Lady Angel Price, Denise and Pastor Rick Renner, Dr. Fred Price and Dr. Betty Price. (Courtesy photo)

“I want you to rise to your feet, turn to your neighbor and say, ‘today, we’re going to get something brand new from the Bible’.” And with that rousing introduction, pastor, author and renowned international Bible teacher, Rick Renner, commenced a moving sermon detailing the power of God to attentive congregants assembled at Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) on Sunday, Feb. 18.

He proceeded to inform the congregation that he and his wife Denise live in Russia, a country the United States has had complicated diplomatic relations with since the early 1900s. In the American media, Russia has often been painted as a bastion of political corruption. “I know that Russia is in the news a lot,” Pastor Renner conceded, “but, my friends, don’t believe everything you see in the news… God is moving all over the world, and God is moving in the Russian capital.”

Related Stories:

To illustrate his point, Pastor Renner informed the congregation that on March 4, his ministry is launching a Christian television network that will be beamed into every Russian home. “Is that amazing?,” the pastor asked rhetorically to applause. “Only God could do that.”

The author of numerous books on Christianity and faith, Pastor Renner is the overseer of the Good News Association of Churches, founder of the Moscow Good News Church, and pastor of the Internet Good News Church. He is also founder of Media Mir, a multimedia company whose seed-sowing mission statement reads: “Our vision is to take the Gospel both to our nearby world and to the ends of the earth, proclaiming Christ.”

Denise Renner sings “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” (Courtesy photo)

It’s a vision Renner connected to a story found in the book of James, in which the devil is threatened by the growth of the church in the Eastern lands of the Roman Empire. To interrupt that expansion, Satan hatches a plan to disperse and separate Christian believers, but the scheme backfires.

“Those who scattered planted their seeds of faith, and the gospel began to spread like wildfire,” said Renner, an Oklahoma native who along with his wife and five sons has called Moscow home for over three decades. “The more believers embraced the good news from God, the more bad things started to happen, but just like when the devil tries to come for you in your life, it didn’t work out.”

Renner’s message was not lost on the congregation: Just as in the Book of James, Renner Ministries is scattering seeds of Christian faith in Russia.

Pastor Renner was reverently introduced by CCC pastor Dr. Frederick K. Price, who showered his visionary visitor with the highest praise. “Teachers are the doctors of the church,” Dr. Price said. “If you think I am a teacher, this man (Pastor Renner) is the teacher of teachers.”

Pastor Renner made good on that introduction, advising the CCC faithful to expect tests and distractions on their journey of faith. He reminded church members that the test is not from the God of Light, but rather from the purveyor of darkness, the devil.

The visiting pastor shared the personal story of how the devil attacked him during a meeting with his attorneys in Moscow. Lawyers had informed Pastor Renner of a situation that could have resulted in his deportation from Russia, uprooting the ministry he and his wife took over three decades to build. He shared how his wife was in the backseat of a car crying; his driver so shaken; he couldn’t talk.

Rick Renner gave free copies of his book to attendees. (Courtesy photo)

“I started talking my faith,” Pastor Renner said. “I said, ‘I am going to do what God called me to do. I am not moving; this situation is moving.’ I told the devil he had run into a mountain. I stood on my faith and the attack passed. The devil doesn’t know how to deal with a believer who is immovable.”

Renner explained that strength hadn’t come to him in that moment, but rather from a decision he made many years earlier to be patient and steadfast in his faith, regardless of hardships. He cited James 1:4: “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

“When you push back on the devil and stand on your faith, God says now, ‘I am going to get involved in this’,” said Pastor Renner. “He fills you with resilience from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.”

“God is looking for someone to play catch with,” Pastor Renner told the congregation. “He is showering us with blessings from Heaven – healing, answers, prosperity, and deliverance. We have to look up and receive his blessings by faith.”

Pastor Renner was accompanied by his wife and lifelong ministry partner, Denise. Herself a minister and author, Mrs. Renner shared her classically trained singing voice with Faithdome attendees, and those viewing the service online. Showcasing an operatic alto with a luminous vibrato, Mrs. Renner delivered a heartfelt rendition of the classic gospel hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”