‘One In Christ’

Churches in the greater Jamestown area have witnessed a milestone event.

Twenty area churches came together on Thursday night to participate in the “One in Christ – A Holy Week Gathering to Celebrate Jesus” event held at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. Overflow seating was available at the Willow Bay Commerce Center where residents could watch the event via live video stream.

The event began at 6:30 p.m. with the blowing of the shofar, and featured a praise band comprised of musicians from various churches, Holy Communion, messages from three local pastors, a video presentation detailing several local non-denominational Christian ministries, a drama presentation, a dance presentation by Audience of One Dance Ministry and a community choir. Hundreds of area residents were in attendance.

According to Bishop Leecroft Clarke, pastor of Healing Word Ministries Church of God, this event was the first of its kind.

“This is the first time (Jamestown) churches have come together in this way, with a desire to praise Jesus. This is unprecedented in our area,” Clarke said. “It is truly a community event.”

During the event, one speaker noted that in 1989, a group of area pastors made the decision to meet every Tuesday morning to pray for renewal and revival of the greater Jamestown area. Nearly 25 years later, the Chautauqua Pastors Revival group is still active.

Another speaker noted the importance of the event.

“Do you know the power of a dedicated unity? This is a milestone moment for the church in Jamestown, N.Y.,” he said, referencing the body of believers in the area, regardless of denomination.

A drama presentation of, “Is it I, Lord?” took place after the second speaker. The presentation was a piece from the upcoming Dust of the Rabbi experience being held at Hillcrest Baptist Church today, Saturday and Sunday.

To close out the event, a community choir sang multiple numbers. Due to technical difficulties, the choir began singing a cappella, much to the appreciation of attendees, who encouraged the choir by clapping along. As the choir repeated its final refrain, “Hallelujah, Jesus is alive,” they received a standing ovation from the audience.

“The concept is that, although we are all part of different denominations, we have one thing in common,” Clarke said. “Fostering all of us is Christ Jesus and what he has done for us – died for our sins so that we will have eternal life with him.”

A free-will offering was taken to benefit local non-denominational Christian ministries, including Choose Life of Jamestown, Community Helping Hands, Love INC, Samaritan House, St. Susan Center, United Christian Advocacy Network and We Believe.

One in Christ was sponsored by Busti Church of God, Bemus Point United Methodist, Calvary Baptist, Camp Street United Methodist, Clarks Corners, Fellowship at the Cross, Fluvanna Community Church, Healing World Ministries Church of God, Hillcrest Baptist, Jamestown Christian & Missionary Alliance, Kiantone Memorial United Methodist, Lakewood Baptist, Levant Wesleyan, New Beginnings United Methodist, Park United Methodist, Peace Wesleyan, Praise Fellowship, The Better Place Inc., Zion Covenant and Register Graphics.

The event was videotaped by Joel Marsh Productions. To secure a copy, contact Roy Miller after May 11 at 488-9918 or roy@thebetterplace.org.