Linden Church of God

4309 County Road 772 ~ Webster, Florida 33597 ~ 352-793-4281

A multi-purpose metal building was erected in 1987, Bro. Bill Farmer, Bro. Jerry Williams, Bro. Odell Williams, Bro. Leroy Franklin and others worked on the building, [1/2 gym floor size] to be used as a fellowship area and gym. The walls are 16 feet high and it had a modern kitchen with electric stove and convection ovens. The main floor served as a gym and fellowship area containing 2760 square feet, and the kitchen of 20 square feet. The completed building was constructed for the low cost of approximately $45,000.00 including air-conditioning and heating; and it is valued at $95,000.00. The old kitchen was refurbished to be used as a new office for the clerk and Sunday school superintendent, with the remaining area for a combination Children’s church area and a career Sunday school classroom.

Our ladies, under the supervision of Sister Kay Williams began a project in 1976 of baking Fruitcakes, a noted project that has gotten renowned repetition all over the county and has spread to many counties and states wanting orders from our church. The ladies used the money to help pay off bills in the church and today the ladies are still raising funds to support missions, Church of God Children’s homes [both our state and in Cleveland, Tenn.] Our ladies for many years now have made a monthly payment on the church mortgage, helping out the church one month out of the year. The ladies also use their money from these cakes to keep the parsonage inside fixed up and if an appliance fails, the carpet needs cleaned or repainting needs done, the ladies are there to offer financial support. Funerals are another function that are ladies are responsible for, when a family loses a member from our church the ladies organize the meal for the member’s family. The fruitcakes have never stopped from the beginning with Sister Kay Williams to our present Ladies Ministries – The Linden Church of God Fruitcakes are and will always be a Blessed fundraiser that gives back to the church, to its members, and to our Children’s Orphanages.

On April 1, 1991 Rev. Milton T. Williams resigned pastoring the church; it was a heartbreaking day for him and the members who loved him. He took a small church in South Florida for 18 months. He returned to Linden as a member, and Elder of the church, He presently conducts memorial services at the Florida National Cemetery, ministers on a one to one basis’s and remains a faithful tithe paying, mission giving member of the Church of God at Linden. His youngest son, Thomas Williams, a member of the church, has recently been called to the ministry. [2013] and has now become an ordained minister.

The Rev. Lee H. Burnham and wife Patricia accepted the pastorate of the church on May 12, 1991. During this time the kitchen of the church was updated with all new cabinets, repainted and a second convection oven was purchased, doubling the fruit cake baking capacity along with an ice machine and new commercial stainless steel refrigerator. A large outdoor brick Bar-B-Q grill and shed was also built. The Ladies Ministries purchased furniture, appliances and wall to wall carpeting for the parsonage. A new roof was put on the parsonage by the church. During his pastorate a utility building behind the parsonage was built and a new well and pump house which supplied water for both the church and the parsonage was installed.

A large metal addition was built over the existing church extending to the north, east and west sides of the sanctuary, more than doubling the square footage of the church. This area included three rooms that could be used for classes or offices, men’s and ladies’ bathrooms, a baby nursery, storage closet, a large front foyer on the north, a smaller foyer on the west side and over flow seating areas on the east and west sides that could seat 75 or more. The choir and pulpit area was enlarged and new carpet and padded pews and chairs were purchased for the entire sanctuary. A new organ was also purchased. The front of the newly remodeled sanctuary was landscaped compliments of Giddens Nursery in memory and in honor of the Lewis Giddens family.

In the summer of 1997 a Christian school was established, The Linden Lighthouse Academy, and continued on the premises until Pastor Burnham retired. It was then relocated to the downtown Webster area according to records the 2003-04 school year was the last year the Academy opened; A branch of the school still exist in Sumterville under the leadership of Principal Dr. Karen Lord and is called the Sumter Christian Academy. Rev Lee H. Burnham retired on June 1, 2003.

The church was given three men to listen to and review as their next pastor, Bishop Lanny Troller was asked to accept the position of pastor of the church, which he accepted August 2003 along with his wife Donna Kaye, we had four young boys to watch grow up in the nine years they were with us.

Bishop Troller implemented an aggressive missions program the first year he pastored, $17,500.00 to missions, local and abroad.

He continued to aggressively pursue missions his entire tenure as pastor in Linden. The missions built to $37,500.00 in just two years.

In 2005 the $89,000 church note was paid off with a note burning to celebrate this wonderful occasion. The following year many improvements were made; a baptistery was put in, PowerPoint installed along with projectors for the front and back screens in the church and the PA system upgraded. The church hired its first Youth Pastor, Sis. Dianne Smith. There were three mission trips to Jamaica beginning in 2006-07 where he took many dedicated church members with him to help spread God’s word and worship with the local church on the back side of the Jamaican island near Kingston. Some of these members were: Bro. Bill and Sis. Linda Farmer, Bro. Terry and Sis. Diane Langford and Sis. Mary Smith. Along with these members were Evangelist Harold Hanks and Bishop Roden and a few youth.

Bishop Troller continued with missions and the church was blessed, A mission trip to Mississippi for Hurricane relief was taken. the annual Christmas Giveaway was implemented, held at the Webster Market, the church supplied music, food and toys, blankets and bikes to the children and families of the Webster area. Within the same year $12,000 was raised off the floor of the church on Sunday to help the Team travel to Jamaica. The money the team did not use at the end of the mission trip was donated to the Church of God in Jamaica.