State of the Church Report!

“BEARING FRUIT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!”
March 11, 2007

Chi-chi's Baptism

Great news from the Campus Ministry! Yinet Montesino (third from left), a freshman at Syracuse University, was baptized on Sunday, March 11! She shared a very moving poem at her baptism about her gratitude for being united with Christ that had many in tears! She is pictured here with Patrique Smellie, Danielle LaRose, and Renail Richards. Please click here to read ChiChi’s poetic testimony.

Chi-chi's Baptism

Great news from the Marrieds Ministry! Dayami Hill (seated) was officially restored to the church on Sunday, March 11th! Her husband, Tony, was baptized into Christ on February 4th! Her gratitude overflowed for the relationships of the Kingdom and the miracle of seeing her husband become a disciple! To God be the Glory!

“I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned…This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”– John 15:1-2,5-6,8

It is an exciting time to be part of God’s movement to win the world for Him in our generation! The scripture above always reminds us that those who decide to be part of the vine of Jesus will be cut in one way or another…either spiritually “cut off” from him or pruned in order to be even more fruitful! If a gardener does not cut off the branches in a vine that don’t bear fruit, they grow longer, sucking the nourishment from the vine until it dies. These branches are actually called “suckers”, as they suck the fruit-bearing energy right out of the plant. Relating Jesus’ analogy to the church today is quite simple. Jesus is the vine; the church is body of Christ. (Colossians 1:18) Baptized disciples of Jesus become members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13); branches on the vine, as Jesus calls his disciples. As tomato plants and grape vines are used to bear fruit, and not just sprout beautiful leaves, so we as disciples must also fulfill our purpose. Jesus has commanded us to join him in this noble task by giving us the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:18-20) Those who make Jesus Lord of their lives, repent of their sin, and carry out His work of winning souls bear fruit for His glory.

However, just like a tomato plant, sometimes suckers start to grow on Jesus’ vine. They don’t produce anything, and they suck the fruit-bearing energy right out of the church. Sometimes these are very gifted people, and could become beautiful, flourishing branches…but they produce no fruit for God. The above Scripture makes it very clear that the purpose of the vine and the branches is to produce fruit and to glorify God. While it is wonderful to be “gifted” in the world’s eyes by doing many “permissible” things, we must obey God in order to do what is truly “constructive”, seeking not only our own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24) What happens to the sucker that produces no fruit? God pinches off the suckers and tosses them aside. The branches that do bear fruit must also endure being pruned in order to become more effective in producing fruit. As disciples of Christ, we must look at every trial in life as an opportunity to grow and bring glory to God. We must bear fruit both in our character (Galatians 5:22-23) and allow God to work through us in making new disciples to bring Him glory! (2 Corinthians 4:13-15) We, the leadership of the Central New York Church of Christ, believe that God has used the events of the past year to prune and strengthen His branches, His church in Central New York. This is to God’s glory, as more and more people are being won for Christ, and disciples are being strengthened and encouraged to remain true to the faith! (Acts 14:21-22) In order to appreciate all that God has done, let’s take a journey from the present to the recent past, as we examine how God has worked to test and approve our faith to be genuine as we prepare our hearts for the future! (1 Peter 1:6-7)

EVIDENCE OF THE GRACE OF GOD!

“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” – Acts 11:21-23

As we began the New Year, the 68 sold-out disciples of the Central New York church set our hearts on a goal to trust and rely on God’s power as we try to win as many souls as possible in a month! (1 Corinthians 9:19) God alone is to be praised for the fruit of our recent Harvest Month! In 30 days (January 28th to February 28th), 6 disciples were baptized into Christ and 1 brother was restored! They are strong and faithful examples of the power of God! From the Married’s, Single’s, Teen and Campus ministries, people have been confessing that “Jesus is Lord!” To God be the Glory!

Sam's Baptism
Starting on January 28th, Sam Phelps (center in white), husband of recently baptized Sue Phelps, was baptized into Christ! I remember Sam coming to church for the first time during the summer of last year stating that he was just “checking it out” because of his wife Sue. Sue was recently baptized on New Year’s Eve! Sam’s growth and repentance over the past months have been inspiring, and he was so happy to be united with Christ that he sang “I’ve Been Redeemed” while still standing in the baptistery! Pictured with him are Charles Anderson, Ronneil Herron, Kevin Burns, his wife Sue, and Bob Thomas who studied with him.

Maoti's Baptism
Maoti Gborkorquellie (fourth from left) is a campus student at Onondaga Community College and is poised to take the campus by storm for God! At his baptism he shared about how surrendering all things to God was his biggest obstacle, but he is overjoyed at the chance to receive God’s grace and share about it with others! Maoti is also a talented thespian, recently starring in a sold-out Disney production, “High School Musical”! He was baptized into Christ on Wednesday, January 31st! Pictured with him are Matt Moran, Andrew Smellie, Joe Lentini, Scott Buzzell, Pat Warner and Cassel Spence who studied with him.

Juanita's Baptism
Juanita Oietku (center with flowers) is the fruit of the “Sunshine Girls”, representing the mature single sisters of our church! The sisters shared about how her love for the Word enabled her to disregard the false doctrine she had been taught for years, and how she rejoiced in knowing the truth! With a grateful heart she was baptized into Christ on Sunday, February 4th! Pictured with her (from back row) are Lucy Vasquez, Pam O’Donnell, Cornelia Adams and Sharon Groman who studied with her.

Tony's Baptism
Tony Hill (center right) is an Assistant Coach of the Bryant & Stratton College Soccer Team and is known for regularly bringing 7-8 students to service! He had been attending the CNY church for years, but had not fully surrendered his heart because of his religious past. At his baptism he shared how he had been deceived by the religiosity of the world for 30 years, and was grateful to discover how to be a true disciple of Jesus by dying to the sin in his life! With many tears of joy he was baptized into Christ on Sunday, February 4th! Pictured with him are Rod Carter, Andrew Smellie and Ronneil Herron who studied with him.

Rich's Restoration
Richard Kim (center right) shared a heartfelt testimony with the church as he was restored to Christ and officially restored to His church on Sunday, February 4th. He shared about how his selfishness and a lack of hatred for his sin caused him to leave, yet he appreciated the brothers who loved him and did not give up on him. His heart of repentance and servitude since coming back to the Kingdom has been a great encouragement to all! Pictured with him are Joe Lentini, Rod Carter and Gary Franke who studied with him.

Erica's Baptism
On Sunday, February 11, Erica Felder (second from left), a junior at Jamesville-Dewitt High School, was baptized into Christ! Erica was invited to church by her boyfriend at the time, Maoti Gborkorquellie, who was previously baptized into Christ on January 31st! Erica is a talented singer and has starring roles in her high school musicals. Despite persecution, Erica has been faithful and uncompromising in her convictions, and is already sharing powerfully in bible studies with her friends! She has great dreams for the teen ministry, and is inspired to see it grow! Pictured with her are Colleen MacKay, Tina Henshaw, and Patrique Smellie who studied the Bible with her.

James' Baptism
On Sunday, February 25, James Metts (second from right) was baptized into Christ! James is a welcome addition to the single-parent ministry as the father of his 5 year-old son, Naszeik! James was invited to church by our recently restored brother, Rich Kim! At his baptism, James shared about how studying the Bible has given his life purpose, and how his conversion offers hope to the world that anyone, despite their past, can change and be used by God. It was incredible to see those who were touched by his testimony. One recently baptized brother, Sam Phelps, was in tears as James shared. With tears running down his cheeks and hands clapping in joy, he stated, “It is great to see a man like that get baptized.” No matter how sinful we have been in the past, we all have the opportunity for a new life by repenting of our sins and being baptized into Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Pictured with James are Andrew Smellie, Cassel Spence, Rod Carter and Rich Kim who studied with him.

In addition to all of these incredible miracles, God has raised up more men and women to serve in strengthening the church! (1 Timothy 2:2). Mike and Pam O’Donnell have been pillars of faith and service as they shepherd our Married couples; Bob & Mary Thomas have been incredible examples of hospitality and nurturing for the whole church; Drew Henshaw has served faithfully as our Financial Administrator, and he and his wife Tina are pouring their hearts into our Teen Ministry; Kirk and Judy Lipton have brought their organizational skills to make our Children’s Ministry more effective and inspiring; our campus ministry intern, Pat Warner, has grown to be a great example of faith and conviction as well as a strong converter of souls; Joe Lentini has been a great example of faith and servitude, not only on campus, but also as our building manager; Rod Carter has done a great job of nurturing the hearts of the Singles ministry as they have grown in number, and is soon to be married to Sarah Perry on March 31st; Sharon Groman and Cornelia Adams have poured out their hearts for the Sunshine Girls (Mature Singles Ministry); and God has worked to refine the faith of our dear brothers Mike O’Donnell and Charles Anderson, who are both fighting cancer. Mike O’Donnell has been a pillar of service and leadership in CNY for years, and continues to do so as he recovers from colon surgery. Charles’ faith despite battling prostate cancer was featured in the Syracuse Post Standard through the efforts of our brother Pedro Ramirez, and he has become an honorary spokesman for several organizations, including Relay for Life. God has recently blessed the faith of Chris and Kerri-Sue Adams as they plan to move to Syracuse to be trained for the full-time ministry. By God’s power they were able to sell their home in Utica after being on the market for 1 day! Our services have been full of faith and zeal, and more and more people are eager to study the Bible and so be saved! In order to truly appreciate these miracles we must first look at the work that went into “planting” seeds of righteousness that grew in the hearts of the church over the past year. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7) Seeing disciples who have been strengthened and empowered to bring glory to God has refreshed our hearts! In order to understand our history, we must first understand the heart of conviction in the face of compromise.

PERSECUTION FOR LIVING A GODLY LIFE

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life In Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” – 2 Timothy 3:12

In 2006, God has blessed us in ways that we could never expect, and changed our plans in ways we could never imagine. Due to our distress at the present situation of our fellowship of churches throughout the world, God has blessed our sacrifice and vision as we sent out a mission team, led by Chris and Theresa Broom, to help plant the Chicago International Christian Church. On May 7th, our service was bittersweet as we parted (only in proximity, not in relationship!) with 17 members of our family as they sacrificed friendships, jobs, and pensions to seek and save the lost of the Chicago area. (See article “Blown into the Windy City” – www.chicagoicc.org) As a result, my wife and I were appointed to the honor and privilege of becoming the leaders for the Central New York church. The next Sunday we saw an awesome sister, Daisy Stevenson, a student at Cornell University, baptized into Christ! Sadly, not everyone was pleased that the Chicago mission team was sent, or pleased with the overall direction of the church in regards to our fellowship with the former leader of the International Churches of Christ, Kip McKean. This was due to the history of our churches worldwide in the past 5 years.

Back in 2000, our worldwide movement of churches (International Churches of Christ – ICOC) had reached every city in the world with a population of 100,000, resulting in 400 churches in 171 nations, with a combined Sunday attendance of 200,000 disciples! However in November 2002, at the Long Beach Unity Meeting in California, the World Sector Leaders of our worldwide movement of churches were forced to resign. As a result of this change, the unbiblical notion of church autonomy in local congregations and a relinquishing of the commitment of discipling were allowed. No longer were there overseeing evangelists to unify groups of churches. (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; Titus 1:5) This resulted in the visionary central leadership of the ICOC being dissolved. In February 2003, London evangelist Henry Kriete wrote a controversial letter concerning sin and his perceptions of issues in the church. Without a central leadership to respond to and clarify these accusations, mistrust, fear, and doubt took over. Discipling for the most part was abandoned, lukewarmness spread like gangrene, and thousands of disciples either fell away from God or walked away from the church. As a result of many deciding to not hold to the word of God, our movement had fallen with a great crash.

In Central New York, we were saved for the most part from the many shocking reports of incidents that were occurring throughout our fellowship, but we were not immune to the Devil’s schemes. In 2003, Bible Talks and discipling were temporarily suspended amongst the Married disciples in the CNY church for the sake of helping some disciples to sort through any hurt and confusion from the past. Our Campus and Teen Ministries, however, continued to be fruitful through discipling and Bible Talks. Chris Broom led the church humbly and faithfully during this time as he attempted to guide disciples through any hurt or confusion they had. Despite his repeated apologies for mistakes made in our discipling methodology in the past, certain disciples would not accept his call back to the standard of Jesus, and began to rebel against the leadership. A group began to form within the church that became very negative about the church’s methodology of discipling, despite clear biblical directives (Matthew 28:20; Colossians 1:28; Romans 15:14). Jesus’ call to lay down our lives for each other and the methodology of discipling and Bible talks (small groups – Exodus 18) are meant to help disciples meet this need for biblical accountability! Sadly, this negative yeast began to spread through the church, and even good-hearted disciples began to be led astray and deceived by their teaching.

Throughout this time, Chris & Theresa reached out to several prominent leaders in our fellowship, including Wyndham Shaw (Boston, MA), Sam Powell (New York, NY), Jim Brown (Westchester, NY), Steve Johnson (New York – at that time), Bob Gempel (Philadelphia, PA) and Ron Drabot (Charlotte, NC) and Scott Green (Seattle,WA). (See “Blown into the Windy City”) Despite these valuable relationships, there was no specific plan for revival. Finally in 2004, we (Brooms and Smellies) attended the Portland Missions Jubilee, and we were inspired and challenged by the spirituality of the Portland Church, now led by Kip McKean. Kip simply called everyone in the church to be totally committed to Jesus, His Church, and His mission, or in other words, to be “sold-out” disciples for Jesus. (Matthew 13:44-45; Luke 14:33) After attending another Jubilee in 2005 and their Winter Workshops in 2006, Chris and Theresa were able to receive valuable advice in calling the church to repentance during this time of long-suffering. Through the advice of Kip and Bob Bertalot, now an elder in the Portland Church, we decided to no longer allow uncommitted and divisive people to ruin the entire fellowship, but instead follow the Biblical command to “warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak”. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) As Hebrews 12:15 states, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” After heart-felt but serious talks with several of the couples involved, they chose to leave our fellowship. Sadly, their yeast had spread so much that we had a “church within a church”. Most hurtful to us was the loss of other naïve disciples who were deceived by their slander and left as well. Nevertheless, as a leadership we are accountable before God to call those who are in sin to repent, so that those who are living righteous lives will not be discouraged at the double standard and their hypocrisy. (Ezekiel 13:22-23)

Those who left chose to make an issue of Kip McKean’s “disfellowshipment” by other brothers in the former ICOC churches as a point of contention. This issue was due to Kip’s conviction and call for hurting disciples to move out and be rescued from lukewarm and dying churches if the leadership is unwilling to be persuaded to hold to the biblical standards of life and doctrine, which is biblically substantiated. Ezekiel 34 states clearly that God himself will rescue those who have been spiritually scattered by false shepherds, and Micah 4:6-8 refers to a remnant being assembled and restored by God. It is ironic to see that other prominent evangelists in the former ICOC have also stated this conviction, yet publicly condemn Kip for saying so. It is my prayer that we all may be able to “discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11

In the summer of 2006, a prominent evangelist from the New York City church met with the break-off group, without speaking to me or any of the leadership concerning the spiritual welfare of the group. Naturally, this action surprised me, as I considered him to be a friend and supporter of the work in CNY. After finding out about his intentions from members who still had friendships with those in the house church, I was able to reach him while he was in town and asked to meet with him in order to discuss how he could help them. He informed me that he did not know anything about their spiritual welfare. Instead, he stated that “I only knew that they did not want to be unified with Kip.” He also stated that the Unity Proposal, an attempt to unify the former ICOC churches, was “garbage”. This implied to me that he was aware that a simple letter would not unify autonomous churches unless they were called to repentance and God’s standard through the use of overseeing evangelists, of which I agreed. He acknowledged and apologized for his clear disrespect for my authority, but stated that he was only concerned with meeting with those who shared his negative opinions concerning Kip McKean.

Interestingly, the leaders of the Boston and New York City churches have taught it is “sin” to start a new congregation where there is an existing church of disciples, though we are of the conviction it is fine, as long as the standards of correct “life and doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:16) are upheld, and unrepentant sin is challenged (2 Timothy 4:2-4). The hypocrisy of a prominent leader from the NYC church meeting with the break-off group was alarming, yet sadly, not surprising, as prominent elder from Boston has recently met with this group. Despite the slander of many in the break-off group, now the Syracuse Regional Church of Christ, we forgive them and pray for their personal righteousness, as we also continue to “work out (our) own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Division in God’s church is regrettable, but not surprising, as Jesus “did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34-39) Persecution from former members and friends always hits home, but we cannot allow sentimentality for family or friends to compromise our holding to God’s Word. (Matthew 10:34-39)

Patrique and I had the opportunity to hear similar first-hand reports of hypocrisy, lukewarmness and false teaching from other churches around the world when we traveled to Portland, Oregon in late April 2006. The Portland Church, led by Kip McKean at the time, had become a bright light among the discipling churches in America (Matthew 5:14; 7:16) for disciples wanting to escape from dying and lukewarm churches who were not holding to the standard of the Word. (Revelation 3:14-19) My idealist view of our former movement was destroyed when I heard the news from brothers and sisters from across the nation. Evangelists were being fired for holding people to the standard; non-Christian dating and rampant sin being unchecked by the leadership; discipling and Bible talks being abolished in the name of “freedom”; and evangelizing the world in our generation was being called “impossible”. However the example of the Portland Church inspired us as part of a new movement to call disciples back to the standard of the Bible. Interestingly, it was this conviction of “searching for the lost and bring back the strays” (Ezekiel 34:11-16) that has been misinterpreted by other prominent evangelists as “divisive”. I thank God that Kip and our family in Portland inspired us to not to be deceived by Satan’s attack! Thank God that his remnant of disciples stayed faithful through a time of tribulation! This experience reminded me of 2 Timothy 4:2-4, where Paul charges Timothy to preach the Word “in season and out of season” (when people like it and when people don’t!) “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Holding to the uncompromising standards of God will never easy. However, we can take courage that our faith will be refined and proved genuine when we go through trials to guard it! (1 Peter 1:6-7)

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE ON SOLID ROCK!

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27

The distinctiveness of this new movement among the Portland family of churches is the agreement to call each member to be “sold-out” for Christ – willing to go anywhere, do anything and give up “everything” (Luke 14:33) for Jesus, His church and His mission – and to co-operate with each other in our dream to evangelize the world in this generation. This renewed call back to Jesus’ standards of discipleship includes churches being composed of only sold-out disciples; every disciple being called to be evangelistic; every disciple having a one-on-one discipling relationship; every disciple being involved in an evangelistic small group – Bible Talk; baptizing only disciples; dating and marrying only disciples; overseeing evangelists serving as ligaments for a unified brotherhood; a strong Women’s Ministry; and the compelling vision to make disciples of all nations. While we pray for God’s “universal church” (committed, baptized disciples everywhere), we are determined to build God’s “visible church” with only sold-out disciples who will multiply and evangelize their city and nation. We pray that we will continue to not just hear Jesus’ words and build a flimsy wall (Ezekiel 13:10-11) but rather have the conviction to put them into practice as we build on the rock of Jesus! (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Since visiting Chicago in January 2007, we see God working powerfully as they have had 18 baptisms, 4 restorations, 2 move-ins and only 3 fall away from God since their Inaugural Service in July! They have gone from 29 to 50 sold-out disciples! Patrique and I thank God for our relationship with Chris and Theresa and for their spiritual maturity and leadership. The unity of life and doctrine in our churches is refreshing to the soul! Their training has allowed us to be able to “guard what has been entrusted to (our) care” (1 Timothy 6:20-21) in the face of transition and turmoil. The reality of these events is that God’s church in Central New York took a major pruning in order to become more fruitful. God must have great faith in us! The loss of 41 members (17 for the Chicago Mission Team) took our membership down from 110 to 69, along with the reality of a decrease in morale and questions about the house church; financial hits; loss of leadership and guidance; years of ministerial experience with the Brooms; and years of wisdom and service through the Parlour and Boea families. Without spiritual eyes, and a reliance on our awesome God, those less faithful might say that things were looking kind of bleak. But God, who is a God of ever-increasing glory, knew that great things were in store for CNY if we focused on three things:

1) Daily Maintenance – A faith to follow Jesus and die to sin daily (Luke 9:23; Job 23:12)
2) Daily Ministry – A heart to encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:12-13; Colossians 1:28)
3) Daily Mission – A focus to proclaim the gospel of Jesus daily (Acts 5:42; 19:9)

During this time of tribulation, our faith grew incredibly. We believed that God was our Shepherd and would lead us through the valleys of our circumstances! (Psalm 23) I remember my wife Patrique praying for so many baptisms that we would be overwhelmed, and at our Campus and Teen Service last October, our church had its highest attendance of 125, which we repeated at our Christmas service! It was inspiring to see God answer our prayers and reward our faith. Visitors brought visitors, and 11 campus students were present on that Campus and Teen Service! In one month, 3 of those campus visitors were baptized into Christ on the same day, a victory that had never been accomplished in the history of the CNY church! Despite the pressures of persecution and peer pressure, since May of last year our campus and teen ministry has doubled from 6 to 13 strong and faithful disciples! With faith, God can and will work powerfully.

Discipling turned our church in a radical direction of repentance. We trained and supported our bible talk leaders as they took responsibility for their groups, and had daily confession to purify our hearts. Everyone in the church has a discipling partner, as we imitated Jesus’ instruction in sending out the 72 disciples two by two into the harvest field in Luke 10:2. In addition to having a discipling partner, we followed up to make sure people were being discipled on the topics of Bible study and prayer, schedule, finances, evangelism, and purity. It took work, but with a lot of follow-up, the principle that looked great on paper was realized in action and satisfied the spiritual needs of everyone as best as possible. We called everyone, especially the leadership, to be the example and seek after advice and input, as we were determined to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep (our) spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) Discipling to become more like Jesus is a two-way street, and we wanted to obey the scripture to “See to it, brothers, that none of you have a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)

Putting our hands to the plow (Luke 9:62) without looking back at past hurts or relationships that have ended was vital to our success as well. Despite attempts to reconcile, some people simply did not want to be unified with the biblical standard of discipleship. As there is no church without sin, God has continued to prune us further, as 8 more people left after being challenged for unrepentant sin. All the while, God was preparing the foundation of His church in CNY for growth! Since the Brooms left in May through the end of 2006, by God’s power we were able to baptize 9 more souls (7 have stayed faithful) with the added blessing of a restoration and 2 disciples who moved in to be apart of our fellowship in CNY. While sin was subtracting, God was multiplying! Since the start of the New Year, we have added 7 more disciples from our Harvest Month, and with the miracle of Dayami’s restoration and Chi-Chi’s baptism this Sunday, we have grown from 68 to 77 disciples in less than 3 months! To God be the Glory!Consider how God has worked: Despite transition and dealing with the yeast of sin, from May 2006 until now God has added 17 sold-out brothers and sisters to our fellowship (15 baptisms, 3 restorations, and 2 move-ins)! Prayerfully, those who have fallen away will be restored to God soon! When you are committed to discipling and evangelism, look at what happens in less than 10 months! Even now, more people are eager to be baptized and restored as I write this message! This experience has tested our perseverance and faith in God, and He has blessed our efforts as we resisted the temptation to be distracted by the choices of others as we kept our eyes on Jesus. (Galatians 6:1) Pray for us as we continue to preach the unadulterated word of God, and to Him be all the glory as we spread His revolutionary call throughout Central New York!

Written By:

Andrew & Patrique Smellie
Evangelist and Women’s Leader

With Support of Family Group & Bible Talk Leaders:
Mike & Pam O’Donnell
Chris & Kerri-Sue Adams
Bob & Mary Thomas
Rod Carter & Sarah Perry
Drew & Tina Henshaw
Patrick Warner
Joseph Lentini
Cornelia Adams
Sharon Groman