Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Each year I am privileged to attend each of our five Fellowship Regional Conferences. I have attended four with one more to go in “la belle province”. I plan to send a brief report on our Regional conferences later in June… stay tuned!
I want to share a story I heard while enjoying our Prairies Regional Conference. This is a tight-knit group of churches where many of the leaders know one another. Time is taken to share ministry stories of effectiveness and blessing. One such story particularly touches my heart. A church, resuscitated from near death just four years ago, is now making a big impact in Mormon country. I asked Pastor Al Litchfield of our Raymond Baptist Church to share it with you in his own words:
God is At Work in Raymond, Alberta
Raymond Alberta is a community of around 4,000 folks about 30 minutes southeast from Lethbridge. We are situated in an area that is known as The Mormon Trail. This region was settled by Mormons and continues to be the home of a great number of adherents to that denomination.
Just over four years ago, Raymond Baptist Church called me to pastor the church here. At the time, attendance had declined to the point that they were ready to close the doors. Since then, God has blessed us as we have grown to around 60 in worship each week.
About two years ago, we were led of God to build an addition on our church as our children (about eight at the time) were meeting in the foyer of our building. With the assistance of Fellowship Prairies Foundation and Baptist Builders, we now have an additional three classrooms. We are currently ministering to about 25-35 children each week.
Over the past several years, we have witnessed an increased interest and involvement by our Mormon neighbours. Our Ladies Fellowship, which meets about once a quarter, has seen attendance grow steadily to around 50 to 60, including a number of whom would call themselves Mormons. Our Vacation Bible School has grown from 25 three years ago to over 80 last year. Many of these children are from Mormon families. Our Christmas Shoebox campaign last year packed over 1,000 boxes. Again, we experienced a number from the Mormon community working alongside us through contributions and in packing boxes.
At a recent community think-tank meeting which was discussing the strengths of Raymond, one of the members, who is a strong Mormon, stated that one of the strengths of our community was Raymond Baptist Church for our involvement and contribution to the well-being of our town.
I say all that not to boast about us, but to share that God is at work in reaching out to the Mormon community here in our area. Over the last several years, and as a result of our information age, there has been an increasing confusion and uncertainty among many who were raised as Mormons. Much of what they had been taught is being questioned. In their struggles, many are turning to God’s Word.
I strongly believe over the next number of years there will be a spiritual awakening take place in the Mormon denomination similar to what took place in the World-Wide Church of God a number of years ago. It is also my belief that God has placed Raymond Baptist Church here on purpose to be able to minister to those seeking the truths of God’s Word as well as a place where they can grow in their walk with our Lord.
Please consider adding Raymond Baptist Church to your prayer lists. We covet the prayers of God’s people as we make ourselves available to those God is drawing to Himself. The task before us is great but not impossible with our God. He has granted us a wonderful opportunity and an awesome responsibility. Pray that we will be found faithful.
Let’s commit together to be praying for Pastor Al, the church family, and the many people they are seeking to impact for Christ.
Have a blessed week,