Tag Archives: Church by the Sea

A vision of revival in Laguna Beach

In the process of my phone interviews with Jane Dobson,  one of 10 people on a boat off the coast of Maine involved in the “Mysterious

Jane Dobson (rt.) with her daughter

‘Jesus Photo'” story (http://blog.godreports.com/2011/10/mysterious-%E2%80%98jesus-photo%E2%80%99-stirs-faith-brings-comfort-and-peace-to-many/), she told me  about a striking vision she had for Laguna Beach, California, which seems to point toward a revival headed here. It’s not every day that a visitor from Owl’s Head, Maine has such an unusual revelation for a town thousands of miles from home.

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Faithful children’s minister, prayer warrior, passes to reward at 99

By Mark Ellis

She led generations of young people to invite Jesus into their hearts and headed up her church’s crisis prayer chain until she was 98-years-old. With her assignment finished, she passed on to her reward on July 15th.

Mrs. Elizabeth Ogg

“I always related to children better than adults,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Ogg, who was the children’s ministry director at Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach for decades. For many years, she was the first person people called in a crisis, as she headed a telephone “tree” that transmitted urgent prayers to the faithful before email was invented.

She was the daughter of Italian immigrants, Frank and Lena Bua, who arrived at Ellis Island in 1901. An itinerant street evangelist led eight members of her family to Christ on a street corner in Lodi, New Jersey, shortly after they settled there. Then they traveled west to Los Angeles in 1919, drawn by glowing reports about the fast-growing city with its ideal Mediterranean climate.

“My mother was a Christian lady – very strict,” Elizabeth notes. “But dad was the boss. There was no changing his mind.” They planted themselves in Sierra Madre, where her father opened a dry goods store. Elizabeth helped in the store, selling socks, underwear, needles and notions.

Her father started an outreach to Italian immigrants and other new arrivals near Chinatown, and constructed a brick church that became known as The Italian Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elizabeth took on the role of Sunday school teacher and organ player.

During high school she got involved with the youth ministry at Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles. Dr. Louis Talbot, pastor at the time, became an early mentor. The pastor who succeeded him, Dr. J. Vernon McGee was a primary influence on Elizabeth’s life, and she continued to listen to his daily radio broadcasts until her final years.

Always a teacher

Elizabeth enjoyed teaching, and she nurtured this gift as a Sunday school teacher at Church of the Open Door. She shocked her parents when she announced she wanted to go to college. Against their wishes, she graduated from UCLA with a degree in education and a teaching degree. 

Jobs were scarce during the Great Depression. Her first teaching job was in a tent on Alameda Street near the city landfill. It was a rough neighborhood where she was tested daily. “Just keep the kids from killing themselves,” her supervisor advised. She often rode the streetcar home in tears, but she stuck with it.

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He laid his guitar on the altar and God honored the sacrifice

As a believer still young in his faith, God showed him that his passion for music was an obstacle to spiritual growth. After he sold his

Pastor Brad Coleman

guitar and parted with many of his albums, God honored his sacrifice in a surprising way. 

“Before I came to Christ, I was heavily involved with music – it was an obsession for me,” says Brad Coleman, the new pastor of worship and arts at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Although raised in a stable, Midwestern home where he attended church on Sundays, a personal relationship with God was lacking through his high school years. “Church had little to do with the way I lived or the core of who I was,” he notes. Coleman was never outwardly a rebel, but fell into hedonistic pursuits with friends. “I partied but I didn’t go crazy,” he says. 

When he left for college, he decided to leave some of the revelry behind. “I had an awareness the party scene was stupid, but I fell right back into it. I had nothing that would give me the backbone to say ‘I’m not going to do that.’” 

At Miami University of Ohio, Coleman came face-to-face with two art students, Chuck and Rich Bostwick, who left an indelible mark. “This was the first time I closely observed two people who had a dynamic, growing relationship with Christ,” Coleman recalls. “Their lives were absolutely informed by their relationship with God.” 

As he watched the Bostwick twins up-close, he admired their skill and dedication as artists. “They were hardworking and had a great vision,” he notes.  Their winsome personalities seemed to light up any room they entered. 

On several occasions they invited Coleman to consider a personal relationship with Christ, but he was resistant. “They never shied away from entering into that kind of dialogue without condemnation,” he says. 

Coleman always had the same response to their appeal: “That’s awesome for you. I personally don’t need that, but I’m glad you found it.” 

However, his outward stance belied an inward tension. “I clearly did need it,” he admits now, “because I couldn’t resist following the crowd.” 

Independently, Coleman’s roommate was talking with friends at Campus Crusade for Christ. He brought home a copy of “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell and left it sitting on their coffee table. 

Continue reading at: http://blog.godreports.com/2011/07/he-laid-his-guitar-on-the-altar-and-god-honored-the-sacrifice/

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