Friday, December 4, 2015

Be God's love--ring a bell for an hour or two

Did you ever consider ringing the bell for the Salvation Army?  Because of the close association of the WOFCC with the Salvation Army, we coordinate bell ringers for the Elk City Walmart.

As it turns out, we need volunteers, some for as early as tomorrow.  If you could man a bell for an hour or two, please call 580 225-5500 and ask for Tim.  This is an easy way to be a part of God’s love here in western Oklahoma.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wow! Look what's happening at Christi's Bazaar!

Black Friday has come and gone.  The same can be said for Cyber Monday, but the special sales at Christi’s Bazaar just keep on coming.

Why should I shop at Christi’s?

Despite the upscale sounding name, this is a thrift store.  That’s right; you should expect big savings on all items.  More than that, the proceeds of the store go to support the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.

Here are half a dozen specials on the near horizon.

Christi’s Bazaar Special Sales starting next week.

1.      Tuesday and Saturday:  ½ price on everything in the store.
2.       Wednesday:  Senior citizen day--20% off storewide
3.       Thursday:  Secret Sale—you must go into store to see or check Facebook.
4.      Friday:  All household and knick-knacks--20% off. 
5.      Wednesday, December 9th:  Christmas décor--70% off. 
6.      Bring your church bulletin in for a 10% discount any day.

Here is a special that wraps up this week:  This Friday, everyone who makes a purchase gets a free Christmas ornament.

There are great prices all of the time, plus sales, but the greatest incentive is that the proceeds go to help the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  That translates into helping your neighbors who are in need.

There aren’t too many places where you can indulge your urge to shop and help your neighbors at the same time.  Come and bring your shopping appetite and a generous heart to Christi’s Bazaar, 112 S. Main Street in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Please support Christi's--get a bargain and help people in need

To all of the saints living in Western Oklahoma,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Many of your congregations already know of the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center and what we do as God’s love in action in four counties in western Oklahoma.  Some, however, may not realize that we also operate a thrift store.

Christi’s  Bazaar is located at 110 S. Main Street, Elk City, Oklahoma and proceeds from the store support the Family Care Center.  We ask your help in letting your congregations know about us.  We need not only to generate revenue to support the center but need volunteers and donations as well.  Perhaps there are some within your families of faith that are led to volunteer.  They may stop in Christi’s and ask for a volunteer application Tuesday through Saturday.

To help promote traffic to Christi’s among the faithful in western Oklahoma, please announce that anyone that brings their church bulletin into the store will receive an extra 10% off any purchase through January 2016.

If you already have an allegiance to an area thrift store, we do not want to disrupt that in any way, but if anyone has not considered shopping at or donating to a thrift store to support local ministries, please consider Christi’s in the coming weeks.  Christi’s also has a Facebook page where we announce sales and specials.  Please help us be God’s love in western Oklahoma.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Burns Flat Authors Team Up for Book Signing

Western Oklahoma Authors Bob Nagle and Tom Spence are teaming up for a book signing at Pedro’s Mexican Grille in Elk City, Oklahoma on Friday, 11 December 2015 from Noon until 2:00 p.m.  Bob and Tom will both have copies of current year releases from Tate Publishing.

Bob’s debut into the writing world is a screen play titled The Flies.  You may see this on the screen one day but this is your chance to catch the story early and learn to love a fly.

Tom will have a selection of his titles from Tate Publishing as well as his self published works.  Headlining Tom’s books are Throw Away Kids and PoMo Poverty.  These two take on hard hitting issues that impact almost every person in this part of the country.  Tom will also have his novel, Even the Elect, a story of love, lust, and deception set with a background of the end times available along with other titles such as Christianity for Marines.

Come meet both authors at lunch time on 11 December, buy a few books for Christmas presents, and enjoy a great meal at Pedro’s Mexican Grille, located at 2010 West Third Street in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Watch trailers:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Come and worship as one family of faith

Thanksgiving is upon us, and so is the Community Thanksgiving Service.  This Sunday, 22 November 2015, at 6:00 p.m. men, women, and children will gather at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to give thanks to God.  This is the ministerial alliance community service and this year the CPC is hosting.

Come and give thanks to God is song, psalm, and even an offering.  The ministerial alliance hosts two community services each year, Thanksgiving and Easter.  It is November so it is time to given thanks as a community.

Some come to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church this Sunday evening no matter where you worshiped Sunday morning, or even if you have not been to worship God with other in a while.  It is time to give him thanks!

22 November 20, 2015
6 PM

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Will Oklahomans respond to the tragedy unfolding around us with the same compassion as they do in the aftermath of a tornado?

Tragedy is often followed by remarkable examples of mercy and human kindness.  Such is the case with the loss of life and injuries to many in Stillwater, Oklahoma this past weekend.  As an Oklahoma State University graduate, albeit from the last millennia, there was a connection to the hurt experienced not only in the university and town but throughout the state.

But the state responded.  People responded. Help in all forms, including monetary donations continue to flow in. Oklahomans always respond to cases of great need; except that we don’t always respond.
There is great need all around us.  In Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties, people are being evicted from their homes, are living without water and electricity, and have survived the summer with no gas.  Winter is coming and the gas will become more important.

The tragedy doesn’t light up the media like something that involves 4 deaths and dozens of serious injuries.  Those events catch our attention and often we respond, but when a family’s income gradually withers away, it often goes unnoticed.  When a job is lost, then the bills are not paid, then the rent is four months past due; few take notice of this.

In most cases, these are not what the world would call “deadbeats.”  These are people who barely made it working two minimum wage jobs and now they are down to a single job or none at all with prospects for more work not very promising.  They have not given up; they just can’t catch up on their own.

There is some help from various government agencies, churches, and from a place that few people know helps a lot of people in all four counties—the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  The center helps with bills and food, medical and dental, and provides life counseling to not only meet an immediate need, but to help people get back on their feet and be productive.

The services are free to those who need them, and yes there is a screening process.  Yes, those who meet with applicants do know how to be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves in doing benevolence work amidst a culture in which panhandling thrives. 

Many people might think, “I’m barely making it.  How can I help somebody else?”

The answer is that you are making it.  You still have a job, income, and somehow are blessed enough not to be lining up for free food and medical care. 

You still have a business and people are still buying your products and using your services.
You can still count yourselves among those who are blessed enough to help.

Help is exactly what the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center needs right now.  November 10th is the annual fundraising dinner.  What is raised here will be budgeted across all of 2016 to help those in need.

What is needed?  The center needs $100,000 to continue to provide a full array of services for the year to come.  This year benevolence help often ran out mid month and some were turned away.  Many were helped but some were turned away.

If you would like to donate and help your neighbors, please call (580) 225-5500.  If you would like to know more about this faith based, board governed, donor sponsored organization, please purchase a ticket for the Fall Fundraiser to be held on 10 November 2015 at the Elk City Civic Center.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

There is a human tragedy unfolding around us.  Are you concerned enough to help?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I keep hearing about this WOFCC. What is it? Why should I care?

I don’t know much about the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center, but what I have heard is good; well, except the part about needing more money.  That’s a little sad.

It would only take a little from each person to help those in the community who can’t keep their heads above water.  I think I want to give something but want to know a little more.

Great!  Here are two things that will help.

First, visit the website.  It is simple but explanatory.  You will find that it’s more than just help with bills and food.  There is a medical and dental clinic and a pharmacy.  Wow!

And here is the thing that might just get you to the point where you say, “Yes!  I want to be a part of that.  I want to donate money or time or something else.”

What’s the thing?  The WOFCC doesn’t just give out money.  There is a process that involves meeting with people about their relationship with God, godly living—especially in the area of budget, and getting a plan to get out of poverty.

Most effective ministries embrace this concept:  We meet people where they are.  Very effective ministries are not content with throwing them some help and leaving them there. 

The WOFCC is this community’s compassionate ministry and has its sights set on leading people to a better life.  The Family Care Center helps people in need now with the goal of seeing them become productive and contributing citizens in the future.

Second, come to the WOFCC fundraiser on the 10th of November.  A ticket is only $25.  If you go to a political fundraiser, those tickets are $2,500 and you have to listen to a politician.  Tickets to the WOFCC fundraiser are only $25 and you can meet the board members and other donors in the community and see for yourself that the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center is something that is calling you to donate, volunteer, or otherwise participate.

Where can I get my ticket?

Tom Spence will be at Christi’s Thrift Store on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. selling and signing his books to support the WOFCC.  He will have tickets with him.

You can also stop by the WOFCC and purchase a ticket there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The right job for the right person; is it you?

Seeking Executive Director for faith based nonprofit that serves the needy in 4 western Oklahoma counties. Public relations, fundraising, communication skills essential. Must be technology savvy. BA required. Substantial experience in fundraising and public affairs may be considered in lieu of degree.
Grant writing a plus. Salary negotiable. 

Candidate must have a strong faith and desire to serve the Lord. Pay range for this position is reasonable but part of the director’s compensation will be the fulfillment of a calling to serve “the least of these” in our own communities.

The position is for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center, Inc.. Follow link to read more about the organization:

Send resume to

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Please visit the WOFCC table at the Burns Flat Celebration this Saturday

The Burns Flat 60 Year Celebration will have a table manned for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  The center helps people in need in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  Services are free to those who need them but rely on the generosity of the community in recurring donations and fund raising events such as this.

Volunteers will be at this event to help raise money for the center.  Why do you need to raise money for “free” services.

Answer:  The services are provided at no cost to those who need them, but there is a cost—a significant cost.  These “free” services can be provided because of the people of the community with compassionate hearts.

The WOFCC staff leverage every dollar received and produces $1.41 worth of services.  Now that’s a return on investment that you just don’t see these days.

Here are some raw numbers:

Western Oklahoma Family Care Center Benevolent Assistance Rendered   As of September 30th, 2015 The total benefit to our clients and patients in 2014 exceeded $281,000.  Based on our income for the same period, that translated to $1.41 of benefit for every $1.00 of income we received.

Hope Dental Clinic   (Since April 15th, 2011) Total market value of free services = $459,010 (12‐month average = $103,927) Total visits   = 1,594 Total sessions  =    233 Total patients  =    584

 Hope Medical Clinic (Since January 3rd, 2012) Total market value of free services = $457,998 (12‐month average = $124,909) Total visits   = 2,289 Total sessions  =     466 Total patients  =     653

Financial Assistance (Since April 2007) Total Financial assistance provided: $307,043 Total households being monitored   = 1,603 Total individuals in households   = 3,661 (51% of individuals are children)

Predominant household characteristic:   Single (mostly with children):       29%   Age 30‐49:     48%     Caucasian:  77% Female:             71%   Renting their home:   58%

Visits for most recent 12 months: Total Visits = 403 New Clients   = 157 Follow‐Ups   = 30
 New Issues   = 216 Dollars Spent for most recent 12 months by funding source: Clothing/Household    = $  1,915 (Christi’s Bazaar) Rent/Emergency Housing = $     265 (Monthly donors) Travel Assistance    = $  1,467 (Monthly donors) Utilities     = $26,686 (Monthly donors, Salvation Army) Pharmaceuticals    = $     588 (Monthly donors) DLO Labs     = $  4,381 (Monthly donors) Total for previous 12 months = $35,302

Why is there a table at a Burns Flat event?

Pastor Tom Spence of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat noted that only last week he referred 4 families to the center for financial assistance and talked with two others that recently received medical or dental help.  That was just in a week.

Some people think that they need to retreat from charitable giving because times have gotten tougher.  Many who still have jobs have taken pay cuts, but all are asked to count their blessings one more time and see if there isn’t an extra $100, $250, or more that could be given to help those who have lost jobs or can’t afford the “affordable” health care options.

If you can’t afford to help in these amounts, please buy a $25 ticket to the Fall Fund Raiser to be held on 10 November 2015.  Tickets to this event will be available Saturday.

Now is the time for those who still have an income to have mercy on those who do not.  The WOFCC is a faith based nonprofit organization that has served many in the Burns Flat and Washita County areas.  Whether it continues to serve will be based upon your compassion and generosity.

More opportunities to help the WOFCC:

It is time for the 2015 Fall Bruschetta Bash--WOFCC edition

Bruschetta Bash?  What in the world is that and what is it all about?

Bruschetta, sometimes spelled bruchetta and with other variations as well, is Italian bread soaked in olive oil and then toasted with Genoa Salami, Provolone Cheese, a variety of peppers (sweet not hot), sliced tomatoes, onions, and topped with an occasional olive slice.

If you are anywhere in Burns Flat, Oklahoma on Thursday 23 October 2015, all you need to do is follow your nose.  It will lead you to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which is just north and east of the town’s only traffic light.

Bruschetta sells for $5 an order.  An order consists of 3 scrumptious pieces.  Bruschetta will be delivered to schools and businesses in Burns Flat.  Deliveries will also be made to those who are unable to come to the church to pick up their order.  All other orders need to be picked up at the church.

Pre-paid orders are guaranteed.  Walk in orders on an as available basis.  Tickets will be sold at the town celebration this Saturday or you may stop by the church and get tickets from Tom.

Why is someone cooking Bruschetta?

This is a fundraiser to help the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  The center helps people in need in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  Services are free to those who need them but rely on the generosity of the community in recurring donations and fund raising events such as this.

Tom Spence has been cooking bruschetta for the past several years in order to help the church youth group, to raise money for missions to Africa, and now to help the WOFCC.  

This is a win-win for western Oklahoma.  You get to enjoy the unique taste of Bruschetta and help your neighbor at the same time.

23 October 2015
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
205 State Highway 44

Burns Flat, Oklahoma 73624

Book signing set for 24 October at Christi's

Locale author and Western Oklahoma Family Care Center board member, Tom Spence, will be selling and signing his books at Christi’s Thrift Store on Saturday, 24 October 2015.  Tom will be present from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

He will have a variety of books published through Createspace,’s publishing branch.  All titles will be $5.00 and all proceeds go to the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  Additional donations are always welcome.

Tom will also have tickets available for the Fall Fundraiser to be held on 10 November 2015 at the Elk City Civic Center.

Tom is an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the pastor of the congregation in Burns Flat, Oklahoma. 

As a pastor, he recently returned from his second trip to Africa to train pastors and church leaders in Kenya and Uganda.  He has served as moderator of the Red River Presbytery but perhaps is best know as the guy who gives out wristbands that read:  GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer that served in all four Marine Divisions, including a tour training reservists.  He has served in Iraq and Kuwait, Japan, aboard Marine bases on the east and west coasts of the United States, and has a substantial amount of service afloat.  His final tour was as a program manager in charge of maintenance and modifications of Marine Corps ground training systems and simulators around the globe.

He served as both student and instructor at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia—the Crossroads of the Corps, and proudly boasts that he successfully avoided a tour in the Pentagon for his entire career.  Tom wrote two books specifically about the Marine Corps.  The first was a first person collection of observations and anecdotes titled Sea Stories.  The other was Christianity for Marines.

Here are some links to other titles by Tom Spence.

Please join Tom on Saturday, 24 October 2015, buy a few books, purchase tickets to the WOFCC Fall Fundraiser, and take a look around the store for bargains on things that you just can’t live without.

Christi’s is located at 110 S. Main in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Book Signing by Tom Spence
Christi’s Thrift Store
110 S. Main
Elk City, Oklahoma
Saturday, 24 October 2015
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Team Washita to meet Monday at 7:00 p.m.

The Washita County funding raising team for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center will meet Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

Some have already committed to this very purposeful endeavor that helps people in our own community but there is still room for more people who want to help raise money for the care center.

If you didn’t know, the Family Care Center helps with food, clothing, bills, and also has a medical clinic, dental clinic, and licensed pharmacy.  It is a faith based nonprofit that has been meeting the needs of those in need for years.

Times are tough right now, but that does not mean it is time to retreat from generosity.  It is time to be thankful for what we have and step up to help those who have much less.  Everyone should give something to help those who are struggling.  Some will be called to be at the very center of the generosity and become a part of the fund raising team.

WOFCC Fundraising Meeting
28 September 2015
7:00 pm
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
205 State Highway 44

Burns Flat, Oklahoma 73624

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sayre Lit Fest set for 7 October 2015

If you are inclined towards literature and the arts and another week rolls around, what is there to do in western Oklahoma?

Yes, there is a book signing in Elk City this Saturday.

Occasionally, there is something at one of the play houses, but what if you are looking for a full day’s worth of literary activities—with authors and speakers and maybe even a video contest?

You only have a short time to wait.  The Sayre Lit Fest is set for 7 October 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the SWOSU Sayre Campus.  The festival will have speakers and contests as well as food.  Authors will be present with their works for sale and signing.  It’s going to be just what the doctor ordered for those who need just a dose of literary culture and festivities to kick of this fall season.

There is even an evening follow on activity at Gallery@112, 112 W. Main Street, Sayre, Oklahoma that begins at 6:30 p.m.

So mark your calendars and preserve the date.  You won’t want to miss it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

See You at the Pole is tomorrow!

Teachers, faculty, students, parents, and all interested in praying for our nation, communities, and schools are asked to gather at the flag pole on Wednesday, 23 September 2015.

For the past 25 years, Americans have affirmed that we want and need God’s protection and blessing in our schools.  We have done this by meeting at the flag pole for this See You At The Pole event.  This is 100% voluntary but all who come to gather for prayer will surely be blessed.

It is a simple thing that we do and yes, it is legal.  If any of the students or teachers would like to offer prayers during this event, just speak to Tom Spence the morning of the event.
All in attendance will be offered a Gospel of John for themselves and one to give to a friend or family member.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book signing set for 26 September 2015 at Rebecca's House of Coffee

Local author Tom Spence will be at Rebecca’s House of Coffee in Elk City, Oklahoma on Saturday, 26 September 2015 to hold a book signing for one of his newest releases from Tate Publishing.  He will be at the coffee shop from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on that day.

The book is PoMo Poverty:  Finding Abundance in the 21st Century.  Yes, PoMo is the modern vernacular for post modern—this is very much a book for our times.  The topic is poverty as you have never heard it addressed before.

Spence cuts quickly to heart of the matter in how so many efforts to help those in need often keep people in poverty instead of helping them out.  Not content with just identifying the problem at its root cause, Tom guides us to leading people out of poverty not through hand outs but through inclusion in the body of Christ.

Tom Spence is an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the pastor of the congregation in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.  He is a retired Marine Corps officer, and graduate of Oklahoma State University, and of Mangum High School.  Tom also serves as an officer on the board of the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center which services Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.

Tom will also have copies of his other books including:  Throw Away Kids, Christianity for Marines, Heaven and Hell, Forced Confessions, and a novel that you might just have to read straight through—Even the Elect—so your heart will stop racing.

Tom will also bring a children’s book—God Loves You.  This book contains a message that all too often parents forget to convey to their children on a daily basis.

Books will be available at the signing or can be ordered in advance online from Tate Publishing or

Media Alert
Author Tom Spence Book Signing Event
WHEN: 2015-09-26
TIME: 1 pm – 3 pm
WHERE: Rebecca's House of Coffee, 103 S Main St, Elk City, OK 73644
WHAT: Spence, a resident of Burns Flat, OK, will be available to sign copies of his book, PoMo Poverty
Time and time again we help people who are struggling by giving money or food or a ride. Time and time again they turn away from the people who helped them, away from God, and away from the church that paid their water bill and go right back to the lifestyle that enslaves them.
The problem is that we do things that are never addressing the problem. There will always be poverty so long as there is exclusion. Often we have donated food or money, we have also helped people in need continue to worship their false gods, be they self-pity, a mind-set of entitlement, or belief that they are a victim.
PoMo Poverty is written not to the impoverished, but to those of us who may lead them to the bread of life, living water, and inclusion in the family of faith. In true Christian fellowship, there are no outsiders. Abundance in this century is centered upon inclusion.

Links to Tom's books:

Throw Away Kids - Are we concerned enough to get involved? Watch trailer...
Acceptance of Authority -  This is the book that will change America

Forced Confessions - This is the book that asks if we really want to follow Jesus

Even the Elect - What if all the prophecy in the Bible had already been fulfilled?  All of it!

Tough Day at the Plate - Everyone loves a good baseball story, especially a children's story.

Christianity for Marines - If you are not a Leatherneck, you just won't understand

In the beginning:  A Play in three unique acts - A light-hearted look at the creation

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fielding a fundraising team for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.

I am fielding a fundraising team for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center’s Fall Fundraiser.

The center is a jewel here in western Oklahoma.  It helps those in need with food and some bills.  Yes, we do that in our local church bodies and in the ministerial alliance, but the WOFCC goes farther.  It has a medical and dental clinic for those who have fallen through the cracks in a time when in theory everyone must have medical insurance.    The need for medical and dental treatment among the poor is greater now than ever before.

The services are free to those who use them but that doesn’t mean there is no cost.  Donors have kept the doors open at this wonderful facility that services Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  For every $1 donated the WOFCC produces $1.41 worth of services.

Please consider the previous statement.  For every $1 donated the WOFCC produces $1.41 worth of services.  That’s quite the return on investment and we are always working to leverage our donations even more.

Our fall fund raiser is upon us.  If you are motivated to help me raise money to provide these essential services for those in need, please let me know soonest.

Yes to both.  I am crazy about this faith based organization that is God’s love in action in western Oklahoma and yes, I really do want you to come onboard and be a part of loving your neighbor.

Are we asking for money or other donations?
Yes to both.  Monetary donations help the most but some businesses may opt to give a gift certificate that can be used in the silent auction later on.

Sometimes I think people are just trying to get something for nothing and don’t need help.  How do I know that is not the case here?
There are always some who think they are better off trying to get something for nothing than to work for it.  We do see a few people like that.  Here’s the thing:  We introduce everyone to this wonderful thing called the gospel.  We challenge them to live a truly abundant life.  Yes, the WOFCC is a faith based organization.  Its board is composed of Christian men and women with longstanding faith and service in their churches and communities.  We know that there is a greater need to be met beyond the root canal, antibiotics, food basket, or water bill that we helped with in the short term.  We are an organization motivated to be more than a Band-Aid.  We desire to reach the hearts of all who come for services.

We are love in action and we do speak the truth in love.  Our staff and volunteers are as shrewd as snakes and as gentle as doves. 

I’m ready to get on board.  What do I do?
Stop by and see Tom or call him at 580 562 4706 or email at and we will get started.

Is there a cost to join the team?
All team members are asked to contribute $50.  This gives you a little skin in the game and gets you a banquet ticket for the 10 November 2015 main event.

Is there a theme for this year’s fundraising efforts?
Yes, this year’s theme is Survivor.  There will be some fun events along the way for teams to participate in and compete.

I’m not ready to be a part of a fundraising team, but I would like to donate.  What do I do?
You may drop a check made out to the WOFCC by Tom’s office (at the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church) or mail it directly to the center at:
609 West E Avenue
Elk City OK 73648

I would like to make a recurring monthly donation.  What do I do?
This is exactly the type of donation that the WOFCC needs to sustain year-round services.  Please contact Krista Hererra at 580 225-5500.

Why are you a part of this?
I am Tom Spence.  I am the pastor of the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  I am also an officer on the board of the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  I don’t have time for things that don’t please God.  I don’t get involved in frivolous causes.  I have learned to number my days and consider every minute precious to me, so when I was asked to serve on the WOFCC board; I gave it a thorough examination as I did not want to give my time or money to something that was mediocre or subsidized an entitlement mentality.

The WOFCC was and continues to be an example of what God’s people can do when we trust him and put our gifts, talents, and treasures to work.  This is a place that does more than it can do with less than it needs.

I want to see it fully equipped for every good work.  I want to see it touch everyone in our communities, not only the disadvantaged whom we help with food and services; but those who are called by God to be of service.  Money is only a part of the equation.  It is the part that we are focused upon right now; however, there is an ongoing need for volunteers.  If you are called to help others, the WOFCC may just be the venue for which you have been searching.
Why am I a part of this?  It is something that I believe pleases God.  It is one way that we may show ourselves to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is already in place and runs on a continuous improvement mindset, so all I had to do was get on board with my time, talent, and treasure.

I am on board and invite you to join me!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Backpack Ministry helps 125 children

In the course of just 2 hours this past Wednesday evening, 122 children received backpacks, grade appropriate school supplies, gospels, and wristbands that read:  GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Within the next 24 hours, 3 other children were given supplies.  Some other latecomers are anticipated in the days ahead.

The Backpack Ministry is a ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma but engages the entire community.  Individuals and business alike augmented the amount budgeted for supplies by the church.  Savvy shoppers made the most of off season bargains to maximize the funds available.  That savings was essential as the number of children helped increased by almost 50% over previous years.

Despite the throughput, this was a relaxed and deliberate process where helpers were able to talk with parents as children picked out backpacks and other helpers brought them the supplies to fill them.  Everyone received a Gospel of John.  Many adults and children received Bibles, and anyone who was hungry took home food.

What’s next on the horizon for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church missions team?  Trunk or Treat on 31 October 2015.  The motto of the Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church is God’s Love in Action.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Backpack sign up set for Friday, 7 August 2015

School enrollment is underway.  The stores are stocked with supplies.  The aisles are full of parents searching desperately for the specific brand of a specific marker for a specific class.  It can be stressful.  It can be really stressful if you are one of those parents and after you find as many of the supplies as you can you don’t know if you have enough money to pay for them.

There is help.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma is once again conducting the backpack ministry.  Parents who cannot afford to buy school supplies this year and who have children attending Will Rogers Elementary School should come by the church building from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, 7 August 2015.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at 205 State Highway 44 in Burns Flat; that’s just north and east of the traffic light.

Children do not need to attend the sign up but must attend the pickup.  It is at the issue of supplies where the ministry takes place.  Children help children pick out a backpack while other helpers bring the supplies to the family and all gather for prayer to bless the family and the school year ahead.

When do my children pick up their supplies?  Pick up is scheduled for Wednesday, 12 August 2015.  Each family will be given an appointment so as to minimize the waiting time.

What about children who attend the junior high or high school?  They may sign up as well and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church will provide some help.  Unlike elementary grades, standardized school supply lists published in advance are not available but the church will work with these students in meeting specific needs as identified.

Why does the church do this?  It is about being God’s love in action—taking his love to the world.  In this instance, this part of the body of Christ thought that a very good way to love one another was to help with school supplies so that every child could get off to a good start this school year.  Yes, there is an agenda here but it is far from a hidden agenda.  Everywhere these followers of Jesus go, they remind people that God loves them and that we are to love one another.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Backpack Ministry underway--seeking donations

For teachers, school is just a month away.  Students have a few days longer before their return to the classroom, but for those involved in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Backpack Ministry, school is in session now.

For the past several years, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has helped children with school supplies.  Normally, between 80 and 100 children are helped each year.  The church budgets a significant amount of money each year for this ministry.  The Vacation Bible School offering goes to purchase school supplies for children in our own community.  Often the Burns Flat – Dill City Ministerial Alliance makes a contribution, but most of the funds that make this ministry possible come from the generosity of individuals in the community.

If historical trends hold, the Backpack Ministry will need $5,000 to accomplish the mission this year.  For the past 7 years, every child that has come for help received help with almost 100% of their required supplies.  That means that many who have been blessed chose to bless others.

That will need to continue this year if those in need are to receive help once again.  For those parents who are able to purchase school supplies for their own children, please consider purchasing supplies for 1 or 2 more children.  It costs about $50 to outfit a child with a backpack and the supplies to fill it.

If you would like to donate to this local mission, you may make a check out to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and note “Backpacks” in the “for “ section of your check.  Drop the donation by the church building at 205 State Highway 44 in Burns Flat or mail it to PO Box 8, Burns Flat OK 73624.

Sign up dates for those needing help with school supplies will be announced soon.  Now is the time to call upon the generosity of the community once again as the school year approaches.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book signing set for 18 July at the Sunshine Cafe

Local author Tom Spence will be signing books at the Sunshine Café in Cordell, Oklahoma on Saturday, 18 July 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  On Tuesday, 14 July 2015, Tom’s first novel, Even the Elect, will be released nationally by Tate Publishing.

Earlier this year, Tate released Throw Away Kids by Tom Spence.  This identifies a generation of children that has been abandoned by their parents.  Even though the children and parents may live under the same roof, the adults in this dynamic have walked away from parenting their children.  The book asks the question:  Are we concerned enough to get involved?

What does involvement mean?  Part of it is mentoring those who have thrown in the towel on parenting back to the calling they were given at the birth of their first child.  This book is not for the timid.  It is not for those who would prefer to continue pointing fingers.  It is for those ready to practice leadership at the community level and reclaim the family and community dynamic needed to bring up future generations in the way they should go.

Tom is a 1979 graduate of Oklahoma State University, a retired Marine Corps officer, and an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  He currently resides in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

Tom will have several of his other titles with him as well.  The Sunshine Café is located at 113 East Main Street in Cordell, Oklahoma.  That’s on the north side of the town square.

Tom’s books will be available at the signing for purchase.  All are available online through Tate Publishing, Createspace, and

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

25th Annual Foss Lake Christmas in July set for 10 & 11 July 2015

It is time to mark your calendars for the 25th Annual Foss Lake Christmas in July Festival, July 10th & 11th.  This event is planned for the entire family!  Friday, July 10th all the vendors will be in place by 1:00 with the opening ceremony at 6 pm at the Main Stage, where our veterans and current Military will be honored. The Cheyenne Community Choir, directed by Casey King, will present a medley of patriotic music. This year there will be a Bike Show following the Veterans program, where Foss Lake Association will match the proceeds from the entry fees and that will go to the VA Center in Clinton.   Show your support and appreciation for the men and women who have given their time and service to provide a free country in which we can reside!

Next up, Trader Price will be bringing a free concert on the Main stage from 8-11pm.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy the music and the evening. Friday will also be a good time to go thru the vendors who will have jewelry, t-shirts, crafts and of course, great food. And, the kids always love the rides offered by the carnival.  These vendors are going to set up Friday and stay until late Saturday night, so come out and see all the fun things that they have to offer.

The Foss Lake Little King and Queen Pageant will is at 10:30 in the Main Stage area, and will be hosted by the reigning 2015 National Miss Teen, Sienna Salas..  Entry forms are available at Broadway Babies, Home on the Range, Stage and Carousel Connection in Elk City, the Pink Zebra in Clinton, B & K Bait House and the Park office at Foss Lake.  Come and cheer for these little ones as they take the stage.

The 9 hole Disc Golf Course will be open the entire weekend and is a great way for the family to have fun. The Gospel Music Jamboree will be in the Main stage area at 5 pm, Saturday, The festival will close with a spectacular fireworks display at dusk Saturday night will wrapping up the 25th Annual Christmas in July Festival.

This event is sponsored by many area companies and businesses each year and organized by dedicated volunteers. Please support our sponsors when you have the opportunity and thank the volunteers who come and help. If you would like to help please contact Neva at 580-497-6217, Joe at 580-497-6130 or Eric at B & K Bait House – 580-592-4518. For information on the “Bike Show” contact Cindy Hunnicutt at 580-445-4450.

Foss Lake Association contributes to many projects around the lake.  One of the ways the Association helped  was with the purchase of a Side-scan sonar for Foss Lake. This piece of equipment helped solve two forty year old disappearance cases. Your donation at the entrance to the festival is greatly appreciated and will go towards other projects around the lake and camp grounds.

The water levels are up and most every doc is open, so, bring your boat, camper, tent, family and friends to the 25th Annual Foss Lake Christmas in July Festival, July 10th and 11th.  This promises to be a fun filled weekend with events for everyone to enjoy. You can now reserve your camping spot by going to  Reservations must be made 5 days in advance.  Foss Lake is located between Elk City and Clinton, North of Foss Oklahoma.  Just take I-40 to exit 53, go north on Hwy. 44 about 6 ½ miles to highway 73 west.  Go a few 100 yards west and on the right you will see the Foss Lake sign.  Follow the signs toward the Marina.

See you at Foss Lake July 10th & 11th!!

VBS begins next week

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church announced today that Vacation Bible School will be from Monday, 6 July through Friday, 10 July 2015.  This will once again be an evening format with registration beginning at 5:30 pm on Monday while the remainder of the week will have a 6:00 pm kickoff time.  Sessions end at 8:00 pm each day.  Parents are required to come into the sanctuary to claim their children.  No children will be released to walk home.  Children may not register themselves.  Parents must be present.

This year’s theme is SonSpark Labs VBS and will use a science theme as the kids go from Genesis to resurrection and life in Christ.

The Burns Flat Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at 205 State Highway 44 in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.  That is just a hundred yards north of the town’s only traffic light on the east side of the highway.

The SonSpark Lab Techs eagerly await leading area children to a relationship with Jesus and helping them to understand the ongoing  relationship that leads to abundant life.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tate Publishing has set the official release date for Throw Away Kids by Tom Spence as Monday, June 8th, 2015.

Those interested in this ever present challenge of overcoming a generation that gave up on parenting, may watch the trailer here.

Advance purchases of the book are available now online.  Follow this link...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Back from Africa Report to be held this Wednesday

Tom Spence and Rick Ellis have returned from leading conferences for pastors and church leaders in western Kenya and in Uganda.  They will host a mission report at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

The event will begin with a one pot meal at 6:00 p.m. and then transition into the report and slideshow shortly thereafter.  The public is invited to attend.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at 205 State Highway 44 in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ferkins publishes The Light in My Darkness

Burns Flat has one of the world’s longest runways (OK, everybody knows that),  has produced famous musicians, sent men to spread God’s word in Africa, Mexico, Central America, and Honduras, and If you throw in the suburb of Dill City, then add India to the list of countries to whom we have sent missionaries.

That’s not bad for an almost drove through it and didn’t notice town in western Oklahoma.
But there is more.  Now Burns Flat is home to a poet--a published poet no less.

Mandy Ferkins has joined the ranks of published authors with her own collections of poems titled The Light in My Darkness.  It is available for sale online now.  Mandy will hold a book signing soon, probably in June 2015.

Order you copy now if you can’t wait until June.                  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Storm Shelter raffle in Tornado Alley to benefit Family Care Center

Raffle tickets are available now for a precast 6’ X 8’ storm shelter installed in western Oklahoma.  Delivery and installation is free within a 100 mile radius of Elk City, Oklahoma.

Why a raffle?

The raffle raises funds for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center.  The center services people in need in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  Services include help with bills, food, clothing, and even medical and dental care for those who cannot afford insurance.

In addition to the tangible services that most people come in search of, are those intangible services such as mentoring and counseling and helping people step out of poverty into a self-sustaining status and eventually into being a contributor to our community.  The WOFCC wants to do more than just help with immediate needs.  The center was to be a helping hand in leading people from poverty to abundance so those who are helped may one day help others.

That takes a constant stream of income as there are many in need of help and the number is growing.  That brings us to the raffle.  Tickets are $20 each and the drawing will be held as soon as the last ticket is sold.  To purchase tickets in Elk City, just call the WOFCC at (580) 225-5500.  To purchase tickets in Burns Flat, contact the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at (580) 562-4706.

Tickets are going fast so purchase yours soon and know that win or lose you have helped your neighbors.

Want to know what sort of difference you contribution makes?  Read this…

Want to know how we beat poverty for good?  Read this…

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What's all the hubbub about a Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday?

What’s all the excitement about the Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday?  It’s just a spaghetti dinner, right?

It is and it isn’t.  It is spaghetti as we know the meal here in western Oklahoma, but it is the last big fundraiser before Tom Spence and Rick Ellis head to Africa to teach pastors and church leaders in western Kenya and Uganda.

The mission is within $2000 of its goal with just under a month left.  Many Bibles have been ordered and will travel in checked luggage.  Many more have been purchased and will be delivered to the pastor hosts this month from within Kenya.  Anything raised over the goal will go to help 2 orphanage schools.

Lightweight teaching supplies are being sorted to maximize space and weight restrictions for checked luggage.  Eye glasses and other hard to get items are being squeezed into luggage trunks and weighed and weighed again.

What is the excitement about?

Once again, people who you know are taking the word of God to the ends of the earth.  They are the same people who take it across the street or into Walmart or proclaim from a pulpit or under a shade tree close to home.

But they are asking you to be a part of this missionary effort by coming to the spaghetti dinner or making a donation to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Africa Mission).

On Sunday, 3 May 2015 immediately following the benediction, Tom and Rick will get into a truck and drive to the airport, arriving in Kenya some 24 hours later.

Both men ask that whether or not you can support this mission financially, that you keep it in your prayers.  Current estimates are that between the two conferences that they will lead, they will have the chance to influence over 800 pastors and church leaders who in turn will return to their communities better equipped to equip their own saints.

What’s all the excitement about the Spaghetti Dinner?  Now you know.

Spaghetti Dinner
Sunday, 12 April 2015
Will Rogers Elementary
Noon - 2 pm
Suggested Donation
Adults - $7
Under 12 - $5
Too young for school - Eat free with parents

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A genuine thank you to the Elk City Walmart

Sometimes I get upset at the lines in Walmart.  Sometimes I complain that the prices don’t ring up right at the register.  But sometimes, I just have to give a shout out to some genuine generosity on the part of our local Walmart.

Such was the subject of a letter I posted today to the manager and employees of the Elk City Walmart.

Dear Elk City Walmart Supercenter,

Thank you for your recent donations to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

You recently helped us to feed our Wednesday night crowd with several cooked pizzas.  This was a blessing in that the several volunteers that typically cook our Wednesday night meal received a much needed break, and let’s face it, clean up after pizza is just outright easy.  Thank you.

There’s a little more to this story that I want to share with you.  You did not just donate to a church.  You helped a community.  Most of our Wednesday night attendance is children.  Sadly, if it were not for the school lunch that many received, they would go hungry most every day.  Many of the children we feed on Wednesday night before our classes and services are children that are actually hungry. 

That may seem hard to believe, but we feed kids that don’t get much love or food in their homes.
Some of the parents of these children do not even know that they are at the church and many of these parents don’t care.  That could just be a sad statement, except when they come to the church on Wednesday evenings, they run to the front door.  They know they will be fed, and loved, and at least for a couple hours, brought up in the way they should go.

You see that you did more than donate pizzas; you helped us connect with children that are disconnected from the love they should know all the time.

The story doesn’t end here.

Recently, you donated some bicycles to the Burns Flat churches.  Pastor Dwight Shephard picked up some and distributed 2 girls’ bicycles to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Their arrival was perfect timing as the church recently adopted the community Easter Egg Hunt.  One of the bicycles was put up for a special sort of drawing.  Adults and children were not allowed to enter their own names in the drawing, but were asked to think of a child who could really use a bike but could not afford it.

You might be thinking, “He should have specified a ‘girls’ bike.”  That was the original intent; however, prompted by the generosity of your donation, a church member donated a boy’s bike just in time for the egg hunt.

We were blessed to draw both for both and boy and girl’s bicycle.  Want more?

The reaction of both adults and youth when the names were read was one of divine providence.  I knew neither child, but it seemed that many did and these were perfect selections.

The bicycle that you donated was presented to a young lady who will not be named in this article.  She lives in Burns Flat and received quite the surprise on Easter Afternoon.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church added several boxes of food and 2 gift cards so that the entire family was blessed.

Want just a little more?

The bicycles that you donated were picked up by the pastor of the local Assembly of God Church, given away by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and delivered by three members of the First Baptist Church of Burns Flat.  How’s that for connecting with a community.

We thank you for your donation.  I hope that you realize it’s more than pizzas and bicycles by the time we put your gifts to use.  

Blessings to you and your employees,                                                                   

Tom Spence