Monday, August 27, 2007

Evangelicals Turn Toward ... the Orthodox Church?

This is a wonderful two page convert story. Like I have said before, I love these stories. They help me see the Church in a differnt way, as that Promised Land people have been searching for all their lives and often knew it not.


The Iconoclasts
by Jason Zengerle
The ministry is a calling, but it is also a career, and, in 1987, a Baptist
minister named Wilbur Ellsworth was given the career opportunity of a lifetime.
After nearly two decades of pastoring modest congregations in California and
Ohio, Ellsworth, at the age of 43, was called to lead the First Baptist Church
of Wheaton, Illinois--one of the most prominent evangelical churches in what was
then the most prominent evangelical city in the world. Often called the
"Evangelical Vatican," the leafy Chicago suburb is home to Wheaton College--the
prestigious evangelical college whose most famous graduate is Billy Graham--and
a host of influential evangelical figures, a number of whom worshipped at First
Baptist. "I was now preaching to these people every Sunday," Ellsworth recalls.
"It was all sort of heady and exciting."

From a professional standpoint, Ellsworth thrived. He oversaw the
construction of a majestic new building for First Baptist with a 600-seat
sanctuary and a 100-foot steeple that towered over Wheaton's Main Street. And,
due to the prominent evangelicals he now ministered to, he became something of a
prominent evangelical himself--routinely meeting with the many evangelical
leaders who constantly came through Wheaton. "I was at the very center of the
religious world that I'd been a part of for most of my life," he says. "It was
quite a promotion from where I was before."

From a spiritual perspective, however, Ellsworth was suffering. Over
the past 20 years, a growing number of evangelical churches have joined what is
called the "church growth movement,"....

Read the rest of this two page story here:

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