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Fruit Around the World

8 years ago written by
The Wenatchee FMC celebrates its 100th anniversary during the June 23, 2013, service. (Photo courtesy of the Wenatchee FMC)

The Wenatchee FMC celebrates its 100th anniversary during the June 23, 2013, service. (Photo courtesy of the Wenatchee FMC)

Located on a former pear orchard, the Wenatchee (Wash.) FMC has a century-long history of spiritual fruitfulness.

In 1921, eight years after the church officially organized, a founding member felt the Spirit’s prompting to share the gospel in the rugged Okanogan area, 100 miles upriver. Crowds came by foot, horseback, buggies and wagons to meetings that he and others led. A holiness foothold — including the still-ministering Omak, Tonasket and Oroville congregations — resulted.

The church focused on families and children with a gym built to help handle programs. In the 1970s, Pastor George Delamarter emphasized personal evangelism and “find a need and fill it.” The growing, landlocked church trusted God for resources to relocate on roomier orchard property.

The congregation sent members to serve in Paraguay and Africa, but increased its overseas fruit after the 1983 missionary conference highlighting the Philippines. Encouraged to exercise big faith beyond its new mortgage, members raised $45,000 for Manila facilities and sent work teams.

Becoming a “glocal” (global/local) church continued under Pastor Les Krober (1983–94) with work teams and funds sent to Chile. The Chernobyl disaster’s health crisis burdened a periodontist in the church; 21 medical/mission teams eventually ministered in Eastern Europe.

Pastor John Paul Clark (1996–2009) challenged members to look beyond themselves. Individuals or teams touched a dozen-plus nations. In 2009, Pastor Joshua Brooks shared his Isaiah 58:6–9 burden for deeper levels of faith and ministry — especially in Burundi where members sponsored 350 homes and job training for desperate widows. They also sent workers to support ministry among Nigeria’s nomadic Fulani.

The church reaches out to local divorced, bereaved and dysfunctional families. Members serve the homeless and poor through food, shelter and fresh-start ministries. Annual “Be the Church” days impact the community with practical work projects. The Spirit is still prompting.

Jeanne Zornes, a Wenatchee FMC member, is a prolific author with a blog at jeannezornes.blogspot.com.

 

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[History] · Departments · God · LLM February 2014 · Magazine