Missionary Trouts’ Service

Fellow Servants,

A few weeks ago we had the home-going service for Missionary Greg Trout. Greg was a longtime servant here at First Baptist. He was a man quite happy to simply be serving in the background. He will be missed.

We started a fund to assist his wife Marta with the transition from missionary service in Ireland to back home, here in Montana. I had requested that you not only pray for her but express that concern and love tangibly with a contribution to Marta’s Transition Fund. Many of you have, thank you. This will be a great blessing to her in the days ahead.

Greg’s service had been live streamed for those that had the capability to access it. Here is the audio of that service for those who were not able to be with us on that day.

In His Service,

Pastor Widdis

Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 1:20 AM  Leave a Comment  

The New Year

As I write these thoughts the New Year’s Day is fast drawing to a close. Many have already made their resolutions for 2016. While, normally, such resolutions only serve to give us a false sense of determination, it doesn’t have to be so for a Christian. That is, if your choices for the new year are in light of your relation to Christ and submission to His spirit. He promises to enable us to live and walk in the power of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). Let us as children of the heavenly father resolve to depend upon His enabling for this new year that we may finish it well and not with regret.
Last year, here at First Baptist, our theme was “Joy in Jesus.” My final sermon to our church family was entitled “Finishing with Joy.” I would like to share it with you. May the Lord be even more real to you this year!

In His Service,
Pastor Widdis

Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 1:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Merry Christmas

I trust that you had a wonderful day with your family and loved ones celebrating the birth of the Saviour. Oh, I know that there are those who insist that it certainly couldn’t have happened on this day. Others dismiss the day altogether due to the commercialization of Christ’s birth. Or, because in an ever widening circle, there seems to be no mention of Christ at all. But, was that not how it was on the day that Christ was born? The people seemed ignorant of his coming, the religious ruled were indifferent of it and to Herod it was only an irritant to be dealt with. The world has never been overly receptive to our Saviour. Why should I expect them to give Him proper admiration now?
Some year ago I wrote a little booklet concerning the day He came. As I approach the end of this day that we set aside for that purpose, I would like to share a small portion of it. The booklet was entitled “The Day He Came.” If you would like I would be glad to send you a complementary copy. And now the excerpt:

The Promise

Over 2700 years ago, there was a king who was in a rather precarious position. His nation was being threatened by two larger nations that were in alliance against him. Syria and Israel (the northern ten tribes of the descendants of Abraham) had joined forces against Judah (the southern two tribes of the descendants of Abraham). Ahaz, the current king of Judah, is promised deliverance from them, and God offers to give him a sign to validate this promise. However, Ahaz is a wicked king and not a believer of Jehovah. In an act of false piety he refuses to ask for a sign. As a rebuke, God gave the promise of a sign of His choosing, the birth of a son, the birth of a king, by a virgin.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This was not the first time God had made this promise. It began oh so long ago in the Garden of Eden when God promised to send the seed of the woman to crush the head of man’s greatest enemy, Lucifer himself. And there had been hints of it down through time by a revelation here, an appearance of God to various people and so forth. That had been so long ago, and, over time, promises are forgotten and man becomes dull to the truth of God.

But God never forgets. He always keeps His promises. God was the founder, controller, and fulfiller of all time. The promise was at hand. The fullness of time had come. That fullness was the day He came.

Galatians 4:4-5
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The Story

A poor Jewish couple made their way to the city of Bethlehem. They had been traveling for three days. Nazareth was roughly 60 miles from Bethlehem, but the journey was longer on account of taking the long way around to bypass Samaria. Mary was quite far along in her pregnancy, and Joseph was thankful for the donkey. Even though it was old and a bit sway-backed, it was better than Mary having to walk all that way. Caesar had decreed earlier in the year that all the empire was to be taxed and pledge an oath of allegiance to him. The Roman Senate had bestowed upon him the title “Pater Patriae” and was requiring all the citizens to pledge allegiance to him. It was rumored that there had almost been a rebellion among the Pharisees in giving this allegiance. Herod the king was livid about it and had fined all of them (estimated at 6,000). Pheroras’s wife (Herod’s sister-in-law) had paid their fines to release them. There was always a great amount of intrigue about the palace and Herod’s family. All this hubbub was of no concern to Joseph and Mary. They were simple folk from Nazareth and had only been married for six months, he a simple carpenter and she a young maiden expecting her first born child.

It was fortunate for them that this Tebheth had had less than the normal rainfall, as the old Rabbis would say “Good is the year when Tebheth has no rain.” And good it was as so many were on their way to their ancestral homes for the census. While this increase in travelers made procuring lodging a bit of a difficulty, it did greatly cut down on the threat of bandits.

As they came into the valley surrounding Bethlehem, they were reminded of why this town was called the “house of bread.” The green of the olive trees mingled with the colorful blossoms of the almond and peach. The beauty of the valley was a welcome sight to these travelers. Evening was approaching as they entered the city. Bethlehem was buzzing with people. From all over, people had come to register for the census. Joseph could tell that Mary was exhausted and needed to rest. He went from house to house and all the inns, yet there was no room to be found this night. In desperation he came to the last available door to request lodging.
“I am sorry, we are all full; you will have to look elsewhere.” Joseph almost turned away, but then looked at the inn keeper pleadingly.
“Please sir, my wife is with child and her time is near. Is there no place where we may find shelter?” The inn keeper was about to turn them away with even more vigor until he saw Mary. She looked much like his own daughter, and of the same age. A thought flashed through his mind of how he would like his daughter to be treated in similar circumstances.
“Alright, but all I have is the stable behind the inn. The temple shepherds keep their lambs there when they come in from the field. Right now they are out by the Migdal Eder and will not be in for a few days. You may stay there until you can find more suitable accommodations.”
“Thank you, sir. May the Lord Jehovah greatly bless your generosity!”
“Yes, yes, yes. I will see how you are faring in the morning.”

Joseph led Mary to the stable and settled his wife as best he could amidst the typical items one would find in a stable. Mary soon fell asleep. As soon as the donkey was attended to, Joseph did likewise. It was late in the night when Mary woke him.
“Joseph, it is time. The child is coming!” In a short time, Joseph was holding a little boy in his arms. As he looked into his eyes, there was a feeling that filled his heart that he could not explain. All the events of the previous year were running through his mind: Zacharias the priest’s vision of the angel Gabriel, the appearance of the angel to Mary, the pain he felt when he heard that his betrothed was with child, the confusion of what to do, the words that the angel spoke to him. Now here he was holding the child Jesus in his arms.
“Sir, may we see the child?” Joseph was brought out of his thoughts with the coming of some shepherds. Without even thinking, he held the boy so that the shepherds could see him. They all fell to their knees and gave praise to God.
“How did you know that there was a child here?” Joseph asked the shepherds.
“The Lord sent an host of angels to give us word that the Messiah was born this very night and told us where to find him. Those directions led us to this very stable.” As fast as they had come the shepherds left singing and praising God for the child.
“Yes,” Joseph though to himself, “this is the Messiah. That is what the angel said…”

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Whatever your position concerning Christmas day and its observance, He came. He came for us. For that we can all be thankful for it certainly was “good news for all men.”

Published in: on December 26, 2015 at 1:00 AM  Comments (2)  

Trout Service

Dear Friends,
For those that have been keeping up with the situation concerning Missionary Greg Trout; his funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church in Laurel, MT. It will take place this coming Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Please continue to keep the family in prayer. Marta will be traveling back this weekend.

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Published in: on December 11, 2015 at 11:38 AM  Comments (1)  

Grieving #2

Dear Friends,

Many have asked about the services for Missionary Greg Trout. I do not have those details yet. I am anticipating next week for the service. When those details are finalized I will post them.

For those who read the previous post, that presentation was given as a Sunday School lesson for the members of First Baptist. I am making that audio available as well. Please continue to keep Marta and the family in prayer, as well as us here at First Baptist, that we might be a blessing to her when she returns.

In His Service,

Pastor Widdis

Published in: on December 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM  Leave a Comment  



This past Thursday the family of First Baptist Church in Laurel, Montana received a very unexpected blow. Our dear friend and brother, Greg Trout went home to be with the Lord. Greg had been a long time staff member of First Baptist and had gone to Ireland with his wife Marta to preach the gospel.

He had been suffering from an infection in his lungs that was giving him asthma like symptoms and causing him to pass out and loose consciousness. Of course we began to pray for this pressing need. Yet in our prayers for his recovery, as is often the case in situations like this, we don’t fully know what the Lord is seeking to accomplish in our lives and the lives of those around us. At such times we can be comforted by the reality the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

In this long journey of Greg and Marta’s travels on deputation and finally arriving in Ireland, their one desire was to submitted to their Saviour. Even in this most recent struggle they were totally surrendered to Him. Their desire was God’s will in their life, not just God’s blessings for living. In the Lord’s wisdom, it was time for Greg to go to heaven. “But, what about our prayers? Didn’t God hear them? ” You may ask. Of course, we have a God that hears our prayers.

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hearth the prayer of the righteous.

Let me remind you that prayer is not for the purpose of getting what we want from God (Ja. 4:3). God is not an indulgent parent satisfying the whim and wishes of a spoiled child, even if those wishes seem righteous. Rather prayer is our submission to His will, and an act of acknowledging  our dependence upon Him.

In light of the circumstances of the passing of Greg Trout let me share some thoughts that I trust the Lord will use to help and comfort you.

Wonder – The Why of our Questions.

Romans 9:20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Of course when we receive news of this nature we are shocked and almost immediately ask, “What happened?” This is natural. There seems to be an inner need for us to have an answer for the for the events that take place in our lives. But we can quickly digress to questions of curiosity. “Did you do this?” “Why did you not do that?” Such questions may be innocent but harmful. We can inadvertently introduce doubt in the mind and cause the one already grieving and suffering to think that they are responsible for the loss.

Certainly such questions should never be asked out of a sense pride. Subtly implying that, somehow we would have done the “right” thing and hence the outcome would have been different. That is sinful.

Never should we question the Lord’s wisdom. He knows the end from the beginning.

Waste – The Wisdom of Submission

Matthew 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

Mary was rebuked for her great gift to the Lord. The disciples saw it as a waste. The Lord saw it as an act of worship. Like the disciples we, at times, when face to face with the loss of a life, see only the loss and not the gift.

Was it a waste to travel the many miles on deputation to spend so short a time on the field of service? Was it a waste to incur all the financial expense without the visible return on our investment? The answer depends on the value we place on the souls of men and women; boys and girls. The answer depends on the value we place on our worship to the Lord. Do we have the omniscience to see the eternal impact of a life lived for God? Were we investing for a return in this life or eternity? I am not dismissing the normal desired intent of missionary service, just reminding us that we are not the master, just the servants. The Lord has the right to use His servants as He wishes. He owns me by right of creation and redemption. Perhaps Greg’s example will inspire others to go to the Emerald Isle and thereby multiplying the work of the Gospel in that nation.

Worship – The Willingness of Sacrifice

2Corinthians 8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

Our Saviour gave His life. Our heavenly Father gave His one and only begotten son. All this, that you and I may have the privilege of coming to Him. What have you given His to show your love and gratitude? Would you give yourself to Lord?

Walk – The Way of Action

James 2:17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

What does Marta and the rest of the family need now? Certainly they need our prayers for the Lord’s comfort and wisdom in the days ahead. Marta, specifically, will need our help. There is a great transition coming in her life. There is the move back to America. The establishment of normal living without the aid of her husband. Could you help. All can pray. Some can give. If you are so lead you may send gifts to the church designated for Marta’s transition fund. Thank you.

First Baptist Church, 400 7th Avenue, Laurel, MT 59044

Published in: on December 6, 2015 at 9:40 AM  Comments (2)  

Complete In Christ

The New Year has begun. Our theme this year at First Baptist is “Complete in Christ.” This comes on the heels of a year long focus on prayer. Jesus made the promise several times in John 14-16 that he would hear and answer our prayers. Specifically he said:

John 15:7 (KJV)
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

In short the promise what we ask He will do. There is no Biblical foundation for accepting a life of unanswered prayer. Jesus is the very door way in to the throne of heaven. If we are content to live with our prayers unanswered, we send the message that Christ is unable. How sad. The Saviour we desire to introduce to the world is undermined by the testimony of our prayer life. Rather than content myself with some ambiguous yes/no/maybe/later I should seek to “abide in Christ” and therefore I am assured of the answer of my request (1John 5:14,15).

Our God is able to answer. The foundation of this truth is that we are Complete in Christ.

W.E. Widdis

1 Able to Answer

1 Able to AnswerDisciples Pray

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 10:53 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Prayer – A Privilege, A Command, A Promise

Our focus this year in our church is the topic of prayer. Prayer is something that we talk about, say we believe in, and affirm that we should be diligent about doing it. But honestly, we all are amazed or indignant about the answers to prayer recorded for men like George Mueller. Why is that?

I have been teaching on various texts about prayer at the midweek prayer and bible study. Recently I was teaching on Philippians 4:6.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Rather than giving our limited mental resources to our burdens, needs, circumstances, and “concerns” we are to ask God.

So, what’s my request?

What’s yours?

Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM  Leave a Comment  


Obviously I am not a very proficient blogger. Based on the date of my last post you would think that nothing as happened in my life or ministry. That certainly is not the case!
For the last two January’s I have traveled to Burma (Myanmar) on a mission trip. I have met some amazing servant of Jesus. They serve faithfully in spite of their lack of the multitude of resources we have in America. I am inspired and ashamed at the same time.
Ashamed: They are open, bold, and productive with so little.
Inspired: I ought to be so much more bolder in the midst of the wonderful freedoms that we enjoy in America.
May we be faithful to the Saviour, who gave His all!
Recently I completed the editing on the book Baptist Luminaries. It is the compilation of the citations of all those inducted into the Baptist Hall of Fame which is located at Mountain States Baptist College in Great Falls, MT. I you would like a copy drop me a line.

I promise to try and be more diligent with this blog. I really do have much to share. I will leave you with a quote from Scripture and a thought.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Jesus promises that if we are basically walking according to the word and in the Spirit, our prayers will be heard. What that means is that Jesus always answers with a yes! What is the testimony of your prayer life?

In His Service,

Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM  Leave a Comment  

History of Fundamentalism

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

There are truths that we ought to stand and contend for. Dr. George Dollar gives a history of this ongoing struggle in his work A History Of Fundamentalism in America. First published in 1973, it has been updated by his daughter, Marcia Dollar Phillips. The updated edition includes material that Dr. Dollar had been preparing for an update covering the three decades that had elapsed since its first issue.

This work is well worth procuring for the serious student of the history of our movement. Though not as easy to read as Beale’s Pursuit of Purity by BJU Press, it is perhaps, more thorough and gives proper emphasis of the contribution of Baptists. I highly recommend it!

In His Service,

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 9:59 PM  Comments (1)  
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