Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

August 11, 2012

Victory Baptist Church to celebrate 25th anniversary

THOMASVILLE — This month marks the 25th anniversary of a Thomasville church congregation. Twenty-five years ago, Thomasville native Gary Holland returned to his hometown to plant Victory Baptist Church.

Holland left in 1974 to attend Bible college in Chattanooga, Tenn., days after marrying Susan Hampton on Aug. 9. After college, he served as youth pastor in Bradenton Fla., as pastor in Cairo for a short time, then as pastor in Monticello, Fla., for seven years before moving to Thomasville with their two young sons.

In 1987, the church began, initially meeting in a rented house on North Crawford Street. The following year, the young church was able to purchase the property of the former Rose City Christian School from Eastside Baptist Church.

“God worked in the hearts of members at Eastside who saw the potential for God’s work to carry on in the vacant facility,” said Holland.  “They had better offers and could have sold the property at a higher price.  It was beyond anything we could have dreamed of.”

For the first few months at the North Pinetree Boulevard property, Victory met in the school’s chapel. Soon, the gymnasium was divided into worship space and a recreation area. More recently, the church has completed renovation of the auditorium and a new fellowship hall, debt free.

Holland credits the church’s contributions to world-wide missions for the blessings they have experienced.

“The Bible says ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’ When we obey Him, He meets the needs,” he said. “Even in this economy, our church has steadily increased its giving to world missions. This is money that leaves Thomasville to help the hurting and the lost around the world. But God has always given us a return – not necessarily in dollars, but in many different ways. God’s economy is not in decline.”

Victory will celebrate its anniversary on Aug. 19 by combining the Sunday School and Worship service at 10 a.m.  The Rev. Cham McMillen of Lakeland, Fla., a long-time friend of Holland, will be the guest speaker. Special music will include the Hinkle Family, a family that ministers free of charge to retirement centers and nursing homes across the country.

“We are looking forward to the biggest celebration we have had yet at Victory Baptist Church,” said Holland. “We will have many friends and family in, and we want to make anyone in Thomasville feel welcome.  We’ll have a meal together following the service, and we’ve even prepared a commemorative gift for everyone in attendance.”

When asked what is in store for the future of Victory Baptist Church, the pastor said, “We just look forward to God continuing to build His church. We have plenty of room to grow.”

He added, “The compliment we get the most is that we are a friendly congregation; I hope we don’t lose that.”

More information can be obtained at the church website, victorybaptistchurch.us.

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