What do Hurricane Erma and Dixie Jackson have in common? Both played a major role in leading pastor Dustin Logan to First Baptist Church in Lambrook, Arkansas. One brought him to the state; the other led him to stay.
Logan was serving as co-pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Perry, Florida when Hurricane Erma forced him and his wife Katie to evacuate in September of 2017. They came to Arkansas to stay with his long-time friend, Jared Schindler, who was serving as student pastor at Beckspur Baptist Church in Forrest City at the time. Logan and his wife attended services at Beckspur the next Sunday morning, where they were introduced to cooperative missions. The church and pastor Justin Murphy were in the middle of promoting the work of state missions through the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering and Week of Prayer emphasis. Having grown up as an Independent Baptist, Logan was not familiar with the way that Southern Baptists did missions. The picture of Arkansas Baptists working together to reach the state made a lasting impression. God used that experience to get his attention and Logan began to sense that God might be calling him to serve in Arkansas.
The calling was confirmed through another series of events over the next couple of days. On the Monday after learning about Dixie Jackson, Logan was invited to attend an executive board meeting of the Arkansas Valley Baptist Association. That night he heard about several pastorless churches in the association. Later he asked his wife, “What if God is moving us up here?” Logan didn’t know what to expect, but he said Katie began to cry because she felt the same calling.
The next morning during his devotion, Logan read 1 Samuel 27:5. “Then David said to Achish, ‘If now I have found favor in your sight, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?’” Logan knew that God had given him this verse to reassure him and confirm the calling that He had placed on his life. Logan surrendered to stay and do whatever God was calling him to do. He prayed, “Here I am. I know that whatever happens, you will take care of me.”
The couple began praying that God would provide a place to live and help them sell their house in Florida. They returned home to resign from the church and to get everything ready to move. They put their house and land on the market on Monday and closed the sale on Friday. In the meantime, they received word that the parsonage at First Baptist Church in Hunter was available. They were able to rent the house and moved in soon after.
Initially, Logan was able to do pulpit supply in the area. As he continued to pray for the right opportunity he went to work at The Boondocks Down South, a local department store in Palestine, Arkansas. He says that one day he just walked in, picked up a broom and began sweeping the shop. He was hired full time and eventually became the store manager.
In December of 2017, Dr. Fulton Amonette, Associational Missionary for the Arkansas Valley Baptist Association, asked Logan to fill in at First Baptist Church in Lambrook. He preached the first time on December 10, 2017. The church called him as pastor in February of 2018. He continued to serve in a bivocational role as pastor of Lambrook and store manager at Boondocks. In December of 2019, Logan’s father-in-law was in hospice back in Florida and the couple considered moving back home.
After much prayer, the couple decided to stay and the church called Logan to serve in a full-time position. The church began construction on a family life center 25 years ago, but had never completed the work. Logan led the church to finish the building which included a full-service kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. The building now serves a dual purpose as family life center and living quarters for Logan, his wife and their 3-year-old twins.
Before calling Logan, FBC Lambrook had been without a pastor for over a year. They were an older congregation struggling to keep their doors open. Before COVID19 hit, the church had grown to an average of 50 people each week. Like most churches, Lambrook has been impacted by the pandemic, but they still have a good mixture of young families, kids and senior adults attending each week.
Logan’s desire is to reach the community and to see the church become missional in their everyday lives. He wants to grow a body of faithful believers who understand their calling and recognize the need to cooperate together as believers to make disciples who make disciples. God is moving and the church is responding well to all that is taking place. The church is growing and reaching their community. They have baptized two people this year and many others have been positively impacted by the ministry of the church.
Logan says prayer is key to becoming the faithful church that God desires them to be. He leads by example as he spends time each morning praying over every pew, praying for the association and praying for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). Every month the church members are given a scripture passage to learn to pray. On Wednesday and Sunday nights each week they pray the same passage of scripture as they seek to really make it a prayer and not just words on a page that they repeat. This month FBC is praying 1 Corinthians 1:4-10 together as a church.
The church also prays for one another by using their directory as a prayer journal. Every name is written on a piece of paper and placed in a bucket. Each member selects one name weekly. They commit to pray, send a card or letter and text or email to the person they selected.
Logan has embraced the idea of cooperation completely. He has worked to lead the church to cooperate with individual believers, other local churches and the association. The pastors of FBC Lambrook, FBC Elaine and Lighthouse in Mellwood have begun to meet regularly to pray and partner together. They are all part of the Delta Area Jubilee where each of the partnering churches meet together one Sunday night a month in a different location with two different pastors preaching at each monthly service.
Missions have also become a major emphasis during Logan’s time as pastor. His love for missions was sparked in the 8thgrade on a trip to Mexico with his church. He developed a relationship with the missionary and has kept in touch all of these years. The church recently made a commitment to support the work in Mexico both financially and through prayer. FBC Lambrook also continues to support a missionary in Africa that they have supported for over 15 years.
In addition, Logan has worked to make missions education an important component of the weekly discipleship. With the help of one very missions-minded church member, Mrs. Lana Williamson, the church has been learning about one mission and/or missionary each month. Mrs. Williamson faithfully leads the church each week in a missions moment during the morning worship service. The children gather at the front of the sanctuary as she presents an object lesson highlighting the missionary and his or her work. She prepares a visual and provides resources to help the church learn more about that month’s missionary focus. After each lesson, the church is given time to pray for the missionary with one volunteer praying out loud.
Logan is grateful to God for calling him to Arkansas to serve in this small Delta town. He is also grateful to Beckspur Baptist Church and the thousands of Arkansas Baptists just like them who are committed to working together to reach the lost in this state through the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering. He will never forget the impact that one 3-minute video made on his life. His experience is a reminder that God always does immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Because of this, it might not surprise you to know that while FBC Lambrook has given to all of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) special offerings, the biggest offerings over the past couple of years have gone to support the ministries of Dixie Jackson.