Conference Banner Conference Banner Conference Banner

News

Church News

Winter Haven Clubs Hold Induction Ceremony

posted on November 21, 2015, under Church by

by Glessie Recass

Pictured from left: Earleen Recass, Winter Haven Cherubs Director; Lisa Gary, Volunteer Adventurer Ministries Coordinator; and some of the inductees and parents.

Pictured from left: Earleen Recass, Winter Haven Cherubs Director; Lisa Gary, Volunteer Adventurer Ministries Coordinator; and some of the inductees and parents.

On a special Sabbath in September, an induction ceremony for the Cherubs Adventurer Club and Warriors Pathfinder Club took place in the Winter Haven, Fla., Church. This ceremony united inductees into fellowship with Florida Conference Pathfinders as well as the worldwide Pathfinder organization.

Volunteer Adventurer Ministries Coordinator Lisa Gary and her husband, Brad, represented the Florida Conference Pathfinder organization. During the ceremony, inductees and their parents filled the front of the church as Lisa offered a prayer of dedication.

Coordinated by Cherubs Director Earleen Recass, the candlelight ceremony added to the solemnity and sense of commitment. After this special service, other parents wanted to get involved and talked with staff members about enrolling their children.

Leave a Comment

Pathfinders Compete In Bible Experience

posted on November 12, 2015, under Church by

by Myrlin Brooks

PBE-LogoIn 2015, twelve Florida Conference Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE) teams advanced to the Division level as part of a 128-team field competing in Keene, Tex. All 12 Florida teams scored a 1st-place finish: Altamonte Springs Knights, Bethesda Eagles French, Eliathah Envoys, Ft. Lauderdale Spanish Astros, Hialeah Springs Spanish, Lehigh Royal Knights, Maranatha Torchbearers, Miami Central Spanish Team A, Miami Central Spanish Team B, Miami Springs Truth Seekers, Plantation Messengers, and Westchester Spanish.

As a result of the intensive Bible study required for teams to excel, the words they read will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The unique methods used in helping Pathfinders become more intimate with their Savior is exceptional and fun. One coach voiced that studying the Bible with her children made her family grow closer.

Leave a Comment

South Orlando’s Intentional, Relational, and Evangelistic Ministry

posted on November 03, 2015, under Church by

by Dan Forbes

South Orlando Church Pastor Dan Forbes, left, interviews Tampa Police Senior Corporal Juan Santos who was chosen as the 2015 Officer of the Year during the annual program honoring first responders who are inducted into the church's Hall of Heroes. (Photo: Josie Santos)

South Orlando Church Pastor Dan Forbes, left, interviews Tampa Police Senior Corporal Juan Santos who was chosen as the 2015 Officer of the Year during the annual program honoring first responders who are inducted into the church’s Hall of Heroes. (Photo: Josie Santos)

In a time when first responders are often maligned, South Orlando Church chooses to recognize these individuals. Each year, the church sets aside a Sabbath to honor the police, firefighter, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel in the community. This day gives the church an opportunity to minister to the community in ways that are intentional, relational, and evangelistic in the truest sense.

The October 10 worship service took on a unique tone designed to be meaningful to the community’s first responders. They were incorporated into the service by calling for the offering, telling the children’s story, and offering prayer.

First responders were met with a round of applause as they were asked to come to the front of the church and be inducted into the church’s Hall of Heroes. Each year, a first responder is selected to be given a plaque as officer of the year. This year’s recipient, Senior Corporal Juan Santos, a 26-year veteran with Tampa Police Department, was also the guest speaker. He is also president of Adventist Motorcycle Ministry, and a large group of their members came to the service to show support for Juan as well as the church’s community outreach efforts.

Four officers and two Orange County Sheriff chaplains shared what it is like to serve the community and how much they need prayers from members as they go about their work each day. The officers candidly described some of the life-and-death situations they face as well as bad public relations due to stories in the press that make their work more dangerous. They shared heartfelt accounts of the struggles they face, not knowing if they will come home from work each day when they have family and loved ones to support.

The officers were given a gift bag containing a book, Bible, flashlight, and pin. They mingled with the members during the fellowship dinner that followed.

Among the many positive comments received was one from Peter Remy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, “Thank you so much for having this day for us. I don’t know of any church that is as faithful in having a day for us like your church. Any time you need me to do anything, I am here for you.”

Previous Officer of the Year Award Winners

Community Service Officer Roland Clee of the Violent Crime Initiatives Office prominently displays the award on his office wall at Orlando Police Department Headquarters. He is also a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force of Orange County along with South Orlando Pastor Dan Forbes. “The difference between your church and others is that your church is helping to meet community needs,” says Clee. “The police know that your church is actively involved in making our community a better community.”

Battalion Chief Victoria Quick of Fire Station #51 located near South Orlando Church was stunned to be singled out for such an award. The congregation continues to lift her fire fighters and Station #51 in prayer.

Leave a Comment

Fort Lauderdale Church Hosts Play

posted on October 31, 2015, under Church by

by Jeffrey Thompson

Nate Palmer, with the cast behind him, addressed the audience at the conclusion of the play. (Photo: Jeffrey Thompson)

Nate Palmer, with the cast behind him, addressed the audience at the conclusion of the play. (Photo: Jeffrey Thompson)

A near-capacity crowd gathered at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Church on July 25 to witness a powerful play, “At the End of Time.” This play, based on Matthew 24:9-14, dramatizes the effect of faith, love, and commitment to Jesus. The story line features Matthew and Alice, two teenagers persecuted for their beliefs in addition to noncompliance of a National Sunday Law.

The cast, comprised of 19 actors and four understudies, came from Plantation Church. The play incorporated live acting and filmed scenes on a wooden revolving stage. Volunteers from Brazilian Temple Church in Oakland Park joined producers and actors in stage construction.

Production of the filmed scenes took two days with a professional crew that included three nonAdventist volunteers. Use of the Texaco gas station in the film was donated by the owner who is of Jewish faith. The estimated donated cost for film production was $9,500. Friends, family, and producers donated other expenses for the play. Collin Williams was the technical director and Nate Palmer was the executive producer.

“This play kept every person in the audience on the edge of their seat,” said Jeffrey Thompson, pastor, Ft. Lauderdale Church. “Congratulations to our young people for sacrifice, sense of mission, and belief in prophecy.”

Leave a Comment

The Learning Tree Academy Serves Community

posted on October 30, 2015, under Church by

by Robert Broome

Energetic graduates of The Learning Tree Academy in Apopka perform at their baccalaureate program. (Photo: Robert Broome)

Energetic graduates of The Learning Tree Academy in Apopka perform at their baccalaureate program. (Photo: Robert Broome)

The Learning Tree Academy, an outreach ministry of Apopka, Fla., Church, offers the community a complete preschool curriculum for children ages two months to five years. On May 30, the school held its annual baccalaureate program.

Most of the 30 graduates’ parents are not Adventist Church members. These parents have entrusted their children to the caring staff who show their dedication to students by offering an interactive program inspired by God’s love for each young person. The morning message with testimonials from parents encouraged the young people to never quit.

The staff believe children need the healthy development of emotional, spiritual, physical, and cognitive skills according to biblical principles. The philosophy of The Learning Tree Academy follows Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Leave a Comment

Lighthouse Mission Group Reaches Community

posted on October 29, 2015, under Church by

by Martin Butler

Members of Lighthouse Mission Group and other churches ministered to families living in an area hotel, providing free haircuts, backpacks with school supplies, food, activities, and friendship. (Photo: Delwin Finch)

Members of Lighthouse Mission Group and other churches ministered to families living in an area hotel, providing free haircuts, backpacks with school supplies, food, activities, and friendship. (Photo: Delwin Finch)

With help from several surrounding churches and businesses, Lighthouse Mission Group members of Altamonte Springs spent Sabbath morning, August 22, uplifting Christ to the 300 families who live in the Remington Inn and Suites community.

The mission group, which meets Sabbath afternoons in a storefront a few minutes away, is sponsored by Florida Living Church, Apopka. According to group leaders, the goal is to meet people where they are, and let them know there is a church that cares and loves them. That motivation takes members to the streets on Sabbath mornings.

Free haircuts were part of the services provided by Lighthouse Mission Group. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Free haircuts were part of the services provided by Lighthouse Mission Group. (Photo: Martin Butler)

At their most recent event, Lighthouse lay pastor and head elder Gabriel Cardona stopped amidst a flurry of outreach activity to say, “We’re really excited to be out here. As you can see, we’re just trying to serve the community and, more importantly, we’re just trying to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Leave a Comment

Quilting Ministry Is Her Passion

posted on October 29, 2015, under Church, Member by

by Shereen Scheuneman

Centenarian Elda Mae Reichard participates in Forest Lake Church’s Prayers and Squares ministry by hand-sewing each quilt’s perimeter binding.

Centenarian Elda Mae Reichard participates in Forest Lake Church’s Prayers and Squares ministry by hand-sewing each quilt’s perimeter binding. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

Elda Mae Reichard, is a special 100-year-old member of Prayers & Squares Ministry at Forest Lake Church, Apopka. Quilting ministry is her hobby, her passion! At home, she carefully hand sews the perimeter bindings of each quilt top before bringing her finished products to exchange for new quilt tops in need of hand sewn bindings.

Elda Mae celebrated her birthday at the Prayers & Squares quarterly birthday dinner when she turned 100 years old in May. At that time, she indicated that her goal had been to make prayer quilts until she was 100 years old, but now she was going to have to set a new goal!

Each Prayers & Squares meeting begins with many shared praises and prayer requests during a spirit-filled, prayerful, and interactive worship. It is love and intercessory prayer that transforms each quilt into a comforter.

Suddenly, the room is alive with activity. Six quilters work with fabric pieces forming intricate patterns soon to be sewn into unique quilt tops. Seam pressing, machine sewing, hand stitching, and knotting are all being done by more than a dozen ladies. Every quilt must have 60 knotted ties, each representing a special prayer for the person who will ultimately receive it.

To date, the dedicated members of this ministry have prepared 3,556 quilts for those facing major life challenges in 49 states and 35 countries. Each quilt requires 30 hours of work which equals 106,680 devoted hours of prayerful labor since 2004 when the ministry was formed under the prayerful and capable guidance of Jo Ann Roth. Collectively, these prayer quilts have blessed many people, and those who lovingly prepared each quilt are equally blessed.

Elda Mae's granddaughter, Aiko Ramdin, says, "Grandma continues to get up most mornings to have devotional time in her office. This picture says more about her than anything I could say."

Elda Mae’s granddaughter, Aiko Ramdin, says, “Grandma continues to get up most mornings to have devotional time in her office. This picture says more about her than anything I could say.” (Photo: Aiko Ramdin)

Elda Mae Thompson was born May 7, 1915, near Bloomington, Nebraska, as the youngest of eight brothers and sisters. She was married to Paul Reichard who passed away two and one half years ago.

Elda Mae retired from her career as a medical technologist at Kettering Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. As early as 1963, she and Jo Ann Roth, founder of the Forest Lake chapter of Prayers & Squares, made prayer quilts from used clothing for the Sunshine House at Kettering.

At 80, when she and her husband no longer participated in mission trips, and she retired from serving in the Kindergarten division, Elda Mae got into quilting. “She loves sewing and feels it gives her life purpose,” says daughter Margaret Hess. After moving to Florida in 2010, she became a member of Prayers & Squares.

Leave a Comment

Beth-El Shalom Teen Follows Her Dream

posted on September 10, 2015, under Church by

by Jeff Zaremsky

Brittany Preble is baptized by Jeff Zaremsky. (Photo: Carolina Haase)

Brittany Preble is baptized by Jeff Zaremsky. (Photo: Carolina Haase)

Brittany Preble desires to be a physician specializing in natural remedies. Rabbi Jeff Zaremsky, who pastors the Beth-El Shalom congregations in New Port Richey and St. Petersburg, told Brittany about health ministries in the Adventist Church. She was surprised to learn that a group of people were doing what she dreamed of doing.

Brittany, 17, is on course with dual enrollment for an AA college degree and a high school diploma when she graduates in the spring of 2016. Her story is an amazing transformational miracle.

A small part of the most recent chapter in her life happened when Brittany’s family started attending services with the Beth-El Shalom congregation of New Port Richey. They wanted to get away from worldly, man-made holidays as they looked for something authentically biblical. Enjoying the services, they began participating regularly.

One Beth-El Shalom member gave the family a DVD set of the 31-sermon series Surviving and Thriving in These Last Days filmed at the sister St. Petersburg Beth-El Shalom congregation. Brittany and her family enjoy what they are learning and are happy for the changes made in their lives.

Leave a Comment

Apopka Church Honors Public Leaders

posted on September 08, 2015, under Church by

by Thomas and Robert Broome

Apopka, Fla., Church celebrated Friendship Day by honoring public leaders. Pictured from left: Associate Pastor Andrew Moreno, Police Chief Robert M. Manley, Police Captain David Cook, Fire Chief Lee Bronson, Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, and Senior Pastor Steve Jencks. (Photo: Robert Broome)

Apopka, Fla., Church celebrated Friendship Day by honoring public leaders. Pictured from left: Associate Pastor Andrew Moreno, Police Chief Robert M. Manley, Police Captain David Cook, Fire Chief Lee Bronson, Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, and Senior Pastor Steve Jencks. (Photo: Robert Broome)

Early this year, Apopka Church celebrated Friendship Day to honor Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, Police Chief Robert M. Manley, Police Captain David Cook, and Fire Chief Lee Bronson. These public servants represent more than 50 years of combined community service.

Senior Pastor Steve Jencks and Associate Pastor Andrew Moreno presented the leaders with plaques to commemorate their dedication and service to the people of Apopka. Jencks offered special thanks to men and women in public service throughout the Apopka Community, who are not always recognized but always appreciated.

Senior Pastor Steve Jencks (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Apopka Fire Chief Lee Bronson for his years of service to the community. (Photo: Robert Broome)

Senior Pastor Steve Jencks (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Apopka Fire Chief Lee Bronson for his years of service to the community. (Photo: Robert Broome)

Jencks presented the morning message, Fallen and Forgiven, to a full-capacity church. His sermon conveyed love for one another in spite of diversity and imperfections. This message affirmed the church motto, Living for Others, That Others May Live.

After the church service, everyone was invited to a fellowship dinner and a special evening program featuring gospel singer Charles Haugabrooks.

Leave a Comment

Fort Lauderdale Members Bring Season of Service to Bus Terminal

posted on September 05, 2015, under Church by

by Jeffrey Thompson

Seven-year-old Josiah Morris gives a bottle of water to a man at the Broward County’s Central Bus Terminal during Season of Service (SOS) in Action. (Photo: Jeffrey Thompson)

Seven-year-old Josiah Morris gives a bottle of water to a man at the Broward County’s Central Bus Terminal during Season of Service (SOS) in Action. (Photo: Jeffrey Thompson)

On Saturday, March 14, approximately 100 members of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Church gathered at Broward County’s Central Bus Terminal to distribute free bottles of water, coupled with religious tracts, to bus passengers. Parishioners, ranging from ages 7 to 75, were visible in red Season of Service (SOS) T-shirts as they mingled among the waiting crowd.

“Do I have to pay for this water?” asked one thirsty passenger. Another said, “I think this is a fantastic idea. I need to get my church to do something like this.”

The SOS initiative released members through prayer and service to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their communities.

Leave a Comment