Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Corona Virus Response by Pastor Todd (Newspaper Article)

 COVID-19 Pandemic has, in some ways, caught the church and the nation off guard.  BUT, in many ways, it has been responded to well.  We here at HMA, of course, do not wish to see sickness, death or financial ruin of any kind, but I am very proud to be an American, a Christian and a ministry outreach leader at this moment in history. 

The pandemic has “forced the issue” on so many levels.  Yes, we are in the midst of the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 and people are improperly and wastefully using masks all over society but these things are based on fear and it is hard for me to fully condemn someone who acts out of fear because I too have been afraid.  

So much more is happening though, above and beyond just the base fears and carnal instincts of men and women.  The Church is being forced to remember what She was here for to begin with.  Caring for the elderly, sick and at risk in our communities.  Spreading the gospel message of hope, peace and strength through Christ and His perfect plan.  The Bible is being quoted more, people are praying more and more people are caring than I have seen in a very long time. 

Above and beyond all of that, great preaching and teaching is being recoded and archived on the internet for the global consumption of all future generations.  Un-settled issues, such as, is an abortion going to be classified as a necessary and emergency procedure or not.  Also, much political bickering has been put aside federally, locally and even in the church as much more important issues have risen to the forefront.  Issues of health, life, welfare and strength of our financial structures.  

I do have my concerns of just how far the “powers that be” are going to take things.  If history repeats itself, and it usually does, they are going to take them as far as they can get away with.  I am not much of one to be on the side of the federal government doing buyouts, stimulus or over generous welfare BUT in this exact situation I do see the need to not allow our economic system to implode.  I realize that we need stimulus and a hand up through all of this.  But we do not need Congress to use this as an opportunity to over-reach and create new and more powers for themselves.  AND, I do not care for the fact that a new precedence has been set, for the sake of the health of the nation, that multiple government entities will now have used a “clause” that allows them to tell Churches, Mosques and Synagogues when and for how long they will be open or closed.  

All in all, I see a lot of good coming from this in the short term and some fear for the long term.  We will bounce back economically.  America is very strong like that.  Out system still works.  We will defeat the virus.  Our health care system is still the best in the world, period.  But we cannot expect our politicians to step back after this is over.  The pandemic will allow them to create new powers for themselves and they will not want to let them go. 

Truth be told, how The Church, Christians and all good American people handle the normality of life coming back, will determine the total and final affects of COVID-19 on America.  Will it just be a passing thing?  We fed people and checked on folks and thought about how our actions affected others and watched our government…until everything got back to normal.  Until we got our jobs back and our income came rolling back in and we were able to spend all day everyday selfishly worrying about all of our games and toys and hobbies again.  Or are we going to use this frightening global health and economic crisis to “reset” some of our basic priorities.  

Then and only then will we know for sure what we are made of, what the final affects will be and what the future of this great nation will look like.  God bless America, Oklahoma and Creek County.  

-President and founder of HMA Ministries
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

(To learn more about HMA Ministries, how to help, give and get involved in such local outreach ministries such as children’s feeding programs and drug addict placement groups, see

COVID-19 PANDEMIC from Pastor Todd’s Current Perspective

Several have asked where I am and what I am doing.  What is HMA doing?  Etc.  Here are some answers to those questions.  

When I very first started hearing about the Corona Virus outbreak being on anyone’s radar, my wife and I were planning a trip to California for our 30thwedding anniversary.

Information was vague and distant.  We flew from Tulsa and caught a connection in Dallas and on to Fresno.  I preached that night in Fresno and we went on to spend our anniversary in the Monterey/Carmel costal area.  Before flying back home we drove up the coast and attended a fellowship meeting Arbuckle, California.  Then flew back out of Freson, reconnected in Dallas and came back to Tulsa.  

The first thing that I noticed upon landing in Tulsa were the trees blooming.  Spring was obviously breaking while we were gone.  From that time on I began to get sick.  Allergies it felt like.  

We were only home for 3 days and then we drove through Arkansas to get to a camp meeting that I was preaching at in Louisiana.  The few days that we were home and on the way to Louisiana, the news about the virus began to get more intense.  I believe this is about the first time that I heard the term “social distancing”.  While in Louisiana we could see and hear some of the first affects of the news of the virus on the culture.  People were randomly talking about it, hand sanitizer was more prevalent, etc.  

We left Louisiana late one night and drove through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and into Ohio.  This took a night and a day and I listened to the news the whole way there.  It was very obvious now that this was going to be a major event.  The stock market was wildly falling, circuit breakers were actually used on Wall Street for the first time in over 30 years.  President Trump appointed Vice President Pence as the head of the Corona Virus Task Force and numbers of infected and eventually deaths began to roll in.  

Every day things intensified and have intensified up until this very moment.  In a week and a half, we live in a completely different society.  We spent 4 days in a Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio and everything was touch and go.  I preached in three churches that Sunday and we didn’t know until the last minute if each church was going to go ahead with service.  That is the day that all Ohio restaurants were closed at 9pm and have never fully reopened since.  Hotel services were shutting down, the hotel was running out of food.  

Monday evening we went to State Representative Keller’s home “headquarters” to prepare to put out signs for the polling stations for the next day.  I was getting very sick.  Just as Junior Smith and I pulled up, the governor was “cancelling” the election.  12 hours before an official state election, one man decided to toss out millions of dollars and tens of thousands of votes and an unprecedented amount of effort, he said, because of the Corona Virus.  (I don’t know but…It looked very political)  By this time there were three candidates for public office that were at the house with their spouses along with Brother Junior, Sister Teresa and my wife, Niki.  

Everyone was very distraught and upset, even angry.  These people were about to win 3 very important races and the Governor was jerking the rug out from under them…Illegally.  We gathered in the room and made a circle and held hands and prayed for God to open the right doors and close the wrong ones. Within 5 minutes a court had decided that the governor could not do what he was doing in the manner in which he was doing it.  That meant that the election, now about 11 hours away was back on.  Several of us loaded up and started putting our signs.  Within a half hour or so, I was so sick, coughing, gaging, weak, I couldn’t continue.  I was dropped off at my hotel while my wife and others tried to secure some medicine for me.  

The next morning, the governor had finally taken “more legal and legitimate” steps and postponed the election.  Everyone went there separate way and my wife helped me pack up and she began to drive me out of Ohio, through Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and back to Oklahoma.  

They were literally closing the country down all around us as we drove.  Me wife got me home and by that time I was in horrible shape.  At this time she was sick as well.  We both, especially myself, take allergies and colds very harshly.  No, we do not have COVID-19.  But because I have asthma, a weak immune system, a tumor and was already sick, I have avoided almost all people for over a week now.  Because of a bad cough and a very sore throat and the fact that I just don’t feel well, and the fact that I have been extremely busy (I will explain), and the fact that I have been seeking the Lord constantly for understanding…I haven’t answered very many calls, texts, emails or pm’s for several days.  I think this has added to the questions about where I am and what I am doing.  Just on March 20th, 21st and 22nd, I missed hundreds of messages.  

At that point I had been praying, meditating and “seeking the face of the Lord” for several days and I asked God in a prayer to help me to at least have faith that He was hearing and answering my prayers in some way shape or form.  Within the next several MINUTES, I received voicemails, texts and pm’s from 7 Pastors, 5 HMA ministry leaders, 2 old friends, several Bible school students from 2 different colleges, an old class mate and an old teacher from high school.  All saying the same general thing.  “The Lord has all of a sudden put you on my heart and impressed upon me to reach out to you and let you know that He is with you and is hearing your prayers.”  At that point, I felt even more direction and peace than I previously had and I started working even harder. 

 Now, I am of course watching the stock market, the economy, trade through the borders, etc because I am a businessman that owns several companies and I need my income to do the things that we are doing.  Above and beyond that and more importantly than that, I am seeking God, praying for our people, our country and our ministries.  I am also watching and learning much about “church” and American culture in general.  Some bad, some good.  Here are a few of them.  

When we got back to Oklahoma, we landed right in the middle of the great American toilet paper shortage of 2020.  This of course let me know just how random, carnal and ignorant, the actions of the people were going to be through this pandemic and so far, they haven’t let me down.  But it also started my wheels turning about missions, ministry and church.  

I had of course already heard many truck drivers, random people in stores and gas stations, Pastors and other church folks already putting their 2 cents worth in about the Corona virus.  Trump did it, China did it, it’s a coordinated attack, it’s from Hilary to steal the election, the government will use it as a way to close down all the churches, we must buy guns and ammo, this is from the devil, this is the beginning of the end of time, the military is hoarding all of the anti-serum.  Almost everybody that I generally “run with” falls somewhere in these general statements.  

But I began to consider something far different and the first couple of times that I expressed it, it was met with very harsh criticism….Should we automatically dismiss the fact that this could be the handy work of God?

Approaching this from the way that I generally approach thought.  It could be the devil, it could be man, it could be nature or in could be the direct action of Deity.  Let’s see if there is very much substantiation for any of them.  

The devil?  Though it is causing the kind of confusion and pain that the devil likes to cause, in my opinion, he is the last one that I would put this on.  The devil is very strong when directly attacking and tempting a person.  Job, Jesus in the wilderness, Judas, me, you, etc.  But where do we find him being capable of practicing a global attack?  Personally, I do not like that theory.  

Man, of course man is capable of doing this to ourselves and we basically have.  The one thing about that though is the church should have the power…let me put it this way.  The church was given the power and the authority to stop such things but doesn’t seem yet to be coming together against this.  So there is something to the man theory here.

Nature, now this one is one of the strongest cases.  God created everything in the world, recorded in the first couple chapters of Genesis.  He made rules.  Laws.  We call them laws of nature or natural laws.  Laws that He put in place and He is the only one that can break them.  The Law of gravity.  Laws of the power created if you split an atom.  Laws of, if the human body drinks lots of sugary drinks and eats lots of fatty food that it will get fat, weak and by certain other laws it can develop high blood pressure and heart problems.  Laws that naturally state that certain chemical compounds like asbestos can cause lung cancer and mixing certain natural and harmless chemicals can cause something more harmful.  These are laws of nature and it has always amazed me when humans basically ignore them and then claim Christian immunity or Biblical authority over them.  For example:  You don’t exercise, you don’t eat healthy and then you end up very overweight and then you end up with heart disease and then you call on the elders of the church to pray for a miracle.  I’m quite certain that we are supposed to obey the laws of nature first and then exercise our Christian rights and Biblical authority over what is left.  Because they are God’s laws.  But that being said, could we as a race, have created such conditions that override natural law and done things in such a way that just the very laws of nature caused something like this to happen.  Of course.  That is precisely why so many of these global threat viruses such as sars, bird flu and corona virus originated in Wu Han.  Because conditions in Wu Han province China attempt to defy the basic sanitary laws of nature.  So there is that.  

Lastly, there is Deity.  Now when I generally get to the topic of “Did God do it?”  Many people want to quickly rule that out.  God is love.  God wants to help us not hurt us.  Etc.  Let me tell you what God wants.  God wants you to miss hell and make heaven.  He wants the blood of His son to not be wasted.  That’s what God wants.  If what you think about God doesn’t fit that, you may have gotten off somewhere.  When thinking about if God did something I generally end up in the same place.  #1 There is always a level of possibility so I can’t count it completely out and #2  I can’t come to a conclusion of certainty or prove anything substantial so I just kind of leave it on the bottom shelf.  

This time, once again, I can’t prove it, it isn’t absolute and definite and I will not conclude that it is so…but I will tell you this, there is a lot more substance to it than you might want to admit.  

Most of you know that, in some ways, I am here to say things that others won’t, so… As much as many won’t like this, let me just list a few things for you.  

This current viral pandemic:  Shut down multi-billion dollar Hollywood movie houses, stopped multi-billion dollar sports industries in their tracks.  Greatly hurt these two industries that cause people to worship and idolize other humans.  Shut down clubs and bars where much immorality stems from.  Forced people to spend time at home with their families and loved ones.  Put a huge damper on workaholics like myself.  Put a lot of things into perspective.  Crashed a false 11 year bull market.  By forcing governments to close non-essential medical practices such as breast enlargements, liposuction, etc It created a legal battle over abortion clinics that we haven’t been able to win simply because we haven’t been willing to fight.  Ultimately we won, at least part of that battle, in 1 week of this pandemic.  And now that we are losing a few hundred very precious innocent lives a week to COVID-19, we are also saving tens of thousands of innocent lives a week by not murdering babies.  

 Churches that have been living in the dark ages by not broadcasting their gospel messages to the world at large are all of a sudden throwing up facebook pages and livestreaming for their members.  This now a decade after 99% of all the other churches were already doing it. As a matter of fact, almost every preacher that I have ever heard preach against facebook…is now preaching on facebook.  Also, churches that have drug their feet for years and years over not having online giving, all of a sudden fixed 3, 4 or 5 years worth of internal church politics almost overnight and start having online giving and text to give, etc. because they have to have money.  Most of these things they could have been doing all along but they just weren’t important enough to them at the time.  And I’m not saying that there wasn’t good reason some of the time.  I just wish they would be a little more honest with themselves and transparent  about it with everyone else.  Almost as if corona virus is resetting priorities for the church, the family, politics and society in general.  Many preachers are taking their message outside and ministering in the parking lot or in the yard or broadcasting live without an audience.  This I love.  I have watched many of them.  It stops them from being able to feed off of their people and allows me to see just how anointed they are and how much teaching they can do and if they really know what they are talking about instead of just getting people worked up.  Also, I dare you to do this.  Go find a church that has been broadcasting services for quite some time and listen to several sermons in a row then fast forward and listen to the last couple of sermons.  You will notice that before the pandemic there was a lot more political speak and regional standards and stuff to slip in there.  Now all of sudden, not so much.  Now things are important, desperate.  Now the message matters and it is getting more solid and doctrinal.  Didn’t it matter before?  Of course it did but we grew slack.  Times were too good.  Now all of sudden more people in the world are hearing a purer message.  Does anybody want to look me in the face and say…Rev. Sloggett, I just don’t see any way that God could have His hand in this?

Think about this also.  As soon as the pandemic began to hit, churches that already had true new testament biblical outreach ministries were able to jump into action.  They already had volunteers, the already had vehicles, the already had connections to food services, they already were in regular contact with the poor, the needy, the elderly, the troubled youth, the police, the shelters, etc.  Churches that have talked about doing outreach for the last 10, 15, 20 years, found themselves trying to “put something together” and that is another good outcome.  Now they will “have something together”.  We will see if they will maintain and sustain it or if they will just let it fall back to the wayside and go back to worrying about appearance and numbers and who’s the boss.  

One of the first things that I heard in all of this was that if the government uses this to close down the churches, we are all doomed.  I of course greatly disagree.  If the government uses this to close down the churches, the only thing that is doomed is the comfortable local church structure and all that it entails.  I doubt that anyone with any information what so ever would disagree with me that the most powerful church presence on planet earth today is the Illegal Chinese House churches in communist China.  They have seen more converts, more miracles, produced more pure doctrine sustained more suffering for Christ than any other group alive….Oh, and they do not have churches, pastors, choirs, songbooks, instruments, pews, sound systems, bank accounts or political structures.  Many of them do not even have whole Bibles at a time and yes…they are illegal.  And by the way, wouldn’t it be ironic if the thing that forced the American Church back into the biblical pattern, came from that place in the world where the most powerful and prayerful part of the church is currently located…China.  So, does not having regular services in a designated building constitute closing the church?  Perhaps not having regular services in a designated building could constitute…re-opening THE CHURCH.  

I would like to also point out that some of the biggest problems that we all know that we have been having with our society is the lack of ability to get anything accomplished, specifically because of all of the political posturing from our “leadership”.  And in all fairness, within the first several days of the most intense part of the pandemic so far, I witnessed some of the most partisan federal and state politicians as they began to stop posturing and seemingly do what they could to begin to get emergency things done.  Even Trump, Schumer, Inhan Omar began to use far less mic time to push their agendas and just started attempted to push some things through.  The first several times that I heard each of them speak, there was far less time for making political points and they were putting out sound information and being fair and realistic.  Now to be fair, there were a few knuckle heads that couldn’t stop showing their true colors.  These people need to be pointed out, shamed and voted out of office once and for all because they are dangerous animals.  I saw such partisanship and political games that were literally playing with people’s lives out of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were some of the absolute most egregious offenders.  

Again, the church had this same reaction as well.  Most church leaders that are even some of the top political problems on a regular basis, came together, made sense and got much better information out, using far less mic time to hammer their pet doctrines and political points.  And, just like in the political realm, the were those church leaders that couldn’t help themselves but to use even these desperate times to garner power and pound their pet points.  If you know of such, you would be foolish to not remove yourself from propping them up once and for good.

Now, it also goes both ways here.  If you take this opportunity to trash a leader that is under great duress from such a horrible predicament, you are the shallow selfish one.  I watch, talked to, prayed with many great men and women of God over the last many days as we struggled with what to do about lots of elements of daily life.  Do we have church, change church, continue outreach, change outreach, keep the businesses open, spend the money that we have been saving, etc.  I criticize no man for making the hard choices.  Sometimes there just isn’t a known right answer.  We do the best that we can and desperately need God for the rest. 

Now, to finally answer a little better about where have I been and what have I been doing.  I have spent the last ALMOST 25 years of my life living, learning, studying, trying, perfecting (as best we can) church and ministry techniques.  It is what HMA exists for.  We work with ministries that are excellent at it and then pass it down to those who want to do better at it.  Much of what we have created, Churches, ministry outreaches, missions works, funding platforms and booklets and starter packages have been created in house.  Rather than trying to find things somewhere else in the world, we just went back to the source.  The Bible.  And re-built things from the ground up. 

I say all of this because this is what we do, we work at building ministry programs and sharing them with others, etc.  When times are fine, we work at expanding the churches ability to do more and do it more biblically.  We have become ministry innovators and ministry funding entrepreneurs and Christian philanthropists, literally at our own expense.  But it is working!  As this pandemic hit, dozens of ministries that we have worked with, partnered with and affiliated with over the last 15 years or more swung into action.  (Almost 100 of them that I have been in contact with in the last 10 to 12 days)  They were already ready.  They were already active.  And they were already Biblical.  Only God knows how much more help people are getting now than they would have if The Lord wouldn’t have helped us work with so many great people over the last many years. 

Also, because it was an emergency and the largest one that we have ever been involved in, I made the decision early, with much prayer and duress, (blame me and me alone if it proves to be wrong)  To let the HMA Ministries and those connected with us, do their work.  Let the last decade plus pay for itself.  These are grown men and women that run homes, businesses, churches and non-profits.  They do not need my thumb on them.  They need to see me doing the right thing.  We have talked the talk all of these years, now let’s see if we can walk the walk.  I decided to try to go bigger and do more with larger entities and see what I can learn from all of this to be able to pass down more information to the rest of our works as time goes on.  

I believe it is working.  Our ministries responded all over this country almost simultaneously.  Services continued to be live streamed and even larger crowds were garnered than usual.  Calm, peace and faith were spread.  Our feeding programs ramped up and fed many many more than usual.  Nursing home services, jail services, kids programs, all were re-vamped and re-tooled for bigger and bitter impact.  The homeless were  checked on and cared for the pregnant and at risk were visited and counselled.  Ladies sewed masks, money was strategically spent and the gospel continues to be taught in more ways than ever.  

All the while, I was able to reach out to some bigger and better established entities and learn more and help more.  I was able to be involved in securing a large sum of finances and spend in all…and then some on groups that are going into jails and calming fears and offering salvation at most critical moments.  Doing the same in drug rehabs, nursing homes and mental facilities.  I was able to work with 2 large conservative political groups to put pressure on the closing of abortion clinics and the passing of a heartbeat bill.  I was able to finish a huge project of getting our Peanut Butter and Jesus community feeding program finally offered on a global level.  It is now available anywhere in the world at  I was able to learn that our 700+ total ministry connections that we have here at HMA carries more recognition that I realized and can do bigger things, faster than I even understood.  

In the last week we have worked with multiple missionaries from a least a half dozen different countries.  Helping them to come home or stay in country and make their plans.  We have helped a couple dozen Pastors get up and running on Facebook and Youtube.  We have helped, I couldn’t tell you how many, churches to retro fit their services to fit the crisis.  We have wired money to other countries to help secure the continued function of ministries through the crisis and on and on. 

Some of the things that I am learning from all of this, #1 the church has gotten far too slack and lazy.  Even more so than I realized.  #2 Much of the church finally actually believes that the establishment, is the church of the Bible.  #3 The new testament Biblical Outreach pattern is even far more powerful than we understood it to be.  #4  We can do way way way bigger things than we have ever tried to do…as long as Christ is our pattern.  

Lastly, we WILL get past COVID-19.  We WILL come all the way back and then some.  And there WILL be something even scarier coming along at some point.  Learn through this, grow through this, get less carnal and less selfish and more spiritual and more giving through this.  And keep that growth, and build on it.  We are going to need it.