For over a hundred years, The First Baptist Church of Immokalee has been a part of Immokalee’s history. During this time, the church’s members have passionately devoted themselves to serving Immokalee’s growing community. Now after a century, the church is in full gear serving Immokalee residents. Under the direction of Senior Pastor, Timothy Pigg, the church has adopted the motto from John 13:34, 35 A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples… Pigg adds: “Serving God begins with a love for God. Luke 10 says that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Therefore, my service to God is going to be demonstrated by my love for God… The greatest need our community needs is the gospel of Jesus Christ… We seek to demonstrate the love of Jesus everywhere we go. Thus it is our hope that through our faithfulness… Immokalee and southwest Florida will be changed by the power of the Gospel.”
Pastor Pigg and his wife, Jessica, set an example that he wants church members to follow. Besides being boggled with preparing for sermons, counseling and preparing for the church’s outreach programs, Pastor Pigg goes out into the community. “Being pastor of FBC Immokalee has affected my family in a positive way. Jessica and I love serving the town of Immokalee…We have become involved in many areas of the town. For instance, I volunteer as a football coach at the High School. My wife, serves the teachers of the Middle School by providing them with a special gift for their birthday… Recently, we have just partnered with the Martial Arts Fitness Academy of Ave Maria to offer a Sports Ministry to adults and children.”
Pastor Pigg seeks to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of Immokalee through various ministries that First Baptist Church offers. For example, every Thursday at 7:00 pm, the church offers a Recovery Ministry called STEPS. “Our goals with STEPS are to help residents in Immokalee overcome any struggle that they might deal with daily. This includes drug and alcohol addiction, grief counseling, anger management, etc..”
Furthermore, every Wednesday at 6:30, the church offers children and youth ministries with activities geared for today’s children. Additionally, the church reaches out to the community by: “Every year we try to offer several events for the family. We will host cook-outs, movie nights, date nights, and other various ministries. Typically, in the summer, we will host a Vacation Bible School for the community. Also, every Halloween we do a family friendly trunk-or-treat. The past two years we have seen over 1000 people come through our parking lot on Halloween night.” The church posts all of their events on their website, on Facebook, and on their sign in front of the church.
Despite the success of the church’s many ministries, Pastor Pigg presses onward to guide the church to walk in faith and not by sight. When asked about fear, he is quick to respond: “Scripture teaches that God has not given us a spirit of fear. The Bible teaches in Galatians 5 that we are to walk in the Spirit. Therefore, the only way that I can avoid mistakes is to remain anchored to Christ by the Holy Spirit.”
Pigg shows enthusiasm towards his congregation as he explains “The most fun part of my role as a pastor is standing before the church on Sunday morning and sharing with them God’s love… Success, in my opinion, is not defined by the amount of people attending or the size of the church budget. Success is defined by faithfulness. A church that is faithful to the proclamation and practice of God’s Word will be successful. In my estimation, there is not greater joy than preaching God’s Word.”
Pastor Pigg is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in order to gain more of God’s knowledge and better serve Immokalee. The three words that he attributes to successfully leading his congregation are: humility, faith and love. If all people lived by those simple words, the whole world would be a better place to live.
Lewis Perkins is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at email@example.com