Devotion is a story of how God supernaturally called two couples to leave their hometown in Pennsylvania and to move to a city they had never been to, a city in which they knew no one—all because God has Portland in mind!
Allow me to begin this story by giving you a quick summary of my background. I am a fifth generation preacher, born and raised in the small but proud city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. At age eleven, I had a very definite, strong conversion experience that left a marked impact on my outlook and behavior; and shortly after turning 16 in 1981, I began actively participating in ministry. A few years later, I graduated from Bible school, got married to the most wonderful Christian girl, and traveled somewhat to preach in youth meetings and young minister’s conferences. Then in 1991, I was brought on staff as a full-time Associate Pastor in my home church where I remained quite comfortably for the next 24 years, raising a family, preaching, counseling, organizing events, traveling, writing, and just plain loving on people.
By the time 2015 rolled around, my wife, Kim, and I along with our daughter, Madelin, and her husband, James, knew that major changes were about to occur. For nearly two years, all of us had been feeling an unsettling, a pull of God to go and do … something. But what? Were we to launch an itinerate ministry and preach on the road full time? Were we to move overseas to work for long-time connections there? Were we to turn all our attention to our collective media talents and pursue those kinds of vocations?
One night after the four of us prayed together, I said, “It’s time we raise our faith and we at least need to see where God wants us to go.” We had all felt a call to the western part of the country so the next day I grabbed a handful of maps for the West Coast. At first, we prayed about California but after a few evenings of praying, we all knew we were not being led to the Golden State. So, we next prayed about Oregon and immediately were drawn to Portland.
The exciting and, at times, unusual details of what happened after that night would take up too much appropriate time here but suffice it to say that for the next several months, not only did a glowing thrill and attraction grow in our hearts for Portland and the people of this city, but God made it abundantly clear that He wanted us to start a church here and that we were to sell everything and move as soon as possible—and that is exactly what we did!
October 16th of 2015, after nearly two weeks of cross country travel, we said our first hello to stately Mount Hood and descended into the Willamette Valley and the sprawling municipalities of Stumptown—and we have never been disappointed with either its people or its offerings. Truly, we have found a home here.
Now, we are gearing up for the commencement of our assignment, which we are convinced will (as the Lord directs and enables) touch and include many souls with the overwhelming, revolutionizing power of Jesus Christ.
Since I have been here, I have found God is doing something special all over this city. Many others are moving here because of the call of God, and long-time pastors and church members are telling me that they feel an extraordinary “stirring in the Spirit.” Everywhere I go it seems I am bumping into new prayer services and an increasing number of praying people, and I realize that we of Devotion Church are among many of the Gospel team who are about to see an unprecedented cultural turnover for the glory and Kingdom of God.
Momentum is building and we just want to be a part!
Pastor Michael Holcomb.