Maranatha Church in Tallahassee, Fla., is experiencing a tremendous renewal of energy and excitement around the work of spreading the Gospel.
To achieve total member involvement in this work, Andre’ McCloud, pastor, chose the year’s theme, “Extreme MakeOver: Character Edition,” to challenge each member in their personal growth, and in their discipleship of others.
“The journey we are on is designed to help the church to refocus on its mission and purpose,” said McCloud. The sermon series he preached, the seminars he developed, and the trainers like Frederick Russell, D.Min., Patrick Vincent, D.Min., and Dwight Gayle, pastor, helped to activate the membership to get out of the pews and into the streets of Tallahassee. McCloud and the elders — whom he empowers as pastoral staff — along with departmental ministry leaders, are focusing on creating an atmosphere of service for the Master in the community.
Since reopening for in-person worship services, “… the church did not reopen to business as usual,” McCloud said. The renewed focus on mission has led the church to embark on several creative initiatives that have already begun to see tremendous success.
Following are a few highlights of some of the new initiatives.
Elana Jones, head elder, collaborated with McCloud to lead the congregation on a closer walk with Christ through fasting in a variety of ways, and praying for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by members bearing the Fruit of the Spirit. The church provided a book entitled Book 11–Living the Spirit-Filled Life, by Dennis Smith, pastor. “The members experienced a clearer vision of Jesus and His character and were drawn into closer fellowship with Him,” said Jones. This experience continues to empower the church as it launches its new initiatives.
David Long, pastor and director of stewardship, personal ministries, Sabbath School, prayer ministries, and prison ministries at the Southern Union Conference, was the keynote speaker for the program of personally inviting former Seventh-day Adventists who no longer attend Maranatha Church. Nearly 40 former members returned for the service, giving members an opportunity to show loving care to the former members.
Inspired by the admonition of Ellen G. White to spread tracts and books as the leaves of autumn, McCloud created a new ministry called the “Leaves of Autumn.” Jasper Musgray, elder, who is known for personally distributing thousands of tracts every year, leads the department. With the pastor’s support, the Lord led Maranatha to expand this ministry to open a booth at the local flea market to distribute tracts and books, and to gather the names and contact information of many who come to the booth to submit prayer requests.
“We are able to establish relationships with these prospective members and pray with them,” McCloud said. The personal ministries Bible study team is setting up Bible studies with these prospects in readiness for the summer evangelistic meetings that starts on June 4, 2022.
The deaconess ministries lead out with women’s ministries and church members each month to pray with and provide care packages to homeless communities. One person they met was a former pastor who attended Maranatha and answered the altar call to give his heart to Jesus and rededicate his life to Christ.
These programs are proving to be a blessing to both members and the community surrounding Tallahassee Maranatha Church. To God be the glory!
Southeastern | June 2022