Field Leader: Alain Don'Tony
The Advent Christian Executive Council, at their February 2011 meeting, unanimously voted to receive the Port Elizabeth South Africa Advent Christian Conference as an Affiliated Ministry. The headquarters church is Sanctuary of Mercy, led by Pastor Alain Don’Tony.
Pastor Alain had moved to Port Elizabeth in 2006 and started a house church the next year with his wife and in-laws as its only members. Just a few meters from his house was a well known tavern, Chez Lynnette, a place plagued with fighting and promiscuity. Each morning Pastor Alain prayed for the closing of the tavern, sometimes praying at its gate at 4am. By mid-2009 Chez Lynnette closed. When in 2010 South Africa hosted the soccer world cup, owners tried to re-open Chez Lynnette, but to no avail; the power of prayers of many years had locked the gate.
By that time, Pastor Alain’s church had moved from his house to a garage. Through prayer he was persuaded that God wanted him to turn the tavern into a temple. To his surprise, the tavern owner was more than willing to give him the lease. Even the flags that were used in the tavern during the world cup were given to him to decorate his tent for an upcoming tent crusade! From the tent crusade a number of new people began to attend services. Pastor Alain’s church decided it was time to move to the tavern.
Drastic renovations inside the structure were necessary. By God’s grace money was found to cover costs and a donation from Advent Christians in North America purchased chairs. The Sanctuary of Mercy officially opened its doors August 7, 2011 with a great worship service and many people in attendance. The place which was once a tavern is now the house of the most High God. It is a victory for the body of Christ; and even the whole community is happy that there will no more be fighting at that place, no more stabbing and promiscuity.
Now that Pastor Alain’s congregation worships in new place, they are excited and expectant to see more. Their vision is to win 400 souls,saved, sanctified, settled, serving, and sacrificing to Jesus Christ. Challenges lie ahead but the church is embracing them with faith, as Pastor Alain says, “believing the God who took us from the house to the garage to the tavern will take us even further, and farther than that.”
Currently the Conference is planning to have a public march in the main road of their town. It is a march against evil – the crime, rape, and abuse which are so common in South Africa. The march will end up in the police station where they will pray for the peace of the city and the safety of their children.