August 21, 2019
Midwest Camp Meeting
The Apostolic Faith Midwest camp meeting was held in Fredericktown, Missouri, from July 30 to August 5. During registration on Tuesday evening, there was great anticipation as everyone greeted one another and prepared their rooms for the night. In addition to attendees from the Midwest churches, people also came from the East and West Coasts of the United States, and this was one of the largest Midwest camp meetings in several years.
The Wednesday morning Bible teaching began with a duet by Donald Fittin and John Jordan, “The Comforter Has Come.” During the testimony portion of the service, Kent and Bonni Thompson sang “Put On the Garment of Praise.” Before the teaching, Abosede Idowu sang “The Holy City.” Solomon Akinduro, the group leader in Memphis, Tennessee, read 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 and Revelation 19:7-8 for his texts, and brought out that it takes preparation to be a part of the Bride of Christ. He encouraged the congregation to examine their hearts and make the spiritual preparations needed to make sure they are ready. During the three Bible teaching that week, the children went downstairs for the “Children’s Bible Adventure,” where they learned songs, participated in crafts, and learned more about Jesus.
The Wednesday afternoon youth service began with the Minneapolis, Minnesota, youth singing “I Can Never Forget When the Lord Saved Me.” The youth choir sang “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” and before the sermon, there was a young ladies’ duet of “Do You Know My Jesus?” Olulana Alofe, the group leader in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, read Proverbs 29:18 for his text, and brought out that obeying God’s Word helps sustain one’s spiritual vision. He encouraged the young people to “catch the vision” during camp meeting, and then be actively involved in sharing the Gospel with others.
A brass ensemble opened the evening service playing “Grace that Is Greater than All Our Sins” and “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” The ladies’ choir sang “God Is Good All the Time” with “Sweetest Name I Know.” Before the sermon, Jon Wolf sang “My God Will Always Be Enough” with “The Anchor Holds.” Brother Kent, the pastor in Minneapolis, took his text from Psalm 124:1-8, and encouraged the congregation that with the Lord by their side, they can be strong in Him, and have victory no matter what comes their way.
The Bible teaching on Thursday morning opened with Sam Cantrell playing “Conquering Now and Still to Conquer” on the trombone, followed by a men’s quartet singing “Have a Little Talk with Jesus.” The Sletmoe family sang “These Living Waters,” and before the teaching, Mark Staller sang “Grace Alone.” Bob Downey, Director of North America Work, read Matthew 7:13-14 for his text, and emphasized that spending eternity in Heaven or Hell is an individual choice. He encouraged everyone to make the necessary preparations to make Heaven their eternal destination.
Stephanie Cooper opened the youth service with a flute solo, “As the Deer.” Then a girls’ group sang “He’ll Do It Again.” The first special was a mixed quartet singing “My Jesus Knows Just What I need,” and before the sermon, Olivia Downey sang “I Will Praise You on the Mountain.” Peter Sletmoe, from Grants Pass, Oregon, read 1 Samuel 14:6-7 for his text, referencing Jonathan and his armor bearer taking action, and he encouraged the young people to do their part and let God supply the rest.
The prelude that evening began with a bluegrass-style instrumental group playing “Precious Memories.” Then Joel and Caleb McCarville and Brother Donald sang “I Heard My Mother Call My Name in Prayer,” followed by Lisa Hopkins, Brother Joel, and Sister Olivia singing “The Angels Are Holding Up the Ladder for Me,” both with bluegrass accompaniment. A men’s choir later sang “I’m Feeling Fine,” and before the sermon, Brother Joel sang “I’m Standing on the Rock.” Brother Mark took his text from Matthew 7:9-11, emphasizing how much God loves each individual, and that He is more willing to give than we are to receive.
On Friday morning, the service began with a violin duet of “Victory Ahead.” Then Nyasha Gwaza sang “My Desire,” accompanying himself on the guitar. The first special was Lilly and Nathaniel Segres III singing “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” Before the Bible teaching, Charles and Antonia Schleicher sang “What a Day That Will Be.” Brother John, the pastor in Grants Pass, took his text from 1 Peter 1:13-15, bringing out the need for holy living in this present generation.
The youth service began with the youth orchestra playing “More Precious than Gold,” followed by a children’s choir singing “My God Is More than a Hero.” Before testimonies, Brother Nathaniel sang “Christ Is All,” and before the sermon, Alex Cantrell and Angelina McCarville sang “The Overwhelming Love of God.” Joshua Idowu, the pastor in St. Louis, Missouri, read 1 John 2:12-14 for his text, and encouraged the young people to live overcoming lives by fleeing from sinful influences and being active in their service for the Lord.
On Friday evening, a large combined choir (mostly Nigerians) sang a beautiful arrangement of “Kum Ba Yah.” The song service, led by Marjorie Reid, the pastor in Fort McMurray, Canada, included several favorites from our churches in Newfoundland, Canada. The first special was a mixed quartet singing “Jesus Is a Friend of Mine.” Before the sermon, Sister Marjorie, her husband, Edwin, and son, Michael, sang “Even So, Lord Jesus, Come.” Reginald Segres, the pastor in Kingstree, South Carolina, read Hebrews 9:27, Job 14:14, and Ecclesiastes 3:1 for his texts, and exhorted the congregation to be ready for their final appointment with God by being saved and living victorious lives.
A water baptismal service was held at the swimming pool on Saturday morning. It began with bluegrass instrumental selections, including “Whisper a Prayer” and “Jesus Lifted Me.” Jerry Sweeney, from Woodlake, California, read John 3:16 for his text, and brought out that it was God’s love that made it possible to be saved, and it is His will for those who are saved to be water baptized. Seven girls and ten boys and men were then baptized as the congregation, who surrounded the pool, supported them with their “Amens” and applause.
Saturday afternoon was free time for playing games, participating in water sports, or visiting with friends. On Saturday evening, the prelude began with Lillie Segres singing “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” with “Life Is Like a Mountain Railroad.” The song service was “homecoming” style with the congregational singing interspersed with various ones standing to sing portions of the songs. Before the sermon, Byron White sang “There’s a Family Bible on the Table,” while playing the guitar. Nathaniel Segres Jr., the pastor in Atlanta, Georgia, read Proverbs 3:5-6 for his text, and encouraged the congregation to trust God enough to get in his “wheelbarrow” and let Him direct their lives.
On Sunday morning, a large orchestra directed by Udeme Ikpe played “Praise and Adoration Medley,” followed by a combined choir led by Jimmy Waddell singing “He Is Here.” The first special was a ladies’ quartet singing “Sheltered in the Arms of God.” Before the sermon, Kathi, Jon, and Sam Cantrell sang “A Sinner Saved by Grace.” Karen Storey took her text from Luke 19:10, the parable of the lost sheep, and encouraged the unsaved to give their hearts to God.
The youth service opened with a trombone solo from Rebekah Oyedokun, “In My Heart There Rings a Melody.” Then two young ladies’ sang a duet number, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” Before testimonies, the choir sang “Jonah,” and before the sermon, Gozie Uzendu sang “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.” Sister Marjorie read Psalm 34:1-8 for her text, and encouraged the congregation to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
On Sunday evening, Janelle Parker played a piano solo of “Down by the Riverside” to open the service. For the first special, Cheryl Downey and her grandchildren sang “Jesus Is Lord of All,” and before the sermon, Brother Olulana sang “For Those Tears I Died.” Brother Donald took his text from Proverbs 4:23, and encouraged the congregation to build on the victories received at camp meeting, and guard their hearts against worldly influences.
Many victorious testimonies were given during camp meeting. One lady said that she had lost her phone three weeks before camp, and God led a technician to find it, who was able to unlock the phone and contact her husband. A man testified that he has experienced considerable pain for the past three years and often had to be in bed, but a few weeks earlier, God had reassured him that He was with him, and he was able to be in camp meeting this year. Many testified of receiving experiences and blessings during both youth camp and camp meeting. One man said he thought he was saved for many years, but the night before, God showed him he was not, and as he prayed, Jesus truly saved him. Another man shared how God has been helping his family after he recently lost his infant granddaughter. During the prayer meetings after the services, God came down in a special way, and the Spirit of God could be felt throughout the chapel as people tarried in prayer.
This year’s Midwest camp meeting was truly special, and as everyone said their goodbyes on Monday morning, they agreed that they wanted to see each other again at next year’s camp meeting if Jesus tarries.
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