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This is Oneida

Celebrating the Western Recorder's history


Our founder, James Anderson Burns, made tremendous efforts in traveling to every state in the Union in the early part of the 20th century. It amazes me that he was able to accomplish such a feat, and I would assume much of that travel was by train. I imagine it was an exhausting task, but Burns obviously knew how important that was for the success of Oneida Baptist Institute.

Larry Gritton

Burns believed if only a person or two in any given audience took an interest in OBI, it would help provide the resources the school needed to succeed. Thankfully, he was right.

I have long considered telling the OBI story as one of my most important job duties. It is also one of my favorite parts of the job. Whether it is sharing our work with a prospective staff member, a church, a visitor to our campus or a radio or television audience, I am always thrilled to tell our story and could talk all day long about the work of Oneida. Some of you reading this might be thinking, "I've heard you talk about Oneida and you did take all day long!"

Fortunately for me, the Oneida story is easy to tell and it practically tells itself. I typically tell the stories of the people of OBI, and there are so many of those life-changing stories available to me. I love telling the stories of current students, former students, current staff and former staff. It really is amazing to look back throughout our history and see how many young lives have been transformed by the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Knowing that the Lord used OBI to make that happen is humbling, encouraging and inspiring.

The Western Recorder has long been an outstanding partner in helping us tell our story. Its work and partnership has carried the Oneida story into the homes, churches and lives of so many Kentucky Baptists and other friends far and wide.

Oneida Baptist Institute founder James Anderson Burns performs a baptism in 1916 in the south fork of the Kentucky River. Stories of Oneida sharing the gospel and people being saved as a result have been told often through the years in the Western Recorder

When I first moved into the role of OBI president and began to write, at the time, weekly articles for the publication, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from people from all over the state and beyond Kentucky's borders that they enjoyed reading about us in the Western Recorder.

I will certainly miss our partnership with the Western Recorder, but I also am encouraged by the great work of Kentucky Today and look forward to sharing the Oneida story through that means.

We are also blessed to have so many technological capabilities at our fingertips that can, at most any moment, be used to send and share our story around the globe. God is good and I look forward to continuing to tell of His wondrous works from within the hills of southeastern Kentucky.

Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.

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