This weekend I shared that our family will be stepping out in faith and planting a new church in the Warren East area of Bowling Green. I left off at us praying about the opportunity...
Our church pastor and Mr.Pate had talked for awhile about the need for a church in that area, as well as a neighboring county that's really close to us. Another local church planted a new church in that county and it is thriving today, there was definitely a need. We could see it, but our church just wasn't at a point where we could do it at the time.
We had some friends move out to the Warren East area and asked us where they could go to church. We of course suggested Smiths Grove, but they felt that was too much of a drive (although really it's a ten minute drive, but I think bc you are driving north people perceive it as far). They really didn't want to keep driving into Bowling Green either. We realized there were no Southern Baptist churches in that area that we felt comfortable sending them to. Wow. The Lord really opened our eyes that day to this area.
Not long after, Mr.Pate ran into the pastor from Living Hope in a sporting goods store. He mentioned to Mr.Pate that they were really wanting to plant a church in that area. Wow! We had been seeing the need, and now it seemed there might be a means!
Over the next year, Mr.Pate and I did lots of assessments for NAMB (the North American Mission Board) and the KBC (KY Baptist Convention. We also began looking for houses out in the warren east area. We passed all of the assessments, were approved by the LH Elders, and things just kept seeming to affirm this was Gods next step for us. We bought a house and sold our house within a week. Wow.
So we have begun meeting with a core group who will help plant this church, and it is a very exciting time. It is also a bittersweet time, as this Sunday is our last one at Smiths Grove. We love this church, and it is the only church Griffin has ever known. Leaving definitely makes me so sad, but often God does not call us to easy tasks. We hope that through SGBC being a planting partner and prayer supporter that we will still have lots of interaction and be able to keep up with everyone.
Please be praying for our new church, Redeemer Church Warren East. Pray for the core group (which is a mix of people from Smiths Grove, Oakland Baptist and Living Hope) to bond well and quickly. Pray for our supporting churches and for this to also bless their congregations. Pray for our leadership, especially Mr.Pate. And pray for The Lord to prepare peoples hearts in that area for the gospel.
What a Fall this will be! New church. New baby. Settling into a new house. Whew!!! Right now I am clinging to the song "Called me higher" to remind me that all I have to do is abide in Him and step where He leads, He will do the rest.
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