Monticello Church marks 192nd anniversary with heritage day celebration

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Pictured Above: Members of Elizabeth Baptist Church are shown during the Heritage Days Service. 

MONTICELLO­–When Elizabeth Baptist Church in Monticello held its heritage day celebration recently, members and guests gathered to commemorate 192 years of history in various ways, which included:

  • Dedicating its new bronze plaque containing a handwritten replica of the church’s original constitution, now attached to the front of the church.
  • Honoring its historian and a couple of longtime, dedicated members.
  • Thanking its members for its status as one of the most generous Baptist churches in Florida.
  • Rejoicing in the baptism of a new believer.
Dr. John Sullivan, former executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention, delivered the sermon on this day.

“It was quite the celebration,” said Glenn Canup, pastor of the church. “We did a lot that day, but still the focus was on seeing lives changed though our ministry efforts.”

One way this church helps spread the gospel message is in giving through the Cooperative Program, which funds a variety of ministries for both the Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, including the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board, Baptist seminaries and more.

Elizbeth Baptist continues to rank annually as one of the top churches in Florida for its CP giving.

'Our people are generous and faithful, and giving to the Cooperative Program is a priority. It’s who we are as Southern Baptists, and it’s how we partner together. It’s how we do missions.'

Glenn Canup Pastor, Elizabeth Baptist Church, Monticello

“Last year the church gave more to missions than we ever have previously,” Canup said. “Our people are generous and faithful, and giving to the Cooperative Program is a priority. It’s who we are as Southern Baptists, and it’s how we partner together. It’s how we do missions – from helping support state missionaries, to national missionaries, to foreign missionaries.”

As a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Canup said he is a product and beneficiary of the CP. “I believe in it. I’m thankful for it, and I’ll continue to encourage it.”

Church members want to give after hearing that type of encouragement from the pulpit as well as an explanation of the CP, said Roy Faglie, who was recognized that Sunday along with his wife Shirley for their longtime service and dedication to the church. Both have been members since the 1960s and have been active in many church ministries.

Roy and Shirley Faglie are recognized for their faithful dedication, commitment and service to Elizabeth Baptist Church by Pastor Glenn Canup.

“Our mission giving has been a strong part of the church. We still do it, and it’s not hindered us in other areas,” Faglie said. “God is true to His word – if you support, the ability to do it will be there. The church is a conduit for money. You’re not giving to a church; you’re giving to the work of the church.”

While Canup has been pastor for only two years, the church has a long history of CP giving. Church records indicate the church gave 10% of church receipts in 1955 and steadily increased the percentage over the years to the current 24%. The church also sets goals for annual offerings like the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Maguire State Mission Offering, and it supports a variety of local causes including a pregnancy center, the local food bank, student camp and more.

“They have been a very faithful church across the years,” said John Sullivan, retired FBC executive director-treasurer, who was guest speaker for the church’s heritage day celebration. “I think that’s why they have thrived and survived for 192 years; it is because of their generosity, which God continues to bless.”

Also recognized that day was Linda DeMott, a lifelong church member who received the 2023 Baptist Heritage Award for her efforts to record, preserve and publish the history of the church, including the creation of the bronze plaque.

Linda Demott receives the 2023 Baptist Heritage Award from Donald Hepburn of the Florida Baptist Historical Society.

In dedicating the plaque that day, the church noted: “This plaque serves as a reminder of the commitment and dedication of a group of God-honoring Baptists and new Christian converts who responded to God’s leadership to be a Christian witness in what was then a wilderness in this part of the Florida Territory. Today, 192 years later, we the people of Elizabeth Baptist Church re-commit to the call of Jesus Christ to continue to be witnesses in our Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.”

Tommy Green, FBC executive director-treasurer, thanked the church for its commitment and faithfulness in a video played during the celebration.

“Thank you for your commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and the way you have partnered together with other churches across the state of Florida and across the world to make a difference in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “You have been faithful partners in Cooperative Program giving, and because of your giving the gospel is going to the ends of the earth. This partnership has provided resources that have been used to do ministries that have made a difference in the lives of people, pointing them to a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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