On the weekend of October 9-11, special meetings were held in Phoenix, Arizona where a group of Apostolic Faith members currently holds services in a Best Western Hotel Conference room. Reverend Sam Ajayi, from Portland, invited a team of seven individuals from Portland to accompany him and his wife, Shade, to the special meetings: Lonnie and Clara Carlson, Larry and Sherrie Buckland, Art and Gerdy Engle, and Steven Barre. The group was welcomed at the airport by the church leader, Amos Ogundipe and a few others.
Gerdy Engle opened the Friday evening service with a medley of hymns on the keyboard, followed by Larry Buckland playing a French horn solo of “Majesty” and “Keep on the Firing line.” Art Engle then sang “My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me.” Albert Udofia testified of how God spared him after experiencing a serious injury that required thirty-two stitches in his head and the reinstatement of his right eye. He said he is thankful for his 20/20 vision. Joe Sands, visiting from White Mountain, Arizona, told how God reached out to him on an Indian reservation and he is glad he yielded his life to God.
The theme for Reverend Ajayi’s sermon was “Planting for God,” and he used Psalm 126:5-6 and 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 for his texts. He encouraged the congregation to plant the seed, which is the Word of God, their testimonies, and Christian living, and God would give the increase.
Following a keyboard prelude on Saturday evening, Larry Buckland and Olubunmi Ogundipe played a French horn and clarinet of “Life’s Railway to Heaven” and “Glory to His Name.” The choir then sang “Wonderful Words of Life” and “At Calvary.” The were several victorious testimonies, including Shade Ajayi, she told of being raised in a Muslim family and the trials she experienced after becoming a Christian. Reverend Ajayi preached on the benefits of serving God. He said that even if the rewards seem small here on earth, they will be very abundant in Heaven-more than anyone could ever imagine.
On Sunday Morning, Gerdy played several hymn selections on the keyboard, and then Larry played “Count your Blessings” on the French horn. The choir sang “All that Thrills My Soul is Jesus” and I’ll go Where you Want Me to Go” before Amos led the congregation in several songs. Following the middle prayer, Art and Gerdy sang “A Name I Highly Treasure” and then Amos read scripture from 1 Kings 17:8-16. Before the sermon, Albert Udofia sang “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” The theme for Reverend Ajayi’s sermon was “Believing God’s Word,” and he used the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:5-10. He said that God’s word is powerful and would never fail.
After a French horn and clarinet duet on Sunday evening, their choir sang “Victory in Jesus.” Sherrie Buckland told about her wonderful Christian heritage and how her Sunday school teacher’s encouragement helped her pray and get saved. Clara Carlson testified that she had a Christian father, but her mother had left the Lord out of her life. She said she is so thankful that the Lord saved both her and her husband the same night so they could serve the Lord together. Reverend Ajayi used 1 John 3:1-6 for his sermon text, expounding on how God’s love has no limitations.
The group from Portland concluded their trip with a visit to the Grand Canyon, a beautiful wrap-up to a very inspiring weekend. Pray for the Lord to continue working in Phoenix.