Latest Articles by CAROLYN NICHOLS
Aug 17, 2014
WINTER PARK (FBW)—John Hemphill, a layman at First Baptist Church in Winter Park, went on his first mission trip 31 years ago, and he has traveled dozens of times across the Western Hemisphere to build churches and to encourage fellow believers. He also is passing on a love of missions to his son and grandson.
Hemphill began traveling with construction mission teams from his church when he was working as a senior accountant with Sprint. He retired in 1997 when the company moved to Kansas City, but worked another 12 years with MFI, a company assuring quality control of pharmaceuticals.
Aug 16, 2014
HIGH SPRINGS (FBW)—Only two weeks after his surgery to donate a kidney on May 19, Pastor Derek Lambert and his wife, Nichole, gave their testimonies in the evening service of his church, First Baptist Church in High Springs. On June 1, the couple sat on the stage as they talked about their journey of organ donation and his recovery after surgery.
Aug 11, 2014
SANTA ROSA BEACH (FBW)—Buddy Mullins, minister of music at Chapel at Crosspoint in Santa Rosa Beach, was recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as a former member of the Gaither Vocal Band.
Mullins sang lead vocals with the Gaither Vocal Band for two years beginning in 1993 as part of the quartet with Bill Gaither, Mark Lowry and Terry Franklin, who was replaced by Jonathan Pierce. Mullins called the ever-changing ensemble “a fraternity of men who love each other.”
Aug 8, 2014
Scores of Florida Baptist churches are led by pastors who may be old enough to collect Social Security but are far from retirement. They balance the realities of growing older with the demands of growing congregations. Among those pastors are Ken Harrison, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Ponce de Leon, and Stan Hannan, pastor of First Baptist Church in Belleview.
Aug 3, 2014
BONIFAY (FBW)—A new ministry of First Baptist Church in Bonifay will soon offer hope of recovery to men struggling with addictions. Plans for the F.A.R.M. (Faith-based Addiction Regeneration Ministry) are taking shape in “an unbelievable series of events,” according to Pastor Shelley Chandler.
Chandler said requests for help with addiction problems “began coming across my desk” 11 years ago, soon after arriving in Bonifay. Three years ago, men of the church began praying about a ministry to addicts. They met every Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., not missing more than five Tuesday mornings in three years, the pastor said.
Aug 1, 2014
GRACEVILLE (FBW)—The Baptist College of Florida is preparing for the rest of the 21st century. Its motto remains the same—“Changing the World through the Unchanging Word”—but BCF’s campus is changing at an accelerated pace.
BCF trustees endorsed the $20 million “20/20 Vision Program,” a comprehensive campus renovation, barely three months ago, and changes are already evident. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen said the program title is a nod to the target year of completion and to a “perfect vision of a new campus.”
Jul 20, 2014
WALDO (FBW)—First Baptist Church in Waldo is concentrating on the future while “keeping our historical perspective alive,” according to Pastor James Dubois. The 130-year-old church shares an 1884 birth year with the Florida Baptist Witness.
Robert and Fannie Campbell of Waldo donated land for a church in May 1883, and the church organized the next year. Their gift was enhanced when an adjacent owner gave permission to build on part of her land. The first building was constructed of wood in 1885 and included a sanctuary, five Sunday School rooms, a small office and a utility room. Although the sanctuary included a baptistry, most new believers chose to be baptized in local lakes. Bathroom facilities were behind the building.
Jul 2, 2014
Zachary Jones, Florida’s 2014 Speakers’ Tournament winner, received second-place honors at the National Bible Drill and Speakers’ Invitational Tournament June 20. Participants from 12 state conventions showcased their speaking and Bible skills at First Baptist Church in Helen, Ga.
Jun 17, 2014
The histories of the Owens Community in DeSoto County and Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church are tightly intertwined, according to Church Historian Michelle Montgomery. First settlers were among the 19 charter members, and the church remains a vital part of its rural community.
Owens Community, three miles southwest of Arcadia, was named for Owen Huggins Dishong, DeSoto County’s first sheriff and one of Mt. Ephraim’s charter members. He gave three acres of land for the construction of the church and the cemetery, where he is now buried.
Jun 5, 2014
For dozens of Florida Baptist churches, reaching out to their neighborhoods includes finding ways to minister in local mobile-home parks. The avenues of ministry are as varied as those who call the parks home. These are the stories of three churches’ experiences in ministering to park residents.