In 2011 Seventh-day Adventist pastors of the St. Louis metropolitan area began meeting together on a regular basis and soon formed a cross-conference ministerial association to collaborate in evangelizing the St. Louis Metro area, with a population of 2.8 million.

This grass-roots movement became knows as AMPS, the association of Adventist Ministers and Pastors of St. Louis (ministers being local lay people and pastors those who were employed by the various conferences). Their desire was to bring the 14 churches in St. Louis together to win the city for Christ.

Collaborative relationships

One of the results of this collaboration was the formation of a special team of lay people called the St. Louis SDA Lay Ministries Committee (SLSLM). The goals of SLSLM are based on relationship building that results in church growth. Our mission statement is “To emulate Christ’s example of spreading the everlasting gospel as shown in God’s Word, while providing aid, education, and assurance to the St. Louis Community.”

This group, which consists of lay representatives from area churches, has been tasked with finding and creating mission projects in the St. Louis area where all the Adventists churches can work together. We want the people of St. Louis to see Adventists, of different races and ethnicities, working side by side to make the community a better place.

Pathway to peace

In August 2014, St. Louis found itself thrust into the spotlight of racial and cultural tension. The increase in violence and lawlessness warranted a sense of urgency on behalf of the church to spread light in a community experiencing increasing darkness. The effort we launched, termed The Jericho Project, posed a straightforward attack on the walls being erected in people’s hearts.

We began by completing a mass mailing of the book Path to Peace to over 3,000 homes. This was accomplished through the Project Steps to Christ organization. Then dedicated and caring volunteers from the Central States Conference (Berean, Agape, Lighthouse and Northside churches), and members of the Iowa-Missouri Conference (Southside, Central, and Korean churches), went out over a six-week period to visit those homes.

We knocked on doors, introduced ourselves and inquired if they had received the booklet. Then we asked if we could pray with them and leave a packet filled with helpful resources, including flyers for 3ABN and a local church school in that area. Also included were the tract Your Friends the Adventists, a list of 12 promises of God, and a health assessment that, if returned, offered a free book on healthy living. We also obtained contact information from those interested in future events.

Blessings of witnessing

We gained many wonderful testimonies during this time, and not only were the residents blessed, but our faith was strengthened by their comments. Door-to-door witnessing brought us close to the needs of the people, and we came to understand the blessings inherent in witnessing. Many were thirsting and we knew only Jesus could quench that thirst. How else could something good come out of so much discord? We asked, as is recorded in Gen. 18:14, “Is anything too hard for God?” We have proof that it’s not!

We were delighted that God’s timing reinforced our efforts with a two-week Breath of Life seminar that began the weekend following our last visits. Among the 85 baptisms following the seminar, we were blessed to see Princess Jones and two of her children take their stand. Ms. Jones was one of the last people we visited and she came straightway to the meetings. Truly one plants, another waters, but it is God who gives the increase. We continue to receive response cards from the booklets that went out, with requests for Bible studies and other literature. These are being fulfilled and covered with much prayer.

Learn more about Princess Jones and her thoughts on becoming and Adventist.

Future plans for Ferguson include an outreach event this spring that will highlight a holistic approach to family health. We solicit your prayers that God will be glorified and that more souls will be harvested in this part of the vineyard.

Danise Taylor is chair of the SLSLM team.