New Prineville Church Open House and Dedication
Balloons, sharing books and information booths were available for the approximately 200 guests to enjoy who came to the Prineville Church for an open house on Sunday, May 6. A concert by the Crook County Cadet BoyChoir concluded the afternoon activities. Most importantly, a number of people expressed interest in Bible study and other classes after completing a short questionnaire from the Personal Ministry Department.
The church was dedicated with special services on Sabbath, May 12. Four were baptized, José Galvez, Prineville Church pastor, preached for church and everyone enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. At the afternoon dedication service, Galvez and Bob Hutson, head elder, gave the church history presentation, noting that the Prineville Church was chartered on Dec. 12, 1941. Through the years, a handful of pioneer believers kept the doors of the church open through ups and downs. Hutson said, "The church prayed for more parking spaces, God smiled upon us and we got a huge gift of a brand-new church plus ample parking." What a blessing!
Don Livesay, Oregon Conference president, gave the homily "God, the Commission, and Us," challenging the congregation "to bring people to Jesus Christ and to share the testimony of what God has done in order to give them hope." Livesay further said, "Let's put God's name on our lives." He quoted the donor, saying, "It is my privilege to put my name on God's money," because he understood stewardship. "Our appointment books are God's. Let us put our name on God's calendar and put God's name on everything we do," Livesay said. Pointing out that the Prineville congregation has no mortgage to burn and therefore no church building to give to God since the generous donors have given it to Him, he urged, "Let us dedicate this house and the sanctuary of our lives to God."
Al Reimche, Oregon Conference vice president for administration, offered the prayer of dedication. Other participants were Frank McNeil, district pastor, Al Long, and Wes and Janice Hutson.
Inspired by the gift and Livesay's challenge, the members with Galvez and Hugh Barton, Bible worker, are conducting about 19 Bible studies with 21 more soon to begin. The church has scheduled concerts so that members and people in the community can come together. These events will also give the church the opportunity to offer free books, seminars and classes.
Galvez encouraged the growing congregation to keep from making the church a museum, but to use it and its facilities to bless people in the community and to win souls for God's kingdom.