An Open Door (Newsletter 2-10 Ministry)

It was just another family reunion in the summer of 2008, and Bro. Daniel Judy was asked to pray over the meal. After hearing Bro. Judy pray, a lady from a local church mentioned their church had lost their pastor, and they were looking for someone to preach. Being asked to minister there, Bro. Daniel consulted his pastor, Bishop Irvin Knieriem, who said, “That’s great! Go preach the word, and if they accept it, change the sign and have church.” Bro. Judy said, “We hung up, and that’s when everything started to happen.” The church was the St. Paul Reformed Ridge United Church of Christ in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Bro. Judy was raised in an Apostolic church in Somerset, under the leadership of Bishop Knieriem. He has had only two pastors in his 45 years of serving God. The other pastor who influenced Bro. Judy’s life was Rev. Sherwood Behm of Reading, PA. where Bro. Judy and his wife, Cheryl, resided during a business transfer. Cheryl, from a family background of alcohol abuse, came to the truth at 13 years of age.

When Bro. Judy was twelve, an evangelist by the name of Rev. Lloyd Garlitz  prophesied over him and told him he was going to be a preacher. That frightened him, and he ran from preaching for years, but he continued to serve God. One day, while he was driving home from the northeastern part of the state, God spoke to him saying, “I have called you for the last time. What are you going to do about it?” Crying profusely, he said, “Lord if you really want me to preach and quit my business, let my wife be agreeable to it, and help me to hate what I am doing.” At the time, he was making over $500,000 a year and was content to serve as a liberal giver to God’s kingdom and as a leader in the church. Both stipulations he had asked of the Lord were met within one month. He then returned to work under Bishop Knieriem, giving as many as 25 Bible studies per week, running a small business in the mornings, preaching on rotation and preaching out as well. People were continually being saved.

When Bro. Judy preached his first sermon at the St. Paul Reformed Ridge U.C.C. , the congregation was down to 5 people, all over 70 years of age. His message “The Aftermath of Being Silent” was preached July 13, 2008. By September 7, 2008, there were 23 in attendance; St. Paul’s Church of Christ’s family and friends. On September 8, 2008, he was asked to be their pastor. Bro. Judy walked through the open door the Lord had miraculously provided, and the attendance is now 75.

At the time he was asked to pastor, the church building, built in 1907, was still owned by the U.C.C. Bro. Judy met with the U.C.C. & West Penn Council, which included their regional executive and fifteen past members, on October 27, 2011 to purchase the building. Bro Judy related the story; “While in prayer a week earlier, I had asked God to help me know what to say. The word ‘usury’ had come immediately to my mind.  I wrote the word down and continued praying. I knew God was working out the rest of the plan. Later I checked the word usury in the Bible. God led me to Proverbs 28:8, “He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.” Unjust gain was defined as a bonus above the principle. They had offered the church to us for $40,000. God led me to speak to the council on this subject, and we counter offered with $25,000. After an hour recession and much prayer in the basement of the church, they accepted it! To insure the structure, it was appraised at $416,000. The church now wears a new name; The Ridge Church Outreach Center. It sits on one acre of land and is in a prominent location. One stained glass window alone is worth $120,000. The rest of the windows are worth $10,000 to $20,000 each. A local farmer has offered his property for our parking lot which has been expanded three times. In 2011, thirty-three received the Holy Ghost, and thirty were baptized. As of November 2012, fourteen have received the Holy Ghost, and four have been baptized.”

Bro. Judy recalled a miracle that happened in the fall of 2011, “During a move of God in Wednesday night service, a gentleman named Bill, in his late seventies, began having a heart attack. You could see that his time was expiring. We quickly anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord. His color changed from gray to normal, and he began to stretch and cry. I asked him if he was all right. He replied, “You don’t understand. I have not felt this good in years, and my back pain is gone too.” We shouted and worshipped God for his miraculous healing power. God will work, who will let him?”