Plans Underway For 35 Acre Christian Retreat In Century

November 20, 2008


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.

Poplar Dell Baptist Holds Fall Festival

November 9, 2008


The annual Fall Festival was held recently at Poplar Dell Baptist Church.

The event included a variety of fun and games, volleyball and plenty of food.

For a complete photo gallery from the Poplar Dell Baptist Church Fall Festival, click here.

Pictured above and below: Scenes from the annual Fall Festival at Poplar Dell Baptist Church. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.


First Baptist Church of Bratt Celebrates 100 Years

November 3, 2008


fbcbratt100_11.jpgThe First Baptist Church of Bratt celebrated its 100th anniversary recently.

About 350 members and visitors attended the anniversary celebration. The celebration included singing from the church’s Worship Choir, Senior Adult Choir (Golden Bratt Choir), FBC Bratt Quartet, Worship Ensemble and the Youth Band.

Between each singing group there were different presentations including a reading of the church history. There was special recognition of the Hanks family; Lindsey G. Hanks donated land and built first church building in 1908. There was also a video presentation, which included photos from Lindsey Hanks, and historical and modern day photos from around the church. A Florida Baptist Historical Society Award was also presented.

Rev. Lawson Jolly gave the Homecoming Message and lunch was served following the morning services.



Ride A Bike? Local Chapter of CMA Forming Soon

October 12, 2008

A local man is working to establish a local chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, a group that loves to ride and spread the gospel at the same time.

Doug Chandler of Atmore is currently a member of the CMA’s Baldwin County chapter, but he’s organized a meeting for a potential Ecambia County chapter of CMA at 6:30 p.m. on October 23 in the white building behind the Atmore First Methodist Church on Horner Street in Atmore.

Chandler said he expects several bikers from the Walnut Hill and Century areas to be interested in the Escambia County (AL) group, which plans to eventually find a meeting place in Flomaton.

“I wanted to find a way to use my love for motorcycles and riding for the Lord. After looking at various organizations and after much prayer I decided to join the Christian Motorcyclists Association. I was excited about the various ministry opportunities available through the world wide reach of CMA,” Chandler said. “There are many great Christians in our area who also love motorcycles. Starting a local chapter will provide an opportunity to fellowship, develop friendships and work in the community while sharing the Lord with others. If anyone loves the Lord and motorcycles they will be blessed with the CMA.”

For more information about the local chapter of CMA that is forming, email or call (251) 294-0386.

Back in March, ran a feature article about the Pensacola Chapter of CMA. That article is reprinted below.

Yes Lord, We’ll Ride With You; Riding For The Son

March 30, 2008


Sometimes in life, the courage to walk up to someone you don’t know and say those first words can be tough. Finding the courage to walk up to the stereotypical tough man biker and just start talking about salvation…well, that can be even tougher.

But it is a courage that disabled Vietnam vet Michael Largay has obtained, and it is a courage that has become his passion.

“Excuse me sir, but do you know about Jesus,” he asked when he first walked up to this reporter in Century Saturday. “I wondered if I could tell you a little bit about Him.” He was unaware at the time the he was speaking to a reporter.

cma15.jpgThat’s what Michael does. Everywhere he goes, even if it is in the middle of a rough biker gang. He has turned his Honda Goldwing into a tool for reaching the lost and pointing them toward the Golden Gates of Heaven.

“We ride for the Lord,” he said of the group he participates with, the Christian Motorcycle Association (the CMA).

The Bible says in Luke14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” That’s the motto of the bikers that ride with the group. They hit the highways and let other bikers know about the Lord. Anytime, anywhere. Even if it is at the Florida Welcome Center on I-10 waiting for bikers on their way to the notoriously wild Daytona Bike Week.

cma09.jpg“Just being on this bike opens doors,” Michael said of his Honda Goldwing, which was recently named the best in class at the Florida Goldwing Rally. “This is a missionary tool. Just being on this bike has a way of attracting other bikers to speak.”

“A lot of bikers are not the typical people that would go to a regular church on Sunday. They say ‘a church ain’t cool’, so they are not going to come to know the Lord that way. “But if you go up to them and say ‘hey, can I bless your bike’ that usually works. That opens the door. You can ask them before you start if there’s anything you can pray for in their lives.”

“Lord, bless this bike, and keep it and its rider safe on the highways,” he said his prayer usually beings. “Then you add ‘Lord, bless this man and his problems’. They come to realize that God is their God too, and He cares about them. And that they can come to know Him.”

“Bikers know when they see this patch that they can get anything they need, whether it be medical help, mechanical help, money or prayer,” he said pointing to his CMA patch that says “Riding for the Son”.

Another man walks over, admiring the Honda Goldwing.

“I wish I could get a bike like this,” he told Michael, “but my wife would never let me.”

“Do you know Jesus,” Michael asked the man.

“Yes sir, I do. We love Him, and we go to Ray’s Chapel,” the man said.

“Well, tell her that you could get a bike and do missionary work for the Lord. She might let you get one.”

cma20.jpgMichael’s friend and fellow CMA member David Davis (pictured left) both sing in the choir at East Brent Baptist Church in Pensacola. Davis said he never misses the opportunity to witness, especially to children.

“I like meeting other people, especially children, and telling them about Jesus,” David said.

“Yeah, he will practically chase a child down to give them a Bible, Michael said.

Michael never missed an opportunity to tell others about Jesus either. He recently joined a Honda Goldwing group in Pensacola. “That’s open more channels for me to tell others about Jesus, because I got to lead prayer for the group.”

“If just one person, just one, can come to know the Lord because of what I do, I will be a happy man,” he said. “It is not about the number of people you lead to Jesus. It is about talking and talking to people until the Lord leads you to that one person that needs to be saved.”

“It’s all about Him. It’s all about Jesus.”

For more photos of Michael and his Honda Goldwing, click here.

Pictured top of page: Michael Largay (center) talks with a Barney Fife lookalike and Billy R. Ward of Bogia in Century on Saturday. photos, click any photo on this page to enlarge.

Movie With A Message: Locals Fireproof Their Marriages

October 2, 2008

Critics are calling the movie “Fireproof” remarkable, and at least one local pastor is already using the film as a tool in his church, teaching couples to strengthen their marriages.

The action-packed inspirational movie “does have its commendable elements, including that rarest of creatures on the big (or small) screen: characters with a strong, conservative Christian faith who don’t sound crazy,” according a  New York Times review.

“For a Christian audience and non-Christians, it is absolutely a movie you should see,” Pastor Ted Bridges of the Walnut Hill Baptist Church said. About 20 adults and 10 youth from the church watched the movie on Saturday, opening weekend. The film opened at number four in the country, despite a limited release on just 839 screens across the U.S.

fireproof.jpgAt work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter’s adage: Never leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules. After seven years of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that Catherine wishes she had never married. Neither one understands the pressures the other faces–he as firefighter and she as the public relations director of a hospital.

Regular arguments over jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks. As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb’s father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment he calls “The Love Dare.” Wondering if it’s even worth the effort, Caleb agrees, but more for his father’s sake more than for his marriage.

“The movie is a very good depiction of how the enemy (the devil) works against the sanctity of marriage,” Bridges said. “It speaks to a lot of the pressures of our society like finances, and even things like Internet pornography.” (The pornography, Bridges said, is implied, not shown on screen.)

“A wife can see areas from her side of the marriage and learn; men can walk away with how we can live our lives better in our marriage,” he said. Even the youth from Walnut Hill Baptist that attended the movie walked away having learned things from the movie, he said.

Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, was produced by Sherwood Pictures and Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia with an all-volunteer 1,200 member cast and crew. But it’s not a bad production nor a “B movie”, Bridges said.

“It’s not boring; it’s not a bad production,” Bridges said. “There are a lot of fire scenes that are well done and exciting.”

The couples from Walnut Hill Baptist that attended the movie went out to eat following the show, holding a discussion about marriage. Each couple signed a certificate rededicating themselves to their marriage, and the men presented their wives with a single rose.

“It was touching,” Bridges said. “Even the big ole tough fellows were standing around talking about the movie, asking each other if they cried. ‘Yeah, I cried,’ they said.”

The movie is not belittling toward non-Christians, nor does it “preach”, the pastor said. “It’s not Christians on a soapbox,” he said.

Bridges said he hopes to see more Christian movies that are good entertainment coming out of Hollywood.

Fireproof is the third movie from Sherwood Pictures. Their first movie, “Flywheel”, had only a very limited release on DVD in 2003. Their underdog football team movie, “Facing the Giants”, grossed over $10 million despite being produced on a $100,000 budget in 2006.

Fireproof is showing at the Rave Theater at W Street and Highway 29 in Pensacola. For more information about the movie, visit

Youth Awakening Held At Christian Home Freewill Baptist

September 20, 2008


Saturday night was the final night of  Youth Awakening 2008  at  Christian Home Freewill Baptist Church.

The youth pastor on the final night of the three night event was Bro. Eric Bryan from the Bagdad Assembly of God.

“Allowing God to awaken this generation,” was the event’s theme. .

Christian Home Freewill Baptist Church is in the Christian Home community on North Pine Barren Road.

Pictured above and below: Photos from Youth Awakening 2008 Friday night at Christian Home Freewill Baptist Church. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.




Get About $70 Of Groceries, Including Steaks, For $30: No Strings Attached

September 14, 2008

angelfood.jpgAs the cost of food continues to rise, there is a program available at a local church that can save more than half off the cost of groceries. And, perhaps best of all, everyone qualifies, no strings attached.

It’s called Angel Food Ministries, a program that provides food relief to more than a half million families a month across the nation.

It’s a simple concept…pay $30 for a box of food worth about $70. There are no applications; everyone qualifies. The process is simple too…just stop by the Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Cantonment, pay the $30 and return on the designated pickup day to receive the box of food. They even accept food stamps.

And, for seniors, there’s a special box of food for just $25 that includes 10 full cooked, low sodium heat and eat meals.

Allen Memorial United Methodist Church has been the local host for the Angel Food Ministries program since October of 2006, according to their program director Katrina Williamson.

“It’s a great program,” Williamson said. “It can really help people out.”

Orders for September can be placed Monday from 10 until noon at the church at 206 Pace Parkway in Cantonment for a food delivery on September 27. The church accepts cash or food stamps.

The $30 September box of food includes 1.5 pounds of top sirloin steaks, two pounds of boneless chicken breasts,  three pounds of breaded chicken chunks, a 1.5 pound pork fillet, a large supreme pizza, a pound of ground turkey, plus other items like french fries, several vegetables and desserts.

Specials are also available each month with the purchase of a regular box of food. For instance, this month, one special is 1.5 pounds of Kansas City strip steaks,, 1.5 pounds of ribeye steaks and two pounds of all beef hamburger for $20.

“Our food is “restaurant grade” meats, frozen vegetables, fruits, dairy products, etc. which we acquire through our involvement with only the best producers/vendors of high quality, “name brand” foods. Never “seconds” or “day old” type products are involved,” according to the Angel Food Ministries web site.

For more information about the program, call Allen Memorial United Methodist Church at 968-6213 or visit To visit the church and place an order…take Highway 20 south into Cantonment. Turn right at the red light onto Muskogee Road. Take the second right onto Pace Parkway.

Other churches in the North Escambia area that might be interested in hosting the Angel Food Ministries program can visit for more information.

For a menu with complete information, click here.

Remember What? Ray’s Chapel Youth Hold Back To School Bash

September 7, 2008


The youth at Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church held a Youth Back to School Fellowship Saturday night.

The church begins a new church year today, and grades six to college got together last night to kick off the new church year.

The youth played volleyball, raced tricycles and ate. Bro. Nathan Brown, pastor at Ray’s Chapel, gave a devotion with the theme “Remember”, and each youth received a tshirt with the word “Remember”. When someone asks them “Remember what?”, they learned to say “Remember Jesus loves you and has a special plan for your life”.

Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church is located in the Bogia community.

For a photo gallery from the event, click here.

Have an event at your church? Let us know about it by emailing

Pictured above: Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church youth held a back to school bash Saturday night. Pictured below: They also had a little three-wheel-action on tricycles. Submitted photos for


Bratt Pastor Reacts To ACLU Lawsuit Over Prayer At School Events

August 28, 2008

A Bratt pastor is speaking out about the ACLU’s lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County Schools for holding prayer at school events, including baccalaureate ceremonies.

The ACLU has also requested records of all prayers at graduation and baccalaureate ceremonies in Escambia County, including Northview High School.

The Northview Class of 2008 voted on the speaker for their baccalaureate service last May. They chose Gary Wieborg, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bratt.

Here is what Pastor Wieborg had to say Wednesday night about the ACLU lawsuit:

“The ACLU may attempt and even be successful at ending the freedom Christian parents and students in Escambia and Santa Rosa County Florida, currently have to hold and attend Baccalaureate services at our local high schools.

“The ACLU may be successful at ending the freedom students currently possess to lead Christian prayers at school-sponsored events. The truth is that no man nor power, on the earth, under the earth or above the earth can stop true Christian parents and their children from praying and worshiping Jesus Christ in their homes.

“My greatest concern is not whether the ACLU is successful in stopping baccalaureate services from being held voluntarily in the public schools. My greatest concern is whether Christian parents and children will voluntarily give up the practice of prayer and worship of Jesus Christ in their homes.

“The history of Christianity teaches us that when parents and children pray and worship Jesus Christ first and foremost in their homes, those parents and children influence their schools, their communities and even the world for Christ regardless of what action(s) the local, state or national government may take to stop Christians from accomplishing their mission of living for the glory of God in all they say and do.”

Pleasant Hill Baptist Celebrates 152 Years

August 26, 2008

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Bluff Springs observed its 152nd anniversary on Sunday.

The turnout for the anniversary event was small due to the threatening weekend weather from Tropical Storm Fay. The scheduled guest preacher did not attend due to the weather forecast, but lay leader Robbie McCann filled in.

The church was founded in 1856 by Rev. James Lazrus Bryars.  Early family members were Crarys, Pritchetts, Sturdivants, Bratchers, and Fillingims.  Rev. Bryars pastored the church for more than fifty years, until his death in 1907.

The church is no stranger to weather problems. In 2005, a large tree crashed into the church sanctuary in Hurricane Dennis.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is located at 4600 North Century Boulevard.

Larry Walker contributed to this article.

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