Redeemer Baptist Church
Where: Memorial Park North, Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Dr., Gainesville
When: 10:30 a.m. Sunday
More info: 770-561-26809 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The story of how a new pastor navigates his first solo Easter service.
A look at the annual Stations of the Cross procession.
Opening the doors to a new ministry on the biggest church-going day of the year is quite ambitious, but the Rev. Fletcher Law wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Gainesville pastor, formerly the chaplain at Riverside Military Academy, has prepared for nearly six months for the opening day this Sunday of his new church — Redeemer Baptist Church.
Law and other Redeemer attendees have been going door-to-door, passing out flyers and hosting revivals Easter week at the Gainesville Civic Center to get the word out about the new congregation.
"Our mission is for the unchurched," Law said. "We’ve sent out invitations by mail, we’ve put them in Chick-fil-A bags ... the main thing is we just want people to come join us. We are going to try and break 150 people this Sunday. The best advertising is going to be word of mouth."
Law decided last summer to be a church planter, which is starting a congregation from scratch, with the help of the Chattahoochee Baptist Association. He had been the chaplain at Riverside for eight years when his position was eliminated and thought it was time to go back into the ministry.
"I left there in June and I talked to Mike Taylor, he’s in charge of church planting, from the Chattahoochee Baptist Association about starting a church," said Law, who has pastored churches in Lula and Flowery Branch. "We are one of several new churches starting ... Riverside was one super experience for me but it was time to go back to a church."
The Rev. Mike Taylor is officially titled new church strategist for the association. The CBA and Taylor works with pastors and the Georgia Baptist Convention to bring new churches to the Northeast Georgia area.
"I actively started working with him last summer getting Bible study groups organized and began pulling a core group together," Taylor said. "We’ve had a number of new churches that have started but Fletcher represents a unique niche and you have to follow the planters’ heart.
"Fletcher just has a heart for reaching men that have been alienated by the institutional church and they just haven’t connected with church."
Taylor said Law is hoping to reach people who may not have felt at home in a church before.
"... We know from church growth studies that if men can be tapped into the active life of the church, their wives and children will follow," he said. "He specifically is trying to engage people that have either burnt out on church or a lot of times people go through a crisis in their lives, a divorce or some difficulty and for whatever reason they become distanced from the church and they don’t feel like they are a part of it."
Tim Bennett, formerly a member of Airline Baptist Church, said he is on board with Law’s mission and has been helping bring the unchurched to Redeemer.
"I think we are both in there for the same purpose and that’s to win lost souls to the Lord and that’s the only purpose," Bennett said. "Every church starts somewhere and right now our emphasis is getting the word out."
Redeemer doesn’t have any members yet, but will in the near future when membership courses are offered to those who have been attending Bible study and worship.
"We’ve got a core worship group of about 20 people that have been worshipping with us, and we’ve been having once-a-month worship and Bible study to get ready and get people used to what a new church is and what our mission is going to be," Law said.