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Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:Prayer
  • Language:English
  • Pages:72
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350952810

Miracles Happen When People Pray and God Steps In

The Story of Countryside Baptist Church and Schools

by Arline Phillips-Han and Dr Bill Keith

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The true story of how a young Pastor by the name of Gene Keith, followed God's leading in 1959 to assume the pastorate of a struggling inner-city church. Through prayer and bulldog determination, he led their way forward to save the church from failure and built a thriving church and school in the most unlikely location in north-central Florida.
The book MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE PRAY AND GOD STEPS IN reveals its secrets in the title. Against many odds including an incredible lack of money, a tiny Southern Baptist mission in a low-income area of Gainesville, Florida, becomes a remarkable beacon of success in the high-growth side of town. The book raises huge questions and answers as to how the mission outgrew its sponsor's dreams in a journey of 65 years led by two visionary pastors: a feisty ambitious pastor named Gene Keith and his totally dedicated son, Dr. Bill Keith of Otter Creek, and Gainesville. How can a young enthusiastic, but naïve pastor fulfills his vision for a Christian school at a time when he has a zero budget for expansion, no education in school-building, no teachers, no curriculum, no books? And what if, at a critical time of growth, the church that gave birth to the school faces devastating losses due to a historic Florida hurricane? How miracles came to play amidst enormous needs many times over is answered in this collection of brief stories of steely ambition and courageous faithfulness of praying people. The book captures the trials and triumphs of church life over the busy lifetime of its founding pastor, who remains active in the church today as its Pastor Emeritus. Thanks to the long and ongoing leadership of Senior Pastor Dr. Bill Keith, Countryside Baptist Church in Northwest Gainesville is now homebase for a rapidly growing regional ministry that includes a sister church in the nearby town of Hawthorne; three successful Christian schools and a fourth school now under development in Hawthorne, plus a huge commitment to local, state, and global missionary services. Caring for the hungry and the needy of every description is part of the bloodstream of this thriving enterprise dedicated to the glory of God. Dr. Keith says, "The history of Countryside illustrates how a miraculous God uses ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results."
About the author
Arline Phillips-Han is a seasoned Florida journalist who worked for 12 years as a news reporter, photographer and special section editor for four daily newspapers, followed by 33 years as a medical writer and senior director of communications at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Gainesville, FL. Her work at UF included supervising production of annual reports, alumni magazines, and news releases targeted to the commercial news media. Today she is pursuing a second career in Christian writing and in an active member of Countryside Baptist Church in Gainesville. She is the author of two Christian books: Jesus Speaks to a World in Turmoil, published in 2014 by Amazon.com, and The Greatest Power Within You, published in 2019 by WESTBOW Press, a Division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. She is nationally accredited in public relations (APR) and is state-certified as a PR consultant. Her greatest source of pride and happiness is her son Eugene (Gene) Craig Haufler and his wife, Sheila; of Ormond Beach, FL.; four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Outside her passion for writing, she is happily engaged in reading history, gardening, music, photography and art.