God#039;s power at work daily, says pastor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rev. Rockey Pearce has served Dozier First Free Will Baptist Church for two years and sees great things on the horizon for his congregation.

"The Lord is sending a lot of good people to our church," he said. "Everybody's so hungry when it comes to learning about Jesus Christ. I've just been amazed."

Pearce said the Lord led he and his wife, Debbie, to Crenshaw County. Pearce is originally from Newnan, Ga., (home of country music star Alan Jackson) while Debbie was born in Troy and raised in Brantley. He and Debbie were married in 1975, two years after he started preaching the Gospel. They lived in Atlanta for 20 years where he was pastor of Union City First Free Will Baptist.

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Pearce believes a small church like Dozier First Free Will should serve as a refuge for the community, a place where the lost can seek Jesus without judgment.

"We love one another and we don't pass judgment on how people dress or look," he said. "Sometimes I think churches get away from being a house of refuge and have turned into social clubs. I believe God is sending our church a calling to reach out to people with real needs such as depression, problems with substance abuse, divorce, health, financial, and many more. Our ladies have already started a women's support group."

He said he's seen the God's power throughout his ministry, which includes healing of the sick. Five years ago, just after he and his wife moved to Crenshaw County, Debbie was stricken with disease that had physicians baffled. Debbie said she had a bite on her shoulder and Pearce believes it may have been West Nile Virus before that disease became as well known in the United States as it is today.

"I had fever of 104 degrees and every joint and muscle ached," Debbie recalled. "I couldn't even walk and there were burn spots on my skin."

Pearce said he and a local group of friends and fellow pastors prayed for Debbie. A few days later Debbie was completely recovered.

"God lifted her up," he said. "He knew we had work to do here."

Pearce said the differences between Free Will Baptist and other denominations are minimal.

"We do believe you can lose salvation, or backslide," he said. "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Trinity and that the Bible is the Word of God."