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Even after numerous setbacks, a majestic, high tech, 28,000 square-foot building now stands beckoningly at the north end of a beautifully landscaped 10-acre plot in Cooper City, Florida. Living Word Open Bible Church’s new facility houses a sanctuary, many classrooms, a media room,
a commercial kitchen, business offices, and a boardroom.

The church’s project coordinators faced numerous challenges, including zoning changes and a recession. Nonetheless persistent prayer, fasting, and reliance on Scriptures ignited the faith to believe the building would be completed on time. The permit to occupy the sanctuary was obtained at 4:30 p.m. the Friday before the first scheduled dedication service. (Dedication services were held on two consecutive Sundays, November 11 and 18, 2012, to accommodate the capacity audience of over 1,000.)

On the first Sunday Revs. Samuel Davis and Dr. Ken Boaz blew the shofar, sounding a clarion call to worship. A band and worship team joined in as Psalmist Lu-Ann Nealy opened with “Days of Elijah.” Flag bearers, colorfully arrayed in national dress representing the congregation’s diversity, paraded the aisles, enhancing the celebratory atmosphere. The congregation worshipped exuberantly while liturgical dancers, children’s and adult choirs, and other vocalists presented well-rehearsed, yet anointed acts. The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident.

Revs. Karl and Dyrie Francis, senior pastors, gave a synopsis of the church’s “journey” and presented awards to individuals who had contributed significantly to the construction. The Francises then led a dedicatory prayer, patterned after Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple. Select ministers offered prayers of blessings on the church and ministry. After each service, attendees enjoyed Caribbean-style steel band music under the canopy of clear Florida skies, while savoring artfully prepared refreshments.

Guests included Open Bible President Rev. Randall Bach; Southeast Region Executive Director Rev. James Beaird; local pastors; Rev. Arthur Dunk and Rev. Dr. Alston Henry, former general superintendents of Open Bible Churches of Jamaica; Rev. Dr. Randy Neilson, who represented Canada; and guest speakers Rev. Menzie Oban and Rev. H. Theo Smith.

“Living Word is eternally grateful for the prayer support and encouragement of Open Bible’s leadership, fellow ministers, and friends,” said Revs. Karl and Dyrie Francis.

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