For some reason Bryan Waller wanted a tent. In a men’s meeting in September, he asked about having a revival tent set up and asking different churches to show up to preach the gospel. I loved the passion; I just didn’t know if that was the method for breakthrough we were to employ at this time. A few months later, Bryan was still in the “tent” mode and asked, “Why can’t we do a Tent of David?” referring to the one in DC that he just recently became aware of. My response was almost immediate…”I think we can.” In Acts 15 there is a phrase that sticks out about the Holy Spirit’s guidance for the early church. It is this: “It seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit.”
No time was wasted and within a few days a tent was secured and a permit from the city was granted. But why in front of the Armory in the middle of town you may ask? The Tent of David, with its focus on worship and prayer, was for the whole city and Greater Ohio Valley. We simply wanted the city and region to know that they were being prayed for. The location being so central to the life of the community also helped inspire and vision those “tending” the Presence of God in the tent.
King David set up a tent and appointed those who would worship and pray night and day as a way to welcome and honor the Presence of God. David understood that God’s favor and blessing came to his city and all of Israel as they pursued and prioritized worship...we should expect no less. For the past two years there has been 24/7 prayer and worship on the Mall in Washington, D.C. called The Tent of David. This is a model of community prayer that joins us together.
During the 168 hours of rather cool weather... amazing connections, great sacrifice, and many participants all became part of the week long Tent of David. Pastor Janet Richards and Downtown Bethel took 24 hours early in the week. House of Prayer led by Greg Meyers came and brought a worship team on several nights. Our own musicians Jen, Roi, Julie, and Jordan took worship shifts as well. Several other pastors in the area and some of their members also participated throughout the week. From children and youth to sr. adults, the tent became a concourse of prayer, worship, connections and personal ministry. We filled pages with names and other pages with prayers and we wore down a walking path around the inside of the tent. Incidentally the word “seek” in Hebrew means “to tread a place.”
In between working with Bryan to take care of logistics, like keeping the heater going, I had two main thoughts: “You are the God who turns things around” (Isa. 29:16) and breaking through the 100 year status quo of this city. I believe great breakthrough will follow. Thank you, Bryan, for supplying the vision, the tent and the propane. Thank you to over 200 attendees showing up over 350 times to host the Presence of God in the Greater Ohio Valley.
The Journey of Leadership - by Pastor Rodney
As you may well know FGC encourages Christians with strong Biblical worldviews to consider serving in places of leadership in civil government, education, business and in all the mountains of culture. To run for an office as an elected official is often a daunting and difficult task requiring courage and passion to get to the finish line. Lance Wallnau says that until we fill these influential and decision making roles in society, we will not see transformation. We may have revival, but true transformation requires the church to step up and step into key leadership positions. Cassidi Shoaf has done just that! According to Cassidi, her journey started when she was young and dreaming about being involved in community leadership but never seeing how this would materialize after starting a family. The opportunity to run for city council in Marietta was a “suddenly” that connected this distant dream to reality. With great support from friends and family, Cassidi accelerated down the path of understanding the assignment, building strategic relationships and running a campaign. Needless to say this was a family project... great job to both Cassidi and Justin. As you may already know, Cassidi won the election and will be sworn in at 9 am on January 1st, 2018. You are all invited. Congratulations and well done from all of us at FGC! This is a Kingdom assignment that will bless our city and certainly grow Cassidi’s leadership skills. She will need prayer, encouragement, wisdom, and even our attendance at city council meetings (like many of you have already been doing in Parkersburg.) The church - ekklesia - is advancing!
Grace to Endure and Holy Spirit Power to Advance By Pastor Stan Wells
II Timothy 2:12 “...if we endure with Him, we will also reign with Him.”
While the Church says, “Don’t take me anyplace I haven’t been,” the Lord directs us to continually advance [endure] in the face of these pressurized and changing times.
The Apostle Paul declared over his spiritual son: Timothy, you will fight the good fight; you will wear the victor’s crown;you will endure to the end. Let the church receive that as her own.
For us, corporately and personally to reign with the Lord, it is essential that we keep our endurance level up. The word says when our endurance level goes down, our soul struggles;when our soul struggles,our commitment level goes down, our faith level goes down, our boldness decreases, and our anxiety level goes up and doubt, worry, and fear abound.
Our Endurance level goes down when....1. We reject God’s substitute(it’s time for the church to stand up and cheer for our substitute, Jesus. 2. We lose our song (the church must go through the fire, singing) 3. We take the Holy Spirit’s position in our own life (If the Holy Spirit is not ruling in our life, we do not and cannot reign)
Our Endurance level increases when...1. We make a spiritual investment and we expect it to grow. 2. We live righteously. 3. We enjoy the Lord and one another. 4. We feed off the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to the church. 5. We live a praise-filled life.
2017 Harvest Dinner
The sanctuary was packed as we celebrated the Thanksgiving season at Freedom Gate with a delicious meal. Approximately 170 people stayed after service to help consume 5 turkeys, 50 pounds of mashed potatoes and over 20 pies. Thank you to all those that helped prepare the food, serve the food, and clean-up after we all ate the food. It was definitely a joint effort.
Young life is a club based on relationships and sharing Jesus. It is currently established at Parkersburg South High School.
Young Life's First Banquet was a success. There were about 140 in attendance to enjoy good food, good laughs, and a message about how God can use the tool of Young Life to impact adolescents in our area. The banquet was an opportunity for many folks to hear about Young Life for the first time. About $21,000 was raised, which is a great start to reaching the ministry’s budget for the year.
Bob and Judy Ball attended the banquet and were motivated by what they heard. A young lady gave her testimony of giving her life to the Lord because of YL. She was able to lead another young lady to the Lord almost immediately. WOW! Thank you, FGC, for committing to support Young Life with $50 a month. We want to see the name of Jesus spread throughout our young people in the MOV.
Why do we need ministries like Young Life? Here are just a few statistics that Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Charleston, WV posted recently.
West Virginia has the highest:
Juvenile incarceration rate in the nation
Number of kids in foster care in the nation
Drug overdose death rate in the nation
West Virginia is 4th in the nation for grandparents raising grandchildren.
We know that Jesus is the only one who can change hearts and culture, and Young Life has the opportunity to bring Jesus to these hurting children.