A New Beginning in Dunedin

A New Beginning in Dunedin

Apr 26, 2017

By Pastor Michael Spearl

For several years, I had been convinced that Bradenton Seventh Day Baptist Church needed to find its own home. However, we were comfortable meeting at a local Presbyterian church where we had a good relationship. The problem was that the relationship was too good. The building was beautiful, but we had no community outreach and no identity. We were little more than an event item listed on the Presbyterian Sunday morning bulletin. Some of us were praying about the situation. Our prayers were earnest prayers, but they weren’t “active” prayers. They were spectator prayers. If you want your prayers to be answered, then you need to give God something to work with. You need to ask and you need to seek and knock (Matthew 7:7).

On October 12, one of our members, Perry Cain, a retired SDB pastor, was in the hospital for the 30th time in five years. He too had been praying; he prayed for healing and he prayed that God would use us in Bradenton as a presence in a community. Perry’s condition varied from difficult to critical. He was basically confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk more than fifty feet without experiencing total exhaustion; he was never without an oxygen generator. This trip to the hospital was due to chest pains. His heart, although apparently healthy, was pumping extra hard because his lung capacity was far below normal.

During his uneasy, restless sleep the following day, he had a dream, a vision that laid out two

different possibilities for his future. The voice speaking to him said, “Recommit to serving God and you will no longer need a wheelchair or an oxygen tank. Choose not to recommit to serving God and your life will soon be over.”

When I saw him a couple of days later, I didn’t know what to think, at first. There he was, beaming with joy, no wheelchair, no oxygen generator. He was excited as he told me all about his experiences over the previous few days. I was a little skeptical at first — but before long I realized that Perry had been supernaturally lifted out of his wheelchair and away from his oxygen tank. And he could sing again, with power. This healing was authentic and it got my attention!

I knew that it was also a message for Bradenton SDB Church. It was a message telling us that it was time to step out in faith. We gave notice to the Presbyterian church terminating our rental agreement at the end of 2016. We put together a plan to worship in homes until we could find our own worship center in a community. So, we started looking for a fixer-upper. That’s the way I think — low cost — do whatever it takes to get our own worship facility. We found some places that I could have spent the next five years working on. Thank you, Lord — those deals fell through and you had something much better in mind.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t normally shout at us. The Holy Spirit speaks softly; we need to be listening. It was Friday, November 25, when Laura called me over to her computer to look at a church listed for sale in Dunedin. It had been listed for nine months. “Must be a dump,” I told myself. But all the pictures looked good — too good to be true. That’s when the Holy Spirit got my attention. I felt the Spirit’s tug. So, we dropped whatever we were doing and made our way to Dunedin to see for ourselves. The pictures were true to life. For some reason this church was still available. We made an offer on Sunday, under the asking price, and soon we had a contract signed.

At the closing, only five weeks later, there were hugs and tears. This church building had been well cared for and joy was obvious on the faces of the dear saints who were “turning over” their beloved worship center to us. They were overjoyed that a Bible-based ministry would continue at 630 Union Street, Dunedin, FL, 34698.

Our new beginning, under the Lord’s timing, included a new worship center and a new name. We are:

Union Station at Dunedin a Seventh Day Baptist Church

Our first worship service at Union Station was on January 21, 2017. Our dedication service is scheduled for April 1. Oh, by the way, Pastor Perry Cain is no longer retired. He has a new title: Minister of Music and Outreach. And this story gets even better. Union Station SDB Church has no mortgage. God is so good! We own this wonderful worship facility free and clear. That’s a story for another time.

Feeling blessed,

Pastor Michael Spearl

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