First Presbyterian Church of Lake Placid officially dedicated its new Genesis Center, an outreach center for the community, at 4:00 p.m. on February 28th. More than five hundred people attended the dedication service which featured music performed by the congregation’s praise team, orchestra, handbells, choir, and children’s group, along with video, dancers, greetings from other congregations, and statements from ministry leaders.
The service opened with medley setting of “Blessed Assurance” and “Holy, Holy, Holy” that featured the combined forces of the various musical groups with dancers. The congregation’s senior pastor, Rev. Ray Cameron, gave the opening prayer and invocation, after which elder Paul Koukos read the outreach center mission statement. This was followed by a time of congregational singing led by the praise team and a responsive litany giving thanks to God for the completion of the new building and dedicating it to the glory of God and the work of evangelism. Associate Pastor Drew Severance offered thanks to all who had been involved in praying for and supporting the completion of the building and led the litany.
Special music during the service was provided by Tim Sewell, leader of the praise team and director youth ministries at the church, and his wife Barbara, who sang a duet on “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” The children’s choir sang an anthem entitled “Small Deeds,” highlighting how the purposes of God can be accomplished by ordinary people in simple acts of kindness, and the adult choir sang Joseph Martin’s setting of John 3:16 “For God So Loved the World.”
Greetings from the presbytery and the prayer of adoration were given by the Rev. Darrell Peer, pastor of the Sebring ARP church, and the Rev. Ray Culpeper, head of the Lake Placid Christian Ministerial Association. Wendy Lee Mielke and Rev. Drew Severance highlighted the mission of the church and its vision for the new center in presentations that focused on home and foreign missions, small groups, and the congregation’s nascent sports ministry.
Rev. Ray Cameron gave the dedicatory sermon highlighting the two GC’s: the Genesis Center and the Great Commission. He touched upon the faithfulness of God in the ninety years of the Lake Placid church’s existence and the crucial importance of reaching out to the unsaved in love and compassion, meeting them where they are so that they may know the grace and salvation of Christ. The sermon highlighted particularly how sports, community events, and the arts can be used as Gospel opportunities as the church makes use of the Genesis Center to fulfill the Great Commission in new ways.
The service closed with a reprise of the opening medley and fellowship time with heavy hors d’oeuvres staffed by the women of the church and the kitchen committee.