Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
“…I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
It was a beautiful sunny day, 1998 when my life was forever changed. It was a seemingly normal day, but I didn’t realize God was on the move. You see, I was a 19-year-old college student and running late to a meeting (I typically do) some things never change (LOL)! It was then I noticed my car was on empty, almost out of gas, when I quickly pulled into the Clark Station. Luckily I made it just in time, but little did I know God had something bigger for me. Pumping gas, I noticed an unusual big brick building that I hadn’t paid much attention to before and on it there was a sign that said “Solid Rock Ministries” – Sunday morning service at 10am. You see at this time I was broken. I had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship and I was actually fasting and praying for the first time in my life. I thought to myself, “Is God speaking to me?” Right then and there, I decided I would visit the unusual looking church. The very first day I walked in I knew I was home.
I didn’t know at the time, Pastors Keith and Shannon Stepp converted the old Masonic Temple into a Spirit filled, Bible honoring, and community based church. They were still a small church at the time with more kids than adults but there was something different about the church and I knew I had found my home. I was not at the church for long before Pastors Keith and Shannon as well as other leaders took me under their wings. During this time the church began to see rapid growth. People from all walks of life were giving their hearts to God and experiencing true transformation. It was not unusual for church service to last 3-plus hours with people coming to the altar giving up drugs, guns, witch-craft items, and more. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we were experiencing revival!
One of Pastor Keith’s mantras was, “I want to be a part of a no name revival…where only Jesus gets the glory. I am looking for people who want to run with me.” Many of us signed up for this kind of revival and now 25 years after Pastors Keith and Shannon moved into the old Masonic Temple, countless people have given their lives to Jesus and have started other churches, nonprofits, and businesses that bring glory to the King.
A Little More about our History as a Ministry:
In 2006 Pastor Keith moved Solid Rock (now called The Rock) to Oregon, Ohio and he asked my husband, Josh, and I to continue the soul-saving ministry in South Toledo. Thus Vision Ministries was born! It has been a wild ride but we still continue to see God move in His power and save souls. In John 1:46 Nathanael said, “What good can come from Nazareth?” Like Nazareth, God
continues to use many people in South Toledo (like Pastors Earl and Renee Harris) to break statistics and change the world.
This year our church, Vision Ministries, is celebrating all God has done in these past 25 years with an Epic Banquet on Oct. 2nd at Parkway Place. We have invited Shannon Stepp Marshall as our keynote speaker. If you would like to purchase tickets to help us continue to minister in South Toledo, in one of our cities most impoverished areas, you can do so here https://www.vision.today/banquet-tickets
Friends, if our story has encouraged you, please know you too can do your part and build up the local church and join the nameless faceless movement of radical believers of God. When we love the church (God’s people), then we want to build the church up.
Nehemiah loved Jerusalem (Old Testament type of church) and he was used to rebuild Jerusalem. We can learn a lot from Nehemiah (one of Pastor Keith’s favorite bible characters) about building up the church and joining the nameless faceless revivalists.
Six ways to be part of the “nameless faceless revival”:
Always Start with Prayer (Neh. 1)
Building the church must begin in a place of fervent prayer. Nehemiah was not a priest or a prophet – he was a cupbearer, but God used him to be a leader for his people and God started to use him first in the prayer closet! It doesn’t matter what you do, what title you have, what degree, or no degree you have. God wants to use you as a Servant-Leader and Prayer-Warrior.
Get God’s Plan (Neh. 2)
Nehemiah made it clear that this project would go forward because God was in it.
Psalm 127:1The Message (MSG) If GOD doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If GOD doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.
Commit to Growth (Neh. 3-5)
If the church is going to grow and we are going to see revival, then it must start with us! But as Pastor Keith used to say, “Where there is much growth there is much opposition”.
We can learn so much about handling opposition from Nehemiah:
- Draw encouragement from God – 4:14
- Answer critics by calling on God – 6:9
Work unto God. (Neh.6-8)
Colossians 3:23 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters.
From Nehemiah receiving the report, until the time the walls were completed, only nine months had elapsed, and the first four months, give or take a few days, were spent in prayer, with another several months in transit from Persia to Jerusalem. The reason the rebuilding of the walls happened as quickly as it did is because Nehemiah had a holy passion to see the glory of God revealed in His work.
Make a Commitment (Nehemiah 8-10)
Four commitments made in Chapter ten:
- Submission to God and authority.
- Separation from the world.
- Sabbath was to be honored.
- Support of God’s Temple and the Levites (God’s ministers) with tithes and offerings.
Don’t Quit! (Chapters 11-13)
In the latter part of Chapter 12 a special dedication service was arranged for the wall that was now completed, and the people of Judah had a great celebration. In the last chapter of the book (13) we find that the people have already forgotten parts of the covenant they made with God. It is so easy to quit, but it takes faith to keep going! Even if you fall 7 times with Christ you can get back up!
Pastor Keith is now in the “Great Cloud of Witnesses”, but I can picture him smiling when he looks down and sees so many people who are still signing up for the nameless faceless revival he dreamed about.
Do you want to be part of the Nameless Faceless Revival? Let me give you 6 points of encouragement to take with you today.
Pray. Plan. Grow. Work. Commit. Don’t Quit!
Revival is coming….time to sign up!