Many years ago, when I stepped out of pastoral ministry into executive leadership, I was overwhelmed and knew I would not survive without spiritual support. I decided to write a column in the Northwest Baptist Witness asking for people who were already praying for me to form a prayer team. Note the careful qualifier – people who were already praying for me.

To my surprise and delight, about 30 people responded – including one touching letter from Cal Poncho, Sr. He was an octogenarian who lived on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon. In his hand-written letter, in the shaky script of an older man, he told me he had been praying for me since he saw a picture of our young family on the day of my election as executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention. When he read my appeal for a prayer team, he volunteered to keep praying for me daily – as he had been doing for weeks – even though we had never met. A few months later, while preaching in his area, it was my honor to meet this godly, humble, prayerful Native American leader who became my friend and supporter for many years until he went to heaven.

Over the years, prayer team members have passed away or stepped away from their commitment – always replaced by others God raised up to support us. Two months ago, we were tracking toward retirement and had decided to disband the prayer team as we stepped into less demanding and visible ministry roles. Then God intervened and it appears, if elected on March 21, my public leadership will continue with the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

So, rather than disband the prayer team, I am issuing another call for volunteers. The appeal is the same – if you are already praying for us and will commit to continuing to do so, reach out to me at and we will add you to the team. I will send you a personal letter each month outlining specific prayer requests and my speaking/events calendar.

Despite 30 years of executive leadership experience, I still feel overwhelmed. I need Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:8-13) to stand with me, holding me up when I am too weak to sustain the battle and accessing God’s power on my behalf to keep me going. My spiritual stability and leadership effectiveness for the past 30 years has been enhanced by the support of my faithful prayer team. May God enlarge it and get us ready for the challenges of the next few years.

Who Were the Danbury Baptists?

The Baptist story is integral to the history of the United States.

Jonathan McCormick
Director of Library Services | Associate Professor of Theological Research
Dr. Jonathan McCormick’s dissertation examined the tradition of confessions of faith among Baptists in the United States through the 1925 Baptist Faith and Message.

John Webster and the Holiness of Preaching

For Webster, preaching and pastoral work is one of a profound vocation; a calling to emulate the God who preaches.

Robb Torseth
Public Service Librarian & Adjunct Professor at Gateway Seminary

The “Earliest Record of Jesus’ Childhood”: Clarifying some Recent Headlines

Is the recently discovered Infancy Gospel fragment significant? Yes. Does it tell us anything new about Jesus? No.

Daniel M. Gurtner, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament Studies
Dr. Gurtner has a passion for making Christ known through careful, deliberate, and worshipful study of the Bible, and training students to do the same.