Church reaching beyond its walls with tent services

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Reaching beyond their church walls, the Beulah Land Baptist Church is preaching at Kinsmen Park at 7 p.m. every night until August 24.

 

Wings as Eagles participant Tom Kaufmann, Prince Albert Beulah Land Baptist Church pastor Dave Webster and Wings as Eagles owner Terry Rushing are seen outside of their old-time gospel tent set up at Kinsmen Park. 

Erecting a large white tent in the middle of the park this week, the congregation came together on Friday night for the first of the nine-day series.

“The basic reason for doing it, for me, is obedience … to the great commission that Christ gave us 2,000 years ago -- to the church -- to preach the gospel to every person,” Beulah Land Baptist Church pastor Dave Webster said. “I want to bring the gospel to where the people are.”

Their fifth year setting up at Kinsmen Park, local Christians are being assisted in hosting the nine-day series by Wings as Eagles -- a Oshkosh, WI, group dedicated to taking on short-term mission tips.

Their current stint in Prince Albert is their fifth so far this summer, having set up meetings in Williams Lake, B.C., The Pas, Man., South Indian Lake, Man., and Porcupine Plain, Sask.

Though Webster said that the tent meetings are “never disappointing,” he laments a growing apathy in Canada when it comes to the gospel.

“I think there’s confusion towards the gospel due to all the religions in the world -- all the religious voices competing for the ear,” he said.

Pulling a silver lining out of the situation, Rushing said that reaching “one soul” would make the whole effort worthwhile.  

Old-time gospel tent meetings are an excellent means of reaching into the community, Webster said -- “Not the answer for everything, but they definitely have their place.”

The basic reason for doing it, for me, is obedience … to the great commission that Christ gave us 2,000 years ago -- to the church -- to preach the gospel to every person. Dave Webster

It’s fitting the group is meeting a stone’s throw from the Nisbet Church building, he said, noting that Presbyterian Rev. James Nisbet helped settle Prince Albert with his 1866 expedition down the North Saskatchewan River.

“This is absolutely imperative that Canada re-discover its Christian roots,” he said.

Passionate about tent services, Webster said that it allows people who might not discover Christianity to do so.

“What I’m hoping that it’ll break the ice for people who are afraid of church,” he said. “There’s no difference being in a tent than the atmosphere, really, than being in a church.  A church is people. Here, they’re connecting with people.”

Beginning on Monday, a Ford Model A will be making its way through the city advertising the nightly tent meetings.

The group will get together every night at 7 p.m. through to Sunday, Aug. 24, as well as both Sundays at 11 a.m.

A youth group is getting together from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

As with any Sunday church service, the tent services are open to any member of the public interested in turning out, Webster said -- “The more the merrier.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Beulah Land Baptist Church, Nisbet Church

Geographic location: Canada, Kinsmen Park, Oshkosh, WI Williams Lake South Indian Lake North Saskatchewan River

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