Striving together to equip the called

By Donnie Fox

Published: October 1, 2019

I love the annual meeting time of our Kentucky Baptist Convention. This gathering allows me opportunities to share with our Kentucky Baptist Convention churches how God is using your support through the Cooperative Program to equip those whom He has called to serve Him. As you give through the Cooperative Program, your support is an investment in kingdom work through Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, which is reaching people all over the world.

Donnie Fox

Since 1941, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and the Kentucky Baptist Convention have been striving together to support, equip and send laborers into the fields to serve the Lord. Every student who comes to Clear Creek has surrendered their life to serve the Lord wherever He sends them.

Clear Creek alumnus David Brainard was content to serve in his role as pastor—until God called him to serve in another role. Your Cooperative Program gifts helped equip him for service.

"Throughout my 18 years in pastoral ministry I have repeatedly been asked if God has a sense of humor," reflects Brainard. "I have always responded that I believe He does, but have never really had a good defense of my answer; that is, until the last 17 months.

"If you would have asked me while a student at Clear Creek (1999-2004) what God's call was on my life, I would have easily and quickly answered that He had called me to pastor and that I would never see myself outside of the pastorate. However, God had a different plan! Over the last 17 months God has led my family and me on a journey that none of us ever saw coming and that at first I honestly believed He had to be joking.

Submitted photo

Clear Creek alumnus David Brainard is sworn as a Navy chaplain.

"On a beautiful spring day in 2018, while at home alone, God began the process of calling me to go back in the military as a chaplain," recalls Brainard. "At first, I could not believe that God would call me into such a ministry or to leave the pastorate, but I also did not think it would be possible for me to both finish my M.Div. and lose the weight I needed to lose to get in. In spite of my reservations I was 100 percent sure God was leading me back in the Navy and that He and He alone had the power to make it happen.

"The journey over the last 17 months has been amazing," said Brainard. "God has worked in ways that have literally amazed my wife and me. I began to lose the weight that I needed to lose in order to be able to pass medical requirements, which was a miracle in itself. I was able to finish my Master of Divinity degree, which enabled me to start the process of getting into the Navy Chaplaincy Corps. I was granted an age waiver since I am three years older than the age to get in the Navy. Through several other minor miracles, God continued the process of commissioning me into the Navy, even though there were several times the door seemed to be closing.

"As I share this information, I am sitting in an airport waiting for a flight to go to the North American Mission Board for New Chaplains Orientation and Training," said Brainard. "I have received my commission in the Navy Chaplaincy Corps and will go to Officers Development School and Chaplaincy School in less than month. God has opened every door, but who would expect anything less. He has called and He has made it happen. Does God have a sense of humor? Of course He does! Who else would take an over-age and overweight pastor and make him a Navy chaplain."

Thank you Kentucky Baptists for striving together with Clear Creek Baptist Bible College though your Cooperative Program support to equip the called.

Donnie Fox is president of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.