After his graduation from LBU last month, Dan Stolebarger brought the Koinonia Institute to West Central Mississippi. Dan and Sharon traveled with Mississippi’s Area Representative Steve Elwart to Vicksburg to talk with local pastors and church leaders about the mission of KI.
On Sunday, May 4, Dan gave a Bible study and delivered the main message of Discipleship at the New Vision Family Worship Center. Beth Ann Johnson, the second of only three KI members in Mississippi, was also at New Vision Church and sang the special music portion of the service. After the service, Dan gave an hour-long interview to the local cable station for later broadcast.
On Monday, he rounded out his trip with a breakfast meeting with 12 local pastors and elders to give the details of the Institute and how KI can partner with them to help raise up Bible-literate Christians. Afterward he gave a lunch-time presentation on why we should support Israel to employees of a local business and later met with the president of that company.
This trip represented something new for KI. Mississippi, like much of the Southeastern United States, knows little about KI or K-House. The trip also brought out the fact that the role of the Area Representative may be larger than for those who are work-ing in areas that are more familiar with the Koinonia Institute.
Some lessons learned from the trip were:
• KI should work with pastors as partners in the Biblical edu-cation of the members of their churches.
• A Koinonia Institute Roundtable may not be feasible for the first-time visit.
• The Area Representative will most likely need to make fol-low-up visits to local churches to give a more detailed explanation of the Institute and how to use the website.
Dan’s trip to Mississippi was a great success. He experienced a great outpouring of friendship and fellowship among the people he met. His trip also generated several invitations to come visit more churches in the area. Beth Ann said that connecting with other KI members was a great experience, and one she hopes to experience again.