Liberty County is a place that is so laid back and easygoing that time would seem to stand still at times. Yet the hand still circles the clock, and sand goes through the hourglass here just like everywhere else. Sunday, January 16, during the 11:00 am service, the officers, congregation, family, and friends gathered in Lakeland to pay homage to Reverend Gregory L. Bellard and Mrs. Kay Bellard for leading the flock as Pastor and First Lady for the past fifteen years.
Attendees assembled at the edifice with gratitude in their hearts. Under Pastor Bellard’s stewardship, the group has faced Hurricane Harvey, Imelda, Ice Storms, floods, and catastrophes which took them physically out of the building. Once, they worshiped for over 11 months outside the sanctuary. Still, they remained faithful and continued to praise God with the knowledge that He would provide. They kept before them words that Pastor Bellard has been known for saying during his 38 years in the ministry, “I know He’s alright!”
The choir sang songs of worship and praise, and there was a special choral presentation by the Freeman Family. Pastor Bellard was surrounded by his family, First Lady Kay Bellard, daughters Candice Shields and Izenia Williams, son-in-law Mario Williams, and grandsons Izaiah and Kaleb. Oldest daughter Candice delivered a riveting salute to her parents on behalf of herself and her sister. Chairman of the Official Staff Deacon Issac Lee Love gave a tribute to Pastor Bellard. Sister Milvia Bolds was inspirational and spot-on in her address which extolled the vigor and honesty which characterizes First Lady Kay Bellard.
Not only did the members convey their admiration, affection, and respect for the minister and his wife in word and deed. Sisters Glenda Randolph, Laura Kay Yeo, and Crystal Randolph cooked scrumptious chicken and sausage gumbo that everyone enjoyed. It was a lovely service for a gentleman that many grew up watching run around the track at Liberty High School. Now, his race is the one that counts.