My sanctified imagination tells me that there must have been a duplication of the heavenly council in 1997 such as was with Job. Satan presented himself, and the Lord said to Satan. “Where have you come from?” Satan answered, “From roaming throughout Los Angeles and going back and forth.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my church Ephesus that I reclaimed from your clutches on May 31st 1980 and placed in the hands of my servant Craig A Dossman? They are about my business”: Their Community Services Department under the leadership of Jieana Scott is meeting the needs of my less fortunate children. There is a heavenly sound that resonates from the anointed Voices of Ephesus Choir under the directorship of Clay Allen. My servant, William Dawson, Sabbath after Sabbath, expounds upon My word with great brilliance and passion. Hundreds are being drawn closer to Me. Through the powerful medium of television My gift of saving grace is brought into the homes of thousands. A Bible Correspondence School, coordinated by Deborah Freeman, puts lessons designed to tell of My eternal truths into the hands of anyone who would request them. Wanda Jackson traverses the streets of Los Angeles tirelessly day and night telling anyone who would listen about My love for them. 

There are ministries that truly minister to the grieving, the imprisoned and the drug and alcohol dependant. Then Satan said “Does Ephesus serve you for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around them and blessed the work of their hands? But stretch out your hands and strike them and they will curse you to your face.” So Ephesus was put through a time of testing such as never was, but through it all she joined with Job in saying “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord.” And so the Lord began his restorative work with Ephesus. He galvanized everyone who weathered the storms and infused them with a new determination for His work. Our Head Elder, Charles Nugent, developed Moses type leadership skills as he held the nucleus together through the transitional period. Dr Leslie Pollard became our temporary shepherd tending the flock until the arrival of Pastor Howard Small in 1998. Our youth sat patiently at the feet of Sister Lisa Small as she taught them practical lessons to live by. Mother Juanita Small gave a grandmotherly touch to our congregation. Pastor Howard Small with his enthusiasm for evangelism conducted two Revelation Seminars that yielded 25 souls. 

In two short years a familiar face returned to shepherd Ephesus - Pastor John McCoy. Seemed as though heavenly angels joined him and Sister Katherine McCoy in singing ‘The Potter wants to put you back together again’ and ‘Jesus, you are the center of my joy.’ Holy Ghost filled sermons spurred us on to new heights and evidences of healing were everywhere. Seven of our youth: Abigail Bernard, Angel Brown, Katie Williams, Christina Warren, Monisha Gutierrez, Beverly Holts and Markese Freeman, chaperoned by Dawn Bernard and Loris Fortune caught a glimpse of heaven as they joined thousands of other Seventh - day Adventist youth at the United Youth Congress, in Indianapolis, Indiana. AY at Ephesus was the place to be on Sabbath afternoons as our youth demonstrated their talents in plays, skits, and talk shows with Judge Kathy and answered difficult questions on why we believe what we believe with Professor McCoy. Ephesus advanced into the computer technological age with Power Point presentations of sermons and evangelism series. Then it was time for change once again. 

The year 2002 brought us Dr. Lorenzo Grant. His 40 plus years of experience enabled him to balance his part-time responsibilities at the conference and at the church. A new vision of a more community oriented church was launched. The new computer lab and exercise classes were established under the oversight of Dr. Raiford Woods. Much needed infrastructure work was accomplished in the two short years of Dr. Grant’s tenure, as he moved on to become the Regional Director of the African American Region. Our local leadership took the reins and led out as never before. Elder Anthony Scott blossomed into a talented preacher willing and ready to preach God’s word in season and out of season. Elder Garrick Bernard developed a Holy boldness that freed him to preach and teach as the spirit led. Elder Nugent’s calm, solid presence anchored the team. Our families gained a better understanding of God’s desires for our families as we studied the book “The Adventist Home.” 

Our children developed a closer walk with God as they led out in children’s church under the leadership of Mona Le Berry. The women of Ephesus banded together for spiritual upliftment and sisterly encouragement in prayer circles, afternoon teas, agape feasts and much more. Brother Willie Jackson and his deacons were immovable and undeterred by any obstacles as they continued to serve the church. New leadership was once again on the way, but this time God decided to do a new thing at Ephesus. Youth, wisdom and great visions came wrapped in the embodiment of Dr. J. Kendall Guy and associate Pastor Louis Petit-Frere. On fire and ready to get started, they wasted no time in getting on with the work at hand, as evidenced by the evangelistic series held during 2004 that led to the baptism of twelve precious souls. And so in 2005 God continues His restorative work. The Praise Team ushers you into the very presence of God as the gospel of the good news is proclaimed with boldness and the weary find rest. Ephesus is still the place where the hungry homeless can find physical bread and the Living Bread. Peace love and harmony reign at our fellowship dinners each Sabbath.  We are still going into all the world proclaiming that He lives; our open air tent revival is planned for June and July of 2005. Cell groups to reach friends and neighbors are underway. So in 2005 we declare with Job “We know that you can do all things, no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” As the Lord continues to bless the latter even more than the former. 

By Dawn Bernard