WARNER ROBINS -- Anchor Baptist Church was begun almost five years ago as a place to serve the Lord and get back to the old ways and the fundamental truths of the Bible, said Ron Crank, Anchors founding pastor.
Were simply a local body of believers in Jesus who are looking to expand the Gospel to a lost and dying world, he said.
On the sign in front of its building on Carl Vinson Parkway and on all its printed material, Anchor Baptist stresses the fact it is old-fashioned, independent and fundamentalist.
What we mean by old-fashioned is getting back to what this country was founded on and getting back to the truths of the Gospel and teachings of the King James Bible, Crank said. Its getting back to the old paths, as the Bible puts it. The direction today is getting away from the old book and what Jesus teaches and intended.
By staying independent, Crank said, the church is an autonomous local fellowship independent of any other organization dictating what they can do or believe. He said the church is accountable to God and governed by what the Bible says. However, he does say the congregation is in fellowship with other like-minded congregations.
Were not against any other churches, Crank said. We just arent part of any hierarchy telling us what to do as a local church.
In being fundamentalist, Crank said the church stresses the basics of the Bible, centering on the Gospel and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Its not adding anything to it or subtracting from it, he said. Theres no other way to get to heaven or to avoid hell than through Jesus Christ. Its not by any works we do to attain it, but its by the grace he offers each of us. Its a gift.
Crank said Anchor Baptist started in October 2008 in his home and then rented space for a short time in another church building. Soon after, they began renting the Elks Lodge building on Carl Vinson Parkway and eventually bought it. He said the building was well-suited to house a new, growing church.
We started with chairs, then were able to get some pews in here, he said. Little by little, God is adding to the property. Were looking for a steeple to put up.
In the same way, Crank said the church has added and is continuing to add ministries as its number grow from the original 15 who formed the church.
You can try to do a lot before youre ready and do a bad job or you can do what you can as you grow and have the right people to do the ministry well, he said. Its a process. We do have junior church for the kids, teen ministry and a Jolly 60s ministry for the seniors. There are lot of things we want to begin doing as soon as we can, like nursing home services and being prepared to help meet peoples needs as the economy gets worse and worse.
Crank said he was saved at 19 and has been in ministry for 30-plus years. Originally from Illinois, he has served churches there as well as in Wyoming and Georgia. He studied pastoral theology at Fairhaven Baptist College in Chesterton, Ind., and has a Bachelor of Theology degree from Great Plains Baptist College and Divinity School in Sioux Falls, S.D.
He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married 37 years and have six children.
I think this country is trying to take God out of society, and we at Anchor are just trying to hold the fort, Crank said. Our country has come a long way and dropped the ball about the Bible, the local church being in the forefront of our lives. The Lord gives us all a choice to obey or disobey God. Hes not willing that any should be lost, he doesnt want anyone to go to hell, but thats the only other choice beside being saved and following him. We just want to exalt the Lord Jesus and meet the needs of people in the age we live. We have a special heart for members of the military and have several military families here. We want to reach out as much as we can to military families.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.