Homestead congregation celebrates transformed life
Jun 4, 2012
By BARBARA DENMAN
Florida Baptist Convention

REJOICE! Patrick Coats (r), pastor of Kingdom Covenant Baptist Church in Homestead, baptizes a new believer during an Easter Extravaganza. “It felt just like Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.” FBC photo
HOMESTEAD (FBC)—The day before Easter was filled with eggs, games, food and fun as members of Kingdom Covenant Baptist Church engaged the Homestead community with an Easter Extravaganza. 

But the event quickly turned into an eternal appointment with God when Pastor Patrick Coats presented the Gospel and an altar call. Five persons accepted Christ as their Savior. After meeting with counselors, one man then asked to be baptized.

“It felt just like Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch,” said the pastor of the two-year-old South Florida congregation. “We had the water and he said, ‘I’m ready.’ And Christ’s transformation of him was witnessed by the entire community.” 

Coats admits he prepared for such an occurrence on the eve of Resurrection Sunday. This was the second year the congregation had sponsored the event on the grounds of Campbell Drive Middle School to meet prospects within the community. The church added new members from last year’s event and this year’s attendance doubled. 

Learning the Florida Baptist Convention’s Urban Impact Ministry Center in Hialeah owned a mobile baptismal pool, Coats devised a plan to bring more than entertainment to the day’s festivities. 

“God is always up to something if we have courage and expect Him to do something. He will show up and do something amazing,” said Coats.

The pastor planted the primarily African-American church on New Year’s Eve in 2009, leading the congregation to meet each Sunday in Homestead’s Flagship Cinemas. 

Coats brought with him a great heritage of Southern Baptist pastoral leadership in Miami. His grandfather, Joe Coats was the longtime pastor at Glendale Baptist Church, one of the first African American pastors to lead his congregation to be a cooperating Southern Baptist congregation. Uncle Mark Coats had planted the Grace of God Church which has grown to nearly 700 in membership. Patrick Coats had assisted his uncle in starting the new congregation.

The Kingdom Covenant church has grown to more than 100 in attendance, averaging 95 each week—75 adults and 20 children. In the past year, the church stirred the waters at Biscayne National Park 21 times with the baptism of new Christian believers.

The mobile baptismal pool at Campbell Drive school offered the church an incentive to visibly portray the testimony of a transformed life to the watching eyes of the community, leaving Coats to wonder aloud.

“What if we had lowered our expectations?” he mused.

 

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