August 9, 2017
Inspiring Music and Messages at Midwest Camp Meeting
Midwest camp meeting began with registration at the Pinecrest Camp and Conference Center in Fredericktown, Missouri, on Tuesday, August 1. The rented campground was filled to capacity, and it was good to see so many regular attendees as well as a large number of first-timers.
Bible Teachings were held Wednesday through Friday mornings with the theme of “Upcoming World Events.” On Wednesday, Charles Schleicher, pastor in Madison, Wisconsin, spoke on “The Rapture of the Church and the Great Tribulation.” On Thursday, Mark Staller, pastor in Tehachapi, California, focused on “The Millennial Reign and the Great White Throne Judgment.” The topic of the Friday teaching, given by Karen Storey, pastor in Worth, Illinois, was “Eternal Hell and Eternal Heaven.” All three services resulted in earnest prayer as the congregation was encouraged to seek the Lord to be ready for these upcoming world events.
Youth services were held in the afternoons with a large number of young people participating. Each began with a children’s special, and these included a young violin group from Worth accompanied by a young pianist, a boys’ trio from Van Buren, Arkansas, and a children’s choir. Thursday’s meeting included a humorous object lesson titled “Being a Friend of God,” given by Melissa Downey of Van Buren, Arkansas, and her daughter, Nataly.
The youth meeting sermon on Wednesday, given by Rodney Duff, also of Van Buren, was taken from Luke 13:10-17 and titled “When You Can’t Pick Yourself Up, Jesus Will Pick You Up!” Thursday’s message was given by Olulana Alofe, the group leader in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He read Genesis 5:22-24 for his text and encouraged the young people to walk with God and prepare for eternity.
In Friday’s youth service, Rebekah Ashe, the group leader in Key West, Florida, took her text from 2 Corinthians 5:17. Using the illustration of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, she brought out that when a person is saved, he becomes a completely new creature in Christ Jesus. On Sunday, Joshua Idowu, the pastor in St. Louis, Missouri, read 2 Samuel 9:1 for his text, and asked the question, “Is there someone who still needs God’s mercy and grace today?” He brought out that God had been working during this camp meeting, and many had prayed through, but God’s mercy was still available for those who needed something from Him.
Throughout the camp meeting, the music was inspirational, but a particular highlight was hearing from Norman and Pauline Burgess, of St. Louis, who were the only attendees who have been to every Midwest camp meeting. They sang “When I Prayed Through” and “He Thought I Was Worth Calvary.”
Other musical highlights from the week included the men’s choir on Wednesday singing “Let the Fire Fall,” followed by Jon Wolf of St. Louis singing “He’s Still on Time.” During the Thursday youth service, Rebekah Reid, from Roseburg, Oregon, sang “If You Died Tonight.” On Thursday evening, a ladies’ choir encircled the sanctuary and sang “You Brought Us Out,” and prior to the sermon, Kim Lewis, from Mobile, Alabama, sang “Give Yourself to Jesus.” The Friday morning Bible teaching began with a beautiful violin duet by Bhukie Idowu and Jossy Adenuga of St. Louis, and before the teaching, Kerby Thompson, pastor in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and his wife, Shannon, sang “Is Your Name Written in the Book of Life?” On Friday evening, Deloris Oliver and Whitney Wilkins inspired the congregation with their rendition of “O How I Love Jesus,” and for the last special, Lavon Brown, from Pensacola, Florida, sang “The Midnight Cry.” During the Saturday evening service, which featured Bluegrass style music, Joel McCarville, from Van Buren, sang “Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me.”
The Sunday services included beautiful music as well. The morning meeting began with the orchestra playing “O How He Loves You and Me” and “Since I Have Been Redeemed,” followed by a large combined choir singing “God Is Able.” Before the sermon, Tony Ademuyiwa, from Nigeria, sang “It Will Be Worth It All.” During the youth service, a mixed ensemble from St. Louis sang “Just a Little Talk with Jesus,” and Patti Ledford, from Van Buren, sang “I Can Trust Jesus,” with guitar accompaniment. In the evening, a Nigerian choir sang “The Lord Is Good” in English and four different Nigerian languages. Also, Tom and Victoria Udo, from Tehachapi, sang “Seeking for Me,” and for the last special, Sister Bhukie sang “It Is No Secret.”
The evening evangelistic services were motivating, with enthusiastic singing, victorious testimonies, and rousing sermons, followed by wonderful prayer meetings. On Wednesday, Solomon Akinduro, of Memphis, Tennessee, preached from Matthew 25 about the ten virgins, emphasizing the importance of being ready for Jesus’ return. Brother Kerby preached on Thursday, taking his text from Exodus 17:8-13, and he exhorted the congregation to “hold up the hands” of their leaders, ministers, and church workers, as well as those who need encouragement. On Friday, Bob Downey, Director of North America Work, read Psalm 25:4-5, and urged everyone to seek God’s will in their future plans and goals. Jeff Downey, pastor in Van Buren, read Revelation 2:8-10 for his text on Saturday, encouraging the congregation to remain faithful to God, and be an example to those who come behind them. On Sunday morning, James Timbilla, pastor in Wharton, New Jersey, read Revelation 3:11, and exhorted everyone to “hold fast” to the teachings heard during this camp meeting, and to be steadfast in their Christian walks until Jesus comes. In the concluding sermon, Brother Tony told the congregation that God’s blessings are still available, and he encouraged them to come to the altar and receive what God has for them.
A water baptismal service was held at the swimming pool on Saturday morning. It began with instrumental music in the Bluegrass style. After Boniface Osunkwo, from Worth, gave a brief message, thirteen candidates were water baptized.
Saturday afternoon was set aside as free time, giving an opportunity for all the young people to expend some energy swimming at the pool, enjoying the newly installed slide at the lake, playing miniature golf, or doing other activities.
On Monday morning, as everyone gathered for breakfast and to say their goodbyes, all agreed that it had been a wonderful camp meeting with many victories won. Throughout the services, many had stood to their feet to proclaim they had been saved, sanctified, or filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit during the week. Our prayer is that they will continue to grow in their walks with God in their home churches.
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