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it out. You see guys busting through snowdrifts, spending nights in the truck, whatever it takes. That’s a true lineman.” When a flood occurred north of Tipton, Dewees remembers being called in to fix a line to a house that was still dry, just not the road leading to it. So he waded in, carrying his tools over his head, while the home’s occupants scooted by in a rescue boat.


“It’s a dangerous occupation, no doubt,” said Dewees, whose brother lost an arm and a leg to an electrical accident. “Sometimes as a lineman you have to hang in there when the arks and the sparks are going. Your feet say, ‘run’ but your head says, ‘no, you can’t.’ That’s the way it is.” During their time in Tipton, the Dewees clan found kinship with the local First Baptist Church. Dewees also found himself behind the pulpit for the first time. “At Tipton, I had an idea for a message and my pastor, Johnny Timms,


said, ‘You should preach it,’” he explained. A dozen years passed before the family headed back to Western Oklahoma.


Dewees went back to work for his dad’s company before moving to Cordell in 1991 and joining up with Kiwash Electric Cooperative, where he’s been almost 23 years. Having earned his stripes in Tipton, Dewees earned a leading role as director of operations. “He is a dedicated man personally and professionally,” said Dennis Krueger, Kiwash Electric manager. “He has a willingness to go above and beyond in his work, and he does everything to the best of his abilities.” The move offered the family many opportunities, including a few that the family man never saw coming.


A new calling During the early 1990s, the Dewees family was all about studying. The


three children were enrolled in Cordell Public Schools. Roxann attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University during the day, and Roy went at night. The couple graduated together in 1994—he with a bachelor’s in busi- ness administration and she with a bachelor’s in education. “We walked the stage together with our three kids watching,” he said. “It was an amazing moment.” After graduation Roxann began teaching at Cordell and Roy felt called to supply pulpit service. He was a teaching, preaching relief pitcher, coming out of the bullpen for pastors who needed a week off. During the week he helped keep the lights on for his part of the state. On Sundays he was helping people find the light. For years, he faithfully provided pulpit service. Then in 2004, he came to Calvary Baptist Church, which was without a full-time minister. One month of pulpit service turned into three and then he was asked to stay on full time. Knowing the requirements of both his professional and spiritual callings,


Dewees went to his co-op board of directors before accepting the post. “It was no problem,” Krueger said. “The board overwhelmingly supported


him. They thought it was a grand idea. That’s his legacy. He’s a co-op man, a minister and he does both at a high level.” For Dewees, he sees a direct link between his ministry and his co-op


family. “The Lord asks us to live compassionately and trusting him,” he said.


“Those are the same values we have as a co-op. We work together. We trust and help each other. We are a family.” Sandra Etris has played the piano and the organ for Calvary Baptist Church for more than 25 years. She was on the committee that hired Dewees. “He’s an indescribable servant,” she said of Dewees. “He is there when you need him. He is there before you even call. Anytime one of our families is in need, he’s there to lend support. He serves his church remarkably well.” For Dewees, he considers being the director of operations and pastor as equal callings. “I have the same duty as we all have—glorify Christ in everything we do,”


he said. “He happened to place me here to work with this amazing co-op and to grow and bring others to Jesus.” He finds his calling in being a light to the world and in keeping the lights


on. JANUARY 2014 7


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