All creatures great and small
Animals and people get nurtured at Bartlesville
‘God was behind it’
Kevin Tully, senior pastor of Bartlesville-First, says he sees God’s hand at work in the animal ministry on the church’s property.
He commented, "It was really sort of a Pentecost-type experience, in the sense that it’s nothing I’d ever heard happening before and nothing I ever expected to be part of. But when it began to happen, the results helped me know that God was behind it.
"People started coming to see the animals. They attended events to see the animals. Through that connection, we had conversations that led to their worship attendance and, in some cases, entire families being baptized and becoming followers of Christ."
He added, "It’s such a plain case of God doing something surprising and just right. We knew we wanted to work with God in enhancing the beauty of this natural setting. Now people of all ages — perhaps especially the preschool children — are part of a church that is unique, special, and fun in a way none of us foresaw."
Clockwise from left: Bill Belknap holds Miss Sarah Piggy, who is part of the menagerie housed on Bartlesville-First’s property. Alyssa Moreno rides Buddy, led by Associate Pastor Tari Carbaugh, who runs the nonprofit animal program. And a girl befriends Esther, a baby goat, during a visit to the church’s pumpkin patch.
Lily Moreno greets horses Sam and Beemer, part of a barnyard animal ministry at Bartlesville-First UMC. Tari Carbaugh, associate pastor, said that when people come to see the animals, both the animals and people are blessed.
See related story: Animals a blessing to Bartlesville church
(April 3, 2016, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise)