New album helps fund Northwest collegiate church planting

By Tobin Perry

April 8, 2014

PULLMAN, WA — Pastor Josh Martin knows firsthand that putting together effective worship experiences for college students can be expensive. The 31-year-old worship arts pastor at Resonate Church in Pullman, WA, helped plant the church in 2007 with Pastor Keith Wieser and a team of others.

In the past seven years, the church has grown to more than 800 in attendance and now gathers for worship services in four locations in Pullman, WA, and Moscow, ID. But the church’s vision for reaching university students with the gospel message goes beyond those two towns. The church is committed to starting churches in college towns and on college campuses throughout the Northwest.

As Martin and other leaders at Resonate planned to start a church in Ellensburg, WA, this fall, they wondered how to pay for all the equipment they’d like to have for a new worship service. Leaning back onto a principle he discovered earlier — “the resources are in the crowd” — he decided to raise funds by selling a new album, called the “Ellensburg” project, where 100 percent of the funds will go to the Ellensburg plant.

Ellensburg is home to Central Washington University with about 11,000 students.

“I had all the band members [for Resonate’s four campuses] in my living room — there are about 35 of them — and asked them, ‘Would you be willing to spend a ton of time, a ton of energy to record an album for the sake of the church — and put all of our names aside?’” Martin said.

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Amid devastation, church proceeds with plans to launch new work

By Sheila Allen

April 3, 2014

OSO, WA – Pastor Gary Ray of Oso (WA) Community Chapel has given the last 18 months to a flurry of activities readying a new congregation in an “underserved community” on Camano Island near Stanwood, WA.


A sobering reminder of the reason for such gospel-focused endeavors became even clearer to Ray as he began ministering in the wake of a devastating natural disaster that ruined a square mile of Oso, killing 41 people with four still reported missing and leaving the small community in need of massive help.


With months of prayer behind and with paperwork finalized on a leased facility in the growing area on Camano Island, the unthinkable happened in rural Oso -- a mudslide barreled through the area destroying lives, homes and families four weeks before the planned opening of the new congregation.


Ray had to re-evaluate the years of work he had poured into the Oso church in light of the devastation to church members and friends, but determined to move forward with launching the new church later this month.


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Northwest volunteers deployed to assist in disaster zone

By Cameron Crabtree

April 16, 2014 (Updated)

VANCOUVER -- Northwest Baptist Disaster Relief officials activated initial volunteer teams to provide chaplaincy care and to run feeding units for victims of a massive March 22 mudslide in Oso, WA, that left at least 41 dead and four missing.


“Northwest Baptists are stepping up to the plate and we’re seeing people do their usual good job,” said Gary Floyd, the NWBC’s longtime disaster relief coordinator. The volunteers began deploying after receiving a request for aid from American Red Cross officials.


Floyd anticipates the initial response lasting about four weeks. “We’re probably looking at involving between 200 and 250 people,” he added.


The feeding units provide daily meals for victims and extended community needs in the affected areas. At the direction of the American Red Cross, a NWBDR kitchen initially deployed to feed mainly first responders engaged in the recovery effort has been closed, with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources caterer set to assume those duties. A second feeding unit at Darrington, WA, is in operation and a disaster relief shower unit arrived to service those needs.


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Local churches provide immediate response in wake of mud slide

March 25, 2014

OSO, WA (BP) -- Oso Community Chapel is the only church on a 30-mile stretch of State Route 530, the roadway sliced in half March 22 by a massive landslide in Oso, WA, that killed at least 37 people and destroyed some 50 homes.

None of Oso Chapel's 80 members were injured and none lost their homes, said Pastor Gary Ray, but in the rural community of 500 along the Stillaguamish River, all of the members of the Southern Baptist church know people affected by the tragedy.

"We are the only church on the only road through here," Ray said. "The church is less than two miles from the impact area." Ray plans to host a community response meeting at the church Wednesday (March 26) night to determine next steps in the response to survivors.

"The roads are blocked, the power is out and communication is a challenge. We want to mobilize the church and the community to support the recovery work," Ray said. "We want to be able to do anything we can to help with an eye to long-term community support and rebuilding. This area is highly unchurched."

Northwest Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Director Gary Floyd said he is supporting Ray's efforts and asks people to pray for the relief work.


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Children's directors receive training, relaxation at annual retreat

By Sheila Allen

March 19, 2014

Children's ministry directors from across the Northwest participate in a group activity during the three day retreat sponsored by the Northwest Baptsit Convention.

RAVENSDALE, WA – Directors of ministry to children spend a lot of time playing games and organizing fun events, but they occasionally need time for their own rejuvenation. Northwest children’s directors were treated to such as opportunity as they gathered recently near Seattle for three days of renewal and learning.


“We provided this opportunity to train and equip directors for more effective ministry and to allow them to build relationships with others,” said Leigh Ann Stark, childhood ministry specialist for the Northwest Baptist Convention.


Part of the event’s appeal is getting to “meet other ministry leaders and hear their heart for ministry,” added Stark. “I always pick up on something new from each new training session that I need to work on and always look for one or two things to apply and allow to impact my ministry.”


Set in a retreat center in Ravensdale, WA, ministry leaders from 20 NWBC churches participated in worship sessions led by Karen Cooper of Highland Baptist Church in Redmond, OR, and Dan Panter of McKenzie Road Baptist Church in Olympia, WA.


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Complete Winter 2014 issue - NW Baptist Witness

2014 1st quarter final.pdf
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