2140 Crystal Beach Road, Winter Haven, FL 33880

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$700 in Prizes Awarded at Sacred Music Competition!


On Saturday morning, October 8th, the Fine Arts Academy at Faith Baptist Church hosted its 3rd annual Sacred Music Competition.  Competition was fierce as 24 students competed across three age based divisions.  In the end, nine students walked away with prizes totaling $700.

Started in 2014, the Sacred Music Competition exists to promote excellence in sacred music.  The competition is really quite simple.  Students play one piece of music.  It does not have to be memorized.  There is no fee to participate.  The only rules are that it must be an arrangement of a sacred song and they must provide an original copy of the score.  The intention is for the students to play something they could easily play at their home church.  Three judges assign a score to each student.  The students with the top scores win cash prizes.

Competition director Stephen Simpson remarked,

“For what amounts to a small amount of money, we now have 24 young people armed with a piece of music ready to be used in their local church.  It truly is money well spent.”

By God’s grace, over the past three years, this small competition has awarded $2,100 in prizes.  It truly is amazing to see what God has done.  Would you pray with us for this competition?  We would love to see it expand beyond being a ‘piano-only’ competition.  Our long-term vision is to have multiple competitions for Piano, Voice, and other Instruments.  Pray that God would direct us and provide so that we could make this happen.

To God be the Glory for all that He is doing through the Fine Arts Academy at Faith Baptist Church.

Marriage: Landscaping or Architecture

Many people think that marriage is like planting a tree.  You spend a lot of time picking out just the right one at the tree farm. You inspect it thoroughly. You pick one that is appealing to you, one that is just the right size, the type of tree you can grow old with & will fit in with your foreseeable landscaping plans. Then, after buying some expensive potting soil and some fertilizer …you plant it! And voila! Having done your due diligence, you water it a few times… and expect the tree just to take off on its own. Your work is done.

But Marriage is nothing like planting a tree. In fact, it’s far more like building a great brick house. It has to be put it together brick by brick throughout all the seasons of life. It requires you to keep adding bricks even if you are tired, or mad, or busy. You have to invest in good tools and solid bricks and taller ladders.  And if ever you stop, at any point along the way, even if you get 80% of the way done… that house doesn’t finish itself and will never function as it was Designed. In fact, when you stop building… the house will actually start to crumble. And when the storms pour in-and they will pour in… things get worse -fast.

So how do you build and keep a life-long loving marriage?

Become a marriage bricklayer instead of a marriage tree-planter.

A good marriage isn’t something you should plan to leave alone. You need to keep reading the Blueprint and stay in touch with The Architect. Marriage is something you have to plan on building…and keep building.
Come join us for the Marriage Retreat and put another brick or two into the house of marriage that you are building – together.

Couples Marriage Retreat 

November 10-12, 2016

Daytona Beach Resort

Married couples of all ages are invited to our annual Couples Retreat. Registration forms are at the Info Desk in the Foyer or online here.  Completed registration forms can be given to Sherry Barber along with $100 non-refundable deposit. Deposit is due October 9 and balance by October 30.

Marriage analogy written by Sherry Barber adapted from Gary Thomas ~ Sacred Marriage

October is Pastor Appreciation Month


October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Take some time this month to show our Pastors just how much you appreciate them. As I thought about this article, the words Georgia Stickney, Pastor’s Executive Assistant, wrote in her most recent Annual Report came to mind. Below is some of what she wrote about Pastor.

“God has done and is still doing great things here at Faith Baptist Church. Many have heard the saying that ‘everything rises and falls on leadership.’ We have seen God work great things in and through our church and the leadership of our Pastor and his wife, Jill, who are two great examples as we emulate the Christlikeness we see in their lives and family. Truly, we are blessed! Their hearts beat as one in service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thank God for them.

The Pastor has a very busy schedule; however, he is never too busy to care for his flock. He is a man of God who loves people. He truly cares about each one of our church family, missionary family, and our community. He show this by the way he loves…unselfishly. This enablement comes from his close walk with the Lord in study of His Word, in communion with Him in prayer, and by staying faithful in what God has called him to do.”

God has also blessed us with Pastor Smith, Pastor Brock and Pastor Austin, each with their own unique gifts and abilities, each with hearts that care for people and their souls.

Take a moment to show our Pastors just how much you appreciate them. Send a card, give a gift, or share a word of encouragement. Thank the Lord for the blessings He has given Faith Baptist Church in each of our pastors.

A great way to show Pastor Osborne how much you appreciate him is to contribute to “Pastor’s Gift”. We are planning a surprise celebration for our Pastor during and following the 6pm Evening Service on Sunday, October 23. We will honor Pastor’s 55th birthday (his birthday is October 22, 1961) and the 30th anniversary of his first call to be a minister. We will be presenting him a very special gift – a trip to Japan to meet his first grandchild! You can make any checks payable to Faith Baptist Church and attach a note that says “Pastor’s Gift”, or you can use your giving envelope and just write “Pastor’s Gift” on the envelope.

If you have any questions please call James Barfield at (863) 412-2038, and please remember – this is a surprise!

Have a great weekend!


Reminder: There is no 8am Early Worship Service this Sunday, October 2. We will observe the ordinances of baptism and communion during the 10:30am Service. To watch a video of Pastor sharing what will be taking place Sunday, visit facebook.com/faithbaptistwh.

FBC to Host 3rd Annual Free Piano Competition with Cash Prizes!

In 2014, a long-time dream finally became a reality.  I had dreamed of a piano competition for students of all ages that promoted excellence in sacred music while give out a prize (Cash!!) that truly appealed to students.  I am excited to tell you that on Saturday, October 8th, the Fine Arts Academy at FBC will host our 3rd Sacred Music Competition.

Our goal is very simple.  We want to promote excellence in sacred music.  Many organizations do a fantastic job of promoting excellence in non-sacred music.  We want to do something different.  We want to focus on music that is explicitly sacred.  Our competition is also very simple.  Students will play one piece of sacred music.  Winners will be chosen by a panel of three judges.  These winners will receive a cash prize.  You can read the full description about our competition and register on our webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much does it cost to enter this competition?  – Nothing, Zero, Nada, Zilch – It is completely FREE!
  2. Can I play anything I want?  There are two stipulations.  It must be sacred and it must be published.  In other words, it cannot be a sacred arrangement that you have made up on your own.  There needs to be published music that the judges can follow while you play.
  3. What does “memorization is strongly suggested” mean?  Well, it means that we strongly suggest that you memorize your music 🙂  But, it also means that memorization is not required.  We do not want memorization to be a barrier that prevents you from participating.  However, most of us will admit that we play the piano much better when our music is memorized.
  4. Who can compete in this competition?  Anyone who is 18 years old or younger on October 8th is eligible to compete.  We will be dividing all of the students up into three divisions:  Elementary (ages 9 and under), Junior (10-14), & Senior (15-18).  There are cash prizes available for each division.
  5. How much can I win?  We have a total of $700 available in cash prizes!  You can see a breakdown of cash prizes by division on our competition website.
  6. Do I have to play the piano?  We would love to encourage sacred music on all instruments.  However, we have chosen to focus our competition on piano music.
  7. Do I have to attend Faith Baptist Church in order to compete?  No.  The competition is open to anyone 18 years old or younger.  In fact, we welcome students who may want to travel from Japan just for this competition 🙂

Will You Join Us for This Unique Event?

  • Register today – If you are 18 or under, register today!  Choose a sacred arrangement.  It can be one you already know or one that is completely brand new.  Get it ready.  Work on it with your teacher.  Then come on Saturday, October 8th, and play it to the best of your ability.
  • Spread the Word – Will you help us by spreading the word about this competition?  Share it on facebook.  Forward this email to your friends and family.  Talk about it.
  • Be a Sponsor – Consider making a financial contribution to FBC to make this competition possible.  Think of the impact we can have on our community through a simple piano competition and a few hundred dollars.

I hope that you will get excited about our upcoming Sacred Music Competition.  Last year’s competition was a huge success.  Twenty three students competed.  Nine prizes totaling $700 were awarded.  If you have any questions at all about our competition, please do not hesitate to contact us.



FAA Prepares for 8th Year of Private Music Lessons

Fine Arts Academy

In the fall of 2009, FBC began its Fine Arts Academy.  Since that time, countless students have received private instruction on their instrument.  We have been blessed to teach students of all ages.  Some have come for just one lesson.  Others have remained for years.  Through it all, God has blessed as we have sought to provide God-honoring excellent instruction.

Monday, marks the beginning of our 8th year of teaching.  It is amazing to see how God has blessed this ministry.  This past year saw us host our second Sacred Music Competition which we hope to continue again this year.  I am looking forward to seeing what God will continue to do with this ministry.

Why do we do this?

Why has FBC taken on this ministry?  Why do we not simply refer these interested students to the local music store?  Historically, churches were always centers of musical training.  Nowadays, that is seldom true.  Let me share 3 reasons why FBC has taken the unique step of establishing a Fine Arts Academy (FAA).

  1. Identification – One reason we began our FAA is to help us identify those with musical abilities.  Our FAA has helped us identify individuals with the ability to play piano during our services, sing in our choir, and play in our orchestra.  Additionally, our FAA helps us identify younger students with the potential to one day serve in our music ministries.  Identifying these individuals helps us provide opportunities for them to serve.  It is very simple.  If we do not know who has musical abilities, then we cannot help them use those musical abilities.
  2. Inspiration – A second reason for our FAA is to inspire.  We want to encourage and motivate individuals to use their musical abilities in their local church.  One of our primary goals is to develop church musicians.  We want to train these individuals to serve effectively in their local church.
  3. Instruction – A third reason for our FAA is very simple – instruction.  Church musicians need quality instruction.  Too often, especially in our independent Baptist circles, we have many willing musicians who have not received any quality training.  A willing heart is a wonderful start.  But, ideally it will be paired with exceptional musicianship.  We aim to provide excellent instruction.  Private weekly instruction when paired with consistent and quality practice will lead to the development of a fine musician.

In short,

Our FAA seeks to produce quality musicians who love the Lord and have a strong desire to use their musical talents in their local church.

Stop Hiding

Sadly, many fine musicians sit anonymously in the pew of their local church.  Their church is simply unaware of their hidden musical talent.  What greater joy can there be than using your talents for the glory of God?  If this is you, stop hiding your talents!  Use them.  Honor God with the talent he has given you.  I know it requires a time commitment.  I know it may be hard.  But, I also know that it will be rewarding to you and it will honor God.


Let me close with this.  I stay active with many piano accompanying opportunities in our community.  These are often very rewarding musically.  I enjoy the opportunity to play quality music with other fine musicians.  But these opportunities are not rewarding spiritually.  They pale in comparison to the musical opportunities I have at church.  Church music is tremendously rewarding in a spiritual sense.  The difference is the audience.  Church music is presented to bring honor and glory to Almighty God.  That is vastly different than playing a Mozart Violin Concerto before a judge.

Hopefully, all of this makes sense.  You can learn more about our Fine Arts Academy on our website.  You can also simply contact me if you have any questions.


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Want to Introduce Your Child to Basketball?

Make-up Registration & Evaluation – Monday, August 22 between 5-7pm in the FLC Gym. 

Upward Basketball registration and evaluations are taking place next week. Register children K4 through 8th grade between 5-7pm Monday, August 15; Tuesday, August 16 or Thursday, August 18. The cost is $75 per child and shorts are optional at a cost of $15.

Registering your child or grandchild for Upward Basketball is a great way to introduce them to the sport. The Upward Experience consists of one practice and one game per week. The unique substitution system that’s used ensures every young athlete plays. While it’s a great way to familiarize your child with basketball, there’s plenty to challenge the more seasoned athlete. A quality game day uniform is included in the registration fee. Your child will experience age appropriate character and skill development both on and off the court.

Practices begin the week of Monday, September 12. The first games will be Saturday, October 1 and the Awards Celebration will wrap up the season on Saturday, November 19.

Just stop by a registration and evaluation next Monday, Tuesday or Thursday between 5-7pm when it’s convenient for you and take care of registration, skill evaluation and uniform fitting. 

Have a great weekend!