God is moving in the midst of the Appalachian and Pocono Mountains and those at Journeymate Wesleyan Church, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, have a front row seat to watch. Journeymate, planted seven years ago in the small college town, just became a fully-organized, established church in the Northeast District.
On July 1, four people had been scheduled to be baptized during the morning service. The church was full that day, with many first-time guests. The four individuals baptized shared stories of what Jesus had done in their lives, and Rev. Thomas Carney, senior pastor of Journeymate, said the “testimonies were powerful.” After those planned baptisms, two other individuals stated their desire to be baptized—and did so fully clothed. In total, six people were baptized that day, two others placed their faith in Jesus for the first time and seven additional individuals noted they are interested in being baptized in the future.
“Many are still talking about the folks who were baptized fully clothed,” said Rev. Carney. “The last Thursday of every month, we have an in-depth Bible study on baptism for those wanting to be baptized. Ever since we’ve started doing baptisms, people have placed their faith in Christ at the study.” Journeymate held a picnic after the baptism service where folks had an additional opportunity to engage about baptism.
Carney and the Journeymate Wesleyan Church family are also seeing people come to Christ through Celebrate Recovery, a “Christ-centered recovery program” for those affected by hurts and addiction. This year, two people have made that faith decision in Celebrate Recovery.
Journeymate also hosts a prayer ministry called “Talk, Pray, Listen.” “Talk, Pray, Listen” is meant to encourage participants to engage in just that—praying Scripture over each other and listening to what the Lord is trying to say to each individual. Some are further along in the spiritual discipline of learning to listen to God, while others in the church are just developing this skill. No matter where they are on this journey, everyone is welcome to participate, learn and grow.
“Many people have had a personal experience with God and heard from him through thought, impression or Scripture,” said Carney.
Those at Journeymate are also excited to be a part of outreaches within Bloomberg, such as the annual Christmas dinner, where the church helps feed 500 individuals.
Lives are being changed by the power of the gospel in the middle of the Appalachian and Pocono Mountains, and Carney is honored that he can be a part of such transformation. He sees the imperative need to make Jesus known in the 17815 ZIP code.
“We’ve got to tell them about Jesus,” said Carney. “This world is hurting and fallen, and the need to make Jesus known is so vital in this community.”