BETHANY AND MACKENZIE BELTRAN ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL — Bethany, left, is in kindergarten at Stetson Baptist School, while Mackenzie is in 10th grade at Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson. PHOTO COURTESY MARISELA BELTRAN

Save the date for church’s 61st anniversary

Members of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in DeLand will celebrate the church’s 61st anniversary at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. The Greater Friendship family continues to build their ministry on the ongoing theme of: “Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church,” Matthew 16:18 King James Version.

The church was founded in September 1962 under the leadership of Elder Scott Roberts (1962-73) in an old wooden church building. Elder Roberts did not live to see his vision for the erection of a new sanctuary. However, the Rev. H.F. Richardson (1973-89), after becoming pastor in 1973, was able to lead the flock to the vision with the dedication of the newly built church in 1982.

When the Rev. Richardson took his heavenly flight in 1989, the current pastor, the Rev. Walter Hendrix (1989-present) picked up the mantle, and the Rev. Hendrix continues to lead the flock to higher heights in the Lord.

During this season, Pastor Hendrix is on sabbatical and the church is being supported by his appointee, Pastor Dr. Daniel W. Brown Sr. of St. Annis Primitive Baptist Church.

The Greater Friendship family welcomes the fellowship of all who come to worship on their special day. The Rev. Terry Kennedy, pastor of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in DeLand, will be the guest preacher, and the Lord will be the center of worship.

Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is at 921 S. Parsons Ave. in DeLand.

Craft bazaar at Orange City UMC

The community is invited to a craft bazaar at Orange City United Methodist Church. The two-day event will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.

The event, hosted by the church’s Women of Grace group, will take place in the church’s fellowship hall. There will also be crafters in the shaded parking area.

There is no admission cost. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Orange Cit y United Methodist Church is at 396 E. University Ave., one block west of Orange City Elementary School.

For more information, call the church office at 386-775- 3068.

Grief Share hosted by DeLand Church of the Nazarene

DeLand Church of the Nazarene, at 913 E. New York Ave., is hosting Grief Share, a 13-week program headed by grief counselor Cheryl Walsh to help people cope with any kind of loss, including loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a pet or loss of a relationship or divorce.

The group meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 1. Join at any time. All are welcome!

Save the date for food drive in Deltona

Nitty Gritty True Talk Ministries Inc. will sponsor a food drive, giving away free bags of groceries on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at Centro Internacional de la Familia, 2886 Elkcam Blvd. in Deltona.

A car line will start at Abigail Avenue. Bring ID.

Free parenting seminar

Got kids? Need help? If you are a parent or provide child care and want to revitalize your skills, you will love this dynamic Christian perspective on guiding children and teens toward the kingdom of God.

Rachel Nelson, M.D., a home-schooling mom, is double-board certified as a pediatrician and hospitalist. She is the president of My Bible First and board chairman of Starting With Jesus, two child-focused ministries by which families and churches around the world are being positively impacted.

Dr. Nelson and her surgeon husband work in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their two children, Amy and Michael, will share a kid’s perspective.

The seminar will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at DeBary- Orange City Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2535 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City. The topics will be “Raising Children in Today’s Culture,” “Mentoring Disciples: The Church’s Role” and “Parenting Tips From Amy and Michael.”

The seminar is free, and there is no RSVP required. Free child care for infants through age 8 is available. Questions? Call 580-618- 2894.

‘Why Should I Trust God?’

Join the congregation of First Church DeLand, a Global Methodist Church, Sunday, Aug. 27, as the series “Ever Wonder Why?” continues. Pastor Mark Bitner’s sermon title is “Why Should I Trust God?”

Trust is a difficult issue for many people because we become vulnerable when we trust. During difficult times, we must remember that the Lord will answer our cry for help. It is our faith and trust in God that will provide comfort in those difficult times. God has a plan for each of us, and that plan is perfect, far greater than we ever could have dreamed. We just have to have faith and pray with a trusting heart.

Traditional worship services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. A contemporary service is at 9:30 a.m. in the Life Enrichment Center. For those unable to attend in person, the services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page or accessed through the website at

For more information, call the church office at 386-734- 5113.

‘How to Live Your Life as a Quaker’

Jim Cain will present “How to Live Your Life as a Quaker or How Quakers Experience Their Spirituality” at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand. Cain will describe how and why he began attending Quaker meetings, what he learned about Quakers when he got there, and the status of Quakerism today, particularly diversity among Friends.

Jim was introduced to Quakers through draft counseling he received in 1971 in Atlanta, and has been active with Quakers ever since. He was clerk of Atlanta Friends Meeting in 1980 and 1981, and served in a variety of other positions.

He co-led two weeklong workshops at Friends General Conference Gatherings. In 2000, the workshop was titled “Non-Theism Among Friends” and, in 2008, a similarly themed workshop was titled “Reclaiming the Sacred.” He is currently active in the DeLand Quaker Worship Group.

There will be a Zoom meeting for the service part of the program. The ID is, and remains the same each week. Contact the church for help in getting connected at before Sunday’s worship time.

‘Imagine More Justice’

The Rev. Carlos Perez continues his sermon series “Imagine More” at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand. His sermon, “Imagine More Justice,” is based on Isaiah 58:6-9.

Isaiah challenges us to let our actions remove the yoke of oppression from those who are hungry, unsheltered and unclothed. God hears us when our actions are not self-serving, but are serving others.

First Christian’s worship service always includes Communion for all, with Brenda Vazquez-Morales guiding the elders of the day. Sue Brague and Janet Raney pray over the elements of bread and fruit of the vine.

Prayers given for healing and mercy are prayed again at 3:30 p.m. Mondays in the church library. All are welcome to participate or send their prayer request.

The bingo gathering at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, benefits a local veterans association. The Disciple Women direct the bingo events. So far in 2023, the group has contributed to the Temple Learning Center Summer Camp, RAAO (Rising Against All Odds) and Foundations to Freedom. Also, scholarships were given to two church women who are in college and seminary, and laundry detergent was given to The Bridge.

What path are we on?

The congregation of Mosaic Unitarian Universalist meets online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The Aug. 27 service will conclude the Pathway series with discussion among participants.

Some questions to ponder before everyone gathers: Why bother with a spiritual community in the first place? What path am I on, and why do I follow it? What does it do for me?

These services are designed to allow participants to share their thoughts if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome, too.

Judy Raymond will facilitate the service. Everyone is welcome!

For information on Mosaic, visit For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email

One body

“… so in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)

Springing from this hugely important declaration by the Apostle Paul, Pastor Michael Bodger of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will teach in his sermon at the combined service (scheduled monthly on the last Sunday) at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, in the sanctuary.

In multiple places, Scripture tells us that we live as “one body” in Christ, framed here as Paul’s favorite metaphor for those “who confess with their lips and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord.”

Pastor Bodger will ask whether that is the way we act! He will respond, “Unfortunately, no.” The church universal corporately splits our differences, arguing with one another over details of theology, doctrine and dogma.

Even in the local church, Paul reminds us, “Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to.” Pastor Bodger will charge his listeners to honor the amazingly different gifts we hold. Instead of rallying around our differences, we must rally around the One in whom we confess and believe, Jesus Christ!

Sunday’s combined service will extend into a potluck lunch in the fellowship hall and culminate with the installation of Associate Pastor Cassandra Riker.

What a superb opportunity to join First Pres DeLand and Pastor Casey in celebrating her official entry into a life of God’s work!

Everyone is welcomed to join in to worship, break bread, and share the genesis of Casey’s ministry with First Pres through this prayerful ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

For lunch, the church kitchen provides an entree, with volunteers bringing sides and/or desserts to drop off at the kitchen prior to worship.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, on the courtyard, God’s Bathhouse will meet 9-11 a.m. Volunteers will provide private showers, manna bags, clean clothing and hygiene kits to homeless and needy. First Pres says, “We welcome you to meet us!”


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