Thank you for your support for this year’s World Missions Project.
To help communicate the Roma Project, you can download the Roma Project video here:
Thank you for your support for this year’s World Missions Project.
To help communicate the Roma Project, you can download the Roma Project video here:
A mosaic is a beautiful work of art. What’s interesting about this piece of art is that it is made up of many broken pieces. These pieces come in different shapes, colors and sizes and they’re not much by themselves. But when they are brought together and arranged by a skilled artist, they make something beautiful. Churches are made up of many different people. We come in different shapes, colors and sizes. We experience brokenness. But we believe that God, the master artist, brings people together by His grace, and makes something beautiful of us. This is what we see happen when we plant and revitalize churches.
PRAY You can spend time as an individual or as a group pleading with the Lord on behalf of each pastor and church that God will take brokenness and make something beautiful by His Grace.
GIVE You can give financially to one or more church projects. A special offering will also be received at MinistrieSummit.
GO And, you can go, if the Lord calls you to plant a new church or to be a part of a church plant or revitalization team.
You can support this MOSAIC VISION in three ways: pray, give and go.
Our Centennial Celebration kicked off with a great time at Ministers’ Enrichment as we recognized God’s favor and anointing in the past and were challenged to anticipate even greater days ahead under the guidance and empowerment of the Spirit.
Check out some of the pictures and comments on our Facebook page and twitter feeds:
From Jeff Leake…
Being from Pittsburgh, I am a huge Steelers fan. Our head coach, Mike Tomlin, is famous for responding to questions about why he did or didn’t do something. Almost always, you’ll hear him say in interviews, “we choose to not live in our fears.” As much as I love that sentiment, it’s way more difficult to apply than it is to say.
As soon as we decided to step out and plant our first church,
I felt the pull of fear on my soul:
• What if everyone leaves our church and goes with the church planter?
• What if our larger givers leave and I’m left with nothing but bills?
• What will happen if my attendance drops?
• What will my peers think of me if I pastor a smaller church than I did before?
I dealt with those fears by setting some guidelines. Pat Summers (our first church planter) and I sat down and had a meeting. I told Pat, “You can recruit anyone you want from APC on two conditions: First, you must tell me who you’re recruiting before you talk to them, and second, you must stay away from two key leaders I’m depending upon right now.” Pat was thrilled with this arrangement and kept his word to me.
On the final Sunday before the launch of this new church, Pat spoke in our services about his new calling. When he finished, I put it out there to the church, “Whomever feels called by God to go with Pat and help him plant this church is free to go. In fact, why don’t all those who feel called come to the front so that we can pray over you?”
I guess I really didn’t think through what I was doing at the moment, because as soon as the statement left my lips a stream of people left their seats to come to the front. And wouldn’t you know it? Who was in the group but one of the two leaders I had told Pat he was not allowed to recruit! God reserved the right to override my restrictions.
As this “restricted” leader made his way to the front, in about five seconds flat my emotions went from shock to fear and then from fear to anger. God, how could you do this? I didn’t ask for much! I am willing to be generous. All I asked for was two guys. Of all people, did you have to speak to him to go with this church plant? I said all this under my breath as I led this prayer moment.
In a flash, as I protested before God, I felt Him speak to me: I know you are sacrificing and being generous, but if you’re not going to give Me your best, then why are you even doing this?
From that moment on, I have chosen to die to any effort to control my own church. The only way you can become a multiplying leader is to break with fear. Nothing is birthed out of fear, and everything is birthed in an atmosphere of faith. And what is faith but hearing the ‘Word’ and believing it so much that you’re willing to act upon it.
If you live in your fears, you cannot foster an aggressive multiplying church. In fact, the very decision that we make when we decide to plant churches is a decision to break from fear and live in faith. That decision must be made repeatedly because the pull of fear will always be something we have to purposefully overcome.
You can download Jeff’s eBook for free at exponential.org
As printed in the 2015 Network ConneXions
On August 25th, I set out with a group of church planters and bikers on an exciting 7,000 mile, church planting road trip that would take us from Pennsylvania to Seattle and back again. We set off with the goal to encourage church planters all around the nation to make the leap into starting a new, local church. Two days later, on August 27th, our goals became very different as we found ourselves praying for God to spare the life of our friend and pastor, Gerry Stoltzfoos. The morning of the accident, we had split up (as any Scooby Doo gang would) to complete some repairs on one of the other bikes that was having trouble. Gerry had gone to the local motorcycle dealership to pick up a part that we needed to finish the repairs, but as we waited for Gerry to meet up at the agreed upon rendezvous, we began to be concerned. We began tracing any possible route Gerry may have taken because we had no idea where he may have gone. With God’s help, we came upon an intersection filled with police cars where we found his bike, lodged under a tractor trailer. Gerry had already been taken by ambulance to the hospital. We were given very little hope for him.
We serve an amazing, miracle-working God who did miracles left and right as His people began praying!!
The night before his accident, I felt impressed to snap a picture of each of the riders that were on the trek with us. In Chicago’s setting sun, I snapped a picture of each bike and rider. I managed to capture an epic picture of Gerry riding his signature Harley with his finger pointing directly at the camera. Little did I know that that picture would become a flash point for so much prayer in the days and weeks of recovery that laid before him.
I recall that my very first discernible prayer was “Please God, don’t let that picture be the last picture of Gerry on earth!” I believe God took that prayer very seriously as those first few moments passed. Within minutes, family and church staff were notified of the accident and in a very short matter of time, people all across the country began to lift Gerry up in prayer with great passion and precision!
A semi-truck pulled out in front of Pastor Gerry…leaving him in the ER with bleeding in his brain and an unclear future.
Julie, his wife, hurriedly joined us in Chicago and kept a constant prayer vigil at his hospital bedside. His immediate family quickly followed Julie and the remainder of what came to be called, “The Furious Five,” stayed on to assist Julie and the Stoltzfoos family with encouragement and care. I cannot adequately describe the intense reality of living under the prayer covering all of you were producing in those days directly after the accident, but each of us knew that God was restoring Gerry with miracle after miracle. Each day brought encouraging news in spite of the possibility of long-term brain injury.
The picture I had snapped quickly made its rounds on Facebook as people posted and reposted it as a reminder to pray for complete healing. Many churches in Gettysburg prayed together for Gerry the following Sunday. His own church family and network, Freedom Valley, organized an overnight prayer vigil to cry out for the completion of Gerry’s healing and restoration, physically, spiritually and mentally.
I am pleased to report that as of the end of September, Gerry received a clean bill of health from his physicians and is back in the pulpit, teaching God’s Word with
passion and integrity! It is my conviction that without the prayers of God’s people, the outcome could have been very different.
James 5:16 assures us that, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
I had the privilege of having a front row seat for a spectacular show of God’s power that came through the earnest prayer of righteous people who love Pastor Gerry. I will never stop thanking God for the wonderful results those prayers produced. On behalf of Gerry, the Stoltzfoos family, and every Freedom Valley Network pastor and partner, allow me to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
OVER 500 SERVED AT OPENING EVENT: Christian Life Center, Bensalem Pennsylvania, hosted the 97th Annual Pennsylvania District Council, opening the event with a gigantic RibFest. Guests were treated to baby back ribs – smoked on-site – potato salad, BBQ beans, hotdogs, hamburgers, and a plethora of desserts all made by members of the local church. Only one word is needed to describe the evening: “wonderful”. Thank you CLC!!
RETIRING SECRETARY TREASURER HONORED: Rev. David P Crosby, Sr has served this District as Secretary-Treasurer for 12 years and announced earlier this year his decision to step down at the end of this term. During the Tuesday evening Missions Rally, he was honored for his years of service, receiving a gift from the District via the Presbytery. Betty, his wife, received a beautiful bouquet and both were remembered by family and colleagues. Rev Stan Williams shared memories of he and David Crosby as roommates at Central Bible College; Rev Dwan Newsome, lead pastor at Calvary Assembly in Waynesboro PA, thanked the Crosbys for taking a chance on him by hiring him fresh out of Bible College and Dr David P Crosby, Jr gave a glimpse of family life and what it was like growing up in the Crosby household. He is Lead Pastor of Pocono Community Church in Mount Pocono, PA. Rev Crosby, Sr plans to continue to lead the World Missions endeavor of the District.
MISSIONS RALLY: An always-impressive “missions parade” opened this service emphasizing World Missions. Members of the local church marched, parading up and down the aisles each carrying the flag of a foreign country. PennDel Missionaries serving in countries around the world lined the platform as Missions Secretary David P Crosby Sr gave insight into a few of their ministries. Many were “live dead” missionaries, commiting themselves and families to go into dangerous parts of the world, some in the 10-40 window largely populated by Muslims, where they could lose their lives for the cause of the Gospel. May God protect them and prosper their minstries! Rev. Christopher Alam, one of our PennDel ministers and a former Muslim, was the featured speaker for the evening and challenged all in attendance not to be ashamed of the Gospel – to not water it down, but to present it in its simplicity AND POWER, calling it the “Pentecostal Gospel”.
Secretary-Treasurer: Rev Don Immel, Presbyter of the Southwest Suburban Section and Lead Pastor of the New Stanton (PA) Assembly of God was elected as Secretary-Treasurer. He and Robin, his wife, reside in New Stanton PA and will be moving to the Greater Harrisburg area as he assumes these new duties in the Kingdom, which will start the beginning of June.
General Presbyters: Dr Stephen R Tourville, District Superintendent, by virtue of his office serves on the General Presbytery and will be joined by Assistant Superintendent Bryan Koch and Secretary-Treasurer elect Don Immel who were both elected by the delegates at the 2013 MinistriesSummit.
Executive Presbyter Nominees: Every two years, AoG Districts elect individuals whose names are placed in nomination at General Council to serve as Executive Presbyters. The four people chosen as our District’s nominees are: Dr Stephen R Tourville, District Superintendent; Rev Bryan Koch, Assistant District Superintendent, Rev Nicholas Poole, an Ordained Pastor under the age of 40, and Rev Ruth Puleo, an Ordained female and our Women of Purpose Director.
DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT HONORED: Stephen R Tourville, D.Min was introduced as the Wednesday AM speaker by Bryan Koch who read a letter from the President of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Dr Bryon Klaus, explaining how each year a graduate of AGTS is chosen as the Alumnus of the Year because of their significant contributions made to the Kingdom of God. This year’s Alumnus of the Year is our own District Superintendent. As the letter was read, photos of the ceremony were shown to the congregants. We again say “Congratulations Pastor Steve ”.
JUBILARIANS HONORED: Rev David Vespa and Rev Harry Brotzman were given special recognition for their 50 years of Ordained Ministry in the Assemblies of God. Due to poor health, Maryann Vespa was unable to accompany her husband, but Joyce Brotzman joined her husband and Rev Vespa as well-deserved honor was expressed to these Veterans of the Faith.
NEW CREDENTIALEES RECOGNIZED: We are grateful to God for the many who were granted Ministerial Credentials with the PennDel District since last year’s MinistrieSummit. Each newly-credentialed person was called to the front and given a symbolic servant’s towel, reminding them and all in attendance that the high calling of Minister is a servant’s position. Like our Lord, we are called to serve, not to be served.
24 ORDAINED TO FULL-GOSPEL MINISTRY: The closing service began with a processional led by a bagpiper and drummer, followed by District Officials, Presbyters and the 2013 Ordination Class consisting of 24 people recognized as being Ordained by God to share the Gospel. Following a practical, personal message by Rod Loy, Lead Pastor of First Assembly of God, North Little Rock, Arkansas, each candidate affirmed their commitment to the Gospel – even unto death – and knelt before District Officials, Presbyters and Directors as hands were placed on them, ordaining them to the Full-Gospel Ministry. Congratulations to each one of these newly Ordained Ministers.
Our sincerest thanks goes out to the Pastors, Staff and Members of Christian Life Center Assembly of God in Bensalem for their wonderful hospitality. Their servant-spirits combined to make this 97th District Council a delightful time of fellowship and spiritual refreshment.
Dr Stephen R Tourville was honored as Alumnus of the Year on Thursday, May 2, 2013 by the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at their graduation banquet . Dr Tourville, better known to us here in the PennDel Ministry Network as “Pastor Steve”, has served with distinction as District Superintendent since he was first elected in May, 2002. A self-described “double-dipper”, Dr Tourville received his Master’s from AGTS in 1979 and returned to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008.
He was also honored at the 40th annual Commencement on Saturday, May 4, 2013, receiving a medalion inscribed with “A leader of Spirit-empowered leaders” presented by Dr Byron Klaus, President of AGTS, and spoke briefly to the 88 candidates representing 26 states and 6 countries, their families, friends and guests who were gathered to witness the awarding of Ph.D., Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees. On behalf of everyone who is a part of the PennDel Ministry Network, we say “Congratulations, Pastor Steve!” Pastor Steve and Marjie, his wife, are the proud parents of Jason Tourville (Shrewsbury, PA) and Julie Mayne (Springfield, MO) and have 6 grandchildren.
The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS) is located in Springfield Missouri. It serves as the only seminary endorsed by the Assemblies of God for the graduate-level education of ministers. It is one of the world’s leading Pentecostal seminaries and has one of the largest doctor of divinity programs in the nation.