This past Saturday was our annual Worker Appreciation Breakfast. It was a unique time where the staff of FBC cooked and served breakfast for all of the volunteers who serve at FBC. At that breakfast we honored Dorothy Malcolm as our 2010 Adult Worker of the Year. Below are the remarks that I made in presenting the award to Dorothy.
In 1976, three ladies sat down to have a casual conversation. They discussed the need for a Bible-believing church in
. Their conversation spread. Calls were made. Plans were formed. Someone mentioned a family with four children in the Winter Haven area who might be interested in helping. This family, which was at the time attending Fellowship Baptist in Winter Haven , was contacted and were willing help start the church. Lakeland
This is how Dorothy Malcolm began serving the Lord at FBC. Her service goes all the way back to the beginning. Nearly 34 years later, she continues to serve the Lord faithfully at
. Faith Baptist Church
Let me give you a short history of FBC. In 1976, organizational meetings were held in a meeting room of the TECO building in
. Soon after, a Bible study began to meet at the local Ramada Inn. Then, the Winter Haven was rented so that regular services could begin. While worshipping at the Seventh Day Adventist Church , 5 ¾ acres of “cow pasture” was purchased for future development. Services moved to the Women’s Club building in Seventh Day Adventist Church . We are currently on that cow pasture. Winter Haven
I sat down with Mrs. Malcolm the other day. She grew up on a farm in
Northern Indiana. She said, “We lived on the skinny side of life.” They never had much, but there was always food on the table. Sometime around the age of 10 or 12, she accepted Christ as her personal Savior.
She grew up, went to nursing school, got married, and had four children.
I asked her, “What brought you to
?” She replied, “Well, that was my husband’s idea.” She shared how her husband had be advised by doctors to take a break for a little while. So, he came to Florida to visit an uncle. Dorothy said, “I knew that when he returned he was going to want us to move to Florida .” Sure enough, that’s what happened. In 1972, the Malcolm clan moved to Florida . Florida in Fellowship Baptist Church was recommended to them as it was the only GARBC church in the area. It was four years later that they were asked to help start a GARBC church in the Lakeland area. Winter Haven
It was while FBC was meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist church that Dorothy started teaching the Primary Sunday School class. 34 years later she continues to teach the same class. Imagine how many hundreds of students have sat under her teaching.
But that’s not all she has done. Some of the other ministries she has served in include Choir, Orchestra, Special Music, Faith’s 100 Prayer Group, 5:30pm Prayer Group, VBS, Painting & Decorating, Risk Management Committee, Morning for Missions, FX Breakfast Club, as well as many more.
Most of you know that Dottie plays the violin. I asked her about how she started. Listen to what she said.
“Someday I may lose my singing voice, but I still want to be able to serve the Lord through music.” What a testimony! What a desire to serve the Lord!
As I interviewed Dottie, I heard her mention several times how she has changed over the years. Listen to her own words.
Can you hear the humility? The willingness to change? I heard it. As I sat in her home and listened, I heard her has changed her over the years.
Towards the end of our interview, I asked her, “What would you say to encourage others to serve the Lord faithfully?”
When I think of Dottie I’m reminded of a quote I used to hear a lot a
. Bob Jones Sr., used to remind the students at Bob Jones University , “The most important light in the house is not the chandelier in the parlor. It’s that little back hall light that keeps you from breaking your neck when you go into the bathroom in the middle of the night.” Bob Jones University
FBC has a few chandeliers. But, we have many more back hall lights. They are the ones serving in the background. They are the ones who shun the spotlight. Dorothy Malcolm is one of those individuals.
I called her the other day to talk to her about this award and to ask if I could come interview her. She tried (several times!) to talk me out of it. She does not seek recognition or applause. She only seeks to please the Lord.
Dottie, thank you for serving the Lord. Thank you for the example you have set for all of us to follow. It is our prayer that the Lord will bless
with many more Dorothy Malcolms. This morning, it is our joy and privilege to honor you for your faithful service at Faith Baptist Church . May the Lord bless you richly. Faith Baptist Church