Could God change the world through a small town near the wilderness? He’s done it before—at Bethany beyond the Jordan (John 1:28). So why not in the community of Umatilla, Florida? Calvary Chapel of the Lakes has been praying for Jesus to come and rescue many from sin, bondage, and death, just like He did then. God has instructed us to pray BIG for Him to transform lives, and therefore, we believe that our Lord is up to something big here.
Back in 2012, God blessed us with property that far outsizes our number of people: 2 chapels, an educational facility, and a parsonage on nearly 7 acres, for just dozens of saints. All for a monthly mortgage that was about 1/4th of what we were paying in rent at a store front.
All along, our prayer has been "Lord, glorify Yourself here. Fill this place with those who know you, and those who don't yet," We believe He's still answering that prayer.
But without death, there is no resurrection.
Instead of a growing church, there have been times it felt like we were a dying church.
- We sent some of our hardest working saints to plant an awesome church in Belleview, FL.
- Fewer folks joining us, and even fewer youth and children.
- Then, Covid hit and forced us to online streaming for a few months.
But all along, the faithful few have been praying "Fill this place, and use this property with those who know you, and those who don't yet. But we trust You even in the valley of the shadow of death."
Now, it's beginning to feel a lot like resurrection. New folks are visiting nearly every week. Some of them are staying. The old chapel is being resurrected physically, with new Air conditioning, and beautifying, thanks to Amy and Andrew Sellers. And just perhaps, we'll have children visiting every Sunday for Amy's KidHop.
To be clear, we're not quite sure what God is up to, but we're up for the adventure!