Positive, enthusiastic approach serves Joyful Life Baptist well

Sun News correspondentJune 19, 2013 

  • Joyful Life Baptist Church

    Address: 1618 Houston Lake Road, Kathleen
    Phone: 987-6344
    Leadership: Mike McPherson, senior pastor
    Worship: Sunday school 9:30 a.m., morning worship 10:45, Wednesday Bible study and prayer 6 p.m.
    Website: joyfullifebcga.org

WARNER ROBINS -- If you go to Joyful Life Baptist Church you know what PEED is.

It’s an important term from Mike McPherson, who’s been pastor at Joyful Life just shy of a year of the church’s three-year history.

McPherson said PEED stands for being positive, enthusiastic, encouraging and determined. But he said it’s what you’re positive, enthusiastic and encouraging about that’s really important.

“You should be positive, enthusiastic and encouraging about praying for and with others,” he said. “You should be positive, enthusiastic and encouraging about engaging others in spiritual conversation, about introducing others to Christ and about asking others to join you in church and living out the adventure of following Christ.”

The approach has done well for the church. McPherson said Joyful Life has tripled in size from the 14 members there when he began at the church.

“We’ve had some productive months,” he said. “We’re growing and very enthusiastic about the future. We have plans for new ministries, a new digital sign out front to engage the 20,000 cars they say go by every day on Houston Lake Road, and many upgrades and improvements to the facility.”

McPherson said he’s not alone in moving the church forward. He said the congregation has a strong, cooperative leadership team made up of Jon Tillman, John Baldwin and Brian Purcell, who serves as the church’s interim music director.

Tillman, who’s been at the church from its start, said McPherson has been a caring, praying pastor for the congregation -- a “real good shepherd.”

McPherson said he tries to make contact with the church’s members on a regular basis. He said he tries to take special care of those in hospital, who have lost loved ones or who are experiencing other struggles.

“It’s the caring side of the church I want to see influence the world around us,” he said. “We care not only about those in our church but those in the neighborhood and world around us. We care about their souls and their spiritual wellbeing as well as their physical wellbeing.”

Joyful Life is a church plant of the Rehoboth Baptist Association and meets in facilities of what used to be Cornerstone Baptist Church. McPherson said the church’s new name reflects the church’s mission.

“So many people are going to church and being beat down,” he said. “Our mission is to be a place where people find joy in their life as Christians. I think we really are a joyful, loving place united in harmony. We’re a comfortable place. Our goal is to exalt the Lord, educate people, evangelize the lost and elevate the moral consciousness to that which is good, to that which the Bible holds as a standard. The Bible is our reference point.”

McPherson said he accepted Christ as savior at 17 and was called to preach at 19. He has served in churches from Dawson and Ellaville to Americus and Nashville, Ga., in his 35 years of ministry. As he does now, McPherson has often pastored bi-vocationally and worked in the insurance field.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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