Three years ago Springfield, Missouri Adventists undertook a journey to produce an evangelistic telecast tailored for viewing on local TV. Now, thanks to generous donations of time and money, they are airing on local television what may be the first series of evangelistic meetings presented by a local pastor.
Pastor Hiram Rester (pictured) taught for 13 meetings, each an hour long, on topics such as Bible prophecies, the antichrist, death and heaven. The filmed sermons are being shown weekly for one year on KOLR (channel 10) and KOLZ (channel 27), on Sundays at 9:30 am.
A year’s worth of programming comes at the hefty price of $25,000. Church members were challenged to donate $1 a day for a year toward the project; so far $35,000 is pledged.
Much preparation preceded this accomplishment. Several years ago, official Springfield Church “techies” Dale Smith, Sr., Dale Smith, Jr., and Matt Sheppard purchased the necessary equipment with funds from a technology ministry donation. Pastor Rester envisioned an active Internet and television ministry, so the team began live streaming the weekly worship services.
In 2011 Pastor Rester preached a series exploring Revelation, which was packaged into 20 one-hour episodes and aired on a local public access station for 18 months. Each program concluded with a free offer for Amazing Facts Bible Studies. Springfield members delivered the lessons personally in the community and alerted other Adventist pastors to the requests of individuals living outside the immediate area.
As a result of the television and Internet ministries, the church has received emails from viewers in Europe, South America and across North America. Local interest has arisen as well, and the Springfield Church has been blessed with one baptism and one re-baptism.
In recent years, the Springfield Church tech team has filmed the main meetings at the Iowa-Missouri Conference camp meeting, live streaming them at www.springfieldsda.org and archiving them on the conference’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/imsdaconference).
Matt Sheppard has created a website, www.studyrevelation.com, which will archive most of the evangelistic series that Pastor Restor has filmed. The church is planning future programming on health topics and Bible questions and answers.
News writer Michelle Hansen is communication/Sabbath school director for the Iowa-Missouri Conference.