ABUNDANT HARVEST BAPTIST CHURCH
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore
the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Luke 10:2 (KJV)
Abundant Harvest Baptist Church is an autonomous, self-governing, group of baptized believers in the name of Jesus Christ, subject only to the spiritual control of the Lord Jesus Christ as defined in the written Words of God, and not in any other ecclesiastical body or church organization.
April 13, 2011 God gave birth to a new work starting in the heart of our pastor. Pastor Curtis and Che drove their motorcycle through the roads and streets of St Marys and prayed over the residents.
On April 27, 2011, God confirmed the field where the new work would be planted.
Within the next few weeks under the direction of God's Holy Spirit, our name and our purpose statement were conceived and then translated into tangible statements.
On May 24, 2011, Blackrock Baptist church officially became our sponsoring and commissioning church. Today, we are daily working towards the vision God has given to establish a bible believing New Testament local church that has a heart to minister to the community of Kingsland, Georgia.
On March 4, 2012, Abundant Harvest Baptist Church held our first public service.
On October 6, 2013, Abundant Harvest Baptist Church moved into our very own building located at 365 West King Avenue Kingsland, GA
By GORDON JACKSON The Brunswick News
KINGSLAND — Curtis Cantrell had a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ before his 20-year career in the Navy started in 1981. After he enlisted, he helped minister fellow sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy for years while the ship was at sea. “Four or five chaplains can only handle so much,” he said.
After he retired from the Navy, Cantrell started a career designing computer software in Jacksonville, Fla., a job he continues to do today. But his faith continued to be an important part of his life. He was involved in ministering at Blackrock Baptist Church in Yulee, Fla., where pastors asked him to take over an adult Sunday school class. He started with 17 congregation members and helped it grow to 92 people within two years. He studied to become an ordained minister and was given an offer he said he couldn’t refuse. The pastors and deacons at the church asked if he was interested in estblishing a new church four years ago and told him he could choose any location. He decided the perfect place would be in Camden County.
“I wanted to be far enough away where I wouldn’t take any members from my old church,” he said. Cantrell found a location in a strip mall in St. Marys where he founded Abundant Harvest Baptist Church. He conducted services there for two years until his congregation outgrew the building. He learned an old church building was for sale in Kingsland, but his church didn’t have the money to purchase the facility. He did the math and determined it would take another $700 a month to afford the payments.
“I called the people (who owned the building) and said we couldn’t do it,” he said.
That’s when Cantrell said God had other plans. The building’s owner offered to donate $12,000 to cover the deficit, but Cantrell was still reluctant to commit his congregation to the debt. The following day, he said a congregation member offered to pledge an additional $200 a month. A short time later, his old church in Yulee voted to pledge another $200 a month for three years to help him move into the building. Then, the building’s owner pledged another $12,000 and the congregation voted to move into the church building.
“God has made up that additional $300 a month,” he said. “We haven’t had to touch the $24,000 (from the building’s former owner).”
Cantrell said he was never hesitant about accepting the challenge to establish a church from scratch. “The biggest challenge in starting a new church is the people,” he said. “You actually attract a lot of people to a new church.” He said his church is ruled by the congregation, but they give him plenty of leeway.
“The direction so far has been primarily by myself,” he said. “We don’t hold a lot of business meetings.”
He has helped the congregation grow by reaching out to the community in creative ways, such as donating spaghetti dinners to new Camden County residents, giving away a flat screen TV on Father’s Day and holding a Valentine’s Day event for people who don’t have anyone to share the day with.
“When you love somebody, you have to spend money on them,” he said.
He said his 45-member congregation is diverse, with young, old, black, white, civilian and military.
About half his congregation has a connection with the military. They are either active-duty sailors and their families at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay or retired military, he said.
“I think they find it a benefit to have a pastor with Navy experience,” he said. “I learned a lot about leadership with 20 years in the Navy.” He said the church continues to grow and there is no pressure to become larger. “I think some of them like a smaller congregation,” he said. “I don’t preach a lot about growing the church. I want to have a healthy church.”
OUR SPONSORING CHURCH
Blackrock Baptist Church
96362 Blackrock Road Yulee, FL 32097
Southern Baptist Convention www.sbc.net
The Florida Baptist Convention www.flbaptist.org
The Northeast Florida Baptist Association www.nefba.org