published: Thursday, February 07, 2013
AP First Baptist gears up for centennial celebration
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
AVON PARK - Celebration is in order for the Avon Park First Baptist Church this weekend as the establishment turns 100.
The celebration will highlight years gone by and the many special staff members, pastors and congregation members that have called the church home.
Worship Pianist Ramona Servern is one of the many minds behind the centennial celebration. Servern has been a part of the congregation at First Baptist since 1984 and finds that the church she calls home has been an important part of not only her life, but the lives of many who have passed through the doors.
"We are planning a big celebration. It will be a fun day of old and past staff, past singers and congregation members. A lot of these people have moved away and will be traveling from far away to be here," Severn said.
AP First Baptist is known for having the annual "Passion" play/musical in which talented singers and actors take part of the production and provide entertainment as well as a deep message.
"The former director and actors will be here and they will be honored," Severn said.
Along with the director and actors, the current staff will honor those who have given back not only in this community but around the world. Mission organizers and attendees will be honored during the celebration for giving their time, effort and funds all in the name of Christianity.
Pastor Jon Beck hasn't been around as long as many of the members of his congregation, but he has made a significant impact on the church and looks forward to the event.
"It's going to be an all day service event. We are celebrating 100 years here but I don't look at the past so much as I do the future. I'm excited about where we are going and I want to continue to grow. Our goal is to expand, but not just for the sake of more space, I want to continue to reach our young families. Of course, we have a large senior population here and we are not going to forget about them, but our goal is to build a new children's wing," Beck said.
The goals of the future are what are driving Beck and his staff. The current staff includes a dozen of enthusiastic, hard-working individuals who want to bring more people in their doors to worship and grow.
The Avon Park First Baptist Church Centennial will begin Sunday at the sanctuary, 100 N Lake Ave. Beginning at 9 a.m., the congregation and guests are invited to view displays and old videos of the church's early days. The traditional Sunday service will begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by a noon meal which will feature guest speakers and music. During the afternoon more speakers, music and other events will take place.
For more information contact the church at 453-6681.
From the church's very first pastor, Rev. Prentice, to Pastor Beck, the church has grown and blossomed in an amazing way. Mission trips to China, disaster relief groups, women's retreats, children advocacy and more are the many things that this church provides not only to it's congregation but to the entire community.
"We are all so excited. We have several pastors and people that have been here for generations," Beck said.
"It's going to be a fun day," Severn said. "We have a lot to be thankful for."
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