The A2J Became a Life Raft for Racine Assembly
“Leading Racine Assembly through the Acts 2 Journey, offered to churches by the Wisconsin-Northern Michigan Assemblies of God district council, became a transformational experience! The team concept, where the pastor works alongside key stakeholders and influencers of the congregation in identifying a SHARED vision, catapulted our church into a genuine Holy Spirit encounter.”
Pastor Ed Walker knew that Racine Assembly of God, affiliated with the Assemblies of God since the 1930s, had been on a long course of decline and needed a directional change. During his eight years as pastor at the church, he had attempted to employ various church growth strategies with only lackluster results.
The city of Racine has a population of nearly 80,000 people and struggles with significant urban problems, such as high crime, single-parent families, and poverty. Racine and the villages of Mount Pleasant and Caledonia serve as the church’s sphere of influence.
Racine Assembly of God is one of 1,612 churches that have participated in the Acts 2 Journey to gain new vision and grow numerically, spiritually, and relationally.
While attending a district network meeting, Pastor Ed heard Alton Garrison present information about the Acts 2 Journey, which he directs. Right away Ed knew this transformative process — led by an experienced team to help a church gain new vision and become stronger spiritually, numerically and relationally — was exactly what Racine Assembly needed.
Ed purchased a copy of Alton’s book A Spirit-Empowered Church for each member of the church board and himself. After prayer and careful consideration, the board formed a vision team and the church began participation in the Acts 2 Journey one-year cohort.
“The church was preparing to launch its new strategic plan, developed through Acts 2 Journey, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced in-person ministry limitations,” Pastor Ed says. “However, the Acts 2 Journey experience became a strategic life raft for us due to the challenges of the pandemic, social unrest, and political divisions experienced in 2020-2021.
“Although our in-person total attendance is somewhat lower than before the pandemic began, we are a much healthier and more stable congregation. In addition, the participation in youth and children’s ministries is higher than before the pandemic shutdown.”
Pastor Ed Walker says that Racine Assembly is a much healthier, more stable congregation today as a result of the impact of their Acts 2 Journey transformational experience.
The congregation at Racine Assembly participates in several outreaches to their community that include: 1) sponsoring Royal Family Kids (For the Children) that provides an annual camp and monthly mentoring club for abused and neglected children; 2) working with the Racine County agency that oversees the foster care program; 3) providing resources and facilities for the school district’s occupational instruction programs to help special needs children; 4) engaging in community food and clothing drives; and 5) hosting special events such as the Singing Christmas Tree, Easter dramas, and fall events for children.
“Thank you, AGTrust, for providing the scholarship that helped our church participate in the Acts 2 Journey,” Pastor Ed says. “This investment served as an encouragement to me and our leadership team — in that AGTrust and the Assemblies of God believed Racine Assembly could move beyond our past and toward a purposeful, God-honoring future.”
The church is experiencing greater participation in children’s and youth ministries, which is an indicator of a healthy church.
A total of 1,612 churches from 43 districts and 3 ethnic fellowships have participated in the Acts 2 Journey. Your gift today to AGTrust
will help more local churches take the Acts 2 Journey and gain new vision!