(Chipley,FL) – Sunday afternoon, family, members and friends came to the Agriculture Center located at 1424 Hwy 90 Chipley, Florida to show appreciation to the man of God.
Parishioners from Port St Joe, Panama City and Chipley gathered at the beautifully decorated room of chairs draped with white linen and tied with colorful bows. Each table was garnished with a beautiful centerpiece adding to the ambiance of the occasion.
As Pastor Woods and his mother, Sister Dorothy Turner, entered the room, all stood and applauded to show their admiration of a wonderful man who had taken others under his wing to help them to grow in the Lord.
Many people had wonderful things to say about Rev. Woods. One day I had the opportunity to interview Pastor Woods and I must say, I wasn’t really interested in doing this, I was planning to hurry up and get through,” said one of him members. “ But as I began to interview him he said to me ‘The preacher is one of the most important people in the community. And the community cannot live without the preacher. When the preacher lives holy and preaches the word, he says, it’s an impact on the people in the community. And when God anoints the Word through the preacher, crime rates go down and unclean living begins to cease.’ “When I went into that interview I was a sinner. But when I left, I left saved. “Why? Because Elder Woods, my pastor, told me about Jesus-a man that I did not know. He told me about a man that saved my soul. He told me about the Holy Ghost, who is my friends. And, I will never forget that. I want to say thank you. I went in for one thing and God had a bigger plan for my life.”
Pastor Woods began Yes Lord Church and we are all inter woven into this history. In the summer of 1994, the Lord spoke clearly and distinctly to our Pastor. We said “Go to Chipley and build me a church for the kingdom of God. Superintendent David Woods Jr was 25 when God said go to Chipley and build a church for the kingdom. Most 25 year olds do not even know the voice of God and are focused on taking the wrong way searching for things. But our pastor took the road less traveled and chose to take the highway of holiness, and after two years of preparation, and 27 years old, came to Chipley with nothing but a word from the Lord.
He came with his family and began conducting Tuesday night bible study at Gilmore Park with a borrowed podium and borrowed chairs from Cooper’s Funeral home. His first teaching on July 10, 1996 was ‘the difference between the flesh and the spirit. Rom 8: and Col 3: Sister Tracey Andrews, Brother Carl Bullock and Sister Tonya McDoogle were the first three to join the ministry.
Pastor Woods found an old laundry mat and renovated it. That would be the church home for the next 6 years. The church doors opened the third Sunday in September 1996. The official dedication of the church was held on September 27, 1997 with the late Bishop E. L. Shephard jurisdictional of the 8th Ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Northwest Florida officiating. The theme for the day was ‘What meanest This’ Act 2:6-21. In May of 1998 8.5 acres was purchased and was able to do so with a few members with hard set embraced traditions and minds to work together to raise in a short time over $50,000.00 to pay off the land.
On November 19, 2000, a special ground breaking ceremony was held on a rainy and cold day, however knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God, members, friends and family stood with the pastor nine trustee board members and GAC builders in breaking the ground. Gold shovels were used to break ground.
November 6, 2010, COGIC Holy Convocation, Elder Willie C Greene, was ordained Bishop and a new jurisdiction was birthed and in 2001, Ye Lord became part of the new Church of God in Christ Ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Florida Northwest.
In March 2011 a special installation banquet was held for the promotion of Elder David Woods Jr to the Superintendent of the Gulf Coast District. And administrative assistant to Bishop Willie C Greene jurisdictional prelate of the Church of God in Church, Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Florida Northwest. Our very own church mother, Mother Dorothy Turner was appointed District Missionary and on April 29m 2011, during the annual Gulf Coast district meeting the official installation was placed in the church history.
Pastor Woods went on to not only grow Yes Lord Church of God in Christ in Chipley, but also continued to pastor a church in Port St Joe. He pastors a third church as well as started a School for Autistic Children in Chipley.
The Glory of Gospel Singers, founded by Pastor Woods sang tribute to him, singing a medley of his favorite song. The group spent time with Pastor Woods touring Germany for two years.
As various choirs came forth, it was evident that there was a multitude of love for this truly dedicated disciple of Christ.
A wonderful buffet of roast beef, fried chicken green beans, rice and gravy, salad, deserts of German Chocolate cake, red velvet cake, chocolate cake and pound cake were served to guest as well as a beverage of sweet tea.
As the evening progressed, the youth ministry entertained everyone with a number of dance routines to various songs also dedicating their tunes to him.
In the end, Pastor Woods took to the stage and thanked everyone for their support and love. He gave a short speech and ended with a melodious solo backed by his brother. “One thing for sure,” he said, if we didn’t have a church, my family and I could have a church all by ourselves.”