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how to reach hispanics in Your community - IPHC Experience

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Remembering
John Swails
For the Love
of Africa
Wild Faith
Burns in Wales
August 2010
How to Reach
Hispanics
in Your
Community
Welcome
to the new
REDESIGNED
IPHC Experience
iphcExperience.com
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Editor in Chief
August 2010 Vol. 7, No. 7
Dr. Ronald W. Carpenter Sr.
Publisher
Greg Hearn
CEO, Lifesprings Resources
Executive Editor
J. Lee Grady
News Editor
Megan Alba
Associate Editors
Robyn Keeler, Sara Ray
Editorial Committee
Nina Brewsaugh, Sara Ray,
Jana Delano, Kimberly Wilkerson,
Kathryn Shelley, Jennifer Simmons,
Sherrie Smith, Shandra Youell
Art Director
Timothy W. Beasley
Assistant Graphic Designer
Beth Wansley
General Superintendent
Dr. Ronald W. Carpenter Sr.
Executive Committee of
the Council of Bishops
World Missions Ministries
A.D. Beacham Jr., Vice Chairman
Discipleship Ministries
J. Talmadge Gardner,
Corporate Treasurer
Evangelism USA
D. Chris Thompson,
Corporate Secretary
IPHC Experience (ISSN 1547-4984) Vol. 7 No.
7, is published monthly except in July and
December by Lifesprings Resources of the
International Pentecostal Holiness Church,
2425 West Main St., Franklin Springs, GA
30639. Printed in the U.S.A. MMX. Address
editorial comments to IPHC Experience, P.O.
Box 9, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Or email
sray@lifesprings.net.
COVER PHOTO: Photo collage by
Joe Deleon. Photos from iStock.
LSR 2010190
14 Cover Story
Make Room for the Latinos. God is bringing many Hispanics to our country.
Here’s how you can effectively reach them for Christ. PLUS: Meet Hispanic leaders
in the IPHC.
4 My Experience
13 EResources
6 Expressions
19 Global Edge
Emmanuel College student Chris Ivey
shares how he found Jesus Christ after
battling drug addiction. PLUS: How to
Experience God
Our denomination’s magazine is going
digital with this issue. Join us as we
change, grow and thrive in the 21st
century! By Bishop Ronald W. Carpenter
8 Encourage
A leading voice for Hispanic
evangelicals speaks directly to the
IPHC. A conversation with Samuel
Rodriguez
10 Events
South Carolina pastor literally preaches
from the rooftop / Youth from Alabama
raise money for the homeless /
Southwestern University launches
LifeCoaching Institute / John Swails (19152010) leaves a lasting legacy / Pentecostals
call for a “just” immigration policy. PLUS:
News Briefs
Georgia pastor Trey Jones releases
Stay Put, his new book about spiritual
consistency. PLUS: Trophies of God
offers a blend of Southern gospel and
contemporary praise.
Kevin and Summer Sneed fell in
love with Africa—and then they
fell in love with each other. Today
this missionary couple teach at
the IPHC’s Bible college in Eldoret,
Kenya.
21 Emerging
Voices
In the nation of Wales, where revival
fires once burned brightly, John and
Ann Powell are using non-traditional
methods to reach a nation that has
forgotten God.
23 E-Mail
Letters and commentary from our
readers.
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3
I Found
a Real
High
After wasting my life on
drugs I discovered how
much Jesus loves me.
I invited Jesus Christ to be my Savior when I was only 12 years
old. He truly changed me that day, but I drifted far away from Him.
I grew up in the small town of Ozark, Alabama. My dad was an addict, so
I always knew drugs and alcohol were bad. I also knew the reputation that
came with them. I’ve gone to a girl’s house only to have the door slammed in
my face when her father figured out who my father was.
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Photo by Georgia Grady
BY CHRIS IVEY
How to
Experience God
“I had been
running from
God my entire
life. Suddenly
I realized He
is the only one
who could
help me!”
I started drinking and partying in
high school. During my senior year I
won a baseball championship and a
junior college scholarship, but God was
nowhere in my life. I didn’t think there
was anything wrong with the way I was
living because there didn’t seem to be any
consequences for my actions.
After junior college I played baseball
at Troy University. My roommate had
a problem with drugs, and I ended up
getting hooked myself and even started
selling to support my habit. I knew I
was in trouble, but I was too stubborn
to ask for help. I kicked my roommate
out, thinking he was the one with the
problem, but I still overdosed during
Christmas break and went into rehab.
That’s where I found God again. I
was 20 years old, going through rehab
in the middle of Nowhere, Alabama,
surrounded by guys with four teeth. I
was thinking, Is this really what I’ve done
with my life? That’s when I realized God
doesn’t leave you; you leave God. I had
been running from God my entire life.
Suddenly I realized He is the only one
who could help me!
I knew God had a plan for my life,
but I never expected it to include playing
college baseball again. I was living in
a halfway house when I got an e-mail
suggesting I try out at a small Christian
school in Georgia called Emmanuel
College. Although I hadn’t played in
more than a year and had just finished
rehab, the coaches agreed to give me a
shot.
It was the best thing that could
have happened! In fall 2008, I became a
student at Emmanuel. By spring I had
been suspended due to grades. I also
broke up with my girlfriend, injured my
shoulder and was indicted for dealing
drugs back in Alabama. With everything
spiraling out of control, I finally humbled
myself and apologized to God for the
first time. That’s when things started
coming together.
I stood trial last April. At 5 feet
10 inches tall and 165 pounds, I knew
I wasn’t cut out for prison, but I had
peace that God was in control. After I
explained to the judge that I was turning
my life around in a small town far away
from my old friends (a town so small
it got a McDonald’s just last year!) he
reduced my sentence from 18 months to
two years’ probation.
I returned to Emmanuel and started
seeking God like never before. During
our convocations, I would fall to my
knees and just praise Him. Soon, other
baseball players were joining me. We
didn’t win many games last year, but it
was rewarding to hold my teammates as
they cried and confessed things they had
done.
Looking back, I’m amazed. It’s not
easy living the Christian life. If it were,
then everyone would do it. But now that
I’ve experienced God for myself, I never
want to go back. There’s no high in the
world like this.
Sara Ray, associate editor of
Experience, helped write Chris’
testimony.
Have you had the Experience? Send your testimony to Sara Ray
at sray@lifesprings.net.
Here are five simple steps you can
take to begin a relationship with God:
1. Recognize your need. The Bible
tells us that “all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23,
NASB). All of us are sinners, and we
must admit our need for a Savior.
2. Repent of your sins. Because
God is completely holy, our sins create
a wall that separates us from Him.
By confessing your sins you will find
forgiveness. “Repent” means to make
a 180-degree turnaround. The Bible
promises: “If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and righteous to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
3. Believe in Jesus. God worked a
miracle when He sent His only Son
to die for us. We don’t have to pay for
our sins … Jesus paid it all! We can’t
work for our salvation. It is a gift from
God, and all He requires is that we
believe. Put your faith in Him. The Bible
says: “For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life” (John
3:16).
4. Receive His salvation. God has
given us this free gift, but we must
accept it. Thank Him for sending Jesus
to die on the cross for you. Thank
Him for His amazing love, mercy and
forgiveness. Then ask Him to live in
your heart. His promise to us is sure:
“But as many as received Him, to them
He gave the right to become children of
God”... (John 1:12).
5. Confess your faith. The Bible
assures us: “If you confess with your
mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in
your heart that God raised Him from
the dead, you will be saved” (Rom.
10:9). You have been born again and are
now part of God’s family. Tell someone
else what Jesus has done in your life!
This amazing experience can be yours.
Embrace God’s love and receive the
salvation that only Jesus Christ gives.
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We Fixed It Anyway!
BY BISHOP RONALD W. CARPENTER SR.
I
6
saw a TV advertisement a few years ago for Honda automobiles. The catch
line read: “It Wasn’t Broke But We Fixed It Anyway!” The company was
simply saying they had improved what was already working. So it is with
the new Experience magazine. What we had was working fine, but we felt it
could be made better. We have labored diligently to do so, and I hope you
will agree as you read our new digital edition.
For more than 2,000 years the church has sought innovative methods to
reach new generations with the gospel. The IPHC is no exception. Our founders
were compelled to share the Pentecostal message in a relevant, dynamic and
demonstrative way.
Over the years our methods changed, but our message of
forgiveness, holy living and Holy Spirit empowerment has never
been compromised. Experience continues to be a vital part of the
IPHC communications network. Just as our clothing, speech and
approach to ministry have evolved, so has this magazine. This is
evident when you peruse briefly the history of IPHC publications.
Prior to the 1911 merger that formed the IPHC, several early
leaders launched publications. These papers were used to share
testimonies, defend the movement’s theology and advertise
upcoming revivals. B.H. Irwin, founder of the Fire-Baptized
Holiness Church, began publishing Live Coals of Fire in 1899. After
Irwin left the church, J.H. King took responsibility for the paper. It relaunched under
the name Live Coals and ran from 1902 to 1906.
Later, A.B. Crumpler launched The Holiness Advocate in 1901 to promote the
Holiness agenda. Crumpler later fell from grace and left the church, and the
publication ceased in 1908. G.B. Cashwell, who came from Crumpler’s church,
produced The Bridegroom’s Messenger from 1907-1909 before resigning to concentrate
fully on his evangelistic efforts.
In 1917, George Floyd Taylor launched the Pentecostal Holiness Advocate. This
publication was the first official voice of the fledgling organization. It ran from
1917 to 1996. During this 79-year period, the Advocate was the primary means of
communication for the IPHC around the world.
In 1997, the magazine was relaunched as IssacharFile, a publication directed at
church leaders. In January 2004, under the leadership of Bishop James Leggett,
IssacharFile was discontinued and the IPHC Experience was launched. This new
magazine was for all IPHC members and told the story of the church’s work around
the world.
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Today we celebrate another launch: a
redesigned and reformatted IPHC Experience.
This new format, which includes both printed
and digital editions, is another logical evolution
of the communications ministry of the church
as we fulfill our mandate to be relevant,
dynamic and demonstrative in the 21st
century.
First, the new magazine is relevant. We live
in a digital age, and this magazine meets the
needs of our technology-driven society.
Second, it is dynamic. Whether in print or
digital format, the new Experience will make
a powerful impact on people’s lives just as its
print predecessors did. In fact, this new digital
magazine will help us connect with people the
print magazine cannot reach.
Third, it is demonstrative. Experience will
still be an avenue for the Holy Spirit to
minister to the body of Christ. The method has
changed, but the message remains the same!
Earlier this year, IPHC Communication
Services merged with LifeSprings Resources.
The new IPHC Communications team,
led by our newly appointed Director of
Communications, Greg Hearn, offers a variety
of services, including:
• expanded video
capabilities, including two
studios, a mobile production
truck and high definition
digital equipment.
• a redesigned IPHC
website (coming soon!)
• expanded use of social
media, Internet streaming, and
video conferencing.
• increased focus on IPHC
news and events.
Soon you will experience firsthand the
fruit of this new endeavor. We will offer more
IPHC news through the new website. You will
be able to connect with us using a variety of
communication venues. Whether you prefer
a letter, a phone call, an e-mail or a Tweet, we
will be able to reach you. You will experience
the Holy Spirit’s work in your life as we find
innovative ways to share godly wisdom, insight,
and teachings with the IPHC family.
American author Bruce Barton once said,
“When you are through changing, you are
through.” God is not through with the IPHC!
Our greatest days are ahead. Please join us
as we change, grow and thrive in the 21st
century!
You Can Partner in
This Historic Event!
Join us at the historic Octagon
Tabernacle in Falcon as we celebrate
our past and embrace our future. This
is an event you don’t want to miss.
Partnership Opportunities
Individual Partner
Church Partner
$100 Individual Partners receive:
• Copy of 1911 meeting minutes
• 2011 Covenant Agreement
• Historical DVDs
• 2011 Centennial Medallion
$250 Church Partners Receive:
• Copy of 1911 meeting minutes
• 2011 Covenant Agreement
• Historical DVDs
• 2011 Centennial Medallion
• Pen & Ink Sketch of Octagon
Tabernacle
Please make checks payable to
IPHC and mail to:
IPHC Celebrating the Merger
P.O. Box 270420
Oklahoma City, OK 73157
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7
Will You Be
My Amigo?
A leading voice for Hispanic Christians
speaks directly to the IPHC.
A CONVERSATION WITH SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ
S
amuel Rodriguez is a recognized spokesman
for the Hispanic church and serves as
president of the National
Hispanic Leadership
Conference. An ordained Assemblies of
God minister, Samuel lives in Sacramento,
California, where his wife pastors Christian
Worship Center. Experience talked to Samuel
about his faith journey, Latino spiritual values
and the immigration debate.
Tell us how you came to faith in Christ, and what role the
Hispanic church played in that.
Rodriguez: I came to Christ in a Pentecostal Hispanic church at age 9. From
early on I absorbed the ethos of a church committed to holiness, healing and the
Holy Spirit. The Hispanic church facilitated a safe and embracing environment.
It enabled me to grow within the confines of a faith narrative that seemed to be
an extension of our culture.
Did you experience racism while growing up?
Rodriguez: I experienced significant moments of hostility because of my last
name and Hispanic heritage. In a middle school with 2,100 students, I stood
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out as the only Hispanic male. My love for
mathematics led me to excel in academic
endeavors, yet I found myself in a constant
state of self-defense both physically and
emotionally.
Even though I was an honor student, a
high school guidance counselor encouraged
me to pursue vocational training in auto
repair because “this is what your people
are good at.” By God’s grace I was able to
pursue higher education in spite of all forms
of discrimination.
The Hispanic population is growing in the
U.S., and Hispanic churches here are some of
the most vibrant. Where do you see these trends
taking us in the next decade?
Rodriguez: By the year 2020 the Latino
population will total 102.6 million people,
or 24 percent of the population. Several
trends will emerge as a result of this
Hispanic evangelical growth:
More diverse: American evangelicalism
will be less segregated, more integrated and
more committed to
authentic community
outreach. Our young
people have no interest
in sitting in a church
that is entirely white,
black or Hispanic.
They desire diversity,
not in the context of
political correctness but
rather in the spirit of
Pentecost.
More prophetic:
Hispanics stand
committed to the
Cross—a Cross both
vertical and horizontal.
We are committed to
redemption and relationship, salvation and
transformation, covenant and community.
I believe a typical Hispanic evangelical is a
hybrid of Billy Graham and Martin Luther
King Jr., with salsa on top!
Hispanic evangelicals stand committed
to a platform of righteousness and justice.
Hence, we are marrying John 3:16 with
Luke 4 and Matthew 25. We are 100
percent pro-life and 100 percent committed
to the alleviation of poverty. We are100
percent in defense of traditional marriage
and 100 percent committed to biblical
stewardship of God’s creation.
More culturally relevant: To Latinos,
Christianity is not just a religion but also a
worldview and a lifestyle. Hispanic Christians
believe that a multiethnic, transgenerational
Christian community committed to biblical
orthodoxy can be the proverbial firewall
against moral relativism and the complacent
brand of Christianity doomed to duplicate the
Western European church.
Pentecostalism has spread rapidly in Latin
America. Why is that?
Rodriguez: Hispanics stand as one of the
most Holy Spirit-embracing communities in
the world. We love the Holy Spirit. That’s
because the global Hispanic community never
experienced the Protestant Reformation
until Pentecostal missionaries reached Latin
America. Azusa and Topeka stand as our
Rodriguez: Our approach can be best
described as relational. Many Anglo churches
measure success by Sunday morning
attendance. Success in the Hispanic church
community is best measured on Monday
morning, when we learn that a young person
did not return to his gang or a 40-year-old
male did not return to his drug addiction. We
measure vertical growth by our horizontal
outcomes.
Rodriguez: Leadership reflects your
mission. The fastest way to increase ethnic
representation is by assigning or electing
ethnic leadership. People want to follow
anything where shareholding is reflected in
leadership.
Also, you should intentionally market
and brand all materials, websites, brochures
and posters with Hispanic faces. Don’t wait
to grow in order to reflect the community.
Prophetically demonstrate the growth you
desire by a deliberate Hispanic marketing
campaign. After all, the goal is a multiethnic
Kingdom culture. The IPHC should not only
invite a Latino pastor to address the Latino
constituents. You should also invite a Latino
pastor to address the entire denomination.
The International Pentecostal Holiness
Church is a predominantly Anglo denomination
with a growing Hispanic sector. What must we
do to reach Hispanics effectively?
The issue of immigration has triggered
division in the American church. How should
churches respond to the needs of immigrants,
including illegals, in this climate?
Wittenberg. The Pentecostal experience
was our liberating force from oppressive
religion.
How would you describe the typical Latino
leader’s approach to growing a church?
continued on page 23
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9
SEEKING JUSTICE
FOR IMMIGRANTS
Leaders call for Christian
compassion in national debate.
Shout It From the Housetops!
An IPHC pastor preached from the roof of his church to fulfill a promise.
Several years ago, Rev. Ray Southerland
issued a challenge to his small church: If
100 people showed up for homecoming
services, he’d preach from the church’s
roof. The church met his challenge, and
the following Sunday, Ray preached from
the roof of Lighthouse PHC in Pacolet,
S.C.
Soon after, a man named John
Blackwell began attending Lighthouse. He
offered his pastor a deal: Will you preach
from the roof of the church again if we can
fill every seat? Southerland said yes to the
offer.
Blackwell tried to fill up the little church
year after year, but he just couldn’t make it
happen. Then in early 2010, he was killed in
a car wreck. He was 80 years old.
As it turned out, the church was packed
on the day of Blackwell’s funeral, and
Pastor Southerland remembered the
promise he’d made.
“I felt like the Holy Spirit prompted me
and said that Brother John had filled up the
church.” So Southerland decided to preach
from the roof again in honor of Blackwell.
On June 13, Lighthouse PHC hosted a
memorial service for Blackwell. It was 100
degrees and humid, but Ray climbed on the
roof and delivered his sermon. “I felt like
I had to make good on my promise,” the
pastor said. “We had a great time.”
Quotable
“We have something even more significant than a
cure for cancer. We have the cure to sin and guilt, and
the cure for hell and the hope for heaven. How much
more urgently do we need to get this message out?”
— Evangelist Greg Laurie, July 2010
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A diverse group of Christian
leaders has called for an
immigration reform policy that offers
a legal path to citizenship but does
not promote amnesty. In a statement
released in May, the leaders, ranging
from Pentecostals to Southern
Baptists and representing millions
of constituents, said the nation must
secure, not close, its borders, then
allow “the millions of undocumented
and otherwise law-abiding persons
living in our midst to come out of the
shadows.”
They said a “just, rational” policy
would put undocumented persons
on one of three paths: one leading to
earned legal citizenship or residency,
one to acquiring legal guest-worker
status, or one to deportation,
which they said should be swift for
undocumented felons.
Signers of the statement included
theВ Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, an
Assemblies of God minister and
president of the National Hispanic
Christian Leadership Conference;
Richard Land, president of the Ethics
and Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention;
Bishop George McKinney, pastor
of St. Stephen’s Cathedral Church
of God in Christ and a member of
his denomination’s general board;
Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty
Counsel; and Lou Engle, co-founder
of TheCall prayer movement.
The National Association of
Evangelicals (NAE), whose members
include the Assemblies of God
and the International Pentecostal
Holiness Church, approved a
resolution last year saying it “is in
our national interest to protect our
borders, reunite families, admit
legal immigrants and bring the
undocumented onto the tax rolls.”
“Evangelicals may have largely
missed the civil rights battles of
the 1960s, but we do not intend to
repeat our mistake in 2010,” said
Galen Carey, the NAE’s director of
government affairs.
–Adrienne S. Gaines,
Charisma News Service
SCU Launches LifeCoaching
Institute In Oklahoma City
Graduate program taps new trend in leadership development.
Life coaching, a relatively new trend
in leadership development, helps others
set and achieve their
personal, professional
and spiritual goals.
Pastors can now become
certified life coaches
through a unique
program offered by the
IPHC’s Southwestern
Christian University in
Bethany, Okla.
John Chasteen
The LifeCoaching
Institute (LCI) is dedicated to the
advancement, training and educational
promotion of Christ-centered life coaching
in contemporary society. John Chasteen,
former dean of SCU’s Graduate School of
Ministry, has been named director of the
new program. “Our goal is to produce an
academically sound, professional training
experience that is grounded in biblical
principles and concepts,” Chasteen said.
Chasteen is a certified life coach with
Lifeforming Leadership Coaching, an
organization founded in Virginia by Regent
University’s Joseph Umidi. According to
Chasteen, fewer than 60 schools in the
United States offer accredited degrees in life
coaching, even though it is believed to be the
second fastest-growing vocation in the world.
The LifeCoaching Institute will offer
degrees at the graduate level as well as
an internationally recognized coaching
certification program. For more information,
contact the LifeCoaching Institute office at
405-789-7661.
SCU has appointed Dr. Terry Tramel to
replace Chasteen as dean of the graduate
school. Said Tramel:
“I am honored to be
given the opportunity
to serve in this
capacity. My goal
is to build on the
work done by those
before me by joining
with the present
team to createВ a
Terry Tramel
brighter futureВ of
training leaders for ministry at Southwestern
Christian University.”
В» FLORIDA IPHC GROWS
The IPHC in Florida has grown from
10,000 to 60,000 members in 16 years,
making it the largest conference in
the denomination. That news was
announced in June during the Sonshine
Conference’s annual meeting in
Altamonte Springs, Fla. During that
event, Bishop Clifton Smith announced
his retirement. Rev. Ray Willis of Palatka
was elected as the new conference
superintendent. In September the
conference will divide in half, and
a newly formed Hispanic Sonshine
Network will be formed under the
leadership of Bishop Joaquin Mercado.
В» EMMANUEL COLLEGE EXPANDS
Officials at the IPHC’s Emmanuel
College in Georgia plan to break ground
in October to build a dormitory complex
that will hold 96 students. The facility
will feature separate men’s and women’s
towers, an expansive lobby with coffee
bar, workout facility and business center.
Brian James, Emmanuel’s vice president
of marketing and development, said the
official groundbreaking will take place
on Oct. 2 during Homecoming Weekend.
The building was made possible by a
$1 million donation from David and
Robert Roberson, both Emmanuel
alumni. A new gymnasium is included in
a second phase of expansion.
В» HAITI REBUILDING
EFFORT CONTINUES
South Alabama Church “Shacks Up” for Needy
Robertsdale Pentecostal Holiness Church recently joined with community churches to
raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Teens participated in a Shack-a-Thon, a fundraiser in
which teams build a “shack” and compete for prizes.
To date, the small community, just a few miles east of Mobile, Ala., has raised more than
$30,000 to help Habitat for Humanity. Robertsdale PH teens also helped construct one of the
Habitat homes. “We don’t have a very big group, but we can make a difference,” said Pastor
Sharon White, who works with the teens.
More than 18 IPHC
ministry teams have
worked in Port-auPrince, Haiti, since a
devastating earthquake
shook that city in
January, and 16 more
Phillip Gschwend
teams are scheduled to
visit between now and Christmas. One
IPHC businessman, Phillip Gschwend
from Trion, N.C., is now devoting a year
of his time to help rebuild destroyed
homes of pastors in the region
affected by the quake. A son of IPHC
missionaries, Gschwend owns his own
construction company but spends two
to three weeks a month in Haiti now.
He has already repaired a feeding
center that was damaged. When asked
about the enormity of the need in Haiti,
Gschwend said: “I can’t help everybody
there, but I can rebuild that man’s
house. And when I finish, it I can help
that family over there.”
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John Swails Leaves
Lasting Legacy of Faith
The popular Bible teacher died in June at age 94.
Friends would often quote scriptures
Reverend John W. Swails Jr., a
to him, and to their surprise, Swails
retired pastor and teacher whom
would recount not only the book and
many considered one of the foremost
the chapter, but also the verse from
theologians in the International
memory. He fondly recalled that while
Pentecostal Holiness Church, passed
plowing a field for planting, he would
away on June 12, 2010, at the age of 94.
memorize scriptures from a Bible that
A drive through the campus of
was literally falling apart at the seams.
Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs,
Ga., would be enough to reveal the
impact Swails had on the school and the
community, given the street and building
named in his honor. But Swails’ legacy
reaches far beyond the John W. Swails
Center in which family and friends
gathered to celebrate his life on June 15.
“In a ministry that spanned almost
five decades in both the classroom
and the pulpit, John W. Swails touched
countless lives,” said IPHC Presiding
Bishop Ronald Carpenter Sr. “He was
a superb teacher, an inspiring pastor, a
devoted husband and father, and a friend
to all who knew him. I am confident that
his legacy will continue on through the
love he gave his family, the wisdom he
imparted to his students, and the gospel
he lived each day of his life.”
Swails was born in 1915 in Andrews,
S.C. After his mother’s death, he quit
school in the fifth grade to help his
Swails began his ministry in 1935.
father work the family’s 80-acre farm.
Swails began his pastoral ministry
His eternal destiny and earthly future
in a home group in Jamestown, S.C., in
changed, however, in 1932 when he
early 1935. That same year he began
accepted Christ at a three-week revival
to further his education,
presided over by his uncle, W. T.
eventually earning
(Bud) Swails, a minister from
degrees from Holmes
Rockingham, N.C. Following
Bible College, Newberry
Swails’ conversion, God called
College, Lutheran
the 16-year-old into the
Southern Seminary
ministry and placed within him
and the University of
an unquenchable hunger for
Oklahoma. In the midst of
the word of God. In a humble
his graduate work, Swails
manner, Swails estimated
developed a great passion
that he read through the Bible
for Christian education.
at least 10 times in the three
He taught for three
years following his conversion. Swails taught at
years at Southwestern
Emmanuel College for
He also memorized
Christian University
countless scripture passages. 31 years.
12
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in Bethany, Okla., before arriving at
Emmanuel College in 1951. He would
teach there for 31 years.
“I run into a lot of those students that
I taught,” Swails said in an interview
after his retirement in 1982. “They make
me feel more important than I am. And
I’m very proud of them.”
“John W. Swails was a mighty
man of the Word,” says Dr. Michael
Stewart, president of Emmanuel
College. “His Bible teaching and
preaching have informed and
inspired several generations. I fondly
remember sitting in many of his
classes in awe of his knowledge,
memory and command of the truths
of the Holy Scriptures.”
When the time came to christen
Emmanuel’s new auditorium in 1998,
Reverend Swails was the Board of
Trustees’ first choice. He accepted the
honor with his trademark humility and
sense of humor. “They don’t usually get
around to that kind of thing until after
the fella’s gone, but somehow they got to
me before then,” Swails said.
“The history of Emmanuel College
will always be intertwined with the
legacy of John W. Swails,” Stewart
said. “He has left a mark on the lives of
thousands of people. He was more than
a teacher; he was a motivator, a mentor
and a friend.”
Throughout his ministry, Swails still
found time to focus on raising a family.
He married Glenda Baldwin in 1946,
and the couple had three sons—John
W. Swails III, Joseph B. Swails and
James R. Swails. After Glenda’s death
in 2006, he married Sylvia Williams in
2007. In addition to Sylvia and his sons,
Swails is survived by one stepson, three
daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren
and nine great-grandchildren.
Bishop Carpenter added: “As
Presiding Bishop of the IPHC, the
church John Swails loved and served, I
want to express the gratitude and deep
appreciation of IPHC constituents in
countries around the world for this good
man, who out of the good treasure of his
good heart brought forth good things.
He will continue to influence our lives as
we treasure the fond memories!”
—Sara Ray
Books
GEORGIA PASTOR
SAYS: “Stay Put”
Trey Jones [BLAZE PUBLISHING, $15.99]
Music
South Carolina Group
SINGS WITH HEART
Trophies of God [Freedom Records]
South Carolina pastor Eileen Gunnells and her singing
family have been making music for many years. Now their first
recording, Trophies of God, showcases their unique blend of
contemporary praise and Southern gospel.
The group consists of Gunnells, who pastors Cana of
Galilee PH Church in Cope, S.C.; her son, Brandon Hudson,
who pastors Wagener PH Church in Wagener, S.C.; Gunnell’s
daughter, Brittany Owens; Brandon’s wife, Danielle; and
drummer/manager Steven Semones.
Many of the tracks feature Brandon’s stellar lead vocals; he
also wrote most of the songs. “Break the Chains” is a stirring
anthem that makes the best use of the young minister’s talents.
Gunnells, who leads revivals and women’s conferences,
is particularly thrilled with the song “Trophy of God,” which
features a lead vocal by daughter Brittany. Says Gunnells:
“Brittany was raped at age 16, and she thought her life was
over. She struggled for
several years, but God
healed her and gave her
a wonderful husband.
She is truly a trophy
for God because she
allowed God to put her
life back together.” The
song, like the album,
celebrates the way the
Holy Spirit puts broken
lives back together.
You can order the CD at trophiesofgod.blogspot.com.
Being a church planter isn’t easy, and Trey Jones admits he’s
wanted to quit his assignment more than once. But he found
the strength to press on—and now he’s sharing the principles
he’s learned about faithful discipleship in a new book, Stay Put:
Discover the Power of Consistency.
Jones moved to Macon, Ga., in 1999 to plant Life Center, a
now-thriving IPHC congregation. He says he wrote his book
partly because he and his wife, Hope, have watched so many
people hit walls of discouragement and disappointment. “We’ve
seen many people give up. We’ve seen people miss God’s best
for them,” he says.
Using the biblical story of Ruth as a primary text, Stay Put
follows the Moabite woman through her journey from a barren
wasteland to a place of surprising fruitfulness in Bethlehem.
The author points out that many Christians make tragic
decisions when they go though seasons of
spiritual dryness.
Stay Put challenges readers to
conquer what Jones calls “the enemies
of consistency”—which include fatigue,
impatience, distraction and fear. The book
is available from Lifesprings Resources
at lifespringsresources.com (or call
800-541-1376).
Trey Jones
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COVER STORY
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G
ood Shepherd Worship Center is set in the
suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, and certainly
doesn’t look like the setting for a thriving
ethnic ministry. Yet long before Hispanics
became the largest of America’s minority groups, DeWayne
Sadler began seeking a pastor to start a congregation aimed at
evangelizing Spanish-speaking people.
“I just thought it was a good
B Y K EN WAL K ER
opportunity to reach them,” says
the Pentecostal pastor, who first noticed that immigrants
were moving to the suburbs of Louisville in the mid1990s. Though his search for a Hispanic pastor took
more than a year, in 1999 Iglesia Cristiana began
meeting in Good Shepherd’s multipurpose
building. It gradually grew until it moved into
the fellowship hall, which holds about 100
worshipers.
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15
To get connected.
Go to cast.iphc.tv.
Join Bill Terry on
August 10 to find
out the latest.
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Divine Assignments
Mike Brewer kept that perspective at the
forefront when he helped birth a Hispanic
church in 2007. The pastor of Bible Temple,
an IPHC congregation in Toledo, Ohio,
says it was simply a response to the Great
Commission.
“If there’s a need, fill it,” says Brewer,
whose church sits in a neighborhood that is
60 percent African American and 10 percent
Hispanic. “We saw a need around us for
Hispanic ministry, for those who spoke only
Spanish. Mine was limited to taco, burrito
and a few other words!”
Searching for someone who could
spearhead such a ministry, Brewer learned
of Guadalupe Rios, an ordained pastor who
was at the time leading a Bible study for
Hispanics in his home. The church now
meets on Sunday nights and draws an average
of 50 people.
“We have a very close relationship,”
Brewer says of Rios. “We try to have dinner
every three months and spend time talking
about his ministry and what we can do to
help them. He always asks, �What can we
do for you?’ They gave us $1,100 toward a
parking lot at a school we are building in
Thailand.”
Other pastors reiterate the importance of
an ongoing connection between leadership
in a new fellowship and its host church.
Ralph Holland launched a Hispanic
church at Covenant Church in Carrollton,
Texas, in 1991. Beginning with 30 people,
that church, called Mundo de Fe, now
numbers more than 2,000 members and
has six satellite campuses in the Dallas-Fort
Worth metroplex. Yet Holland credits
much of the success to a solid relationship
established by a pastor willing to reach out
and a host church that still allows them to
use its facilities every Sunday afternoon for
services.
“[Covenant] Pastor Mike Hayes said,
�You are us,’” Holland recalls. “The Hispanic
people know that, and they feel it. It’s made
all the difference in the world. For once,
Photo by iStock
What’s
going on
in Men’s
Ministries
today?
Since then Iglesia Cristiana has seen
dozens of conversions and miracles—and
has grown to become an independent
church with its own facility.
“The Holy Spirit is moving,” says
Walter Sosa, Iglesia Cristiana’s 41-year-old
Guatemalan pastor. “People who didn’t
like to pray are hungry for God. My vision
is that in a couple of years, we won’t have
room for all the people.”
Similar growth is sparking interest in
Hispanic churches among denominations
and networks of all kinds. The nation’s
largest Protestant group, the Southern
Baptist Convention, now oversees 3,182
Hispanic churches in the United States, and
more than half of them are missions started
by Anglo churches. The Assemblies of God
(AG) has reported that nearly 34 percent of
its 2.8 million adherents are Hispanics.
“In 1971 we had only two Hispanic
districts; now we have eight with over 1,800
churches,” says Efraim Espinoza, the AG’s
director of Hispanic relations. “It’s just
phenomenal growth.”
The IPHC’s Hispanic church count
increased from 317 to 434 since 2002,
according to David Avila, director of
Hispanic Ministries. In fact, more than
40 percent of all the new IPHC churches
planted in the past four years are Spanishspeaking congregations, Avila said.
Obviously, the Hispanic population surge
isn’t just within church walls. A 2006 U.S.
Census Bureau estimate placed Hispanic
numbers at 44.3 million, or 14.8 percent
of the population. (New figures won’t be
available until the 2010 census is completed.)
In the past few years, Hispanic Americans
have been responsible for almost half of this
country’s population growth.
Whether natives or immigrants,
Hispanic people represent a fertile ground
for charismatics and Pentecostals, according
to a 2007 report from the Pew Hispanic
Center at the Pew Forum on Religion
and Public Life. The study found that 68
percent of Hispanic Americans are Roman
Catholic, while 15 percent are born-again or
evangelical Protestants.
However, it also revealed that “renewalist
Christianity,” with its emphasis on the
Holy Spirit, has made major inroads among
Hispanics. A majority of Latino Catholics
describe themselves as charismatic or
Pentecostal, compared to only 10 percent of
non-Latino Catholics.
Baptists to sell their building, Higueros’ group
had to move again.
Over the next decade they bounced from
warehouses to churches and back again, and
in 2003 acquired a 300,000-square-foot
facility once occupied by a credit company.
After extensive remodeling, it now includes
a sanctuary that holds 5,000, a smaller venue
with 1,000 seats and separate buildings for
children and youth.
Attendance averages 2,000 today, and
Higueros has planted sister congregations in
Connecticut, Indiana, Mexico and Spain.
But the pastor says there were many tough
years en route to his church’s current size.
He and other pastors—both Hispanic and
otherwise—allude to several key factors
of which churches must be aware when
launching a Hispanic church.
they realized they’re not treated as inferior or
second-class citizens.”
Holland also believes Anglo pastors who
fail to make their facilities available to start
new works are ignoring God’s mandate. “We
have got to minister to the community. If
we’re not [ministering], we’re being selfish or
inconsiderate.”
Victor Higueros, pastor of Ministerios
Bethania in suburban Dallas, felt called by
God to move to the United States in 1991.
The Guatemalan pastor forged ahead on his
own, starting with seven people who met
in a north Dallas home. A month later they
moved into a Baptist church that offered
space, but when a financial pinch forced the
1. Pick a pastor carefully. Always
consider the demographics when appointing
a leader for a new ministry. A leader trying to
reach Hispanics without understanding their
culture is doomed to fail, Higueros says.
“They have to have somebody who
knows the community,” he says, adding that
bilingual ability is a plus.
Brewer also suggests finding someone
from within a local neighborhood with a
burden for reaching Hispanics, but only after
discussing it with senior leadership. The first
step is understanding the need, he says. “In
BRAVE PIONEERS: MEET SOME HISPANIC LEADERS IN THE IPHC
Jaime Trevino
Pastor, Oasis de
Esperanza (Oasis
of Hope), Webster,
Texas, and
Bishop of IPHC
Texas Latin
Conference
“To reach firstgeneration
immigrants, you
must start an
apartment-complex
ministry where the
people can that
see the pastor or
the leader is �one
of them.’ Also,
offer English and
citizenship classes.
Serve food and
social services at
your events.”
David Avila
Director of
the IPHC’s
Hispanic
Ministries,
Bethany,
Oklahoma
“We must
be relational
about it. They
must feel that
we care about
them and their
dreams. Our
lifestyle must
reflect our
message. They
need to know
that we care
about them
more than our
buildings and
programs.”
Avelino and Lily
Da Silva
Co-pastors,
Emmanuel Worship
Center, Alvin, Texas
“Hispanics need
friends in this
country. They are
lonely, and they miss
their families who
remain in their native
countries. They need
to find churches that
speak Spanish so
they can understand
the gospel while they
learn to speak English
in bilingual services.
“They also need
jobs to support their
families here and
those in their native
countries.”
Hector Andrade
Pastor, Christian
Community
PH Church,
Worthington,
Minnesota
“Jesus invested
quality time with
all kinds of people
and related to
them culturally.
This is key to
reaching Hispanics.
He reproduced
Himself in those He
chose to be leaders
by setting the best
possible model. He
treated followers
as partners, not
as members of
a less privileged
subculture.”
Hector Sanchez
Pastor, Iglesia
Cristiana Maranatha,
Johns Island, South
Carolina
“We have seen great
results with outdoor
tent revivals. Starting
in 2007, we did these
meetings for weeks
at a time. We grew
from a small group
to about 130 coming
regularly. Most of
the converts are
Mexican. We also
have seen great
results visiting
people door to door,
offering medical
services, food,
clothes and English
classes.”
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BOSTON
CHARLESTON
DALLAS
NEW YORK
SEATTLE
LOS ANGELES
RALEIGH. . .
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
May your name be honored.
- Matthew 6:9-13
Where will you be?
SEE YOU AT THE POLE
09•22•2010
WWW.SYATP.COM
some cases you will need to talk with the
congregation.”
The jury’s still out, however, on whether
a pastor must have a Hispanic heritage.
Holland, a former missionary, says more
important is the leader’s fluency in Spanish.
He believes this is one of the main points to
starting Hispanic churches in the first place: to
accommodate a language group rather than an
ethnic enclave. Indeed, Hispanic communities
are their own melting pot, encompassing
Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans,
Guatemalans and Salvadorans, to name a few.
IPHC church planter Aaron Helland
sees things differently. If a church is near an
area populated by Mexican immigrants but
chooses a Hispanic pastor from a different
region, it will be swimming upstream,
Helland says, citing personal experience
from his first church start in Oklahoma.
Likewise, the sponsoring congregation will
face problems if it hires a third-generation
Hispanic with limited Spanish skills, which
Helland says will sour relationships with firstgeneration immigrants.
“Hispanics aren’t one community,” says
Helland, who now pastors the multicultural
Ephesians 4 International Church just west
of Chicago. “They all have different likes
and dislikes and eat different foods. So your
pastor is going to make a huge difference. I
think [the sponsoring church] should look at
somebody from the majority group.”
2. Define your vision. Unless the
sponsor and Hispanic church agree on mutual
concerns and goals, the latter will inevitably
“spin off” and find its own space. “Our goal
was to coexist,” says Peter DeJesus, a Puerto
Rican who for several years led the Spanish
congregation at The Oaks Fellowship, an AG
church in Dallas. “The growing trend now is
not to launch [a new church], but to have one
site where many people can come.”
Helland advises having a contract that
spells out issues such as facilities that will be
made available, cleaning responsibilities and
permitted activities. A trusted leader who
can communicate with both the host church
and Hispanic churchgoers is important, as are
regular meetings between both parties.
3. Mentor like you mean it. Without
advice and input from the sponsoring pastor,
sooner or later the Hispanic pastor’s vision
will diverge from the sponsor’s, says DeJesus,
who is now youth pastor at Cornerstone
Church in San Antonio. “Teach leadership
principles and life mentoring,” he urges. “As
the ministry grows, have mentoring done
by different departments—education pastor,
youth pastor, across the board. Strengthen ties
and bring appreciation to the heart of Spanish
pastors for their English covering.”
4. Keep family first. Hispanic
communities are built around the family.
Host pastors can’t forget this as they seek to
18
August 2010 | www.iphcExperience.com
minister effectively to this culture.
“If you want to reach the Hispanic
community, you have to plan for the family,
not just the individual,” says Higueros.
“You have to educate the children. We try
to teach people how to be a better father,
mother, son or daughter, and we teach each
from the Bible.... If we can win them for the
Lord, we can make a big change in the Latin
community. The church has a responsibility
to teach them.”
5. Most of all, offer friendship. Jaime
Trevino, bishop of the IPHC’s Texas Latin
Conference, says when Hispanics first come
to this country, they have a certain amount of
distrust of strangers. But what they treasure is
an American friend.
“Their newly found friend will help and
guide them in the things they have to do in
this new country, such as learning how to
fill a job application,” says Trevino. “These
Hispanics will immediately connect to the
local church if this new friend happens to be
the pastor.”
Seize the Moment
At a time when the nation is bitterly
divided over immigration reform, Hispanic
leaders say this is a key moment for U.S.
churches to offer love, compassion and
healing to this misunderstood ethnic group.
DeJesus says numerous prophetic words have
been given to the church in recent years
about God using Hispanics to bring spiritual
awakening to this country.
“I draw a parallel with the book of
Esther,” says DeJesus. “Haman tried to
destroy the Jews, but it was a divine time
for them to be delivered. God’s time for the
Hispanic people is coming.”
Sergio Scataglini, an Argentinian pastor
and author who now bases his ministry in
South Bend, Ind., believes churches in the
United States have been given a unique
opportunity to disciple the nations in our
own backyard. But we have to recognize the
moment, he notes.
“There are more Spanish-speaking people
living in North America than in the entire
population of my homeland of Argentina,”
Scataglini says, “and that doesn’t even include
the Hispanics who speak English only,
particularly the younger generation.”
He adds: “I believe God is now saying to
many traditional American churches, �You are
not American. You are not foreign. You are
international, with a global mission at your
doorstep.’”
Ken Walker is a member of Celebration
Church, an IPHC congregation in
Huntington, W.Va. He has been a frequent
contributor to Charisma and Ministry Today
magazines and looks forward to writing more
often for Experience.
E l d o re t , Ke n ya
Yet despite the rustic lifestyle, the Sneeds
plan to live here at least ten years.
“I felt so at home here the first time I
visited,” Summer says. “I felt comfortable. I
could never get Kenya out of my mind.”
Kevin, who teaches theological classes at
the school and disciples pastors all over the
country, now wants to raise his family in
Kenya. He says: “We have shown the Kenyan
people that we are here for the long haul.”
It has not been easy for the Sneeds to fit
in. Sometimes people call Summer a “girl”
because she looks so young. Cultural differences are huge. But Kevin reminds his
Kenyan friends that he did not come to their
country to import American culture.
Both Kevin and Summer are instructors at
Kevin and Summer Sneed’s love for Kenya
the college, and Summer also enjoys teaching
the 50 kids who are housed in the children’s
also brought them together.
home. Kevin specializes in basic theological
courses, which he says are vital because of
BY J. LEE GRADY
rampant syncretism in the Kenyan church.
Many Christians, for example, mix the gospel
with superstitious beliefs about water demons.
ummer Green fell in love with Kenya in 2004 during a mis“Some people are afraid to go to the ocean
sions trip. Kevin Sneed fell in love with Kenya in 2007 when
because of water spirits,” Kevin explains.
he traveled throughout the East African country ministering in
Kevin is grounding his
rural churches.
students with courses
Then they fell in love with each
such as “The Life and
other.
Letters of Paul” and
While many young couples their
“The Gospel of John.”
age (he’s 27; she’s 25) were chasing the elusive American
Students take up to six
dream, Kevin and Summer headed to the mission field just
classes per term and
months after their marriage in 2008. Today they teach at
earn the equivalent
the IPHC’s East African Bible College in Eldoret, Kenya,
of an associate degree
help with a children’s home and train pastors throughout
after two years.
the country.
The Sneeds believe
“I look back now and say, �How did we do that?’”
the IPHC is playing
Summer says of her whirlwind wedding and relocation to
a strategic role in
a developing country. “It was a very hectic time. But it was
the evangelization of
the Lord’s timing for our lives.”
Kenya. While many
The Sneeds are carrying on a legacy of sacrifice. The
churches focus on
IPHC’s work began in Kenya in the 1970s, and missionary
urban areas, most
Joe Arthur began the Bible college in 1986. Today the
IPHC churches are
school is accredited, and the IPHC oversees 300 Kenyan
Kevin and Summer Sneed at Victorious
in rural villages. By
churches.
Children’s Home
training more and more
Eldoret requires a five-hour journey on rough roads from
rural pastors, Kevin
Nairobi, and life there is not easy. Most people live in mud
believes he can penetrate even more remote
huts with thatch or metal roofs. Kevin and Summer are blessed to live in a house
areas.
made of concrete, but they must start a wood fire to heat water for showers. Electricity is not reliable.
For the Love of Africa
S
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19
missi o n s pr o file
“We can reach the difficult places
by training, mobilizing and supporting
people from the places where we currently
work,” he explains. “A Kenyan has far
more access to Somali people than I ever
will. So what do I do? I help the Kenyans
reach the Somalis.”
The IPHC is also bridging tribal
divisions. At Eldoret Worship Center,
the church on the mission base, 300
members from various backgrounds worship together, including people from
Rwanda and Congo and members of the
Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin tribes. This is
significant since some Christians killed
each other during a wave of violence that
erupted after the 2008 national elections.
What prepared Kevin and Summer for
their difficult assignment? Both acknowledged that teachers at Emmanuel College
shaped them. Summer lists Dr. Beverly
Oxley, an Emmanuel professor, as a key
mentor. “Dr. Oxley encouraged me to
pursue my calling in missions. Interestingly, my current job description is almost
identical to hers when she lived in Kenya
several years ago,” Summer says.
Kevin has a similar story. “My professors at Emmanuel were some great mentors. I learned from them both inside and
outside the classroom. I look back now at
the things they taught me and appreciate
them more and more as time goes on.”
Now, the Sneeds host mission teams
from Emmanuel, including a group that
worked with them in the Tana River
Delta in May. Summer hopes some of the
students who experienced a few weeks in
Kenya will fall in love with the country as
she did.
“My hope is that they will see Kevin
and me here and think, �If God can help
them do something like this, then I think
He can help me too,’” she says.
Meanwhile Kevin has some candid
advice for anyone considering the call to
missionary work.
“Don’t feel like you are losing something by moving away from America,”
he says. There is actually fulfillment in
leaving something significant behind in
order to follow Jesus.”
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Wedding date: February 15, 2008
Kevin’s hometown: Troy, North Carolina
Summer’s hometown: Elizabethtown, North
Carolina
New home: Eldoret, Kenya
Living conditions: Kevin and Summer’s
house is made of cement and stone with
wood and tile floors. There is no heating or air
conditioning. For hot showers they build a fire to heat the water. They wash clothes by hand.
Electricity goes out about one day a week. “But with modern plumbing, five TV stations and
dial-up Internet, we live a good life!” Kevin assures us.
Kevin’s favorite Kenyan food: Ugali, a type of corn mush
Summer’s favorite Kenyan food: Sukumawiki, which she says is “just like collard greens”
What Kevin misses most about the U.S.A.: Barbecue
What Summer misses most: Chick-Fil-A and Krispy Kreme Donuts
What they do for recreation: Lots of hiking. Says Kevin: “There are several places near
Eldoret where we can hike up a mountain to a waterfall. We take a picnic lunch with us and
spend the day.” The nearest movie theater is three hours away.
Biggest culture shock for Kevin: Having to use an outhouse with no door in a rural village.
“All the children of the church came to watch the white man go to the bathroom,” he says.
Biggest culture shock for Summer: Seeing bodies lying beside roads after accidents.
Kevin’s funniest memory of Kenya: “I’ve had Sunday lunch in a mud hut while listening to
Dolly Parton on a battery powered CD player.”
Summer’s funniest memory: “I laugh the most at Kevin driving in Kenyan traffic. He takes
on an entirely different persona behind the wheel here.”
Changed lives: Kevin Sneed baptizes a new convert near Eldoret, Kenya.
The Call of
the Wild
How John and Ann Powell have
taken a nontraditional approach to
reach Wales for Jesus
The IPHC is blessed to have unique leaders
serving all over the world. One of them is
John Powell, a skilled musician who pastors
Church on the Move in Neath, Wales. Like
many Welsh Christians, Powell and his wife,
Ann, have a wild streak—they carry a contagious passion for evangelism and revival
that is evident in their music.
We talked to John Powell about Wales
and how his nontraditional ministry is
reaching people in a nation that has literally
forgotten God.
John Powell (center) leads the worship band at Church on the Move.
Tell us about the spiritual climate in Wales.
John Powell: Less than 2 percent of Welsh people attend church
regularly. The strange thing is that the majority of Welsh folk still
celebrate our Christian heritage without really knowing where it
came from. Great Welsh hymns like “Bread of Heaven” are sung with
enthusiasm by young and old at rugby matches and in pubs. Yet none
of the revelers realizes who the Bread of Heaven is!
Tell us about the unique building you rent in the city of Neath.
John Powell: We use the Old Town Hall for our Sunday
meetings, and it is located at the heart of Neath. It is surrounded by
pubs and bars, so our worship can be heard outside the building on the
streets and has been known to draw people in. This building was the
original seat of local government, so we feel it is a significant place to
be to change the spiritual climate of our town.
What role do music and worship play in your outreach?
John Powell: I led worship for many years prior to starting our
church in 1999. So it’s no surprise that music plays a vital part of our
gatherings and outreach. This has drawn many musicians to use their
talents for the Lord—from communal garden guitarists like me to the
more exotic didgeridoo players.
Some of our musicians have formed bands that play in pubs,
clubs and just about anywhere. We also have a youth ministry called
Sanctuary that uses a wide variety of music to reach kids.
Give us a few examples of people who have come to Jesus through
your ministry.
Church on the Move meets in the Old Town Hall in Neath, Wales.
John Powell: One lady who came to our meetings later testified
that she left church at 16 because of pressure to stop smoking.
Some 30 years later, with many failed relationships strewn behind
her, she found herself alone at home on New Year’s Eve, with a
glass of whiskey in one hand and a joint in the other, crying out to
God for help.
Just days later she received an invitation to one of our meetings.
She received Christ and started a journey in which she saw family
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21
reconciliation, provision and hope emerge
even in the midst of her weakness and failure.
One young man came to the meetings
carrying his Satanic Bible! He was saved and
now carries the true Bible—and he has been on
two mission trips to Uganda. There are many
more testimonies like this from people from
different walks of life.
Wales was at one time the site of an amazing
spiritual awakening. Do you think God will do
that again in your country?
John Powell: Yes, I believe God will
move in power here again. But I doubt it will
look like anything we have read about before.
Many dwindling congregations are praying
for another revival all across Wales. The
problem is this new revival will have to fit their
expectations.
History tells us this rarely if ever happens.
Sadly, the people affected by the last revival
nearly always criticize the new revival.
I suspect that what will come out of Wales
will be offensive to some and liberating to others.
What would you expect from a nation with two
flags and two opinions about most things?
22
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Tell us how you came to be associated with
the Pentecostal Holiness Church.
John Powell: Several years ago IPHC
missionary Harold Presley invited us to lead
worship at an IPHC pastors’ conference. On
the first night we naively did what we do best,
and our music was accentuated by drums,
shouting and lots of dancing! When we
stopped, the congregation just stared at us.
But then the conference speaker leapt to her
feet and began prophesying over us! We have
been leading the conference worship ever since,
and I was later accepted and ordained with
IPHC.
During the second conference we attended,
one of the pastors told me, “Pastor John, last
year I did not know if you were from God or
the devil. But now I know this is God. I have
experienced something new in worship and am
changed!”
How do typical Welsh people view
Pentecostals?
John Powell: The majority of the people
don’t really care. Anyone who goes to any
John Powell: Wild for the Lord
church is treated with differing levels of
contempt in Wales. Pentecostal churches have
become more accepted in recent years, but
overall we are not regarded as “proper” churches
since we are not Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian
or Methodist.
In spite of this, Pentecostal churches tend to
be the best attended in Wales and are generally
growing. This is reported in the media from
time to time.
Sometimes Welsh people say to Pentecostals:
“I dare not come to your church because if I did
I know I would change!” Maybe we are not that
far away from another revival after all!
To contact John Powell:
John.Powell@amey.co.uk.
continued from page 9
“There
seems to be
a general
outcry in
the IPHC
denomination
for a return
to genuine
biblical
truth and
authenticity.”
that we need to ask
the Holy Spirit to “top
us off” every day. I
explained that we are to
be filled with the Spirit
continually and not
just rely on the initial
experience.
Henry Lamar Hunt,
Candler, Florida
Don’t Forget
Lorene Neal
I enjoyed the article
in March regarding
women in the IPHC. But
I wanted to mention
that Rev. Lorene Neal
–Hannah McMillan
was an outstanding
woman of God who
pastored in California,
Church Resurrection
Arizona and Oklahoma.
Thank you for the article by Seth Cain
When I first met her, her husband had
about the rebirth of Christian Heritage
just left her to raise four children. She
Church in South Carolina (“How to Raise
pastored several churches and trusted
a Church from the Dead,” June/July). It
God to supply her needs. When I pastored
is so exciting to see how young leaders
in Hinton, Oklahoma, from 1974 until
are emerging in our ranks. I especially
1985, Sister Neal stayed in our home
appreciate the way Pastor Ernest Barr
between revivals she led. She preached
stepped aside and allowed some younger
many times in our church.
pastors to have influence in his church.
She passed away on December 10,
I also am impressed that the leaders
2008. But a year before she died she
at CHC are focusing on making authentic
stayed a week with my wife and me. We
disciples. I pray this same miracle can be
attended a church that Sunday and the
repeated in many more churches that are
pastor asked her to preach and she did a
struggling to be relevant.
great job. It was her last sermon.
David Redding, Richmond, Virginia
T. Ralph Davis, Cyril, Oklahoma
A Cry for Reality
I was so impressed by the June/July
issue of Experience. I loved the interview
with Josh McDowell (by Charles Powell)
and the articles by Lee Grady, Seth Cain
and Georgia Grady.В There seems to be a
general outcry in the IPHC denomination
for a return to genuine biblical truth and
authenticity.В My feelings on this?В I say,
“Finally!”
Hannah McMillan, via e-mail
We Need a Daily Pentecost
As a result of a hurricane in 2004 many
gas stations lost power and could not
pump their gas. I learned something
about being filled with the Holy Spirit at
that time.
We found ourselves “topping off” our
gas tank just about daily. Once the gauge
showed three-fourths full we would top it
off. In a recent sermon I referred to that
experience and taught the congregation
Don’t Sleep Through the Digital
Revolution!
You’ve probably heard that Experience
magazine is changing. Beginning with
this issue we have moved to a digital
format so that we can better serve our
readers.
Many people today prefer to read
magazines and books either online or
on their Kindles, Nooks or iPads. The
free digital version of Experience is
now available online at iphcExperience.
com. However, you can purchase a print
version of the magazine, and it can be
mailed to your home.
But we must hear from you today! If
you would like to receive the print version,
call 800-541-1376 and place your order.
You can also mail your subscription order
to LifeSprings Resources, P.O. Box 9,
Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Price: $17 for
one year (10 issues) or $32 for two years
(20 issues).
Rodriguez: Human beings are made in
the image of God. Therefore, they cannot
be illegal. One may commit an illegal act,
but one’s existence is never, in the eyes of
God, illegal. As a pro-life advocate, I find
it hypocritical that pro-life voters who
vociferously defend life in the womb seem so
inclined to label another human as illegal.
We carry a moral obligation to help even
those who came into our country illegally.
Our Judeo-Christian heritage demands it,
our history supports it, our ethos endorses
it, and our future requires it. Leviticus 19
and Matthew 25 provide the theological
framework for the moral obligation requiring
us to look at undocumented individuals
through the prism of compassion.
If I view the world not as a Republican,
conservative, Democrat or liberal and not
as white, black or Latino, but as a child of
God, then the world around me becomes an
opportunity for mercy, compassion, renewal
and hope. Tolerance becomes my moniker,
charity my beacon, and justice my aspiration.
We must stop all illegal immigration.
We need legislation to protect our borders,
create a market-driven guest-worker program
and facilitate avenues by which the millions
already in America who lack legal status can
earn such status in a manner that reflects the
Judeo-Christian value system this nation was
founded upon.
We must return to a rational policy
that acknowledges we are both a nation of
immigrants and a nation of laws. It is our
obligation to provide a just solution to those
who are currently undocumented under
the present policy. That solution is neither
amnesty nor mass deportation.
A just, rational policy would put otherwise
law-abiding undocumented persons on one
of three paths: one leads to pursuing earned
legal citizenship or legal residency, one to
acquiring legal guest-worker status, and one
back across the border—including swift
deportation of undocumented felons.
At the end of the day, Lady Liberty still
stands tall with a message for the world:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your
huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
The moment we cease to be our brother’s
keeper, we cease to be America. But more
importantly, we cease to be authentically
Christian.
To learn more about Samuel Rodriguez and the
National Hispanic Leadership Conference go to
nhclc.org
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