Local church helps Haiti and Dominican Republic
The Warren Alliance Church is a part of a missionary movement known as the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). The Alliance (C&MA) is a Christ-centered mission and church-planting movement.
More than a denomination, the Alliance is an organization that embraces the call to “go.” The C&MA has gradually expanded from a five-member team in Congo in 1884, to more than 650 international workers serving in 81 countries. Today, there are more than 2,000 Alliance churches in the United States, and approximately 20,000 fellowships in 81 countries (www.cmalliance.org/region) around the world with nearly 5 million Christians calling themselves “Alliance.” Dr. Ravi Zacharias, noted author, evangelist and apologist has said “The C&MA has been one of the most powerful mission organizations in the world. I have worked alongside Alliance team members on every continent and have a profound respect for the way they work with national churches.” Dr. Billy Graham once said that “as a young Bible student in Florida I became acquainted with, and involved in, the C&MA and the vision they have for world missions. Over the years I have enjoyed fellowship with Alliance missionaries around the world and support their endeavors to reach a lost world for Christ.”
Warren Alliance actively supports the missionary work of the C&MA in prayer and sacrificial giving. In 2013, the church gave over $44,000 to support the missionary work of the C&MA. This included support provided for two of the church’s own members, Eric and Vicki Bill who serve in Senegal. While Warren Alliance primarily supports the missionary work of the C&MA, it also actively supports two other members, Tom and Lois Ford who serve with another agency in Russia.
At least once a year, Warren Alliance Church hosts an Alliance Missionary for a weekend to discover more about the missionary work of the C&MA and how the church can partner with this work. Last fall, the church hosted Bob Fugate, a missionary with the C&MA since 1986. Mr. Fugate has served in Venezuela and Chile, and is preparing to transition to Mexico. Missionary weekends give the church the opportunity to personally connect with Alliance Missionaries and foster a greater passion for world-wide missions.
In recent years, the church has been able to form more direct partnerships. The church currently partners with two missionary couples who are members of Warren Alliance. and Lois Ford had a calling to Russia and a love for the people of Russia for many years. Their hearts’ desire was answered when they trusted God and stepped out in faith to leave Warren and make their life in Moscow in 2010. They accepted positions at Hinkson Christian Academy, which primarily enrolls children of missionaries. Tom, who was a chemist at United Refining, teaches high school science and math at the academy. Lois teaches students English as a second language (ESL) and is currently working towards her Psychology degree. They are heavily involved in English language outreach and host an English conversation group in their home, deepening their relationships with the people of Moscow. Tom is also serving on a newly formed board of the local Youth for Christ. They have enjoyed interacting with the Russian people and strive to be God’s messengers where ever they go.
Eric and Vicki (Chapman) Bill were called to the mission field of Senegal, Africa. Eric’s call began early as he was born in Africa to missionary parents. He grew up in Africa, going to boarding school in Senegal. Vicki was born and raised in Warren, attending Warren Alliance Church. She was called early to the mission field, as missions was heavily taught and emphasized. The Bills met in Gabon, Africa while doing field study and then their relationship was solidified as they finished their degrees at Toccoa Falls College in Georgia. Eric holds a Cross-Cultural Business Administration degree and Vicki earned her nursing degree and a Cross-Cultural Studies degree. In July of 2013 they began their missions apprentice with the C&MA in Saint Louis, Senegal. They will be assisting the existing team in the various ministries there, including a Vocational/Bible Training Center for young men, Vocational/Bible Training for young women, village clinics and sports ministries.
Both the Fords and Bills have had to raise their own support and are trusting God to sustain them as they do the work that God has called them to do, spreading His love to people who may be without hope.
God uses Warren Alliance Short-Term Missions Trips to change lives. Having gone to the Dominican Republic and Haiti since 2000, thousands of lives have been changed through the common bond of serving Jesus Christ. Involvement in building trades, medical, optical, dental, sports, music and arts, and village care not only help those in need but causes something to happen in the hearts of those who respond to Gods call to go. Dallas McHenry, who has participated in these trips since 2000 said, “We always receive much more than we give in an experience with Meeting God in Missions”.
Two of the church’s members, Don Moore and Tom Russell, had the opportunity two years ago to visit the C&MA field in Russia. They also had the opportunity to see Tom and Lois’ Ford’s ministry first hand. Don Moore stated that what impressed him most was the faith in God that he saw in the people they worked with. This was in clear contrast to the hopelessness he saw on a lot of the faces while riding the subway system with Tom and Lois in Moscow. Moore explained that it was something like he has seen in the U.S., “people only living day to day with no real hope, just trying to fill their own desires and missing God.”
While the Warren Alliance Church has a long history of supporting world-wide missions, the church is actively seeking to meet needs in the community of Warren as well. A few individuals in the church have actively been involved in prison ministry. In addition to making visits at the prison, individuals have also mentored young men when they were released. Others in the church have written letters to prisoners to encourage them in their faith.
Over the past year, the church has been working to develop new partnerships with community organizations. Pastor Doug McCracken serves on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army and has encouraged the church to more actively support the work of the Salvation Army in Warren. The church has also been finding ways to support the work of the Pregnancy Support Center of Warren County beginning with its Change for Life Baby Bottle Collection. The church has also provided support each year to the Crossing and the Warren County Bible Club.
In recent years, the church has sought to find practical ways to serve the community of Warren. For the past few years, volunteers from the church have helped with registration, statistics and refereeing at the Gus Macker Tournament. In May of last year the church adopted Crescent Park. Over 30 volunteers helped paint the pavilion, clear brush, and clean the trails. Each fall, the Alliance Women hold a “Free Sale” for the community. Clothing and household items are collected and then provided to individuals on the day of the event at no cost.
Last year the church launched a new small group ministry. Each of the groups have been challenged to regularly serve the community. The groups have adopted a number of projects including painting someone’s home, ministering to a grieving family, and helping a young couple fund an adoption.
The Warren Alliance Church is committed to fulfill the mission of Christ in our community and around the world.