Highland Adventist School Leads Yearlong Evangelism Outreach
Story by Cheryl Jacko
As the Parsons church, a very small congregation located 20 miles from Elkins, W.Va., puzzled over how best to witness to the local community, Mountain View Conference’s officers encouraged schools across the conference to develop evangelism projects in their local areas. Students and staff at the Highland Adventist School (HAS) in Elkins responded to the challenge. During the 2010-11 school year, they worked with Don Jacko, pastor of the Parsons and Elkins churches, and Parsons members to plan a 10-month evangelism cycle with health ministry as the emphasis.
Mountain View Conference and the Parsons church provided financial and other support for the program. The students and staff planned and staffed the various events. What Parson lacked in manpower, HAS had in abundance and throughout the year, the students conducted a number of outreach activities, such as a health expo, where they offered free exercise evaluations with a physical therapist, a lecture on cancer prevention and mini health screenings. They also offered a free, healthy lunch program to the community, contacted missing members and distributed literature. In the spring, the students planned a weeklong revival series with a guest speaker. Several guests joined the students and church members for the series.
Students expressed satisfaction with the program and several mentioned the positive experiences they had during the year. “I really enjoyed visiting with a man in the community who believes in the Sabbath,” Alex Engelkemier said. “We found him when we were distributing literature door to door throughout town.”
Parsons church members were also pleased and appreciated the results of the initiative. “I see the yearlong evangelism program as a success,” Jacko said. “The members are energized and church attendance has increased. We have made several new friends in the Parsons community.”