By Natalie Strom
Sunday, June 3rd was a day of celebration for the Family Church. Members of both the Marco Island Family Church and the Naples Family Church gathered together at South Beach for a Family Church Barbecue and Baptism.
Under the Family Church umbrella is a fellowship on Marco Island as well as a location in Naples. The Naples Family Church hosts services in both English and Spanish. Pastor Tim Neptune of Marco, Pastor Ben Sprankle of Naples and Pastor Mardo Jiminez, Pastor of the Spanish-speaking services, gathered with members of each congregation for a pig roast, kayak and paddle boarding experience, and an overall fun day at the beach.
“We wanted to celebrate the wrap-up of our Connect Groups for the year,” explains Pastor Ben. “These groups are all about studying the Bible and building relationships. We also wanted to celebrate all that our that our IMPACT ministries have accomplished.” The Family Church’s IMPACT program supports the underprivileged within the community and abroad.
Family Church member, Jason Shiveler, was kind enough to donate the pig for the roast, which he began cooking, just off of South Beach, at midnight. As the pig smoked, church members gathered around two in the afternoon, all bringing homemade side dishes. After a fabulous meal, it was time for some fun in the sun.
Steven and Kieu Banks, owners of Dreamlander Tours and Vacation Planners of Marco Island, donated their time and their kayaks and paddle boards for all to try. “We had about 130 kids try out the paddle boards and about 100 kayakers out there,” adds Steven. Members of the church and their friends were introduced to the laid-back, friendly atmosphere that the Family Churches strive to provide. Steven and Kieu’s contribution definitely brought out the fun.
The culmination of the beach bash was a group baptism of eight individuals in the Gulf of Mexico. All wearing shirts, proudly announcing, “I Love My Family,” each was baptized, being submerged in the water. Steven Banks greeted each with a warm hug as the newly-transformed emerged from the sea.
The Family Church Barbecue began at 2:00 PM and lasted well into the evening. The day will certainly be remembered for the food, the fun, and the celebration of the addition of eight new members into God’s flock. Visit www.fbmarco.com to learn more about The Family Church.