MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was a milestone weekend for Pastor Larry Thompson as he celebrated his 20th anniversary as head of the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale.

The church is one of South Florida’s largest.

Thompson says a good way of staying a part of religion is to develop a relationship and invest in other people.

“I think all through life people invest in you, people invest in my life and that makes me who I am today and making investments in the lives of people.”

Pastor Thompson says one of the reasons the church has thrived with a congregation of thousands  in a 55-thousand square foot , $11 million building that was built debt free is because followers really kept up with the times.

“I think one of the proudest moments is being a multi-cultural, multi-racial fellowship,” he said.

“We needed to reflect the culture in where we lived.”

The church has members from 60 nations.  The service is translated into three to five different languages every week. Three-years-go they had a deacon chairman from Brazil and two-years-ago the first African American deacon chairman.

The church is also known for its diversity and a famous Christmas pageant .

Pastor Thompson said he is looking forward to the future.

“My most important responsibility is to share God’s word,” explained Thompson.  “You can have abundant life and spread God’s word and have hope and there is that in Jesus Christ.

Watch the report, click here.

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