Messiah's Mansion Comes to Anchorage
In October 2018, pastors from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley in Alaska gathered together for prayer and fellowship. The conversation eventually moved towards answering, “How are we going to be salt and light in Alaska’s largest metro area in 2019?”
After much prayer, work began to bring the Oklahoma-based Messiah’s Mansion (the life-sized wilderness tabernacle) to Anchorage in September. As area churches caught the vision, the Alaska Conference offered to cover up to 50% of the proposed budget, as bringing Messiah’s Mansion included considerable expense to move equipment and people from Oklahoma to Alaska.
At the Alaska State Fair in August, a booth with a full-scale model of the Ark of the Covenant was displayed. Volunteers promoted the event, talking with people and handing out brochures. The Russian Orthodox archbishop, who caught Adventist pastor Jim John’s enthusiasm, asked one of their leaders to encourage the entire congregation to attend.
In September the truck arrived, with staff arriving the following day. The first tour was conducted for local evangelical pastors by Clayton Leinneweber, Messiah’s Mansion director. The tour was a humbling account of the measures God has taken to bring us all back to personal communion with Him.
Public tours began the next afternoon, and despite the heavy rain there were more than 330 visitors. One young couple, Miles and Kaitlin, had recently arrived in Anchorage and been convicted they needed to get back to God and attend church. The tour they attended hit the mark, and they wanted to learn more. They attended the follow-up meetings at Northside Church and have now started Bible studies. Pastor John writes, “Miles and Kaitlin are seeking for a deep relationship with God and their sincere efforts to learn about His character was sparked by attending the Messiah’s Mansion.”
By the final day, 2,920 people toured the sanctuary, and there were more than 285 requests for follow-up. Volunteers continue to meet these requests with invitations for sanctuary classes, studies on Daniel, mailouts of A Divine Design as well as invitations to the Brian McMahon evangelism series that will be held February or March 2020.