'Our Reason' – Wolverhampton Revival Series
15th March 2019
During a week-long revival series entitled 'Our Reason', this collaborative event brought together the talent and skills of the six churches in the Wolverhampton district namely: Bilston, Pendeford, The Vine, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton Central and Wolverhampton Great Brickkiln Street.
Held on 2-9 March, the thought underpinning the series was for the church members in the Wolverhampton district to reflect and review 'Our Reason' for being Seventh-day Adventist Christians in this period of Earth's history and local community. The theme 'Our Reason' was both a statement and a question. The statement manifested itself in the first instance, through the theme song, sung each night by a joint praise team, written by Misheck Mtimbanyoka, a member of the Wolverhampton Central church. The poignant lyrics state:
The Holy Scriptures prove to us
There's God, Our Reason we exist.
We Believe that the Word of God is true,
Our Reason to praise and Worship God.
Our Reason is Jesus the Precious Lamb of God,
The Saviour of the World
Our reason why we sing –
We believe in the Trinity,
Creation and the Law
He is coming again!
In the second instance the theme also expressed itself by supportive accounts of activities in the community via the various district churches, ranging from food bank services to a Community Gospel Choir.
The 'Our Reason' question was answered in the person of guest speaker Dr D Donaldson, Ministerial director of the Allegheny East Conference, USA. Through curious and disturbing titles such as 'Guarding our shields', 'Living with a limp', 'Burn your ships' and the 'Autobiography of a fool!' just to name a few, the congregation could not escape the undeniable fact that progression in Christian character, in evangelism, etc., will not materialise without eliminating the possibility of returning to the past. Somewhat reminiscent of Christ's statement of 'putting one's hand to the plough and looking back' (Luke 9:62). In essence 'Our Reason' to be Seventh-day Adventists is not only wrapped up in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of what we believe, 'Our Reason' is also wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ.
The concluding Sabbath's worship had many fabulous points ‒ of particular note was the manner and poise by the junior members of the church who conducted the Sabbath School. The children hosted and directed various sections, asked challenging and insightful questions on subjects such as, The Judgment, what is represented by the 'Mark and Image of the Beast' in the Book of Revelation and they themselves gave reasons why to look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.
A memorable segment of the day involved Dr Patrick Herbert surprising Pastor Samuel Appiah and his wife Winnie with the presentation of gifts and a commemorative plaque marking the end of his time as Area 6 coordinator as they will be soon relocating their ministry to the Birmingham area. Dr Herbert will be taking up the mantel.
Dr Donaldson's final sermon finished the series with no less power and urgency than his opening sermon ‒ 'The God who breaks through!'. The message of 1 Chronicles 14:8 emphatically showed that prior recognition of God in praise guarantees God's breakthrough in the life of a true worshipper.
In conclusion, some minor rephrasing of a familiar statement from the pen of Ellen G White to sum up the experience…
"In reviewing our past week, having listened over every point of admonition to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought (through Dr Donaldson and the collaborative efforts of the Wolverhampton churches), I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as Saviour/Leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led (continues to lead) us, and His teaching in our past history." Life Sketches of a Worshipper, 2-9 March (2019).