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. Participants 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 Viet Nam 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.