By Frank Lockwood
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
March 5, 2012
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — A North Little Rock church celebrated its 100th birthday by giving away $100,000 Sunday to central Arkansas schools and charities. Then it collected $160,000 in offerings to build Assemblies of God churches across communist Vietnam.
“We chose to celebrate God’s faithfulness to us by sharing God’s love with others,” pastor Rod Loy said, explaining what motivated people at First Assembly of God North Little Rock to give away so much money.
When a church is 100 years old, Loy said, “What you expect is a church living in the past, stuck in its traditions, increasingly irrelevant. That’s what you expect. That’s not what we’re experiencing.”
Instead, the congregation is “enjoying the greatest days in our 100 year history … We’re the opposite of worn-out and tired. We have a fresh vision, we have a new energy. We have a sense that God has greater things in store.”
First Assembly was originally an independent Pentecostal church and is two years older than the Assemblies of God, which was founded in 1914, in Hot Springs.
One of the largest, fastest-growing Assemblies of God congregations in the country, with average weekly attendance of about 3,000, the North Little Rock church has given millions of dollars to world missions in recent years…
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