Dr. Cheyne Day, the pastor who is assuming CM’s ministry to Oklahoma State legislators next year, is fulfilling a decades-long dream to take the Word of God to America’s political leaders.
Pastor Day will replace long-time Ministry Leader Dr. Doug Melton who is leaving the CM Bible study that he has led for five years to join the Board of Trustees for the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Pastor Melton is also the senior pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.
Pastor Day will assume the ministry in February 2019, shortly after the new legislative session begins.
“This desire to minister to political leaders goes back to 1992 when I surrendered to ministry,” Pastor Day said. “I was shown the movie, “A Man Called Peter,” which was about Peter Marshall who became chaplain to the U.S. Senate in the 1940s.
“That movie made such an impact on me. It was a surreal experience as if the Lord was speaking to me through that movie, and over the years I thought that perhaps, in some way, the Lord might lead me to minister in the political arena.”
Outgoing Pastor Melton said the legislative Bible study has been a “tremendous joy” and that the transition provides an opportunity for a full-time ministry.
“It was my pleasure to serve as pastor to these men and women and provide spiritual help they needed away from home,” Pastor Melton said. “But serving as full-time pastor to my church, and now with this new position, my ability to expand the Capitol ministry was limited.
“I am so excited about the potential for full-time ministry. Cheyne has past connections that will turn into future opportunities that will truly advance the Gospel message.”
Pastor Day’s father, Dr. R. Alan Day, was a beloved and highly-respected pastor at First Baptist Church in Edmond, OK for more than 25 years before he was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2011 at the age of 63.
An Oklahoma native, Pastor Day served as senior pastor at Keystone Hills Baptist Church in Sand Springs, OK before he moved his family to Arkansas where his wife, Misty, could receive specialized treatment for multiple myeloma.
With her improvement, they plan to move back to Oklahoma where Pastor Day plans to minister to the legislators full-time.
Pastor Melton will be greatly missed, but the Lord has provided a worthy replacement, said Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder of Capitol Ministries.
“Pastor Melton has served admirably in championing the start of an in-depth Bible study ministry amongst the State Senators of Oklahoma,” Drollinger said.
“His faithfulness has paved the way for a full-time ministry and a Ministry Leader exclusively focused on maturing Oklahoma’s political leaders in Christ.
“Cheyne is a gifted and talented pastor with the heart of an evangelist. His father was a highly respected expositor in Oklahoma, and Cheyne is named after the great Scottish Bible teacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne!
“We are excited to welcome him full-time in the Capitol.”
U.S. Senator James Lankford, OK, who has attended Drollinger’s Washington, D.C. Bible studies for many years, and Steve Green, Christian business man and founder of the stupendous 430,000-square foot Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., are among notable Oklahomans who welcome a full-time ministry in their home state.
“Every legislator is bombarded with requests for their time, so you prioritize what will help you be prepared to serve your constituents,” Sen. Lankford said. “Nothing better prepares a person to serve than deepening your faith with others who face the same challenges.
“When I went to Washington D.C., I looked for a group that would encourage me in my faith walk, allow me to process the practical questions of Scripture and give me a time to pray with other legislators. Capitol Ministries has been a consistent part of my weekly schedule so I can be refreshed in my spiritual walk while I serve my state and my staff.”
Green noted that making disciples of Jesus Christ is what all Christians are called to do be they ministers, businessmen, or legislators.
“I love the idea that we will have a full-time ministry,” he said. “I appreciate the efforts that Doug Melton has given to the ministry and I am looking forward to Cheyne Day continuing the great work here in Oklahoma.”
Pastor Day, who has already completed Capitol Ministries’ training, said his first objective is to establish a Bible study rooted in and properly exegeted from Scripture.
“Pastor Melton has done that well for the past five years. I hope to continue that and build from there.”
“I have thought in my mind where this ministry could go perhaps, but my belief and understanding is that any success in God’s eyes will be empowered by Him. I am His vessel to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is not by my power, but by God’s Spirit, and I am often reminded of that.”
Perry Gauthier, CM Vice President and Ministry Leader to the Nebraska Legislature, and Faith, his wife and ministry partner, met Pastor Day while on a tour of states that they take annually to support existing Ministry Leaders and find others like them for states without legislative ministries.
At the time, Pastor Gauthier, who also serves as CM’s North America Director, did not know that Pastor Melton was resigning or that Pastor Day intended to move back to Oklahoma.
“It’s neat to see God at work for His glory in our ministry in ways totally unbeknownst to me as CM’s North American Director,” Pastor Gauthier said.
“Doug knew Cheyne’s godly, theologically-driven father, Dr. Alan Day. No wonder the Founding Fathers of America called His Providence the invisible, sovereign Hand of God in ordinary affairs.
“After many hours training and connecting with him, I just love the ministry focus, pastoral compassion, and deep love for theology and the Word of God in the heart of Cheyne who was named after the famous Scottish reformer.
Drollinger said Pastor Day’s objective to create a full-time ministry fits well with CM’s 22-year objective.
“It is Capitol Ministries’ desire to see a full-time, trained Ministry Leader in every state capitol of America. We praise God for Pastor Melton’s faithful service and cooperative segue.”
That is a worthy goal, said Green, chairman of the board for the Museum of the Bible which contains one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts, as well as exhibits that show the Bible’s influence on the nation’s founding fathers.
“One of the great benefits of having a ministry to legislators in every state, of course, is that many people would come to Christ, whether they be leaders or those they influence,” Green said.
“And the more people understand the good news that the Gospel offers, the more people follow the principles which Christ summarizes as loving God and loving others, the better their lives and our society will be.
“And too, the Bible had great influence on the founders. Many principles our nation was built on are principles found in the Bible, so if we are to continue what our founders established, it is important for us to understand that came from the Bible.”
“Hopefully, this could come about through the influence of Capitol Ministries.”