By Cathy Luders,
Wilton Baptist Church in Wilton, Iowa, ordained Ron Dunnahoo, 74, of West Liberty, and Ken Paper, 73, of Durant, to minister and serve as deacons. The ordination service was included as part of the regular Sunday morning worship service on Jan. 24, 2016.
Jani Ford, a member of New Covenant Bible Church, Cedar Rapids, offered a solo vocal selection, “Words of Truth,” before the message. Interim Pastor Jim Luders delivered the morning message entitled, “What is a Deacon?” based on Scripture from 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Following the message, Ron and Carla Dunnahoo and Ken and Cookie Paper were summoned to seats at the front of the church. Pastor Luders issued a charge to the candidates and a charge to the Wilton Baptist Church congregation.
A testimony was given by each candidate. A blessing, prayer and laying-on-of-hands were tendered to the deacon candidates and their wives by Pastor Luders; Deacons Bob Kappmeyer of Immanuel Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, and George Ford of New Covenant Bible Church, Cedar Rapids; Ed Gregory from the Baptist Convention of Iowa; and Mike Roberts from Great Rivers Southern Baptist Association.
Pastor Luders gave both of the candidates certificates of ordination signed by the ordaining participants.
Following the service, the congregation joined together for a fellowship luncheon provided by members of the congregation.
Ken Paper, 73, came to know Christ as his Savior in 1961 when he was 19. He grew up on the family farm not far from Wilton. He admitted to not always following the right path and said his family didn’t attend church. But when he accepted Christ, he found purpose and peace, knowing he was saved by God’s grace. Ken said he had been serving the Lord for many years – and felt called to be a deacon. Ken and his wife Cookie live in Durant and have three children, two stepdaughters, seven grandchildren and a stepgrandson.
Ron Dunnahoo, 74, came to know Christ as his Savior in February 2003 at Wilton Baptist Church. The church was founded the year before, in January 2002 – services were held in a trailer while the church building was being constructed. Ron and his wife, Carla, started coming in 2002 at the request of their daughter, Tina, and son-in-law, Brian McNamara, who was the church’s first pastor. It was following a Wednesday night Bible study that Ron saw the light and knew Jesus had come into his heart. He said it felt great. Ron grew up in rural Missouri, without electricity or running water. He walked two miles to a one-room school. Ron married Carla in 1959. They went to church infrequently, maybe two or three times a year. He drank a lot, but worked hard. Ron and Carla live in West Liberty and have three daughters, a son, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Their daughter, Cindy, died in a car accident in 1981.