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2002 PE Report stories

Congregations demonstrate weekly prayer yields results (December 30, 2001)

L.A. Dream Center, Angelus Temple make history, reach more with merge (December 16, 2001)

Rain, gang doesn't halt impact of newly formed congregation (December 9, 2001)

Women urged to minister hope at global gathering (November 25, 2001)

Volunteers meet needs at Pentagon cleanup (November 18, 2001)

Fear, uncertainty open window of opportunity for evangelism (November 11, 2001)

'Jump for Jesus' raises $40,000 for STL (October 21, 2001)

Widows, single mothers gain practical blessings (October 14, 2001)

Five new executive presbyters elected (September 30, 2001)

Credit card 'freedoms' tempt college students (September 16, 2001)

Fellowship, nation show ethnic makeup changes (August 26, 2001)

Congregations extend a hand, spread gospel after tropical storm (August 19, 2001)

Single-parent families find hope at camp (August 12, 2001) caught in middle of culture war (July 22, 2001)

Pentecostal World Conference looks toward future cooperation (July 13, 2001)

Crossover Community Church ministers to hip-hop culture (July 8, 2001)

Prison chaplain hooked on ministry (June 24, 2001)

National Singles team convenes, plans regional conferences (June 17, 2001)

Children's ministries take center stage (June 10, 2001)

U.S. Christians trek to Israel despite news reports of danger (May 27, 2001)

A/G ministries combat eating disorders (May 20, 2001)

Mobilizing laity leads to church growth (May 13, 2001)

Fellowship convenes conference for women (April 29, 2001)

14,547 'honored guests' attend Convoy of Hope outreach in Dallas (April 22, 2001)

Hollywood sends wrong signals on teen smoking (April 15, 2001)

Iowa community faces unique challenges (April 8, 2001)

Churches support ministries to lead youth out of lifestyle (March 25, 2001)

English lessons reach Chinese with gospel (March 18, 2001)

A/G church, police, schools partner for strong community (March 11, 2001)

Church uses 'human hunt' as evangelism tool for teens (February 25, 2001)

Ministering in the fast lane (February 18, 2001)

Abstinence education saves lives, futures (February 11, 2001)

Donated food helps Convoy of Hope extend hand around the world (January 21, 2001)

American Indian College students impact boarding school (January 14, 2001)

2000 News Digest stories

Mobilizing laity leads to church growth

(May 13, 2001)

When Randy V. Thomas became pastor of Winston Park Church 19 months ago, 22 people attended the first service. Today, Sunday morning attendance at the Assemblies of God church in Coconut Creek, Fla., averages 300.

Winston Park A/G in Coconut Grove, Fla., reaches out to new residents.

Thomas, in his first senior pastorate, has emphasized prayer and missions giving, plus mobilizing the laity. "All people are ministers," he says; and lay ministries are flourishing.

Coconut Creek, about 20 minutes northwest of Fort Lauderdale, is a rapidly growing community of 38,000 residents. Winston Park is located in the midst of a booming housing development. Winston Park Church has targeted the new residents — and the size of the congregation has mushroomed.

The congregation is a mixture of young and old, bankers and housekeepers, white and black, Brazilians and Jamaicans.

Veterans are on his board of deacons, while many recent members head up ministries. Contemporary worship has drawn a younger crowd while occasional organ-accompanied hymns are familiar to senior citizens.

"There’s been no backlash because Pastor Randy didn’t abandon the original members," says Joe Gerardi, a member for four years. "Pastor Randy loves the people, and a lot of people have responded by getting involved." Gerardi is Sunday school superintendent and a praise team singer.

John H. Brown, a member for five years, says the church has an atmosphere where members enjoy ministry. "It’s amazing what God can do if we give Him a chance," Brown says.

Leroy Rand, one of three remaining parishioners from when the church began in 1980, is grateful that Winston Park has lots of willing helpers. Rand has served as everything from sound system operator to groundskeeper. Thomas has been able to motivate by setting a vibrant example, Rand says. "Pastor Randy does a tremendous job teaching and preaching from the Bible," Rand says. "And he doesn’t mind chiding us when necessary."

Since the beginning of last year, 28 people have made decisions to make Jesus their Savior at the church.

"It seems like we’re growing every week," Gerardi says. "We’re looking forward to continued growth."

"Excitement, enthusiasm and anointing are all present at Winston Park," says Charles E. Hackett, Home Missions executive director. "This is one of the most remarkable turnarounds I have ever witnessed."

– John W. Kennedy


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