Panhandle Reporter

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Latest Articles by CAROLYN NICHOLS
Oct 14, 2014
PANAMA CITY (FBW)—For years, members of Westview Baptist Church in Panama City feared for the future of their once-thriving congregation. Membership dipped to 12 and efforts by local and state Baptists could not revitalize the church. Today, the church building is full again as the West Campus of Family of God Baptist Church.

“There’s been a miracle going on here!” exclaimed Sue Gillman, a member of Westview Baptist since 1969 and church secretary for 26 years.
Sep 28, 2014
PENSACOLA (FBW)—When members of West Pensacola Baptist Church decided to begin feeding the hungry and homeless, they looked first to the neighborhoods around their church. The ministry that grew out of their concern is the Westside Community Partnership that throws block parties for its neighbors.

Church members Tom and Sheila Edwards began the ministry after hearing of other churches feeding the homeless.
Sep 27, 2014
MIAMI (FBW)—Every weekend, 830 children in Dade County have food to eat because Christ Fellowship in Miami sent it home with them from school. Children find easy-to-prepare food in backpacks stuffed by concerned volunteers.

The 830 students are only a fraction of the estimated 30,000 hungry children in South Florida, according to Christ Fellowship ministry leaders.
Sep 11, 2014
Florida Baptists were among the thousands who voted in primary elections Aug. 26. Some of the voters may have met the candidates and questioned them in events at their churches, and some may have read the candidates’ opinions on issues in voter guides that were distributed at one of the state’s 3,000 churches.

However, most Florida Baptist churches shy away from election-year involvement because of fear of lawsuits or losing their tax-exempt status. Their fears are unfounded, according to Bill Bunkley, president of the Florida Ethics and Religious Commission and a representative of the Florida Baptist Convention during legislative sessions in Tallahassee for the past 19 years.
Sep 3, 2014
MIDDLEBURG (FBW)—More than 50 North Florida children are learning the sport of archery at First Baptist Church in Middleburg. According to Associate Pastor Tim Martin, church leaders had been “looking for something to draw the children of our community to First Baptist,” when a 2011 Sportsman’s Expo sparked interest in archery.
Sep 1, 2014
INDIANTOWN (FBW)—Dozens of men who are incarcerated at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown are studying how to be better fathers. According to Awana’s Lifeline Program website, the men are “learning to live up to their biblical responsibilities as dads.” The culmination of their “Malachi Dads” studies will be a Returning Hearts Celebration Nov. 8 during which prisoners spend the day with their children.

Randy Huckabee, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dade City, is leading a group of volunteers to help with the Returning Hearts event.
Aug 28, 2014
OCALA (FBW)—Jack Roland, an Ocala layman, will be nominated as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention during its November annual meeting in Lakeland. If elected, he will be only the fifth layman to serve as Convention president since 1950.
Aug 17, 2014
WINTER PARK (FBW)—John Hemphill, a layman at First Baptist Church in Winter Park, went on his first mission trip 31 years ago, and he has traveled dozens of times across the Western Hemisphere to build churches and to encourage fellow believers. He also is passing on a love of missions to his son and grandson.

Hemphill began traveling with construction mission teams from his church when he was working as a senior accountant with Sprint. He retired in 1997 when the company moved to Kansas City, but worked another 12 years with MFI, a company assuring quality control of pharmaceuticals.
Aug 16, 2014
HIGH SPRINGS (FBW)—Only two weeks after his surgery to donate a kidney on May 19, Pastor Derek Lambert and his wife, Nichole, gave their testimonies in the evening service of his church, First Baptist Church in High Springs. On June 1, the couple sat on the stage as they talked about their journey of organ donation and his recovery after surgery.
Aug 11, 2014
SANTA ROSA BEACH (FBW)—Buddy Mullins, minister of music at Chapel at Crosspoint in Santa Rosa Beach, was recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as a former member of the Gaither Vocal Band.

Mullins sang lead vocals with the Gaither Vocal Band for two years beginning in 1993 as part of the quartet with Bill Gaither, Mark Lowry and Terry Franklin, who was replaced by Jonathan Pierce. Mullins called the ever-changing ensemble “a fraternity of men who love each other.”
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