By John Skiles, Church of Destin President
I think if we ask the question, “Do you want to be blessed?”, everyone would raise their hand and say, “Yes I do!”
Have you ever stopped to ponder why Destin is called the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village?” Perhaps it truly began with the Blessing of the Fleet which started in 1958 with St. Andrews Church right here in what was just a small fishing village at the time. From a tiny fleet of 4-5 boats, the Blessing of the Fleet has now grown and prospered into the largest fishing fleet in North America. Men of God who led the church began to believe for peoples’ fishing catches and for boats to be blessed. God’s people came together to believe for something great, and in faith for blessings. Today, for many captains in Destin’s fishing fleet, their success doesn’t ride on luck—it rides on prayer.
As the Blessing of the Fleet has grown, so have the hundreds of people, families and businesses in the area who have also wanted to be blessed. And now, for Destin fisherman, locals, businesses and area professionals, success has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with blessings. That is what makes continuing the “blessing” tradition so special.
Destin’s Week of Blessings will be held May 9-15. (See 2021 Week of Blessings schedule below.) So, what is the Destin Week of Blessings and how can I be a part of it? This most special week is where as many churches that want to participate come together to conduct a “Week of Blessings.” Representative pastors, as many as we can get, join together for an entire week as we bless our city through prayers, blessings, declarations and painting a picture that the greatest blessing we have is following Jesus, knowing He is with us so matter what might come our way. We hope to instill in our local community that we are not alone and we agree and believe that we can be lifted up, have hope, and believe great things for our businesses, our lives, our families, our boats, our children…and the list goes on and on.
Does it mean that we gain riches and prosperity when this happens? Certainly not. But it does give us hope that our prayers are heard in faith. I love that Scripture says in John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in my name, I’ll do it.” We believe in the power of prayer and we PRAY over anyone who wants it during this amazing week.
We, as the Church of Destin, are a brotherhood/sisterhood of pastors of all denominations and affiliations right here in Destin—our motto is “One Church, Many Congregations.” We not only come together to do the Week of Blessings each May, but also for our community in times of need. Most recently we served those who were impacted by Hurricane Michael, providing supplies by boat, truck or other vehicles. It was amazing to watch the churches of Destin come together and strategize to be what God called us to be, THE church, and supply all that we can as the city of Destin.
So, what’s different this year? Well, it’s been two years since we’ve all been able to come together due to Covid 19. But this year, we are very excited to hold the Marketplace Blessing on Wednesday, May 12, at a new location—Destin High School. It will be a luncheon and time of “blessing” where you, in whatever profession you’re in, will receive a Chick-fil-a lunch and we’ll pray and speak blessings over your business. Donations will go toward the new high school.
The week kicks off with the “Family Blessing” on May 9th, very fittingly, Mother’s Day. This is conducted by individual “Church of Destin” churches. See schedule for the rest of the week’s blessed activities, culminating in the original “Blessing of the Fleet,” May 13. If you haven’t participated or come to watch this before, you will be more than blessed!
As President, I want to share my excitement for the unity with our fellow pastors, sensing this is on the heart of God: for our churches and community to work together. May we as the Church of Destin (“One Church, Many Congregations”) continue to offer hope to our city and community. We don’t care what church you go to, or if you don’t have one, come out and let us connect with you, believe with you and bless you!
Pastor John Skiles is the newly elected president of the Church of Destin. He and his wife, Sula, pastor Impact Life Church in Destin.