Faye Florida: tiny, little servant with a lively spirit

Originally published at Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org

Madisonville—During the 52 years she has been a member of First Baptist, Madisonville, Faye Florida has served her church in numerous capacities.

“She’s amazing. She’s a tiny, little woman that could work circles around most everybody,” Ann Oldham, ministry assistant and longtime friend of Florida’s, said of the 78-year-old church member.

“She’s probably held every volunteer position this church has to offer,” Oldham continued. She pointed out that Florida serves on the property committee, with staff development, will be involved in the upcoming Women’s Missionary Union annual meeting at Severns Valley Baptist Church, as well as serves in children’s ministry, music and the choir.

Additionally, she is a costume designer for the church’s “Journey to Bethlehem,” which draws well over 6,000 visitors each December.

What originally drew Florida and her husband, Bob, to First Baptist was the children’s ministries. “We have one son. We united with First Baptist when he was 6. We were looking for a church that would offer opportunities for him. We were looking around, and we felt that First Baptist had a lot to offer,” Florida said.

Since then, she has spent much of her time investing in the ministries that drew her family to the church.

“She has a deep compassion for children and involving children in music,” Oldham explained. “She and other volunteers have held a very large children’s music ministry. Our church buses would pick kids up on certain days of the week from the schools in the area and bring them here for music and to learn about God.”

Florida calls the family’s decision to join First Baptist over five decades ago “a God thing.” “It had been about four months since we moved here, and we just couldn’t come to terms with where God wanted us, so we prayed for a sign for that to happen,” she said.

Florida continued, “On a Thursday morning I was gone, and when I got back I had a note on the door. A girl had visited me from the Sunday School class. We joined the church the next Sunday.”

“I am a firm believer that God gives everybody a gift. It’s up to us to use it. Sometimes they are taken away if we don’t use them,” Florida said.

Her ministries within the church have given her many opportunities to exercise her gift of hospitality. She is currently excited about being part of the greeting team for the upcoming WMU annual meeting.

“We are just so blessed. Bob and I have always put God first. Our son does the same. I think we have been good examples for him as well as other people, and now we have seen the fruits of our labor with other people being involved in the ministry that we worked in,” Florida said.

Although she and her husband retired their hobby of riding motorcycles in 2009, Florida stays continually busy in ministry. “They wear me out,” she said jokingly.

Oldham continued, “She’s always here, and she’s always willing to help. Very energetic. She is just willing to do anything, very caring and giving.” (WR)

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