Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Jacksonville Beach, Florida (not to be confused with Jacksonville Not-The-Beach, Florida), issued me a call in 2011 to be one of their missionaries, a “Pastoral Missionary-at-Large”. They provide a home base, prayerful support and encouragement and funds for health insurance. Dana Brones is their Senior Pastor. Even though he may never read this, still I am happy to say he has a great pastoral heart and solid intellect. God has provided him with a charming and graceful Better Half, Diane. She has quick wits and a fine sense of humor (that means she laughs at my jokes) and has clearly made Dana the man he is today. Plus, I can actually listen to his sermons. And I’m a preacher. That is not easy for us.
Kathleen Olive is the organist and music director and it gives me great joy each time I work with her. She is a natural musician and her love for the Lord shows in her skillful and heartfelt playing.
The members of the congregation have gladly taken us into their fellowship and shown us generous hospitality. We look forward to working with them in the Kingdom for a long time to come, as the Lord wills.
Some of the most wonderful beaches in Florida or anywhere else in the country, for that matter, are just a brief walk away. Much to my dismay, Cinotti’s Bakery is just down the road, and it is fantastic. Unfortunately, they do not make apple fritters, an omission for which I am most thankful.
Thankful praise to the Lord for these partners in the good news of the Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah.