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Oregon's Outback Assembly Experiences Revitalization

A church looking to revitalize a newly added campus finds its answer in the Acts 2 Journey.
Outback Assembly is located in the remote, high-desert town of Lakeview, Oregon, which has a population of around 2,300 people who call Southern Oregon's Outback . . . home. Nicknamed the tallest town in Oregon at 4,802 feet, Lakeview is surrounded by massive land features that speak of the greatness of God.

Joel and Kimberlee Morris, with their two sons, came to Lakeview to pastor Outback Assembly in May 2013. Joel had previously served as a music pastor in Minnesota and a youth pastor in Washington. Both Joel and Kimberlee are graduates of North Central University in Minneapolis.

Beginning in November 2018, Pastor Joel took his church leadership team at Outback Assembly through the one-year Acts 2 Journey primarily as a leadership-building exercise. At that time the church had the opportunity to expand by adding an existing campus in Bly, Oregon, that was in need of revitalization. The 60-year-old AG church in Bly was in poor health due to being without a pastor for 18 months, having an aging congregation, and being located in a declining community.

“We needed a tool, something to help us create momentum and revitalize the Bly campus — to move it from sickness to health,” Joel Morris says. “Relaunching a church in such need was difficult, but through it all the Acts 2 Journey helped us stay centered on the principles that matter from the Word of God.

“Today, Outback Assembly is serving both the Lakeview and Bly communities, and our vision is to see a healthy, Spirit-filled church in every community in the Oregon Outback.”

The year-long Acts 2 Journey effort, led by Alton Garrison, helps strengthen churches as they revisit their mission, vision, and values. To date, 1,476 churches have taken the journey, and 1,145 of those have received an AGTrust scholarship to help them participate.

"We are grateful for the Acts 2 Journey, which helped our leadership team at Outback Assembly to rediscover and implement the principles that have worked since the very beginning of the Early Church” states Morris. “Thank you, AGTrust, for helping our church to participate!"


The Assemblies of God Trust (AGTrust) is charged with special initiatives from the Office of the General Superintendent to advance a healthy, growing Assemblies of God Fellowship and to empower future generations. Those initiatives are: to plant churches; strengthen existing churches; and scholarship future leaders.