Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

June 26, 2012

Longtime pastor finds home at Bethesda

TAHLEQUAH — Gary Gilmore said he came to Bethesda Worship Center when the Lord opened the door for him to help this church.

The church accepted that assignment by congregational vote.

“[The congregation] is friendly, desires above all else to serve the Lord and it has great potential for growth,” he said. “The church motto is ‘A place of love, joy, and miracles.’ I play music, and organize all programs. I am involved in every aspect. And I do enjoy cooking.”

Judy, his wife, also participates in the ministry. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in art and Christian education from Oral Roberts University.

“I am prayer warrior, speaker, singer, webmaster, graphic designer of all our material, books, tracts, newsletters, curriculum, web sites and the gardener,” she said. “I like to present God and his message to the world.”

Judy grew up in Lebanon, Mo., singing in the car with her family, then in an a capella trio with her sisters at church, and was in band and choir in high school, as well as a traveling trio in college.

“I love being in ministry with my husband,” she said. “I assist him in any way I can. I preach to the congregation about once a month, and I am the children’s pastor. I love learning and sharing and seeing people grow in the knowledge and love of God and his word.”

As early as age 5, Gilmore remembers wanting to be a pastor.

“As best I can determine, I was called from birth,” he said. “I have always wanted to minister/pastor.”

Before coming to Tahlequah, Gilmore pastored at Southwest Christian Church in Tulsa for seven years, served as music minister at the 41st Street Christian Church in Tulsa for five years, was founding pastor of Abundant Life Fellowship in Tulsa for 23 years and at Grandview Tabernacle in Muskogee for 14 months.

His seminary studies include Ozark Christian College, in Joplin, and graduating from Dallas Christian College, Dallas.

“I have been pastoring for 41 years,” he said.

He grew up attending church in Dallas at Cole Park Christian Church and South Loop Christian Church, and in Garland, Texas at Bella Vista Christian Church.

“All of my pastors encouraged me in what they saw I desired,” he said.

They gave me opportunities to teach Sunday school, and Vacation Bible School

“They encouraged me to get involved in area youth group activities,” he said. “And Gordon Kester opened the door for me to preach, which began my preaching career. He also took me with him in visitation in homes, hospitals, nursing facilities and taught me how to print a church paper, church bulletin, and how to run a church office.

“I was never turned down in any kind of involvement in service around the church. I probably drove Gordon crazy, spending every summer in his shadow, day after day. But he never let on, if I did.”

Gilmore hopes to spread the good word, and believes many desire a return to morality.

“One of the greatest needs in our community today is a return to God and morality in all aspects of life,” he said. “As the scripture says, ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’ The way to address those needs is through teaching, prayer, and one-on-one contact.”

Judy said they’re they’re on a mission to see that Tahlequah and Cherokee County residents know Jesus and become saved.

“Our one great outreach at the present time is a Trunks of Treat event for children every Halloween, Oct. 31,” she said. “It is an alternative to the traditional Halloween.”

The closest Sunday to Valentine’s Day is their Annual Valentine's Dinner and Talent Show and they have other dinners from time to time and special meetings with guest speakers.

Gary believes Bethesda Worship Center has great potential.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said. “All the people are full of love and open to others.”

Services are a mixture of traditional, choruses and contemporary music, along with lots of laughter.

“Christians should be happy,” he said.

Growth, for sure, is in plans for the future, he said, and increased class offerings, fellowship opportunities and more activities for youth.

“Mentoring is the most effective method, one-on-one, to help youth develop a love for God and his word by example and precept,” he said.

“The vision for Bethesda Worship Center is to be a place where God can do what he wants to do, a place where people grow in the knowledge of Jesus, a place to discover and develop the gifts and calling of God personally, a place where people can discover their individual purpose, and a place well-known for healing.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks