July 2015 Newsletter
Firewall Project – Africa
The Church of God, together with Men and Women of Action, has taken on an initiative to raise a Firewall of God’s Spirit and grace against the aggressive advance of Islam in Africa, focused initially upon the countries stretching from Ethiopia West to Senegal, and South to Mozambique. This initiative, birthed by the Holy Spirit in the heart of Don Johnson in Tennessee, beautifully corresponds to the vision projected by the Africa Council at its meeting on October of 2012.
The African Council stated: “We stand ready to rally our leaders and churches to share in the implementation of this vision . . . further, we commit ourselves to share in the cost of implementing this vision the best of our abilities and to undergird the project with our persistent attention, communication and prayers.”
This is a timely challenge! The strategy is fourfold:
- Plant New Churches
- Strengthen Existing Churches
- Equip Laymen for Service and
- Develop More Leaders.
The tools to accomplish this strategy include:
- Serve with compassion in Pentecostal power
- Care for children, reach out to women
- Help the poor, provide wells of clean water
- Proclaim the truth, teach the Word
- Pray, Fast, Give and Go
One part of the vision, church planting, includes a goal of over 1000 church plants between 2014 and 2015. This goal is well on its way to being accomplished! Please be in prayer for this bold initiative as the Gospel is spread to the ends of the earth!
Wilson Renaissance Project
We believe in helping people at their greatest place of need. One of the ways we are currently doing this is through the Wilson Renaissance Project. We are partnering with Rev. Michael Bell, pastor of St. John AME Zion Church, who believes Wilson residents can improve the lives of the homeless population and bring downtown Wilson back to its glory days. This project initially involves the old Terminal Drug Store building, which has now become the Wilson Renaissance Complex.
This complex is being revitalized into a transitional home for those looking to get out of homelessness and back on their feet. It is not meant to be a homeless shelter in the traditional sense, but a place designed to pull people away from homelessness and have them transition to their own apartment or to their own living arrangements. The home will have criteria in place for residents to meet, and also provide training in various areas including job training and financial literacy classes. There are several two bedroom suites for families, and also individual rooms available.
The focus is to care for the whole individual to move from dependency to independence. Farmington Heights has made an ongoing commitment to support this project; we have sponsored one of the suites, which will have our name on it and be available to us if we have those who would benefit from referral. The entire project will cost over $750,000 as the building is remodeled and the program continues to be implemented.
We are just one of many in our community who is rallying around this vision to see our community receive the help it needs. When Jesus walked here on earth, much of his ministry involved meeting physical needs of the people, and it opened doors for their spiritual needs to be met as well. We believe the same doors will open for us as we meet the needs of our community.
The long term plans for the Wilson Renaissance Project include multiple buildings and multiple phases of development. Below is a rendering of the final goal for the project. For more information, go to stjohncdcwilson.org
Maury Prison Ministry Update
We have a continued focus on ministering to those who have been incarcerated. We are in the process of holding Saturday night meetings every other month at the Maury Prison for Women. We minister in song, skit and Word, showing and teaching practical ways to live for God in today’s world. Our desire is to open this ministry up to more volunteers who share in this passion. We offer open enrollment several times throughout the year, including a special Christmas outreach. Please contact Robin Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining this ministry team.
Save the Date
We have moved our upcoming missions weekend to Saturday & Sunday, September 19 & 20. We will have a missions banquet the evening of Saturday, September 19 with special guest Richard Dial. This has become a must attend part of our missions effort as we enhance awareness and involvement in missions as a church; you won’t want to miss this evening. Then on Sunday, September 20, we will continue our celebration of what God is doing here in Wilson and around the world as people respond to the call to go and make disciples of all the nations. God is doing something great! Will you be a part of that movement? More information to come!