Addiction Knows No Boundaries

By Sheila Allen

March 23, 2017

The ravages of life-controlling addictions cut across cultures, gender, age and economic status. Standing firm for nearly a decade with efforts to stem the tide of fallout and devastation  is U-Turn 4 Christ, a restorative ministry in Southern Oregon led by Kevin Darr.

 

“This is a program for men geared toward people in bondage to addiction,” Darr said. “The people that we have ministered to vary from those just out of jail to those with PHDs, homeless guys to CEOs and pastors. Drugs and alcohol is epidemic and affects all areas of our culture.”

 

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Encounter with God Spawns Multiple Churches

By Sheila Allen

March 23, 2017

A career move first brought Masaomi Takeuchi to the Northwest from his native Japan, but a life changing encounter with God redirected his career and life.

 

“I worked for a Japanese engineering company in 1987 and came to the United States, working in Portland,” Takeuchi said. “The company provided me with an English tutor and he was a member of the Japanese International Baptist Church in Tigard, OR, which was a small church. That is when I first heard of Jesus Christ and I was baptized a few months later.”

 

Takeuchi returned to Tokyo a year later, in hopes of attending seminary and evangelizing his fellow countrymen, but after searching diligently, he found no institutions to further his education. He sought advice from Mike Yokoy, pastor of Japanese International, who suggested he return to the U.S. Takeuchi quit his job and struck out on faith.

 

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"Simple" Gospel Reaches International Students

By Jim Burton

March 23, 2017

Pierce and Yae Hite are part of a gospel movement on the campus of Central Washington University, where they share a heart of love for international students on campus, some of whom have never heard the gospel message before.

 

Pierce and Yae have partnered with church planters Jacob and Jessica Dahl, who God used to plant Resonate Church on CWU’s campus. Pierce and Yae had been praying for a church to connect with in Ellensburg, and that’s when Yae met Jessica.

 

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Authentic Expression Reaching Millenials

By Sheila Allen

March 23, 2017

Northwest-born Anton Fero doesn’t “carry around church baggage” from his youth, because he never heard the name of Jesus. Now the church planter apprentice from Mt. Vernon, WA, envisions a community of believers who are supernaturally linked to one another as family.

 

Most recently transplanted from San Diego, Fero traveled the nation in creative outlets as a singer and theater performer. In multiple venues along the way, he met many Christ followers who impacted him. He started his walk with the Lord in New York City after meeting his wife, Courtney.

 

Now Fero and a team from San Diego have made North Portland their home and are committed to reaching their neighborhood through authentic relationships that speak to the millennial generation.

 

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Joining the Fight to End Sex Trafficking

By Sheila Allen

March 23, 2017

Andrea Benson

After graduating from California Baptist University, all Andrea Benson wanted was love, marriage and a family. Instead, she began a journey filled with pain for herself and her family.

 

Andrea, now 27, was a firstborn for Jim and Kerry Benson of Portland, OR. The family became part of Pathway Church (formerly Greater Gresham Baptist Church) 20 years ago and quickly became involved in church life and ministries.

 

“I had a picturesque Christian family,” Andrea said. “I was teased as a teen about how boy crazy I was, but was involved in youth group and after a trip to Africa, I knew I wanted to become a missionary.”

 

Andrea pursued a degree at CBU, but her path detoured her senior year when she began an intimate relationship with a leader from her California church.

 

“I felt shame for it and he didn’t acknowledge our relationship to others -- a pregnancy scare ended it, and I moved back to Oregon to get away following graduation,” Andrea stated. “That was the beginning of veering off-course.”

 

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Church Partners to Meet School Needs

By Sheila Allen

March 23, 2017

Gary Bass, (center) pastor of Dishman First Baptist Church, was given the "Above and Beyond" award at the West Valley School Board meeting in recognition of the support Dishman members have given to staff and students at City School in Spokane Valley, WA.

A unique school in Washington’s Spokane Valley operates like a small town, with all students holding jobs as they learn critical life skills. Built for elementary age children decades ago, City School is now a public middle school next door to Dishman First Baptist Church. The proximity affords natural connections and allowed the church to become a strong community partner.

 

Founded in 1952, Dishman First Baptist is situated in a prime location and enjoys a spacious facility. More important is the impact members make in their community and beyond, with a rich history of serving others through missions.

 

“At one time we used the school for AWANAs,” said Gary Bass, pastor of the church for more than 15 years. “I was brainstorming with our ministry leaders and we determined to see how we could help the school.”

 

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Beloved Northwest Icon Dies

By Kathie Chute, Art Toalston and Cameron Crabtree

March 23, 2017

A memorial service for William O. “Bill” Crews, president emeritus of Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention and a beloved figure among Northwest Baptists, was held March 10 at Pathway Church in Gresham, OR. He died March 1 after a brief illness and hospitalization in Vancouver, WA. He was 81.

 

Crews is survived by his wife, Jo Ann, and granddaughter Nicole Crews. He was preceded in death by a son, Ronald, and a daughter, Rhonda.

 

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