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The History of the Poinciana Seventh-day Adventist Church
Our Church History
Poinciana Seventh-day Adventist Church is an offspring of the Mount Zion Seventh-day Adventist Church Kissimmee, Florida, where the charter members worshiped for several years. The Lord had a plan for the expansion of his work in the Poinciana vineyard and he moved upon the heart of several members of the Mt. Zion Seventh-day Adventist Church, who lived in Poinciana and impressed upon them that something should be done in Poinciana and when the opportunity presented itself they heeded the call.
In 1990, a man of God by the name of Cal White who caught a vision that this community was ripe for an outreach program, and so he launched a Revelation Seminar. Brother White did not have much in financial resource to purchase visual aide, to erect a tent or even to rent a place to conduct this seminar. Certainly God is not dependent upon modern methods and equipment. He looks only for dedication and a spirit of willingness to be used. But, like always, God would find another willing spirit in the person of Elder Amy Simpson who would also share Brother White's vision for evangelism and offered her home to be used as a meeting place and to conduct the Revelation Seminar. There were other faithful workers who would join them, and for about an hour before each seminar meeting would go knocking on doors in the community inviting people to the meetings.
At the end of the seminar this newfound group decided upon that this fellowship and interest should continue in the format of prayer meetings every Tuesday night, and for a time every Saturday night. Prayers ascended from various homes and the Lord our God added his blessings. The group continued to grow and so they would take the next step to be organized as a mission, but they did not have an adequate facility to accommodate the growth. This is a wonderful picture of how God's steps in and opens doors for His people.
In 1996, The Lord impressed upon the hearts of Pastor Barrington Brown and his congregation of the Poinciana Pentecostal Church to build by faith, a Church building where they would worship the Lord. Not only did the Lord impressed upon them to erect a building for worship, but that they would offer to share this building with other fellow Christians. So, in conversation with his neighbor and former co-worker Elder Rupert Hall, the big question was asked "would your Church be willing to rent from us for your Saturday services, when our Church is built? "Most certainly" Elder Hall replied in faith. Elder Hall then consulted with Pastor R. C. Parham, Pastor of the Mount Zion Seventh-day Adventist Church, and as a result of this step by faith by Elder Hall the wheels were put in motion to organize the group as a Mission in Poinciana. God came through and provided a place of worship for His children.
In 1997, March 1, a group of 21 members were organized not as a mission, but as a Church. The new Poinciana Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized by Elder Roy Brown, President of the Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Pastor Roy C Parham was assigned as the first Pastor of the newly organized Church. The charter members of this new Church were as follows:
Ariel Carty, Audrey Carty, Jemuel Carty, Rachel Carty, Keith Blake, Jason Ford, John Ford, Iris Hall, Rupert Hall, Ramona-Lisa Heyliger, Sanfer Joseph, Olivia Minuty, Titus Page, Evelyn Powell, James Powell, Floreta Rayna, Jaysen Rayna, Emartel Rayna, Amy Simpson, and Julie Heyliger-Morris
On July, 5 1997 four new members were added to the new organized Church by baptism, this was the first baptism following the organization of the Church. The new baptized members were as follows:
Mavis W. Greene, Bakirh C Minuty, Kimrah Minuty, and Laureen Rayna
Our church has also been blessed with 5 pastors in 15 years. We are grateful to them for their years of dedicated service to the church and to the community. Each of our pastors has blessed us in more ways than they will ever know.
Despite the fact that Pastor Roy C. Parham had two Churches under his leadership, he was able to provide the nurturing and guidance that the youth needed. Pastor Parham had a vision to build a Sanctuary to the Lord, and initiated the Building Fund Drive, and donated the first $100 to the fund. We can truly say that the Church was richly blessed under his leadership. One of his many great sermons was entitled: I’m a fool for Jesus, Whose fool are you? His lovely wife, as he lovingly called her, often graced his sermons with powerful, yet angelic singing.
In 1998-Pastor Robert Patterson, after much prayer, faith and sacrificial financial commitments, negotiated the purchase of 9.5 acres of land located at 4948 Old Pleasant Hill Road, , Kissimmee, FL for $100,000 to build a house of worship to the Lord. The Lord blessed this effort by using the willing spirit of Elder Amy Simpson who offered to use her home as collateral to secure the loan. Pastor Patterson enjoyed working with the youth and with the help of his
lovely wife made them feel very special. Knowing and working with him was just a little example of working with Jesus. Pastor Patterson was reassigned in the same year of 1998, before the purchase of the land was completed. Sadly he passed away on March 24, 2001.
In 1998-2002 Pastor Olinto Groce led us to the fountain of Spiritual and Financial blessings and we were able to purchase the 9.5 acres of land on November 9, 1998 and satisfied that mortgage on August 8, 2001.Pastor Groce promoted the Church’s growth through his ongoing Evangelistic Outreach Programs which culminated in a yearly Revival and Crusade. Pastor Groce is truly a man who loves the Lord and has proven that time and time again as he gently and lovingly tended to the problems of God’s children. Pastor Groce’s humility and dedication to the flock and community has left an indelible mark in our hearts. We were surely blessed to have him and his loving family.
In 2002-2006 Pastor Tony Taylor was used by God as a source of Spiritual Strength and encouragement through his systematic bible teachings at the Tuesday night prayer meetings, and his timely and dynamic sermons. Pastor Taylor had also promoted the building fund by encouraging the members to commit themselves to pledges for the purpose fundraising. He was also instrumental in submitting the building plans to the Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Building Committee. This imitative has been a blessing to the Church, because of this move, the church was granted the benefit of consideration in its request to be allowed to borrow funds for the construction of its Church building. Pastor Taylor was transferred, July 26, 2006
The steady increase in Poinciana's membership made it very clear to us that the existing place which we shared with the Poinciana Pentecostal Church was becoming in adequate to meet the needs of our growing congregation, therefore, this required the search for a new facility with more space. In September 2006, we moved our congregation to the New Dimension High School auditorium, at 4900 Old pleasant Hill Rd. Kissimmee, FL
2006-2012 Pastor Maxwell Berkel came to the Poinciana Church as pastor in September, 2006. He came in the midst of our building project, he did not waste any time getting to the task in making sure that there was no pause in our pursuit to build a sanctuary, a place of worship to the Lord, a fellowship hall and class rooms for our young people. He was also very diligent and devoted to the spiritual development of the Church, and was instrumental in the progressive development of the financial, and structural plans for the Church's building project.
In 2010, Under the leadership of Pastor Berkel and the Church's Building Committee, a recommendation was made to the Church to hire Petratect Construction Corp; General Corporation, under the directorship of Sam Campbell, as the general contractor and builder of the new Church.
The Church broke ground for the beginning of the construction of a Sanctuary to the Lord on the lot at 4948 Old Pleasant Hill Road, Kissimmee, FL on August 15, 2010 This first phase of the construction had to do with the site development which included raising the land to the required elevation of approximately 5ft. (earth work) and laying down water lines, fire lines, storm system, and water retention system. The construction continued In 2011 with the completion of the foundation and floor slab.
Pastor Berkel was very meticulous about the worship service, the songs and the preparation of the people as they come in worship in the presence of a Holy God. Pastor Berkel believes in Church growth, especially, when the souls harvested are from the local community, which many have come though the Church’s annual Evangelistic Crusades. Pastor Berkel was transferred in September of 2012 to another field in the vineyard.
2012 Dr. Lewis Edwards, Pastor; came to Poinciana October of 2012. He came with his feet hitting the ground running as far as the Church's building project was concerned. He met with the Elders, Church board, and the Church at large, and was updated about the Church's building project where he learned that the project was stalled because of lack of funds. He would never leave any stone unturned, nor would he be discouraged when doors were closed in his pursuit of funds. With much prayer and perseverance he was able to secure a loan sufficiently enough to restart the project.
In 2013 The project restarted with the erection of the steel frame and roof, followed with the walls, and to date the completion of the worship area of the Sanctuary. The plan is to complete the Sanctuary, and the site development which would include, paving of the roads and parking areas, curbs, and landscaping. However, the Church has fallen short of the funds to complete the site development.
Pastor Edwards never gave up, and is not about to do so, especially when the Church is so close in reaching its objectives. Pastor Edwards has been instrumental in motivating the members to make sacrifices, to call upon friends, family and our Church organization for help.
Pastor Edwards have never allowed his mission to build a place of worship to the Lord, to interfere with his primary mission which is to bring souls to the Lord, so much so he has lead the church in evangelism Crusades, revivals, community outreach, and fasting and prayer sessions.
The members of the Poinciana Seventh Day Adventist Church are called to friendship with a loving God both now and through eternity. As a diverse family of believers, we promote an
environment that reflects and build respect for our differences as ordained by God.
This large diverse family in Christ is made up of members representing 22 countries: The United States of America, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, France, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and
England; we fill the pews each Sabbath, drawn by love and determined to do God's work. God's work is to support the Global Mission of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, by sharing the good news of God expressed through the gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing people together as one. Although we come from different cultures, although the forces of history tore us from our common origin, at Poinciana, with God's blessing and our submission to Christ, we can truly work together in unity.
In Christ all differences vanish. In Christ, it matters not whether you are from Trinidad,
Barbados, Jamaica, Poinciana, Mississippi or Alabama. What really matters is where you are in Christ. As we prepare daily for eternity, there is a truth we must be aware of regardless of our origin. "We are diverse, yet One in Christ"
We are still faced with the challenge of completing the fellowship hall . The Church is continuing its fundraising drive. The members, friends and their families are on the move, making sacrifices to make this building project a reality.
The wheels of both young and old are constantly turning like mighty wheels in God's machinery. Everyone is busy. There is one goal for every plan, idea and effort.
The Church is continuing its fundraising drive, and its goal is to raise million dollars which would facilitate the laying down of the foundation for the installation of the steel frame structure, the parking lots, road ways, and all other work needed for the completion of the construction.
As of April, 2012 the Poinciana Community has grown to over 69,000 people, and as of August, 30 2014 the Church also has grown from a group of 21 self-satisfied brethren who merely met for services week after week to worship and study the word of God, to 318 members, and is still growing. These are the living acts of the Saviour's blessings combined with lives dedicated to serve the Lord.
As the Church faces the immediate future, there is still much work to be done, other than building a Sanctuary for the Lord. In the past decade we have witnessed events that forecast the coming of the end of our world; concurrently the many changes also predict that our Lord will soon return to this earth for His chosen people. As the medical field makes many strides to provide us with better health, new diseases emerge which defy an easy cure. Despite the development of the most luxurious lifestyles imaginable, we still find faith in Jesus Christ and His promised Return is what truly sustains us in times of trouble and despair.
To our community partners, we salute you, and we say thank you for your unceasing prayers, your generosity, your sacrificial donations to a worthy cause, and for your friendship through the years. You have surely been a blessing. We now look forward to continue working with you, not just for your help to build a house for the lord, but together prepare ourselves, as we vigilantly await the coming of our Lord.