Kahoka serves as spiritual anchor in corner
KAHOKA—Leadership in two important categories of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) can be found near the confluence of the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers, in a county-seat church that is intent on reaching the northeast corner of Missouri.
First Baptist of Kahoka is known for leading its association, Mt. Salem-Wyaconda, in baptisms last year with 20 as well as for a generous spirit that prompts the congregation to give 13 percent through the Cooperative Program (CP).
“There’s just a real solid commitment to missions here, not only giving through the CP—that’s very important to us—but we’ve had mission trips to other states over the years, and they’re always very interested in that,” said Rick Seaton, who recently celebrated his fifth year as First Kahoka’s pastor.
Kahoka is a small city of 2,200 that is the Clark County seat. The church typically has 150-170 in Sunday worship.
“We’re approximately 15 miles from Iowa and 15 miles from Illinois,” Seaton said. “It’s just very rural, very traditional. As far as theology, our folks are very conservative. We think the right things and act on the right things Convention-wise, politically, and socially. We have very, very good leadership in those areas in our church.
“There have been times when we’ve had folks from Iowa and maybe Illinois, but for the most part they’re within a 15-20 mile radius of our church.”
Seaton said a group of evangelism-minded church members have been used by a sovereign, just God to see about 20 conversions a year over the last three years that have resulted in baptisms.
“The Lord has really blessed,” Seaton said. “Part of that is our Awana ministry (which is up to about 150 children on Wednesday nights), reaching out to children and young families. Another part of that has been a local jail ministry. Being a county seat, our county jail is right here in town and for the last two years plus, probably a half a dozen of us here in our church have been involved in a ministry out there. We have reached many inmates for the Lord—some have been baptized, and some haven’t. It’s been real exciting. The Lord has just done it.”
Besides providing leadership in the areas of evangelism and giving to missions, First Kahoka is known for the leadership that its pastor has shown and is showing on various committees. Seaton is the immediate past chairman of the MBC Credentials Committee and continues to serve on that panel. He also serves as one of three subcommittee chairmen on the MBC Nominating Committee, in the area responsible for educational institutions. Closer to home, Seaton is the moderator for the Mt. Salem-Wyaconda Southern Baptist Association.
In the philosophical debate that has been going on in Missouri Baptist life concerning fitness for service, pastors from churches where CP giving is high are often lifted up as examples. Seaton fits that profile.
“I believe CP giving’s important, and I’m glad there’s been an emphasis on that in our Convention the last couple of years,” he said.