Orlando Office Celebrated

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Just over 350 people participated in the November 5 celebration of the new Bill & Vonette Bright Global Collaboration Center in Orlando, which provides offices for Converge Worldwide and Vision360, and the meeting place for CrossPointe Church. Staff member Steve Anderson observed:

“More than just a building dedication, it was a celebration of the wonderful ways God is using Converge Worldwide to transform lives, build the church and enlarge the kingdom. In spite of the difficult economy, God is positioning us for an effective future. Converge is planting new churches like never before, sending more missionaries than at any time in our history and expanding our outreach into Scandinavia and the Baltic nations.

“We are reaching into cultural groups and unreached peoples with surprising dedication. Leaders are being equipped and empowered to serve the church and reach the lost. We are discovering how God powerfully uses compassion and generosity as we work together for his glory. It was a glorious, inspirational service! There is a profound sense of the blessing of God upon that ground and within these new facilities.”

A few highlights from speakers:

“We’ve come to say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for this marvelous, beautiful facility, in which we will collaborate and share ministry.’ We’re also very mindful that Someone greater than a building is here. His name is Jesus.”
Doug Fagerstrom, senior vice president

“This is a time when collaboration is beginning to bear significant fruit. Five years ago there were 639 unreached people groups of more than 100,000 population. Today that number has been reduced by 470. That’s happening because people are working together. Converge has the privilege of being right smack in the middle.”
Steve Douglass, president, Campus Crusade for Christ

“On behalf of the National Association of Evangelicals, 40-some denominations and 45,000 churches and lots of organizations, including Converge, congratulations on this chapter in Converge history and this great new facility.

“The current issue of the NAE publication says: ‘Converge Worldwide, which planted 250 churches between 2000 and 2005, was recognized in a study conducted years ago by Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research as one of the best church planting entities in the country.’ That makes me proud of my denomination. Converge is the APPLE of church planting -- multiplying itself, and influencing the way everybody else does it.”
-- Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals and Converge pastor

“Prevailing prayer brings us to this building today. Although we admire the artistry of the architecture and the craftsmanship of the construction, let this building serve as a reminder of the invisible, eternal building God is using our movement to construct, with Jesus as the foundation.”
–- Tannie Eshenaur, former overseers chair and missionary to Ethiopia

“We’re celebrating today the work God is going to do in our lives. God is about to take us way past describing…. We’re going to see prayers answered beyond what we asked. We’re going to see us reaching nations and people beyond what we thought. We’re going to see leaders trained and developed in extraordinary ways. God is going use this to reach the world in ways that are far past [imagining].”
-– John Jenkins, Converge pastor and vice president of National Ministries

Other speakers included:

  • Brenda Crawford, overseer and Converge pastor’s wife (Scripture reading)
  • Jay Barnes, president, Bethel University
  • Jessy Padilla, Converge pastor and Latino leader
  • Bob Ricker, former BGC president (dedicatory prayer)
  • Bill Ankerberg, Converge pastor and Nordic-Baltic Region director
  • President Jerry and Dee Sheveland (presentation to Vonette Bright, and closing remarks)