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.