Our Story

On Sunday, July 6, 2008, Praise Baptist Church held it's first worship service.  We had all been looking forward to this for several months, and it was finally time to come together.  Two churches becoming one new work for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.


The question is, "How did this happen?"  How did two churches come together and form this union?  It's an exciting story of God at work, doing things that were unimaginable and yet working through His people in such a way that it could only be described as miraculous.


It all started about three years prior when the congregation at Main Street Baptist Church began to outgrow it's building.  They had seen steady growth for several years under the leadership of Pastor Jeff Noble and the facilities were just not going to be adequate if growth was going to continue.


So it was decided after much prayer and investigation that they would begin a building program called CLIMB (Christ Leads In Main Street Building).  In a period of two plus years, God blessed the CLIMB Program and enough money was raised to do all the preliminary work necessary to build a new worship center and eventually an education building.  Over $100,000 was paid out to architects and to the Township and County for all the necessary permits that are needed for a project of that size.  In October 2007, everything appeared as if it was coming together, and finally, after almost three years, it looked as if they were going to be able to break ground.


During that same time period, First Baptist Church of Plymouth, a church with a rich 176 year history, was experiencing a decline in attendance and they began to seek the Lord to see what direction they might take to further their ministry in the community.


Many meetings were held and many ideas were suggested.  Outreach programs were introduced with little success.  Nothing seemed to be working.


But it is in these times, when there seems to be no answers to the situations we find ourselves in, the God is working, carrying out His pre-determined plan, a plan He will reveal in His time that will ultimately bring glory to His name and be in the very best interest of His people.


It was during one of the meetings at FBCP that an idea was put forward, "What if we could find a church willing to partner with us.  Could that be the answer?"  A committee was formed and several churches were contacted: churches meeting in schools or renting other facilities, to see if they would be interested in partnering with FBCP.  As of October of 2007, they were at a standstill.  No church had been found that was interested in partnering with them.


Back at Main Street, they had just received word that the financing needed to build their new facility was going to be reduced significantly, and they were going to need $400,000 in the bank before the building could even be started.  This was a shocking development.  It would take three or four years to raise that kind of money.


The congregation at Main Street was called to fast and pray for 14 days from November 4-18 to seek the Lord's direction.  On the 13th day of congregational prayer and fasting, during 12 hours of continual worship and prayer, Pastor Jeff received a phone call from Carlton Younge, a retired pastor and member of First Baptist Church of Plymouth.  To say the least it was an interesting conversation in which Pastor Younge stated that they had been observing the growth of MSBC and had even attended several worship services.  He said that it appeared to them that Main Street had people but no building whereas First Baptist had a building and few people.


Then the question was posed, "Would you consider partnering with us and forming a new church?"


Wow, this was unthinkable.  But God does the unthinkable and when something is as unthinkable as this, could it be anyone else but God?  On June 1, 2008, after much prayer and many meetings, the two congregations voted to form a new partnership and come together to worship and serve the Lord.


These are exciting days at Praise Baptist Church.  God is leading and God is blessing in ways only He can.  Were one church had a weakness the other had a strength and vice-a-versa.  Through the cross of Christ, God gives life in the face of death, bring unity out of diversity and draws a watching world to Himself.


There is no better place to be than in the hands of a loving God.  May we be clean vessels in His hands for His use for His glory.



Pastor Jeff's TeStimony


GOD CAN HIT A STRAIGHT LICK WITH A CROOKED STICK:


I was raised in a Christian home as a Lutheran. We regularly attended church, though not every Sunday.

I completed my catechism classes at the age of 14 and became a "member" of the Lutheran church. Although I believed in God (James 2:19), I had no real interest in spiritual things.


As a young person I enjoyed music. I began playing drums in a band at the age of eleven. By age sixteen I was playing in clubs and at parties on the weekends. It was during my junior year that a Christian rock band played at my high school. They invited the students to Ebenezer Baptist Church for a concert that night. Since music was such a big part of my life (and the fact that Katie Langston said she would go with me) I went to see if this band was any good. Little did I know that God had something so much more important to show me.


At the close of the concert they gave an alter call, a term I was unfamiliar with at the time since I had been raised in the Lutheran church. One thing I did know is God was speaking directly to me. All the time I had spent in church and yet I had never heard the message of Christ. That night, for the first time, I realized I was a sinner, I could not save myself, and I needed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I prayed to receive Christ that evening (Romans 10:9-10).


I wish I could tell you that my life was different from that day forward. Unfortunately, the Christian band didn't bother to tell me that as a new Christian, I needed to find a Bible teaching church and be discipled (something I now encourage every new believer to do). Although I knew something was different about me, I didn't know how to tell anyone. I hadn't learned the "churchy" phrases (which I am very careful not to use with a new believer) and quite frankly, no one seemed interested in my new found salvation. I remember someone even saying that in time I would get over it. Eventually, I returned to my old friends and old ways.


But God did not give up on me (John 10:28). Regardless of how far I would stray, the Lord was constantly reminding me that He was still there. As I look back over my life I see time and time again how He protected me. I would later find a passage in the Bible (John 14:26) where Jesus promised His believers a helper (the Holy Spirit) to remind them of the things He had taught.


As part of God's wonderful plan, I married my girlfriend of five years on February 28, 1987. Shortly after our wedding, a friend invited us to church. Immediately, God began to call me back to Him. After running from the Lord for almost eight years, I recommitted my life to Jesus at the age of 27 and was baptized by immersion at Stough Memorial Baptist Church. This time I was here to stay (1 John 1:9).


I fell in love with the Lord and served Him as a layman for four years. Although I was a "corporate man" at the time and was committed to being successful in business, God called me into the ministry in 1991. In typical fashion, I fought His will for a couple of years but eventually surrendered to full-time service in 1993.


I may not have the "typical" Baptist minister testimony, but I do know the Lord changed my life and has given me a pastor's heart. I also know that by sharing my experiences, I am able to be "real" with people as I tell them of Christ. The idea of doing anything other than sharing the Gospel of Christ and ministering to those in need is unimaginable. I thank the Lord everyday for saving me and allowing me to serve Him.


Praise His Holy Name for He is indeed worthy!