I, Dana, was raised in a Christian home. At the age of nine God convinced me that I was a sinner in need of salvation. I asked my older sister to show me how to be saved. She led me to the Lord on August 13, 1973.
After marrying Julie, on July 23, 1983, we moved from Denver, Colorado, to Missouri. We began attending Faith Baptist Church in Sedalia, Mo, and I grew in the Lord. God began to deal with my heart in the mid 1980’s about serving Him in a more full-time manner. In 1986 God led me away from a farming career. In October of 1988, at a men’s retreat, God called me to preach His Word. God then led us to prepare for His service at Oklahoma Baptist College, which started for me in January of 1990.
In the back of my mind, as I pondered and prayed over many fields of service, New York City was not a place for us. God placed that thought in my mind early in our college days. God began in the latter part of 1992 to lead us to come to New York City. It started with friends from New York. Later I spoke to a teacher who substituted a class, who really stirred my thoughts. Speaking to him following the class, he shared his burden for New York City. As I continued to pray God spoke to my heart through Psalms 43:3, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles”. In April of 1993, in a chapel message, God convinced me of His calling on my life to start churches in New York City. Rick Martin, a missionary to the Philippines, spoke about the great need of the Gospel in Haiti, where two preachers were that he trained. God used that message to lead us to New York City.
I, Julie, grew up in a home where going to church on Sunday's wasn't a priority. It wasn't until I met Dana in 1983, that I started to attend a Baptist church. As a child and teenager I was always seeking and searching for peace in my life. I knew that Jesus died for me but never knew how to be saved. The pastor where we attended in Firestone, Colorado, began to ask Dana and I questions concerning our salvation, as we were wanting to get married in that church. I told him I wasn't saved but wanted to be. He began to show me scriptures from the Bible and I bowed my head and prayed to ask Jesus in my heart. For about six years I struggled inside as to whether or not I did it for the right reasons. The pastor wouldn't marry us unless we both were saved. It wasn't until I sat under good preaching, when we moved to Missouri, that I realized I wasn't sure of my salvation. I didn't have that peace or assurance I knew I should have. On April 30, 1989 I went forward in a service that my preacher, Pastor Brian Stensaas, preached on being a counterfeit Christian. I told my pastor's wife I wasn't saved and wanted to get it settled. That day I asked Jesus to forgive me if my sins and take me to heaven when I die. The Lord gave me that peace and assurance I had been searching for. The Bible says in I John 5:13 that ye may know ye have eternal life. I'm so glad I can claim God's Word.
I am writing this letter on behalf of Pastor Dana Dice and his family serving the Lord faithfully in the New York City borough of Queens. The Lord allowed Bro. Dice and I to meet many years ago and I have known him since he graduated from college. Over time, we have become good friends and I have preached for him for several years. Just recently he decided to make our church, Clearview Baptist Church in Heber Springs, Arkansas, his home church. I am honored by the privilege because I do love his family and I have a genuine burden for his ministry. Your heart cannot help but be affected by the multitude of people living in the New York City area. In Queens alone there are about two and a half million people and most of them are from a third world country background. I marvel that there are so many different ethnic groups in such a small area. There is an incredible need in Queens.
Bro. Dice and his family are working hard to make a difference in his community. The cost of living is unbelievably high and it is not uncommon for three of more families to share a home because of the cost of rent or mortgage payments. Real estate is at a premium because there are so many people and so little land. While visiting the Dices, we passed a small lot with a condemned house on it and the list price was over a million dollars! In Heber Springs that same house and lot could easily be purchased for $30,000.00. Bro. Dice has shared with you the situation with his church, their rental property, and need for space. He has given you information about the opportunity to purchase a building that would meet all of his church’s needs. His people are excited and willing to sacrificially give to come up with a down payment for that building. God has to intervene on their behalf but they are praying and working to do their part.
I am writing to you, as a supporting church, to let you know that I am totally supportive of this endeavor and our church will do all we can to help. Please pray that God will open the door for them to be able to purchase this property and, if you can, help them with a love offering or extra support. Gospel Light Baptist Church is literally reaching the world right here in the United States. I do not know of a greater opportunity for mission field evangelization than the New York City area. In a day where doors are closing around the world, there are opportunities to reach the whole world through ministries in our large cities. There is no greater mission field in the United States with opportunity to reach so many nationalities than in the borough of Queens. May God help us to do our part. Thank you for your time.
- I believe that holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The scriptures are the verbally (God breathed) and plenary inspired Word of God; inerrant, infallible, and true to the very jot and tittle, and therefore are the final authority for faith, life, and conduct; they are the complete and final revelation of the will of God to man, and they shall be preserved until Heaven and Earth have passed away. I accept the Authorized 1611 version, King James Version, of the Bible as God’s fulfillment of His promise of preservation to us as English speaking Christians. II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:19-21 Psalms 119:160; John 17:17
- I believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I John 5:7 Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:10, 26; II Cor. 13:14, Matt. 1:23 John 16:7-14
- I believe in Jesus Christ, God the Son, pre-existent with the Father, begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He became flesh and dwelt among us, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men: sinless in His nature and life. Infallible in His teaching, making atonement for the sins of the world by His substitutionary death on the cross. I believe in His literal, bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, where He is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest and mediator. I believe that the promise of His second coming includes; first, “The Blessed Hope”, of the believer, namely, the personal, premillenial and pretribulational return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to rapture (catch away) His church according to I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2,14; Acts 1:9-11; 4:10-12; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:8, Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8, I Peter 2:24; 3:18; I John 2:1-2
- I believe that man was created in innocence, in the image and likeness of God, but by voluntary transgression fell from the sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, with an inherited sinful nature, alienated from God and is totally depraved, and of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7-9; 15-17; 3:1-24; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; Titus 3:5; I Peter 1:18-19
- I believe that Heaven is a literal place and is the eternal home of those who are saved. I believe in a literal Hell, the Lake of Fire, that is a place of eternal punishment reserved for Lucifer (the devil), fallen angels, the future global leader identified in the Scriptures as the beast (antichrist) and those who reject salvation in Jesus Christ. John 14:1-4, Acts 7:55-56, Revelation 19:1-14, Matthew 25:41-46, Revelation 13:7; 14:9-11; 20:14-15; 21:8
- I believe that the salvation of sinners is the gift of God, wholly of grace (unmerited favor); through the only mediator, the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin; honored and fulfilled the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death and shed blood make a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust, that we may have the forgiveness of sins, imputed to our account, in response, to the putting of our faith in Jesus, whose precious blood was shed for sinful mankind. John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; Heb. 7:27; 9:11-15, 22-28; 13:12,20; I Peter 1:18-19
- I believe that in order to be saved, sinners come to God on his terms of repentance (turning to Christ from their sin) and faith, and be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life. John 3:1-7; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 3:19, 20:21, Ephesians 2:1, 8-9; Galations 2:16; II Corinthians 5:17
- I believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:13-14; I Peter 1:4-5
- I believe that all that are saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and LORD; and, that separation from all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded by God. I believe that separation from all religious apostasy, is essential to maintaining the blessings of God upon the life of the church and the ministries thereof. Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; II Cor. 5:17; 6:14-7:1; II Thess. 5:22; II Tim. 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11
- I believe that God has given to the local church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel, near and far, to all nations so that every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language who could hear and have the opportunity to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and, that as ambassadors of Christ, that have been given the ministry of reconciliation, we must use all available means to go to the lost world and not wait for them to first come to us. This work will be defined as evangelizing the lost, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things that Christ taught His apostles; and will include the establishing of new churches in areas without a church of like faith and practice or assisting in the starting of these churches. Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20