By: Ed Kendrick
I graduated from SEBTS in 2002 with my M.Div. and planted Heartland Church in Winter Haven, Florida. In 2015, I earned my D.Min. from Southeastern. I still serve as the lead pastor of Heartland and I also have the opportunity to visit Southeastern occasionally as a guest professor during D.Min. seminars. Last month, we celebrated our 15th anniversary as a church. God has genuinely blessed our ministry through the years. He has used us to advance the Gospel in our local community and throughout the world. We have planted four churches and participated in the planting of three others both in and outside the state of Florida.
As we recently celebrated and praised God for our 15 years as a church, I presented our vision for the future. We as a church covet your prayers as we follow God’s lead for our future:
1. To remain faithful to proclaiming the Word of God faithfully and unapologetically
2. To be a church that plants a new church every couple of years, wherever God leads
3. To be a church that spends a minimum of 25 percent of its budget on missions (practicing the Great Commission)
4. To be a church that houses a biblical counseling and coaching center for those in the community and surrounding areas that need those services (This has been started)
5. To be a church that engages our community and the world for Christ
As I reflect on all God has done and all He is leading us to do, it is difficult for me to express all of my appreciation to SEBTS. It was there that God instilled in me a vision to start a new work in Florida. It was there that God used so many great professors and men of God to speak into my life and equip me spiritually, theologically and practically for the work He was preparing me for. For all those things I am eternally grateful!
I am excited that we have had two young men from Heartland be accepted into SEBTS in the last few weeks. I am excited to know they are attending what I believe is the premier Southern Baptist Seminary in our convention, and I look forward to hearing about all God will be doing in their lives and ministries!