Georgia Praise celebrates past, future on Lunar New Year

GPC 2nd Anniversary 2
Members of Georgia Praise present the congregation’s children with traditional New Years gifts.

Georgia Praise Center celebrated its second anniversary on February 10 with worship, fellowship, and special performances.  This year’s anniversary celebration coincided with the Lunar New Year.  Conference executive minister Ertell Whigham and his wife Pat, Nueva Vida Norristown New Life congregation, drove to Atlanta to join Georgia Praise for the anniversary celebration.  From the moment they walked in the door, they felt like part of the Georgia Praise family, Whigham said.  “It was one of the most enriching, welcoming, and open church experiences I’ve had.  It was an honor to be able to minister with them, to both give and receive a blessing.”

Whigham shared a message with the gathered congregation and presented them with a towel and a pitcher, which, he said, represented their baptism and their membership in the larger conference family; despite the geographic distance, he said, “we are a community together.”

Around 160 people gathered for the celebration including local pastors and members of the Indonesian community in Atlanta.  Members of Georgia Praise performed vocally and through drama.  Many wore traditional Chinese clothing in honor of the new year and celebrating their Chinese heritage.   The majority of the congregation is of Chinese descent though their families most recently immigrated to the United States from Indonesia.

GPC 2nd Anniversary 1
Ertell and Pat Whigham with Linda and Yunus Perkasa.

The atmosphere was one of joy and excitement, reflected Yunus Perkasa, pastor of Georgia Praise congregation.  “We are so blessed to be part of the one big Franconia Conference family,” he said. “Throughout the past two years, we’ve learned to walk by faith and we have grown stronger in Christ.  We believe that he will be guiding us for many years to come.”