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Church expands its service with new Family Life Center
Pastor Walter Willis stands outside his church, Landmark United Pentecostal in Gainesville, which is ceplebrating the opening of its new Family Life Center today. The building is located at 470 Woods Mill Road, Suite 1.

Landmark Family Life Center grand opening
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: 470 Woods Mill Road, Gainesville
Services: 10:55 a.m. Sundays, 7 p.m. Bible study Thursdays
More info: 770-531-4349

Donations accepted
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays
What’s accepted: Nonperishable and canned good, clothes and office supplies, among other items

Landmark United Pentecostal Church didn’t want to just start a new congregation in Gainesville, they wanted to empower the community by providing a food bank and other services.

So, they created the Landmark Family Life Center to assist the community in all sorts of needs, from help for single mothers to a senior night.

“We’re basically wanting to empower the community and give back to the community,” said Sandra Grant, member of the church. “Right now we are getting everything established. We have a food bank that we are doing right now ... also a Single Mothers Association that is held on the third Saturday of each month.

“It’s a brand new ministry. We just want to make ourselves known and let people know we are there.”

A food bank is one of the biggest ministries of the church. Initially it started with just helping a family here and there, but now they help five to 10 families a week.

They also hope in the future to have an after-school program with a learning center for students to help with homework, studying for the GED or learning computer skills.

The grand opening of the family life center is today with activities for the whole family. The public is welcome.

“It’s going to be a day of fun with hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, Sno-cones, bounce house for the children — all that good stuff,” Grant said.

The church is located on Woods Mill Road in Gainesville, near downtown.

The Rev. Walter Willis is the pastor of Landmark Pentecostal Church, and he said he hopes the community really comes out to enjoy the day.

“It’s all amount implementing these programs into the community,” said Willis, who added his congregation is around 85 members. “We have ministries going on with dedicated people working in those ministries.

“We aren’t trying to force religion ... but we do try to encourage people.”

Landmark began in 1995 in Barrow County and moved to Gainesville five years later, with Willis serving as pastor and founder of the congregation.

“The only way you are going to empower and compel people is to get out there with them,” Willis said.