Ribbon cutting for the Advent Prayer Center | Photo credit: Darren Heslop, University Communication staff photographer
On Sept. 9, 2019, a small crowd gathered in the newly-built Advent Prayer Center on the campus of Andrews University for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The program began with a welcome from Sung Um, Advent Prayer Center board member, and was followed by a thank you to donors from Peter Ahn, associate pastor, Ontario Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ahn recognized Carolyn Kim, Advent Prayer Center founder, for her fundraising efforts over the last 12 years. “On behalf of Mrs. Kim, I want to say thank you, especially to those who have helped us through your prayers,” he said. He also thanked the audience for attending.
Justin Ringstaff, executive secretary for the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, offered a few words and a prayer of thanks to God for allowing the group to achieve their goals. “If there was ever a time for a house of prayer, it is now. We give thanks to God for His leading in this,” he said. Following Ringstaff’s prayer, Roy Castelbuono, pastor of the Michiana Fil-Am Seventh-day Adventist Church, recognized those who assisted with the building and finishing of the Prayer Center, reflecting on their contributions to the project.
Castelbuono noted that the concept for the Advent Prayer Center began in 2007, when a Korean prayer ministry dreamed about finding a permanent building to work from. After exploring this idea in Southern California, New Jersey and Arkansas, the group came to Berrien Springs in 2012 to work with the Advent Discipleship Center at the Fil-Am Church. This led to connections with Andrews University in 2015, where plans were made and construction began.
After Castelbuono shared more about this process, Andrea Luxton, president of Andrews University, delivered a few brief remarks about the importance of prayer, saying, “Sometimes we think of prayer happening in churches or maybe personally in our own homes, but this is a wonderful place of community to show how important prayer is and how it can bring so much power as we pray together.” She added, “Going forward, this will be a wonderful place for many people to experience closeness to God.”
Kang Eui Hong, Advent Prayer Center speaker, gave a prayer of dedication before the ceremony ended with the ribbon cutting and a tour of the facility for attendees.
Hannah Gallant, University Communication student writer.