Opinion

Federal Way pastors share stage with Joel Osteen | Nandell Palmer

Rich Stearns, CEO of World Vision, and two Federal Way pastors shared the stage with televangelist Joel Osteen last Friday night at Seattle’s KeyArena.

Pastor Casey Treat of Christian Faith Center (CFC), and Pastor Joseph Bowman IV of Integrity Life Church were chosen among several other Washington state pastors to address the packed arena. Each man spoke words of goodwill, health, prosperity and love into the lives of government leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and rank-and-file denizens throughout the region.

Osteen, pastor of the 40,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has partnered with World Vision — headquartered in Federal Way — to do a series of crusades in major U.S. cities for 2012.

This partnership will bring awareness and aid to disadvantaged children, both in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Stearns, author of “The Hole in Our Gospel,” was also called onstage by the mega-church pastor to shed light on the plights of the forgotten children around the globe who desperately need help.

Dubbed “A Night of Hope with Joel & Victoria,” an outreach of the Joel Osteen Ministries, Osteen is also complementing his message of hope with a 15-city book tour, packing stadiums and arenas nightly.

On April 28, the team will descend on the other Washington, Nationals Park, in the heart of the nation’s capital, with mega-smiles, high-powered music and an inspirational message of hope.

The televangelist’s motivational message has attracted millions of followers globally via his weekly television/cable broadcasts/podcasts. Osteen is considered America’s most popular preacher.

His mega-church, former home of the Houston Rockets (the Compaq Center), is America’s largest church.

If the message alone doesn’t seem to attract the crowd, Osteen has made certain to select the best vocalists and musicians for a most memorable night.

Dove-Award-Winning artists like Cindy Cruse Ratcliff, Da’dra Greathouse, and Steve Crawford have never disappointed an audience, in my opinion. The renowned worship leader, Israel Houghton and New Breed, are also from Lakewood Church.

Osteen’s mission for coming to Seattle, he said, was to lift people’s spirit and let them know that 2012 is going to be a good year.

He told the rapt audience that the Year of Jubilee in the Jewish tradition normally comes around every 50 years, signifying new beginnings. But he was giving them the go-ahead to declare their year of jubilee in 2012.

Back to our featured Federal Way ministers. How were they selected among thousands of other Washington preachers to rub shoulders with the Osteens onstage? Relationships, indeed, don’t exist in a vacuum.

Casey and Wendy Treat and the Osteens have had a decades-long friendship. In fact, Dodie Osteen, the matriarch, along with her two daughters, was at CFC last October for the church’s annual women’s conference.

The Treats are overseers of the largest church in Washington. And to ensure that charity begins at home, the church has done its part in giving back to its community.

In May 2009, the Treats gave $10,000 to Rainier View Elementary School, the largest private donation ever to that school, to purchase digital projectors for several classrooms.

The church has given tons of food annually to area food banks from its seasonal food drives, and has a cadre of prayer partners and people who visit the sick and shut-in at hospitals and nursing homes.

CFC supports missions in Bulgaria, China, South America and Africa, along with monthly support to World Vision, right there in its backyard.

At 36 years old, Joe Bowman is one of the youngest pastors in Federal Way today. Married to the lovely songbird, Pamela, Bowman is the senior pastor of Integrity Life Church — one of the fastest growing churches in the region.

He is the former National Youth Congress President for Federated Pentecostal Churches International (2006-2007). Additionally, he is the recipient of the prolific “Leadership Award” from his former employer, Financial Pacific Leasing — a local, multimillion-dollar company in Federal Way.

He is also a board member of Federal Way Community Gardens Foundation, pastoral liaison for City Vision, advocate and supporter of Federal Way Caregivers Network, and a member of Federal Way Pastors for a Better Community.

Integrity Life Church and the Bowmans have availed themselves in doing a lot of community-inspired projects.

Both churches had a lot of members in attendance at the KeyArena, many working as greeters and booksellers. Kudos to Rich Stearns and the faithful and dedicated servants of World Vision. Federal Way is once again proud of you!

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