« October 2010 « Arizona
Small Church Works in Big Ways
The Phoenix Central church is small, but it embraces the call to a big mission — sharing God’s love and caring for His children.
Recently, a group of Karen (Burmese) Adventist families fled their country because of political persecution and settled in Phoenix. Someone directed them to Phoenix Central, where they were received with open arms. Approximately 40 of them now attend regularly — several joined by profession of faith and a number more were baptized. Each week’s Sabbath lessons are translated into Burmese/Karen for the new members.
“We welcome this wonderful group of people,” says Pastor Eugene Taylor. “Five academy-age students plan to attend Thunderbird Adventist Academy this fall and need sponsors. We are pleased that one of these students, Nay Soe, just 15 years old, is on our church board to represent youth in leadership.”
Phoenix Central also has a number of active community outreach programs, including a booth at the annual 7th Avenue Merchants’ Association fair. Attendees stop by for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings.
The church also hosts a monthly raw food potluck dinner. More than 70 percent of the attendees are not Adventists. The also regularly hold cooking schools and health lectures, including “Soup ‘n Sandwich” each Wednesday evening, which is followed by a Bible study.
Savannah Neal, the youth leader at Central, recently coached two sports camps at the local elementary schools. Approximately 300 students attended over a two-week period, a number of whom later attended Vacation Bible School at the church.
In addition to friendship evangelism and community service, Phoenix Central is using technology to reach out. “Our latest adventure is called ‘Studio Spotlight,’” says head elder Stan Howerton. “It’s a half-hour TV program that runs four times a week on Good News TV, channel 44.3.”