Thomas Smith

As a young Captain on the East coast of Florida, I spent most of my days out in the ocean charter fishing and diving. Even though my heart was far from God, I can look back and see how he was drawing me to Him. Each day on the ocean for many hours, I would line up the steeple and Cross of a large church against specific oceanfront condominiums. These bearings provided locations to underwater reefs and were used daily to drop and pick up divers. We would drift hours each day along these reefs constantly checking our position with the towering Cross. I had known about Jesus Christ as far back as I can remember, even though He was still a stranger to me. That began to change as my curiosity about this steeple drew me into the parking lot of Coral Ridge Church for a closer look.

One Sunday evening, the wind kicked up and I reluctantly decided to cancel my afternoon charter. On my way home, a Sunday evening service was just beginning at the church that I had used as a landmark. Out of curiosity, I sat down in the back of the church in shorts, t shirt, and sandals. As I leaned back in my seat I noticed and was struck by a large Cross behind the altar; this Cross was without Christ on it.

Why is the Cross empty? It should have a figure of Christ nailed to the cross. As I was thinking, suddenly, Dr. D James Kennedy stepped up to the podium pointed to the cross and spoke the words. ”Have you ever wondered why Christ is not on this Cross? You can imagine how quickly I sat up and listened to every word of the gospel that evening!

God used some faithful people to follow up with me again and again. I thank the Lord for those who are persistent and do not give up easily.

After five years of dating, Linda and I both gave our hearts to the Lord and I married the most amazing person that I have ever known. We began our marriage together to raise a family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God has blessed us with 2 sons, Brian and Lee, and 4 daughters; Kelly, Kaitlyn, Whitney, and Susanna.

We have been members of Grace Bible Church for the past 15 years. We have been blessed to be a part of this body of believers. We look forward to continuing to learn and serve as we grow in our relationship with the Lord.

My prayer for us as a church is that we will protect and share the true gospel with those around us.

Sola Scriptoria, “Scripture alone” God’s inspired word to us is complete in its sufficiency and authority. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (our foundation). When we place our faith in Christ then God’s glory alone becomes our purpose and fulfillment.