OUTREACH CENTRE

(Investigator 21, 1991 November)





The Outreach Centre (Torrens Road, Woodville, Adelaide) where they claim to worship God "the Bible way" is a six-year old offshoot from the Christian Revival Crusade.

Sunday worship service includes "tongues", clapping, prophesying, dancing, jumping, shouting, healing, "slaying in the spirit", and a very short sermon.

The two leaders, when I attended over a year ago, were Pastor Max Richardson, formerly a travelling evangelist for the CRC, and Pastor Bruce Miller.

A leaflet given to visitors informed what's on offer:

OUTREACH CENTRE
WHERE THE FULL GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS PREACHED.

•    NEEDS ARE MET
•    MARRIAGES ARE RESTORED
•    DIVINE HEALING PRACTICED
•    KEY TO PROSPERITY SHARED
•    THE GENERATION GAP FILLED
•    LEARN HOW TO RELATE WITH OTHERS BETTER
•    BUILD LONG LASTING FRIENDSHIPS

WE HAVE:

•    DYNAMIC YOUTH GROUP
•    EXCITING CHILDREN'S CHURCH
•    BIBLE BASED DEVELOPMENT SCHOOLS
•    ENTHUSIASTIC WORSHIP AND COMMUNION SERVICES

Attendance was about 70 — although about 200 had given their "life to Jesus" there. The money raked in, considering members pay tithes, must be substantial. Voluntary "money offerings" during worship are in addition to the tithes.

First-time attenders get friendly welcomes from kids and adults. The pastors, however, may appear critical if the first-timer is already a Christian. For example, I overheard the following:

Pastor: What church do you attend?
Guest:    Catholic.
Pastor:    Do you speak in tongues?
Guest:    No.
Pastor:    You have to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to be saved.
Guest:    I Corinthians 13 tells that Christian love is more important than tongues.
Pastor:    We take the whole Bible.
Guest:    Then you also drink poison and handle dangerous snakes as Mark 16 says?
Pastor:    No. Jesus said, "You must not tempt the Lord."
Guest:    Since "tongues" are temporary as I Corinthians Chapter 13 says, aren't you tempting God when you speak in tongues?

As a visitor I found the two-hour meeting, which consisted mainly of shouting, boring. The sermon lasted 10 minutes and was about "you must be born again" and "Jesus wants to heal you".

The sick lined up in front of [Pastor] Max. He prayed loudly for each individually, usually finishing with "Jesus has healed you" and the person fell over backwards. 
If the person didn't fall, Max shouted louder and louder, as if trying to blow them over. "You're healed now!" "Heal him now, Jesus!!" "NOW!!!"

If after maximum volume is reached and the person still doesn't topple, Max moves on.

In mid 1991 the Outreach Centre was sold. I was told that increased attendance had required a move to larger premises.
(PD)


http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/