Lake Martin Baptist Church members congregate during Easter services earlier this year. | Submitted
Lake Martin Baptist Church members congregate during Easter services earlier this year. | Submitted

Archived Story

Lake Martin Baptist credits faith, friendship for growth

Published 8:29pm Wednesday, August 27, 2014

As Lake Martin Baptist Church Pastor Mark Gainey marked his one-year anniversary at the church in late July, his celebration was less focused on the time past and more focused on the role of faith in growing a congregation.

Since he arrived on July 28, 2013, Gainey said the church has gained 80 new members, nearly doubling its average attendance on Sundays.

Gainey credits the power of building relationships as a part of growing the church, but more importantly, the power of faith.

“Immediately when we got here, we began to build relationships. I volunteer, do different things, I’m on Pace’s Point Fire Department, I joined Kiwanis, and it’s been fantastic,” Gainey said. “What I tell people is God was already prepared to do something in this church. I happened upon a great situation because was already here to work. It’s not me, because I’ve done the same thing at other churches and never seen growth like this. It’s God.”

With a family including four children, Gainey came in with a task to bring in more families to the church. The people of Lake Martin Baptist, Gainey said, have been crucial in those efforts.

“Before I got here, people called it the ‘old-people church’ or the church for retirees. I kind of looked at it the other way. I’ve been a church planner before and a pastor, and what I’ve always wished I had was more trained, experienced leaders,” Gainey said. “Well, I saw the situation here as one where we have a ton of experienced leaders. That was positive to me. Another thing I attest the growth to is the people. Our mission statement at Lake Martin Baptist is to make disciples who love God and love people. That’s what they do here, and it’s contagious.”

Overall, Gainey said even greater than the number of being brought to the church is the number of people being brought into the faith.

“Of all those 80 who have joined, we’ve had about 30 of them join by baptism, so we’re not just seeing people come to church, we’re seeing people come to Christ,” Gainey said. “That’s a great passion of mine.”

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