A Season of Harvest at Springfield

July 01, 2010 | Cheryel Whitsell

The first time Willie White came to church he was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts even though it was a cold January morning. "I live in the neighborhood and would like to check out your church", he explained to the greeters at the Springfield Church. Willie met pastor Lutz Binus after the service: " The Bible says that the seventh day is God's Sabbath, we were looking for a Sabbath keeping church and this is the closest to our home," Willie explained. "That's amazing, I would like to hear more," Binus responded. "Can you stay for our visitor lunch, so we can talk more?" Willie contacted his fiancee who was already on the porch of the church looking for him and happy to join the lunch with their two little children. Willie shared that he and a group of his extended family had been studying the Bible for some months. Work was slow because of the economic down turn, so they studied and talked by the hour. Binus began to study with the group, while the church members rallied to make all of them and their children feel welcome.

Ron and Christina Holliday, Willie's cousins, were baptized Feb. 13, 2010 along with Willie's brother Patrick White and his wife Jovanna. A few months ago Ron was flipping through the channels on his TV when he came across Steve Walburg talking about Revelation. "I was confused about Revelation and he opened my eyes." The couple watched the week series together. Ron spied a break down of Revelation in the back of a bible that his mother had gotten free from buying a set of Bed Time Stories when he was a little boy. This had similar information easily understood. Ron was very excited about what he began studying and shared intensely with his cousins. Patrick says, "I resisted at first, but finely prayed, 'What direction shall I take for my family, not just for myself? One evening while I was praying an overwhelming feeling came over me. It was like I felt seeing my daughter for the first time, but stronger. God changed me at that moment. My whole life changed.'" What changed? JoVanna smiled, "The whole thing! His temper has changed, if the food is not just right, it's ok, he says, 'Thank you God for my food.'"

"My choices of entertainment are different." Patrick adds with a broad smile. They continue to meet with Binus weekly for bible study, a meal and fellowship and invite others to join.

Life changes were embraced as the group learned about God's ideas for the home, entertainment and dietary guidelines. Each change brought more peace and joy into their lives, including the joyful marriage of Willie and Carrie.

Patrick, Willie's brother, is enthusiastic: "Man, the Lord has totally changed my life around. I used to be the school bully, was transferred from school to school, now I'm sharing Jesus, the Life giver with others." Each week he and Bob Biggs, Springfield Adventist Bible Worker, go door to door to share the good news.

Randy Stone had been coming to Springfield Church for 14 years, after getting married to his Adventist wife, Darla, yet had not made a decision to fully embrace the Adventist message. Randy was attending a men's group at Mike Dunks, a church members', home when Binus asked Randy what was keeping him from taking this step. "I can see clearly everything, except I have a big question about Ellen White, your prophet," answered Randy. Randy shared during a study a little later: "We talked about Ellen White. Out of the blue we got this book in the mail 'The Great Controversy.' I started reading and couldn't put it down. The writer truly is inspired. A powerful message. These things are happening in the world right now." He was convinced and joyfully surrendered his life to Jesus in baptism Jan. 30, 2010.

Willie and Carrie were baptized April 24, 2010. Willie believed the message as soon as he heard it and would have been baptized with his brother and cousin but Carrie had not been raised in a Christian home and needed more time to assimilate all the new information and come to love the truth and her savior. Willie waited so they could be baptized together and have their two children: Regan and Hayden dedicated. Miracles of healing and protection for her and her family during this time helped Carrie realize the presence of God and His love.

Randy Peck, a Bible student of Bob Biggs, joined his new friends in baptism after coming to church for two and a half years with housemates. He says, "I am eagerly looking forward to the new life Jesus has for me."

The Springfield Church has had 11 baptisms January – April 2010.

Yes, the greatest miracle is a changed heart — and God is in the business of changing hearts.

The Springfield Church with the leadership of Lutz Binus and the church board had a number of things going on that enabled the Holy Spirit to work these miracles.

1. Pastor Binus held a sermon series on The Holy Spirit

2. The church had a 24-hour prayer vigil in the sanctuary to invite the Holy Spirit to our congregation

3. Members took the Sabbath School quarterly series on the Holy Spirit literally and applied the principles

4. Each Sabbath Prayer Partners pray for each person who enters the sanctuary

5. Prayer Partners pray for Binus each day

6. The Board made cuts to ensure that the church stays within it's budget

7. Some leaders and members addressed long standing disputes and resolved them

8. Hikes, meals and social events help visitors and new comers feel comfortable

9. Wonderful Sabbath School divisions and baby sitting services for studying parents pave the way for deeper and more complete study

10. Sabbath and study group days meals/potucks prepared by members encourage families to take the time to study.