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Friends, family celebrate Dr. Michael Guido at Guido Gardens this weekend
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Dr. Michael Guido enjoys the celebration at Guido Gardens in Metter Saturday.
    METTER — Dr. Michael Guido sat in his golf cart just to the left of the stage Saturday morning, watching a gospel singing group perform in front of a few hundred people at the gardens which share his name.
    A large tent was set up to shield the crowd from the morning sun and people fanned themselves to both stay cook and keep the gnats away.
    It could have been a scene from 60 years ago when Guido was traveling the country speaking to as many as 3,000 people in a similar scene. Instead, it was at the place he's called home for the past 50 years as a celebration of his ministry not just in Metter, but all around the globe.
    For the past half century, Guido has preached the gospel of Jesus Christ from his studios and Saturday and today provided an opportunity for the community to show their appreciation for the person Metter Mayor Billy Trapnell calls "Metter's number one citizen."
    "We're an international destination because of Dr. Guido," he said.
    One of those in attendance Saturday was John Stillwell from outside of Chicago. His family has been friends with the Guidos for decades and Stillwell credits Guido for leading him to salvation.
    For more than two decades, Stillwell's family would provide Guido with a new Buick to drive, ensuring he had reliable transportation to get where he was needed.
    "We can't all be ministers, but we can make sure he could get where he needed to go," Stillwell said.
    Guido has always relied on God to provide for his needs as he's never solicited funds to pay for his ministry.
    "We wanted people to know we want to be a blessing to them, not a burden," he said. "We wanted to give and not to get."
    Roland Dann from Springfield said he wanted to come out Saturday to show his appreciation for everything Guido has done for him and his family.
    Dann called Guido "a tremendous encourager" and someone who still writes notes to his mother in Florida from time to time.
    Guido's "Seed From the Sower" is aired on more than 4,100 radio stations around the world. He also appears on 65 television stations and his column appears in 1,300 newspapers.
    He said he never dreamed his ministry would have the far-reaching effects it has today. His goal was to "reach as many people for the Lord."
    The celebration continues today as Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will be on hand for an afternoon praise and worship service beginning at 3 p.m.
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