TENT OF PROMISE Relaunch with Panorama in Wilcannia
Wilcannia NSW, March 2019
Contributed by Adele Kenyon
As Wilcannian locals entered their community hall last week expecting a devotional time and a church service as part of a mission-outreach by a visiting Queensland group to their dry and sweltering township, most of the local residents were stunned to find a gigantic 36 metre illustrated display of highlighted accounts from the Holy Bible plastered around three walls of their large hall.
On discovering this magnificent wall display several childrens’ jaws dropped and many pairs of eyes – including those of adults – were fixated on the impressive illustrations depicting key events from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, which when considered chronologically depict God’s carefully crafted plan of salvation for every person who accepts the heavenly Father’s gift of eternal life given through his precious Son, Jesus Christ. Reflected in the closing sections of the illustrated Bible display are the joy and peace infilling Christians who have accepted God’s gracious gift of life.
The impressive Bible Panorama is a key feature of the Tent of Promise (TOP) touring ministry which was relaunched in Wilcannia in Outback New South Wales this month after almost a decade in recess. TOP leaders are confident the new outreach will generate much interest and as the touring ministry gains momentum will ultimately lead many people around Australia to discover and commit or re-commit to the Christian faith. Bishop Cunnington explained that the team’s confidence in these positive outcomes is due to the team’s collective faith in the Word of God combined with its outward expression(s) of this faith.
TOP Founders, Barry and Sandra Cunnington, have remobilised this ministry with team members from their Coolangatta Promise Faith Centre Church in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit. They believe Australia is poised for a faith revival which will sweep the nation. TOP Founder, Senior Pastor and Bishop, Barry Cunnington, believes the power of God’s Word spoken by his righteous people will prevail.
The four participating TOP pastors are not new to this form of mobilised outback ministry. For many years they took this style of ministry outreach to various Australian townships, including eleven years on the road with an earlier Bible panorama which they hauled around Australia with help from a devoted mobile pastoral team. Now the panorama has been digitally revamped and the mobilisation process refined so it is all more portable – this helpful to the more senior pastors and other team-members, several of whom while agile and young-at-heart are aged in their seventies. The senior pastors are assisted in this mobile ministry by their younger counterparts, Reverend(s) Timothy and Leah Knowling of Alectown, NSW. Pastor Leah, in addition to her wide range of responsibilities, ably coordinates the music ministry for the TOP team, including contributing her impressively strong and powerful vocals which were well appreciated during this Wilcannia trip.
During the TOP team’s visit Bishop Cunnington liaised with Wilcannia’s local minister, Pastor Seta, of the Australian Aboriginal Outreach Ministries (AAOM), so TOP could use some of the local facilities during its visit to the town. Pastor Seta’s worship team also contributed readily to the music ministry during the six-day TOP visit, while Pastor Seta was also a key participant in the blessing of the Darling River
Related Article: TENT OF PROMISE – Darling River Blessing
YouTube Video: TENT OF PROMISE – Blessing The River Darling, Wilcannia March 2019
The Wilcannia launch of the new TOP mission, now renamed “The Tent of Promise:- Now Mobile”, did not disappoint.
As local visitors were welcomed, not only were they fascinated by the illustrated Bible highlighted on the hall walls, they were challenged by the delivered oratory during the times of devotion and moved by the music – so much so that in the final stages of the time-of-ministry on the first evening, dozens of children and youth independently went up for prayer with the visiting team.
These same children and visiting families subsequently revisited various ministry activities springing up over the next few days and brought along friends and new folk — who were also treated to a vibrant puppet show/singalong. Outreach activities culminated in an outdoor community prayer time for the River Darling held on the final Sunday evening in The Mallee neighbourhood park. This was attended by many local residents, with music provided by the local Wilcannia pastors and other worship team members as well as by Pastor Leah, followed by a celebratory barbecue to finish — all well received and attended. Local pastors enthusiastically participated in the music ministry during the TOP visit so a range of musical-worship styles were catered to over the period.
The TOP mobile ministry is affiliated with The Promise Faith Centre Churches International (PFCCI), with a base in Coolangatta, Queensland. Bishop Cunnington oversees the PFCCI and on its website (https://www.promisefaithcentre.org/about_us) explains how he has personally experienced transformation in his life and knowing the Grace of God “is compelled to bring the revelation of God’s Word in the Power of God’s Holy Spirit to those who have the need and Grace to receive”.
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