Panhandle Reporter

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Latest Articles by CAROLYN NICHOLS
Oct 28, 2014
DEFUNIAK SPRINGS (FBW)—More than 600 people in DeFuniak Springs receive food every week because of the efforts of volunteers from Southwide Baptist Church and ministry partners of other denominations. The genesis of the Helping Hands Association can be traced to an emphasis during the 2011 Florida Baptist State Convention at Church by the Glades in Coral Springs.

“I heard about hunger in Florida there, and then I kept hearing God calling me to do something about it,” said Lyle Haney, a Convention messenger from Southwide Baptist at the 2011 meeting in South Florida.
Oct 27, 2014
MAYO (FBW)—Campers on Mission are often on the move and always looking forward to their next project, according to veteran members. The tales of COM adventures are as varied as the people who tell them, and each uses his or her skill set in places close to home and far away.

Florida chapter members will gather Nov. 2-4 at Pickett Lake Campground in Mayo to hear stories of projects accomplished and of gatherings ahead this fall. David and Janet Cornish from Chumuckla and Larry and Becky Davis from Lloyd gave the Florida Baptist Witness a preview of the stories they love to tell.
Oct 26, 2014
GAINESVILLE (FBW)—Pine Grove Baptist Church in Gainesville is using bicycles to help win its neighbors to the Lord. The ministry, which refurbishes used bikes to give away to needy children and adults, depends on the skills of 15-year-old Evan Tanner.

The eighth grader at Howard Bishop Middle School learned bicycle repair by working with his father, Gordon, to fix his own bicycles. Evan Tanner recently gave one of his old bikes, a Mongoose Ripcord, to his church. It doesn’t need much repair, he said.
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.
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