Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 13, 2013

Westport Christian Church Revival to feature special guests

Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — WESTPORT – The Westport Christian Church will be holding a Revival weekend August 16 through 18, featuring famous storyteller and preacher Tommy Oaks and his son, world-renowned musician, John Thomas Oaks.

During its 160-year existence, the Westport Christian Church has been in the practice of holding at least one Revival annually.

The annual Revival is a practice Minister Mike Bartlett has embraced wholeheartedly since he began leading the church in 1998.

For those unaware, a revival is a series of gatherings designed to renew the faith of Christians and believers. Bartlett said this Revival will be geared towards refreshing, renewing, and reviving current followers and believers. According to Bartlett, throughout the weekend participants will renew and restore the relationship they already have with Christ.

“The purpose of the Revival is to rekindle the flame within the current believers,” Bartlett said.

When asked if the Revival is open to anyone, Bartlett replied, “It’s open to absolutely everyone. In fact, Saturday night, the performance of the musical ‘Star Queen,’ is set up so that believers from other churches can also come to the play and enjoy the fellowship and revival.”

Westport Christian Church has been nicknamed “The Port” for a number of reasons. One reason is because the church is located in Westport, but for many, it has also become a safe harbor, or “port” in times of strife and need. The church’s philosophy is all about serving the community, living their faith and teaching by example. Members of the Port are extensively involved in community activity and service.

The Port will be hosting special guests Tommy and John Thomas Oaks during the Revival. Tommy is known across the world for his storytelling ability. In fact, when he graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Master’s degree in storytelling, he was the first person in the world to do so.

Tommy has been preaching over 40 years and has vast experience with many areas of ministry.

For the last 25 years, Tommy has been a traveling evangelist on the weekends while he serves at the church near his home in Nashville, Tenn. during the week.

Tommy’s nationwide ministry is characterized by the use of stories and an emphasis on living one’s faith on a daily basis, especially in one’s own family. Tommy travels with his one of his sons, John Thomas, who is a world renowned musician and composer. John Thomas has composed the music and lyrics for 16 musicals and 12 CDs, in addition to his skills on keyboards and vocals.

He travels with his father, leading audiences in worship and sharing their love for the Lord.

Kicking off the Revival at 7 p.m., Aug.16, Tommy Oaks will deliver a message of faith geared toward the people in this area. While Tommy preaches, John Thomas will be performing some of his own music.

At 9 a.m. on August 17, members of the Port will serve a breakfast which will be followed by a seminar led by Tommy on “Unity Within the Body of Christ.” The seminar should conclude around noon, giving participants a chance to enjoy their Saturday evenings before the performance of John Thomas’ musical “Star Queen” at 6 p.m.

“Star Queen” is a musical based on the book of Ester from the Old Testament of the Bible and it tells the story of a young Jewish woman who was selected by God to save her people from destruction.

According to Bartlett, the musical is wonderful, hilarious and inspirational.

“God selects people to serve him in a time of need and crisis,” Bartlett added.

The musical is appropriate for viewers of all ages, as is the rest of the Revival, and children are more than welcome.

Child care will also be available for those who need it.

A short intermission will take place during the musical and refreshments will be served.

The evening will also bring an opportunity for anyone who would like to make a love offering to benefit the Oaks, though it is not required.

The Oaks travel and live on the money gained during offerings, as they do not charge for their appearances and will accept whatever each church can afford.

The morning of Sunday, August 18, Tommy will lead a Bible study session at 9:30 a.m.

Regular Sunday morning worship will take place at the usual 10:30 a.m., with Tommy preaching and music by John Thomas.

Following worship, a pitch-in meal will be held in the basement of the church and is open to everyone. Church members will be providing the meal and nothing will be required of guests.

After the meal, sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m., Tommy will lead the closing part of the Revival with a time of worship and celebration.

Bartlett said his hope for the Revival weekend is to strengthen and encourage those in the faith to help them continue in their faith and service to impact the community for the cause of Jesus Christ.

When asked how many people he expected to attend, Bartlett said, “Hopefully, lots.”

Bartlett added that attendees don’t need to bring or do anything for the Revival. “Just bring yourself, and be ready to be refreshed.”

Any questions about the Revival weekend can be directed to Mike Bartlett at 812-591-3807.

The Westport Christian Church is located at the corner of Range and Mulberry Streets.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004