In December 2019, Guam First Church of the Nazarene celebrated the 50th anniversary of the purchase of its property its formation as a church. One hundred fifty people attended the special event, including neighborhood friends, former members, and two Chuukese congregations, the Micronesian Outreach Ministry Church and the Guam Mokyang Church, who also use the church’s facilities on Sundays. The service included special music from different groups and video greetings from denominational leaders and former pastors. “Every part of the church participated in the planning, setup, service, and clean up,” said Rev. David Ackerman, pastor of Guam Nazarene.
Rhonda Ackerman said, “We had a fantastic celebration service giving thanks to God for the past, the present, and the future.”
The Church of the Nazarene in Guam began with a fellowship of lay American military personnel in 1966. Local broadcast of the radio program “Showers of Blessing” led to the formation of a Nazarene fellowship. Over the years, this fellowship grew in number and ministry. The fellowship purchased the property and broke ground for a sanctuary in 1969. The church became fully organized in December 1971. In 1972, the congregation added a parsonage, and later in 2002, a new sanctuary. “All of this was made possible through Alabaster offerings and the generous gifts of members, districts, and friends,” said Pastor Ackerman.
The anniversary service honored nine people with certificates of recognition and appreciation for 20 years of membership and faithful service to the Lord. Harry and Tina Lee received the Distinguished Service Award for their many years of service to the church. The church also honored Joe and his wife, Terry, and their daughter Mary as good neighbors who have watched over the church and its property for many years. The service ended with a liturgy of rededication and recommitment of the church property and buildings for the next generation.
“I love the people here,” said Shan Ackerman who makes no secret of her excitement at being part of Guam Nazarene. The Ackermans echo their daughter’s sentiment and see the future role of Guam Nazarene as an extension of their past. “We will continue to make connections on the island and become a launching platform for ministry both in Guam and beyond and into the islands of Micronesia. Our anniversary celebration was an inspiring time to renew our commitment and vision,” said Pastor Ackerman. “You could feel the joy of the Lord in this place during the celebration. I am eager to see where the Lord will take us next as a church.”
(David Ackerman also serves as the Field Education Coordinator for the Philippines/Micronesia Field, and Rhonda Ackerman is the Member Care Coordinator for the Field. You can find the Guam Nazarene website at www.guamnaz.church).
Written by Amy Trosen, Missionary