A dedication at Miracle of Christ


Bishop Johnny B. Straughter speaks during the service. He began his sermon by singing “Lord, I Know You Been So Good.”

MATT STAMEY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.

The dedication service for Miracle Deliverance Miracle of Christ Ministries Church in northeast Gainesville featured a sermon from a Georgia preacher who had to restrain himself when talking about how excited he is to be coming to Gainesville to save souls.

Facts

MIRACLE DELIVERANCE MIRACLE OF CHRIST MINISTRIES CHURCH

Pastor: Bishop Johnny B. Straughter and Elder Louvenia W. Straughter.
Location: 1001 NE 16th Ave. at Highlands Presbyterian Church.
Services: 6 p.m. Saturday.
Phone: Call 229-630-3927.

The service was held Saturday night at Highlands Presbyterian Church on NE 16th Avenue, with Bishop Johnny B. Straughter delivering the sermon. The church will have services at 6 p.m. on Saturdays at Highlands beginning Dec. 15. Services will be led by Straughter and his wife, Elder Louvenia W. Straughter, who will be commuting to Gainesville from Valdosta, Ga. The couple will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary later this month.

Johnny B. Straughter said the spirit of God told him five years ago to come to Florida and preach, and he said it was confirmed recently when God instructed his wife to do the same.

"You have to move when God say move," he said. "We are here for a reason, and our aim is to get people saved, and to do whatever we can do for the community, but our main job is to get souls saved. We want to help people physically and spiritually."

The service, which was attended by several people, including Alachua County Tax Collector Von Fraser, featured several songs by the daughters of the pastors, La'Shunda Carter and Lisa Straughter, known as The Anointed Straughter Sisters.

Also, the duo of Jalynn Carter, 6, and Johnny Bebo, 5, sang "Blessed the Lord With Me" before Elder Leroy Trower led the reciting of the creed with everyone standing.

While saying the purpose, Louvenia Straughter told parishioners that even though they are living in "dangerous times.. God is still pouring out his blessings and still saving in the midst of the storms of life that we are going to endure."

Her husband picked up where she left off later in the service during his sermon, which he began by singing "Lord, I Know You Been So Good."

He said he believe every word written in the Bible, and in divine healing and miracles.

"I know he works miracles because you are looking at a miracle standing here," Straughter said. "I died twice in the month of March, and God brought me back each time."

He said the devil does not want people to know that God is still healing people, and he said people need only to get in the realm of God to receive the blessings and rewards that God has for them. He referred to St. John 15:7, saying "Jesus said, ‘If you live in me, and let my word live in you, you can ask what you will, and it shall be done."

He said there are a lot of people who don't let the word of God live in them, and take only the words of God that fit their agenda. He also said the focus of Miracle Deliverance is to pray for the sick, healing the afflicted and casting out demons, a power he said Jesus gave to his disciples.

Citing Matthew 16:13-19, he said Jesus gave preachers the keys to the kingdom when the church began.

"You all don't know how important the preachers are," he said. "He gave them the keys to heaven."

He said Christians should not place a lot of emphasis on denominations because Jesus Christ's church is made up of a body of baptized believers.

"Do you know denominations are most people's faith now -their faith!" he shouted. "You ask a person, ‘What is your faith, and they are going to tell you about their denomination."

He ended his sermon by emphasizing the need for the church to help lead people to salvation.

"We have a responsibility to get people saved because God is coming back for a saved church," he said.

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