Baptisms Grow Sutherlin Church

August 25, 2016 | Eileen Mallinson

The Sutherlin Church has grown by 18 new members in the past 11 months. It all began when then-pastor Ben Bilan taught a Truth Link series in the fellowship hall. Four people were baptized, and Louis Torres, from Mission College of Evangelism in Canyonville, baptized Bob and Vickie Merrill.

Torres had used the Sutherlin Church as training for his students when he taught a Revelation series last fall, and 10 people were baptized. Some of his students continued to work in the Sutherlin area. 

The Merrills had been living in Grants Pass when they felt a need to improve their health. They contacted the Adventist church in Grants Pass and began studying with Chuck Austin. They were living in a fifth-wheel camper and had made friends with Kim and Gabby, who had jointly decided Grants Pass was just too big and wanted to move to a smaller community.

Vickie Merrill suggested Rice Hill, so the four of them checked it out, and they hooked up their campers and moved. Kim and Gabby found a place to purchase in the country near Sutherlin, and the Merrills are purchasing a new home in Sutherlin. The Merrills contacted the Sutherlin Church to have someone continue their studies. That is when they met Dennis Page, one of Torres' students. He continued their studies, and Torres came to Sutherlin to baptize them on June 4. 

The Sutherlin Church also just welcomed their new pastor, Andre Scalfani, on July 15.