ACV is a special community for many reasons – one of which is our strong faith community.
From the Village Church to the services at Good Samaritan Center, residents are brought together by shared values, even though they come from many different faith backgrounds. As such, our dedicated ministry team plays an important role in caring for the spiritual lives of our members.
We interviewed Pastor Frank Hall, Minister of Pastoral Care at the Village Church, and Bruce Arnold, Chaplain of the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and Dacier Manor, to learn more about their ministries and what they believe makes ACV special.
Pastor Frank Hall has been serving as the Minister of Pastoral Care at the Village Church for four years and has been in pastoral ministry for a total of 54 years. He is committed to forming connections with each resident he meets and reminding them of God’s promises to them – whether that’s through hospital visitation, GRIEFSHARE meetings or just a friendly word over breakfast.
On many days, Pastor Frank starts his workday sharing breakfast with residents. “I’ll go to what’s called the Lopin Gopher, which is a deli where many of the residents eat their breakfast and interact with some of the residents there,” he said.
He also spends many mornings coordinating memorial and funeral services, or calling residents who need a word of encouragement.
In the afternoons, he does hospital visitation – another key part of his role at Advent Christian Village. “I have gone as far south as Ocala visiting hospitals,” he said. “Gainesville is a city where I regularly visit, as well as Tallahassee.” Lake City is his most visited location.
“Hospital visitation is really a big part of my ministry,” he said.
In addition, Pastor Frank leads the GRIEFSHARE spiritual care program for individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one. “Everybody goes through grief in their own way,” he said. “As long as it’s a healthy way to grieve, there’s no wrong way to grieve.”
When it comes to favorite traditions at ACV, Pastor Frank looks forward to every holiday – especially Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“We just had a big Easter service in which we had a musical drama we worked on for a number of months. It was very well received, and the message of Easter came across loud and clear,” he said.
“At Christmas time, we have the Christmas tree lighting. We have a service singing Christmas carols, and we go outside and stand to see the lights turned on. At Thanksgiving, the dining room serves a Thanksgiving meal for the whole community. That includes some who aren’t connected or aren’t able to connect with their families.”
He says the staff and residents also look forward to monthly birthday parties – another special occasion. “Each month, there’s a different theme for the party and all the residents can come to the birthday party, but the ones who had birthdays are treated with special care,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
For Pastor Frank, one of the most meaningful aspects of his job is showing residents that they are not alone.
“When I go into a hospital room, a lot of the people don’t really know me. So, I will introduce myself. “I’m Frank Hall and the Minister of Pastoral Care at Advent Christian Village.” And I’ll get the response to that sometimes, “Oh, I know you. I’ve seen you on TV,” because our worship services are streamed, and we have a TV channel that the residents can watch and see the worship services,” he said. “I know the residents appreciate that the Village cares for them enough to provide someone to reach out to them.”
He strives to bring comfort to residents during difficult times, providing a listening ear or an encouraging word. “One individual that I visited had recently received a cancer diagnosis, and I was able to sit down with them and share the fact that they weren’t in this alone – that they had the Village behind them, they had the pastoral staff behind them. And more important than that, our Lord is with them. I shared with them the blessings and resources that God gives us. And he gives us what we need to face whatever we’re facing.”
Pastor Bruce Arnold is in his fourth year serving the community at Advent Christian Village as the Chaplain of the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and Dacier Manor, though he has been in pastoral ministry since 1983. A key part of his role is to provide support, encouragement and friendship to the community – and bring ministry to those who are unable to attend regular church services.
On most days, Pastor Bruce begins his day by sharing a devotional with residents. “We have a devotional time in the morning where we sing a few songs and I’ll share from the Bible,” he said. “In the afternoons most days, I spend time visiting with residents in what we call comfort care.”
He also coordinates memorial services for residents. “Once a month at the nursing home, we do a memorial service for the residents who have passed during that month. I contact all staff, the residents and any family members who would like to attend. We put a picture of them on the table and we speak about them and share our memories.”
Pastor Bruce is also responsible for holding worship services at the Good Samaritan Center for those who are not able to attend services at the Village Church. “We try to make it something that is meaningful to all the residents,” he said.
Pastor Bruce always enjoys taking part in ACV’s many traditions, especially around the holidays.
“Mother’s Day just passed, and every year the activities department makes sure that every lady as a resident will get a corsage. The staff all chips in to take care of it – we try to make it a special time for the residents.”
Christmas is another one of his favorite times at ACV. “We do our own Secret Santa at the Good Samaritan, especially for those who don’t have family members that otherwise may not get a gift at Christmas. Last Christmas, we had a big get-together, and even Santa came, and we went to every wing and every single person came away with something for Christmas.”
For Pastor Bruce, the most meaningful part of his job is the relationships he builds with residents.
“Whenever we have new residents come in, I try to get over to see them within at least a day or two,” he said. “Many are here for their last days on this earth, and some have been here for many, many years. Others come in and are able to go home again quickly.”
“Two of the family members of residents who have just passed have asked me to officiate at the funeral. And it just is really fulfilling to realize that in some way I’ve touched their life to show them the love of Christ. That they see that somebody does care for them.”
At faith-based Advent Christian Village, spiritual care is a key part of our ministry. We encourage every team member, from kitchen staff to event coordinators and spiritual leaders, to form meaningful connections with residents. We hold spiritual wellness in high regard and we strive to provide residents the opportunity to grow in their walk with the Lord. Learn more about ACV or schedule a tour today.