Spirituality

Dry bones can live


The men's choir performs during the service at Greater Bethel AME Church. The Rev. Harold Young, front, preached about how God put life back into the dry bones laying in the valley in the book of Ezekiel.

BRAD MCCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.

Parishioners attending Greater Bethel AME Church were given instructions on how to make "dry bones live" by an assistant minister at the church during service last Sunday in which a church member and a young man from the community both received scholarships to assist them financially as they get ready to start college in the fall.

Facts

GREATER BETHEL AME CHURCH

Pastor: Rev. Karl V. Smith.
Location: 701 SE 43rd St.
Services: Church School begins at 9:30 a.m., and is followed by morning worship at 10:45 a.m. Prayer and praise are at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by adult and youth Bible study at 7 p.m..
Phone: 352-376-8846 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              352-376-8846      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

The sermon was delivered by the Rev. Harold Young, who preached about how God put life back into the dry bones laying in the valley in the book of Ezekiel.

The service also included church member Kailey Wade and east Gainesville resident Larmar Morris receiving $1,500 scholarships each from the Lincoln High School Alumni Association. The awards were presented by Albert White, president of the alumni association.

Kailey is a 2010 Buchholz High School graduate who will be attending Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and Larmar is a 2010 Eastside High School graduate who will be attending the University of Florida.

Kailey also received the $2,000 Selmo Bradley Scholarship given to five deserving 2010 high school graduating seniors in the 11th Episcopal District of the AME Church, which is comprised of AME churches in Florida and the Bahamas.

Greater Bethel Deacon Aaron Jones, president of the East Conference Lay Organization, presented her with the scholarship while telling parishioners that she was the first member from Greater Bethel to ever receive the scholarship.

The Rev. Karl Smith, pastor of Greater Bethel, encouraged parishioners to support the educational endeavors of young people in the church and the community.

"It is important to educate now, because if we don't, it will lead to incarceration later," Smith said.

The service began with a medley by the Greater Bethel Male Choir that included such songs as "What A Mighty God We Serve" and "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus."

The sermon delivered by Young came from the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. The title was "The Valley Experience."

Young said people can find their way back to God after going astray from the word of God by finding time to read the Bible.

He said God put life back into the dry bones in the text because he will not forsake his people.

He said lives are changed when people allow the Holy Ghost to take over their lives.

"I stopped by to tell somebody this morning that the devil is busy," Young said. "God will go into the valley of dry bones and make them live again."

He said Ezekiel told God that there were dry bones everywhere in the valley, but God answered and told Ezekiel those dry bones can live if his people come back to him and live in one accord.

As he neared the end of his sermon, he used the nursery rhyme, "Humpty Dumpty," to illustrate how some people rely on the wrong things when they are trying to get their lives back on track.

"I would have told Humpty about King Jesus and how Jesus could have put him back together again and not all the king's men and horses," Young said. "Some of us are just like Humpty, we are just sitting on the wall."

He then went back to the text and talked about how Ezekiel preached to the dry bones. He said the dry bones came back together as a living soul.

He said some churches are just like the dry bones and need to be connected back together.

"When the church is connected, the dry bones will come back to life," Young said. "You can't do nothing without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost. If you believe and trust in God, he will make a way for you and you won't find yourself in a valley of dry bones."

The service also included the baptism of infant Ashilyn Dianah Taylor, the daughter of Ash'lea Moore, the girls basketball coach at Eastside High School, and Reggie Taylor, a star basketball player for the Rams in the late 1990s.

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