Last fall 45 Iowa-Missouri churches participated in a conference-wide evangelistic campaign that resulted in over 100 people joining the Adventist Church by baptism or profession of faith.
The campaign, a partnership between the conference and North American Division media ministry Voice of Prophecy, involved a month-long prophecy series developed by VOP but custom-tailored to meet local needs at each of the participating churches. Pastors, elders and lay members presented on a variety of topics, moving through the books of Daniel and Revelation.
“Having the meetings spread out across the conference as opposed to one large, centralized event provides a wonderful opportunity for pastors and their members to be engaged in ministry together,” said conference executive secretary Robert Wagley. “It builds a spirit of teamwork and an atmosphere of cooperation and support amongst the pastors as well.”
Many members who attended said the meetings reaffirmed their beliefs or reenergized them for outreach. Others had been skeptical about the potential success of a traditional prophecy seminar but were encouraged by the community attendance and resulting new memberships at their churches. Visitors at various locations were impressed with the depth of knowledge presented, stating they’d never learned so much about Bible prophecy before.
Two attendees at the Columbia, Missouri meetings were former members who had each been away from the church for nearly 30 years. They both came as a result of flyers they received in the mail and were both rebaptized at the conclusion of the series. “It’s good to be home,” one of them said.
During the meetings at Ankeny, Iowa, one of the attendees approached the pastor requesting baptism but felt conflicted because of a smoking habit. “I don’t want to be baptized until I’m free from smoking,” she said. At the conclusion of the meetings, she felt confident in setting a date. She hasn’t smoked since, and a family member of hers who also wants to quit smoking is now interested in coming to church.
An attendee at the Clinton, Missouri location had studied with the pastor eight years prior when they both lived in Independence. She saw the pastor at the post office one day, and he invited her to the church. Three weeks later she received a flyer in the mail for the meetings and decided to attend. She is now in further study with the pastor.
In Cedar Rapids, where a slightly different prophecy series was presented, a couple attended and were each able to quit drinking and smoking. Both have been baptized. At the same location, a home visit following a request for baptism resulted in a refugee family of four giving their hearts to the Lord.
Follow-up meetings and Bible studies are currently underway at many of the churches, involving more than 120 people who attended the series who have not yet been baptized. A partnership with It Is Written for a major event in the Kansas City metro in 2018 is also underway, involving the Central States, Iowa-Missouri, and Kansas-Nebraska conferences.