Goal set! Mission accomplished! Columbia First Church has a desire to grow and prepare for the harvest. Vic Jaeger, pastor, has a yearning to reach those who are hungering for the Word and love of God. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of many in seeing that prophecy is being fulfilled. Jaeger could not allow this opportunity to pass.
Cooking demonstrations led by Ruth Furaus were designed to prepare the ground for the church’s spiritual revival and renewal. The pastor enlisted the help of another evangelistic pastor, Denver Cavins, who once pastored Columbia First. On hearing that Columbia needed assistance, Cavins felt the desire to help, and quickly agreed to be the speaker for an evangelistic seminar. He was joined by Larry Clark and gifted singer David Pitt, which formed the rest of the soul-winning team.
The Lord answered many prayers by allowing Revelation ’22 to be possible. Opening night had an online attendance that quadrupled the in-person attendance. The seminar was filled with church member participation, which included talented singers and musicians, the Pathfinders, and others who volunteered to become greeters. Belinda Bartling and Celia Jaeger met with the children each night and brought the Bible to life. Revelation ’22 also led to the formation of the “Columbia Singers,” a praise team leading the congregation in worship.
The presentations were designed to reveal Christ in each of the fundamental beliefs. The response, even from members, was hugely positive. One woman came to Cavins somewhat exasperated saying, “How long have I been a Christian? Why don’t I already know this?” The seminar was held from March 12-26, 2022, with 38 visitors coming in person, not counting the visitors online. Cavins poured himself out in every presentation. Working together with the evangelistic team, the dedicated efforts of church members led to the baptism of seven people. Out of the baptisms that the church has witnessed, one was Albert Martin. His wife, Janie Martin, had been praying for her husband for 30 years. “Praise the Lord for the understanding he was able to receive from Cavins,” Janie Martin says. Another was Phoebe Wabbington. From the moment she first came to the church, she said that others needed to know this message. She actively aided with the seminar even before being baptized herself. There are also four individuals who will be taking Bible studies — two of whom came from the online audience and had never previously set foot in a church before.
Christ moved in a striking way during the seminar. “These meetings were something unlike anything I have ever experienced. Because I am retired, I had the time to look into the teachings, and to place Jesus in the very center of each of them like never before,” stated Cavins. He had the opportunity to do an altar call after presenting the fundamental belief on hell, something he had never done before.
Jaeger is also amazed with the response saying, “I was not expecting this internal revival. Our congregation is now excited about evangelism.” There is a spirit of change and expectation in the air for Columbia First Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Carolina | July 2022