Mike Conner - Board Chairman
In 1998, right after I sold my business and moved to Weatherford, for some reason I decided we should start going to church. This was a huge surprise to friends and family alike. Six months later I hadn’t missed a Sunday. I was sitting up front, singing the songs, toting the Bible, was even active in a Sunday School class, but had not made that commitment. By now I had read Romans 10:9, but did not fully understand what it meant “Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord”. Bottom line: I was going to Church, and going to hell. But I sure looked good on the outside.
One Sunday I was actually asked to lead our Sunday school class the following week. It was mid-December; my assigned lesson was on Luke 2, birth of Christ. After about 20 hours of preparing for this 45-minute class, it was around 2 in the morning, and for the first time I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, then the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Instantly, I understood what “Born Again” was all about. I look back now, in my business days. What all I had to learn to be successful. All the young men that I had to hire, train, and motivate to make my business work. I later realized all my business experience was God preparing and training me for what He wanted me to be doing later. That is; This ministry.
Fred Allen - Vice Chairman
My journey with Jesus began 55 years ago. My wife was a big influence in helping me come to receive Jesus as Lord. We wrote each other while I was in the Army. She would send me Christian books during that time, that allowed me to do some thinking. I knew I needed something more in my life than just being worldly. I needed hope, forgiveness and Spiritual life! I was reading one of those books one night after I had been discharged from Army life. I was in my bedroom on a warm night in 1968. While I was reading "How to become a Christian" the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. It was not verbally but it was real. It went like this, "Fred you need to repent and receive Me into your heart," and I got out of bed got on my knees and ask Jesus to come and live His life in me.
After Sally and I married God has always given us something to do. (Ephesians 2:10) Some 18 years ago Sally and I were invited to go into Palo Pinto County Jail to minister to inmates. This is where we met Mike Conner and John Gordon. What I really like about B.C.F. is it gives us another avenue to disciple inmates.
Nancy Conner - Treasurer
During my elementary school years, I attending Catholic school and studied scripture in school and attend Church but not having a true walk with God. After my parents divorce, and me living with my dad, my dad re-married. My new step mother, who was a member of a Pentecostal church, took us to Church ever time the doors were open, even going to youth camp, but never made a true commitment to God. It didn’t help that my home life didn’t follow biblical teachings.
So, I knew who Jesus was but never truly committed my life to Him. Until my husband and I started attending Church together in 1998. One precious invitation in October 2001 to attend a “Walk to Emmaus”, changed my life. I knew from that time on I wanted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He put a desire in me to profess this to the congregation and to serve Him.
On a Mission trip my Husband and I took after accept Christ. A speaker told us you’ll know when God’s talking to you to serve. He’ll put it on your heart, and He does… That’s why I’m involved in this ministry, the Lord has given me a loving, caring heart for these man and women who’ve made bad choices in their lives, but I truly believe they can be changed through the love of Christ and God’s Word. Just like He did with me…
Randy Herring - Secratary
I grew up being churched, but was never taught what it meant to have a relationship with my Savior. I walked away from “religion” as an adult and set my own course in life. Needless to say, most of it can be described as a disaster. My son introduced me to an area church plant about 25 years ago and what I found was a group of believers that revealed to me God’s love, grace and forgiveness, and what it meant to walk with the Lord. For the first time in my life, I surrendered my life to Him.
Shortly thereafter, I was faced with a decision; stay here or accept a job offer out of state. I really had no desire to leave but something inside of me told me to go. I went against what I wanted to do and did something I had never done – I stepped out in faith. I would soon realize that the voice that was speaking to me was the Holy Spirit. I could not have imagined what God had in store for me over the following decades.
This ministry was presented to me at a time when I was asking the Lord to show me His plan for my next service opportunity and I immediately knew this was it. I realized the men and women we serve are where I was over two decades ago - they need God’s love, grace and forgiveness revealed to them and I believe God is using this ministry for that purpose.
Gene Martin - Board Member
I grew up in a church that taught the gospel story but generally “went through the motions” week after week. This prepared a foundation for faith but failed to nurture it. Still, with decades of witnessing the power of God’s creation, studying the intricate complexity of how everything does work together for good, and experiencing “good fortune” in my life, I failed to grasp that God’s plan was working through me.
The spirit of my early upbringing always led me to try to help others. When the Lord brought me and my wife, Peggie, into a true Bible based church, abundant opportunities to serve opened before me. Like others in this ministry, the fellowship of our church community has blossomed and rooted my faith. When I retired, I discovered that the Lord had provided both the resources and ample time to tackle the works He had provided.
When I was invited to join the toServe Ministry, I was pleased to be able to prepare answer sheets specific to the language in different Bible versions. Asked to be a “teacher,” I was filled with misgiving of not qualified to try to teach others. Prayer led me to accept [on a limited, trial basis] to take on a few students. This was one of the best and most rewarding decisions of my life. .
Larry Fuller - Board Member
After many years of wandering, traveling around with my occupations and meandering around in my behavior and belief system, about 6 years ago I came to the Lord Jesus by faith. Although raised in a main line denominational church and active in church while raising my family, I grew disillusioned with faith. For a number of years, I would describe my thinking as agnostic. Then I as I approached my 60’s I decided I wanted to believe something. My first step was to decide if there was a deity(s). I signed up for a biology class at UT Arlington, focusing on ‘evolutionary biology’. After completing the class, with an A, I concluded it took a tremendous amount of faith to believe in what they were teaching. Also, I decided there must be some spiritual reality at work to convince these highly intelligent professors that something as obviously untrue as complex life forms “evolving” randomly was a fact. These brilliant people had to do back flips of logic to teach evolutionary Biology (it was more illogical than the religious teaching I already rejected). Then I looked at the ‘creation’, and concluded, there is a brilliance to creation, so, there must be a creator(s) and humans are way different than the other creatures… time to decide if I could decern who this creator was.
There are many world religions, I decided I would check Christianity off the list first. I found a Bible, opened it to the gospel of John, and thought, “I will give this a fair chance, I will believe what I read here.” John 1; 1-5, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” With this verse Jesus turned my mind around. God answered my questions, He saw me and showed me how Good He is. He sent is Spirit into my heart, I experienced the peace and joy of Jesus. This life it is not all about me and not all about here, to enter the kingdom we must come as little children… I believe in Jesus. Evey one need Jesus Christ, the LOGOS. That is why I am involved in this prison ministry.
Cindy Shannon - Exective Director
Like many young kids, I was baptized after attending a church camp when I was 13 years old. My grandfather had a ministry in Fort Worth where he preached to the homeless, but I never realized that we all had the same Lord and Savior. As a teenager, I did not understand what a consistent walk with the Lord truly meant and I gradually let life’s busyness replace my relationship with Jesus. In my early 40’s I felt a conviction in my spirit, I knew that I was not living my life the way Jesus wanted me to. I started attending, and soon joined a community bible Church in Springtown, TX. I rededicated my life to Christ and started a true relationship with Him. I attended church every time the doors were open. I attended bible studies, and for the first time, I picked up the bible and began to read it. I fell in love with God’s word and finally understood Jesus Christ love for me, and His saving grace.
Over the years I have had several family members who made poor life decisions that put them in jail. It was so hard to go visit them behind the glass and not be able to help them. Isaiah 61:1 says, “The spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captive and release from darkness for the prisoners.” One thing I could do is love them like Jesus. Share about His unfailing grace and mercy, and how they could be saved through a true relationship with Christ. toServe Ministry was a perfect mission field for me. I have an opportunity to share God’s word with those who are incarcerated and give support to them when they are released and returning to their communities. I have learned church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.