BY JAMES HARPER
SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Dr. Michael A. Chambers says his roots are planted and he’s ready to take Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Daytona Beach to another level.
Chambers came to Daytona Beach from Baltimore, Md., and will be celebrating his first year anniversary next month as pastor of one of the largest churches in the Greater Daytona Beach area.
Chambers, a native of Mississippi, has been pastoring for 28 years. Along with Maryland, he also has pastored churches in Mississippi and Georgia.
He is married to the former Lizzie B. Davis and is the father of four children – Nicholas, Nykia, Aja and Sean.
‘A God move’
Chambers said he believes he was called by God at Greater Friendship for a specific reason.
“It was a God move for me. I felt the spirit of the Lord to make the move,” Chambers said.
He replaced the Rev. L. Ronald Durham last year as Greater Friendship’s senior pastor.
Chambers’ one-year anniversary will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, with a banquet at Bethune-Cookman University’s Center for Civic Engagement.
Chambers said his plans for Greater Friendship include setting up an Impact Center across from the church in a house the church already owns, which will provide food, clothing and education for members and the community.
“We need to help our people to be more self-sufficient – opportunities are out there we have to avail ourselves of,” he remarked.
Focus on seniors
Chambers also said he is aware of the large senior citizen population and sees a need for a day program for seniors so family members have an affordable place for their loved ones dealing with dementia or other issues.
An Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Chambers also wants to see more done for veterans, especially Black ones who may not be aware of all the benefits they can receive.
“They are missing out on a lot,” he noted.
Appealing to youth
Chambers says his aim also is to make the church more progressive “by not moving backwards, but honoring traditions moving towards dealing with the whole man, not only one aspect of him.
“The people had their Moses, but then came time for a Joshua,” said Chambers, noting he has to appeal to the younger generation, but he cannot forget about traditions of the past.
Chambers is especially excited about a new summer camp at the church in which kids will be exposed to science and technology and entrepreneurship.
“There was a time when entrepreneurs were huge in the Black community, but that has changed – by force or choice,” he added.
Along with the May 5 banquet, an anniversary service is scheduled for May 7 at the church. The Rev. Dr. Roulous Frazier of St. John Baptist Church of Orlando will be the guest preacher at the 9:50 a.m. service.
For more information about the banquet, call the church at 386-252-0322.