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Volume I - Issue 1

December 2005


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March 2006


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June 2006


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September 2006


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December 2006


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Past Articles

Summer 2007




For Better Or Worse...

                       It's Your Choice

After months of preparation and anticipation, this years Couples Retreat has came to an end.  On Friday, and Saturday, September 21-22 we met on beautiful Daytona Beach at the La Quinta Inn.  The retreat this year was the biggest ever with five churches represented and 50+ in attendance, but it was not  only the biggest, it was also one of the best ever !

    The weekend began with a huge barbeque dinner (beach side) catered by Sonny's Barbeque.  After a time of great food and fellowship, we made our way to the conference room for our first session.  Pastor Jeff Shaver with a brief interactive Bible study, and the first "give away" time of the weekend.  During the course of the event we were blessed to give away a variety of  Christian Books, Music, Software, and Gifts; Every couple went home with something to remember the event by.

    Our featured Speaker for the weekend was Pastor Steve Rice of Beulah Baptist Church, Winter Garden, Florida.  On Friday evening we identified several specific areas that have had a negative impact upon the institution of marriage, and the family in general during the past decades.  On Saturday morning during Pastor Steve's teaching we focused upon specific steps that we can take to strengthen our families.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness";  This weekend was definitely about candle lighting !

    This was the second year that we incorporated a Gospel Sing into the schedule.  On Friday evening, after the session, we all took our instruments and headed out beside the beach for a great time of picking and singing.  In just two short years this has certainly become one of the highlights of the weekend.  People around the motel who were not even part of our group could be heard the next day talking about the wonderful singing; You're just gonna have to experience it sometime !

    Saturday morning began with a new feature, a full buffet breakfast beside the beach.  As the sun rose over the Atlantic we all enjoyed Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potatoes, Biscuits and Gravy, Fresh Fruit - I'm getting hungry ....  After breakfast we went back to the conference room for our final session and give away of the weekend.  The retreat concluded with a mass Vow Renewal Service by the beach followed by a Couples Baptism in the Atlantic Ocean.  A wonderful photo gallery of the event is available by clicking the link on the top right corner of this page.  For those who had been at the retreat for several years, as well as those who were present for the first time, the sentiment was the same, "Count me in for next year".  Until then, keep building those healthy marriages, and remember,

Pastor Steve Rice

For Better Or Worse, It's Your Choice!


A Stroll Down Memory Lane

The theme of the day was: “Reminiscing” at Temple FWB’s Son-Shine Seniors meeting on Monday, Sept. 24th.  Our theme song is a rendition of “You Are My Son-Shine,” which holds pleasant memories for most of us.  Bro. Gene Peak held a session on “Words from the Past,”  which everyone really enjoyed.  Some of them were:  “fender skirts,”  “steering wheel knob (or suicide knob),”  “picture show,”  and “shave & haircut-two bits.”  Do you recognize any of them?  He also read some Headline News event excerpts from select years (20’s, 30’s, 40’s & 50’s), which were very interesting and brought back many old memories.  Sister Louise Kelly stirred our memories with a reminder of our “Drug” problem we all grew up with:  We were “drug” to the Dr., “drug” to church, “drug” to visit relatives, etc.  It was very amusing and reminiscent of our childhood years.  Everyone enjoyed Sister Brenda’s introduction to her friend, “Li’l Oscar,” who she met way back in 1963.  Bro. Gene will give more news events from members’ dates of birth at our next meeting in October…Hope you can come and join in on the Fun.

 We were blessed by Sister Denise Glover’s singing “Count it all Joy”, and our Faith was stirred by Sister Brenda’s “Minute of Praise.”  She reminded us that we can have victory over our circumstances because of Jesus’ bloodline on our soul that Satan cannot cross.  She sang “He Couldn’t Cross the Bloodline.”

 The highlight of the day was everyone participating in our “Praise” time by taking the opportunity to share their praise reports with the group.  God is really blessing our people.  We also had a report of our newly formed Visitation Team that has been visiting our shut-ins.  What a blessing!!  Another ministry that has developed from our group is the “600 Club.”  It’s members have signed up to promise to pray 600 seconds a day (10 minutes) for Temple FWB Church.  We now have twenty-three faithful prayer warriors that are faithful to this very important ministry. God is doing great things in our group!!

 Food and Fellowship was enjoyed by all after we held our monthly Door Prize drawings.  M-m-m, the food truly was delicious.  Our people can really cook up some great food!!  Each meeting, we have new visitors to welcome into our group.  If you have been thinking of coming, please join us at our next meeting on Monday, October 22nd, at 11:00 A.M. and get in on the excitement.    


Free Will Baptist Disaster Relief

The 2007 Hurricane Season in the State of Florida, has been a quiet one to this point; Praise The Lord !  But the memories of 2004 still loom large in our minds, and we are all acutely aware that we are not out of the woods yet.  It is both comforting and encouraging to know that we have someone we can turn to during times of trouble in the Free Will Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry.  This relief agency was formed in response to the terrible storms of 3 years ago, and has assisted countless thousands of people, and churches.  In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  As we continue to pray for God's protection, perhaps a quiet season would also be a wonderful time to prepare for the possibility of another destructive storm, or natural disaster.  If you would like to know more about this wonderful ministry you any visit them at



Track The Latest Storms And Hurricanes At



Remember The Alamo

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  We are truly a blessed people !  From time to time we are reminded that these freedoms came at a great price.  Such was the case recently as my family and I were blessed to visit The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.  On February 23, 1836 approximately 200 Texans came under what would be a 14 day siege.  On day one, the garrison commander, Colonel Jim Bowie (made famous by "The Bowie Knife"), fell ill of pneumonia and was confined to his quarters.  The command of The Alamo then fell upon a young Captain from South Carolina, William Travis.  Out-numbered 10 to 1, it is said that Travis gathered all of the soldiers in the center of the compound, and told them they had but three options:  Surrender, Run for it, or Fight.  Removing his sword from it's sheath, he then drew a line in the sand, and asked "Who will stand with me ?"  All but one bravely stepped across the line, and in a few short days they died fighting for freedom. 

    I have been blessed in my life to visit the birthplace of a true American hero, and now the place where he died as well, David Crockett.  I stood with tears streaming down as I read their names inscribed upon a monument; but as I heard their story I was reminded of another.  In Exodus 32 we read of an uprising among the children of Israel.  The scripture said that Moses stood in the gate of the camp and boldly asked "Who is on the Lord's side ?"  A dear friend of mine, and Brother in Christ, Steve Goble sings a song titled "I'll Meet You Over On The Other Side".  That day in San Antonio, and once again now as I write this, I make a conscious decision to Step across the Line, Let my light shine, and once again commit myself unto the One who paid it all for me.  In the words of Captain William Travis, "Who will stand with me ?"

Conference at Bethany

Another meeting of the Central Florida Association of Free Will Baptist has come and gone, and it was certainly one for the record books !  The Lord's Presence was felt throughout the weekend.  On Friday evening we were extremely blessed as Brother Jeff Whites Ordination Service was held.  The entire church was packed, and we were thrilled to hear special singing from The Skeans Family, and a stirring message for Pastor Dwight Skeans on The Book, The Blood, and The Blessed Hope.  The Ordination Council presented a charge, along with God's Word, and then we gathered around to "Lay Hands Upon" another Soldier of the Cross.  Brother Victor Seder led the congregation in Victory In Jesus, as everyone came by to have fellowship with Brother Jeff, and his precious wife Stephanie.  Afterward our host church, Bethany FWB provided a wonderful meal, as everyone enjoyed a few minutes together.

    On Saturday morning, it seemed that the Lord just picked up where we had left off Friday night.  We were blessed by wonderful congregational singing led by Brother Gene Peak from Winter Garden, and then be a tremendous devotion from Brother Don Brown.  After a few reports, the worship service began with Special Singing from The Temple Trio.  Brother John Draper brought the morning message, and everyone was encouraged to continue in the faith.  The Conference business was highlighted by our Annual elections, and by a recommendation from the Ordaining Council to Ordain Brother Tom Peters of Winter Garden.  An ordination service has been set for Friday, October 19 at Temple Free Will Baptist Church and Pastor Jeff Shaver along with congregation of Temple cordially invite you to attend.  When all of the business was complete, the ladies of Bethany once again provided an absolutely wonderful meal.  We all made our way back to our home churches, already looking forward to the next conference at Seffner on December 7 & 8.

Pastor Appreciation Ministries


Have you ever given thought to all a pastor does?...
    At times, we tend to forget the responsibilities pastors have for their churches, not to mention their own families. They not only prepare a message each week, but they are always expected to be "on." They are the ones who perform a funeral one day and possibly a wedding the next. They are the ones who receive phone calls in the wee hours of the night to bring comfort to those in need. They are the ones who may have to make an unpopular decision for the church, but the right decision by God. They are the ones who counsel us during times of trial and comfort us during pain. They are the ones who visit us or a loved one in the hospital. They are the ones... They are the ones...
    In an effort to say a simple thank-you, and to give something back to those who give so much, a wonderful organization named Pastor Appreciation Ministries has been formed.  On Monday, October 1 P.A.M.  is pleased to host a Pastors Golf Tournament at Orange County National Golf Club in Winter Garden, Florida.  The day will begin with a small breakfast which is provided by Chic-Fil-A.  There will be ample time to get "warmed up" on their beautiful driving range, and then It's On !  288 Pastors from all over the area will be paired up in foursomes for a best ball tournament on a truly world class golf course.  Once everyone is in, the pastors are treated to a wonderful supper, along with some of the best Christian entertainment there is.  The best part, for pastors the entire event is absolutely free !  The only requirement is to register, but it fills up quick, so visit today.

Family Movie Night


 On Friday evening, August 31, Temple Free Will Baptist kicked off it's second season of Family Movie Nights by showing "Herbie Fully Loaded".  What began as just a one time event last fall has grown into a real family favorite.  We normally begin the evening by building a fire, and roasting hot dogs.  It was a blessing to hear one church member exclaim, "These are great; and I don't even like hot dogs".  Brother Tom Peters has became our resident "Fire Man", and after everyone has had their fill of hot dogs, chili, chips, he stokes the fire once again as we roast marshmallows and make S'mores - It's just great !  Many times, the young people will get up a game of kick-ball while we wait on it to get dark enough to show the movie, and then families will settle in their lawn chairs and blankets for a movie under the stars.  I realize this little ministry is "off the beaten path" a bit, but what a joy it is to see families gather together, to see kids (and for that matter some adults) making S'mores, and roasting weenies over an open fire for the first time ever.  What a blessing to hear the laughter of children, and then sometimes rousing applause as the movie comes to an end; and it's all in the backyard of the church !


10,000 Visitors

Ten Thousand Visitors !  What a milestone.  I would like to begin by expressing our sincere appreciation to all who visit and use the website of the Central Florida Association of Free Will Baptists.  From the very beginning of this ministry (December '05) I had set a personal goal to see 10,000 hits before my 2 years as Moderator came to an end.  I have often told our congregation that the setting of goals does not guarantee we will move forward; but not setting goals guarantees that we will not.  I praise God for the way He has blessed and used this ministry to be a blessing around the state and even around the nation.

    What began as a simple communication tool has now evolved into a thriving work.  It has become a great way to keep up with happenings around our denomination; a wonderful Bible Study resource; a forum to hear dynamic Bible preaching; and much, much, more.  The question that comes to my mind is, "Where do we go from here ?"  We would love to hear  your thoughts; things you would like to see, hear, or use in your daily walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.  The opportunities abound as we attempt to reach as many people as possible for the Lord.  I would like to ask each of you to pray, as we continue to reach out through this powerful medium.  Once again, if you have any thoughts, please send them to us at  As for now please continue to visit, and tell all of your friends about the great blessings available at


Conference At Bethany

Where did the summer go ?   It is hard to believe that three months have passed by already, but it is time once again for another meeting of the  Central Florida Association of  Free Will Baptists.  We will be meeting at Bethany FWB in Eaton Park, Florida (See our Churches Page For Driving Directions) on Friday September 7, and Saturday, September 8.

    We have a very special agenda for the meeting.  First, our Friday evening service will serve as an Ordination Service for Brother Jeff White.  The Central Florida Ordination Council will be present for this wonderful occasion, along with ministers from around our denomination.  Just a couple of highlights to look forward to, are a stirring message from Brother Dwight Skeans; and a very special song from Sister Carol Skeans, "Pauls Ministry".  Brother Jeff, his precious wife Stephanie, and all of the folks at Bethany Free Will Baptist cordially invite you to attend.

    On Saturday we will be holding our Annual Conference, and officer elections.  I would like to take this opportunity to say once again what a pleasure it has been to serve as you moderator for the past two years.  I would also like to commend all of our Associational Officers and Board Members for their continued dedication and faithful service.  Let me encourage you to say a special word of thanks to all of the outgoing officers, and a special word of prayer for those that will be elected to the upcoming terms.

    In addition to the Associational business that will be conducted, we will be blessed as Brother Don Brown delivers the Morning Devotion, and as Brother John Draper brings the Morning Message.  It is sure to be a great weekend, so as for now, be much in prayer, and we will be looking forward to seeing you all at Bethany !


Son-Shine Seniors Meeting at Temple FWB

On Monday, August 27th, the Son-Shine Seniors of Temple FWB Church met again.  We began with our Theme Song:  "You are My SON-Shine."  Sister Louise Kelly gave us encouragement to turn to God with all our needs.  She is helping us get some new ministries going:  The "600 Club" (pray 600 seconds a day for our church); and the "Encouragement" ministry (send cards, call the shut-ins, visit the sick, etc.).  Then we were blessed with special singing by our new Acapella Trio, "Sounds of Trinity," (Denise Glover, Susan Campbell & Brenda Peak) who sang "Farther Along". 

 Decked out in their old overalls, Bro. Gene Peak and Pastor Jeff Shaver presented a "Hee-Haw" skit, that livened us up.  It included familiar songs from the old TV show:  "Where, O, Where are you Tonight," and  "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me".  They did several Kornfield Kounty jokes and ended with singing  "Turn Your Radio On".

 Sister Brenda Peak then gave a "Minute of Praise", using Jonah's changing attitude after he was in the whale's belly to help us understand how praising God will get better results than whining and complaining about our circumstances.  When we praise God more, we want to do His will, not ours.  This was followed by a time of everyone giving praise reports for answers to prayer, and for God's blessings on their lives.  God inhabits praise.

 We then had Door Prizes and enjoyed a delicious lunch that was carried in by everyone that attended. 

 We are looking forward to our next meeting on Monday, September 24th   at 11:00 A.M.  Come and bring a friend !!


For Better Or Worse....

It's Your Choice

Temple Free Will Baptist is thrilled to announce their Fifth Annual Couples Retreat in beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida.  The retreat will be held at the La Quinta Inn on Daytona Beach Friday evening & Saturday morning on September 21-22.  It begins Friday evening at six o'clock with a wonderful barbeque dinner beachside.

After the meal there will be prizes given away, and an "Ice-Breaker" activity before we have our first marriage enrichment session at 8:00.  After the first session, we all get out our string music and go down to the beach for a good old fashioned sing-a-long.  On Saturday morning we will have breakfast, another give-away, and then our second session.  The retreat concludes with a Vow Renewal service, and a Couples Baptism in the Atlantic Ocean (conditions permitting).  The cost for the entire event will be $100 per couple, and it is sure to be a weekend you will never forget.  Registrations must be made this week, so if you would like to attend, please email Pastor Jeff Shaver at

Book Swap


Do you have any Biblical reference books, devotionals, study helps, Christian biographies, etc.  that you are not using ?  Here is a great opportunity to make some space on your book shelf.  During the September Conference of the Central Florida Association we are planning a "Book Swap".  The resources that we are no longer using may be just what someone else has been looking for.  I originally got the idea at last years Mission Conference as Brother Daryl Ellis was giving away many of his books.  I personally got one book that was a great blessing to me, and have since passed it on to a friend.  I also enjoyed watching as others searched through the collection; It was a huge hit !  If one person can bless so many, just think what can be accomplished if we all bring the books, tapes, etc.  that we are no longer using.  During the conference (which will be held at Bethany FWB)  there will be an area designated for this event.  Many will be blessed to receive, others will be blessed to give.  Either way the blessings will flow, and our Lord will be exalted !




The Hope Center

The Hope Center, a Crisis Pregnancy/Resource Center located in Greeneville, Tennessee has been a part of Free Will Baptist Family Ministries since 1998.  Giving women and young girls the supplies they need to properly care for their children is one very important aspect of the ministry of The Hope Center, but there is so much more.  We offer a 24-hour Hopeline, free confidential pregnancy tests, free confidential counseling, maternity supplies, newborn layettes, baby clothing, diapers, wipes, bottles, used furniture and other baby supplies.  While helping them with these necessities, we also want to teach our clients how to be good parents by offering parenting and baby care classes and nutrition classes as well as abstinence classes.           

The Hope Center serves hundreds of clients every year through office visits, phone calls, or the 24-hour Hopeline, 866-319-HOPE (4673).  Each of these visits and phone calls has the message of hope and healing found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We strive to demonstrate and share that truth with each person who contacts us.  Many girls come to us who are seriously considering abortion, and most of them chose LIFE for their unborn babies.

The ministry of The Hope Center is expanding and growing, and we are grateful for God's blessings.  In addition to our quarterly newsletter, HOPE LINES, we also send out a monthly newsletter called Pitter Patter to our clients.  Information about upcoming classes and programs, parenting tips, health information, family activities and a favorite recipe are some of the information included in this informative newsletter.

The Hope Center is totally supported by private donations from churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals.  Our yearly budget does not include the supplies we provide to our clients.  Everything that we distribute is donated to us outside of our budget.  If you would like to know more about this blessed ministry please visit us at

Thank you for your support and your prayers.  Please continue to pray for the ministry of The Hope Center and for our clients.

If you have questions/comments about anything contained on this website please contact us by sending an e-mail to