WARNER ROBINS -- With minimal advertising, 25 people attended Faith Life Family Churchs first service in 2007 in a community room at Eagle Springs in Centerville.
Now, the growing congregation meets in a remodeled facility on Constitution Drive off Houston Lake Road, once the home of West Plumbing.
A favorite scripture of the churchs pastors, Dave and Kendall Watrous, is the churchs theme. Its the latter part of Psalm 84:11: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Thats a big part of our message, Dave Watrous said. God is good and does good things. We talk about it frequently. No more than a parent would put hardship on their children to teach them a lesson, God wouldnt put disease on his children just to teach them. We dont make a doctrinal issue of it, but in reaching out to people its something they need to know. Its the goodness of God that leads to repentance. People need to know God is good.
While Dave Watrous was born and raised in Connecticut, for Kendall Watrous, moving to Warner Robins to start the church was literally moving back home.
People who used to know me and know what Im doing now say, Boy, youve really changed, Kendall Watrous said. And its true. When I was here before, I was a mess.
Kendall Watrous said she and her family moved to Warner Robins in 1985, and she graduated from Northside High School in 1988. Her father, Bill Williford, taught at Perry Middle School when he retired from the military and now teaches at Georgia Military College.
I was searching, Kendall Watrous said. Basically, I was an alcoholic at 14. Even though I was homecoming queen as a junior, behind the scenes I was hopelessly lost. I went off to college and was in and out of rehab and AA. I woke up one morning in Savannah with a gospel tract balled up in my hand with a churchs number stamped on it. I called them, and they came and picked me up and helped me. I rededicated my life to Jesus. I went to a Christian drug and alcohol program and got sober, and God turned my life around. My mom and dad had really been praying for that.
The Watrouses said Kendalls experience helped shape the churchs dedication to reaching out to others.
It was God that reached Kendall, but God moves through people to reach people, Dave Watrous said. God is good. We just have to live it out, so others can see. For a church our size -- we dont see ourselves as a small church, just as a young church -- were big on outreach.
Kendall Watrous said outreach includes visiting door to door in neighborhoods and efforts like a Bags of Love ministry to the needy and helping families during the holidays.
We want to think outside the box, out the doors of our church into the world, she said. If youre just self-minded, all you have is your own little club. If somebody hadnt reached out to me and planted a seed in my heart and mind, then I sure wouldnt be where I am today. You have to take what you have and reach out to people, regular people.
Both Dave and Kendall Watrous are graduates of Rhema Bible Training College in Tulsa, Okla. They were ordained by and belong to the Rhema Ministerial Association International and Fresh Oil Fellowship, which provide accountability in ministry.
After graduation, Dave Watrous traveled for 12 years with a ministry group from Rhema that accompanied the colleges founder, Kenneth Hagin Sr. Following that, the couple served three years as associate ministers at Cornerstone Church in Linden, Ala.
We moved here in 2006 to start the church, but we came here to be married in Perry in 1994, Dave Watrous said. It was a hot and steamy day. It was the day after the big flood that year, and the sun had come out and it was literally steaming. We have pictures of the wedding and newspaper clippings of the flood.
The couple has two children, daughter Demi and son Drew.
As a ministering couple, Dave and Kendall Watrous said they truly are a team and share pastoral ministry. While Dave Watrous said he does most of the teaching, he said his wife is a very capable minister who also teaches. She also leads the churchs worship team.
We believe God answers prayer and heals today, Kendall Watrous said. We see him move in our services and in peoples lives in transforming ways. We stress were a family. Some say they dont believe in organized religion or going to church, but where do you turn when hard times come? You need a church family.
Dave Watrous said Faith Life Family Church is called to reach people and grow believers.
Gods heart is reaching the lost and seeing them grow in Christ, he said. Our community needs to know Gods goodness. The devil will eat your lunch and leave a note saying God did it. So many are questioning and disoriented, disenfranchised from God because of that. We tell people God didnt do it. If you cant run to God for help because you think hes causing the problem, where can you go?
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.