'Impact Columbus' Shares Hope and Revival
Story by Benia Jennings
“This has been one of the most amazing experiences we've had in Columbus in decades!" expressed Allegheny West Conference’s (AWC) President Marvin C. Brown, III, during his closing remarks of the three week “Impact Columbus”—Sharing Hope Revival.
The meetings, hosted by AWC, featured speaker and evangelist G. Alexander Bryant, president of the North American Division (NAD). "We’ve had one of the top Seventh-day Adventist leaders in the world preaching for us for the last three weeks and have been extremely honored and blessed to have him,” added Brown.
Impact Columbus began in the summer of 2022 as AWC Central Ohio churches challenged members to reach out to their local communities and engage in city-wide Bible studies. Columbus area churches hosted evangelistic and community outreach events throughout the city leading up to the 15-day evangelistic crusade. Nightly meetings were held at the Crown Plaza Columbus North Hotel in Worthington, Ohio, and culminated with a corporate baptism in the hotel's outdoor pool.
"We started to do it in 2020, but then COVID-19 hit, and everything got shut down. Then Bryant said, ‘I'm willing to come again in 2022,’ and although we had a short amount of time, it was amazing how the Lord worked," says Joel Johnson, AWC’s executive vice president. "Some of the things we thought wouldn't work, worked out. I remember when we saw the tent and said it would be too small, but it was just right."
Bryant underscored the tremendous effort the AWC administration, pastors and members made to accomplish a successful evangelistic effort. He commended the team for being able to "pull this off" despite the pandemic's ongoing challenges. "In a COVID-19 environment, where everything is in flux, you could not even plan [the meeting] a year out. There was no way to know if you'd have use of the building. We adapted to wearing masks and preparing for people with varying comfort levels," he says.
Bryant credited the meetings' success to the integral role played by AWC members and local Bible instructors. "The pastors were supportive, the conference administrators and departmental directors all came together, and without them coming together, there's no way we could have done this,” he says. “I appreciate the effort they put forward, and I believe that the Lord is going to bless as a result.”