Over seven hundred people from the EPC poured into the town from both teams and individual volunteer commitments to graciously assist. One church alone sent over 21 teams to Joplin, MO (sight of massive tornado)
The Friday morning session of the 32nd General Assembly of the EPC took an emotional turn as the Assembly beheld the sovereignty of God in the midst of trial. During a poignant break between business matters, the Assembly took the time to pray for two churches that had experienced the catastrophic hand of God.
New Creation Church (EPC) in Joplin Missouri was in the middle of the massive tornado that destroyed much of the town last year. Amidst the damage was the destruction of over 2,200 vehicles, thousands of homes, churches, hospitals, schools, and 161 lives tragically lost.
Teaching Elder Cliff Mansley, pastor of New Creation, described the incredible outpouring of assistance from brothers and sisters in the EPC during the last 12 months. Over seven hundred people from the EPC poured into the town from both teams and individual volunteer commitments to graciously assist. One church alone sent over 21 teams to Joplin.
Rev. Mansley spoke in a broken voice, often through tears, of God’s gracious hand in using the people of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to assist the small congregation to rebuild and continue her ministry and work in Joplin.
On an unrelated event this month, Crosspointe Church in Carrollton Texas was struck by lightning and completely destroyed. Crosspointe hosts a missional outreach to the community called Theatre 166, which welcomes various artistic and musical concerts and exhibitions year-round. Both locations—juxtaposed to one another in a shopping center—suffered catastrophic damage from the powerful strike.
Rev. Dave Wahlstedt, Crosspointe’s mission focused church planter, received news during today’s meeting that the walls of the rented building had since collapsed, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment. No one was injured in the strike or succeeding structural collapse. Church services last week were held in the parking lot by an undeterred gathering of believers.
Rev. Wahlstedt told the assembly that he would be leaving early today to plan emergency contingency plans for worship this Sunday.
In an incredible and moving turn of events, Pastor Mansley of Joplin was able to lay hands on Pastor Wahlstedt during the assembly and pray ardently for the latter congregation, which is now without a gathering locale, reminding all of God’s incredible grace—even in the midst of disaster.
Matthew Everhard is a minister in the EPC and serves as the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida. He is a volunteer (the only kind we have) reporter for The Aquila Report
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