“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
On March 10th, Duane and Teresa Allen, along with their two younger children Libby and Thadd, traveled to Austin, Texas to visit Benji and Christine Edwards, former members of FBBC. As active members of First Bible Baptist Church, Duane and Teresa Allen sing as a part of the worship team on Sunday mornings. Duane also directs the FBBC Choir and teaches Awaken, one of FBBC’c Adult Bible Communities. Because of Duane’s associations, Benji and Christine are now members of the Church on Congress Avenue. When the announcement was made Benji and Christine were moving to Texas, Duane messaged Benji and the Worship pastor, Aaron, of the church explaining to them they should meet and get to know each other. Aaron has known Duane and Teresa for 15 years.
After Benji and Christine moved down to Texas and settled in, Duane and Teresa and their family traveled to Texas to visit them for a week. They left on March 10th and stayed until March 17th. Teresa was asked to be the keynote speaker at the church’s Ladies Luncheon. At first, Teresa was told to choose her own topic, however later she was asked to speak on prayer. FBBC’s pastor Mark Brown was doing a series of prayer in church at the time. Teresa prayed and asked the Lord for guidance for what she was to say to the ladies and asked God to work through her. When talking with her she described the time as time to be comforted by God and a sweet time of feeling held by our Heavenly Father. She was able to speak to and bless the women of the church with the words God provided her with. She said, “It was a blessed time of ministering to other women, and a celebration of the two churches coming together to worship God.” When she spoke, she focused on many passages. However, a key point of her speech was A.C.T.S., an acronym she wanted the ladies to remember. It stands for Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, and Supplication.
The Church on Congress Avenue is over 100 years old. Duane expressed his joy to see the church with new life despite the age. Duane and Teresa described the area as an open mission field and the church has many opportunities to reach out to the community. One opportunity the church had was made available due to the efforts of Benji and Aaron. Every year Austin has a festival called South by SouthWest. It is a festival for film, music, and art. Benji and Aaron arranged for the church to have a stage to perform on. The church brought in local Christian bands, and performers, as well as local radio stations. Duane and his daughter Libby both sang at the festival. The family also sang in the church services while they were there.
The Allens, the Edwards, and the Church on Congress Avenue are following Acts 1:8. They were ministering to “Jerusalem, and Judea”, the areas close to home. God doesn’t call every Christian to some far off place, across seas, and deep in jungles away from civilization. Even places in America where churches and a chance to hear the Gospel areabundant, many people in our neighborhoods have still not heard how to have a relationship with Jesus. By using the festival in Texas as a witnessing opportunity, the church was able to present the Gospel through Christian music to people who may have never heard about a life with Christ. The Lord used the Allen Family to minister to the Edwards, and the Edwards have been a blessing to The Church on Congress Avenue in Texas. The message of Acts 1:8 is to minister where you are. It is always a blessing to hear stories of Christians being used for God’s will, and being willing to be used.
By Megan Alexander
Edited by Mindi Patterson