Church partnership leads to revitalization, no takeover

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It is common practice for healthy churches to merge with or bring under their umbrella, struggling churches who are in need of revitalization.

However, rare is it for a church and a pastor to invest in another church for three years without trying to take over the church, said Jimmy LaBello, pastor of Big Coppitt First Baptist Church in Key West, during his Right Beside You testimony at the Florida Baptist State Convention.

When Big Coppitt was in need of revitalization, Riverside Baptist Church in Miami offered to help.

Otto Fernandez, pastor of Riverside, was right beside LaBello during his testimony. Fernandez offered ministry help and support with funding, training, and even recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

LaBello expressed not only his appreciation for Fernandez but also for Southeast Regional Catalyst Al Fernandez, who encouraged the partnership and provided guidance and support throughout.

Fernandez, Otto’s brother, was happy to see the partnership and the good that can be accomplished when one church invests in another with no strings attached.

Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, December 12, 2017

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