Go After God In A Big Way: NHS Class Of 2009 Holds Baccalaureate Services

May 25, 2009

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The Northview High School Class of 2009 held their Baccalaureate service Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church of Bratt — the first time in the history of the school that Baccalaureate has not been held at the school.

nhs-baccalaureate69.jpgThe class motto sums up the story of the students’ struggle to hold a  Baccalaureate service: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

The school was not able able to organize a Baccalaureate service due to a new Escambia School Board policy preventing the school from promoting any religious ceremony. That policy was implemented after a federal judge issued an order against any policy or practice where school district employees promote or take part in prayer or religious services organized by the Santa Rosa County School District.

The Baccalaureate service was organized by the Northview senior class, led by class President Luke Killam.

“I am glad that we could gather to praise God,” Killam said after the service.

“I was proud of our class organizing the service,” senior class Vice President Briana Halteman said. “A lot of the community got involved and helped us stand up for what we believed in.”

“You can’t keep God out of schools,” Jason Oxodine, youth minister at the First Assembly of God in Atmore, told the graduates. “You went against the grain..and stood up for God.”

Oxodine said the school board and court decisions concerning religion in schools have made it hard for school personnel to function as leaders in the community “when they know that what you need most in your life is Jesus Christ.”

“Go after God in a big way,” the youth pastor urged the 42 students that took part in the service.

“Everlasting God”, “Glorious One”, and “My Saviour, My God” were among the songs performed by the Senior Ensemble at Sunday morning’s service.

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, Northview Principal Gayle Weaver and other school personnel were at the service but did not speak during the service.

For a NorthEscambia.com photo gallery from the service, click here.

Pictured above and below: Scenes from the  Northview High School Baccalaureate Service Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Bratt. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

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Faithful Gather For National Day Of Prayer Service

May 8, 2009

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The faithful from across the area gathered late Thursday afternoon from a National Day of Prayer Service.

The prayer service in front of the Atmore City Hall included speakers from several churches and denominations gathered together to pray for God’s blessings and guidance in our communities.

For a photo gallery from the prayer service, click here.

The service included

  • Welcome & Opening Prayer—Rev. Mike McMorris, Robinsonville Baptist Church
  • National Anthem—Rev. Willie Hawthorne, Greater Mt. Triumph Baptist Church
  • Pledge of Allegiance & raising of flag—National Guard members
  • Reading of Proclamation—Councilman John Garrard
  • Invocation—Dr. Hattie Bishop, Deliverance Ministry
  • Amazing Grace—Rev. Willie Hawthorne
  • Brief History of NDP—Sharon Keesler
  • Prayers for Government & Influence
  • Government—Brandon Smith, Escambia County Commissioner
  • Military—Rev. Jim Reece, First United Methodist Church
  • Media—Ryan Carter, Atmore News
  • Education—Dr. Humprey Shuford, Zion Star AME Zion Church
  • Business—Joe Brantley, Brantley Tires
  • Church—Haskell Dunn, First Baptist Church
  • Families—Rev. Diane Everette, McRae St. Methodist & Bethel Methodist Churches
  • Prayer for our Nation—Read in unison
  • Singing God Bless America led by Lana Langford
  • Thank You—Nancy Helton
  • Closing Prayer—Rev. Jason Oxendine, Atmore First Assembly of God

Pictured above: The National Day of Prayer Service held in Atmore Thursday. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Ride For The Son

April 19, 2009

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It took a few months but the Escambia county chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association is well on its way to becoming a fully recognized chapter. The group includes members from around South Alabama as well as North Escambia.

The group recently held their officer elections and are in the process of selecting a chapter name. “We don’t just select a name that sounds cool,” said President Doug Chandler. “We have been praying about this because our name will reflect what our ministry is all about. Once we select a name we have to submit it with a explanation of its meaning to national for approval”.

In the mean time the local chapter is working with chapters all over the U.S. on C.M.A.’s only fundraiser of the year called Run For The Son. “Run For The Son is a nationwide effort to raise money that reaches out to the world…not just the motorcycle community,” explained Chandler. Sixty percent of the money raised goes toward worldwide missions and 40 percent goes toward motorcycle ministry.

“C.M.A. buys dirt bikes for missionaries who work in remote, mountainous areas. Without this form of transportation it would be almost impossible for them to reach some of the villages. It is amazing to hear about the number of churches that have been planted because of motorcycles donated by C.M.A. to missionaries.”

Another outreach is the Jesus film. C.M.A. has it translated in to various languages then sends it with a projector, sound system and screen to missionaries. “I saw a video of a village watch the Jesus film for the first time. This wasn’t just the first time they had seen the film, this was the first time they had ever heard the Word of God. Now they were able to see it and hear it in their own language. It brought me to tears to see literally hundreds of kids crying and screaming as they watched Jesus being beaten by the Roman soldiers. Then when Jesus came forth from the tomb they cheered and danced. I then watched in amazement as a whole village came forward to give their life to Christ. All because people donated a few dollars here and there and some bikers went on a ride. It just blows me away.”

C.M.A. also supports organizations that smuggle Bibles into areas where Bibles are banned.

“Yes, we minister to the motorcycle community but through Run For The Son we can do so much more. Someone can donate five dollars toward my ride and who knows…they may save the soul of someone in a village far, far away.”

On May 2nd C.M.A. chapters all across the U.S. will mount their bikes and ride for Run For The Son. The Escambia County chapter will be joining several other chapters on a ride to Birmingham.

If you would like to make a donation to the ride contact one of the chapter members or Doug Chandler at (251) 294-0386. All donations are tax deductible. “Who knows your dollar may be the dollar that brings someone to Christ.”

Pictured: Escambia County C.M.A. Newly elected officers: Back (L-R): Jeff Price, road captain; Doug Chandler, president; Sean Callaway, vice president; Frank Marquis; chaplain; Dylan Marquis, photographer. Front( L-R): Tyler Chandler,webmaster; Millisa Callaway, treasurer; Julie Chandler, secretary; Roger Vogel, administrator/newsletter editor. (Not pictured Fabiana Price-Run For The Sun Secretary) Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Area Sunrise Services Celebrate Resurrection

April 12, 2009

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Easter morning Sunrise Services were held at many locations in the North Escambia area Sunday morning.

Several Molino churches came together for a community Easter Morning Sunrise Service Sunday morning at Aldersgate Methodist Church, celebrating with music and a message.

Abundant Life Assembly of God held an Easter Sunrise Service at The Moorer Place on Lake Stone with a message and communion led by the church pastor.

In Flomaton, the Flomaton Ministerial Association held a Sunrise Service at the Little Escambia Baptist Church with several local churches in attendance.

In Atmore, a community Easter Service was held at the First Baptist Church of Atmore.

The Bible says:

Matthew 28:1-20

Resurrection Morning
1 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached [the tomb]. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. 4 The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men. 5

But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”

8 So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. 9 Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

The Soldiers Are Bribed to Lie
11 As they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money 13 and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been spread among Jewish people to this day.

The Great Commission
16 The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

Free Easter Advertising For Area Churches

April 5, 2009

NorthEscambia.com will provide free advertising for churches in North Escambia or North Santa Rosa counties in Florida, or Atmore or Flomaton in Alabama. If your church is having a special  Good Friday and/or Easter service, let us know and we will let thousands of readers across the area know.

We will list the services on our Events page free of charge. Please try to keep your announcement for our events page to 100 words or less. Please send your event listing as far in advance of your service(s) as possible.

We will also provide free display advertising for churches on NorthEscambia.com on a space available basis.

Send your announcement to news@northescambia.com or click here for our contact page.

All advertising and announcements subject to our editorial standards.

Hundreds Gather To Pray For Local Schools

March 15, 2009

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Hundreds of people gathered at Jay High School Saturday afternoon to pray for schools across the area.

jayprayerservicefront.jpgThe prayer service came about two months after a federal judge issued an order against any prayer or promotion of religion in Santa Rosa County Schools. Saturday’s gathering was not impacted by the judge’s order since it was not a school sanctioned event.

“We are not here for any political reasons,” Pastor William Rushing from Jay First Baptist Church told the crowd. “We are here to pray for our schools.”

After a brief assembly to begin, the faithful gathered in different locations around the school to pray. In the middle of the football field, at doorways into buildings, under walkways — they stood together and raised area schools and students in prayer as a light rain periodically fell.

jayprayerservice22.jpgTwo shofars — the Hebrew word for horns — were blown sevens time during the event to change the prayer focus. On the first trumpet blast, people prayed for wisdom for the school board that they might make the right decisions. The second trumpet blast signified a time to pray for teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff.

The third trumpet blast called for prayer for the parents and their service as volunteers to the teachers and activities at school such as PTO, PTA and Parent’s Support Groups. The fourth trumpet began a time of prayer for protection and safety for students. The next trumpet sounding was for prayer for a spirit of excellence in the classroom and athletic events.

The sixth trumpet played for a time of prayer for students to willingly and boldly share the truth of Jesus Christ with their classmates. The final trumpet blast called for conclusion to the event. The hundreds gathered around the school shouted praises and thanksgiving to recognize God’s work in the past and expectations for the future.

jayprayerservice11.jpgThe event was dubbed “Sounding the Trumpet, A Call To Prayer” based upon Biblical scripture from Joel 2:1-18 where the prophet Joel uses the sounding of a shofar as a call to the people of Jerusalem to pray.

Over dozen area churches sponsored the event, including Berrydale Baptist, Brownsdale Baptist,  Cobbtown Christian, Cobbtown Holiness, Jay First Baptist, Jay Pentacostal, Jay United Methodist, Mt. Carmel United Methodist, Pine Level Baptist and Poplar Dell Baptist Church.

For a complete photo gallery from the service, click here.

This article is part of our new “Hometown People” series, spotlighting people and places from North Escambia, Atmore, Flomaton, Jay and surrounding areas. If you know someone that you would like to see featured on our “Hometown People” series, email news@northescambia.com

Pictured above: Scenes from the prayer service at Jay High School. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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Bratt Church Donates Bears To Atmore Police

February 26, 2009

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brattfirstbears13.jpgRomeo’s little bear Sam will provide a little bit of joy for a child that might have experienced the worst day of their life.

Sam  is one of 10 Build-A-Bear stuffed animals presented to the Atmore Police Department Wednesday morning by the Senior Adults at the First Baptist Church of Bratt. Sam was the creation of Bratt member Romeo Coleman.

The First Baptist Church of Bratt Senior Adults donated the stuffed animals to Atmore Police Chief Jason Dean. Dean said the bears will be given to children that are experiencing a crisis such as a violent event or a house fire.

“A lot of times it will give them something they can hold on to and hug,” Dean said. “That can make them feel better where there is something bad going on.”

Each stuffed animal’s box contains the phone number for Bratt Pastor Gary Wieborg. That way, church member Marcella Wilson said, a family in need has an easy way to contact a pastor to help them in their time of need.

“A lot of people in the department have a tender heart for the kids,” Dean said. “These bears are a very good thing for the kids.”

The Bratt Senior Adults have plans to purchase more bears to be presented to the Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department.

Click here for more photos.

Pictured top: The Senior Adults from the First Baptist Church of Bratt presented Build-A-Bear stuffed animals to the Atmore Police Department Wednesday morning. Pictured are (L-R) Barbara Posey, Robery Bartley, Nina Bartley, Marcella Wilson, Atmore Police Chief Jason Dean, Romeo Coleman, Winnie Hollingsworth and Pastor Gary Wieborg. Pictured inset: Romeo Coleman and his bear Sam. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Classes In Molino

January 11, 2009

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Christian financial advisor Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is coming to Molino.

The 13 lesson program at Victory Assembly of God will change the way you think about personal finance, according to Ramsey’s web site. The program teaches about how to save money, live on a budget, communicate about money, eliminate debt, find bargains, and experience the joy of giving. Over 650,000 families have taken the course, which features a one hour video sesson each week from Ramsey.

The course also includes a lifetime membership in the Financial Peace University along with class materials. The lifetime membership allows holder to attend a class anytime, anywhere at no additional charge.

Classes being on January 20 at 6:30 an continue for 13 weeks every Tuesday evening. For more information, contact the church at 587-2295 or visit victorycan.org.

Ramsey is also a popular radio talk show host, dealing out his own personal credit-cards-are-bad style of Christian financial advice. The show can be heard locally weekdays on WNSI 105.9 FM. It is also available on XM satellite radio channel 165 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, and on Sirius satellite radio from 8 to 11 pm on channel 161.

Molino Youth Leader A Winner In Radio Station’s Toby Mac Contest

December 7, 2008

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A youth leader from Victory Assembly of God in Molino was one of a dozen winners of tickets and “meet and greet” passes for a Toby Mac concert in Mobile Sunday night.

Youth Pastor Jenny Miller and her husband Sean Miller won two tickets and the “meet and greet” passes from Power 88 radio in Mobile. They were nominated by Victory youth member Kayla Miles.

Sunday night’s concert featured contemporary Christian artists Toby Mac,  Relient K and Family Force 5 at the Mobile Civic Center.

A portion of the email that Kayla wrote to Power 88 nominating Jenny Miller for the tickets is below.

Hi my name is Kayla Miles and I would like to nominate my Youth Pastor for
the contest.

Her name is Jenny Miller and her husband Sean Miller they have been married
for a year and to me they are like another set of parents. I can tell them
anything and they will listen, not turn their backs.

They came about a year and a half ago around my birthday I was very excited
when we got new youth pastors because some awkward things had been going on
in our church.

We attend Victory Assembly of God in Molino, Florida. The youth group name
is Impact Student Ministries.

Pictured above: Sean (L) and Jenny Miller from Victory Assembly of God in Molino. 

Plans Underway For 35 Acre Christian Retreat In Century

November 20, 2008

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Plans are underway for a 35 acres Christian retreat in Century that could eventually include a worship and prayer center.

Paul Davidson of Cantonment has purchased 35 acres at the end of McCall Road for the retreat they plan to call Moorer Place in memory of Paul’s late grandfather.

“God put this on our hearts at the first of the year,” Paul Davidson said. “He has really put Century on our hearts through prayer.”

The property will be named Moorer Place in honor of Davidson’s grandfather, the late Paul Nelson Moorer of Forest Home, Alabama. Davidson purchased the property with inheritance money from Moorer. It was purchased from current owner Carolyn Thompson, but it is actually the homeplace that once belong to Century Mayor Freddie McCall’s grandfather. “It’s a generation to generation thing,” Davidson said.

The property currently has only a small house and a barn. Those will be ready after the first of the year as a “place where people can come and relax and enjoy Christian fellowship,” he said. The center is not planned as a church, but as an a place to “strengthen other churches”.

“We will see what God has in store for it,” Davidson said, adding that there is no set timetable for the construction of the worship and prayer center.

Pictured above: The outlined property above will become Moorer Place.  Lake Stone is seen at the left.

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