Non-Denominational Pastors Accept Adventist Message
Story by Bob Cundiff
Pastors in the Ohio Conference take mission work seriously—both at home and abroad. Mission is the church’s main priority, since the commission is to take the three angels’ messages worldwide. It is within this context that Sampson Twumasi, pastor of the Columbus Ghanaian church, took a mission trip to western Kenya last year to plant a church and train lay preachers as global mission pioneers to help its sister mission field.
During his trip, several people were baptized, including a pastor from a charismatic church background. Impressed by the Seventh-day Adventist message, this Sunday-keeping pastor and the local Adventist mission leadership made a passionate appeal to Twumasi to return to Kenya again to share the Adventist church’s 28 fundamental beliefs and the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation with some of the pastors from other denominations in Kenya.
In his zeal, Enos, a local bishop, spread the word and encouraged other pastors from some Sunday-keeping churches to meet and study the 28 fundamental beliefs when Twumasi returned. The bishop’s experience and testimony since becoming an Adventist motivated his colleagues to investigate the Adventist beliefs deeply, including the healthful living and prophetic interpretation of Daniel and Revelation.
After months of preparations and planning, Twumasi returned to western Kenya. With the help of leadership from the Western Kenya Conference and some friends from the United States, he planned the seminar for the non-Adventist pastors. Upon his arrival in Kakamega, Twumasi and his team spent two weeks teaching 83 non-Adventist pastors from different denominations about the 28 fundamental beliefs; conducted three evangelistic meetings to plant churches; trained Adventist lay preachers to become lay Bible workers; engaged in prison ministries in a nearby prison facility; provided medical missionary work; and organized humanitarian work, especially for people with special needs.
After two weeks of teaching, 42 of the 83 non-Adventist pastors completed the studies and were baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church; 205 prisoners were baptized behind bars; and 60 lay preachers were trained to become global mission pioneers.
In total, 91 people were baptized from the two crusades, resulting in the planting of the Kakamega New Life and Ebenezer churches. The team also distributed food, clothes and other basic items to orphans, widows and people with special needs. More prisoners are awaiting permission from the authorities to get baptized, as a the third evangelistic meeting is underway.
In a post-mission trip reflection, Samuel Mbayi, Western Kenya Conference president, could not hold back his joy. “This is a new day in our conference,” he says. “The pastors from different denominations wanting to know our doctrines, and some of them who switched with their members is the work of the God’s Spirit. Also, training lay preachers, teaching people about our Adventist health life-style and providing for their needs is a true demon- stration of Christ’s method, which is ideal. To God be the glory.”