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Two Longmont Churches Merge Into One Congregation »
Members of the Mountain View and Vista Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist churches have wonderful reasons to celebrate when they meet together on Sabbath, July 21. This will be their first Sabbath worshipping together after unanimously voting a declaration of both churches merging into one congregation.
On Sunday, July 15, the Vista Fellowship and Longmont churches came together for a business meeting to formalize what the boards and members have been praying and working for. They met at the Mountain View church and shared time visiting and discussing plans for the future of what in now a new Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist church.
Representing the Rocky Mountain Conference was Lonnie Hetterle, Superintendent for education. He opened the joint meeting of church representatives from both congregations. Commenting on the vote by two churches, he said, “There was a wonderful spirit of cooperation and support from the members of both churches. The vote to join together into one Church was unanimous.I am optimistic that the Holy Spirit will use the members of this new combined church to have a wonderful impact on the city of Longmont.”
As part of the joint meeting, ministers of both churches, Daniel Birai, pastor of the Mountain View and Tim Jones, pastor of the Vista Fellowship congregation, shared about the history of their churches. They also spoke about the way the Lord was moving to unite the two groups which until now were meeting just a few miles apart in the same city. The Mountain View church begun over 100 years ago and had a weekly attendance of 30.
Until now meeting at a rented First Baptist Church on Kimbark Street, the Vista Fellowship was established more recently in 2009 and has nearly 150 congregants. Its pastor, Tim Jones, shared his joy at the merger, saying, "We are thrilled that there is going to be an increase in the ability to reach out to our community in the Longmont area. We are excited to see the possibilities God is going to provide through this united effort."
Pastor Birai commented, "God has called us to make disciples, so it's exciting to see the churches come together and realize they can do more together than they can do apart."
Representatives of both congregations spoke of exciting evangelistic opportunities that both churches now working together would bring.
The long-term plan is to build a new church building with room for the current needs and room for future growth in a city of 95,000 inhabitants. Held Elder of Vista Fellowship, Allan Christensen expressed the task lying ahead for the new church, commenting, “This merger gives us the opportunity to move forward in raising funds for this new project. While this plan is still in the works we are excited about its potential and what it could bring to the community.” Meanwhile, the newly merged congregation will use the school as the church building, with the outside date to move on January 1, 2019. The boards will be merging as well.
--Loralee Mendez, photos supplied by Stanley Hagen