05 May Legacy of Faith: Celebrating Our Founders
Celebrating Our Founders: Dr. Willie L. Reid Sr. and Gloria H. Reid
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12
Prior to His departure to be with the Father, the greatest person who ever lived, Jesus Christ our Savior, spoke those words to the disciples. I wonder if the disciples knew what a legacy they would leave the world.
“The disciples would do even greater works than Jesus in the sense that their works would have greater effects than His works had. During Jesus’ earthly ministry relatively few people believed in Him, but after His ascension, many more did. The miracle of regeneration multiplied after Jesus ascended to heaven and the Father sent the Holy Spirit. Three thousand people became believers in Jesus on the day of Pentecost alone (Acts 2:41). The church thoroughly permeated the Roman Empire during the apostolic age whereas Jesus’ personal ministry did not extend beyond Palestine. The whole Book of Acts is proof that what Jesus predicted here happened (cf. Acts 1:102, 8). The mighty works of conversion are more in view here than a few miracles of healing.” (Constable’s Notes, Lumina Bible)
“I am excited about the work that God is doing at FBBC and the church’s potential to reach more people distant from God than ever before. The magnitude of this vision has been personally challenging to us and has gripped our hearts. It is amazing to consider that collectively, we have and continue to make a difference for the Kingdom as we leave a legacy for future generations.” (“FBBC Together . . . Owning the Vision”, Willie L. Reid, Sr., 2011)
Five years after Pastor Reid penned those words and thirty-three years after I became a student of his teaching, I finally understand what was driving him and Mother Reid. It was John 14.12,”…whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…” But now I wonder if they were aware of the legacy they would be leaving for FBBC and the world.
Over three thousand souls accepted. Christ through the ministry of FBBC, numerous churches have been planted, and countless lives changed through the teaching of the Word. What a legacy!
I remember asking Pastor Reid why. Why are you always pushing the ministry? Why does it appear you’re never satisfied with where we are? He said God told him to “raise the standards of the people.” He reminded us at times, “Never let the shoe tell the foot how big it can be.”
So he set the bar high and raised it each time we came close to reaching it. Christian education and leadership were at the core of how he would continually raise our awareness of what an omnipotent God we serve and how He created us for greatness.
He often said everything rises and falls on leadership. What started as a storefront ministry by two of God’s chosen, blossomed into a congregation of battle tested believers and a fifty-eight acre campus anchored by a dome sanctuary. Along each step of the journey, we were taught to put our faith and trust in God. And before our very eyes God brought every project to fruition. Each project reminded us of what an awesome and omnipotent God we serve.
The journey was breathtaking at times, and we witnessed God do some incredible things. However, the most amazing thing that happened had nothing to do with land or buildings. The most amazing thing was how God used Pastor and Mother Reid to grow our faith. The door of possibility in our personal and family life was opened to us by the key of faith. We learned to use it when prosperity is our goal as well as when battling adversity. We’ve taught our children and others in our lives how to use it.
“As we walk into our new season of growth and maturity, please do not forget where God has brought us from, and where He will continue to take us. The bible tells us that, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). However, we like to say, if you can see it, that ain’t it. Now that we see the Dome has come to fruition, we know that God has more work for us to do at Fellowship. Remember, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him (I Cor. 2:9).” (“FBBC Together … Owning The Vision”, Willie L. Reid, Sr., 2011)