Remembering the Impact of 9-11 on this Community

Our church, Lakewood Baptist, hosted the memorial service for Edna Stephens who perished on 9.11.01 when a hijacked airplane slammed into the Pentagon. Eighteen years have passed, yet we remember it so well. I remember well the words I used as I led in Edna’s memorial service. I thought they were important then, and I believe they … Continued


Joining God Where He’s Working

Recently, we have been a part of some amazing God sized things.  In case you missed out on some of these great happenings, here is a brief review.  What a joy to join God where he is working.  Let’s be faithful to always proclaim Jesus and affirm His Word. Additionally, we are so very thankful … Continued


Believer’s Baptism at the Lake

 Of all my pastoral duties, I feel most in awe each time I lead the Lord’s Supper and Baptism services. I feel especially inadequate and humbled when I think about engaging in these two ordinances of our Faith with other Christ followers, knowing such services go back to the beginning of our Christian Faith. … Continued


2018-2019 Annual Business Report

We held our Annual Business Conference, Sunday July 28, 2019, in the Worship Center right after the Real Life service. It was a joyful time of reflecting on and celebrating so much of what God has done in and through our church family and community since last summer. God is faithfully moving here at Lakewood, … Continued


Its been a Fantastic Church Year!

We wrap up our current ministry year having had some big successes.  In addition to our ongoing 52-week-a-year ministry, we enjoyed a very significant VBS, Kid’s Camp, DNOW weekend, Marriage Enrichment Ministry, women’s mission trip to Guatemala, Joy Ministry, Middle School, High School and Gather summer retreats and camps.  In addition, I believe we had one … Continued


The Truth About Jesus

The reason that the resurrection of Jesus is so often attacked is that it validates the claims Jesus Christ made about Himself. For centuries, relentless efforts by agnostics and atheists have sought to dismiss the resurrection of Jesus. Skeptics try to avoid it or explain it away; doubters seek to dismantle the resurrection of Jesus, … Continued


Expansion Project Sunday

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. What a day Sunday April 14 was in the life and ministry of Lakewood. We came together and together we walked up to the altar and placed our gifts of sacrifice as a symbol of our love of God and HIS Church. While the amount of the day’s … Continued


OT19 | NT Connection (Feb. 23)

NT Connect: Galatians 1:10 Weekly Reading: Genesis 31-35 Living for Self v. Living for God As has been mentioned in our OT19: Eden to Exile, it might seem strange to read the Old Testament with an “eye bent toward the New Testament.” However, as we read, we are reminded of the beautiful connection between God’s … Continued


2018 Expansion Project Business Conference Motion

  2018 Expansion Project Business Conference Motion   The Deacon Leadership Council (DLC), on behalf of the Deacon Ministry and Stewardship Team, makes the following motion: That Lakewood Baptist Church engage in an Expansion Project, the scope of which will include, but not be limited to, expanding the existing Ministry Center and GroZone Children’s facilities. … Continued


Operation Christmas Child 2018

Well, another OCC is in the books! What a wonderful ministry. I am so very proud of our Operation Christmas Child leader, Jim Lee, our staff liaison, Benji Lavender, and every one of the many dedicated volunteers! Lakewood is a blessing to Samaritan’s Purse as we serve as a regional collection center for OCC, but … Continued


Nothing But The Truth

The last several Gainesville Times’ “Minister Columns” have been about truth. We’ve read comments from several writers, but I offer the one single statement which sums up the topic: “Truth can never contradict itself.” That means that anyone who says that there is no absolute truth is both incorrect and illogical. I found Christian apologist … Continued


Prayer of Christlikeness

Here is a prayer that our Worship Pastor, Bill Risinger, shared with me this week. Dear God, I pray you would grant me: Less selfishness and more love, Less insecurity and more kindness, Less pride and more humility, Less greed and more generosity, Less entitlement and more work, Less grudges and more forgiveness, Less ignorance … Continued


Turn Off the Television and Love Your Neighbor

​​As I watched and observed the behavior of those in Charlottesville and in Seattle, I can’t help but think of Captain Woodrow F. Call of “Lonesome Dove” fame. Following an ugly incident when he had to take up for a young boy being abused by an angry adult, he said, “I hate rudeness in a man; … Continued


Annual Business Report 2017 and By-Law Amendment

Each year, we gather as a church family at the end of July to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous church year, vision-cast for the one upcoming and review old and new church business.  We are joyfully joining God where He is working locally, nationally and globally, and we continue to see that where He … Continued


Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Every July 4th, Americans wave flags, belt out our national songs triumphantly, and consume a lot of barbecue and lemonade. The danger of our July 4th celebrations, as Christian people, is that sometimes we take patriotism beyond gratitude, morphing it into a nationalist idolatry. As Christ-followers, there are two things we should remember as we celebrate America: First, … Continued


Eastertide

The resurrection of Christ is the central point of Christianity. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were all for you. Regarding the resurrection of Jesus, we don’t celebrate his resurrection just on Easter Sunday. We celebrate his resurrection every time we worship. Every time we use our gifts and passions for God. In your mind, perhaps, … Continued


The Day Death Died

I love to celebrate Easter for many, many reasons, but the best reason that I love Easter is because it reminds me that death died. The Easter Story makes two of my most favorite scriptures possible: “Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26). “The world and its … Continued


The Endowment Ministry

Back in the early 1990’s, I shared with Lakewood’s leadership the value of establishing an endowment for the purpose of funding ministry and missions outside the normal area of our operating budget. An endowment is a donation to a nonprofit (e.g., Lakewood Baptist Church) for the ongoing support of that organization. In Lakewood’s case the endowment is … Continued


Failure Can Lead to Success

It looked like Abraham Lincoln was a colossal failure: Lost 8 elections Failed in 2 businesses Suffered a nervous breakdown which left him bedridden for 6 months Finally, in 1860 Lincoln was elected president, and the rest—as they say—is history. Michael Jordan said: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I … Continued


Discouragement: A Powerful Tool of the “Accuser”

Discouragement is a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and this discouragement can lead us into a state of doubt and fear. Remember how the Hebrews became so discouraged by their circumstances that they had lost hope. Numbers 14 records a very dark and discouraging moment for Moses and his leadership: “Then the whole community … Continued