Dick Means

My God Story

This is my testimony and witness:

God called me and I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of 17.  I have never had a doubt of God’s salvation for me. That has been the one constant in my life.

There was a second calling on my life at that time. God called me to preach the word. I did not respond as I should have to this call. I tried to serve God and live for him but never completely surrendered.

I became ‘stiffed necked’ and eventually gave up on living for God.  I now look back and God has shown me that I actually spent 40 years in the wilderness just as the Israelites did.  Though I had some success in business and position, my life was in ruins. Two divorces and many damaged relationships. Happiness was not something I could obtain. I was on the brink of destroying my third marriage when my wife, Lavonn, started attending church with a great pastor, John Dillender. Through his counseling and love we both got back to serving God.

As I was drawn closer to God, I began to teach a Sunday school class, and God blessed this in many ways. Pastor Dillender led me to understanding that God could use me no matter what my past held. I was ordained as a deacon, and God showed me the blessings of a servant’s heart. On Feb. 14th, 2008 while on a walk to Emmaus I finally, with a broken and contrite heart, surrendered to ‘preach the word’.

Little did I know how soon God would call on me to serve in a bad situation caused by another’s moral failures. 

In reflection now I realize God had me right where he needed me at a crucial time for a body of believers. Due to the actions of man, there were many hard lessons learned during this time. I learned what Satan is capable of even through fellow believers. But, praise God, He always has a plan. He took Lavonn and me and moved us to where we could be ministered to in special ways.

We started attending Blodgett Street Baptist Church. Pastor Prell was a Godsend. Once again, God gave me a class to teach as I have a burning desire and need to share God’s word. I also started doing pulpit supply for area churches. I received very good counsel from Joseph Tillery that helped me find God’s will. God provided many opportunities for working with several different congregations. He blessed the Word that went forth.  But, in serving the other churches, I never felt the call to a pastorate.

Then I received a call from Cavern Baptist to do pulpit supply. That was in September, 2010. I was called to serve as interim pastor in December. I am honored to say that yesterday, January 30, 2011, Cavern Baptist voted to call me as their pastor. God is good.  He has plans and things in motion we can never imagine. If God has called you, listen—and he will bless you in many ways!

“also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, here am I, send me.” Isaiah 6: 8


Marilla Denny

Marilla Denny has been a Christian most of her life and has been attending Cavern Baptist Church since she was 1 (one) week old.  She has come and gone some over the years, she says—but she has mostly attended here at Cavern.  She relates that the church has had it ‘ups and downs’ and came close to having to close its’ doors a couple of times, BUT “God is good and we keep serving Him the best we can.” 

Her ‘best we can’ includes being Treasurer, Trustee, and Sunday School Teacher (she teaches the pre-schoolers).  She is also the mail girl, which she picks up, distributes, and takes care of.  As Treasurer, she writes checks, prepares bank statements and reports for the business meetings as well as other documents needed.  Marilla is the one that prepares the bulletins for Sunday services each week.  Also included in her duties is overseeing employees or contract workers, preparing annual church reports for the PVBA (Pecos Valley Baptist Association) and for the Baptist Convention. 

Without doubt, Marilla Denny is a blessing to Cavern Baptist Church in her devotion to filling needed positions with a smile and a joyful spirit. 

Clerk and Music Leader

Jean Bryant

Jean Bryant has been a Christian for 58 years and has been attending Cavern Baptist Church since October of 2009. 

Jean serves as Cavern’s music leader, preparing music for all the services.  She also is a major player in our free garage sales.  She organizes donations, does the setting up, and is always there for the event of course.  She loves the blessings she gets when people come and are able to get things they need.  Cavern provides Bibles during these garage sales for anyone wanting or needing one, and that is another blessing to Jean. 

When she felt led to Cavern, Jean found they needed someone to fill in as music leader “for a month.”  She was available and volunteered.  That was 2½ years ago.  She still fills that position quite ably today. 

Of course, Jean is a willing and compassionate helper with Vacation Bible School, with meals that need to be planned and served, and she is an outstanding “prayer warrior.”

In Jean’s eyes, Cavern Baptist Church is a very loving church with a big heart.  In our eyes, Jean Bryant has the big heart and shows her love for our Lord through her service to Him. 


Bill Fuson

  October 2022  
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