On Sunday, September 22nd, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Cheyenne Brethren Church. It was a great event attended by roughly 100 members and friends including many former members and their families. Pastor G. Emery Hurd read several letters from various people including Pastor Larry Baker, who served as the pastor in Cheyenne from June of 1975 to July of 1977, Senator Mike Enzi and a video recording from Steven Cole. Pastor Scott Soden, represented the National Office and presented Moderator, Kathy Juniker and Pastor Emery with a plaque and card, congratulating them on their achievement give through the Holy Spirit.
The Cheyenne Brethren Church has been a church that has weathered many different obstacles over the years including several natural disasters a flooded basement and more than a few congregational conflicts. However, through the grace of God and in the power of the name of his son Jesus, the church has also seen hundreds of people baptized, families overcome overwhelming difficulties, and watched as new generations have taken up the mantle of leadership.
Over the years the Cheyenne Brethren Church has lead many different outreach projects benefiting the local community and our many partners worldwide. Among them are the 20 years of partnership with Operation Christmas Child, led primarily by Sue Hurd and her amazing team, culminating in a record 720+ boxes being packed and delivered in 2018. They have sent teams out to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity, handed out water bottles during the parade at Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Super Day events. Likewise, the church has picked up the call to assist the community when trees fell on a house, flooded houses needed emptying, a partnership with the Salvation Army food pantry, and as people showed up at the church needing both prayer and assistance.
Their youth have been active in outreach and ministry as well. They have attended ENGAGE Youth Conference several times and sent students to FUGE camp in Glorietta, New Mexico. Students have gotten involved in various ministries including World Vision's 30 Days of Famine, community clean up days, house repair/ painting, community concerts, and much more. The church's youth ministry served as a major catalyst in bringing nine separate Cheyenne churches together for 30 Days of Heartwork, designing and participating in a full day of various community projects including cleaning up a local creek area, painting rails at a community park, serving at the local homeless shelter and the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Additionally, the nine churches together raised just over $20,000 for orphans in India to receive immunizations and supplemental food packs for daily nourishment. Through Pastor Scott's involvement, and his relationship with Ryan Smith, the youth of Brethren Church at large participated in 30 Days of Heart raising more than $10,000 for the Brethren Orphanage in India to build a new bathroom for the boys and a few other projects as well.
The church has also been very active in world missions. In 2005 they sent a team to work in Mexico City with Todd and Tracy Ruggle and Jen Pinto and then in 2016 they sent a team of fifteen to Puerto Rico. In spring 2019 Katryna Soden was sent out by the church to Cordoba, Argentina to serve in the Cordoba Immersions ministry for three months. They have been connected to several other International Brethren ministries over the years including Lima, Peru, Malaysia, and the Brethren Church in India. Barbara Soden has developed her LOSO (Love One Send One) project and sent twenty-three, hand-made dolls to the orphanage in India in 2018. More are on their way soon. Pastor Scott Soden was hired in April 2017 as the part-time coordinator of Brethren Global Partners.
While the past is a great statement of God's provision and blessing for this little church in Wyoming, it is the path for the future that God has already set the leadership that is exciting. 2019 and 2020 both look to be years of great transition, yet through the power of the Holy Spirit, great things done in Christ's name are also on the horizon. The church has set a 2019 goal for their Operation Christmas Child Box packing at 1000 boxes. In 2023 Pastor G. Emery Hurd will celebrate 40 years as the lead pastor of the Cheyenne Brethren Church. His leadership and longevity have helped see the church through many transitions and exciting events and will no doubt, be instrumental in navigating several more.
It is truly a privilege and honor to have served in this amazing church and have been a part of its amazing history. With God continually calling the congregation farther out into deeper water the future is brighter than ever.