Negative Publicity Brings Positive Results for Astoria Seminar

When Steve and Alberta Cook, Oregon Conference evangelists, came to Astoria, Ore., to hold a prophecy seminar at a local middle school, they didn’t know they would get front-page coverage in The Daily Astorian regarding the use of public schools for religious meetings.

Some Astorians were concerned that this use of the school was a violation of church and state separation. Members of the Astoria Church were grateful for the support of the school's principal, who was quoted in the article as saying, “It is a public building, and if we let some organization use it, we have to let everyone use it.” The seminar was allowed to go on.

As the evangelistic team gathered before the seminar's opening meeting on March 6, they prayed that God would override the negative press. God heard and answered, bringing nearly 100 people to the opening meeting. Interest remained high throughout the series.

The order in which subjects were presented led Christians of other backgrounds into topics that were new and captivating to them. Steve used the Amazing Facts Bible study guides as free handouts to supplement each evening’s message, and Alberta's nightly health presentations also captivated the audience's interest.

As truths were unfolded night by night, seven chose to be baptized at the close of the meetings on April 10. One couple that was baptized visited the Astoria Church only to recognize it as a church the husband had seen in a dream as the place where he would be happy. He had been searching for a home church and now rejoiced that he was happily attending the very church to which God had so miraculously led him.

Following the seminar, layperson-led “Focus on Prophecy” classes are being held in Astoria and Seaside, Ore.

June 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference

Alberta Cook and Elwood Starr