Centerfield Baptist Church experiences God connecting missional dots this summer

Finished front view of Centerfield Baptist Church

CENTERFIELD, UT – One of the primary goals of RIMM Rock Mission Ministries and their leader, Dr Les Wesley of Shelbyville, KY, is to connect the missional dots between local churches who would not otherwise never cross paths. This defiantly happened in Centerfield, UT this summer. RIMM Rock partnered with Burks Branch Baptist Church in Shelbyville for a mission endeavor. On this trip there were two primary objectives: To conduct a Backyard Bible Club for the local children, which took place during four of the days, yielding a diverse group of seven children. Their second goal was to replace the roof on Centerfield Baptist Church. Centerfield is in the geographic center of the state of Utah, a rural community near Gunnison, a city which houses the Utah State Correctional Institute. The church has leaders and members that help facilitate prison ministry in the area.

The church building needed a lot of work, but their greatest need was fixing the roof. The RIMM Rock team worked nearly five full days on the roof. They had to take most of the afternoons off to rest because the desert sun made the roofing shingles unbearably hot; so hot that the singles would fall apart under their feet when they walked on them. Upon deeper inspection of the roof, the team realized the roof was in more distressed condition than previously anticipated and structural repairs were needed to complete the job. There was a large hole in one of the roof valleys that required five sheets of plywood and a day and a half of labor to repair.  This challenge was exacerbated by several rainstorms that came through the area during the days they were scheduled to work. It became clear that the RIMM Rock team was not going to be able to complete the job in the during the five-day mission trip as planned. The team felt incredibly guilty about this and blamed themselves for poor planning. However, God would soon reveal to the team His will. There were more missional dots to be connected.

All of the work going on at the church drew some positive attention from members of this small, close-knit community. Everyone in town knew something was going on at the Baptist Church and they became the topic of discussion within the community gossip circles. A man who lived across the street from the church brought over his tractor over to clean up the old shingles from the ground. He also loaned tools to the team. Now, the church has a relationship with this neighbor, who previously never had an interest in the church. He and his wife are great prospects for this church. 

By the end of the week, the team only had half of the Southern exposed roof covered with new shingles. An S.O.S. message was sent out to the UISBC State Convention, who then passed the message on to their partner churches. Within a week of RIMM Rock’s departure, people from across Utah showed up to help finish the roof. On July 4th, state convention missionary Jason McNair and his son, Jonathan, joined a couple from Centerville, UT and Pastor Emery Polelonema to finish prep work on the northern and eastern exposed portions of the roof, removing remaining old roofing nails and debris over the entire roof, and running a series of starter courses of shingles to prepare the next team that would be coming later that week. 

Over the next few days, Pastor Shane Esplin and several volunteers from Mountain View Baptist Church in Milford, UT came up and completed the job of shingling the entire roof and cleaning up all the remaining old roofing debris from the property.  

Dr C. Les Wesley of RIMM Rock commented about the miracle in Centerfield, “WOW! God truly blessed us as a team, truly blessed Pastor Polelonema, and God connected the missional dots. I truly believe these connections will reap much fruit for the gospel in the future.”

As a footnote on this project, an unfortunate challenge the team faced was that Pastor Shane from Milford fell off the roof on the last day of work and had to be rushed to the hospital in nearby Richfield, UT, an hour away. He sustained a break on his ankle that required surgery to repair the next week. He is currently on the road to recovery, with new memories and stories to share about his adventure.

This entire experience is testimony that when it looks like every challenge will make our task too big to overcome, God has a way of connecting the missional dots and seeing His work completed, while giving more people the opportunity to join Him in his great kingdom work. Please pray for Dr Les Wesley and RIMM Rock mission ministries, Pastor Shane as he recovers from ankle surgery, and for Pastor Emery Polelonema as he continues to serve this small community in the center of Utah with a clear presentation of gospel truth with a new roof giving their church many more years to love on the people of Centerfield.    

Portions of this article and pictures provided by RIMM Rock July 2022 Monthly Newsletter