A spirit-filled day at New Macedonia

Members of the congregation worship during the Family and Friends Day service at New Macedonia Baptist Church in Gainesville.

BRAD McCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:14 p.m.

The Family and Friends Day service at New Macedonia Baptist Church quickly turned into a holy ghost party from the beginning until the end of the service.



Pastor: Rev. Dr. Willie E. Caison.
Location: 1204 NW 10th Ave.
Services: Church School is 9:45 a.m. Sunday, followed by morning worship at 10:45 a.m. and evening worship at 5:45 p.m. every fourth Sunday. Family enrichment Bible experience and dinner is 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Phone: 352-222-0112.

Held Sunday afternoon during a downpour of rain, the service at the church at 1204 NW 10th Ave. began with a soulful and energetic praise and worship session and ended with an extremely powerful word from God about the importance of knowing who to trust.

The pastor of the church is the Rev. Dr. Willie E. Caison, but the word was delivered by one of Caison's brothers in Christ, the Rev. Rollie Murray of Bethel Baptist Church in Orlando, who traveled to Gainesville with members and the choir from Bethel.

The service began with the New Macedonia Praise Team, led by Shanterria Williams, singing "We Worship You" and "I Get Joy When I Think About What He's Done for Me."

It didn't take long for parishioners to respond to the energy of the praise team and the church was in a spiritual utopia in less than 10 minutes into the service.

"How many of you know that prayer still works?" Williams asked parishioners before leading the singing of "Prayer Still Works."

The atmosphere in the church was electric and Caison took it to another level when he picked up the microphone and began to sing along with the praise team.

"Prayer still works!" Caison shouted.

After several songs by the choir from Bethel and a praise dance performance by New Macedonia member Jessica Williams to "Take Me to the King" by Tamela Mann, Murray delivered his sermon.

He preached from Isaiah 36:1-10. The subject was "Who is the Object of Your Trust." He said the text of his sermon illustrates how important it is to know that God will deliver you out of any crisis. He said all crisis situations come when they want to whether people are ready for them.

"The question is, ‘Who is your object of trust during a crisis?'" Murray asked.

He said no matter the crisis, people of God must always maintain their faith in God despite what naysayers say. He said there is no way he will let someone who does not know anything about God persuade him to change his mind about God or church. He also urged parishioners to do the same.

"I'm not going to let nobody change my mind about the Lord," he said. "You might not like me, but I'm going to stand on the word of the Lord."

Murray ended his sermon by digging deep down into his soul, and in an instant, parishioners were dancing around the church and shouting praises to God.

"You ought to praise the Lord if he has done anything for you," Murray said. "Praise him! Praise him! Praise him."

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