116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION - World-renowned speaker and minister, the Rev. Gemechis Buba, will be at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Marion this month to keynote a conference designed provide answers and guidance to an audience looking to spread the word of God.
The Rev. Steve Qualben, associate pastor at St. Mark's, 8300 C Ave., in Marion, couldn't be more excited.
'He is absolutely a preacher at heart, that is his calling, that is what he feels his God-given mission is,” said Qualben. 'He is very centered on the cross of Jesus, he understands the power of the gospel to transform lives, and he's an extraordinarily effective communicator of the gospel.”
Qualben has been in the audience several times when Buba has preached and listens to his radio broadcasts regularly.
To be able to bring him to St. Mark's, though, was an exceptional opportunity.
'Everyone needs to experience him,” Qualben said. 'And the great thing is, he understands it's not him, he knows it's God.”
Buba grew up in Ethiopia when church leaders were imprisoned under Communist rule. As a child he went to prisons with other family members to deliver meals to these church leaders. At the same time, the church 'just exploded in growth,” Qualben said, as an underground movement expanded the Lutheran church from tens of thousands of members to more than 6 million.
'He is a person who has lived his life for the gospel,” Qualben said of Buba.
The conference, 'Unleashing the Gospel,” is designed for adults and high school and college-aged students, and registration runs through Oct. 22.
Qualben said he has high hopes for what the audience will come away with after the conference.
'I think the greatest hope is that they will experience the power of the Holy Spirit and understand that that power they have experienced is a gift from God, and it's a gift that is meant to be shared,” he said. 'It's meant to bring healing into peoples' lives, it's meant to bring healing to this world.
IF YOU GO
' What: 'Unleashing the Gospel” conference with Gemechis Buba
' When: 12:45 p.m. Oct. 26
' Where: St. Mark's Lutheran Church
' Cost: $10, including lunch
' Other events: Buba also will preach at all three services that morning, at 8:30, 9:45 and 11 a.m.