Our Story, for His Glory
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Every Church is full of people with special stories... they are the people who make our congregation who we are. Have you ever wondered about that quiet woman that sat on the third pew who wears those beautiful hats? What about that man who always wears a bow tie? Here, you will meet some of our special members who have a story to tell. We will be adding a story once a month.
My St. Andrew Story
Growing up, in Washington, D.C., Lorraine Fasci was raised as a Catholic and attended parochial school. Her Grandmother was a major influence on her spiritual life and her faith in the Lord.
When she got older, she married and converted to Lutheranism. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Lake Park, FL where she became a Pre-K Sunday school teacher.
Many years later, she inherited and adopted 3 wonderful grandchildren. When they were young, she read children’s Bible stories and explained the true meaning behind religious holidays and they were very active in their close-knit community of West Hartford, CT.
After living in Northern California, she felt there was a very little “sense of community” there. And when she and her family moved to Port St. Lucie, she found herself in a similar situation and having to start all over again. Besides taking all the steps to settle in, there was still something missing.
As COVID restrictions began to ease, Lorraine and her family began to get back into the swing of things. It may have started with Scouts, but she has also been blessed with children that clamored for more spiritual growth. Though they visited several troops and churches that were closer to home, her children were drawn to St. Andrew where not only did they want to join Scouts but also wanted to attend church after meeting Pastor Randy.
The first sermon of the service that she and her family attended, and one of her favorites, was about God’s Plan for Us. The congregation was given a piece of paper with a list of 10 items, but it was blank! Most people would think to fill in those blanks, but as Pastor Randy continued his sermon, it became so profound as we can plan out our whole lives but end up somewhere else. Sometimes we forget, along the way, that we are here for a purpose. God’s Purpose. And we must learn to get out of our own way to make room for His Plan, not ours, to come to fruition.
Ever since that day, Lorraine became a member of the congregation and attended the “Knowing Christ” class for a re-confirmation of her faith. She also heads the Scouting portion of our Youth Ministry, is a member of the Altar Guild and helps with our Brown Bag Lunch Ministry. Her children are just as active and are a part of the Altar Guild also and assist with services as Acolytes. They also help with BBLM, attend Youth Group, went to Camp Lutherock and are in their second year of confirmation class.
Lorraine and her family feel very blessed to be a part of St. Andrew. From day one, they were welcomed with open arms. Combine that with the tremendous amount of support and guidance they continue to receive, they are finally have a place to call Home and found their community they were so longing for. She cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Paul Culler is a newlywed at 89 years old. He is also an inventor with 10 patents. He continues to work on improving a highly efficient wastewater system he developed. “I love membranes!” he declared. Paul and his late wife were long time Lutherans from Wycoff, New Jersey. Paul attended eight churches throughout his lifetime. He desired to live a full Christian life in service to others. It was also important to Paul to remain involved in a Lutheran Church. He then met Randy Kennedy, an aspiring minister. Paul hired him to take on several home remodeling projects. Paul and Randy bonded. After Pastor Randy was called as the senior pastor of St. Andrew, Paul decided to give the community a try. Paul says Pastor Randy is truly a man of God. But there is more to the story. Today Paul says, “If Pastor Randy were to leave, and I hope he doesn’t, I would stay at St. Andrew.” Paul explains that the new friends he found at St. Andrew have changed his life. St. Andrew provides him with the “raw material” to serve God. One Sunday a friend from St. Andrew took Paul to lunch at a nearby restaurant after Sunday services. Paul was seated next to Thelma. Unbelievably, they were both from the same town of Mansfield, Ohio. They talked. One thing led to another. Soon they were married at St. Andrew. Paul attributes his growing connection to God through St. Andrew being his church home. There are people in the congregation that need help. Paul and Thelma, both trained as Stephan Ministers, find fulfillment taking communion to people who can’t make it to church and providing guidance to others who could use a little help. Paul says, “Every day, I feel a little closer to God. Every day, sanctification is working on me.”
Bill Dake's dad was instrumental in promoting his love of the arts. He and his family lived in Washington, D.C. where plays, operas and concerts and other cultural events were readily available to them. Later in his early years he moved with his family to Ft. Pierce, Florida where he completed his schooling. Bill's love for the organ and sacred choral music was awakened when his dad, who was Episcopalian, often took him to the National Cathedral in Washington for services and sacred concerts. His mother was a United Methodist. Bill attended both services and developed a rich passion for the varying types of worship styles. As Bill grew into adulthood, he felt he was missing the real spiritual meaning for the church. He was enamored with all the trappings and the grand music. His mom invited him to join her at a Billy Graham revival in Miami. She had seen Rev. Graham on numerous occasions during her life in Washington. At first Bill was hesitant to go but knew how important it was to his mom. She was determined that he understand more fully the true meaning behind being spiritually right with God. The stadium altar call led Bill to Christ as the choir sang “Just as I Am”. His college education led to degrees in Humanities and Music Education. He felt a calling to teach young people while continuing his church music passion. After college Bill accepted high school choral teaching positions in Bartow and Tampa, Florida, Bill returned home to accept the choral position at Westwood High School in Ft. Pierce. He was also hired as music director at First Baptist Church in Ft. Pierce. After successfully serving as choir director, he moved on to an open position at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Over the years Bill has been blessed to play the organs at the Crystal Cathedral (Christ Cathedral) in California, Central Lutheran in Minneapolis, Riverside Church in New York City, First Presbyterian Church in Tampa, and the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale. After 39 years Bill continues to serve St. Andrew. He attributes his longevity to many things including our church family, fellow musicians, outstanding staff, and the joy of spreading God’s ministry alongside Pastor Randy Kennedy. Bill knows that music is ultimately from God, and when we sing or play our music for His glory, we are extending our gifts and talents as a dedication and offering to Him. Music is more than a study. It is the stewardship of a God-given skill and a means of giving back to He who has blessed us in many ways.
One Note At A Time
Cindy and her husband were from Baltimore, Maryland. Cindy was very active in her church and loved being with fellow Christians and worshipping the Lord. It was important for her to resume her activities and attendance in the church once she retired and moved to Florida. Cindy was on a cruise chat-line when she struck up a friendship with a woman who, as it turned out, was a fellow Christian and was involved in St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Cindy feels that it was divine intervention that she met this woman and it was through her that Cindy moved to Port St. Lucie and began worshipping at St. Andrew and ultimately joined. Cindy was on the Nominating Committee for Pastor Randy and stated that it was the most gratifying church project she was involved in. She loves his enthusiasm and dedication to the Lord. She says of Pastor Randy, “He is the best.” It was Pastor Randy and the friendly people who were the motivating factors for her continuing attendance and involvement here. She has been the President of the ELCA’s Women’s ministry for 10 years at St. Andrew and is active in many other ways. As she says, “when you are involved in church, you are on 24-hour call.” She is self-motivated and enjoys every moment. She says that coming to St. Andrew was one of the best decisions of her life.