The beaches of Saint Lucie County make for a unique and beautiful destination for a holiday retreat; however, for a group of students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF), relaxation was an afterthought. Instead, students in Theology Division Chair and Missions Professor Rich Elligson's Church Planting practicum spent a week working with Discovery Church, encouraging local church plants in the area, taking surveys, and investing time and energy in teachers and high school students.
This church planting course was different than those of years past because, rather than working with a brand new church plant, BCF teamed up with a church that they helped launch during the Church Planting practicum almost eight years ago. The church currently meets in the cafeteria of an elementary school, but has a plan in the works for their own building just five miles from their current meeting spot. Pastor Tim O'Carroll and his wife, Audra, live in Indian River Estates in Port Saint Lucie and desire to see their community come to know Christ, which is why they are beginning to focus more of their efforts in that area.
The goal for the weeklong BCF mission project was to survey the neighborhood and assess resident needs. Students promoted Discovery Church to those who expressed an interest and were unchurched; they also sought to share the gospel with those who had no interest in plugging into a local church. The four-member team served coffee and donuts at several elementary schools in the area, worked directly with high school students as they shared what God is doing in their lives during First Priority meetings, and painted the home of an eighty-three year old resident in the area.
O'Carroll noted that in the lifetime of Discovery Church, they have experienced many challenges, as well as victories. He stated that, despite the difficulties experienced as a result of the immense number of location changes they have had to make, "We have experienced the lost become found because found people find people. We have fed and clothed many in our community because we believe that saved people serve people." He and his congregation feel that God has blessed their church and they look forward to seeing what victories He will bring through their new location.
To learn more about mission courses and projects offered through The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 ext. 460 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.