Thankful for Ten Years

Thankful for Ten Years

by Lauren Kinlocke-Philibert


On August 2, 2003 the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Seventh Day Baptist Church was launched. Under the guidance of our Lord and Savior, this launch began through the efforts of Pastor Andrew Samuels, four lay leaders, 26 charter members, and the prayers of many.

With great enthusiasm Sabbath School was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Sister Claudia Davis. Worship service followed with 47 congregants in attendance and Deacon Ewart Rose delivering the first of many sermons.

With the Lord on our side we became a member of the South Atlantic Association on November 6, 2003. Gladness continued to fill our hearts as we dedicated our church to the Lord on November 22, 2003 under the theme “Going Forward in Faith.” It signaled the beginning of many firsts.

Two weeks later, we welcomed through baptism our first three new members to our list of 26: Brother Andre Edwards, Sisters Gina Ford and Candy Knight.

Approximately six months after opening our church doors—January 24, 2004—our first formal business meeting was held. Reports were presented pertaining to the work being done by all ministries of our church. On August 22, 2004, we had our first calling of two sisters (Sister Evelyn Reid and Sister Cynthia Miller) to the diaconate, and in August 2005 we obtained membership in the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference.

In December 2005, our founding pastor, Andrew Samuels, stepped down to become interim pastor. This provided the opportunity for another to lead this great flock as we continued “Walking in the Light.” With only two years under our belt we formed a Pastoral Search Committee and continued full speed ahead. Despite the hiccups of relocating four times, loss of members due to relocation, death and economic decline, our church continued to grow—thanks be to God.

On November 4, 2009 Pastor Norman Fearon accepted the call to our church and was installed as the pastor of Fort Lauderdale Seventh Day Baptist on February 26, 2011.

Ten years later, August 2, 2013, found us with more than 60 members and an average of 75 congregants in Sabbath attendance. On August 31, 2013 we celebrated a vibrant 10 year anniversary service under the theme “Greater Things Are Yet to Come, Greater Things Are Still to Be Done.” It was held at our present worship location at 965-971 S.W 71st Ave, North Lauderdale, Florida.

The service was called to order by our very own Pastor Norman Fearon with approximately 200 in attendance. For the anniversary service, attendees enjoyed a video presentation of the church’s 10-year history and highlights of our ministries. Pastor Wray Winborne—attendant at our church dedication service in 2003—brought the message entitled “Hopes and Dreams.”

The youth of the church, ranging from 5 to 23 years old, emphasized not just in presence but in their voices the awesomeness of God as they sang “The God of This City,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Carry Your Candle.”

The choir and other musical groups under the guidance of Sis Thelma Maxwell shared the melodious renditions of “We Have Come This Far by Faith,” “I Never Lost My Praise,” “Didn’t I Walk on the Water” and “Lord, I Love You” as congregants watched and praised the Lord.

We give thanks to God for keeping us as a church for the last decade. He has done great things for us and greater things are yet to come. Praise His Holy Name!

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