Summer revival to close with special event Friday

Published 10:20 am Monday, August 11, 2014

On Friday, Pastor Michael O’Ree and Christ Way Ministries will fill the auditorium of Bogalusa High School with songs of praise courtesy of renowned Gospel artist Marvin Sapp.

Sapp, who is the pastor of Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., will be closing out a week of revival services from Christ Way Ministries, which was started by O’Ree and his wife, First Lady Christa O’Ree, in December.

Of the finale, Pastor O’Ree said, “It’s just something that came to my mind.”

O’Ree noted that the area often lacks family-oriented activities, so he wanted to do something to fill that void.

“It’s just a start to many,” O’Ree added.

Sapp, who will also be preaching Friday evening, began singing at his church at the tender age of 4. In 1991 he joined the group Commissioned before launching his own solo career. He is probably best known for the hit “Never Would Have Made It.”

O’Ree, who currently sits on the Bogalusa City Council, said he was led by God to start Christ Way Ministries.

“God took all my peace away from me,” he said.

O’Ree stopped getting satisfaction from the things he usually enjoyed, he said. And then the dreams started.

He started having dreams of preaching, but curiously the dreams were all set at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and not at Bethlehem Baptist Church, where O’Ree regularly worshipped. That church burned to the ground in December 2012.

“I didn’t know Bethlehem was going to burn down, but God did,” said O’Ree.

O’Ree hopes the nondenominational Christ Way can deliver something much needed to today’s self-obsessed society — the truth.

“Jesus came to bear witness to the truth,” said O’Ree. “When the knowledge is absent, the way will perish.”

He added that the truth is not always pleasant to hear, but it is necessary to help people lead good, godly lives. This realization brought O’Ree to the decision to not seek re-election to the Bogalusa City Council in the fall.

“You can’t lead in the streets and in the church,” he said. “I’m going to do what I can to support this city as a pastor. I feel it’s almost impossible to be a good councilman and a good pastor.”

Christ Way Ministries’ summer revival, the first big event for the 7-month-old endeavor, will take place at 7 p.m. nightly Aug. 11 through 15. Monday through Thursday, the service will take place 1040 Avenue E in Bogalusa. On Friday, the service will move to the Bogalusa High auditorium, located at 100 MJ Israel Drive, to accommodate the larger crowd expected for Sapp’s appearance. Each night will feature a different guest speaker.

Although attending any night of the revival, including Friday, is free, O’Ree said the ministry is offering VIP tickets for Friday’s event. The tickets cost $25 and will guarantee seating as well as the opportunity to meet Sapp and be a part of a group photo taken with him. Hammond-based Gospel group the Showers will also perform Friday.

For more information, call 985-750-7007 or 985-570-3429.