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FAITH

PASSAGE Family Church in NE Gainesville celebrates Founders' Day with service on Sunday

Voleer Thomas
Correspondent

PASSAGE Family Church celebrated soaring high for 21 years serving the community and feeding its congregation spiritually through the word of God.

The celebration was held during the churchֱs Founders' Day service on Sunday at the church at 2020 NE 15th St.

One of the church's pastoral leadership team, Sheila Baker-Bell, welcomed the congregation to the celebration, and that was followed by praise and worship led by the PASSAGE Sanctuary Praise Team.

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Minister Palenthia Boswell presided over the service.

ֱThank you for spending time with us to celebrate our beautiful leaders,ֱ Boswell said. ֱWe thank God for the both of you and today is about you.ֱ

PASSAGE Family Church was founded by its Senior Pastors George B. Dix Jr. and his wife Lady Michele Dix 21 years ago.

George Dix Jr. said the creation of the church was inspired by his father, the late George Dix Sr., to continue his mission as being servant leaders in the community.

PASSAGE Youth Directors Daniel and Kelli Mitchell talked about the impact the church's founders have had on their lives.

Kelli Mitchell said she has been attending the church since she was 17 years old and recalled a sermon George Dix preached that she still remembers to this day.

ֱI remember him knocking on the podium which symbolized the Lord knocking on your heartֱs door,ֱ Mitchell said. ֱIt struck a cord with me to know the Lord for myself. It really changed my mindset for how I carry on in my life. Iֱm thankful to have leaders that love the people.ֱ

Bishop Gary L. Hall Sr., right, prays over Senior Pastors George B. Dix Jr. and Lady Michele Dix, left, during the Founders' Day service at the church in NE Gainesville on Sunday. The Dix's founded the church 21 years ago.
(Credit: Photo by Voleer Thomas/For The Guardian)

Sonny Hobbs of Pure Radio in Jacksonville thanked the Dix's for their love for people and the strength to carry out the mission for the kingdom of God.

ֱYou all are truly blessed to have a pastor submitted and committed to you all,ֱ Hobbs said. ֱHe deposits his glory everywhere he goes. Wherever he goes, weֱre able to pull his anointing.ֱ

Parishioners praise the Lord during the 2023 Founders' Day service Sunday at PASSAGE Family Church in NE Gainesville.
(Credit: Photo by Voleer Thomas/For The Guardian)

Hobbs said it is important to honor spiritual parents as much as physical parents.

ֱMany of us look at the physical,ֱ Hobbs said. ֱWhen the physical is gone the spirit is still there. Be sure to get the anointing he imparts on your life and have the ability to share it with others.ֱ

The guest speaker was Bishop Gary L. Hall Sr., jurisdictional prelate of the Central Florida First Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ. Hall preached about the power of connecting with people.

ֱWe are social creatures,ֱ Hall said. ֱWe were not made to live in isolation.ֱ

He preached that people need to feel loved, accepted, secure and significant when you come in contact with them.

ֱWe will grow by the seed of trust,ֱ Hall said. ֱPeople need to know that they matter and that they are valuable. The cheapest way to make people feel valuable is to listen to them.

Hall compared making connections with others to the different keys on the piano playing in harmony with one another.

ֱYou donֱt have to be the same, but we have to be on one accord,ֱ Hall said. ֱWe want to have the grace of God abounding in our lives. Manֱs extremities is Godֱs opportunities.ֱ

Hall said the most important quality one should have in connecting with people is patience and he told parishioners to always be a blessing to others.

ֱDonֱt be a dead end blessing,ֱ Hall said. ֱLive your life so others can be blessed. We have many instructors, but not many fathers. Leaders must be fathers to their people.ֱ

Hall ended his sermon with a prayer for the founders as he and parishioners extended their hands to the pulpit where the Dix's stood.

ֱMay your favor rest heavy upon them,ֱ Hall prayed. ֱOpen doors that no man can close. Thank you for the sacrifices they made time and time again."

The Dix's then gave final remarks.

ֱIt is wonderful to be celebrated ֱ not only to be celebrated but to celebrate God,ֱ Michele Dix said. ֱThank you for your prayers, love and support.ֱ

George Dix Jr. thanked his late father for inspiring him to be a pastor.

He wears an eagle pin every Sunday on his lapel in honor of his father, George Dix Jr. said.ֱ

ֱHe taught me more with his mouth closed than it was open. He led by example,ֱ he said. ֱBe around people with an anointing on their lives and have the zeal for kingdom work.ֱ

He also thanked his wife for her support and encouragement throughout the years.

ֱI am the man I am today due to a large part of the woman standing beside me,ֱ he said. ֱWe are truly humble to serve you and we donֱt take it lightly. We are truly blessed.ֱ