By Portia Williams
By his own admission, Pastor Art Perkins heard the voice of the Lord, and he answered, “Yes.” Perkins said the Lord spoke to him, and told him to return to Scioto County with a mission to “Revive Portsmouth.” Perkins is the new Pastor of Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene, located at 456 Brown Street in Portsmouth.
It was in 2011 when Pastor Perkins said he heard the Lord’s voice speak to him.
“Lori and I have accepted the call to pastor Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene in Portsmouth, Ohio. Back in 2011,” Perkins said. “I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Will you follow me?” When I surrendered to that question with a yes, I had no idea what was ahead. After four years of seeking and pastoring in Hawaii as well as Virginia, God has once again opened a door for effective ministry.”
He said he and his wife Lori never imagined they would return to Scioto County.
“It is definitely a call from the Lord. Lori and I, and our family have been in ministry for 23 years. We have been from Ohio to Texas, to Virginia to Hawaii,” he said. “We never thought that we would come back to our home area, yet God has called us to come back to revive. I have asked myself many times, “Why would God send my family to a place that we do not know?” Now I am asking, “Why would God call us back home, a place we left over 13 years ago?”
He said his many replies running through his mind as to why, but that he truly believes the true reason to be is this, “God loves people and therefore, God sends people to share his love.” I am conﬁdent that I have heard the voice, the voice of the Lord.”
“Portsmouth, is the county seat of Scioto County and Scioto County is our home. It is where Lori and I grew up, fell in love, and started our family. It is also where I received my call to preach,” he said.
He said he was in Oklahoma when he heard the voice of the Lord say, “Go and revive the church with the message of the Kingdom and preach the holiness message of purity and power.”
“I believe God has given me a calling to revive. All my life I have wanted to plant churches and evangelize but God would never give me the clarity to go, instead He would guide me to the reestablishment of the church. I truly had no idea as to why until now. I believe my whole life is for this very moment,” he said.
The need is evident, and that we are living in the last days and God desires to revive his bride, which is the church.
“Revive His bride. God has called me to assist in reviving a church, a city, and a denomination. With this call, I believe and know that He has called us (Perkins’ family) to return home,” he said. “He has called us to return to a church and a city (Portsmouth) where the need is evident. I believe Portsmouth, Ohio to be a very strategic city. I believe as revival breaks it will spread throughout the entire Bible Belt.
He said the Bible Belt, as well as the United States of America is in dire need of a revival.
“Bible Belt. Since hearing the voice of the Lord I have prayed and sought for His complete direction and guidance. I believe that He has called me to the Bible Belt. I believe that if the Bible Belt becomes revived it will assist in reviving the whole body,” he said. “Just think about it—-the belt holds everything together, when the belt tightens everything else becomes secured. We desperately need revival in America, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to tighten us up, and there is no greater place for it to start than the Bible Belt.”
Perkins used the word, revive with emphatically. He is said his mission is to revive, not only the church he will serve, but to also be instrumental in reviving a city.
“To revive is to bring back to life. There are so many problems, from the drug abuse to the addictions, to the drugs, the human sex trafficking, everything that is going on in the life of the city, I believe the Lord has called us to see revival happen for those types of oppression to be broken,” he said.
He is new pastoral assignment will begin Sunday, Oct. 25 at the church at 10:30 a.m.
“We will begin our new pastorate at Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene, Sunday, October 25th. Also, on the evening of the Oct. 25th, at 6 p.m. we will hold a vision casting session for all who are interested in “Revive Portsmouth.” This session will be held at 456 Brown St. Portsmouth, Ohio (the church). Connect with our Facebook page (Revive Portsmouth) for more information. All are invited to both, 10:30 a.m. service and 6 p.m. vision session.”
He said the three main things that the church will be focusing on is Worship, Word (the Bible), and prayer.
“We will be focusing worship, and that is pure worship. We will focus on the Word, the Word being our final authority which sets us free, and gives us hope and revival, and prayer,” he said. “Prayer, I believe, is the missing link in the church, because when people pray, God moves.”
The regular service times at Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene will be Sundays at 11 am. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. for a prayer encounter service, called ‘Corporate Cry,’ which will focus on corporate prayer and worship.
“In January, 2016, I will launch “Revive Ministries.” Revive ministries will be an evangelistic ministry with a focus on reviving the church through the message of the Kingdom of God.
He posed a question to local pastors and members of the local community. “Will you join with me and pray for revival? If you are a native of Scioto County, will you consider joining/uniting with the body to support the movement, “Revive Portsmouth?” If you are a pastor, will you pray about having “Revive Ministries” in your church?
“I am conﬁdent that the Lord desires for us to experience revival. God has given us a promise to never leave us nor forsake us. I am conﬁdent and claiming that promise. Once again, we covet your prayers during this time of transition,” he said.
For more information to Facebook page “Revive Portsmouth.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.