The newspaper, The Milton-Freewater Valley Herald, inaccurately recorded the First Christian Church’s pastor’s sermon - “Our God Resigns!” Of course, it should have read, “Our God Reigns!” Thankfully, our King of Kings reigns at First Baptist Church of Naples. May He continue to rain His blessings on us.
Janet and I are so grateful for your outpouring of love as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary here. When the Lord called us in the winter of 1992, we were hungry to see a church under Christ’s Lordship, adjusting to His activity and following His direction. In the secret ballot vote to call me, the vast majority of the church affirmed my Covenant Commitment. We have sought to follow our Mission Statement - “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known in Southwest Florida and Beyond.” We are so grateful for the Pastor Search Committee, chaired by Mr. Buddy Smith and with good people such as Dottie Scofield, that believed in us and trusted Jesus.
We praise God for the many whose lives have been saved, baptized, and brought into Bible and Life Groups, Men’s and Women’s ministries and a host of other biblical discipling activities. God gets all the glory for the increase of the harvest. Week after week we have encountered God in times of musical worship and sensed His precious presence. Thank you for giving financially to allow us to minister, relocate and build, and to be extraordinarily generous towards missions. Thank you for praying for us in many ways and times. Only eternity will tell how important it was for you to be like Aaron and Hur, who held up Moses and the rod of God against Amalek.
We have watched God work over these years to expand ministries as individuals have been called out and sent forth by the Holy Spirit. We have desired to reach people with the gospel, teach the inerrant Word of God, disciple believers, show grace through healing ministries, and model the Father’s love in His Family of Faith. Our children and now grandchildren have been blessed to be raised in a happy church that supports them and their parents. In one way or another, our kids have been blessed and trained at First Baptist Academy, in Bible and Life Groups, AWANA, and Student Ministry.
I am so grateful that my friends, Dr. Tom Elliff and Dr. Jay Strack, are preaching this weekend in our services. They have known us since the early 1980’s and given counsel and encouragement at key times. Janet and I, Kristin and Eric, Allyson and Scott, and Evan thank God for you. Mary Grace, Abigail, Naomi, Noah, and Ruby Jane all love you in their own ways.
To quote pioneer missionary, Adoniram Judson: “The future is as bright as the unfailing promises of the never failing God.” He reigns!