Passing the Baton

All Nations Family of Churches Transitions to a New Era

Pastor Jim Olson, along with pastors and elders of the ANFC, pray for Pastor Sam Snyder and Pastor Justin Byakweli.

The All Nations Family of Churches, eight multicultural and multilingual congregations that formed out of Bethel Christian Fellowship in Saint Paul, Minnesota, witnessed a major shift in direction as they gathered for their annual combined outdoor service and picnic on June 2nd.  This group of FCA churches, which have been led for a number of years by Pastor Jim Olson, is transitioning leadership as they step into the next season of their ministry together.

Jim, who stepped away from pastoral ministry a couple of years ago to minister as President of the Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation, passed the baton of leadership to Sam Snyder and Justin Byakweli. Sam is Pastor of Cross Culture Community Church in Minneapolis and current president of the USA Fellowship of Christian Assemblies National Board. Justin is Pastor of the International Christian Fellowship in St. Paul. Both of the new leaders were selected by the All Nations Family of Churches joint pastoral and elder team.

During the commissioning service and the messages by the two new appointees given in response, English was translated publicly into three other languages. The ANFC consists of congregations who worship in English, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Nepali, Oromo, Karen, French, and Swahili. Many of the members are refugees and immigrants who have settled in the Twin Cities’ area in recent years. The churches and leadership share relationships, resources, some facilities space, and a unified vision.

At their recent leadership retreat, the diverse group of leaders focused on a growing clarity of their calling for the future: To Manifest the Kingdom of God as they Mature, Mobilize, and Multiply life-giving and joy-filled churches that are houses of prayer for all nations.

Pastor Justin Byakweli sharing about the call to Mature together as individuals, as churches, and as a Family of Churches.

Pastor Sam Snyder sharing about the call to Mobilize and Multiply as individuals and as churches.

Special Honor for Davies

Bob Davies, along with several other veterans of the U.S. armed forces, was honored the Veterans Service Award by California State Senator Jeff Stone in May. The award is based on both military service and the contributions made in the veteran’s community after returning to civilian life.

Davies serves as CEO of Community Outreach Ministry, which is affiliated with the FCA. The Wildomar, California, organization helps at-risk children break family cycles of poverty, illiteracy, drugs, gangs, and incarceration. Davies and his wife, Mona, work to give “kids a second chance to be winners and champions,” through a variety of outreaches, camping, mentoring, and seasonal Christmas programs.

Born in England, Davies also lived in Canada before ending up in California. He was drafted in 1966, joined the Air Force, and was assigned to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines as an aircraft technician. He spent nearly a year and a half deployed to Vietnam during the TET Offensive in 1968.

California State Senator Jeff Stone, Bob Davies, and Rev. Dr. Mona Davies at the award ceremony.

Inspiration in Chicago and Vancouver

Ministers Rev’d Up and Focalized

Hearts and Spirits Renewed for Advancing the Kingdom!

John Sprecher

by John Sprecher, Lead Elder for US FCA

Late April and early May are “convention season” for the North American FCA. I had the distinct privilege of attending the US convention in Orland Park, (Chicago) Illinois and the Canadian conference in Richmond, (Vancouver) British Columbia. Combined attendance at the two conferences was about 500.

The highlight of both meetings was the opportunity to worship, learn, and pray together. Our annual gatherings are always marked with the joy of seeing old friends, meeting new brothers and sisters, and expanding the networking that makes our fellowship work.

Mike McCartney

Pastor Mike McCartney teamed Christian Hills Church and other area congregations for a wonderful job hosting the “All things Chicago” event with special food and decor to carry out the theme. The convention, called Rev’d Up, was based on Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Links to video or audio from the plenary sessions are available on the fcaministers.com website (https://www.fcaministers.com/resources/convention-audio/) if you want to hear the sessions again or were unable to attend.

Jim Reimer

Pastor Jim Reimer from Nelson, British Columbia led the Canadian team. It’s always a great challenge to host a conference that is not near a large church, but the local Vancouver team did a great job with the logistics. The theme was “Focalize: Refocusing our vision in an ever changing world.”

Workshops and plenary sessions addressed some of the great challenges of the day, including reaching a post-Christian culture, addressing the LGBTQ issues, abortion, and immigration. We left with a fresh perspective on the love of the Father for his creation and the incredible power of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Both gatherings were infused with excitement for the upcoming international convention in San Diego, California, April 27-30, 2020. The theme will be “The Promise Still Stands.” Information and registration is available now at www.fcaconvention.com. Make plans to be there with your whole ministry team and expect to be refreshed and renewed.

US 2019 Convention Wraps Up

The Fellowship of Christian Assemblies 2019 US Convention took place April 30 to May 3 at Christian Hills Church in Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Pastors, missionaries and international guests were challenged — and inspired — by the atmosphere of worship and the ministries of a number of speakers, including Pastor Nate Mullen, Pastor and recently named President of Moody Bible Institute, Mark Jobe, and ministry comedian Brett Hollis. “All the speakers were amazing!” said one attender. “The convention was absolutely fantastic.”

Attending the convention were 277 registrants from across the country as well as 12 international guests — Partners and Affiliates of the FCA based in other countries. Others from the area also attended the evening services.

If you couldn’t attend or you just want to revisit some of the highlights, check these out from the convention:

Tuesday, April 30 — Pastor Brett Hollis (video)
Wednesday, May 1 — Pastor Mark Jobe (video)
Thursday, May 2 (AM) — Missionary Tony Simon (audio download)
Thursday, May 2 — Pastor Nate Mullen (video)
Friday, May 3 — Pastor Gabe Carlson (audio download)

Other photos and comments can be found by going to #fcaconvention on Facebook or Twitter.

Her Final Journey

Sylvia Kempas, lifelong missionary to Native Americans, passed away Easter evening at the age of 102. Sylvia was born in Chicago and raised in northern Minnesota. She attended nurse’s training and Bible school in Chicago, entering ministry in 1946 through Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle (now Journey Christian Church) by serving the Ojibway (Chippewa) people in Sawyer, Minnesota.

Sylvia was joined in ministry in 1951 by Geraldine Tornfelt and together they served as missionaries for “The American Indian Crusade” on reservations in Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, ministering among the Sioux, Dakota, Oneida and Ojibway. They returned to the Cloquet area in 1984 and continued to minister—visiting, praying for, and serving the many people with whom they had built relationships through the years.

Sylvia will forever be remembered as a servant of Jesus, a friend of the Indian people, a prayer warrior, and a vital part of Journey Christian Church. She will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held at Journey Christian Church, 1400 Washington Ave, Cloquet, Minnesota, at 11:00 Friday morning April 26, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM.

“The Gospel that has been entrusted to us is too valuable not to share with others”
—Sylvia Kempas and Geraldine Tornfelt

Additional information can be found HERE.