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24 October 23, 2017 | Athens, Greece [Claudio Gulyas] There were celebrations all round in a predominantly Filipino suburb of Athens, Greece, when God moved into the neighbourhood.  On Saturday, 14 October, the Athens Filipino Community Centre in Zografou became Athens Filipino Central Church.

photo14AFCC’s members toiled for two months to renovate the rented hall to make everything ready for the big day.  The result was smiles and a sense of thanksgiving to God.  The praises and the special songs uplifted Spirits, while the sermon from the Greek Mission president, Claudio Gulyas, moved everyone. AFCC’s pastor, Adriano Fernandez, couldn’t contain his joy the whole day.  But this is only a beginning.  A delegation from the mother church, the Athens International Church, challenged everyone to repeat the church planting process.

photo10During the afternoon programme pastor’s Fernandez wife, Raleigh, shared a brief history of the AFCC noting its start in March 2015 when, she said, “sons and daughters of God humbly prayed together for the new church to bloom.”  

The plant started with a nucleus of just 10 members.  Their target was to reach out to the non-Adventist Filipinos and those who may have slipped away from the church. The Athens Filipino Community Centre (AFCC), was thus established with the full approval of the local board and the Greek Mission.

photo7Meetings started in members’ homes and then moved to a church owned building one hour commute out of central Athens.  Attendance grew despite the travel distance.  However, central Athens is a better area for worship as more Filipinos live in the area. The Greek Mission gave members permission to use a vacant hall on the first floor of the Mission office building that had formerly been used as a place of worship. Just one year later they had outgrown the premises and needed to move again.

photo2“Behold, here we are now in our God-given new worship hall wherein we can celebrate the victory that only Jesus can give,” Raleigh rejoiced. “May our good Lord bless our journey of faith, so that we’ll impact the community in this neighbourhood.”

Pastor Gulyas congratulated the entire congregation for their efforts. “Today a new beginning has become reality. We, as Greek Mission, strongly believe in, encourage and support these kinds of initiatives.”

Gulyas emphasised that “you are the salt of the earth.” He stated, “Mingle with people; don’t lose your saltiness and taste. Don’t stay in one location; influence and give flavour to the neighbourhood where you live.”  He concluded, “Let everyone realise that God has moved into the neighbourhood.” [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojkovic, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division.




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