Midwest special meetings were held at the Apostolic Faith Church in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 7-9, 2020. Visitors came from branch churches in Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Tony Boyce, the guest speaker for the weekend and pastor in Dallas, Oregon, attended with his wife, Dawn. The theme was “Go Ye Into All the World.”
On Friday evening, the service opened with a men’s group from St. Louis singing “Jesus Is the Bread of Life” and “I’ll Soon Be Gone.” Karen Storey, pastor in Worth, Illinois, led the congregation in singing eight “spiritually nutritional” songs starting with the letter “B” to represent the eight nutrients in B vitamins. For the first special, a group of ministers sang “I Love to Tell the Story.” Several victorious testimonies were given, including from one man who said he was able to take an anointed cloth to a neighbor and help that man reconcile with his sister before he passed away. Another man said he was raised to believe that it was not possible to have victory over sin, but when he was invited to the Apostolic Faith Church in Madison, Wisconsin, he heard that he could have victory. At Midwest camp this last year he prayed through to salvation and sanctification, and he is thankful that he has experienced that victory for himself. Before the sermon, Sister Dawn sang “Pass It On.” Brother Tony read John 21:15-17 for his text, bringing out that love is more than just a feeling; it is an action that will last through the tests and trials of life. He encouraged the congregation to prove their love for Jesus through their actions and by following Him with all their hearts.
On Saturday morning, a woodwind ensemble opened the service by playing “Send the Light” and “Go Ye Into All the World.” Joshua Idowu, pastor in St. Louis, led the song service, and then a group from Memphis, Tennessee, sang “It Pays to Serve Jesus.” Jeff Downey, pastor in Van Buren, Arkansas, gave a short presentation on his trip to Romania in August 2019. He said their youth camp is held in a beautiful setting, but is very rustic and only has two permanent buildings: a bathroom and a chapel. The campers stay in tents and bring everything they need to camp. Everything is powered off one extension cord, and the water comes from a spring on the property. In addition to youth camp, Brother Jeff and his traveling companion, Jeff Yellott, were able to visit a few churches in Romania.
Before the sermon, Nyasha Gwaza sang “Only By Grace.” Brother Tony took his text from Joshua 24:14-15 and titled his sermon “Choices.” He brought out that people make choices every day, but the most important choices have to do with eternity. He encouraged everyone to yield their hearts completely to God and make sure they are ready for Heaven.
A youth service was held on Saturday evening, which began with a violin and piano ensemble playing a classical number and “He Took My Sins Away.” Jonathan Cantrell, from St. Louis, led the congregation in several inspiring youth choruses. For the first special, the youth choir sang “These Are the Days of Elijah.” Several young people stood to testify of how God has helped them at college, and how He has encouraged them to put Him first in their lives. Before the sermon, Ben and Stephanie Luebbert, from Richland Center, Wisconsin, sang “How Great Thou Art.” Brother Tony read Luke 8:22 for his text, and encouraged the young people not to be afraid to launch out and go where God wants them to go. When they have Jesus in their boat, He will carry them safely to the other side.
On Sunday morning, the service opened with a brass ensemble playing “Abide with Me” and “In the Twinkling of an Eye.” Then the combined choir sang “I’ve Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken,” with Jon Wolf as the soloist. The sanctuary was full and those present lifted their voices in praise as Kent Thompson, pastor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, led the song service. For the first special, Kathleen and Sam Cantrell, from Portland, Oregon, and Brother Jonathan sang “I Will Glory in the Cross.” Brother Joshua read Exodus 3:1-10 for the Scripture reading, and before the sermon, Bukie Idowu, from St. Louis, sang “Got Any Rivers?” Brother Tony took his text from Mark 16:15, bringing out that God called Moses and Abraham to be His light to their world, and He is calling Christians to spread the light of Jesus Christ in our world today. Brother Tony stated that just as God told Moses that He would go with him, God has promised to go with those who will answer His call and tell others about Him.
The special meetings were an encouragement to all who attended, and many received blessings as they tarried in prayer around the altars. The prayer is that all will be inspired to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those they come in contact with day by day.