Being a member of a church of 470 meeting on weekends to a church responsible for having 70,000 attend at special events, is quite an experience. Continual expanding is just another experience. For those 26 who have been a member since the initial church was founded in 1962, it is not a surprise we have outgrown our present facilities. Our expansion has included Canyon Ridge Christian Church, The Crossing Church plus satellite churches in the Las Vegas area, God Behind Bars and elsewhere.

Having spent 20 years as a board member, beginning in 1983, I would like to explain what caused a small church to become one of the 10 largest churches in America. If you live in Sin City, as we are often referred to, you realize that there are a number of people who live with different morals than those living in the Bible Belt. The board had a vision that God wanted us to evangelize Las Vegas and beyond.

Romans 5:20 – “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,”

One of my best friends and fellow board member, the late Dick Shine, wrote a book on the history of Central. He is the one who encouraged me to write a book and later the blogs written these past five years. He writes that I was selected chairman of the Relocation/Construction Task Force. But I will let him tell the story.

From here on I am quoting from his book. “One of the first acts of the RSTV committee was to appoint Mary and Roger Felgar to organize a prayer group. The group’s task was to bathe the church in prayer for: the congregation, the leadership, the community at large and especially the relocation project. Mary was (and still is at this writing) one of those people who would find something optimistic to say if she was traveling on an airliner whose wings had just fallen off and what was left of the plane was careening toward a mountain of solid rock! So the fact that the church had no money, no land and no prospects bothered her not at all.”

“Undoubtedly, the first thing she did was pray about the matter. The first visible thing she did was organize a team of people, most of whom, were of the same optimistic mindset as herself, though few were as outgoing and demonstrative as she was. The team itself met regularly for the next ten years and over those same years greater numbers of people were drawn into the ministry of prayer through periodic twenty-four hour prayer vigils. In time the ministry expanded to include several hundred people, each agreeing to pray for one hour a month. The goal was to have someone praying every hour of every day, every day of the year. They would pray for the church, its staff, its members, lost people in general, the community at large and an appropriate item that came up along the way.”

“There is no way to know with certainty how the prayers of this team of hundreds of people impacted what took place over the years between 1993 and 2003. But as uncanny number of fortuitous things took place during those years that were, in human terms, inexplicable. The fact was that Central would never have been able to make the move from Mojave Road in Las Vegas to Henderson on its own resources. Figuratively speaking there were just too many mountains to climb and too many rivers to swim for the church to make this move on its own. Central was either the luckiest church on planet earth; or, there were an incredible number of fortunate coincidences…or, God was active through the prayers of His people.” (End of Quotes)

As we were looking for land or erecting our facilities many problems occurred. We had problems with the city and problems with contractors. When we reached an impossible problem, I would meet with Dick Shine and tell him our problem and have him get in touch with Mary Felgar. Every time, within a short period, the problem would get solved. It didn’t take long for me to believe God gave us the vision and He was answering our prayers. Can you believe the faith our leaders received? There was no doubt that we were doing what God had led us to do. It seemed like growth kept pushing us to expand. I know of no leader who said: let’s build bigger buildings so we can have a bigger congregation. I believe God wanted a mega church in Las Vegas as an example to encourage others that they can do the same no matter where they live.

Many of you may know that more than 50,000 conversions have occurred since 1999. Few cities have as many churches of more than 1000 as Las Vegas. The reason I write this blog is many Christians do not realize the importance of prayer. My experience in what I have witnessed has caused me to pray, the first thing each morning, 15 to 30 minutes to start my day. Hardly do I ever miss a day that I do not read the Bible. I HAVE SEEN MANY, MANY TIMES GOD INTERVENE AS A RESULT OF PRAYER. I wish everyone could have had the opportunity that many had, seeing God answering prayers and intervening.

Much prayer is needed anytime God gives a church a vision. We need Central Christians praying for our current expansion.

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