Honoring ushers


Members of the youth and adult ushers ministry march into the church Sunday afternoon to celebrate the First Missionary Baptist Church annual Adult and Youth Ushers Anniversary.

BRAD McCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.

In Psalm 84:10, which is often used to describe the important roles ushers have in the church, David states that, "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."

Facts

FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

* Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Tyrone Blue.

* Location: 1515 SE 15th St.

* Services: Breakfast before Sunday School is 8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m., followed by Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and morning worship at 11 a.m. Sunday school training is 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by prayer meeting at 7 p.m. and Bible study at 7:30 p.m. Youth fellowship and Bible study is 6:45-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

* Phone: 352-373-8852.

And on Sunday, that scripture was repeated numerous times during the First Missionary Baptist Church annual Adult and Youth Ushers Anniversary service.

Just like is custom at the church, the ushers must have been doing a fantastic job because not only did the parishioners who packed the church act as if they were excited about the service, the holy ghost must have been excited about the service as well, because it was filled with the spirit of the Lord.

The spirit was so powerful in the church, it moved one lady to come to the altar to get save and join the church, while her mother came to the altar for prayer. While at the altar, the mother said she also wanted prayer for a younger daughter, who appeared to be an elementary-aged girl.

After praying for the girl, Missionary Queen Dunmore of Hopewell Church of God by Faith in Micanopy, who presided over the service, escorted the girl to get hugs from the elders of the church.

"Every mother in this church, call her name and call it loud," Dunmore said. "You are delivered. Glory to God! Glory to God! This child is delivered."

The speaker was Evangelist Gladys Ellis of Jerusalem Church of God by Faith in the Monteocha community, and there was a special performance by ventriloquist Charles Groover and Oscar the Puppet Ministry of Orlando.

The service began with ushers from several other churches joining a processional led by the First Missionary Baptist youth and adult ushers as the Voices of First Missionary Baptist choir sang "Walk in the Light."

The visiting churches represented in the ushers processional were Dayspring, Johnson Chapel, Mount Hermon and Mount Moriah Baptist churches, Williams Temple Church of God in Christ and Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, all of Gainesville; Jerusalem Church of God by Faith; Mount Zion AME Church in Hawthorne and St. Joseph Baptist Church in Archer.

The service also included First Missionary adult usher Cassandra McCallum recognizing youth ushers Caleb Walden and James Walden Jr. for their academic achievement last school year and Nathan Baker for his growth as an usher and person. McCallum also gave all of the youth ushers a gift to show how much they are appreciated.

Groover, who uses his puppet, Oscar, to lip sync and dance to gospel songs, mesmerized the crowd with Oscar's rendition of "God's Gonna Work It Out" by Paul Porter and "Right on Time" by Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC's.

Sporting cornrows, Oscar was dressed in beige pants, a vest and a tie, a dark brown shirt and red sunglasses rimmed with chrome. Every time he "broke it down" with classic dance, hands and head moves, parishioners showed their approval by applauding wildly. Little children stood in the center aisle to get a good look at the duo and numerous parishioners used their cell phones and other electronic gadgets to record the performance. Groover and Oscar received thunderous ovations after both songs.

As she continued with her duties as presider, Dunmore shared what she observed during the performance by Groover and Oscar. "What I saw in that is that if we don't start praising God, he is going to let Oscar do it," said Dunmore.

During her sermon, Ellis preached about having faith in God and the importance of praising God no matter what you are going through. She also spent time talking directly to ushers about the important role they play in the church. Standing by the doors to the sanctuary of the church like an usher, she told ushers "to welcome people into the church with thanksgiving."

She said there are some ushers who are not living right because they drink alcohol, smoke, and among other things, "cuss their wives out before they get to church, then get to church and act like they are holy."

She ended her sermon with a simple charge to ushers.

"I say to the ushers today, you have to do it right," Ellis said.

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