A lesson for virtuous women

Minister Victor Bradley, left, of Jesus Christ of Nazareth Worship and Praise Temple, and Brenda Bradley worship during the “Women in White” service at the church.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.

The 3rd annual “Women in White” service at Jesus Christ of Nazareth Worship and Praise Temple featured a no nonsense sermon from a woman of God who preached about how some virtuous women were not always virtuous.



Pastor: Elder Henry Thompson.
Location: 436 NW 2nd St.
Services: Sunday school is 10 a.m., followed by morning worship at 11:30 a.m. Noonday prayer is Monday and prayer meeting and Bible study are 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Phone: 352-371-4005.

The Rev. Patricia Lavan, associate pastor of A Crown of Life Ministries in Gainesville, delivered the sermon Sunday afternoon at Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which she focused on how God used a prostitute to protect Israelite spies who were sent out to survey enemy territory in the city of Jericho before warfare ensued.

She mentioned that the theme of the service was “Virtuous Women in Today’s Church,” and soon afterward, she began to preach about the Biblical character named Rahab, whom she said the Bible describes as the “prostitute in the house.”

“I want to preach about a bad woman who became a good woman,” Lavan said. “I want you to know that all virtuous women didn’t start out virtuous. Some of us have had some snags in our lives and some things that happened in our lives that caused us to want to be virtuous.”

Elder Henry Thompson, pastor of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, presided over the service, which began with members of his church and parishioners from A Crown of Life greeting each other with hugs and kisses. After shaking the hand of a member of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a member of A Crown of Life said, “This feels like a family reunion.”

Thompson said the service was another chance to worship the Lord, adding that “We are going to make a fuss up in here.”

And a fuss was made, with parishioners praising the Lord in a mighty way, beginning with Dorothy Thompson, first lady of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, leading the singing of “I Love to Praise His Name.” That was followed by a consecration prayer by Minister Brenda Bradley of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m looking to have a good time today,” Bradley said. “Let God have his way.”

Dorothy Thompson then gave the welcome. She encouraged parishioners not to be ashamed of being inside the house of the Lord.

“When I think of Jesus, and all he has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah!” she said.

Pastor Algera Lavan of A Crown of Life, the husband of Rev. Patricia Lavan, presided over the rest of the service, which he began by saying the atmosphere needed to be set before his wife delivered her sermon. He then summoned the praise and worship team and choir from A Crown of Life to lift up the name of Jesus in song.

They did what they were asked to do and Patricia Lavan did the rest by delivering a riveting sermon using plain, simple and easy to understand words.

The title of her sermon was “Don’t Count Me Out.” She preached from Joshua 2:1-12 and Joshua 6:22-25. She said she preached about Rahab because a lot of people fail to see the worth of women who are considered to be bad women. She said although every rose looks beautiful, every rose has a thorny beginning.

“There are some thorns behind the rose,” she said. “There are some hardships behind the rose. There are some disappointments behind the rose.”

She said the scripture states that Rahab helped the spies on the condition that the spies would make sure her family was not harmed when the Israelites took over the land of Canaan, including the city of Jericho.

She said Rahab knew that God favored the Israelites and that it didn’t make any sense trying to fight against them.

She said the moral of the story is that God will use anybody to advance his kingdom and people should not judge others.

“One thing about God is that he uses who he wants to use,” Lavan said.

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