It took just a few short years for the Vista Adventist Fellowship in Longmont, Colorado, to report a significant milestone in its church life. The congregation, which started around 2009 with less about 30 members, now has 99.
But there is even more to praise God for His blessing. In the last 12 months the church have had 28 baptisms and reports starting a Spanish-speaking congregation also in Longmont that has already had eight baptisms. The English speaking Vista church has had 20 baptisms in the last year. “We see the Lord doing great things. We have several small groups that are growing, and our church attendance is also growing,” reports Blake Jones, church pastor.
"The fruit that we are seeing at Vista is a testament that God is still able to work through His people in powerful ways when they take the Great Commission and put all their energies in to it," Blake comments, and says that an average attendance of the English-speaking church is about 75 The and with the Spanish group, 35 believers are in average weekly attendance.
“Our attendance in both churches exceeds our membership,” the pastor says.
Presently, there are three Adventist congregations in Longmont, a city of nearly 90,000 people. Six years ago there was only one Seventh-day Adventist Church in Longmont. Then came Vista Fellowship and now there is a Spanish church starting. The Vista congregation rents its church facility from the First Baptist Church of Longmont.
“We have a good relationship with the Baptist church. Once a year, in the summer, we have ‘church in the park’ with our Baptist brothers and sisters and on a Sunday morning we gather together with them at Roosevelt Park in Downtown Longmont and with one other congregation in Longmont and have church together,” Blake explains.
“It is three churches that gather together and each pastor takes a turn. So, I preach there every 3rd year and it is always well received,” he adds.
Church members express their appreciation for being a part of the growing congregation. One new member stated that, “this church really is a family." Another said, "I am so glad I found this church. Coming here has changed my life."
Pastor Jones, who also ministers in Twin Peaks Seventh-day Adventist Church in Louisville, credits public evangelism for the Vista’s church growth. “That is the main baseline ministry outreach that all the other ministries are organized around," he states.
Vista's evangelistic efforts include two public outreach meetings per year, several small groups that focus on teaching the Adventist message to new people, and many personal Bible studies. One member usually has over 10 Bible studies going with interested individuals at any given time. The head elder has a Bible study in his home that often has two-dozen or more people in attendance, many who are from the community at large.
When asked about their church and its growing potential, Allan Christensen said, that “this past several months we have been focusing more on prayer in our church and we have seen the fruits of this.”
“I’ve been to a number of churches where you are a number. It’s not like that here. You come here and you feel like family,” commented James D’Annunzio who is a new church member at Vista.
“At Vista people really care. If you are having a problem you know your church family is there for you,” Louise Kawa, also a new church member, lists as a contributing factor to nurture and church growth.
Pastor Blake sums it up, “I would also add that these comments get to the heart of why Vista is growing. It is a very loving church family. And since we have been focusing on prayer we have seen substantial growth.
[Rajmund Dabrowski with Carol Jones and Blake Jones; photos by Carol Jones; Pictured (top) are parents Daniel and Tabata, baptized October 17, dedicate Isaac; Joining new family (bottom): eight believers, baptized October 17, and one the following Sabbath, join the Vista Adventist congregation]