WARNER ROBINS -- Grace Baptist Church started in 1972 when Charlie Collins began meeting with others in the chapel of McCullough Funeral home at its old location at Watson Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road.
Not long after, the congregation bought property and moved south down Pleasant Hill near its intersection with Sunset Drive.
Today, Paul Mullen is pastor.
“We’re just a family church seeking to faithfully follow the Lord and do what he wants us to do,” Mullen said. “We’re a conservative Baptist church with conservative worship, hymns and the Gospel. Our focus is on the Bible, preaching the word of God, teaching through different books of the Bible.”
He said his goal in a sermon is to accurately teach scripture, seeing what it says and how it applies today.
He said he tries not to take a bold stand where scripture doesn’t, but to take bold stands where scripture does. He said he teaches but it’s the Holy Spirit that helps each believer understand how they are to respond.
“It’s not the pastor’s job to tell people what to do,” he said. “The particulars of how to dress or what to do. I guess it happens, but that’s because it’s so easy to get puffed up, prideful, and that’s where a lot of the negatives of church may come from. It’s a danger for anyone, I understand that, but it’s up to each of us as believers to walk humbly before the Lord and one another within the framework of God’s word.”
Again, Mullen said it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to apply any sermon he presents week to week.
“It’s just like the story of Jesus,” he said. “Who’s going to believe that unless the Holy Spirit is working in their heart? It’s not what church you belong but the power of God that saves and helps us grow as a Christian. And salvation isn’t the end but the beginning of our walk with God and growth in Christ-likeness. We have to depend on him to be saved and to strengthen our faith and straighten our walk.”
In 2006, Mullen moved to Warner Robins and Grace Baptist from Maryland where he was youth pastor and director of education at a larger church.
But he was no stranger to Warner Robins.
Mullen, 44, said he was born at Houston Medical Center while his father pastored in the area prior to moving to minister in the Atlanta area where the younger Mullen graduated high school.
He said his father served here at Baptist Bible Temple, Trinity Baptist in Centerville and for a while at Grace Baptist. Mullen said he himself preached at Grace as a young man and brought a youth group from Maryland to do a vacation Bible school for the church.
Mullen said not only was his father a minister, but his father’s father and two brothers were ministers as well.
“My grandfather was a circuit rider in Maine and served three churches in small potato farming communities,” he said. “Dad had a book of his where he wrote what churches gave him, like two chickens. It wasn’t money -- they paid him in groceries for the family.”
Mullen said his grandfather was Canadian but had to move north to the communities he served in Maine. He said his father became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Mullen and his wife, Stephanie, have four children.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.