by Janet Birkmann, STM Admin Assistant (January 2017)
Can you imagine competing for attention when you’re standing between a sword-swallower and a tightrope walker in the midst of crowds gathered to watch a spectacular sunset?
OPC Pastor Bill Welzien has been doing just that for 30 years as he presents the gospel in an engaging open-air fashion three times each week at the famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida.
Bill invites you to bring your group to Keys Evangelistic Ministries (KEM) to receive classroom training and practical experience in evangelism, and, as David Nakhla (OPC Short-Term Missions Coordinator) says, “Embark on a short-term mission trip that will increase your ability to speak with boldness about the eternal hope that is in you!”
Excerpt from KEM Website:
“The Sunset Celebration is like a street fair with attitude. Thousands of tourists who visit Key West will gather at the western edge of Key West on Mallory Square each evening to watch the sunset….These tourists are able to purchase arts and crafts made exclusively in Key West by local artists. They can enjoy unique foods such as conch fritters….There are numerous street performers, juggling acts, sword swallowing, and high wire stunts to amuse adults and children alike. And of course there are local musicians on guitars, banjo, and bagpipes and maybe even a tuba.
“….There amongst all the carnival atmosphere Bill makes a sobering presentation of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Bill declares to all who will listen that there is a God, that he is the creator of all, and that he speaks to man through the Bible….Bill concludes by calling his listeners to repentance and faith in the living God and inviting any with questions to come and speak with him.
“The gospel message is not unique to Bill as an evangelist but the venue at Mallory Square is truly unique. At Mallory Square Bill ministers to the needs of the many tourists who vacation in Key West and to the performers and vendors who set up there each evening.”
Bring Your Team!
- Teams are welcome to stay for a week at a time
- KEM provides housing for up to 12 people in its four bedroom dormitory at no cost to the team
- Teams are responsible for the cost of transportation to and from Key West, local transportation, and meals
- You will receive classroom instruction from “Bible Bill” (as he is known in Key West) on the art, science, and heart of evangelism
- You will have opportunities for practical experience in evangelism with Bill at Mallory Square
- This opportunity is available year round
- This opportunity is ideal for people of any age
Note: Interested Individuals:
- It is not really feasible for Bill to accept a single individual who wants to come for training. If an individual is interested in coming, he or she may contact Bill and he will contact any teams that are scheduled for a visit to see if they are able to include another person on their team.
30 Years of Ministry in Key West:
August 2016 marked 30 years since Bill Welzien began doing his open-air easel evangelism at Mallory Square in Key West! Read more here.
Statement from Bill Welzien:
“Over the years I have come to know the privilege and the joy of sharing the only message God ordained to reconcile fallen men and women to Himself. Because of this I want other believers to taste this freedom and joy as well. My faith is aways strengthened as I exit my Christian ‘bubble’ and engage the world around me with God’s truth!! I learn how accurate God’s Word truly is as I listen to the sad, silly and shallow arguments of unbelievers. When we know God’s Word we find that we can dialogue with those who oppose God’s truth from a position of strength. This experience can only come by working with the Word! I have a desire to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ to experience the exhilaration of working on the front lines of Gospel ministry. This is why I eagerly encourage God’s people to come down here for training. There is nothing to be gained by playing it safe! We need to take the ‘Gospel risks.’ We need to jump into kingdom work with both feet!”
Rev. Mark Sumpter, Regional Home Missionary for the Presbytery of the South, recently reported, “The experience of the training was overwhelmingly positive. Bill is Mr. Encouragement. He taught me and mentored me along, step by step. His example and pace-setting ministry is wonderful! Since I’ve been home in Houston, I’ve given the easel message twice and both times were excellent. The Word of God is going forth in Houston, and I’m encouraged and grateful for the training from Keys Evangelistic Ministries.”
- Click here to learn more about Bill’s work: “Preparing Fishers of Men”
- Click here to read compelling testimonials from team leaders and teens who have traveled to Key West to learn from Bill
- Click here to see videos of Bill giving his presentation at Mallory Square
- Click here to read “A Place for Evangelism” by Ross Graham
If you would like to bring a team, or join a team that is scheduled to go to Key West for evangelism training, please contact:
Pastor Bill Welzien
Keys Evangelistic Ministries
1000 Coppitt Road
Key West, FL 33040