, I want you to know what is happening in these projects.  But, I also want to encourage you, because I know that there are situations that arise in all of our lives that are difficult and/or uncertain.  What I want you to understand is that we serve a mighty God who wants to carry you over each hurdle as they arise before you. 

In Joshua 1:5 God promises Joshua that He will never leave or forsake him.  In the same way, we who bear the name of Christ can walk forward through the struggles of life with absolute confidence that God, through His Holy Spirit, will never leave us or forsake us.  Rather He will lift us over every hill and mountain as they arise in our path.

Christians walk by faith.  This is a faith that is supported by God’s accomplishments in and around our lives.  So let us walk forward in peace and confidence. 



July 2017

It is hard to believe, but 2017 is already half way behind us. On the other hand, half of this year still lies before us.  While this has been an interesting and productive year so far, I can’t help but wonder what the second half of 2017 has in store for us.  As I sit in my office writing this article, I can hear the heavy equipment accomplishing the dirt work necessary for the new building.  By year’s end, we expect to see a structure standing on our property, ready for the interior work to be done.  This will put us that much closer to being ready to finish the building so that the Kingdom work that will be there can begin.  This is exciting.

Also, on a bit of a sadder note, a few days ago, we locked the doors on the Set Free house.  This ministry is now concluded in our city.  While it is discouraging to see a ministry that has so much potential pass by the wayside for lack of leadership, it is up to us to move forward.  I am not sure exactly how Boyd Avenue will address the needs of the part of our community that Set Free reached, but be assured we will not ignore it.  My first inclination is to reach toward Wyoming Rescue Mission.  It is already in place and ministering to the homeless and substance challenged that live here.  Several of our folks regularly work as volunteers.  And one of our members is an employee, investing himself into these lives that are so often overlooked.  These decisions and directions will unfold as the rest of the year rolls forward.  Where we will end up in this ministry is still in question, but we can be sure that our Lord will lead us to the place that will best lift up those in need and glorify His name.  So this is exciting.

Then there are those unknown things to which we will find answers very soon.  Like, how is God going to use our mission team in Canada?   By the time you read this, they will be in Calgary working with Southwinds Church.  Then there are the camps that we will be a part of our ministry in July.  Kids’ Camp is fun and we always see youngsters come to Christ that week.  Then there is Summit.  For the first time, this camp has been expanded to two weeks.  Last year, we had about 245 participants in the single week of camp.  At this time, we have 334 registered for these weeks.  Who would have thought?  So it is impossible to guess what God is up to.  But, He is definitely up to something, and by the end of July, I think we will know what He had in mind, this is very, very exciting.

If that weren’t enough, throw into the middle of July our “Nourish” women’s conference.  Now understand, I may be a little prejudiced, but I am very excited about this conference for multiple reasons.  First, my daughters, Angie and Audrey, are the invited speakers.  So I am thrilled to see them, knowing that they are serving our Lord in a very special way.  Also, I am excited, because it was the women of our church who came up with this concept.  Neither Beth nor I suggested this.  This conference is something some of the women of the church wanted, and the next thing you know here it is.  I think that their initiative in this is great!  Add to that, what God is going to do in this conference in the lives of our ladies, and it’s hard to estimate what Kingdom things will be accomplished.  The prospects of all this are so exciting!

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m about as excited as a person can become.  Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed by all that stands before me right now, but I know that God is in charge and He will get all that needs to be done, done.  Then we will all be in a place where we will celebrate God and His goodness and see all the great things that He has done, as this summer and the rest of 2017 unfold.



June 2017

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 says: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”  As I write this article, I am witnessing the changing of a season of ministry in our community in which our Church has been deeply involved.  This is a sad time for me, but one that must be.  A few years ago, we, along with several sister churches, opened the Set Free Church in Casper.  This ministry was aimed at those who struggled most deeply with life.  Its principle purpose was to provide a live-in discipleship program for men who were coming out of prison, introduce them to   Jesus, and immerse them in scripture and discipleship so that they would have a new foundation on which to base their lives.  Most of the men who came through the program have had addiction problems which have greatly afflicted them.

Recently, the director of our program left abruptly, moving out of state.  This is the third leader that we have had fail in this position over the life of Set Free in Casper.  It would not be appropriate for me to detail any of the failures, but each time, the ministry has been left high and dry.  Following this final departure, the pastors of the supporting churches met and came to an obvious conclusion.  We could see no way for this ministry to go forward long term.  It was a difficult decision for us all, one we would rather not have made, but we saw no other course of action.

When the director left, he left about a dozen men in the house who are in the program.  We will not leave these men on the street, but will be working with them over the next few weeks to help them find places to live and means for them to continue their spiritual journeys.  There are wonderful testimonies that have come out of Set Free.  People, whose lives have been changed through this work.  So, it is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you about the passing of this ministry from our community.

This is not to say that Boyd Avenue or the other supporting churches will no longer serve this segment of our community.  We were reaching in that direction before Set Free came along and we will continue to reach out in the days ahead.  Also, we must understand that neither Set Free nor Boyd Avenue has ever saved anyone.  That work is done by God alone through His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ.  It is in that truth that I find comfort today.

So to everything there is a season.  Spring is moving into summer which will move into autumn.  So it is in our lives and in our ministries.  The season of Set Free is passing from Casper.  But, a new season is unfolding before us.  What will that season look like?  I do not know, but I am looking forward to see what our Lord has in store.