You may remember a story we ran in our November 2016 print edition about Adam Wiggins, pastor of the Pen Creek campus of First Baptist Church in Orange Park.
Adam’s testimony is a compelling story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of rebellion, and the power of persistent prayer. He loves to share it, and if you’re interested in hearing how Adam left drugs, alcohol and prison behind to follow Jesus, you should definitely reach out to him.
It seems God has a new plan for Adam, and he called recently to tell me about it.
In August, Adam and his wife, Sabrina, are moving their family to New Orleans to plant a church.
It’s actually not a new plan, but an old one revisited.
Before Adam came on staff at FBC Orange Park, he was working with NAMB to plant a church in Toronto. When NAMB required him to do a one-year internship with a church that had Toronto connections, Adam got connected with David Tarkington, lead pastor of FBC Orange Park. But Adam soon found out his criminal record was going to keep him from leaving the country.
David could see that planting was a big part of Adam’s call, so he proposed that Adam join the staff at First Baptist Orange Park and be part of planting a new campus. And that’s exactly what he’s done for the past year.
But then Adam started to feel God stirring his heart toward planting again rather than being a campus pastor. As he and Sabrina began to pray about where God would have them go, they were initially drawn to New Orleans. But after a vision trip there they crossed the Big Easy off their list of possibilities. In fact, they reconsidered and rejected it multiple times. But God wouldn’t let them leave the thought of New Orleans behind completely.
Then one day Adam ran into Darren Sullivan, pastor of church multiplication and missions at Chets Creek Church in Jacksonville. Adam and Darren had met three years previously and hadn’t seen each other since so they spent a little time catching up. When Adam shared his desire to plant a church, possibly in the New Orleans area, he couldn’t believe Darren’s reaction.
“He told me Chets has been wanting to support a planter in that area,” Adam said.
With the support of his sending church in place, Adam and his family will be settling in Luling, a suburb of New Orleans, to plant a church called One Church.
Adam knows that New Orleans is predominantly Catholic and typically not receptive to those with a Baptist background. But he hopes to break down some barriers with the idea that in heaven there are no denominations, only believers.
For now, Adam is trying to get the word out about One Church to raise support—both logistical and financial. He hopes Florida Baptist churches will send mission teams out to provide additional boots on the ground as they aim toward a Fall 2018 launch.
If you’re interested in finding out more about One Church, or you’d like Adam to share his story with your congregation, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on Twitter @onechurchnola.
Nicole Kalil is the Jacksonville-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness, the official news source of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She can be reached by phone at 904.596.3169 or via email at nicole.kalil@goFBW.com