Packing pews at Hope to World

Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 3:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 3:29 p.m.

Parishioners in the pews at Hope to the World Church heard a sermon from a woman of God who spoke about how the church needs to get its act together.

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Evangelist Gwendolyn Allen of Lake City delivers the sermon at the Pack a Pew service at Hope to the World Church.

CLEVELAND TINKER/Special to the Guardian



* Pastor: The Rev. Robinsky Reed

* Location: 1734 SE Hawthorne Road

* Services: Sunday school is 8 a.m., followed by morning worship at 9 a.m. Bible study and prayer meeting are 6 p.m. Tuesday.

* Phone: 352-376-6447

Evangelist Gwendolyn Allen of Lake City was the guest speaker at the church's fourth annual Pack a Pew service held Sunday morning at the church at 1734 SE Hawthorne Road. Allen delivered her sermon in a dynamic and energetic manner, while using colorful words for dramatic effect.

For example, she said she used to have reverence for BMWs, a "black man working," but has learned to have the same reverence for AMWs, "any man working."

She preached from II Timothy 3:1-5. The title of her sermon was "You Are Going to Need God in Times Like This."

The Rev. Brenda McCaslin, pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Windsor, presided over the service. She began the service by asking parishioners if they were glad to be in the house of the Lord one more time.

"There are some people who wish they could be here this morning, but are not able to be here," McCaslin said. "I am thankful for every chance I get to praise His name."

She said people should be happy that God affords them the ability to worship him in their right minds and with healthy bodies, but she added that worshipping God is a choice people have to make.

McCaslin then led in the singing of "I'm Glad to be in the Service One More Time."

Praise and worship was led by The Gainey Family of Gainesville and Deborah Welch of Gainesville recited the story about "Shouting John," before singing "I Feel Like Praising Him."

During the announcements, church member Sandra Daniels recognized the 42nd wedding anniversary of the leaders of the church, the Rev. Robinsky Reed and First Lady Sandra Reed.

The highlight of the service was the sermon by Allen, who touched on topics such as disobedient children and the lack of true holiness in the hearts and minds of some churchgoers.

She said a lot of people dress up and play like Christians and often portray themselves as Christians outwardly, but have hearts that don't possess any holiness or respect for God.

"It is going to be what is on the inside of us that will count when the Lord returns," she said. "You can have the form of God and the outward appearance of God, but it is no good if your heart is not of God."

She said God wants his people to build each other up and love one another. She said God also wants adults to take care of the children and teach them about the importance of living holy.

"The devil is on assignment and he is after our young people," she said.

Allen said it is time for the church to use all of its resources and spiritual power to defeat the devil. She said God is keeping a close eye on the church.

"The Bible says judgment is going to begin in the house of the Lord," she said.

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