Cohen's told to ‘stay at their post'

The Jacksonville District Choir ministers in music during the Jacksonville District Convention of the Churches of the Living God on Friday at Cohen's Temple in Gainesville.

ELIZABETH HAMILTON/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 7:52 p.m.

Cohen's Temple First Born Church of the Living God hosted a three-day auxiliary convention that ended last Friday night with parishioners vowing to "stay at their post" as ambassadors for Christ, no matter how much wickedness they encounter in the world.



Pastor: Superintendent Gary L. Cohen Sr.

Location: 503 NE 15th St.

Services: Sunday school is 10 a.m., morning worship is 11:30 a.m. and evening worship is 6:30 p.m. Bible study is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and prayer service is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Phone: 352-505-0951.

The church, located at 503 NE 15th St. and pastored by Superintendent Gary L. Cohen Sr., hosted the Jacksonville District Auxiliary Convention of the First Born Church of the Living God Inc. North Florida Diocese. The theme was "As Active Ambassadors with the Compassion of Christ Doing M.O.R.E. (Ministry of Reconciliation to Everyone, at Everytime and Everywhere."

The service featured an encouraging sermon from Dr. Detroit R. Williams, pastor of Williams Temple Church of God in Christ in Gainesville, and uplifting, soulful and holy ghost-filled singing by the First Born Church Jacksonville District Choir led by Elder Lawrence McMillan of Cohen's Temple.

"They'll sing all night if you let them," said Cohen, before introducing Williams, whom he said has been his friend for many years.

McMillan pulled double duty during the service, leading the praise team and the church overview, which included him and parishioners singing the church's national theme song and reciting the church's pledge, religious beliefs, mission statement, vision, apostle's creed, purpose and motto.

The rousing sermon delivered by Williams was the highlight of the service. Williams said preaching at the church was like completing a circle, because in 1955, he preached his first sermon at First Born Church of the Living God on Dunn Street in Tallahassee.

Williams, who told parishioners to imagine they were boarding a bus heading back to their homes at the end of the convention, told them it was very important that they took something home with them from the convention that will stay with them in their spiritual lives.

"Your pastors want to know that there is growth going on in your lives," Williams said.

He preached from several scriptures, including John 9:4, II Corinthians 5:18-20 and others, on the subject of "Staying at Your Post." He said those who have chosen to be ambassadors for Christ must stay at their post and do what God has called them to do. He said becoming an ambassador for Christ means that there has been a reconciliation between a person and their sins.

"When sin has messed us up, God has a way of reconciling us," said Williams, who also told parishioners they can make a difference in the lives of others if they stay at their post.

He urged parishioners to participate in his sermon by shouting "Stay at your post" every time he waved a white towel he held in his hand. He also said it is important for Christians to do good works while they are alive.

"It is time to go to work because time is winding up," he said. "If you are going to do work for the Lord, do it, and don't be slow to do it!"

He ended his sermon by saying ambassadors for Christ can have a big influence on others.

"Stay at your post because a soul needs your witness and your testimony," Williams said.

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