Here are some of the exciting things that happened at Killearn Campus in 2015:
Baptism is a sign of our union with Christ, where we identify ourselves with Jesus in his life, death and resurrection. In 2015, we had three baptism services (two at Killearn and one at Midtown), with 12 people getting baptized. Of these, five were young people, who went through a special class with their parents to determine their readiness for baptism. During the baptism service, those getting baptized are asked to give their testimony and reason for desiring to follow Christ in this way.
OFI (Of First Importance) Conference
The OFI conference, held in January 2015, was designed to help pastors and ministry leaders consider what it really looks like to prioritize the good new of Jesus in life and ministry. Over 125 local pastors and ministry leaders attended. Sessions included:
- Daniel Montgomery, pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Lousville, KY, speaking on “Why Leaders Need the Whole Gospel” and “Gospel Witnesses”
- Jared Wilson, director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Seminary, speaking on “The Gospel-Wakened Leader” and “The Gospel and the Leaders’ Dark Night”
- Dave Harvey, pastor of preaching at Four Oaks, speaking on “David Brainerd: When Dreams Are Dashed” and “The Wisdom of Weakness”
- Pete Greasley, pastor of Christchurch Newport in the United Kingdom, speaking on “The Sufficiency of the Gospel: Making Christ All.”
Audio from the 2015 OFI Conference can be heard at oficonference.com.
G.E.M.S. (God's Extraordinary Miracles) Special Needs Ministry
During the first service on Sundays at the Killearn campus, G.E.M.S. provides a nurturing, God-honoring environment for children and adults with special needs. We trust God to use these times to shape the hearts of these students and enable their parents to worship the Lord without concern. Each child or adult in the class is provided with one-on-one attention by well-trained volunteers seeking to include them into Sunday School class activities as much as possible. Our heart is to come along side these families and offer practical, loving services that would express the love of Christ in the day-to-day care of their children/adults. We recognize that these families are often not understood and feel alienated from church activities. We, in our own weakness, attempt to be more sensitive, available and loving in response to the growing needs of these families.
Four Oaks Family Christmas
On December 6, we celebrated our 2nd Four Oaks Family Christmas, complete with hay rides, a photo booth complete with an old fashioned truck and snow from Frosty the Snowman, hot apple cider, s’mores cooked over fire pits, and lots of fun. Fellowship groups provided Christmas sweets and savory snacks for over 700 participants. The evening started with Christmas carols, an ugly sweater contest, and a chain saw demonstration (illustrating the “stump of Jesse” from Isaiah 11)! Both campuses came together and brought friends, neighbors, and family members for an evening that was designed to celebrate Christmas in a way everyone can appreciate.
The Living Harvest Food Bank and Thrift Store
This year we welcomed the Living Harvest Thrift store to Four Oaks Center. Living Harvest is a Christ-centered re-entry program for the formally incarcerated. They help participants grow through 12-step programs, education, and service. Theyoperate a community thrift store, food bank and provide vouchers for those in need. The Living Harvest Food Bank is a branch of the FarmShare organization that provides fresh, in-season food to people living in poverty. Our goal is to reach the impoverished and working poor of North Tallahassee and provide them with the fresh produce often unavailable for families on a strict budget. The food bank operates from 9 AM to 12 PM on Saturday mornings at Four Oaks Center. Twenty-five to 30 families are served on Saturday mornings. Several Four Oaks families have committed to helping with this ministry.
PlayBig and 4Oaks Students
PlayBig, which is located at Four Oaks Center, specializes in trans-disciplinary treatment of children & teens with sensory processing disorder, autism, developmental delay, attention system deficits, and social, emotional & behavioral challenges. 4Oaks Students partners with PlayBig to provide “buddies” ( high school aged students) for clients who want to attend 4Oaks Students Wednesday Night Large Group. Since the launch of the program, these PlayBig clients have become an integral part of the 4Oaks Students ministry.
With Food Truck Wednesday we create a space to engage people who live in the many neighborhoods surrounding the Four Oaks Center. Week after week, 6-7 food trucks show up to serve their specialties to hundreds of people who come out to enjoy some open air dining, meet new neighbors, and enjoy live music, which is offered at times throughout the spring and fall. Food Truck Wednesday not only gives our church family a place to enjoy a mid-week dinner (often because they are coming up to the church anyway for 4Oaks Students Large Group, an adult Bible Study, or Fellowship Group), but a place where we can interact with food truck vendors and members of our community who come out for a little mid-week food and fun.