Co-pas­tors preach to­tal trust in God

Team teaches fam­i­lies to pray to­gether reg­u­larly

The Covington News - - Religion - By Colleen Capes Jack­son

The motto of the Anointed Body of Christ Church lo­cated at 34 Hem­lock Street in Por­terdale is “Build­ing fam­i­lies of faith with a com­mit­ment to love, fol­low and model Christ daily.”

Se­nior Pas­tor Bobby Sims and wife, Pas­tor Pauline Sims, ex­tend an open in­vi­ta­tion for any­one who is long­ing for a spir­i­tual fam­ily to come and ex­pe­ri­ence the fel­low­ship in Sun­day school at 10 a.m., fol­lowed by the morn­ing wor­ship at 11 a.m. and Bi­ble study on Wed­nes­day at 7:30 p.m.

“We are a min­istry about sav­ing souls,” said the Rev. Bobby Sims. “If you want a fresh anoint­ing or a fresh start in life, the Anointed Body of Christ Church is for you. We are go­ing to tell you what God’s word says and it is up to you to ap­ply it to your life on a daily ba­sis.

“By do­ing so, you will be­come happy peo­ple with God as the head of your life.”

With a small but pow­er­ful con­gre­ga­tion of 130 peo­ple, Sims is com­mit­ted to know­ing each mem­ber by name and en­cour­ages the church body to be­come friends and prayer part­ners with each other. On the third Sun­day of the month, the con­gre­ga­tion shares a cov­ered dish meal fol­low­ing the morn­ing ser­vice.

“When you come through th­ese doors, we want you to feel that you are part of a fam­ily,” he said of their min­istry of love. “My de­sire is to be a pas­tor that peo­ple can call or see any­time. We want peo­ple to come hear the word of God and al­low him to speak to their heart.”

The pas­tors ac­cept day or evening calls to pray for the sick and bring a mes­sage of hope. They en­cour­age call­ers to see their doc­tors and use all re­sources avail­able.

“We pray and lay hands on the sick,” said Pas­tor Bobby. “We pro­fess that Je­sus is the healer and he works through us. My great­est de­sire is to be so close to God that when my shadow falls on the sick, the sick will be well. I look unto him as the au­thor and fin­isher of my faith.”

Anointed Body of Christ of­fers a male men­tor­ing class for youth ages 10 to 21 years old on the third Satur­day of the month at 9 a.m. Par­tici- pants are taught char­ac­ter lessons and study the Bi­ble to­gether. On Mon­day evenings, cer­ti­fied teach­ers on staff are avail­able for tu­tor­ing.

“We are see­ing peo­ple who do not have a high school ed­u­ca­tion and need help with read­ing and math skills,” said Pas­tor Pauline. “We want to ask peo­ple in the com­mu­nity to help us pro­vide com­put­ers so chil­dren will have a place to study and re­search.”

Con­cerned with the lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion within the fam­ily unit, the pas­toral team teaches its mem­bers the im­por­tance of pray­ing to­gether, in­vest­ing time in their chil­dren and il­lus­trates through Bi­ble-based lessons how to form healthy re­la­tion­ships.

Strength­ened by strug­gles she faced grow­ing up in south­west Ge­or­gia, Pauline fol­lowed her mother’s ca­reer choice as an ed­u­ca­tor. A grad­u­ate of Fort Val­ley State Univer­sity with a de­gree in math and ed­u­ca­tion, she is in her 18th year of teach­ing sec­ond grade at Smoke Rise El­e­men­tary.

Pauline and Bobby Sims were rein­tro­duced af­ter eigh­teen years when she heard him preach at her home church in Albany where his fa­ther had been pas­tor for 35 years. Mar­ried six weeks later in 1983, the cou­ple cel­e­brates 25 years of mar­riage this month.

Their chil­dren are Bobby Jr., a min­is­ter; Ar­risia, a grad­u­ate stu­dent in plant science and biotech­nol­ogy from Fort Val­ley State Univer­sity who is cur­rently of­fer­ing vol­un­teer ser­vices at the church; Kelly, a sopho­more ma­jor­ing in ed­u­ca­tion at Val­dosta State; and Hamil­ton, a ju­nior at New­berry Col­lege in South Carolina ma­jor­ing in sports man­age­ment. They have three grand­chil­dren.

“While there are many young men that wish they had a fa­ther, I thank God ev­ery­day that he blessed me with a fa­ther that loves the Lord and made sure I knew he loved me,” said Min­is­ter Hamil­ton Sims. “I also want to thank God for a lov­ing and pray­ing mother. I bless God that my mother taught me how to love un­con­di­tion­ally and never stopped pray­ing for me.”

Born in Amer­i­cus, Pas­tor Bobby grad­u­ated from high school and served in the mil­i­tary in Viet­nam and in South Korea. He re­tired as a dis­abled vet­eran and worked for the Post Of­fice. In 1982, God placed a call on his life to preach.

Sims re­called many times when God healed him. On the way home from South Korea, he passed out on the plane due to a heart block­age. Ac­cord­ing to the Air Force doc­tor, he had no pulse or heart­beat for ten min­utes be­fore he was re­vived. Af­ter the cou­ple agreed in prayer for a mir­a­cle, the doc­tors found no sign of the block­age.

Years later, he was hos­pi­tal­ized with a tu­mor in the left side of the brain. Be­fore the sched­uled surgery, an MRI re­vealed that the tu­mor was gone. He was healed again from panic disor­ders when God told him to claim the 23rd Psalm in the Bi­ble.

Pas­tor Bobby served 10 years at the Ebenezer Bap­tist Church in Albany and an ad­di­tional 10 years at the Light of the World Church in Decatur be­fore com­ing to New­ton County.

“My wife tells our con­gre­ga­tion that I am a true man of God — a pas­tor that was sent af­ter God’s own heart,” he said humbly. “I don’t have to have ti­tles be­cause I know who I am and God knows who I am. Peo­ple have con­fi­dence in me. God knew he had a good wife for me, who had faith in me. God is the cen­ter of our re­la­tion­ship.”

Pas­tor Pauline as­sisted her hus­band in a dis­ci­ple­ship min­istry with the Light of the World. God called her into the min­istry in 1992. Com­fort­able in the role of a min­is­ter’s wife, she strug­gled with the call­ing be­cause the con­cept of women in min­istry was not widely ac­cepted.

“In 1994, I was com­ing home from a mil­i­tary base with our two daugh­ters when the car hy­droplaned,” she said. “The car came to a stop fac­ing the op­po­site di­rec­tion and for a few mo­ments it seemed as if noth­ing moved — God had stopped the hands of the clock to tell me that it was time to ac­cept the call­ing. With­out touch­ing the car, it went into a spin again and I was fac­ing in the right di­rec­tion in the proper lane.”

Their bishop com­mis­sioned them to start a church in Cov­ing­ton. In 1997, they held ser­vices at the White Col­umns Inn for a year be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to the Ban­quet un­der the Stars. Due to the in­con­ve­nience of set­ting up and tak­ing down each week, they be­gan to look for an­other build­ing. Realtor and friend Diane Stone ne­go­ti­ated with the owner of the build­ing at 34 Hem­lock Street and helped to se­cure a loan with United Bank.

“God told me to be stead­fast for five years and at the end of the fifth year ev­ery­thing would be in place,” he re­called. “In July, 2002, the church moved to Por­terdale and the name changed to the Anointed Body of Christ Church. God gave us a man­date to come to Por­terdale as prayer war­riors to build fam­i­lies of faith. When we walked in the door, the prom­ise God made to me was ful­filled. We had beau­ti­ful chan­de­liers, a baby grand pi­ano, a Ham­mond or­gan and a bap­tismal; to date, we have bap­tized over 100 peo­ple.”

Pas­tors Bobby and Pauline Sims trusted God to pro­vide $1,627 each month for the note pay­ment. One month, the funds were not in place to pay the bank. The church be­gan to pray and the fol­low­ing Sun­day, $1,628 dol­lars came in through of­fer­ings. Be­cause of their timely pay­ments, the bank worked fa­vor­ably with the church.

“God al­ways gives us more than we need be­cause we are faith­ful,” said the preacher, teacher and evan­ge­list. “We live what we preach. Even while putting three chil­dren through col­lege, we have never lacked for any­thing. When God gives you a vi­sion, he gives the pro­vi­sion.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on ser­vices, tu­tor­ing and men­tor­ing, call (770) 634-1658 or email abc­church02@ya­

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Anointed Body of Christ Church co- pas­tor Pauline Sims, left, and Se­nior Pas­tor Bobby J. Sims Sr. stand in the sanc­tu­ary of their church lo­cated in a his­toric Por­terdale build­ing at 34 Hem­lock Street.

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