I have never ‘reviewed’ a congregation… seems almost crude and unrefined… crass. However, my wife, two sons and I drove to Summerville, SC to visit with Adat Shalom Congregation and had such an amazing afternoon that I just have to tell you about this fellowship!!
Most of my readers are familiar with the excellent Torah Portion notes by Ray Gardner that this blog is blessed to host. Well, as we prepare to go to Israel in a couple weeks to participate in the First Ephramite/Northern Israel National Congress, we have visited several fellowships to tell of our purpose, ask for prayer and seek input from them as their delegates. This week we visited with Ray Gardner’s fellowship and were totally blown away at the level of maturity and the degree of abandoned worship as well as the prophetic giftings.
The 15+/- year old fellowship occupies an unpretentious store front building located at 257 Treeland Drive, Ladson SC, 29456. We were early and as we came through the door, entering a cavernous room, I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the decor and the abundant comfortable chairs… Seriously, there was a huge dance area, and then tables with rows of rolling highback swivel executive chairs! Later, I found out Abba had blessed them with these wonders at about $1 each as the local Air Force base remodeled! Talk about awesome!!
The service began with a sparse group at 12 pm. A couple blessings and then the table was opened and as we ate and fellowshipded, families kept coming through the door until the ranks swelled to about 60ish… The dress was casual and the personalities were varied and warm!! Clearly, everyone loved each other and there was much unity in the room.
After the meal, everyone prepared for the real meal of the day! Blessings in Hebrew and English ensued as well as announcements. Then I was introduced and asked to tell a bit about about our upcoming trip and its purpose.
Ray has long taught his understanding that Israel has two parts, the House of Israel and the House of Judah. As I explained our purpose and what Abba is doing in our day, many of the attendees were visibly emotional. The news was welcome! More exciting were the numbers that prayed and offered words of prophecy and encouragement!
What followed was an amazing time of worship with the presence of the Ruach felt in incredible waves! More than half of the congregants were involved in the dance circle and the joy of being before the King was palpable…. But the best was yet to come!
Most impressive to me, about this congregation, was the breadth of leadership and the number of mature Torah pursuant members who were incorporated in the teaching. It was a testament to the years of dedication Ray and Brenda have invested in that congregation. Three different couples taught: one the Brit, another the Haftorah and another the Torah Portion. Each was excellent, but the Torah Portion lesson was ‘off the chain!’ (The wonderful chairs proved valuable with the hours of sitting!! 😉 )
As fellowships go, it was evident to me that Abba has prepared and positioned this one for growth!! We so, so enjoyed the six hours we were in the building and regretted having to leave before the end, but the 2.5 hour drive home demanded a reluctant early exit!
Abba’s Presence was there in a huge way and I highly recommend that fellowship if any reader is ever within an hour’s drive of Summerville/Charleston, SC!! You will not regret fellowshipping with these dear brothers and sisters! We’ll be back to report on the Israel trip and I can’t wait!