Marking Founder's Day

Victory Temple Ministries celebrates 2nd annual event

The City of Praise Gospel Choir performs during the 2nd annual Founder's Day Celebration Sunday at Victory Temple Ministries.

BRAD MCCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 3:17 p.m.

The weekend-long 2nd annual Founder's Day Celebration at Victory Temple Ministries Church of God in Christ in southeast Gainesville concluded Sunday afternoon with an Alachua County student receiving a scholarship and a longtime Gainesville pastor delivering a powerful sermon.



Pastor: Pastor LaShon Young.
Location: 908 SE Williston Road.
Services: Sunday School begins 9:30 a.m., morning worship is at 11 a.m. and evening service is at 6 p.m. Prayer and Bible study are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Phone: 352-377-4944.

Victory Temple Pastor LaShon Young, wife of the late Rev. Dr. Aaron S. Young Sr., the founder of the church, said Lauren Watts, a senior at Gainesville High School, received the 2nd annual Dr. Aaron S. Young Dream Builders Scholarship for $500 because her "civic work and volunteer hours in the community" resembles the life that Young lived.

"She was a unanimous choice for the scholarship," said Young, adding that as Victory Temple continues to thrive to build the church of her husband's dream, it will also continue to award the scholarship to local students to help them achieve their dreams.

Watts, who wants to attend the University of Florida but is also considering the University of South Florida in Tampa, Spelman College in Atlanta and Santa Fe College, said receiving the scholarship means a lot to her because of what it represents.

"It is very rewarding to win this scholarship in the name of Aaron Young Sr. because of how dedicated he was to encouraging young people to get an education and to be the best they could be," said Lauren, 17.

Lauren's parents, Amos Watts Jr. and Kellye Henderson Watts, said they are extremely proud of their daughter. Her younger sister, 11-year-old Deneane Watts, a student at Westwood Middle School, said her sister is an inspiration to her.

"This shows me she is able to achieve good things," Deneane said. "I plan on following in her footsteps."

Elder Lionel Walker, the pastor of Old Town Church of God in Christ in Alachua, presided over the service and the Rev. Donnie James, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in southwest Gainesville, gave the invocation. Scripture was read by Elder James Young of Omega Outreach Ministries in northwest Gainesville.

Apostle Willie King Jr., the pastor of Showers of Blessings Harvest Center in southeast Gainesville, delivered a sermon that encouraged parishioners in the packed sanctuary to always have faith in the Lord.

The text of his sermon came from Deuteronomy 11:8-14, and King said the text describes how God promised to bless the Israelites with land made of "milk and honey" if they worshipped him faithfully.

"We must complete the tasks God has assigned us before we can move on to receive the blessings that he has in store for us," King said. "God wants our faith to stay strong."

King said faith allows people to believe things are going to get better when everything else indicates otherwise.

He urged parishioners to think about the difficult situations God has brought them out of in the past, and he told them that God can do it again.

King also said it is impossible to be blessed by God if you don't have faith in him, and he said sometimes God will allow things to happen in life in order to make some people believe in his power.

King said 2009 was a difficult year for many people, who are about to be rewarded in 2010 for their faithfulness.

"God is about to blow your natural born mind with the blessings he is going to bestow on a lot of you this year," King said. "God is about to release a stupid blessing on many of us."

King said God gives people a chance to get things in order before he blesses them because that is just how he does things, and he said a lot of churches are not being blessed because there is no order.

King's preaching mesmerized parishioners, and Young said she is grateful for King and the many others who supported the celebration. She said her husband would have turned 57 last Saturday, and she said that morning began kind of sad until she told her children "he wouldn't want us to be down. He would want us to have a good time because I know he is having a good time up in heaven."

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