More than 2,000 people celebrated the life of Warner Robins pastor Willie Reid Tuesday.
The 60-year-old founder of Fellowship Bible Baptist Church died Friday, from kidney failure and several other long-term health problems.
At his funeral, more song and celebration than sadness and mourning filled the church.
2,000 plus people reveled in the life and times of Willie L. Reid, Sr. He founded the church and grew it from a one room gathering place to a giant dome.
Friend and Director of Missions at the Rehoboth Baptist Association Tim Millwood said, "This was his dream and his goal, and, in spite of all the challenges he had with his organ transplant years ago, the development of diabetes and his amputation, he still saw this through. Were all rejoicing that he was able to live to see this completed."
Reid envisioned more than the one giant dome. He dreamed of building two more on the church's 48 acres; one would be a sports center, the other a sanctuary to hold 5,000.
Deacon and President of the Trustees at the church Henry Hopson said, "Scripture tells us that without a vision, people perish. He always kept a vision for us as a congregation, something to shoot for, something to strive for."
Church members, friends and the community praised the pastor, husband and father of three. They recalled his larger than life personality and even bigger commitment to spreading the message of his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Friend for more than 30 years Debora Wilson-Jones said, "He went through a lot of illness and along the way, he had a smile on his face, and he was praising God. It almost makes you think of the way Job lived. He was constantly praising God through his all his difficulties."
Reid's congregation will take on the work of seeing his vision through, and at his funeral one of his dreams came true.
He imagined a 100-person choir filling the balcony, and at the funeral that happened. The voices of five local church choirs combined to sing Reid's final farewell.
Reid and his wife Gloria founded Fellowship Bible Baptist Church in 1980, growing it from 25 to more than 3,000 members.