"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."
At Caverns Road, we are a group of believers who are working to grow spiritually and to serve those around us. Our mission to provide an atmosphere of unity and love, praising and glorifying God, caring for each other, and reaching out to our community.
We are not a denomination, just simply Christians who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. The only identity we desire is to be the church that you read about in the Bible, nothing more and nothing less.
We come from a beautiful variety of backgrounds and circumstances; yet we are all one in the love of Christ. We understand that everyone is facing worries, pains, troubled relationships, and brokenness. We long for healing and a way to restore peace; to find joy and a better way to live. Ultimately seeking the Truth, which is found in the Bible and is through Christ.
We do not claim to have all the answers or to provide everything your soul is longing for, but we are followers of the One who is “The Way, The Truth, and the Life” (John 4:16). As God’s children, we have been called to share His message of Love and Light in a world that is lost in darkness. As we receive from Him, we in turn, give to others.
If you are in our area, we would be honored to have you visit us. You will find a warm welcome from an energetic and loving group of God’s people.
Elders are to be appointed in every congregation (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). In the New Testament, elders are also called presbyters - King James Version (1Timothy 4:14); bishops (Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:1, 2); overseers (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2); pastors (Ephesians 4:11,12); and shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4).
The word "pastor" is simply another word for "shepherd". Preachers are never called pastors in the New Testament. The elders of the local congregation are the pastors (shepherds) of each local church (I Peter 5:1-4).
Qualifications for elders are listed in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-13. In addition to being a faithful Christian, an elder must be a man with a wife and faithful children. He cannot be a new member and be qualified. Also, there must be more than one elder serving in the local congregation. The bible says "elders" (plural) (Acts 14:23; 20:17, 18, 28). These elders are to guide, guard, feed, and rule the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28; I Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17).
Deacons are to be appointed in every church (Philippians 1:1). Their qualifications are listed in I Timothy 3:8-13. The work of deacons would include what was done as recorded in Acts 6:1-6. Again, deacons can only be men. Women are not qualified to be deacons because they cannot be a "husband of one wife" (I Timothy 3:12).
Preachers have the responsibility to "preach the word" (II Timothy 4:1-5), As with elders and deacons, preachers are males (I Timothy 2:8-15). They are evangelists, ministers of the Word of God (II Timothy 4:5). In the New Testament, preachers are never called by titles such as "Pastor", "Reverend", "Doctor", or "Father" (Matthew 23:8-12).
John Poitevint (wife Kathy)
Historical records indicate that the first gospel preacher to come to Marianna was Richard Peters in 1905. He baptized one person. Subsequently, in 1910, Jesse Love, from Valdosta, Georgia, preached in Marianna, and returned again in 1913 to debate an Adventist preacher named Dowling, which debate was conducted in the Yon school house. The following year, Willard Butler came to Marianna and preached in the Cook school house, and one person obeyed the gospel. On September 9, 1916, Brother Butler returned and preached in the Yon school house and Leola Mears Anderson’s father, George M. Mears, and her brother, George H. Mears, and others were baptized. Sister Anderson and her mother, Ellie Mears, had already obeyed the gospel. Sister Anderson’s granddaughter, Patricia Anderson Hall and family, remain faithful members to date. Other ministers visited Marianna but no baptisms took place.
Regular meetings of the congregation began in 1944 with thirteen members. A gospel meeting was held by Paul Simon on June 12, 1944. Brother Simon was supported by the West Hill and East Hill churches of Christ in Pensacola. The meeting was preached in a tent at 621 Liddon Street (the site where the church’s first building would be built). The entire congregations from Chipley and Altha came. The first regular service was conducted in the City Hall on October 22, 1944, at three o’clock in the afternoon. The sermon was entitled, “Christian Duties.” In 1945, Floyd C. Heaton began working with the Marianna church. Brother Heaton’s grandson, Bennie Carr, presently serves as an elder, and his granddaughter, Kathy Carr Poitevint, is the wife of the Caverns Road minister, John Poitevint.
In 1950, Gerald M. McCallister, and his wife, Shirley, moved to Marianna. At that time, the church was not meeting regularly. Brother McCallister worked with the church for four years—two years while living in Marianna and two years traveling from Panama City, where he and his wife had moved. During his tenure with the church, the Liddon Street property was purchased. Because there was no money to build a building, Brother McCallister asked for financial assistance from the elders at the Palo Alto Church in Panama City. These good men mortgaged the Palo Alto church building to secure funds to build the Liddon Street building. Brother McCallister’s father, R. B. McCallister, was visiting from California on or about December 1951 and drew up plans for the Liddon Street church building.
The church flourished the next few years and eventually outgrew the Liddon Street facillities. Accordingly, the elders serving at that time purchased the current property on Caverns Road. The church building was completed mid-year 1969 with the first worship service on Sunday, August 29. The pulpit was designed to replicate the front of a boat as Jesus often taught sitting in a boat. Despite ebbs and flows in membership, the Marianna church maintains a long legacy of strongly upholding the principles and doctrine of the Lord's church as revealed in the New Testament.