The cooperation among Bible-believing Baptists to plant a church in Astoria Oregon is an outstanding testimony for the Lord. It is also a direct answer to the prayer in John 17 when Jesus said “That they all may be one” he continued; “that the world might believe”. The world can’t get along to do much of anything but you are not that way. Pastors and churches abroad (most of whom do not know one another) have put their support behind the goal of planting one autonomous church in a very needy place. It is a distinct honour to lead this mission and encouraging seeing it come to fruition.
Through the most bizarre circumstances, I was introduced to a lady and her Grandson several weeks ago. Out of respect, I am unable to share the story and it’s killing me to keep the details secret because of how marvelously the Lord worked in our midst! They visited the church a couple of weeks in a row and after the service, both called upon the name of the Lord to be saved!
As part of the sermon that Sunday, I noted how Jesus accused the Sadducees of making an error by not knowing the scriptures. Their fault and his argument was based upon the tense of the ‘be” verb. God clearly told Moses “I am the God of Abraham” as opposed to “was the God.” He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. There is a world of difference between “was” and “is!” After the service, the lady who trusted Christ said she was on her way home to order a King James Bible!
For several weeks, a teen-age girl came with her family to our services. She indicated her need for salvation but did not come forward during the invitation. On Monday, Stacy and I visited the home and began to share the gospel with her. Every distraction imaginable threatened to disrupt the conversation and finally a friend came to visit at the house. Hindered by the distraction, Stacy and I started to say goodbye when suddenly she told her friend to go inside. It was obvious that her heart was prepared to accept Jesus. Stacy and I rejoiced with her as she called upon the name of the Lord and was saved!
Our needs were met in many ways during the month of March. Thanks to the giving of some great churches we now have an electronic piano, new offering plates, Lords Supper serving set, and a radio ad that will air until our grand opening. The people who attend have already begun supporting the ministry and offerings have been coming in to help offset the operational costs of Anchor Baptist Church. We began a membership class in the afternoon and use that time to cover each point of our doctrinal statement.
Several months ago I booked a meeting for April 7th without first consulting my calendar. These final days before our grand opening are crucial to the launch and I needed to be in town. Seventeen-year-old Gabriel offered to preach for me partially resolving my dilemma. On Friday, he became ill and began vomiting. By Saturday evening, he was feeling somewhat better and decided to go ahead with the plan. Josiah led singing and gave announcements, Bella played Piano and provided special music, Caleb and Micaiah served as ushers, and Gabriel preached the Word. This was his first time ever to preach and those who were in attendance remarked that he did an excellent job. Stacy coordinated a visitation plan with Hillview Baptist Church from Springfield the previous Saturday. I have never been so honored to be a husband, father, and pastor as I am right now. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure!
–The Byers Family