By Charity Maness
The Higher Ground Baptist Church will be holding their first Fall Harvest Dinner November 25th beginning at 1:00 p.m. and open to the whole community at the Legion Auditorium on Main Street, Martin.
“We will serve the community until we run out of food,” said Pastor Daniel, with enough food to make 600 plates donated by the Hell Fighters off road club out of Laurel, Mississippi.
“They come to Sturgis every year and they wanted to do more than the rally,” said Pastor Daniel, “so when I told them of my plans they stepped in and wanted to help.”
As a newly formed church Pastor Daniel hopes the event will be a way to reach out to the community.
“We are a new church,” he said, “we just started back in March and this is just a way for us to say hello to the community and maybe meet a need for those who need a meal that day. It’s also an opportunity to share the gospel.”
Pastor Daniel was called to serve when he was 15 years old but instead chose a path of rebellion.
“I didn’t want to yield to the calling,” he said. “And in my rebellion he let me do a lot of things he hadn’t called me to do and I failed.”
By the time he turned 22 and was about to be married he shared with his future wife of his calling at the young age of 15. She was supportive of this the path.
“I fully surrendered to the Lord at the age of 25,” said Pastor Daniel.
He earned his divinity degree in North Carolina and went on to pastor at three different churches over the past 16 years before he was called to South Dakota.
“We came out to visit a missionary out this way and I just knew when I visited there was a need here and the Lord just worked it out,” he explained of his choice to move.
“It was compared to kind of what the Lord did to Abraham when he told him to leave his family and home and went to where the Lord pointed him too.”
While his wife Lanna, and their four children support this move he does understand it can be hard for them. “They live life and a fishbowl with their whole lives on display.”
But Pastor Daniel says that they are a team, “it’s not just me working here; it’s all of us.” With each and every one of them involved in any and all Pastor Daniel does for the church and the community. “Anything we do they are as a big a part of it as I am.”
His favorite part of being a pastor is “getting to share the gospel and to let people know there is hope that is given to us, especially in a world that may not offer any hope.”
“I get to see people at really hard times in their lives and getting to share the message of the bible.”
Moving to a new community can come with difficulties but Pastor Daniel is undaunted.
“Sometimes we are not well received by communities and our message is not well received but I think there is hope even in that,” he said.
While the whole community is invited to the feast, Pastor Daniel is aware that some may not be able to come to town.
“If people are homebound we plan to deliver,” he said, “also if any churches around the area want to come pick up food we welcome that.”
The food will be served by volunteers from not only Higher Ground Baptist but also members from supporting churches and community members.
The Fall Harvest Dinner is free of charge; no donation.