Growing Needs Lead to Changes

Our Lead Elder, John Sprecher, is excited to announce some major changes in the support structure of the Fellowship and the way in which ministers and churches will be served. The changes are the result of extended discussions over several years on how FCA member churches and ministers can be more effective in shared ministries and can collaborate better—both nationally and internationally.

When the Fellowship was incorporated in 1999 an individual Fellowship Coordinator (now called Lead Elder) was tasked with connecting the regions as well as the nations. Over time it became apparent that all the tasks connected with that assignment was beyond what a single individual could accomplish. As a result, the business meeting in April, 2021, elected to divide the work into three categories, resulting in two new positions being created. All three part-time positions will operate with more tightly focused job descriptions.

Sprecher is pleased that former FCA board president, Sam Snyder, has accepted the ¼-time position as Missions Coordinator.

Sam Snyder, Missions Coordinator

Sam brings a wealth of experience to the new role, having been raised in Mexico by missionary parents and serving as a church planter in the US. As Missions Coordinator, he will focus on:

  • Coordinating efforts of our regional missions board representatives;
  • Connecting with missionaries in the field or on furlough;
  • Consulting with and advising church mission boards;
  • Assisting new missionaries preparing to go to the field; and
  • Relating to our international Partners and Affiliates from other lands.

Meanwhile, Sprecher is happy to introduce Dave Bechtold as FCA Ministry Coordinator with a focus on ministry needs and resources for U.S. churches and pastors.

Dave Bechtold, Ministry Coordinator

Former Family Life Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin, Dave has been a core part of the Wisconsin Connections. As a facilitator and leader of multiple ministries, he brings significant gifts and heart to this ¼-time position. His assignments include:

  • Relating to regional representatives assigned to address ministry needs;
  • Encouraging best practices in regional and national meetings;
  • Being available to consult with pastors and churches;
  • Helping pastors and churches in any way possible; and
  • Enhancing Fellowship connections, communicating about God’s work.

New Youth and Family Ministries Director Hired

On Palm Sunday, Bethel Christian Fellowship (St. Paul, MN) announced the appointment of a new Director of Youth and Family Ministries, Justin Finton.

Justin Finton comes from his role as youth pastor of Abundant Life Church in Blaine, MN, where he grew the youth program even during the worst months of the pandemic as well as through a pastoral transition. Raised as the son of a pastor, Justin is credentialed for ministry through the Assemblies of God.

“We were really attracted to Justin for several reasons,” reports Steve Rasmussen, pastor of Bethel Christian Fellowship, recounting his love for God, the Word, the church, and youth. He also noted Justin’s experience and success in youth ministry along with his desire to grow in intercultural relationships and understanding, which are high values at Bethel Christian Fellowship.

Justin began his duties in April, bringing his wife, Michelle and their new baby, Ezra.

Pentecostals You Should Know

If you grew up in a Pentecostal church, as I did, you may think you’ve heard all there is to know about Pentecostals, charismatics, and their history.

I know I did.

I thought I could list the important names, the movers-and-shakers connected to the twentieth-century outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I could recall the anecdotes. I knew the exploits from the lives of Charles Parham, William Seymour, Smith Wigglesworth, and Aimee Semple McPherson. I had read about the trail-blazing, innovative ministries that brought a fresh encounter with the power of God to spiritually hungry people.

This was my tribe, and I thought I knew them pretty well.

That, however, was before I picked up Dean Merrill’s new book, 50 Pentecostal and Charismatic Leaders Every Christian Should Know (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group [2021]).

Merrill, well-known author and FCA friend, has done it again! In his inimitable style and engaging manner, Merrill introduces us to 50 key influencers of the modern Pentecostal movement, beginning with stories from the mid-nineteenth century! Here are names you’ve heard before (David du Plessis, Gordon and Freda Lindsay, Kathryn Kuhlman, Reinhard Bonnke, Jack Hayford) but also names you may have missed in history class (Maria Woodworth-Etter, Francisco Olazábal, Leo Josef Suenens, Bernard E. Underwood, Ithiel Clemmons, Wonsuk and Julie Ma).

Turns out there was a lot I didn’t know! In uncovering details of our spiritual roots, 50 Pentecostal and Charismatic Leaders delights even as it informs. You’ll discover new personalities in the Pentecostal family tree, of course, but you’ll also discover new details and insights about familiar Spirit-filled leaders you thought you knew.

The stories are inspiring, but they are not sugar-coated. You’ll read about both the miraculous and the missteps, both doctrinal insights and theological idiosyncrasies. In his introduction, Merrill notes that “none of the fifty was perfect” and that many displayed “human flaws and misassumptions.” He does not gloss over their faults, but he reports them charitably, displaying a respect for leaders who, while daring to seize the kingdom, occasionally went too far.

What impressed me most about Merrill’s book, though, was how it inspired me. I found myself wishing I had been there when these pioneers sought God and prayed. Reading the book sparked a desire to have seen the early days of the Pentecostal renewal, as well as a desire to pray yet again for a new day.

Merrill’s book is sure to inspire and stir its readers to seek for more from God.

—Richard Doebler

 

Love in Action

Find a need. Fill a need.

That’s what FCA minister, Dr. Mona Davies and her husband, Bob, have been doing—meeting the needs of thousands of children with one or both parents incarcerated. Twenty years ago, the Davies founded Community Outreach Ministry (COM) in Riverside County, California, to offer year-round programs and services to at-risk children. Their goal? To give them “a second chance to be winners and champions.”

Compelled by God’s love and compassion, the Davies have since sponsored numerous events and workshops to impact the social and economic challenges faced by families affected by parental incarceration. On April 3 this year, the day before Easter, their “Spring Into Easter” event will provide science kits for children so they can assemble robots. It’s another in a series of their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Mentor Protégé Workshops.

As advocates for children— “voices for the voiceless children” left behind by incarcerated parents—the Davies believe children must be reached at an early age if their ministry is to be most effective. They also believe that strategic intervention, prevention, and outreach is essential, which is why they strive to mentor children through a host of activities. Over the years, they have seen encouraging results as lives have been touched by God’s grace and hope. Many children who have participated in COM’s programs and events have become first generation high school and college graduates and, perhaps most importantly, skilled with a second chance to be successful in solving real world problems in education and vocation technology.

Want more information? Visit www.communityoutreachministry.org. Want to help purchase the science kits? Text: DONATE CHAMPIONS to: 609-212-0627.

From left, Bob and Mona Davies with "Give Back Scholars" Jacori Neal, Clarissa Fears, Jaelin Neal.
On the right are partners, Janice and Larry Bradfield with "Beyond and Give Back."

 

FCA Members Part of Worldwide Event

Dr. Munir Kakish, long-term FCA missionary from Living Hope Church (Elk Grove Village, IL) will lead the communion service from Israel on Good Friday (April 2, 2021) for One Body One Blood. Believers from around the world will unite to commemorate the greatest gift of all time and the only hope for mankind—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The one-hour event will be broadcast on YouTube at 4:00 PM, April 2 (Israel time) and will include worship, testimonies, the Word, and sharing the elements of the Lord’s Table together. Besides leading participants in taking the elements of the Lord’s Table, Kakish will speak about the significance of communion.

One Body One Blood aims to gather a million believers together online, Christians from every nation, so they can experience communion together and be inspired to acts of service that will lead people to Christ. Several individuals from Bethel Assembly, an FCA church in Fosston, Minnesota, have been working diligently to spread the word about this unique event. More information and free registration are available at https://onebody-oneblood.org/ .

Pastor/Missionary Munir Kakish

Munir Kakish was born in Jordan in 1947. When his father died, his family faced great financial hardships and was forced to place him in a Christian boys’ home in Ramallah, West Bank. At age 10, he dedicated his life to Christ. Even as a young boy, Munir felt called into the ministry, so after high school he made his way to America where he finished a BRE in Christian Education, B.A. in communications, a Master’s degree from Wheaton, as well as a Doctorate of Ministry Degree.

Along with his wife, Sharon, Munir has served the Lord in the Holy Land since 1978. Beside founding a home for needy children in Ramallah, they have worked diligently helping children and sharing the news of Jesus Christ. Munir simultaneously serves as pastor of two churches—one in Ramallah and the other in Ramla, Israel. For 13 years he has served as President of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land and as vice-president of the coalition between the Jordanian, Palestinian, and Arab Evangelical Churches in Galilee.

Another event speaker will be Dr. Ramesh Richard, founder and president of RREACH, as well as a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, to be a global spokesman for the Lord Jesus Christ. Ramesh travels the world clarifying the message of the Bible through lectures and preaching with audiences ranging from non-Christian intellectuals in university settings to poor pastors in rural areas. He founded TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) to champion non-formal pastoral training worldwide. In 2016, he convened the first Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, in Bangkok, Thailand.