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Church turns focus on community

caines | 10/4/2012, 5:30 a.m.

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Family and friends join Ebenezer at FRANK Day

It started out as a great idea: holding a worship service that includes friends, relatives, associates, neighbors, children and those who are not members of the body of Christ. But as members of the ministerial staff at Ebenezer United Methodist Church said last Sunday, sometimes Satan gets in the way. Still, as many Christians know, its those times when God often shows up and shows out. And the event last Sunday, Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors and Kids (FRANK) Day, turned out to be a perfect example of Christians overcoming obstacles to praise God. According to comments from the ministerial staff, there were changes made in the program, in the selection of music and even in the speaker for the day, despite their best intentions and planning. But in the end, like the ram in the bush, Dr. Walter T. Richardson, well known in the Miami Christian community, stepped in as the guest preacher at the service. He spoke in place of the Rev. Gregory James, an ardent advocate for ex-felons based out of Tallahassee, who was hospitalized on Friday and unable to travel. According to Rev. David Larmond, staff minister at Ebenezer, Richardsons sermon perfectly addressed the FRANK Day theme. He preached from the story of Joseph in Genesis 51 saying It had to be like that to turn out like this. He illustrated how each experience and person he faced helped to prepare Joseph for his inevitable future. Even though there were times when people let Joseph down, he could always turn to God. It was just what we needed to hear. Its Biblical to [fellowship] with those we know, said Rev. Purnell Moody, associate minister. Thats the first place we should go to share our faith. If our example is Christ-like we believe it will influence others to desire what we have. Moody invited his granddaughter and others but invitations were sent out to people throughout the area. Malika Moody, 23, Moodys granddaughter, said the event was nice. It was good to see people of different religions come together to worship God, she said. As for Richardson, the last-minute speaker, he said this his being chosen was not due to circumstance. Rather, it was part of Gods plan. Im just glad to be a part of Gods plan, he said. Larmond, who was one of the planners, hopes to make these kinds of services a regular part of the churchs ministry a ministry that includes taking the word into the streets of Miami. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com