The Rev. Connie Dawkid, pastor of Radiant Church (formerly Gates of Worship and The Bridge church), has actually been a member of the church given that relocating to Lincoln 25 years back. She states she felt God"s call telling her at some point she would certainly lead the church. (FRANCIS GARDLER / Lincoln Journal Star)

FRANCIS GARDLER / Lincoln Journal Star

"Fifteen years ago, I felt the Lord say to me, "You will pass via this church someday as its leader." ... And I just knew," Connie Dawboy says.

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Back then Dawboy wasn"t also a minister. She had simply been lhelp off from her task as administrative director of cardiology at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and was around to embark on various call from God: to be a missionary in China"s Yunnan District.

Rapid forward to 2012. Dawson is earlier in Lincoln -- in the incredibly role God promised her in 1997. The just difference: The church she kbrand-new as First Assembly of God is currently called Radiant Church, a nondenominationwide pentecostal congregation at 70th and Vine streets.

The church"s name has actually readjusted 4 times in the past 15 years; a lot of newly it was known as The Bridge and also before that as Gates of Prayer. But the church"s mission and also values reprimary true to the best Dawboy held so tightly that Sunday in 1997.

Radiant Church -- the name Dawkid offered the church this past November, when she took the pulpit for the first time -- is called for Ephesians 5:25-27: "Christ loved the church and provided himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing via water with the word, and also to current her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any kind of various other blemish."

And the womale, who 25 years previously picked up and also moved from North Carolina to a state she could not quickly allude out on a map, hears God loud and clear and also wants to display Lincoln"s unchurched the love of the Lord.

"I desire to go after those 138,000 human being and also let them understand God loves them. ... Jesus left the 99 to uncover the one," she states, referring to Matthew 18:12-14.

In the 5 months Dawson has actually offered as lead pastor, the congregation"s numbers have even more than doubled, from 60 to 150 world, she claims.

Back in 1987, she was a solitary mother through a young boy. St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center was around to start a cardiology regimen and required someone to make it take place. That someone was Dawkid.

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She relocated to Lincoln and discovered a church home: First Assembly of God. She met a fellow parishioner, fell in love and gained married in the church. Dawkid was living the dream.

But eight years after relocating here, the hospital was in change. An independent consultant recommfinished layoffs, and Dawson"s position was among those got rid of.

It was a challenging blow but not damaging, she shelp. She felt God informing her a new chapter would begin. She felt a burden for China.

But 6 months later, Bruce Dawson"s business partners in Taco John"s restaurants readily available to buy him out.

The Dawsons offered their home, their 2 cars and also every one of their possessions and also relocated to one more continent. In China, Bruce Dawchild was hired to teach English as a 2nd language at a Chinese university. By all accounts, Connie Dawson was simply the devoted wife of an American teacher -- at least in the eyes of the Chinese federal government. But privately she taught the Chinese around Christianity, functioning in underground Scriptures colleges. Her teaching took her as far north as the Siberian border and as much south as the edge of Vietnam, she says.

"In the mission area, it was choose God stripped the bark off a tree and also rebuilt that I was," Dawchild said. "He re-programmed me."

The Dawsons served 5 years in China then functioned in a seminary in the Philippines for 5 even more years.

When they returned to the United States, Connie Dawkid sought her master of divinity degree from University of Coloraperform. On May 5, she will certainly get her doctorate in regeneration history and also theology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.

"I have constantly had a actual burden for the civilization (of Lincoln). I constantly wanted to check out God move forward within this city," she claims. "I have actually cried, prayed and fasted for this city. ... I recognize God is about to carry out somepoint amazing in this city."

"When we the church starts to love prefer Jesus loved, lay dvery own our resides in service like Jesus did -- then the church will certainly be unstoppable," she says. "By God"s grace, that is my goal."



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Previously referred to as The Bridge and also Gates of Prayer, Radiant Church is at 740 N. 70th St. Led by ministers ordained with the Assemblies of God…


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