Not long ago the Andover church had over 100 saints, many of them children. As with many American congregations, they have been hit with the age factor. A few move away and some pass away, but what Andover has in 2011 is a core group who is hopeful of the future in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Andover is a growing town of 16,000, a bedroom community of Wichita. Only the one congregation serves Andover, and the 27 people work hard here.
“Our location is great and positioned for growth being on Andover Road which is the main road through town,” elder Ray Rowhuff said.
The hard-working congregation is served by two elders. They are involved in House to House/Heart to Heart and hold a worship service at the local nursing home each Sunday. The preacher is a volunteer chaplain for the police department, and they have knocked doors this last year.
Evangelism has not always been Andover’s first priority, they admit, but this has changed in the last 16 months. The vision of the congregation is now evangelism.
“We just started a clothing closet in August 2011 and it has been a huge success. There is no way we would have had this many visitors to our building for a gospel meeting or VBS,” evangelist Robert Lukenbill said.
Andover held a Super Clothing Giveaway Oct. 1, giving away clothing to all ages (especially children and babies), hot chocolate, coffee, bottled water, Searching for Truth DVDs, and free Bible Study Guides.
They had over 20 requests for Bible correspondence courses, with over 125 people coming to the building that day.
After the most recent clothing giveaway in November, the congregation had over 450 people walk through the building. Many signed up for newsletters, Searching for Truth DVDs and Bible correspondence courses.
Two more clothing giveaways are planned for Dec. 3 and 17.
“It’s just a matter of time until God gives Andover the increase. Planning for 2012 is underway and promises to include more clothing giveaways and a week-long campaign,” Lukenbill said.
While this small congregation in South Central Kansas may appear to struggle to keep its head above water, to those in Andover who are laboring for the Lord, there is much to thank God for.
Several congregations support Andover financially, but they are still in need of more financial support.
Those interested in the work may contact Lukenbill, either by email or at the church office at 316-733-0933.
Andover asks for prayers as they plan their door-knocking campaign for 2012.
Five have been added to the congregation this year, so God giving his increase has encouraged this small congregation.