PALMETTO — On a recent Sunday, the Rev. Joe Brown of Worship Him Harvest Center in Palmetto picked up a blue and white flag during his sermon.
With his body bent backwards with a dancer’s flexibility, Brown pulled the flag repeatedly back and forth over his body until it seemed, with sparks of blue and white, that he had created a frothy, turbulent, rip current.
The pastor, who has worked for many years for Youth for Christ, was actually driving home a point.
He had been preaching about the time in people’s lives when rip currents are seemingly bent on drowning them and they can become easily disoriented and perish.
This is the time, he said, that they need faith to lift them to safety.
The flag helped the congregation learn the message just like human dramas do in other churches, church members said later.
“I was moved when I first went to one of his flag shows at Youth for Christ,” said church member Lucy Sanchez Cruz of Palmetto. “I remember one time when he came by me, I could sense the move of the Holy Spirit. It just draws you. It’s such an experience to be captivated by the awesomeness of God.”
Sanchez Cruz says the flags somehow draw the presence of God into the room.
“The flags are a way of bringing God because God is drawn by those who praise Him,” said Sanchez Cruz. “The ministry in this church is in the arts, including dance, music and flags, which are all ways of drawing God’s presence.”
The flag ministry can be seen at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday in the church, which holds services in a warehouse at 2611 12th St. E., Unit D, Palmetto. The warehouse is near the corner of U.S. 301 and 16th Avenue East, a little north of the Royal Palm Car Wash. The Rev. Mary Brown serves as co-pastor.
“We are not afraid to get noisy,” Joe Brown said. “We need lots of room because of the flags. They are all different sizes. One thing about the warehouse, it gives us plenty of space to worship as we do.”
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.