In September 1978, Dr. Merthie began his ministry by preaching and teaching the Word of God in the Sanford community. New Life Word Center was founded Oct. 11, 1983, by Dr. Ronald and the late Dr. Ruth Merthie. This year’s 5-day celebration was exciting and commemorative.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Dr. Merthie’s life was depicted with a skit by the drama team and a flag ceremony representing the 10 countries where he has ministered the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Belize, England, Nigeria, South Africa, the Bahamas, and the United States. On Thursday, Oct. 17, Dr. Steve Houpe, of Harvest Church in Kansas City Missouri (the former pastor of First Lady Patricia Merthie), ministered an impactful and challenging message entitled, “Strength for the Journey”.
On Friday, Oct. 18, national recording artist, Veronica Petrucci, of the popular singing duo, Angelo & Veronica, blessed the audience with songs from her latest CD, “Made It Out Alive”. On Sat. evening, Oct. 19, Dr. Merthie was honored by City and Government officials as well as citizens of Central Florida for his contributions to the community, country and the world.
Among those who shared their sentiments were Mayor Jeff Triplett, who presented Dr. Merthie with the key to the City of Sanford; and Commissioner Velma Williams who presented Dr. Merthie with a proclamation declaring Oct. 19 as Dr. Ronald W. Merthie Day in the City of Sanford. Other speakers included Judge Donna McIntosh, who praised Dr. Merthie for his positive impact on young men in our community.
Pastor S.S. Robinson, from Jacksonville, FL, who has known Dr. Merthie and his family for 5 generations, gave heart-warming expressions. At age 97, Pastor Robinson and his wife of over 70 years shared how proud they are of Dr. Merthie. They encouraged him with the words, “Jesus is always with you.”
Pastor Emory Blake, spoke on behalf of the Crooms Class of 1968 and the Sanford clergy. Patrick Taylor, father of 9 children, thanked Dr. Merthie for the school of academics which Dr. Merthie founded, New Life Christian Academy, and for the love and services that Dr. Merthie gave to the Taylor children.
Kenneth Bentley, a lifelong friend of the family and community advocate, gave Dr. Merthie high honors for his impact on his life and the lives of the citizens of Sanford. On Sunday, Oct. 20, the morning worship service was the culmination of an exciting week of celebration. The guest speaker, Dr. Bernard Grant, of Rocky Mount, N.C., gave an inspiring message, entitled, “Honoring the Man of God”. Freeda Bowers, of TV Super Chanel 55 (WACX), was present to honor Dr. and First Lady Merthie for ministering the Word of God throughout the Central Florida area with their television broadcast.
The members of New Life presented cards and gifts of love. Dr. Merthie and First Lady Merthie were called to the rostrum for remarks. Dr. Merthie started out by saying, “To God be the glory for the things He has done.” He thanked his children, Keith, Krystal, Kareem, and Kevin, for their lifelong support to the ministry.
He also thanked his bride of 2 years First Lady Patricia Merthie for her hard work coordinating the celebration events. Dr. Merthie expressed special thanks to the officers and members of New Life Word Center for 30 years of loyal and dedicated service.
• Spirit of Life Outreach Ministries in Sanford hosts a gathering on the third Friday of each month to provide young adults, ages 18 and up, with a place to go on a Friday night; it’s called SWAGG, which stands for “Someone Who Acknowledges God”.
This event is organized by young adults for young adults as a time when they can come together to talk about issues that concern them; get some of their questions answered about God, the Bible, and current events; a time to fellowship with those you know and meet new people; a time to express worship and praise; a time to be casual and relaxed. Refreshments will be served.
So join us for our next SWAGG gathering, Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., at Spirit of Life Outreach Ministries; 113 W. 27th Street in Sanford (next to Pinecrest Elementary School); Elder Alvin Johnson, Sr., Pastor.
• Trinity United Methodist Church, 526 S. Sanford Ave., is celebrating their 134th Church Anniversary, Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. Special guests will be Rev. Arthur Graham and the St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church family of Orlando.
You are cordially invited to worship with them, celebrating “134 Years of Climbing Jacob’s Ladder”. Pastor John Williams and the Trinity family appreciate your continued support and pray that God will continue to shower blessings upon you.
• The Seminole County Brach of the NAACP will hold their Quarterly Community Education Forum, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 710 Orange Avenue in Sanford. The guest speaker will be Deborah Smith, of Phoenix Associates Group, presenting information about the new Affordable Care Act.
Deborah Smith is a licensed Healthcare Reform Specialist and Insurance Agent, certified with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Light refreshments will be provided. If you have questions about the forum, please call 321-276-4457.
• The Central Florida International Black Women’s Congress has adopted the Midway Safe Harbor Youth for this year’s Angel Tree Project. They are inviting individuals and organizations to join in this effort by providing gifts for children, kindergarten-12th grade.
An Angel Tree Program will be held on December 14, at the Midway Harbor at which time the gifts will be distributed. If you would like to sponsor gifts for this Angel Tree Project, please call 407-341-9781. Your participation will help bring joy to our youth during the holiday season.
This comes from the Central Florida International Black Women’s Congress. Jean Brown, President.
• Rescue Women’s Ministry presents the 2013 Real Women, Real Talk, Women’s Conference, “Addressing the Body, Soul, and Spirit”, Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16, at Rescue Church of God, 1700 W. Historic Goldsboro Blvd.
On Friday evening, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., the guest speaker will be Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hinson Graham. On Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m., the guest speaker will be Pastor Sabrina Jenkins. Please register now and plan to attend; the registration fee is $15.
For additional information, contact Missionary Angela Williams, 407-687-1708. The conference hosts are Pastor Quintin Faison and Lady Joni Faison.
• The Crooms Academy High School Extraordinary Class of 1963 will celebrate their 50th Year Reunion Dec. 29 & 30, 2013, with the theme, “Together, We Achieve the Extraordinary.” Reunion President Sheralyn J. Brinson stated, “It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years since we were students at Crooms Academy.
My, how time flies! But we must say, the lessons we learned at Crooms were indeed life-long lessons; we fondly remember the time we spent there and we are pleased to announce the 50th Year celebration events to be held at the Midway Community Center.”
Two events are scheduled, Sunday evening, Dec. 29, Welcome & Re-acquaintance/Casual Night, “60’s Style” (suggested attire: ban lon shirts, khaki pants, converse sneakers, pleated skirts, bobby socks, sheath dresses/skirts, etc.). Monday evening, Dec. 30, Dinner Dance (color theme: white & gold). Ms. Brinson stated, “Our 50th Year Reunion promises to be memorable as once again we “Enter the Realm of the Extraordinary”, sharing fond memories of our days at Dear Old Crooms Academy with classmates, teachers, family and friends.”
Class officers are Sheralyn Jackson Brinson, President; Freddie Lee Williams, Vice President; Pamela Elaine Walker Byrd, Secretary; Ora Lee Harrison Alexander, Chief Financial Officer; Hilda Delores Bass Dixon, Executive Assistant; Rosie Burroughs Brown, Chaplain; Agnes Wilson Leonard, Outreach Coordinator.
If you would like to join in the celebration with the Extraordinary Class of 1963, please contact Sheralyn J. Brinson, Reunion President, 407-321-4881 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, to make your reservations on or before December 1, 2013.