December 14, 2017
Sacramento Special Meetings
by Denise Budean
Special meetings were held at the Apostolic Faith Church in Sacramento, California, on September 22-24, with visitors from a number of the West Coast branch churches attending. John Musgrave, from Portland, Oregon, was the guest speaker. The Friday evening service began with the combined orchestra playing “Victory in Jesus,” followed by the choir singing a joyful rendition of “Home on That Rock.” The congregational singing was led by Florin Baros, the music leader in Sacramento, and included the theme song for the weekend, “Find Us Faithful.” Pete Sferle, the pastor in Sacramento, gave a warm welcome to all in attendance, and before the testimony portion of the service, a trio from Los Angeles sang “Above All.” Many shared testimonies of how God is working in their lives, and the last special was sung by Diana and Holly Lambert from Woodlake. Brother John took his text from the theme verse, Jude 3, emphasizing the need to contend for the faith, and reject all sin and untruth. He encouraged the congregation to experience true salvation and the real power of God in order to distinguish from the counterfeit, recognizing that God can keep them from falling, but they must do their part to “earnestly contend.”
On Saturday morning, Alan Lambert led a devotional on “How to Defend, Preserve, and Obtain the Faith.” He used a series of skits to demonstrate his various points. Saturday afternoon was spent participating in different activities and fellowship.
An evening of music followed, with renditions of praise from instrumental ensembles, vocal groups, and congregational singing. Several of the musicians shared their personal testimonies of salvation. Sola Omolayo, from Richmond, California, gave the message, taking his text from Hebrews 11. He exhorted the congregation to follow the example of the heroes of faith by living for faith, living by faith, and dying in faith.
The Sunday morning service began with a song from the Sacramento choir, “Sing Unto the Lord a New Song.” Seis Arechy, from Richmond, read the Scripture reading from Luke 19:1-10. Brother John spoke about Zacchaeus, bringing out that no matter how reputable he was, God was able to see his heart. Brother John encouraged the congregation to “make haste” and take every opportunity for God to work in their lives.
Most of the visitors headed home after the morning service, but many from the Richmond church stayed for the evening service. The congregational songs included rejoicing in the Rock, Christ Jesus, the basis of our faith. Brother John read 1 Samuel 20:1-3, bringing out that during David’s ten-year flight from Saul, he wrote many of the psalms, which included not only cries for deliverance, but also great praises. Brother John exhorted everyone to encourage themselves in the Lord, no matter the storm.
The special meetings were a time of wonderful fellowship and spiritual renewal, and an encouragement to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).