Old-school camp meeting at Victory

Prophetess Tanaka Gates, pastor of the church, leads praise and worship.

ANDREA SARCOS/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3:47 p.m.

The presence of the Lord permeated throughout the atmosphere Friday night during the last week of a week-long Camp Meeting at Victory and Deliverance Life Changing Ministries Inc.



* Pastor: Prophetess Tanaka Gates.

* Location: 238 SW 3rd Ave.

* Services: Morning Manna is 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by morning worship at 11 a.m. Mid-week Word Impact Service is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

* Phone: 352-494-9891.

Prophetess Tanaka Gates, pastor of the church, led an awesome praise and worship part of the service and the Lord plainly spoke through Apostle Edward Pitts of Life Focus Ministries in Orlando. Pitts was the speaker.

"Come on and give God praise," Gates said, "and thank him, thank him and thank him. He's worthy! He's worthy! He's worthy!"

Led by Gates, parishioners sang several inspiring songs, including "I Need You Lord Right Now" and "Jesus, You Are Welcome to Come into My House."

After praise and worship, Pitts wasted no time getting into the meat of his sermon. Preaching with ease and without one note in his hands, Pitts moved around gracefully as he told parishioners that as long as they live in the same condition they have been since being birthed from their mothers' wombs, they are going to always have trouble in their lives.

However, he also told parishioners that when they are born again of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, their troubles won't trouble them as much.

"Have mercy, oh Lord," Pitts said after making that point.

He said people born from a woman's womb only live for a few days, but people who are born again in Jesus Christ live eternally.

"He that is born of the spirit overcomes all things," Pitts said.

He also talked about the importance of having a vision from God that must be written down and made plain. He said writing down visions from God is important because it makes it easier for people to go back to when they get off course.

He thanked Gates for not forgetting where she came from, adding that the Camp Meeting at the church is an old-school idea that she has not forsaken.

"If it had not been for the Lord being on our side, we would not be here today," Pitts said. He said tent and camp meetings used to be common years ago and served as a way for the people of God to get rejuvenated and revived.

Gates, who will turn 40 on Saturday, founded Victory and Deliverance two and a half years ago. She served under Kathleen Dames as an associate pastor at Deliverance Gospel Temple in Gainesville for six and a half years. Gates said she has been in the church since a little girl, and accepted her call to ministry at the age of 19 or 20.

She graduated from Buchholz High School in 1992.

She has been married to Minister Kenuel Gates for eight years, and the couple has four children.

She said Victory and Deliverance is a church that teaches people how to have total victory in all aspects of their lives because many times, people have victory in their lives in one area, but not other areas.

Gates said the camp meeting served a specific purpose.

"A camp meeting is usually a gathering of the saints, and they usually have camp meetings under tents, like a big tent revival," Gates said. "We are living in a more modern time now, so we want to keep the spirit of camp meetings alive. It is designed to stir up the saints and also save the lost."

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