Irrigon Members Rejoice as Membership Grows

August 01, 2002 | Norma Stahl

Members of the Irrigon, Ore., Church, a small-town congregation on the Columbia River, began praying last summer for six new members in the next 12 months.

Their prayers have been answered, with members to spare.

Mary Hajek

Mary Hajek had attended a Daniel seminar by Pastor Fred Christensen in fall of 1999, but she declined an invitation for further study.

One year later, however, she began attending church on her own and taking Bible studies with member Gerry James.

She shared her newfound faith with her co-workers, who rejoiced with her when she joined the Irrigon Adventist Church on profession of faith.

Linda and Larry Groce

Linda Groce found out about the Irrigon Church while taking Discover Bible studies by mail. She shared her studies with her husband, Larry, including a lesson on the seventh-day Sabbath.

Then local member Gerry James invited her to dinner, and though she declined the invitation, she promised that she and Larry would “check out” an Adventist church service.

When they did attend, they enjoyed it and soon both requested baptism, despite forfeiting senior positions at work and taking deep pay cuts because of their decision not to work during Sabbath hours.

Robert Brown

The fourth answer to prayer came as Robert Brown settled in the area and asked for a transfer of membership. Local members appreciate his faithful steadfastness and believe God sent him to them for a purpose.

Leona Bates

Leona Bates, who had Adventist friends and relatives, recently began attending church and expressing interest in more study.

Member Chuck Beezley began a weekly Bible study with her and her son, Rod Osmer, leading to her baptism in February.

Pam Purcell

Pam Purcell, who had just driven up to Oregon from Florida, drove up to the church and accepted Joel Stahl’s invitation to attend services the next day.

Pam and Leona became friends and encouraged one another as they gained victories in their spiritual lives. Gerry James studied with her, as well, leading to the two women’s decision to be baptized on the same Sabbath, Feb. 2.

Rod Osmer

Meanwhile, despite Sabbath-employment problems and serious health concerns, Rod Osmer continued to study the Bible and was baptized April 20.

Grateful that they have met their goal early, Irrigon members are confident that by the end of the church year, more will have joined by profession of faith, baptism, or membership transfer. •