Newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan | June 2023 | Volume 67, Number 6
FULFILLING OUR DREAMS
Kevin Hester - Church Planter
ST. JOSEPH — The Shore Church and church planter Kevin Hester recently learned how God can connect our dreams with His vision. Over the past year and a half, they have taken every opportunity to share the gospel, participating in festivals and sporting events throughout the community. This past fall, the church had a booth at the Berrien County Youth Fair, one of the Largest Youth Fair's in the Midwest. Kevin was excited for the opportunity to have one on one conversations with young people about Jesus and to pass out Gospel tracts.
On the day of set up, a last minute change placed a martial arts business, Legacy Martial Arts, in the booth next to them. God was at work and an awesome plan was about to unfold. Kevin and the members of The Shore Church began building a relationship with their new friends and, after a few days, Kevin had the privilege of leading the owner and the main instructor to salvation in Christ. These two young men now have a future home in Heaven, but God wasn’t finished just yet.
Kevin revealed that months before, while writing his "dream things to do as a church planter," offering martial arts classes at The Shore Church was one of his dreams. Sharing his dream with his new brothers in Christ, the owner and the instructor thought it was a great idea as well. Shortly after the youth fair ended, they began holding classes on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings in the church’s small gymnasium. The second week of class there was also a father of some martial arts students who came to faith in Jesus Christ.
Martial Arts has been a great tool, to evangelize, see new visitors at The Shore Church, and build a positive platform to connect to the community. But God may not be done with this story as the martial arts business owner wants to partner in community evangelistic outreach and desires to expand to other churches. Recently he came forward and made a public profession of his faith. Legacy Martial Arts is not only making an impact in Southwest Michigan, but it is sure to leave a legacy in eternity! Kevin and the members of The Shore Church, encouraged by the experience, continue moving forward in new ways to connect and be the church in their community.
Jacob Adams, left, is owner of the Legacy Martial Arts Studio with Kevin Hester, church planter of the The Shore Church. Adams became a Christian after an initial encounter with Hester at the county fair. (Photo by Kevin Hester)
Children from the community practice their kicks in The Shore Church’s martial arts outreach classes. (Photo by Kevin Hester)
A martial acts class being held at The Shore Church gymnasium. These classes as an outreach of the church are “a dream” that pastor, Kevin Hester, has had for many months. (Photo by Kevin Hester)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Hester is a church planter and pastor of The Shore Church in St. Joseph, MI.