Tuesday, March 17, 2020, is the day we will never forget. It was the very first service that Faith had its doors closed for in-person worship. At that point, all of us were thinking that it would be only a few weeks or a month at the longest until we were all back together again as one body, in one place worshiping God “closely” together. Boy, we couldn’t have been more wrong!
Thankfully, Faith was already working on a brand-new platform that would host all of our video content and make it available across many channels. God had prepared us almost year in advance so that we would be ready to go live when we had to shut our doors on our physical campus. Look at the full vision of our online campus. It is MUCH bigger than COVID. It is MUCH bigger than our members watching online while we cannot be face-to-face. The vision is about accessing every household in our town and surrounding communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For this reason, we have dedicated many resources, both human and financial, to grow this ministry. The year 2020 had a shoestring budget, but in 2021, we are dedicating our Easter Offering (Building Fund) to begin work on an online campus control room that will house all the necessary elements to take our online presence to the next level.
Our channels include the following: WebTV (tv.faithtabernacle.com), Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV and, for your smart phones, Google Play and IOS. You can download our app on these channels by searching for Faith Tabernacle TV.
We are just getting started. The future will include training more people and purchasing more equipment so we can broadcast with excellence and reach the thousands.
Our Easter Offering is one of two sacrificial offerings we receive every year. This offering is 100% dedicated to the improvement of our campus at 110 Utopia Road.
Last year, you once again gave with great sacrifice over
Funds were used for a new elevator/lift ($40k) and the balance used for improvements throughout our campus.
Are you ready to hear about the largest missions offering in the history of our church? The total amount received which is represents over 90% of our pledges was…
We have received over 85% as we write this annual report. We are confident that most of the funds will come in by the end of February 2021.
We were blessed to have missionaries “The Smiths” with us for our missions conference (as you know we cannot share the name of these missionaries because of where they share the gospel).
Missionary John Smith brought an incredible Word that encouraged all of us to take a great step in our giving that was beyond anything we have ever done before. The message was on the different spectrums of faith and how there are levels and dimensions of our faith that we have not even begun to realize. The result? An incredible sacrifice that affected world missions.
This could have not happened without you! Thank you for always be a blessing to others.
Missionary John and Jane Smith $15,500
KQ Ministries $11,000
H.O.M.E. - Guatemala $7,500
Brock House - Haiti $5,000
Move the Mission $7,500
Save our Children $6,000
Mothers Memorial $6,000
Missionary Brad Thompson $2,500
Compassion Services International $3,500
Global Missionary Hosting $3,500
Global Missionary Monthly Partners $5,500
TOTAL GLOBAL MISSIONS $73,500
NORTH AMERICAN MISSIONS
COVID AND HOW WE ADAPTED
COVID-19 changed how we had church for most of 2020. We used a lot of hand sanitizer. We preached to an empty sanctuary. We gave no hugs. We gave no handshakes. We gave no high-fives. We kept six feet apart and social distanced from those we really love. We used hand sanitizer. With much awkwardness, we bumped elbows. We wore masks. We entered and exited in three different places. We used hand sanitizer again. We had altar calls in our seats. We went to two Sunday services. We were allowed to only have 100 people per service. Then we were capped at 225 people. Then we were back to only being allowed to have 100 people. We thought about drinking hand sanitizer. We started digital devotions everyday while we had no in-person services. We became masters of bringing changes of clothes and filming five days of devotions while acting like it was Monday when it was really Friday. We used even more hand sanitizer. That about sums it all up.
At the end of the day, we adapted. We did not abandon the mission. We did not stop having church. We did not stop loving people. We got creative in our methods and didn’t allow excuses to shut down the church. Because of that, we continued to reach, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are better and stronger today, not because of everything we did to adapt, but because we simply said, “We will not quit!” COVID made us stronger.
My Journey To Salvation
After hearing Pastor Kent’s sermons on the return of Christ, I realized that I wasn’t ready for Christ’s return. I felt motivated to live a life pleasing to God. On April 23, 2020, I decided that I would repent of my sins and be baptized. I can’t even begin to describe what I was feeling the moment I was submerged underwater, but I do recall that I felt different and I enjoyed it. I believe that my experience of baptism provided closure to my life the way I had known it. I decided then that I would need to start living a new life.
After I was baptized, I started to slowly but surely devote myself to Christ. I started by reading chapters of the Bible, incorporating prayer into my life, and started surrounding myself with ideals that were pleasing to the Lord. However, as I continued this new life, I began to wonder if I could still enjoy some of my old habits which included listening to inappropriate music and using profanity and I began to feel the temptation of such. I also grew more and more discouraged because I hadn’t spoken in tongues yet. I turned to the Bible in search of assistance and decided that I would not behave in such a sinful way, but instead cut those thoughts out of my head altogether for the sake of my faith journey.
On October 22, 2020, I attended the second service and I recall listening to Pastor Kent define and describe Kingdom Endurance which is the ability to continue to worship, praise, and incorporate Christ into our lives. I began to wonder not only if I was incorporating enough of Christ into my lifestyle, but also if I was worshipping Him with all of my heart and mind. I realized then that I was only focusing a small portion of my interest on Christ. During worship, I set my mind, soul, and body on worshipping Him. As I was worshipping, my lips began to utter an unknown tongue. At that moment, I began to realize that I hadn’t been worshipping Christ to my full potential. I decided from then on, I would no longer become vulnerable to that boundary, and began to not only incorporate more of Christ into my life, but to worship and love Him with all of my heart, mind, body, and soul. Devoting myself to Christ was the best decision I made in my life and I will not take my relationship with the Lord for granted.
On the evening of June 3, 2020, while at home, something came over me that we needed to pray together as a family. We often pray as a family, but something felt different that evening. Thomas and I were standing in the kitchen and I called for Amirah to come in. I told her, “Let’s pray together,” so as we stood in the kitchen and joined hands, I began to pray. Then Thomas began to pray. Then we laid our hands on Amirah and prayed for her. She began to cry. We told her it was ok to cry. To focus on God. To speak to him. Let God hear her voice. To give God the Praise and and to say “Thank you.” We told her that the highest praise is Hallelujah.
The more she spoke those words to God, the more the tears flowed. This continued for quite a few minutes. The anointing was so high. Thomas and I felt her breakthrough coming. Then she was in conversation with God. SHE STARTED SPEAKING IN TONGUES. I took off shouting in one direction and Thomas in the other direction. My God, what a beautiful day.
Amirah kept Praising God. Thomas asked her if she heard herself speak and she said, “Yes but I couldn’t understand it, it was like a different language.” We told her it was in a foreign tongue and that she just received the gift of the Holy Ghost!
My Baptism: The True Leap of Faith
The day I was baptized was a very special day in my adult life. I will always remember that day like it was yesterday. I felt so at peace, joy filled my entire body. I had not a worry in the world on that day. I felt closer to God and felt as though He was shining down on me, proud. A day I will never forget. It put a whole new meaning to “the leap of faith.”
The days leading up to my baptism were a bit of a waiting game. My husband and I had decided to be baptized together, when we were both ready. I was ready to leap right in but wanted to wait for the perfect day, when it felt just right for us both. Every Sunday leading up to that day I would look at my husband and give him a little nudge. He would shake his head, “not yet”. He was waiting for that perfect day.
It was a cold January Sunday of 2020. I looked over at my husband and gave him a nudge and he stood up and started making his way towards the baptismal area. He was ready! I jumped up scurrying behind him, this is the day! I felt nothing but joy. No nerves, no worries, it just felt right. We made our way to change and then up the stairs. Pastor James had my husband go in first, I felt so happy for him, he had that smile. The smile of joy, I believe he felt God with him more than ever. I did. Then Pastor James took my hand and helped me in the water. I know I said it before but really all you feel is joy in that moment. I came back up out of the water and I just remember all I could do is smile. It really was like God was with me more than ever. Walking out of church that day felt like a dream, such a special day. I can remember Pastor Kent’s words, “God looks good on you.” The smile never left my face that day.
After I was baptized, I definitely felt closer to God as did my husband. I started reading the Bible daily. My prayers became more frequent. I always make sure to thank Him for my blessed life and pray for others. I feel as though now I need to do right by Him, more than ever.
Being baptized is a definitely a personal decision, do it when it feels right. I’m so glad I got to have the experience with my husband by my side. You remember that day forever and it changes your way of thinking. You feel God with you and know He will continue to be with you. I want to be the person He intended me to be and do right by Him. Being baptized gave me a whole new look on life and a new beginning with God. It is the true leap of faith and I’m so glad I took it.
Baptism at Faith
I was led to Faith Tabernacle by the Lord. I was in a battle with the enemy in 2020 and the Lord knew I needed to find a church where the Word was being preached along with the presence of the Holy Spirit. After my initial visit to Faith, I knew I had found my church home. During my second visit, my oldest daughter and I both felt the Holy Spirit encouraging us to get baptized after service.
I encourage family members to get baptized. It is such a wonderful experience feeling the Holy Spirit when you come up out of the water. It has completely changed our lives. My daughter and I have a better relationship and we see God immediately responding to our prayers for our family and others. I see God move in miraculous ways in my life. I am profoundly grateful for the experience of being baptized.
My experience was a life-changing one. I was flooded with emotions as I came up from the water and felt the Lord’s presence immediately. My relationship with God has become stronger than ever and I am so glad I made the decision to be baptized.
My name is Christopher Ross. I am so happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to be baptized in the mighty name of Jesus. It’s amazing to know that I was being forgiven for my sins and all the wrongs I have done in my life. Even when man may not forgive me, God has! This made me even more determined to live for the Lord. I don’t deserve His forgiveness, yet He has forgiven me! The day I was baptized, as I came up out of the water, I felt His love and a feeling of newness.
But God was not done with me yet! He showed me His goodness, mercy, and grace by not only forgiving me, but a few months later, filling me with His Holy Spirit. I’m not going to lie, I wanted it bad! I felt left out! I felt disappointed. Week after week, I told myself this week is going to happen, but time after time it did not happen. My wife would tell me not to beat myself up and to just pray that God would reveal to me whatever it was that was blocking me from receiving His precious gift.
He showed me that I needed to surrender to Him fully, not just saying it with my thoughts and words, but actually believing it, by faith.
I struggled with trusting God with everything and I knew that in order to be filled I had to surrender it all! I needed to just let go and have faith in what I could not see or understand. I knew He was real because I felt Him. I have seen my wife in prayer and would hear her pray and speak in tongues. Her powerful prayer would give me chills and I would just look at her amazed at how powerful God is and I wanted to feel what she was feeling. I wanted my inheritance into His Kingdom too! So, I knew what I needed to do, and that was to fully surrender it all! I told myself while I stood at the altar, “This is it Lord! I surrender to You; I give you full control of my life. Let Your will be done in my life, until I reach the Kingdom.” I want to live for Him from this day forward. As I let go and let God lead me at the altar, it happened. I was finally filled with His Holy Spirit. I felt this huge burst of energy flow through my body. The feeling was powerful, beautiful, and amazing. My emotions took over. I felt like my emotions came crashing down on me in waves and electricity. I could not hold back the tears as they flowed down my face and I felt my body shake. My thoughts were in shock and amazement. I was expecting it but then again, it felt unexpected because I didn’t know what I was going to feel. His love is what I felt. My words became unknown, but whatever I was saying I knew it was full of love because tears continue to pour out of my eyes and my heart finally felt full and complete.
As I left the church, all I can think about is His Love and His goodness. My eyes are open, and I can see things I have never understood or have seen before. God has been so good to me and for that I am forever grateful and committed to serve and endure in this race until I reach the Kingdom.
“My Bible study experience with Becky has been informative and personal. Informative in the timeline of the Old Testament (we didn’t get to the New Testament because of COVID). Personal in that it was just Becky and me. I could interject, ask questions, and comment without feeling embarrassed. I look forward to continuing with the New Testament when it’s safe to do so.”
Backpack Give Back
Even though things were much different in 2020, we made the decision to still partner with the Town of Manchester like we do every year for our annual Backpack Give Back. Instead of providing actual backpacks, the Town donated gift cards for school supplies to families in need. Thanks to your support and contributions from local business partners, we were able to donate $6,044.00 to this initiative.
Thanks to our Business Partners!
• Signature Smiles Family Dentistry
• Louise Fontaine – First World Mortgage
• Attorney Jeffrey Walsh
• TGM Copiers
• Bo Muschinsky, Insurance Agent
Our weekly enFOCUS Tutoring has provided free tutoring for students in our community for over 7 years. With the changes brought by COVID, we moved the program to a virtual format.
We had 7 students and 7 tutors register for the program in the fall. We are thankful to be able to continue offering free tutoring as a service to our community even during these unique times.
Vacation Bible School was online only this year but was well attended. We had an incredible Virtual VBS as we talked about “The Great Escape” from the things that trap us. Jeremy Joyce from Apopka, FL, joined us virtually. We even had an online escape room! Even though we weren’t meeting in person, we were still able to get together and have a fun time while learning about God’s word.
You can still check out the escape room!
Check out the VBS videos !
Kids Rock ONLINE
From March to October 2020, Kids Rock went completely virtual with Kids Rock ONLINE!
Our team worked to create a fun and exciting online experience for our FAITH kids every Saturday at 5 PM. We even produced videos for our Pre-K/K and Nursery classes. While not the same as giving high-fives in person, it was a creative way for us to stay connected with “our” kids!
You can check still check them out at tv.faithtabernacle.com!
The COVID restrictions also forced us to change our formats for Tuesday nights. Since we were not able to have midweek classes in person, we started a weekly Zoom class for our 4th-6th graders.
Each week, our teachers hold a 20-30-minute class that includes ice breakers, an interactive Bible lesson and discussion time. It has been great to stay connected with our 4th-6th graders during the week!
The year 2020 brought many unexpected changes. It forced us to be creative and think of different ways that we to fulfill our mission of connecting children to God through His Word. We were able to take Kids Rock online and connect with your children digitally. Thank you for your support of Kids Rock and for allowing your children to be a part!
Elevate Youth Ministries
It was an honor to step into the role of Youth Pastors of Elevate Youth Ministries in 2020. This past fall, we rebranded the look of Elevate. As a part of the rebranding, we cast a vision for the future of Elevate Youth Ministries. Our mission is to create a student-focused culture in Christ. To accomplish this vision, six other student leaders joined the team to better serve your students. These leaders have a passion and a deep love for both God and your kids. All together, we have an amazing Youth Team, each with different abilities and talents that work be an example to the students. We are excited about the new look for Elevate and the future we know God has for this ministry.
We started a new program called “Leaders in Training.” This development program is open to every student in Elevate. Each student is given the opportunity to rotate through four different ministry areas at Faith. This year, these four highlighted ministries are greeting, videography, photography, and media. Each ministry is led by one of our Youth Team members (called Coaches) that are putting in the time and effort to serve and train each student individually in the focus area. Our goal is that even at your student’s age, they can begin to realize that God has a purpose for them, and they can be used for Him even at this stage of life
The year 2020 was a great year for Elevate Youth Ministries. The challenges brought by the pandemic have drawn our group closer together. We are stronger and ready for the future. We believe this is only the beginning of what God has in store for Elevate and we are excited for what He is going to do with both the students and our team.
Elevate Your Summer
In a year full of unknowns, God showed up in miraculous ways for Elevate Your Summer. We set a goal of $15,000, and God exceeded our expectations!
All together, we ended up raising over
We raised money for nine different global and local initiatives, including Tupelo Children’s Mansion, New Beginnings, H.O.M.E. International, MACC Kitchen, and Compassion Service International.
Each of the students were challenged to become a MVP, which means they personally would raise at least $750 dollars. Seven of our students reached this goal with four of them personally raising over $1000. We are so proud of every student and their hard work throughout the summer. One of our favorite parts of Elevate Your Summer are Tribe Nights. This summer we had two AMAZING Tribe Nights! The theme of one night was water wars and the other was color wars! It was great to see the students bring friends, have fun and build connections together!
Elevate Your Summer ended with a 5K, a time where we could walk/run together to raise money towards our focus causes! It was a great time with perfect weather, an ideal end to an amazing summer. We are so thankful to Chick-fil-a for donating food for the participants and families in the 5K! This summer was such a success, and it was only possible with the support from our Faith family.
Every spring and fall, we give a four-month giving challenge while teaching the principles of God’s Word regarding tithes and offerings.
This past year, we had
people take the challenge to move their giving to the next level.
For some, it was giving a tithe for the very first time. For others, it was giving above the tithe to offerings, missions and the building fund. This continuous challenge for the past 20 years has helped people grow in their faith and in giving. It has been a key foundational teaching for our ongoing growth in giving.
There are many words we COULD use to describe the year 2020…we could say it was a year of tests and trials, a year of sadness, loss, and heartbreak. For many it was a year filled with anxiety, desperation, darkness, and uncertainty. In the midst of all that, you showed up and showed the world what hope, love, and a family of FAITH looks like. So, the words we WILL use are unity, sacrifice, obedience, hope, and love. In times of hardship and crisis, you united as a family and showed the world the heart of Christ.
In 2020, P25 distribution looked a little different, but that didn’t stop you from giving your absolute best. In fact, your monthly P25 offerings left us speechless and overwhelmed by your generosity.
In total, you gave
to our community. When the lives and livelihoods of many were threatened, you sacrificed despite the needs of your own families.
At Thanksgiving, you showed our neighbors the true meaning of love. With a record offering of
we were able to bless over
families with a turkey and the ability to purchase the necessary sides!
Of those meals
went directly to support Manchester Regional Academy, a local school for at-risk students who would not have otherwise had a Thanksgiving celebration.
Christmas was no different. We sponsored
for a total of
students at Manchester Regional Academy!
God has blessed us in so many ways, and, at FAITH, we whole-heartedly believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive. You were obedient to His word, gave so many people hope, and showed the world what it means to truly love your neighbors as yourselves. On behalf of our neighbors and friends,
THANK YOU for your unwavering sacrifice!
HOME International is a children’s home in Guatemala that provides faith, family, and a future for kids in need. This orphanage works to fight for the rights of children while giving them the tools they need for a better future. Your partnership provides food, a quality education, 24-hour care, medical attention, and, most importantly, an introduction to the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Ke Nan Ke means “Heart to Heart” in Haitian. The orphanage, The Brock House, is a children’s home in Haiti that provides for children whose families are unable to care for them. The poverty rate, complicated by natural disasters, means that many children find themselves on the streets without food or shelter. Your sponsorship of The Brock House makes it possible for 15 children to know what it feels like to go to sleep in a safe place, with a full belly, and a hope for a brighter future.
New Beginnings Adoption Agency in Tupelo, MS, works to promote life and new beginnings for children, birth mothers, and families through parenting education and adoption. New Beginnings believes that every child deserves a forever family. With a domestic adoption program, international adoption programs, orphan care programs, and teen pregnancy prevention programs, New Beginnings is taking a stand for LIFE!