Community Baptist Maintains Its Faith With A Revival

Visiting Evangelists Rally Congregation

September 25, 1991|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Outside, the rain and wind beat upon the doors of the little church.

Inside, the powerful voice of the traveling evangelist filled theauditorium, interrupted only by a few scattered "amens."

"I'm going to tell you all tonight what the most important thing in all the world is," said Lars Wessberg at Community Baptist Church's revival last week. "I would venture to say that far more important than anything else is to know that you are saved."

During the weeklong revival, Wessberg preached on Christian salvation and encouragedunbelievers to come forward and learn about Christianity.

"The night I became saved as a boy of 13 I could have floated home, I was sochanged," he said. "My parents, who weren't believers, said, 'That'sOK, it's a phase you're going through.'

"That was 32 years ago. It's the longest phase I've ever been in, and, thank God, it's not over yet."

Joy-filled hymn-singing completed the evening, as pastor and evangelist both tried to coax visitors who weren't sure they were going to heaven to the front of the gathering.

"Wouldn't you like to go up to the front?" a young man asked his neighbor.

But there were no takers that evening.

During the 1 1/2-hour service, children played Bible games and heard stories in the Sunday school room downstairs.

"We played Bible memory and hangman with Bible verses," said Anne Flugge, the 11-year-old daughter of the Rev. Alan and Sandy Flugge. "We've learned a new Bible verse every night."

Twice-yearly revivals at Community Baptist feature traveling evangelists, such as Wessberg and his wife, Phyllis. Parishioners and their guests hear the same speaker once every two years, said Alan Flugge, the congregation's pastor.

"We all need reviving sometimes because we get stuck in our ways," he said. "Hopefully, this will help us be more effective in talking (about Christ) with people we meet on the street."

Evangelist Jimmy Clark of North Carolina will be preaching for 11 days, beginning March 29, Flugge said.

Parishioners said they attend the revivals to help refocus on the spiritual aspects of their lives.

"It's like a 50,000-mile checkup for protective maintenance -- tooverhaul, challenge and uplift," Tina Brown of Snydersburg said. "I come here to be challenged, have my vision fine-tuned and assess where I stand in my relationship to God."

Flugge's wife, Sandy, agreed, adding that members sometimes become lax.

"This helps in our spiritual work," she said. "We can become slack in doing things like praying or reading our Bibles, or our relationship with the Lord can cool off.

"This brings our mind back where it ought to be -- on spiritual things."

Members said what they learned at revivals helped them live their lives and share Christ's teachings with their friends and neighbors.

"I come because I need encouragement in my life, andit helps in my family life as the spiritual leader," said Jim Motterof Westminster.

Brown and Motter also said they come for fellowship among fellow believers.

"This is my family," Brown said. "Everyone here knows me, and I feel accepted and cared for."

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