Wharton Special Meetings

The special meetings held at the Apostolic Faith Church in Wharton, New Jersey, on August 21-28 were preceded by a week of prayer for God to send a revival. The theme verse for the meetings was Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” The opening service began with a children’s presentation, followed by the orchestra playing “If My People Will Pray.” Then the choir sang “Ho, Reapers in the Whitened Harvest.” A special selection titled “Wait and Murmur Not” preceded the sermon given by Josephine McElveen, pastor in Washington, D.C. and District Superintendent of the Eastern and Southern Churches. She read portions of Psalm 27, and brought out that waiting requires faith, patience, humility, and obedience to the Lord.

On Sunday evening, the testimony portion of the service featured accounts of victory. Two youth ministers told of God’s bountiful blessings, and a woman testified that God had revived her and had given her a determination to serve Him in whatever capacity He chooses. Before the sermon, a vocalist sang “Be Still My Soul.” Alfred Ikotun, the pastor in Oceanside, New York, read Proverbs 3:5 and encouraged the congregation to lean on God’s master plan and not complain when things do not go their way. Wonderful prayer services followed both the morning and evening services.

Monday evening was devoted to a time of prayer, and Bible studies were held on Tuesday through Thursday evenings. James Timbilla, the pastor in Wharton, taught on “Effective Prayer” and “Walking Worthy of Our Calling,” bringing out the need to avoid hindrances and walk worthy of God’s calling. Olulana Alofe, the group leader in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, gave a teaching on “Strengthen Thy Brother,” pointing out that while some activities may not be sinful, they could have a negative impact on other believers. He exhorted the congregation to strive to encourage others in their walks with God.

The evangelistic service on Friday evening began with a ladies’ vocal ensemble singing “Jesus Is Passing this Way.” The special before the sermon was “Ho, Everyone that Thirsteth.” Oludare Owolabi, the group leader in Reston, Virginia, took his text from the theme verse and brought out that waiting times may vary, but God has something special for those who are patient and continue to wait on His timing.

The topic for the workers’ seminar on Saturday morning was “Worship” and highlighed the need to have the right attitude and a willingness to assemble together at all times. An evening of music was held, with the orchestra playing rousing renditions of “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Ciribiribin.” Choir numbers included “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “We Believe,” “They that Wait upon the Lord,” and “Jerusalem.” Other selections were a male choir singing “Where No Man Stands Alone,” a string quartet, a piano and flute duet of “Father In Heaven,” and a vocal duet of “Jesus Is the Living Stone” and “I Want to Be Ready.”

On the concluding Sunday morning, the service began with another children’s presentation with songs and Scripture recitations. The orchestra played “No Other Name” with “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” followed by the choir singing “They that Wait Upon the Lord.” Ene Ekpin, the pastor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, read Psalm 27:14, and encouraged the congregation to have courage and spend time in prayer while waiting for the coming of the Lord. Following the service, those present participated in the ordinances of The Lord’s Supper and Washing of the Disciples’ Feet. The sweet Spirit of God was felt, and the afternoon with singing and affectionate hugs among those in attendance.

A farewell service was held on Sunday evening with attendees from other branch churches. The guest speaker was Alfredo Gumbs, the pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. After a cello number, the choir sang “Oh to Go Deeper,” Brother Alfredo’s wife shared her testimony, thanking God for being raised in the Gospel and being married over fifty years. Before the sermon, the Spirit of God could be felt as the last special was rendered, evidenced by audible praises and tears of joy. Brother Alfredo read Psalm 100:1-3 for his text, and encouraged the congregation to hold fast in unity until the Church is raptured and in the presence of the Lord for eternity.

There was an excellent turnout at the meetings, and only Heaven has a record of all the blessings received. The prayer is that those who attended will be inspired to walk closer to God and faithfully watch for Jesus’ imminent return!

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