Thursday, December 8, 2011

Church Appreciation Banquet 2011

The Banquet is a doozy! 
Why? Cause it happens once a year, and there's food!

If you missed this one of a kind event then you really missed out. There was plenty of food to feed like 5,000 people! Well, maybe not that many, but I'm sure God would make a way if there were that many. All the saints had a great time sharing one another's company and looking back on a great year.

As we do every year, we all worked on a sheet of Brain teasers. The table that had the answer to question number nine was first to be dismissed. Surprisingly, almost every table had their hands raised, and Brother Richard Firo came through with the touchdown. Great job table #1! The food was great as always, and then came the fun part. The speakers.
Bishop Frost opened the night in prayer for the food and then passed the mic on to Pastor Bradford for the Leader presentations.

Brother Rangel. He talked about the Spanish Church's plans in the near future.

The Spanish Church is thriving and growing in East Bakersfield and Brother Rangel has done a great job pastoring this fine church. One main point that he highlighted was the plans on the horizon. He mentioned that they have never had an english speaking service since the church's birth. However, he is now considering adding this type of service to bring in some of the kids and other english speaking families into the church.

Brother Frank Cabrera highlights the major progress that the Shafter church has seen within the last year. 
The church in Shafter has been attracting many young children, and through the children the church hopes to reach the parents as well. Brother Cabrera had many great stories to tell such as this. One that stands out, however, is how they went outreaching in the city, and they invited this older lady to come to church. She told  Brother Cabrera later that she had been praying that God would lead her to a church, so she said in her heart that the one group that invites me to church, thats where I'll go. This really shows how powerful a tool outreach is to the church. The Shafter church is starting to fill up rather quickly, and pretty soon they'll need a van to pick up children and their families around town. Great things are already happening in Shafter!

Brother Jeremy described how great of a youth group we have at GBFPC.

Our youth group is one of the finest you'll find! Brother Jeremy recognized some of the  youth leaders of 2011. Sister Danielle Parriott has always been a tremendous help. She has been a faithful choir director throughout the years, and she loves working with the youth to bring out their potential in singing and praising God.

He mentioned how great a help Brother Randy Newton has been. He works with the chorale in finding great worship songs to sing and is always there to lend a helping hand. He is also over the media side of things in the sound booth.

Breanna Frost has also been there to help Brother Jeremy with things that needed to be done in the youth department. Breanna also took the volunteer of the year award for the Sunday School department. Great Job Breanna!

Then Brother Jeremy got on the topic of the volunteer of the year for the youth department. This person is very special he said. He is always there to lend a helping hand and whenever Brother Jeremy needed something he was always first to jump to the task. This young person also is a praise singer and part of both the Adult and Youth Choir, and has a great attendance record for both. Ladies and Gentlemen, the volunteer of the year award for the youth department is your very own
Gary Newton. Great job this year Gary, keep up the good work!
Brother Richard Firo presenting for the Prison Ministry and Men's Home

Brother Firo is excited with how much progress they have made this year in the prisons. God has continued to open doors for Chaplain Firo to go in and start churches on different yards. Ironwood State Prison and the Bethel Church are a couple of the churches that have been started and are thriving as we speak. Brother Firo has a real heart toward these men wants to see them saved and filled with the Holy Ghost.
The volunteer of the year for this department came down to two men who help Brother Firo tremendously: Brother Steve Wilson and Brother Ben Barraza. These two men are always there for Brother Firo. And for the volunteer of the year for the prison ministry, he chose Brother Steve Wilson. This man, he said, is his right hand man, he's always there to teach and preach from 6am in the morning on Sunday to 4pm that afternoon. Great job Brother Steve! Please keep the prison ministry, the churches that are started, and the ministers of the prisons in your prayers. They covet your prayers greatly!

Brother Nate Ruiz presented for the Usher and Greeting Ministry 
This ministry plays a tremendous role in making our visitors and guests feel welcome. Brother Nate recently within the past few months took over this ministry and passed the teaching of the Junior High class onto Brother Chad and Mellissa Bradley. There are many expectations from this ministry and Brother Nate could not do it without one special person who has helped him from service to service faithfully. The man he chose for the volunteer of the year was Brother Shannon Pettis. This man is a joy to be around. He always helps out it any way that he can, and he certainly makes you feel welcome. Great job Bro!

Brother Mark McAllister and Brother Shawn Pettis present the award for  the Singers and Musicians.

Our musicians and singers are some the most gifted people out there. The dedication and passion that each one of these saints of God possess is priceless. Brother Shawn extended thanks to all that had fantastic attendance records for choir over the past year. Then Brother McAllister stepped up to say a few words of his fantastic crew of musicians. He sincerely expressed his thanks and gratitude to the fine young men that put up with him three days a week. "Each of you has a tremendous talent, but remember to ALWAYS use this talent to praise God". We could all see how much Brother McAllister really loves these boys and appreciates their service to God. Among the young musicians are:
Trent Johnston, Jake Kaufman, Bryson Parriott, Drew Fields and Kevin Forsythe.

I'm sure it was a tough decision for Brother Mark to select the volunteer of the year, because each one of them does so well and are all very faithful. However, the standout musician for 2011, and this year's volunteer of the year for the Music Ministry was Jake Kaufman. He is our bass player, and a very faithful musician to brother McAllister. Great job Jake!

The Women's Ministry 

I did not get a picture for Sister Debbie Condren, however, she presented and expressed her gratitude to all the ladies in the church for all their help throughout 2011. She said that whenever she needed anything, she would send out a mass text to all the ladies saying, that she needed desserts for a funeral, or a fundraiser, and they were always quick to help.

For the volunteer of the year, Sister Debbie expressed that she could not do any of this without one special lady. She always helped cook and prepare large meals for special occasions and did whatever she could to help Sister Debbie. This years volunteer of the year for the Women's department was Sister Michelle Flores. Your an inspiration Sister Michelle, keep it up!
Pastor Bradford concludes by presenting the Pastor's Volunteer of the Year award for 2011.

The Pastor's Volunteer of the year award is a special one. The man that was selected for this award  is strong in his faith and very much dedicated to God. He is a man of authority in his own right. And his job is tremendously dependent on the direction that a service goes. Pastor couldn't have picked a better person for this award, and this year's Pastor's Volunteer of the Year goes to Brother Mark McAllister. 
We all love and appreciate you bro, keep up the great work!

Then came the ballot count for the volunteer of the year. The ballots were counted and here are the runner-ups. Coming in third with a good amount of votes was Sister Michelle Flores. This is a well-deserved honor for this great lady. The second runner-up is a couple that is very special and have recently taken over the head of the Van and Bus Ministry. With a whopping (?) amount of votes, your second runner-up was Brother and Sister Randy Newton Sr. They really deserve this for their hard work. Now the volunteer of the year was a young man by the name of Matt Forsythe. I believe I spelled his name correctly, he'll have correct me if I'm wrong. He was too embarrassed to say a word when Pastor Bradford handed him the mic, probably because his heart was beating at like 180bpm, while everyone was chanting, "Speech, Speech, Speech!" Great job to the Volunteer of the year and all the runner-ups!

Well, there you have it. The year of 2011 is almost done and over with, and we are on the verge of a new year with great expectations. Lets let God use us to reach more people in 2012 for this is our purpose to reach out in love. 

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
John 13:34-35

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Great Man's Great Life

Brother Randy Dale Kendrick 

Sunrise: December 12, 1946                                                            Sunset: November 29, 2011

A great man, a prankster, a man of God, a man of love, a noble friend to many. These qualities barely scratch the tip of the iceberg in describing what Brother Kendrick has meant to so many people. A testimony to how great this man really was, is that over one-hundred preachers showed up to his funeral from all around the world.

There was over 100 preachers that filled GBFPC's platform Friday morning for the funeral. 
He was a great man, and might I add a successful man, because he finished the race on fire for God. The story behind Brother Randy being a successful man is based on Brother I. H. Terry's response to this simple question: "Reverend this man seems to be a successful preacher, isn't he?". And Brother Terry gave some words of wisdom saying, "There are no successful preachers until they have died, living their whole life to the Lord". This was one of the stories shared by Brother Vaughn Morton, and we are all witnesses to the successful finish of this great man of God.

Elder Vaughn Morton had many things to highlight of Brother Kendrick's Life.

There were twelve speakers and one main speaker, that said a little something about what Brother Randy Kendrick meant to them, and I'm sure the other 87 preachers wanted to as well. 
Here's a few of the speakers:
Brother Kenny Kendrick. His brother.
"Randy didn't like to lose. I could
never beat him!"
Pastor Stephen Miraflor. Son in Law.
"He loved to pull pranks. If something
 didn't seem right look for Randy."

Pastor Larry Booker. Friend.
"He shot the moon!!! And he won!" 
You see. Brother Randy was losing so bad in some popular card game and Brother Booker was stoked that he 
was going to beat him for once, until Randy shot the moon. This meant that if Randy got dealt a hand kind of like a 
full house in the game of Yahtzee, then he would steal ALL the points from everyone and likely win the game. And 
he did just that. 

Pastor Ronnie Lawrence. Friend.
"Nope. He didn't like to lose and it
seems that he was first here too."
Pastor David Webb. Brother in Law.
"He was quite the prankster. But
being part of the family gives you an
in on a lot of things"

Elder Vaughn Morton
"This was one successful man!"

Pastor Tim Copeland. Friend
"Death does not mean the end of
this man. We'll see him again
Pastor Noe Trevino. Close friend
"He counted me as part of the family.
When we stayed in a hotel, he had
our names posted on the door. My
name was Noe Kendrick. Haha."
Brother Jonathan Kendrick. His Son.
"My dad did love to pull pranks.  Once he spent hours constructing an invisible fish line from the side wall, onto the ceiling and attached to the curtain. Then when my mother came in, he pulled the string and said. Honey there's an evil spirit in here! 'Oh, Randy stop it', was her response."

Brother Randy is a man that will surely be missed by many, many people. He was a man that was in love with truth, the One God message, and embraced his family and friends in his own special way. And it seems fitting to end with his favorite Bible passage of all, Psalm 51.

Psalm 51

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

We will miss you Brother Randy.