Ghetto preacher makes eternal impact


Cooranbong, New South Wales

More than 60 people committed their lives to Christ during Avondale School’s (Cooranbong, NSW) Week of Worship, run from September 12 to 17. 

To see the whole community—all the churches—come together and worship under one banner, it was just awesome.

The headline speaker was Mr Willy Ramos, the “ghetto preacher”, a Florida-based lay evangelist with a rapid-fire urban style and a powerful testimony of rescue from a life on the streets. With frequent humour, vivid illustrations and pointed Ellen White quotes, Mr Ramos unpacked biblical stories from the life of Christ.

“I was amazed at the connection Pastor Willy Ramos made almost immediately with the teenage audience,” said Avondale School principal Dr David Faull. “His deeply spiritual closure was very effective.”

Most, if not all, Adventist schools organise special weeks of spiritual emphasis for their students and staff, but Avondale School took its Week of Worship to a new level this term by adding evening and Sabbath sessions where parents and the community were invited to participate. The scaling up of the series was made possible by partnerships with the Gateway church, which meets on Avondale School premises and youth leaders from surrounding Adventist churches.

Students were involved in various aspects of the program: setting up the venue, lighting and audio-visual support, video editing and offering welcomes and prayers from the stage.

Students also made up the bulk of those who came forward in response to Mr Ramos’s appeals. But a number of adults—past students, parents and others—also made new or renewed commitments.

Avondale secondary students in prayer. [Photo courtesy: Terrina Mesaric]

“It was incredible,” says Mr Brian Reed, Avondale School’s chaplain and one of the key organisers for the series. “There was a whole lot of people who gave their lives for Christ and for that I’m eternally grateful. Follow-up is going to be a big thing. My goal is to find specific people to come into the school and do Bible studies and to link with pastors in the area. To see the whole community—all the churches—come together and worship under one banner, it was just awesome.”