Dillon Assembly of God
Image by J. Stephen Conn
In the summer of 1964 I was the 19-year-old leader of a seven member Summer Witness Team from Lee College (now Lee University), Cleveland, Tennessee. Our team spent the summer in Dillon, Montana, where we planted the Dillon Church of God in this building.
It was a vacant Assembly of God property at the time with broken windows, a leaking roof, and waist high weeds in the yard. The Montana District Assemblies of God gave us permission to use the facility. Three other young men and I slept on used mattresses in the basement of the church. We rented a trailer for the three girls on the team.
During the summer we went door-to-door, visiting every home in Dillon. We also advertised on the radio and in the newspaper, conducted a Vacation Bible School, held revival services, Sunday morning and evening Worship and Wednesday evening Bible Study. By the end of the summer we had gathered a small congregation of 20-30 people and Aaron Lavender, one of the young men on the team, stayed behind to become the first official pastor of the Dillon Church of God.
A year or two later, the the Assemblies of God decided to take the building over again. Since there is no significant difference in the two sister Pentecostal denominations, the congregation became a part of the Assemblies of God.
The building has since been completely remodeled and updated and a thriving church continues there to this day. August 10, 2009, was my first visit back to Dillon in 45 years. The current pastor, Ryan Spurlock and his wife Brianne, very graciously invited me over to their home for dinner and gave me a tour of the remodeled facilities. It was great to see that some of the seeds I had planted so long ago are still bearing fruit.
I have written about that summer, and much more, in my book, Growing up Pentecostal: www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Pentecostal-Stephen-Conn/dp/160…