Wisconsin District neWs May/June 2010
“WHAT’S IN YOUR GRASP?” By John E. Putnam
Wisconsin District News WDN EDITOR Craig Lundt PO Box 332 Waupaca, WI 54981 firstname.lastname@example.org WDN SECTIONAL REPS Section 1: Loretta Lundt Section 2: Carole Keller Section 3: Simon Chappell Section 4: Frank Ritchie Section 5: Kathy Fry WDN Proofreader: Dede Sharp DISTRICT OFFICERS Superintendent: Rev. J.E. Putnam Secretary-Treasurer: Rev. E.A. Kaske Honorary Board Member: Rev. J. Grant PRESBYTERS Section 1: Rev. C. Welch Section 2: Rev. A. Tamel Section 3: Rev. E. Herman Section 4: Rev. J. Sindler Section 5: Rev. P. Bennett DEPARTMENTS Foreign Missions: Rev. M.W. Rogers Home Missions: Rev. R. Keilley Media Missions: Rev. S. Jacobs Ladies Ministries: Sis. J. Schumacher Youth Ministries: Rev. Tim Vik Revival Commission: Rev. M. Hook Sunday School: Rev. W. Rehbein Prayer Force: Rev. D. Meyer Men’s Ministry: Rev. S. Rogers Music Ministry: Sis. Darlene Boyte Purpose Institute: Rev. Brian Michael Deaf Ministry: Renee Thomas FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith, at the same time admonishing all brethren that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.
In the book of Ecclesiastes there is a scripture found in the 9th chapter and the 10th verse that states: 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. In other words, whatever you are doing, do it with all your mind, soul, and strength. Get the job done for we only have a certain amount of time in our physical life, and after it’s over the opportunity for all we ever hoped to do is lost. We understand that in God’s infinite wisdom in creation He made you and I after His image and likeness. Every detail of our bodies is wonderfully fashioned with design and purpose. From the inside out, every organ, muscle, skin tissue, and blood vein are all so amazing. If you would take a good look at your “hand,” you will see a workhorse of invaluable ability for us all; four fingers and a thumb that are movable and bendable. The uniqueness of these appendages is that they are all able to work together in harmony to be able to “grasp” or hold on to any given object. Just let one of your fingers or thumbs get cut or broken and become immovable and see how hampered we are in life’s little daily routines. It is important for us to realize how valuable our “grasp” really is, and how our Creator yearns for us to use our “grasp” for His cause both spiritually and physically. So... What’s in Your Grasp? In the book of Exodus, chapter 4, we read of an encounter that Moses has with Almighty God. Moses has his eyes fixed on a strange sight, a bush that was on fire but not being consumed as it burned. As he gets closer to the bush a voice speaks
out from the burning bush and says... “Moses, put off thy shoes, for the ground you’re standing on is holy ground.” The Lord was literally calling him into His service. The Lord was reaching forth to literally “grasp” a man that He had in His hand from birth. At God’s direction Moses was spared the slaughter of other male Hebrew babies. Moses’ own mother placed him in a basket made of reeds, placed him in the water of the Nile, and allowed God’s will to unfold in his life. We understand that the princess of Egypt drew the child from the river, and called him “Moses.” Moses grew up among the marble walls of the Egyptian palace as a “prince.” He was schooled in Egypt and was being groomed as the next leader of the land. However, Moses could not get away from the fact that he was in the “grasp” of God, and God had a plan for his life. I believe it is essential for all of us to understand that the Lord has a plan for each of us. And just like Moses I believe that in His plan He has you and I in the “grasp” of His hand. The prophet Isaiah wrote... 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. 2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me... Moses, now standing in the wilderness on the back side of Midian, sees this bush, hears a voice, and receives the call of what God has intended all along. And like most of us Moses can hardly believe that the Almighty would want to use him. Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. You see, if we are going to be what God desires for us to be, then it’s not good enough to just know that we are in the “grasp” of the Lord, but what we must reckon with like Moses of old, what are we grasping? What are we holding on to, that may hinder us as to what God would use us for? For Moses it was a “rod,” a simple shepherd’s staff, a plain piece of wood. But in reality to Moses it represented far more than just a wooden staff, it represented his authority, his current occupation, and his prestige with other shepherds. God said, “Cast it down,” let go of it! All of what that “rod” represented at that moment in the grasp of Moses was what stood between what he was and what he could and would be, if he would but let go of it, and put it in God’s hand. So, what’s in your grasp? What are you trying to hold on to, that you’re afraid to let go of, that you’re fearful of relinquishing your hold on? Are you afraid that the Lord will let you down somehow or in some way? Perhaps it is some fear of what God may ask you to do, or perhaps it’s a fear of not being a success at what God desires. Maybe it is just plain old unbelief that is hindering your growth and progress in service to the Lord. Believe me, the Lord Jesus Christ is interested in your welfare. He is interested in your success in life, and He will use your failures to help you in your successes. However, He can’t use them or change them if we insist on holding on to whatever may be in our own “grasp” that He is wanting us to cast down.
Pride is a horrible thing and it has hindered many people from being what God wants them to be. Where does it come from? It originates in our Adamic nature from our forefather Adam. It is the attitude of “I’ll do it my way.” When Adam bought into the deceit of Eve, and she bought into it from the serpent, it became the self-will of man that destroyed their relationship with their Creator. That’s why for Moses, his pride was in that “shepherd’s staff ” and what it represented to him, and that’s why he had to let go of it. And as soon as Moses let go of it, it became a “serpent.” Then the Lord told him to pick it up by the tail and it became a “rod” once again. Where? In the grasp of Moses. Why? Because it was no longer the “staff ” of Moses, it was now the “staff ” of God. He just had to let it go to get the serpent nature out of it! I believe that is exactly why Jesus wants you and I to let go of what we’re trying so desperately to hold on to in our own finite thinking, so that same “serpent nature” can get out of it, so that we can grasp it again, but this time in the plan and will of God. Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. All of what you may be trying to hold on to will only perish with you, but if you will turn it over to God, He will help you use that very thing in your grasp that will then have His stamp of approval on it! He wants to use our hands, He wants us to grasp on to the fact that it is He that does the work and it is not of ourselves. He wants us to be His representatives in our world, doing what He would do, as He would do it. It’s all in what we are holding on to, and what we are willing to let go of! What are you grasping? Right now? “Cast It Down!”
district Calendar of Events June 1 -WYM Bible School Scholarship deadline Music Ministry Camp Rehearsals Section 1—ATC, Appleton Section 2 & 3—Elim, Milwaukee 8—Music Ministry Camp Rehearsal Section 4 & 5—PAC, Eau Claire 11-12—JR Bible Quiz Finals, Radisson Paper Valley, Appleton (A, C & E finals) 20—Father’s Day— Men’s Ministry “Father’s Day Offering” 26—Senior Bible Quiz State Finals, ATC, Appleton 10:30 a.m. 28-July 2—Youth Camp (age 12 & up) July July 4-9 - Family Camp Speakers: John Grant & James Larson 17—Senior Quiz Finals 19-23—Junior Camp 23—Spanish Youth Rally, Location TBA 26-30 JR Bible Quiz National Finals, St. Louis, MO August 5 & 6—Commune-ity Meeting, National Youth workers— Location TBA 6-7-Men’s Camp, District Campgrounds, Shawano 11-13—Spanish Family Camp, Shawano 13-14– PI— Appleton 15—SFC Applications due to GHMD 16-17– WI District Brainstorming Session, Location TBA 17-18—District Board Meeting 20-21– PI— Madison 27-28—PI, Oak Creek & Eau Claire September 6—Labor Day 10 & 11 -WI Sunday School Seminar, ATC—Appleton 17-18– PI- Appleton & Madison 24-25—PI, Oak Creek & Eau Claire 29—Oct 3—UPCI General Conference, Houston, Texas
WI District Ministers’ Conference The WI District Ministers’ Conference took place Wednesday through Friday, March 24-26 at the Osthoff Resort & Conference Center in Elkhart Lake. This year’s conference was a great success and time of blessing for all who attended. We had 62 Wisconsin pastors and 87 WI District ministers and their families in attendance along with several special guests and missionaries. Record offerings were received for the missionaries who were guests at the Conference. Friday evening pledges were taken for Bro. & Sis. Lenny Smith, who pastor Praise Tabernacle in Antigua, for Bro. & Sis. Larry Decker, The results of the elections that took place during the Conference are as follows:
District Superintendent: John Putnam Sunday School Director: Ward Rehbein Youth President: Tim Vik Youth Secretary: Phil Demos Ladies’ Ministries Director: Jane Schumacher Foreign Missions Director: Manuel Rogers Multi-Media Ministries: Scott Jacobs WI District Appeals Council: James Schumacher The following appointment was made:
Home Missions Secretary: Richard Thomas
AIMers awaiting Foreign Missions appointment to Costa Rica, and Bro. & Sis. Charles Robinette, missionaries and field superintendents to the country of Austria. Each couple gave a goal for an amount that will help them return to their country of ministry. The spirit of giving moved over the congregation and each missionary reached their goal and then some! What a miracle was witnessed during that time of the service! The total amounts pledged for each of the missionaries are as follows: Bro. Lenny & Sis. Kathy Smith, Antigua - Total Pledged: $23,367 Bro. Larry & Sis. Elizabeth Decker, Costa Rica - Total Pledged: $23,675 Bro. Charles & Sis. Stacey Robinette, Austria - Total Pledged: $40,930 Thank you for your generous support so these couples can return to the country of their ministry quickly! All pledged funds should be sent directly to the WI District office. Pledges for our District Superintendent, John E. Putnam, were received. Bro. & Sis. Putnam are thrilled to be able to spend much of their time ministering to your local congregations all across the state. Bro. Putnam encourages invitations to visit and preach to your church. A big thank you to Bro. Andy & Sis. Andrea Soto, who not only provided the sound system for District Conference, but have taken on ministering to the teens who attend the conference by having after-service activities. We thank Bro. Larry & Sis. Diana Livengood of Apostolic Faith Church in Racine, who once again provided a great Children’s Church service for kids ages 6-12 during the evening conference services. The Livengoods do a great job and had lots of children to minister to this year. Special thanks to Jenifer Powell, who headed up the Children’s Daycare under the direction of Sis. Jennifer
Rev. MARK JORDAN
Ohio District Superintendent
Opheim. There were lots of kids who had lots of fun playing with play dough and a great “tunnel” (Thank You, Sis. George!). Thanks also to Sis. Mariah Aberg, who helped during each session as well. Bro. Stephen Drury from the UPCI Stewardship Department was once again a guest at this year’s conference. Bro. Drury offers help investing for retirement to ministers and their families. Bro. John Grant was the UPCI Headquarter’s representative. Bro. Grant conducted the business meetings and the election process during the day sessions of the conference. Though they are Wisconsinites, it is always a privilege to have Bro. & Sis. Grant with us! Bro. Mark Jordan, Ohio District Superintendent, was the guest speaker for the evening services. Bro. Jordan’s ministry was great and very timely. Other guests at the Conference were Bro. & Sis. Irvin Fields, District Superintendent of the South Dakota District UPCI. Sis. Fields serves as the Ladies’ Ministries Director of that state as well. Once again, Bro. Neil Leaman
brought the PPH bookstore. We so appreciate his dedication to being sure we get the latest publications and Bible materials we need from PPH! Bro. Shay Mann, General Youth President, was a guest of Bro. Aaron Soto, our outgoing Youth President. Bro. Aaron Soto served as the WI District Youth President since 2004 and was honored with the title of National Youth President of the Year in 2008. Though Bro. Soto is no longer directly serving the youth of WI, he will be staying busy preaching for several youth camps across the United States this summer. Thank you, Bro. Soto, for taking our youth to a higher level! Bro. Tim Vik was voted in as the new WI Youth President and Bro. Phil Demos was elected as Youth Secretary. We look forward to the leadership of Bros. Vik and Demos in the years to come! Again, the Ladies’ Ministries will enjoy another two years of leadership under Sis. Jane Schumacher. The Ladies’ Ministries continues to flourish and be a blessing to many of the other departments and causes in both the WI District and across the world to the foreign missions fields. Bro. James Schumacher was voted in for the Appeals Council for next
year. Bro. Scott Jacobs was again voted in as Media Missions Director. Bro. Jacobs and his wife, Evelyn, along with their children, Angel, Alexandria, Micah, and Leah, have done a tremendous job of recording services to DVD, as well as CD. Bro. Jacobs has also started working with the Deaf Ministry to record the services via interpreter for the deaf. We appreciate the dedication of Bro. Jacobs and his family in making sure all the district events are recorded! The Foreign Missions Department of WI will again enjoy the leadership of Bro. Manuel Rogers. Bro. Rogers’ burden for the foreign missions field helped this department grow and has made Wisconsin a leader in the cause of Foreign Missions. Bro. Ward Rehbein was re-elected as the WI Sunday School Director. Bro. Rehbein’s dedication to this department earned him last year’s National Director of the Year award from the General Sunday School Department. We are privileged to have such great leadership to teach the next generation of Apostolics in Wisconsin! Bro. Richard Thomas was once again appointed as the Secretary for the Home Missions Department. We greatly appreciate Bro. Thomas and
his wife, Peggy, who make sure that our Home Missionaries are provided for each month! Bless you, Bro. & Sis. Thomas! On Thursday afternoon, Mark Neumann and Brett Davis came to visit and address the Conference. Mark Neumann is running for the Republican nomination for the WI Governor’s office, and Brett Davis, for Lieutenant Governor. We were happy to be able to acquaint these possible future leaders of our state with the ministers of the WI District.
Rev. John Grant
UPCI Headquarters Representative
DOK Publications began with a burden to reach out to ladies through studies specifically designed for them. Included is the Victorious Lady series, The Victorious Home, and by far the most popular, The Beauty of Holiness. DOK quickly grew to include a teen curriculum called Daughters of the King for teen girls and Heirs to the Throne for teen boys, ages 12-18. These teach physical, social, and spiritual growth in the young person’s life. From there it was expanded to include children, ages 6-11, in the form of Kids in the Kingdom. Soon another series designed for kids in this age bracket was the Exploring With Jesus series, which
teaches character traits for the young Christian through practical application stories. The most popular of my books is God’s Chosen Fast, a small book that deals with fasting, its need, and its benefits. This book includes recipes for a Daniel’s Fast. Home schools use my book, The Apostolic Home School, regularly. Other books include The Ancient Landmark, which is my husband’s and my testimony. We share our departure from tradition to truth and holiness. I can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Books are also available at pentecostalpublishing.com
Ladies Bible Study Series THE VICTORIOUS LADY I
THE VICTORIOUS LADY II
A study on living victoriously everyday.
A study on living in surrender victoriously.
THE VICTORIOUS HOME A study on priorities in the home. Spiral
THE VICTORIOUS LADY III A study on God’s Commandments for today’s lady. Spiral $9.00
THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
THE ESSENCE OF HOLINESS
A study on holiness in all aspects of a lady’s life and why we do what we do.
A study on holiness in which we discover why the inside as well as the outside must change.
Apostolic Bible Courses for Young People These courses teach young people physical growth, social graces, and spiritual maturity. There are two units in each volume. Also included are activities and projects that enhance the learning experience. They are excellent for teen Sunday School classes, Christian Schools, and Apostolic Home Schools.
Daughters of the King for your teen girls
Heirs to the throne for your teen boys
Spiritual Birth & Physical Growth Vol. I & II
Spiritual Birth & Physical Growth Vol. I & II
Teacher Manual Student Pack
Teacher Manual Student Pack
Relationships & Social Growth/ Spiritual Growth, Vol. III & IV Teacher Manual Student Pack
Relationships & Social Growth/ Spiritual Growth, Vol. III & IV
Teacher Manual Student Pack
Resources for Children KIDS IN THE KINGDOM For young people ages 6-11. This course rehearses each step of salvation. It also includes such topics as proper hygiene and etiquette, and how holiness and proper conduct affects them and the kingdom of God. Teacher Manual Student Manual
HEROES OF THE BIBLE SERIES This series is designed to teach Apostolic students about the lives and character of various people noted in God’s Word.
RAISING KIDS ON THE CHURCH PEW
This series is designed to teach Christian character to children. Granny B. has many lessons she shares with the gang and your child ages 5-11.
An excellent guide for parents to teach their children manners in God’s House. Booklet
Each book: Soft Cover
Each book: Spiral
6 different books
EXPLORING WITH JESUS SERIES
4 different books
Other Great Resources GOD’S CHOSEN FAST Learn the why and how to fast successfully. Included are recipes for a “Daniel’s Fast”. Soft Cover $6.00
GOD’S CARETAKERS This book shares insights into caring for our temple through our eating habits. Learn how to quickly adjust to healthier eating for you and your family.
THE ANCIENT LANDMARK Learn what the ancient landmarks really mean as the author, a first generation Apostolic, shares her family’s testimony and concern for the present values regarding holiness.
VICTORIOUS PRAYER The sweetest, most refreshing environment is found in the place of prayer. VICTORY is found there. Study some of the secrets to successful prayer.
Based on the Ten Commandments, learn tips every lady needs to be spiritual yet practical. A bookmark is included. Spiral $9.00
THE APOSTOLIC HOME SCHOOL This is for those who wish to understand, begin, or run a successful home school. It addresses the questions that surround this type of education. It includes step by step instruction and checklists for preparation toward a successful home school. It is an excellent resource for pastors, home schoolers and for beginning home schools.
PRACTICAL SIDE OF A SPIRITUAL LADY
TENDING THE FIRE… ...Through Taming the Tongue
A study for anyone who desires to learn control over their tongue. It includes reproducible study guides for students. Excellent when used in any Bible study setting for men, women, or young people.
Ladies Retreat Itâ€™s Time To...
Heal Photos by: Wendy Rosecky
Radisson Paper Valley • Appleton, WI
Sing Give Dance What a great time! Sis. Janice Sjöstrand gave us the gift of worship, while Sis. Donna Linville gave us the gift of laughter. Evenings with Sis. Sjöstrand brought us a time to focus our attention on Jesus and worship and dance for Him. Friday night the presence of God was so real it felt like “we were all in white and Jesus was walking down the center aisle” as she invited us to accept Jesus’ love in our lives. In the morning sessions, Sis. Linnville had us laughing so hard we were practically falling out of our seats. She taught how we should go through this life full of the Holy Ghost, full of joy, full of vibrancy, with the power of God radiating out of our spirit. Let’s go out of this world full of joy! She also taught on “Change without Pain” and gave us some last minute instructions: be obedient to Jesus, to the Spirit of God, and direct our children on the narrow path. Don’t let them get sucked into the swamp on the sides! She stressed that every family has a destiny: a divine purpose directed by Jesus. We can find our purpose in the secret hiding place: prayer. Also remember, “happily ever after” does not exist until we get to Heaven. (View full article at wisconsindistrictnews.org) May/June 2010
BOYTE FAMILY Many of us enjoy music. We enjoy listening to it, playing it if we can, and, of course, worshipping to it. Music is a universal language. It is played for mood, for thrill, for suspense; the list goes on. One thing that music requires is a writer. Without the writer, music does not exist, just as without God, the earth as we know it would not exist. In my own finite mind, I cannot comprehend how an infinite God would love living, breathing, walking, talking dust. As the song says, “Oh, how He loves us so.” I find myself in sheer awe as the realization hits! This story is a unique look at a song that God Himself is writing and conducting all at the same time. This song began on March 9, 1960. Rebecca Darlene was born to Clifton and Elsie Freeman. As beautiful Rebecca began to grow, she was faced with surgery on her kidneys, which kept her bedridden for two whole weeks. Despite the best efforts of the sickness, she survived. However, she was left with complications throughout her entire childhood, in turn causing her to spend much time with her mother. Elsie taught the young girl words to songs and they sang together to pass
the time. By the age of three and a half, this young girl was singing solos at her home church – First United Pentecostal Church of Natchez, MS. Her musical talent began to grow and, at age five, she accompanied herself on the accordion. By the age of ten, she was playing the piano and organ in church and, by her early teens, she was directing camp choirs and was part of a group that traveled all over the United States. Rebecca and her five siblings made a name for themselves and became known as “those Freeman kids that sing.” Now little Rebecca is a grown woman, who we all know as Darlene Boyte. She not only sings and plays, but also teaches conferences and clinics from coast to coast. Sister Boyte – or “Mama B” to her boys (at home and abroad) – will be the first to tell you that the talent she possesses was not bestowed upon her by man, but by Almighty God. He has kept
her through thick and thin. She is a true beacon of “gold tried in the fire.” Sister Boyte and her husband, Rev. Ronald G. Boyte, pastor and reside in Oshkosh, WI. She is also the music director at Apostolic Truth Church, pastored by Rev. Aaron Soto in Appleton, WI. This song does not end with Darlene. It continues on with her firstborn, Corey. At the ripe age of twelve, Corey began to play the drums at the Wisconsin District Family Camp. He also applied his talents throughout high school, where he was involved with the school’s band program. Junior Campers know Corey well, as he has been the Junior Camp music director for two years. Corey is a licensed minister with the UPCI, has completed nursing school, and is an RN. He is also involved with the music department at Apostolic Truth Church and he is the Kidz Connect Director. Being yet a young man,
Family Camp 2010
July 4 - 9, 2010 Written by: Mathias Newman
Corey’s song is still being written, affecting the lives he touches every day. Just when you think the song was about to end, it continues with Seth. Seth began singing at the age of eight and has not stopped since. He has sung for musicals, camps, and in barbershop choirs. Seth was the only student director of a forty voice barbershop high school choir in the world. Seth currently teaches voice and piano lessons. He has also recorded two CD’s, both of which contain songs sung in Spanish. His burden for the lost and bilingual abilities carried him to the country of Spain, where he worked with the Sones family for two months. Much like Corey’s, Seth’s song has a lot yet to be written. Lives are constantly being changed because of them. This is merely a glimpse into the music of one song being written by God. The lives that have been touched because the sweet little girl was taught to sing whilst spending time with her mother are countless. Her gift was passed on to her two boys, and they implement their talents on a daily basis. Though each of our songs are still being written, and many are coming to an end, the greatest hope we can all have is that the last line of our song will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Celebrating 50 years of Family Camp on the WI District UPCI Campgrounds Shawano, WI
Morning Teacher Rev. John Grant, Madison, WI
Choir Director Darlene Boyte, Oshkosh, WI
Evening Evangelist Rev. James Larson, San Diego, CA
Thursday, July 8 ♦ 7:30 p.m.
Kids Stuff.... Morning Power Hour... Everlasting Arms Puppet Team from Thorp, WI Evening Children's Rally Bro. Mark Harris & Bro. & Sis. Livengood
Welcome to the debut of our Pastor Spotlight. We hope to introduce you to different pastors from around the state in coming issues.
Meet Pastor Basil Wilber and his family… Welcome to the Apostolic Church of Sun Prairie! - founded by Pastor Basil Wilber and his family in 2004. Not only will you find the love of Jesus and anointed preaching when you attend a service here, but you will also receive a complimentary coffee drink the first time you visit. Bro. Wilber and his wife did not always live in this great town, but God led them here six years ago. The story actually starts about twenty years ago when Bro. Wilber and his wife Jeanette, moved to the Appleton area from Michigan. They attended church in Appleton under the pastorate of Rev. Michael Schmalz. Their children are Billy (Basil IV) 19, Zach 17, Joey 15 and Rebecca 14. Pastor Wilber says, “My wife and I were praying for a city to start a church and at camp they were walking around with signs and the city of Sun Prairie jumped out to both my wife and me.” They moved to Sun Prairie in June of 2004 to start the church. There had never been a UPCI church in the city. “We had our first service on the 13th of June with 19 people in attendance. We went on our own, but never had a service without people in attendance,” explains Bro. Wilber.
Their children are very musically talented and are an extreme blessing to the church. He says, “Together we are a team.” They started out in a small rented space, but were able to purchase a 10,000 sq. ft. building in August 2008. “Our largest Sunday attendance was 89 people and that was for our 5th anniversary service in the church. We average a little over 70 people a week in our Sunday service. The month of April, we had new visitors every Sunday. We have continued to knock walls down to add to the sanctuary, which can hold 150 people comfortably.” The remodeling is not done yet, however, as they have a continued need to expand in order to meet the needs of a growing congregation. There was a stretch of twelve weeks this year when there was at least one baptism every week and sometimes two. Bible studies are being taught at incredible numbers and visitors are flooding the
pews at a breathtaking pace. Two years ago, they built a coffee shop at the front of the church called the Common Grounds Coffee Cabin. “The coffee cabin allows us to have fellowship after every service with refreshments. God continues to add to His kingdom daily,” explains Pastor. The coffee cabin has become a great outreach for them. They have invited people in the community to use the room for free. They also have a Sunday school carnival in the park right before school starts and a community meal the last Sunday of the month. This is a free meal open to the public that they advertise in the school and with social services. Pastor Wilber explains, “Our vision is to cover all the nationalities of the city: red, yellow, black and white.” Sun Prairie has been witnessing miracles of healing and deliverance at an
increasing pace. Carpel tunnel has been healed, a woman that could not bend her knees to kneel has been healed, and a broken ankle has been put back together, all by taking authority in Jesus’ name and using the power He gave us. Deliverance has been key to the ministry in Sun Prairie. Families are being put back together, spiritual strongholds and oppression are being pulled down and being replaced with hope and joy in Jesus. The saints of Sun Prairie have been taking back ground and claiming new victories as a result of this teaching, and the city is beginning to notice. Bro. Wilber experienced a miracle in his own life. He tells us the story. “I was in a motorcycle accident when I was 17. My ribs were broken and rearranged in the accident. Until last year my ribs were uneven, which made it hard for me to breathe and sleep sometimes. I was in a prayer meeting and laid on the altar. The Lord fixed my ribs; they are now even and I was healed from sleep apnea.” Pastor Wilber hopes to write a book some day. “I currently write poems and have written a few songs,” he explains. His favorite thing to do is teach Bible studies. “I teach one every night of the week and would add more if my wife and children would let me,” he says. Pastor Wilber is respected among the clergy of Sun Prairie and was recently asked to open the racing season with
prayer at the local racetrack. He is working with the leaders of the community to help meet the needs of the homeless and underprivileged in the city. The Apostolic Church of Sun Prairie is also intimately involved in the local pro-life community with saints volunteering at pro-life vigils and rallies. In March, they led the closing rally for the “40 Days of Life” campaign organized by Madison area pro-life group, “Vigil for Life.” They were asked to lead worship, prayer and even preach to the crowd gathered outside on the street in front of a Madison abortion clinic. The Apostolic Church of Sun Prairie is a community minded church. Just spend a day with Pastor Wilber and you will quickly see that his heartbeat is souls. He is willing to work as hard as necessary to minister to a lost world as quickly as he can while there is still time. This is reflected in everything he does - from preaching on Sunday morning to ordering a hamburger at the local restaurant. It is no accident that visitors are flooding the church; they are welcome there, and
they are wanted there. There is no higher priority at the Apostolic Church of Sun Prairie than to see the lost find salvation. Pastor Wilber has made this the mission of each person in the congregation. He has assembled and trained a team of ministers within the church with this vision. He has taken his vision into the prisons, nursing homes, and even out to the streets of Sun Prairie. He and his family have taken dedication and sacrifice to a new level in order to fulfill the Great Commission. This spirit of selflessness and hard work has become infectious throughout the church and, as far as Sun Prairie is concerned, as Pastor Wilber would say, quoting the Chris Tomlin song, “Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done, in this city!”
Men’s Ministry Madness [ A story about basketball ]
By JEFF CONTRERAS & FRANK RITCHIE The first ever (definitely not the last) Men’s Madness Basketball Tournament was held at Abundant Life Church in Oconomowoc. Madison took home their winning T-shirts and the Wisconsin District Eagle Trophy. The Eagle Trophy will remain in Section 3 until someone dethrones them at the next tournament. Three of the five sections of the Wisconsin District were represented, with two teams arriving from Section 3, giving that section the advantage of possibly taking home the Eagle Trophy. Calvary Apostolic Church (Clintonville) brought a team representing Section 1. Abundant Life Church (Oconomowoc) represented Section 2, and Section 3 had two teams: Calvary Gospel Church (Madison) and The Rock of Jesus Church (Delavan). Bro. Jeff Contreras was the architect behind the plan, bringing the tournament to life. Bros. Jeff Contreras and John Zimmerman did it all...(except win; Jeff was Delavan team captain) from registration
The Madison team members are sporting T-shirts and the championship trophy. They are holding up the Section 3 hand sign.
and guidelines, to selling concessions and handing the trophy to the Madison team. Bro. Joe Don Calhoun ran the scoreboard and the buzzer, which made the whole day feel authentic. The actual tournament took about 2 ½ hours with no problems at all, except that there was no one representing Sections 4 or 5.
It was a double-elimination tournament which meant that, if you lost twice, you were out, if you lost once, you’d get a second chance in the loser’s bracket. The winner of the loser’s bracket made it into the championship game. Since the tournament was a section vs. section tournament, Section 3 had the advantage from the start, having two teams present. Clintonville (Section 1) played very hard, but was overpowered in both of their match-ups. Madison (Section 3) won their first game, but then lost their second game to Delavan (Section 3), who won both of their match-ups, automatically putting them in the championship game. It came down to Madison (Section 3) and Oconomowoc (Section 2), in the loser’s bracket, to decide who would make it to the championship game to play Delavan. Madison pulled off a close victory over Oconomowoc, winning by only three points. The championship game was dominated by the two Section 3 teams, guarantee-
We are looking for...
for the next issue of the
Wisconsin District News The can be mailed to: PO Box 332 ♦ Waupaca, WI 54981 ing that Section 3 would win the tournament. Madison came out hot and never let up, securing an easy victory in the championship game, as Delavan struggled to make their shots. Section 3 was deemed winner of Men’s Ministry Madness, with both championship teams being from the same section. $200 was raised for the Men’s Ministry Father’s Day offering, allowing the Men’s Ministry here in Wisconsin to have funds to help out where they can. More than the trophy and the excitement of a championship game, everyone really seemed to have fun, with great fellowship. Connections with old friends and meeting new ones is only part of what any of the men’s activities are about. We truly believe it is God’s plan for men to take dominion in our homes, churches, jobs, and relationships. The practical application of that dominion is the purpose behind this year’s Men’s Conference. Bro. Harold Hoffman will be our guest speaker, Bro. Steve Rogers will be taking dominion of the golf outing (he has another winning team lined up for this year) and, once again, Bro. Jimmy Ogle will be heading up the Horseshoe Tournament. Awards will also be given this year to winners of: The Biggest Buck, The Bass Fishing Contest, as well as the Golf Outing winners.
or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
AIM Report: Costa Rica
by Larry and Elizabeth Decker We are so excited that God opened the doors to allow us to return to Costa Rica after less than three months away! We left on the 15th of January 2010, sad to leave because our funds were nearly exhausted. Though we were so happy to see all our family and friends, we felt we did not nearly finish what we had started. After our return to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we had a meeting with Pastor Bennett, and he asked what we wanted to do. I told him that we wanted to return, but our personal funds did not allow us to stay any longer. Our great pastor said, “Then let’s see what we can do,” and began helping
us raise our funds by calling other pastors in our section, asking to allow us to speak in their churches. Also we were able to be at the Mid-Winter Camp North, the Mid-Winter Camp South, and the Spanish Mid-Winter Camp, where God moved mightily and many people were a blessing to us. At the end of March, we also were presented at the Wisconsin Ministers’ Conference, where a generous offering was pledged by the pastors of Wisconsin. To all who pledged and have sent those pledges to our home church in Eau Claire, we thank you so much for your support and prayers. We ask that you do not forget us and daily pray that we can reach out to the precious people in Costa Rica. Since returning, we have been working closely with the national leader and helping him in his church and three of the outreach areas where we will try to raise another congregation through home Bible studies and tent meetings. It is a great privilege to work with Bro. Julio Pacheco and we believe that God is doing a great work for the people of Guadalupe and our “Campo Blancos.” We finished last week with four days of
special services in Guadalupe and had several renewed and at least three filled with the Holy Ghost! Praise God! The youngest was a four or five year old boy, which I will attach a picture of. Also, yesterday the 29th, we baptized three in the precious name of Jesus! Thank you Lord for allowing us to be here! It was a mother and two of her children. Pray they all receive the Holy Ghost in the next few days. I will also attach pictures of them being baptized. Since returning on the 11th, we have been in services 15 of the 19 days of the month. What a privilege! God is doing great miracles in our lives and those around us. Keep us in your prayers and God bless you all!