That morning we held our annual April Faith Day Praise Service of remembrance and worship. It included the baptism of three children, speeches, music, and a sacrificial offering. Dorothy Malcolm, a charter member, spoke on “What God has Done.” She rehearsed how God has taken the congregation through difficult as well as good times, including having one of our former pastors collapse in the pulpit and die a few days later. Pastor Osborne says that Faith’s past and “how God has brought us to this point is truly nothing short of amazing.”
|Becky & John Corbett|
John and Becky Corbett, who have been at the church 18 years, spoke on “What God is Doing.” John says: “The bedrock Biblical principle that has been preached from this pulpit is that the only reason we exist on this planet—as individuals, as families, and as a church body—is to bring glory to God. What we see today at FBC, true to its mission, is a place where Christian leaders are cultivated from a very young age.” He also says, “The greatest successes we’ve enjoyed as a church, and when we’ve been at our very best, has been when we’re focused beyond the walls of this building.”
|Pastor Nathan Osborne|
Pastor Osborne spoke on “What God May Do,” outlining his vision for the ministries Faith Baptist Church can have in Winter Haven: a Christian school, a seminary, continuance and growth of Faith Extreme, a high-rise for seniors, growth of Faith’s 100, and a Christian resource center/bookstore/coffeehouse.
|The “3 + 1” Quartet|
Music included a song by a quartet featuring Associate Pastor Jerry Smith (a “senior saint”) and three young men: Caleb and Jesse Padgett and Reagan Osborne. The choir and orchestra beautifully performed several numbers, and Associate Pastor Peter Brock led the congregation in responsive praise readings. Pastor Osborne says the congregation’s “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “To God Be the Glory” were “the exclamation point of praise.”
|Oakie Osborne delivering the keys|
Church members George Durham (pilot); Sarah Osborne, 16, (copilot); and Byron Worthington (jump master) were the flight crew. Kent Sawders held a flag to indicate where Oakie should land. Pastor Osborne gives some insight into the jump: “Byron helped George Durham remove the plane door before takeoff.” As jump master, Byron relayed information from George to Oakie, told Oakie when the plane was in the proper position, and told Oakie to go. Pastor also says, “If the jumper refuses to go, the jump master throws him out.” He also says that seeing “my son hitting the target from 5,000 feet up,” was one of the day’s highlights.
Afterward, the crowd moved toward the new building, where 30 women, part of a ministry to widows called Flamingos, cut the ribbon. Flamingos founder Georgia Stickney says: “Each one of them was honored to have this opportunity to praise the Lord for what He has done.” Georgia says there were two special highlights for her: to hear and see the Flamingos’ excitement as they participated and that two Flamingos, Johnie Osborne and Doris Tassell, were able to watch their grandson Oakie parachute onto the grounds. “This allowed them the opportunity to see his accurate and awesome precision in landing right on target. What a memory for them and all of us as a church family,” says Georgia. Pastor Osborne says that watching the Flamingos was a highlight for him, too, specifically, their “joy at knowing God still uses them.” The Flamingos participation was a reminder that “we can serve with enthusiasm at any age and in any stage of life,” says Pastor.
Attendees then went into the gym for a meal. Jared Malcolm, who led 30 volunteers to prepare and serve the food, says they served about 750 hamburgers. Jared says: “I grew up in this church. It was exciting to see an addition to the campus and to be a part of that addition.” Jared spent 15 hours at church that Sunday but says it was worth it “to see what God did and how smoothly the food was served, how everybody enjoyed it, and how God was blessed.” This was also a highlight for Pastor Osborne, who says, “I truly enjoy watching people use their gifts and talents for God’s glory. Jared Malcolm, John and Florence Gerharz, and all the college kids serving food and helping people find seats and doing that with joy is incredible.”
|The Voices of Faith|
As the meal concluded, the dedication ceremony began. The Voices of Faith, a choir composed of teens and young adults, sang, “My God Is a Mountain Mover.” This, too, was a highlight for Pastor Osborne. He enjoyed “Pastor Jerry and Voices of Faith singing their hearts out for a mountain-moving God.”
Pastor Osborne; Bryan Hunter, deacon and building committee member; James Berry, chairman of the building committee; and James Barfield glorified God and shared their appreciation for the men and women who worked on the project. After rehearsing what God had done, James Berry said, “I can’t wait to see the souls that get saved out of this building.”
|Bryan Hunter & David Norris|
As part of the ceremony, James Barfield and Bryan Hunter presented plaques to David Norris Engineering and Rodda Construction. Pastor Osborne said that hearing Bryan Hunter, James Berry, and James Barfield “bringing glory to God by thanking all those involved with humility and gratefulness moved my heart.”
- Children—Vacation Bible School, music camp, Awana, and special programs
- Teenagers—youth group, FX, outreach ministries and conference
- Sports—men’s and women’s sports leagues; Bible studies and men’s and women’s workout and prayer times
- Outreach—Upwards Basketball
- Seniors—Young at Heart and walking/exercise
- Discipleship—classes throughout the week