GES recently conducted a regional conference on the border between Georgia and Florida. It involved two churches, one in Thomasville, GA and the other in Tallahassee, FL. The people who attend these services are Spanish speakers.
Marino Martinez is a long-time friend of GES. He was mentored by Loren Faul, who was a missionary in the Dominican Republic for a number of years. The two of them are important leaders in what is happening in southern Georgia and northern Florida.
The conference was conducted in Spanish, with some translation into English. The theme was the difference between eternal life as a free gift and the costliness of rewards in Christ’s kingdom. Along with Loren and Marino, I (Ken) conducted the sessions. We spoke on passages such as the parable of the minas, the warning passages in Hebrews, the woman at the well, and the account of the rich young ruler. There were also two sessions in which attendees could ask questions. One of the participating churches has regular service on Saturday evenings. I spoke on John 5:22-25 at that service. At the other church’s Sunday service, Loren spoke on 2 Cor 3:18 concerning the secrets of victorious Christian living.
The conference and services were very well attended. The sessions averaged around 110 people. The churches are growing, with one having an average attendance of around 100 and the other 150.
This is a very exciting work. The Hispanic community there is very open to the Free Grace message, thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Loren and Marino. There are other leaders in the churches who believe the message and are actively teaching it. The contacts there are looking to establish other Free Grace churches in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Spanish-speaking pastors from other cities in Georgia and Florida also attended the conference. Some of them have asked if GES could conduct similar conferences in their churches in the future. They said they liked what they heard.
The question-and-answer sessions went very well. The attendees asked excellent questions. In fact, we had to cut each session off after an hour because, as Marino said, “We would have been here until 10 p.m.”
Kathryn Wright, who works for GES, also attended. She did all the administrative work, including manning the table where we sold books. GES is trying to get more of our books translated and published in Spanish. We took two such books to this conference. One was Zane Hodges’ The Gospel Under Siege. The other is my book, Elisabeth. We had no idea of how many copies to take and decided on fifty of each. The attendees bought all 100 copies. If the Lord tarries and we do this again, we will take more copies. We are also publishing a new book in Spanish on eternal security by Ken White, another missionary who works in the Dominican Republic. Lord willing, that will be available the next time we have a conference in Spanish.
A number of people who came to the conference mentioned that they are planning on coming to the GES National Conference in May. Kathryn was also able to sign up a number of people to receive our blogs that are in Spanish. Marino is planning a conference with the people in the Dominican Republic. If the Lord allows, I hope to go with him and others to teach there in 2024. The churches in that country are heavily enslaved to Lordship Salvation teaching. The pastors down there often do not realize that there is another—and Biblical!—option.
I hope this report is an encouragement to all Free Grace people who read it. We appreciate all your prayers and support. What we are all doing together will have eternal consequences. How exciting it is that the Lord allows us to all be involved in this (His) work together!