by Myckal Morehouse, pastor of the Stone Tower Seventh-day Adventist Church
The vision for an evangelistic series for Stone Tower Seventh-day Adventist Church began in late summer, 2018. In 1953, Stone Tower had been built as the evangelistic center of Portland. “Evangelistic Center of Portland” was even engraved into this cornerstone set into the foundation of the church. With this in mind, our church plan was not simply an evangelistic series held once, but to re-establish Stone Tower as an evangelistic center in Portland once again. That plan would include yearly evangelistic meetings, bridge events, training for Bible Workers, fostering an atmosphere of friendship evangelism, and equipping every person with the resources they would need to embrace our returned focus on evangelism.
To kick-off our shared vision, our church decided to do an evangelistic meeting in the spring of 2019, that was bigger than anything Stone Tower had done before. The plan included coordinating a major evangelistic series with two other churches (Mt. Tabor Seventh-day Adventist Church & Lents Seventh-day Adventist Church), mailing to more than 100,000 homes in Portland, advertising through banners, yard signs, billboards, and a large 30 feet banner that would span down the side of the church. We included money to fly a team of literature evangelists (14 students) from Kentucky to canvass the area for four weeks. It also included setting up a 3 month Bible worker training school, with students from Generation of Youth for Christ and other areas. The total cost of the program was $60,000 and we immediately began fundraising.
Within a few months, we had not only raised our goal, but far exceeded it, while watching our local tithes and offerings increase. Our churches were excited! Mt. Tabor advertised for the series, and Lents setup several billboards. We were blown away, when 270 people showed up opening night, then 260 for our second night. We averaged 150 during the week and 200 on the weekends throughout the entire series. We had up to 36 children on our closing night of the series, which concluded with a
special concert from the children for all the attendee’s.
We praise the Lord for the 26 people who made a decision for baptism and joined the Church. As a result of the series, our churches are re-engaged and enthused about evangelism. God is inspiring many families to give Bible studies in their neighborhood. Several gained victory over cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana as a result of giving their lives to the Lord in this series. One young adult who came to the series as a result of seeing a billboard, has now become our social media director and is enthusiastically sharing the Adventist message!
We praise God for inspiring us back to our evangelistic roots, and the imperative of Jesus to make disciples. Our Church has our identity back and more importantly, men and women are responding to the gospel in one of the most secular places in America; Portland, Oregon.