By Lori Blair
For the Enterprise News
After 16 years of committed mortgage payments, Arthur Pentecostal Assembly paid their last installment on Sept. 8. The dedicated congregation and its leaders celebrated the financial milestone with a mortgage burning ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the conclusion of their regular Sunday service.
Three original founding members of the church headed the ceremony. Heidi Rose read scripture. Lionel Schmidt led a prayer and Marjorie Tosh lit the copy of the original mortgage on fire.
“We are very thankful to the many members who have faithfully supported the church,” Reverend Ron Pakulat said.
Arthur Pentecostal Assembly welcomed honoured guest and keynote speaker Reverend Scott Doggart, Regional Director, Western Ontario, to the service.
“He spoke a message from the Book of Ezra, chapter 1,” Lori Pakulat, Reverend Ron Pakulat’s wife, said, “encouraging our church to continue with their resolve to move forward into God’s plan for the church.”
Reverend Pakulat spoke about plans for the future. He said the church is looking toward bringing in another staff member to work part-time leading the children/junior youth ministry.
“We have a real heart in that area,” Rev. Pakulat said.
Reverend and Mrs. Pakulat shared some of the history of Arthur Pentecostal Assembly. On Sept. 18, 1996 Arthur Christian Fellowship became Arthur Pentecostal Assembly under Interim Reverend Leonard Van Deyke. In 1997, Rev. Van Deyke became the official pastor of the church. At the first meeting there were about 12 members in the congregation. Soon membership swelled to 42 and the church realized they needed more space.
On June 25, 1997, the old building was demolished. On Sept. 3, construction of the new building commenced. Arthur Pentecostal Assembly holds 150 people in the sanctuary and the downstairs includes a fellowship hall, classrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. In December 1997 the congregation moved into the new church and celebrated with a Christmas banquet.
The Assembly changed from being a developing Assembly to a self-governing Assembly on Nov. 17, 2002. In 2003, the church celebrated five years in the building. The Assembly’s current pastor Rev. Pakulat and his family spent their first Sunday with the church on Nov. 18, 2007.
The healthy, successful church has thrived due to faithful leadership and dedicated, industrious attendees and families.