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Volume 20, Issue 1
Spring 2020
Foundational Moment at
Yokota Baptist Church
By Brigadier General Charles D. Bolton
As a new Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, I, and my family were sent to Yokota Airbase Japan
for our first assignment. As a young couple, Stacey and I, along with our six-year-old daughter, Haley, and three-
month-old son, Tyler, were excited and scared about this tremendous opportunity. For me, this assignment
would mean growing as an aviator, but more importantly, growing as a man, couple, and family. We decided early
on that we wanted to have a strong spiritual base for our family. Once Stacey and the kids were settled in, we set
out to find a church home.

As one can imagine, when stationed overseas, there are not many churches in the local area, and many people
attend the base chapel. We tried many churches and while I was off station on a trip, a couple from the Yokota
Baptist Church invited Haley to AWANA and she loved it. When I spoke with Stacey, she told me she thought
she had found our church. Soon after I returned from the trip, Stacey Howell and Howard Morris (two men I
had never met before and would later become longtime friends) visited our house to see if we had any questions.

The following Sunday, we visited the church and that began a 3½ year relationship that helped provide a spiritual
foundation our family needed to take us through 25+ years in the Air Force and beyond.

We immediately felt at home in the church. Pastor Nutt and Mrs. Frankie had recently taken over the church
and their dedication to military mission work really stood out to us. To this day, I continue to be amazed at how
much they gave up to serve overseas. Pastor and Mrs. Frankie moved to Japan at great personal expense but
always seemed joyful. They were passionate about serving and their self-serving nature was infectious. It drew
us in and provided the mentoring and spiritual teaching we needed.

Yokota Baptist Church quickly became our second home. Between Wednesday and Sunday services, Friday
night AWANA, Saturday work days, and other ministry events, one could either find our family at church or
home. We say “church family” a lot these days, but the men and women at Yokota Baptist Church really were our
second family. Being so active in the church, we helped each other with church events at work and at home. To
this day, we remain close with many families we grew up with while there. We relied on each other with Pastor
and Mrs. Frankie leading us along the way.

Rev. Bryan Baggett, Director/Editor
Rev. Steve Nutt, Assistant Editor
Dr. Jeff Alverson,
Int’l Representative of Military Missions
Dr. James Kennard,
ARM – Military Ministries
As new Christians and a new family, we were provided
the spiritual foundation that carries us through to this
day. Stacey, Haley, and I were baptized in the church—
in the new baptismal the church bought after the Nutts
arrived. It was nothing more than a big bathtub that
had to be heated up each time it was used. We reached
it by going through the nursery. As one can imagine,
things are very simple and practical in Japan and we
had to improvise for almost everything. We were very
fortunate to live in that environment where we chose to
immerse ourselves in everything the church did in order to make our personal lives, and that of our family, the
best it could be.

Pastor Nutt’s preaching was so genuine and filled with truth. My Bible is filled with notes from 3+ years of his
teaching. I will never forget things such as Pastor not taking an offering, leaving it to the members to give as they
saw fit and to leave it in the “Treasure Chest” he had at the front and back of the church. I also remember Pastor
Nutt’s life verse, Proverbs 4:23, and the way he always reminded us that what we have in our hearts is what leads
and keeps us on the straight and narrow path.