From the Pastor’s Desk 3/22/2018

* I read the following tribute at the funeral service for Donny Ray Anderson on 3/17/18.

Precious Memories of a Caring man and Faithful Prayer Warrior:

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for more than 42 years. During that time, I have been privileged to meet, know, and serve Christ with some very special Christians. But I have never met a man as unique and special as  Donny Ray Anderson. He moved to Midwest City from New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2008. He had moved into a duplex on Babb St and one day, he was walking through the neighborhood. I had just exited the building through the north door when this sight-impaired, yet still smiling man walk up to me on the sidewalk. We introduced ourselves as “Mike” and “Donny Ray” and began to talk briefly.  When I invited him to visit our church, he seemed very appreciative and said, “I just might do that.” The surprise of his life occurred on the first Sunday he visited. While I am not sure how much of me he was able to see as I walked to the pulpit, I am sure that he recognized my voice when I began to speak. After the service, a surprised Donny Ray said to me, “When I heard you speak, I realized that I had been invited to church by the “top dog;” the rest is history for us who knew him and served the Lord with him for almost ten years. He started visiting in July of 2008 and was baptized the following October. He had a wit and way of expressing himself that was engaging, insightful, and always, entertaining. It wasn’t long before people began being drawn to him and blessed by him. He got involved in a small group Bible study in the People-in-Ministry Sunday School class taught by Rev. Alan Swarts and he began to grow spiritually. The next growth step in his life took place when he volunteered for the Prayer Room Ministry and FAITH Sunday School Evangelism Training. Under the leadership of his team leader, Wendell Kluge, Donny Ray began sharing his faith and ministering in homes all over MWC on Monday nights; on many occasions he would visit in the homes of people for who he had prayed and to whom he had sent prayer grams. The evening would conclude with a reporting time by a member of each team; and Donny Ray’s reports were both inspirational and entertaining! After a few faithful years in FAITH ministry, the Lord directed him to the church’s intercessory prayer room ministry. Only God knows how many people have been touched, blessed, and encouraged by through his prayers and written PrayerGrams. Every prayer gram was personal, unique, and included much more than phrases like “praying for you” or “thinking about you.” He would also give testimony of what God was doing in the church and share other up-to-date information about the FBC family. Among the ones who will miss Donny Ray the most are the dozens of prayer gram recipients. And if some of you are among them, I want to encourage you: Donny Ray has not stopped talking to the Lord about your needs and life situations; he’s just not doing it long distance anymore. Lastly, Donny Ray Anderson knows now, more than ever, that I am not the “top dog,” but just an ole mongrel saved by grace and blessed beyond measure to have been his pastor.