Ten Years! August, 2017


Labor Day of 2017 marks ten years since I joined the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Michigan, and was designated their “staff evangelist.”  It began a new life for me, travelling and preaching for the cause of revival among God’s people, and a very wonderful chapter in my life.

So far I have preached in 35 states and in 14 foreign countries.  The Lord has let me see revival come to a number of congregations and many lost souls come to Jesus over these wonderful years.  I have been involved in revival conferences, revival campaigns, events focused on prayer, missions meetings, evangelistic services, college classes, Bible conferences, and camp retreats.  He has supplied our needs, healed our bodies, empowered our ministry and our witness, and kept us safe for a decade.  And we are thanking Him today, and you for your prayers.  Please join us in praising God and giving Him glory!  Also let me give you news about where and how I served Jesus in August, and where I go next, so that you can keep up with Toni and me in your prayers.

  • SPECIAL MEETINGS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON STATE: as noted in my last report, Toni and I went to Oregon for a revival campaign at the Bethel Baptist Church, July 30-August 2. In these meetings eyes were opened to what I call “revival truth,” and decisions were made that resulted in personal salvation, assurance, and surrender to Christ.  We are thrilled about the answers to prayer in these days at this place.  Salem is a spot that was widely heralded as a good place to see the solar eclipse on August 21, and Pastor Hardy was leading Bethel to evangelize the great numbers expected to visit their town for this event.  After the campaign at Salem, we drove our rented car up to Rochester, Washington, on Thursday for what Pastor Anthony Hayden called the “Rural Outreach Weekend” (Friday the 4th through Sunday the 6th).  Brother Hayden grew up at Juniata Baptist Church, where I served as pastor for so many years.  So it was a special blessing to my wife and me to be with him and his family, and to see the church he leads.  The plan was a good one.  I preached on evangelism in a Friday night service, and then I gave a challenge to a good number of folks who assembled to make visits for the Lord on Saturday morning.  Again God answered prayer and blessed the effort.  We met several people door-to-door who came to church on Sunday, and some of them got saved!  We had very good attendance at all the services, including a Saturday night meeting, and the three services on Sunday, which had been designated “Friend Day.”  What an amazing weekend this was.  In addition to those who came to Christ, many responded to the truth about revival and evangelism, and also somebody joined the church!
  • THE CHRIST-LIFE CONFERENCE presented by Revival Focus Ministries at the Ann Arbor Baptist Church, August 7-10: John Van Gelderen led this very-helpful gathering again this year, and I got to preach in some of the sessions.  The CLC is known for its effective clarification of the truths involved in revival living (“abide in me,” “walk in the Spirit”).  This year, among the preachers were Otto Koning (of “The Pineapple Story” fame), Pastor David O’Gorman of Dublin (his wife Valerie spoke to the ladies), Brother Van Gelderen (a unique voice for revival in our day), and Ron Visser, a remarkably effective personal counsellor from Bloomington, Indiana.  I preached in three night services.  We were connecting the results of personal revival to generating corporate revival.  The Lord made it a very powerful time of help for Christians.
  • ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION at the Faith Baptist Church of Deltona, Florida, August 13: Pastor Byron Herchenroder was honored for twenty years of service as senior pastor of the church, and I was one of the speakers at the special services. John Van Gelderen and Chris Miller (two evangelists who have blessed the pastor’s life) were also surprise guests for the celebration.  Over this weekend, I got to stay with our daughter Bonnie and her family (including four of my grandkids).  Her husband, Mike Foster, is assistant pastor of this good church.
  • THE PRAYER CONFERENCE at the Madison Baptist Church in Madison (near Huntsville), Alabama: I was blessed to teach and preach on prayer before this strong and receptive congregation for four wonderful days, and in eight services, August 19-22.  Pastor Mike Allison, who is well-known around the country as a preacher, a thinker, a fundamentalist leader, and a good pastor, is leading his church to higher ground.  Do pray for him and for them.  I preached from Romans 8 on “Prayer and Providence,” from Luke 11 on praying for the power of the Holy Spirit, from John 14 on praying in the name of Jesus, from Acts 4 and Second Chronicles on praying for revival, from Acts 12 on prayer meetings, and from Philippians 4 on praying in such a way as to experience God’s peace.  It was a very special conference, and, in addition to what we saw spiritually, during it we got a glimpse of the amazing solar eclipse.
  • THE BENDED KNEE” PASTORS’ PRAYER SEMINAR at the Broadview Heights Baptist Church outside of Cleveland, Ohio, on August 24: as at all of these around the land, this seminar was enlightening on enriching both our personal prayer life and our prayer meetings. A good number of preachers came.  We spent time in prayer, and also turned our thoughts to next month’s Ohio Revival Conference.
  • REVIVAL MEETINGS at the Faith Baptist Church of Belvidere, Illinois (near Rockford), August 27-30: the people and the pastor (Jeremy Weary) of this growing congregation prepared in the right way for this effort for revival. They prayed.  There were prayer meetings before and during the campaign, and also fervent prayer in the closet, some of it accompanied by fasting.  The results were remarkable answers every day.  Souls were saved, people decided to be baptized and join the church, and many issues between God and His people were settled on His side.  The Spirit of revival prevailed, as anyone who was there can tell you, and the Lord showed His hand.  A special pastors’ meeting on Tuesday morning was well attended, and our friend, Brother Paul Kingsbury, came.  Based on the leading of the Lord, the pastors are talking about making plans for new revival efforts in northern Illinois.  Praise the Lord!

To sum up September, I am set to preach in revival efforts at the Grace Baptist Church of Springfield, Illinois (the 3rd through the 6th); at the West Salem Baptist Church in West Salem, Wisconsin (the 10th through the 15th); and at the Liberty Baptist Church in Fremont, Nebraska (the 17th through the 22nd).  Then we will have the Ohio Revival Conference at Cleveland Baptist Church, September 24-27.  Please keep praying for us and for these important revival efforts.  Thank you.  RICK FLANDERS

Filed Under: Prayer Update


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