By: Kenny Hurst, Pastor, Storms Creek Missionary Baptist Church and Director, BFM
To say that Jim Orrick loved Baptist Faith Missions goes without saying. It is like saying the people of Kentucky love basketball: their actions speak for themselves. Brother Orrick, by his actions, demonstrated his love for missions every day of his life.
I became a member of Storms Creek in October 1980. Brother Orrick had already been pastor of this historic church for seventeen years, having been called as pastor in October 1963. What impressed me most about him was his love for the Lord, the Word, and missions. He loved missions, especially BFM, and those who faithfully served as missionaries. Brother Orrick always had the missionaries come to Storms Creek when on furlough. He treated them like royalty, for that is how he viewed them. Many people may not know that Brother Orrick led Storms Creek, which is not a large congregation, to give fifty percent of their tithes and offerings to missions, the majority being designated to BFM. In doing this, he was sometimes taking money from himself and his family, but he was willing to make that sacrifice for the good of BFM. Every year he encouraged Storms Creek to give a special Thanksgiving and Founder’s Day offering, a tradition we continue to this day. My love for missions and Storms Creek’s love for missions was fueled by the example of Brother Orrick. He faithfully served as a director and executive secretary for years, in addition to being responsible for addressing the mission sheets each month. BFM has never had a greater friend or supporter than Jim Orrick.
In 2000, the Lord called me to preach, and in 2001, I was called to serve as co-pastor with Brother Orrick. Everyone knew,though, that he was really the pastor, and I was just assisting him. But he was insistent I be called co-pastor. His purpose for this was his upcoming retirement, and he was preparing me to take over the church full-time. Also, Brother Jim wanted to make sure the church continued its support of BFM. He did not want another pastor coming in and changing the way the church supported missions. In March 2005, he retired after forty-one years of faithful service to the church. As a pastor, what I remember most about him was his ability to say in thirty minutes what it took other men to say in sixty; he was not a long-winded preacher, but he was sound in what he preached. He had a tremendous influence on me, especially in the way he handled funeral services. I learned from him that funerals were the best opportunity to preach the Gospel. Those who knew Brother Orrick know how much he liked to laugh; he had a great sense of humor and loved to show it. He stood up for what he believed in, especially when it came to God’s Word and its importance in a believer’s life.
When Brother Orrick retired, he and Irene stayed at Storms Creek and turned the leadership of the church over to me. He was never critical and never offered any advice unless it was asked for, but supported and encouraged me in every way. For that, I will be forever grateful. He was my mentor and friend; I dearly loved him. I was so sad to hear of his passing. I am going to miss talking to him on the phone and hearing him preach at our Homecoming service each year. I take comfort in the fact that I know he is with his blessed Lord. There is only one Jim Orrick, and I had the privilege of working with him. May God bless all of those whom Brother Orrick touched during his ministry.
Yours in Christ,