Festo Kivengere and Michael Cassidy are excited about Osborne, Kansas (population 2,500). There, last month, in a local Key 73 campaign, the two evangelists from Africa saw “almost a community-wide response” to the preaching of the Gospel. Night after night, crowds of 1,200 jammed the town’s largest building.
Large cities, too, are the scene of their turnabout in Christian ministry: a black Anglican bishop speaking to audiences of predominantly white Americans, and preaching beside him, a white lay preacher from South Africa, where apartheid still holds sway.
Bishop Kivengere, reputedly one of the outstanding black evangelists in Africa today, lives in Kabale, Uganda, and has been deeply involved in the so-called East Africa revival for nearly thirty years. He has teamed with Cassidy, who founded African Enterprise in Pasadena, California, since the two preached together in a citywide mission in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1969.
This October was the first time the pair had undertaken a community-wide ministry in the United States. Their itinerary includes Salinas, Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, California; St. Louis (where they are associate evangelists to Billy Graham in his November crusade); and Pittsburgh. Osborne, though, first turned them on.
“It was a reviving ministry to the church,” declared Cassidy in an interview in Salinas. “When you hit the nerve center, you see the whole community respond. Evangelists should think more of the forgotten places.” The Osborne invitation came from a minister friend of Kivengere’s who had known him while they were both at Pittsburgh Seminary in 1967.
A warm, open attitude prevailed at the Key 73 crusades in California, too. Meetings over four to six days included large rallies, informal ...1
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