Thursday, August 9, 2007

General Council News

We arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Monday evening for the convening of the 52nd General Council of the Assemblies of God. Every time our family attends a Council event, I am reminded that our great fellowship is a growing and thriving church body.

With several events taking place simultaneously, there are over 25,000 Assembly of God people in Indianapolis this week! It seems we are all in a 2 mile radius- and during meal times, crawling all over each other! The National Youth Convention and Fine Arts Festival has 12,000 attendees. (Of those, about 40 are youth and sponsors from West Memphis First Assembly. ) For the business of council, around 4,000 A/G pastors and delegates registered to vote. Needless to say, there are a lot of Pentecostals in downtown Indianapolis!

In the service Wednesday night, our Fellowship Honored our General Superintendent, Thomas E. Trask as he took the pulpit for the last time as Superintendent. The standing ovation was lengthy as we all realized the great humility, integrity, anointing, and capable leadership Bro. Trask has provided us for the past 14 years. Bro. Trask preached a challenging message to our Fellowship, excerpts of which you will hear Sunday morning.

We have a great Fellowship! Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we are changing eternity through our Foreign and Home Missions emphasis. Please, browse the website listed below to get a feel of the deep impact we make on the world as we trust and obey the Lord of the Harvest.

Business and Election News
Many of you are wondering about the election of our new General Superintendent. As of tonight, Thursday, there still has not been an election. When we left the business session today, we completed the 3rd vote, which according to our constitution and by-laws was limited to the top 3 which were - Douglas Clay (Ohio District), Alton Garrison (former Arkansas Dist. Superintendent), and George O. Wood (General Secretary). In our first session on Friday morning we will learn if there was an election from the three. Our constitution and by-laws state that the election requires a 3/4 majority.

For more information, please go to On that site you will find a link to the 52nd General Council. You may also subscribe to the news update. There are also several web casts posted that you may view on your computer.

There are several more elections to be voted upon:
Assistant General Superintendent
General Secretary
Executive Director, Assemblies of God World Missions
11 Nonresident Executive Presbyters
-along with 32 resolutions

Fine Arts News!
Also of great interest to West Memphis First Assembly is the news of our 4 entrees in the Fine Arts Festival. We are so proud of all of our young people that participated this year. Four of these teens received invitations to compete on the national level here in Indianapolis. Listed below are their names and the categories they are competing in:
Small Vocal Ensemble - SAMBER - Samantha Burks and Amber Troxler
Female Vocal Solo - Samantha Burks
Group Songwriting - JASPER - Jason Peninger, Amber and Christian Troxler
Percussion Solo - Jason Peninger

SAMBER competed on Wednesday and received Superior with Honors. Samantha competed today and received a Superior with Honors and a Call Back (for Friday morning). On Friday morning Jason competes and JASPER competes on Friday afternoon.

I cannot tell you how well these young people have represented our church! We are proud of each of them. Just for your information - a Superior with Honors is the highest rating, but only those with Call Backs can advance in the competition.

If you want to follow the Fine Arts Festival ratings you can log on There is a link to the ratings and call backs.

Please be in prayer for the remainder of the council and for every one's safe travel home!

I have a message burning in my heart for Sunday morning! I look forward to seeing each of you then!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,
Pastor Rusty