Dallas Lay Members Lead 1,900 Africans to Jesus

September 01, 2002 | Ted Torkelson

“By God’s grace, we did it,” sums up the glowing report given at a Dallas, Ore., church service, June 29, by two teams of lay members just returned from a preaching crusade in Africa.

They had responded to an appeal by Robert S. Folkenberg, former General Conference president and now Global Missions director for the Carolina Conference, to join some 90 other teams for blanket coverage of a large area of Kenya.

The meetings capped off weeks of preparatory work by local ministers and lay members.


“Many times I was very much impressed how much God inspired my thoughts while I was speaking,” said Gabriel Constantinescu, speaker for one of the teams. Wilbur James, speaker for the other Dallas team, felt rewarded by the decision of the pastor of one of the largest churches in the area to be baptized into the Adventist church and enroll in an Adventist college to prepare for Adventist ministry.

From the combined efforts of the two Dallas teams, a total of about 1,900 were baptized.

Women’s Ministry

Women in the two teams conducted vegetarian cooking classes and operated medical clinics. Others led out in children’s meetings, attended by as many as 3,000 children.

“It was unbelievable,” reported Joy Stewart, of Pendleton, Ore.

Jodi Winters, a nurse, delivered a baby and treated patients with malaria—one a girl so seriously ill, she would have died without timely treatment.

Other Outreach

Gayle Wilson, M.D., a Dallas member, joined with his own brother Gary, principal of Okalahoma City Academy, in a separate reaping crusade involving 12 evangelistic teams in Rwanda, July 8-20.

For some, it was their first experience in public evangelistic ministry. But all rejoice to see how God blesses those who join hands with Him.

Speaking for all, a team member testifies: “It was totally beyond our expectation, and we give all the credit to God.” •