Sunday, December 20, 2015

10-Year Church Anniversary

Our church, Faithful Word Baptist Church, was started on Sunday, December 25th, 2005, in our living room. We had just moved to the area days earlier, and didn't know a single soul. The video below was made by our good friend and filmmaker, Paul Wittenberger, as a way to commemorate the history of our church thus far, and to surprise my husband with all the things that we have been planning behind the scenes. 

 

This is such a moving video! The first time I saw it, I bawled like a baby. I still tear up every time I see it again.


Today, we celebrated our 10-year church anniversary, and what an exciting day it has been so far! When I look at our church now, it is much like when mothers look at their children - they just always see the little baby they once were. In much the same way, when I look around at our church members, I still feel like we are that same, close-knit, family-like, very small band of likeminded Christians. Only now, we are not that small any more, as I realized fully last night as I looked out across the empty, decorated building, ready to welcome a big crowd of people the next day.

Sure enough, our Sunday morning record attendance reached 217 today. It seems like I just blinked my eyes, and here were are, all "grown up." This work was not done by human hands, though much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into it (literally). Ultimately, it is the work of God and the Holy Spirit working in and through the lives of our church members.




That's my wittle baby Solomon on the right. Oh wait, he's not a baby anymore, either...




You can view the full service below:



One of the things that has been such a blessing to me throughout these years is that the family that came on the first Sunday, and is in many of the pictures in the video above, continues to be faithful to our church to this day. The husband and children got saved and baptized in our church (included in the anniversary video). Today, the wife gave me this beautiful handmade tree ornament, which will become one of our family keepsakes as it holds so much significance for us.
 

Another lady who started coming the second Sunday has likewise stuck with us through thick and thin all these years, and missed maybe a handful of services due to sickness in all that time. She has for many years now been one of my closest friends and confidantes, as she has seen us through many trials and triumphs. She is now married and about to welcome their first child, so Lord willing, there are many more blessed days ahead as she joins me on the journey of motherhood.

One of the ladies at our church made a "Baby Wall" of photos that have been sent in from families around the country and the world who had a(nother) baby as a direct result of the preaching against birth control. If you have a baby photo or photos you would like us to add this wall, please mail it to the church address. She also brought a box full of notes of thanks and encouragement that have come in the mail or by email.

Today, we also opened up the new extension to our current auditorium. This really is an answer to prayer, as the space became available a year or so ago, but the landlord was not able at that time to take down the necessary walls and do all the work to join that suite with our current building. It is a perfect space for our growing needs, as it will provide ample more seating, an additional office, more storage space, another restroom, and a third mother-baby room. It also gives us a lot of open space for food and fellowship such as weddings, baby showers, and other celebrations. Expanding our current building is infinitely easier than finding new space to rent somewhere else, and we trust that the Lord will keep opening doors for us as the need arises.



After the service, we enjoyed a wonderful hot lunch of barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, quiches, salads, coleslaw, chips, veggies, and a delicious spread of desserts. There was just the right amount of food for everyone to eat as much as they wanted, without too many leftovers (that's always a bit of a gamble).




Last, but certainly not least, a HUGE BIG THANK YOU to all those at our church and online who planned, organized, and raised money behind the scenes to surprise us with TWO vacations - one for the whole family to a cabin in the woods up north near Prescott for a week, and one for just my husband and myself for ten (!!) days in Maui. I was in on all these surprises, as it would not be possible to make such extensive travel plans for a family our size without an "insider," but it came as a surprise to the rest of the family. I will share more about these trips in another post, so that if you are one of the listeners who so generously gifted us with this, you can know what you had a part in.

Such an awesome day! All glory to God, who truly will build His church in His time, and by His grace, the gates of hell have not prevailed against it even when it seemed like they might. I am so proud of my husband and all our church members for the great work we are doing together for the Lord here at Faithful Word Baptist Church. By God's grace and mercy, the best is yet to come!

11 comments:

  1. Yayyyyy!!!!! Hahaha I'm so happy for you guys God is truly rewarding you for all your and your husband and your family's hard work!!! You guys have been an inspiration to me to live more godly and have helped me get out if all kinds if sin, and taught me the truth through the sermons... I live on the other side of the country from you, and it would not be possible at this point for me to go out there, even though u would love to... But happy aniversery!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!! From the bottom of our hearts! We are so happy for you guys. We love you guys so very much. So fun watching the Lord build your church and seeing all the changed lives and souls saved. One problem: your vacation should have been booked near us!!!! Lol! Love you all. -The Argon Family-

    ReplyDelete
  3. This work is going on is truly amazing! Several families up here in Canada have been challenged and moved by Pastor Anderson's preaching over the years like no other preaching we have ever heard. We attend our churches but can hardly wait to listen to the lastest FWBC messages. The video was so touching. I was wondering something after watching the testimonials. Have people saved through your church soul winning program ended up being long term members at the church? I ask because it seems many people that are newly saved unfortunately want to hear a more watered down message compared to something like Pastor Anderson's down the line messages. I know that what really matters is that they got saved, however, I do hope they find themselves growing under Pastor Anderson's preaching. Just a curious. Keep pressing on!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations, Zsuzsanna! What a lovely video and a lovely service. You guys have done an amazing amount of work over these past ten years. You are amazing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Mrs. Anderson. I was wondering if the Faithful word baptist listeners site was still in use? I signed up and haven't had any word back. Just wondering. Thank you

    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  6. It appears the majority of members who appear in the video were not already Arizona residents but moved in order to attend the church because it was the only "correct" church they could find. How do you ensure that your church does not become a cult-like environment (like Westboro or the FLDS) and continues to acknowledge that God's Church is global and that the Holy Spirit works in various cultures worldwide? Does your husband preach on global missions frequently? Do you believe it's biblical for churches in other countries to keep some elements of their own culture in their worship services?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am not a christian fundamentalist so perhaps it is a type of religious cultural difference; however I am curious why the wives did not say anything? They stood in the video looking timid as their husband's spoke. Does the man become the primary speaker for the family? I am honestly curious. A lot of people have said that christian fundamentalism is a more male dominated religion with women taking a more submissive role. I was curious as to your explanation on this.

    ReplyDelete

Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.