Week of Prayer sees boom in church plants

Lamar Duke says that if he could have every week go the way the Myers-Mallory Week of Prayer for State Missions went this year, he’d be dancing for joy.

“That entire week (Sept. 9–16) we had a red-letter week in church planting,” said Duke, church planting strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM).

On the first Sunday of the week, four churches had a kickoff service. A new Hispanic congregation in north Jefferson County was one.

Tapestry Church, which meets at the Embassy Suites in Hoover and is led by Pastor Deric Thomas, saw more than 300 attend its first service.

Redeemer Church in Helena, led by Pastor Chase Rogers, had a strong start too, Duke said, as did Union Church, a new plant in Auburn led by Pastor Chris Brister.

On the Monday that followed Duke met with six new church planters and their wives for a two-day assessment retreat. And on Thursday that week he met with Derrick Millirons, who had recently planted Mercy Baptist Church in Russell Baptist Association.

“God is doing some great things in church planting across our state. It’s great to be a part of it,” Duke said. “Pray that the Lord of the harvest would continue to send laborers. That’s my recruiting plan and rarely does a day go by that I don’t get a phone call, text or email from someone who wants to plant a church in Alabama.”

But even so, he said he believes there’s a lot more to be done.

“I believe our greatest potential for church planters are still sitting in the pews, they just don’t know where the on-ramp is to get started,” Duke said.

His office at the SBOM can offer guidance, resources and support for anyone looking to start a church. (Grace Thornton)

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