One of the biggest challenges on The Great Loop is church attendance. It would be so easy to say “we just can’t make it”…no car, no church within walking distance, poor weather, etc. But The Great Loop has challenges and we seem to overcome most of them because the Lord provides a solution! Unfortunately, the past several weeks we have found ourselves travelling on Sunday but knowing we would be stationary for a few weeks, the search for Sunday worship started on Monday!
This morning we traveled to First Baptist Church in Naples! Based on their website and most importantly, prayer, I just felt the Lord leading us there. Yesterday, we downloaded the directions (29.9 miles), reviewed the multiple service times and were pleased to see their holiday schedule!! Knowing this was a LARGER church than we are accustomed to, we left at 9:30 for an 11:00 worship hour! Good thing!
When you drive onto the “campus” of a church sitting on 100 acres you realize “we aren’t in Cedar Bluff anymore”! Luckily the parking lot was well marked as were all the buildings, walkways, restrooms, etc. Upon entering, we were greeting and overwhelmed with love and warmth! The first service wasn’t quite over so we caught the end of it on closed circuit TV monitors in the common area – just outside the café! They had a book store, information booth and plenty of folks to guide us.
We were blessed to attend the contemporary worship service. During the sermon, Dr. Hayes Wicker said, “that must come from my Mississippi parents”. Hmmm…note to self – gotta meet this man!
And we did!! Seems he was born in New Albany, but had/has family in Starkville, Macon, West Point area!! SMALL WORLD!!! Charlie asked Dr. Wicker (aka Pastor Hayes) if he knew a friend and former colleague and in true Mississippi fashion…they are cousins!!! The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller!!
There are two more performances of Christmas Spectacular today. The 4:00 show is sold out but we plan to attend the 7:00 & final show…it’s been going on all week!! They also have 3 services scheduled for Christmas Eve and one service at 9:30 Christmas morning. Looks like we found a temporary church home for the month! YAY – praise the Lord!! It felt so good to be in God’s house this morning…I miss our church family but I feel their prayers and I hope they know I’m praying for them too!
To know Christ and make Him known in Southwest Florida and beyond –Mission statement for FBC Naples. While we were amazed at the physical assets of FBC-Naples, it was apparent the congregation and staff have a heart for missions at home and abroad.
On a side note: It was on this day, 10 years ago we fell in love with a precious, tiny, brown-eyed baby boy. He has filled our lives with happiness and joy and we give thanks that he’s not only our grandson but also our brother in Christ. We love and miss you T. Happy Birthday sweetie!!!