The Rev. Tom Smiley is retiring as senior pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church.
Smiley announced plans for his retirement during a service on Sunday, Oct. 13. The Gainesville church has a membership of more than 2,500.
He’s led the church for almost 30 years. He told The Times on Monday that the leadership of the church is working out a transition plan in the next few weeks and that he’ll stay on at Lakewood Baptist for the next two to three years, he said.
Lakewood Baptist Church was started in 1956. It’s grown from about 175 members to its current count of more than 2,500 members spanning two campuses.
Smiley became pastor at the church in 1990.