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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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Fulton W. Buntain passes away

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 - 6:18 PM CST

Fulton Buntain
Fulton Buntain

Known as an innovator, a friend to everyone and the pastor of one of the first megachurches - Life Center (AG) of Tacoma, Washington - Fulton W. Buntain passed away Saturday evening after an extended illness. He was 86.

Buntain, who retired in 2006, was pastor emeritus at Life Center, having pastored the church for more than 40 years, which currently has a Sunday worship attendance of about 4,000.

Buntain also led the church in building a 750-student K-12 school and a senior housing complex. In addition to creating a weekly television program that ran for 35 years, Buntain was a co-founder of Calcutta Mercy Ministries and a prominent supporter of a holistic ministry in Calcutta, India — consisting of more than 100 schools, over 700 churches, a daily feeding program for 25,000 and a general hospital — founded by his brother and sister-in-law, AG missionaries Mark and Huldah Buntain.

A Canadian by birth, Buntain was ordained by the Assemblies of God on June 9, 1950, and ministered by the creed, "Find a need and meet it." In 2011, Buntain was honored as a "Pillar of Faith" by the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.

Buntain is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lorraine Buntain; three children, Michelle (Tim) Cox of Tacoma, Kathi (Greg) Hardcastle of Miami, and Robyn (Rich) Wilkerson of Miami; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. A son, Tim, preceded Buntain in death.

The memorial service and funeral for Buntain will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 22, 2012, at Life Center in Tacoma. The service will also be live-streamed from the church's website.

Authors: AG News

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