missions

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  

Matthew 28: 19-20a


For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.  

Deuteronomy 15: 11



The First Presbyterian Church of Panama City enthusiastically addresses the spiritual and physical needs of all of God’s children. We do this through the financial support of preaching, teaching, and humanitarian support ministries. We are encouraged and thankful for the diligent efforts and progress of our supported ministries from MTW, MNA, FPCPC missionaries, and local humanitarian support agencies. We are blessed to be a part of the active prayer teams for each of these ministries.

MTW

Ellen Barnett is an MTW missionary in Acapulco, Mexico with a discipling focus on teaching and leadership training. Ellen is involved in all aspects of development and teaching at the Maranatha Bible Institute and a Christian primary/preschool called New Horizon. Please pray for growth in New Horizon enrollment, for leader’s wisdom and resources for both schools, for the leadership of the host Maranatha Presbyterian Church, and for the health and wellbeing of students, staff, and visiting missionaries.


Jamie and Jacki Gildard are MTW missionaries to Marseilles, France and serve as part of a church planting team there. With only about 1% of the nation’s population belonging to evangelical Christian churches, church planting is an urgent need. Cultural attitudes toward Christianity make church planting a challenging and special calling. They regularly share the many opportunities they see in evangelism, discipling, and leadership development. Please pray for continued growth and success of small-group Bible studies, growth of the university group, and for courage and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in all believers to take the first step into evangelism among their friends and neighbors.

Mna

Another challenging evangelism area is the typical American university. With a main campus in Tallahassee and a branch campus in Panama City, Florida State University is a “local” university to FPC. The Rev. David Story leads the RUF ministry at the Florida State University in Tallahassee. Rev. Story teaches Bible studies, counsels students, and develops Christian leaders from a young population which changes roughly every four years. Evangelism is also a main focus with a student body that is increasingly non-Christian. Post-graduate interns such as Thea Miskel are also involved in most RUF ministry functions and specialize in “reaching out” to student seekers. Please pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in reaching all students, for staff wisdom in response to all student issues and organizational challenges, and for continuing support for a critical ministry.

First Presbyterian Missionaries

The Rev. Bob Hayes is a PCA minister in the Gulf Coast Presbytery and a supply pastor for the Chattahoochee Presbyterian Church. He has also served a longtime role as a missionary to Uganda and is head of the Africa Christian Training Institute (ACTI), a Uganda registered NGO. Please pray for the ACTI outreach efforts in pastor training, evangelism, schooling and humanitarian relief – that they will overcome the anti-Christian attacks and influences which hamper their effectiveness. Please pray that the gospel stories and sermons shared in Uganda grow in the hearts of all that hear them and that many are brought to Christ as a result.

Mark and Laura Knetzer are members of FPCPC and following several short-term missions trips to Uganda with Rev. Hayes were called to ministry in Uganda. They have been led to establish Mercy Uganda (a registered Uganda NGO) and move to Uganda for full-time ministry in the areas of teaching, discipling, and humanitarian assistance. Mercy Uganda has purchased property in Uganda; received a full shipping container of clothing, educational, occupational, and agricultural material; drilled a well for drinking water; set up a piggery and garden area; and is raising funds for a house and school building. Please pray for perseverance and guidance for in-country spiritual battles; for the Gospel seed to be planted in Bible studies, Youth Days, and humanitarian activities (clean wells, piggeries, etc.); and for fund-raising success according to God’s will.

The Ukraine Biblical Seminary (UBS) fills a significant need in Ukraine and neighboring countries for an affordable, accredited Reformed seminary degree program to train pastors for church planting and growth. Dr. Richard Watson is Pastor Emeritus at FPCPC and director of UBS. He has labored for many years identifying funding and scheduling teachers through Reformed Theological Seminary (U.S.) and keeping UBS operational in a challenging political and cultural Ukrainian environment. Please pray for travel mercies for all students attending UBS, for the Holy Spirit to open hearts and minds to the Word and to His truth contained in it, for continuing availability of the UBS sanitarium, and for the health, safety, and inspiration of the UBS staff.

Humanitarian support agencies

First Presbyterian church supports the efforts of the Panama City Rescue Mission, the Family Services Agency, and the Pregnancy Resource Center in meeting the needs our community needs. Additionally, the FPC Women in the Church deliver nutritional supplements for seniors to Family Services as well as collections from church food drives.