Who We Are and How We Began

Don’t Despise The Day Of Small Beginnings

We here at UCJ never want to forget where we came from and as such, we want to give honor where honor is due. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize some very special people whom the LORD used in bringing HIS ministry into existence.  These individuals will always have a place of honor at UCJ.

Shane Sands being commissioned as a missionary/evangelist by the elders of Moultrie Baptist Church. (2010)

Shane Sands being commissioned as a missionary/evangelist by the elders of Moultrie Baptist Church. (2010)

First, we wish to praise GOD for the body of elders at Moultrie Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.  Before I departed for a leadership conference to Eger, Hungary, they laid hands on me and commissioned me as a missionary/evangelist. This was a very special and humbling occasion because it was the first time that a body of elders recognized me before a local assembly, confirming  GOD’s gifting/calling upon my life.

Original logo designed by 13-year old Meagan McKinney of St. Augustine, FL

Original logo designed by 13-year old Meagan McKinney of St. Augustine, FL

Needing a logo for the ministry, I began seeking the LORD for direction. HE put it in my heart to seek the help of a child within the church body. After consulting with the child’s mother and through a process of time, 13-year old Meagan Mckinney created the first logo for United in CHRIST JESUS. Both she and the logo will always hold a special place of honor in our hearts. The next step to having a missions ministry formed was to select a board of directors. Again, after prayer, the LORD placed upon my heart, three individuals, who after sharing with them the vision, joyfully accepted and agreed to serve as long as the LORD would have them. I will forever be grateful for their willingness to be used of the LORD to have the gospel go forth. The initial board members were: Shane Sands, Hayden Lewis (still actively serving), Chuck Lichtenberger, and Vera Holbrook.  The original web design was created by Brandon Lowe of Ekklesia Web Design. I’ve known Brandon ever since the LORD saved me in 2008 and have been grateful for his friendship and love. His willingness to come along UCJ and have the gospel flourish has been such an encouragement to me. For four years his design remained vibrant and up-to-date. I’m grateful for his assistance.

Jim Whitesell

Jim Whitesell

Finally, I want to recognize one special man who gave and gave of himself throughout my entire time in St. Augustine. He, more than anyone there, has been a friend and a brother. I want to give special honor to brother Jim Whitesell. Not only in the initial development of UCJ, but even to this day, his devotion to prayer and interceding on our behalf, continues to be one of great joy and blessing to this ministry. He will forever remain one of the honorary members of United in CHRIST JESUS.

May the LORD ever keep our beginnings fresh and new in our hearts and minds. May we never forget where HE brought us from, what HE is currently doing, for Whose glory and one day, we pray to lay many crowns at HIS feet.

We thank you LORD GOD, for these brothers and sisters. YOUR blessings be upon them.

Shane Sands, Founder & President

Holly SandsWho We Are and How We Began