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Preparing to share stories of faith

October 2, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

People professing their faith is not uncommon in church, but at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, the Davis Branch of the YMCA will open its doors to people who wish to share how they came to know Jesus Christ.

"We are surrounded by awful stories and people who were headed for death, who were suddenly rescued," said Pastor John Sprankle. "When you meet someone like that you never forget them."

Sprankle has heard many of the stories and thought it would be nice to have people share them with others so he created the event, called Pentecost Tonight. He has found several who have been in near death situations who report a divine intervention saved them.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
YMCA pastor John Sprankle holds his first book titled, “I thought I had read the Book of Acts,” which will be officially released at an event at the Davis Family YMCA in Boardman later this month.

Sprankle said one that stands out is a Muslim woman who was set on committing suicide by jumping off the South Avenue bridge. As she was about to take her life, she saw a small group at a nearby church who were decorating a Christmas tree. She went over to them and ended up praying and accepting the God of the Jews. She found new purpose in life, Sprankle said.

He said he expects a good number of YMCA members are going to step forward to tell their own stories. It is the first time that anything like this has been scheduled at the Boardman Y. Sprankle believes it will be an interesting night, that will also include the official release of his first book titled, "I thought I had read the Book of Acts."

As a pastor, Sprankle oversees regular Bible classes, called "The Bible Only," at the YMCA, held at 11 a.m. Mondays and at 9:30 a.m. Fridays. He has holding the classes for the past 11 years. The classes are basically discussion groups and for years the topic has been the Book of Acts.

"We picked it apart verse by verse as was done in the past," Sprankle said. "Early Christians studied the letters they got, which were considered valuable in those days. They read every single word."

Going verse by verse took Sprankle's class five years to complete. He felt moved to put what he had found into a book that would showcase the Book of Acts with a collection of essays that he had assembled over the past 10 years.

"This book is a collection of essays that were my experience through the Bible studies here at the YMCA," he said.

He said while the study of Acts is over in the discussion groups, the book continues to live today. That is one of the goals he wanted to make with his book. The Pentecost Tonight event also went along with that thought.

"The miracles of the first century are continuing today," he said.



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