What a year! What a journey! As the current buzzword says, “so many moving parts!” And we are all living right in the center of it—right in the center of the magnificent plan of God!
We think of Great Hope Christian Fellowship (GHCF) as only a portion of the Body of Christ. Within this portion there are individuals who have been called to the work of the Kingdom of God. We call these ministries. And to be sure, every individual person is called to a ministry! Some are more formalized and others not so formal. Some have been reaching out for many years and others for just a short time, some in the limelight, and some behind the scenes. It is safe to say, some among us may not even yet know or understand what they are called to (no ministry name or logo). But we are all called to a purpose set forth by God Himself!
The selling of the brick-and-mortar building in Tampa may have caused some confusion to some, and they, perhaps not knowing what to do next. I can, beyond a doubt, confirm that GHCF is alive and well, performing and moving in the five-fold ministry to equip the saints. This concept is presented in Ephesians 4:11-13:
11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; 13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].
How magnificent these great gifts are within our small representative body of Christ! I should take only a small space here to review some of the amazing works of God through these five-fold ministries. These ministers are not those who just cow-path to a church building, but whose lives are baptized fully into the glorious life and work of a son of God. When the four walls on Rome Circle were sold and torn down, these ministry leaders did not skip a step nor miss a beat. For they had been trained by the Holy Spirit Himself and fully know that the church is not a building with all its “programs.”
Many years ago, Dr., Chaplain, Colonel, Pastor, teacher, counselor and friend, Linda Pugsley, under the urging of the Holy Spirit, established Piercing the Darkness Ministries (PDM) with small and challenging beginnings. After years of work, prayer, obedience, and much growth, (along with tears and growing pains), she now serves as the 21st Chief of Chaplains in the Chaplain Corps of Civil Air Patrol. This is her current assignment in the Kingdom of God where the influence and power of Christ reaches thousands of hungry, discouraged, and needy souls—and this all across our nation! It is a mighty work God has entrusted to her and I encourage you to read her PDM report presented separately. Please also know that as a “grandmother” to six children and friend to many, her life consists of much more than what is visible to the casual onlooker. With the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in her life, she certainly is credited with doing her assigned part in the five-fold ministry at GHCF and beyond. (See Annual Report)
Pastor Mark Parsons (who likewise has reported separately) has freely, and with grace, maintained the pastorship even after the building was sold, a challenge indeed. But even after moving to Tennessee, his heart is still with those who were called in other directions. Prepared and trained by the Holy Spirit, he remains a pastor/shepherd and teacher to the flock in Tampa as well as to new friends and family wherever he goes. He has made frequent business trips to Tampa where it has been most delightful to gather with the believers in high worship to our God. (See Annual Report)
His relocation to Tennessee was not a retirement move or of any particular heart desire but was arranged by God for a new work. We are simply the forerunners. And what a work it is! There are so many stories to tell of God’s greatness, goodness, His faithfulness, and direction in the Holy Spirit. Those stories will follow, especially as God unfolds it each step with one revelation after another, all showing who our God is. The five-fold ministry of GHCF continues until we all reach unity in the faith and maturity in Christ.
Other active ministries include:
We have to know that God requires each one of us to “Come, follow Him!” To surrender completely and fully and to know that we are salt and light to the world’s darkness in whatever various ways God chooses to manifest it. We are ambassadors, and we have been sent to this place with a mission to complete. He fully equips us with gifts, gives us the mind of Christ, and makes all provision for the works we are called to confidently fulfill in Spirit and Truth.
Great Hope Christian Fellowship is alive and well and has experienced great growth in this past year of 2022—moving in the five-fold ministry! We believe our God has begun to reveal some of the “greater works” Jesus talked about in John 14:12. With this in mind, and our great love and adoration of our Father and Jeshua our King, we, with great hope, anticipate our continued worship and Joy in the Lord—advancing in the next year, 2023.